CLIMATE: Snow in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring summer or fall
REMAINS: The church and manse survived and are now private residences but the Orange Lodge stands vacant.
One of the sources of hope for a better life for settlers and their families that made their way into the forests of the Queen’s Bush was water power offered by the Maitland River. The flow of the river was fast and steady. This was an ideal condition for many little mill villages that appeared along its banks. One was Newbridge. The village had its beginning in 1854 when a William Spence and two other settlers arrived at the banks of the river in Howick Township. Spence bought 500 acres of land and laid out the townsite of Spencetown. A grist mill was added in 1860 and a flour mill a short time later. A post office was next. But there was another post office in Ontario with a similar name so the name of the town was changed to Newbridge, after a village in Ireland.
Soon Newbridge was a bustling community. It had a church, school, general store, two blacksmiths, a tavern, a hotel, and an Orange Lodge. However, when the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway passed further north through Fordwich, Newbridge became a backwater. In 1922 fire destroyed the mills and the hotel and store.