Normandale, Norfolk County

Named for Joseph Van Norman who led a partnership to purchase iron works begun by Samuel Mason on Potter’s Creek in 1822, Normandale is the location of a historical marker for the Normandale Furnace. In the first half of the 19th Century, Normandale was home to over 750 people. Stoves, pots, plans and plough shares were among the products produced by the forge until it closed in 1847. The hamlet today boasts beautiful heritage homes and gardens.

The tiny community of Normandale, a short distance west of Port Dover, was for the first two decades of the 19th century Ontario’s iron manufacturing capital. Here Joseph Van Norman dragged peat and logs from the forests and bogs to a blast furnace by the shore of the lake and for as long as the supplies lasted, Normandale turned out iron products for the local population. But the bog ore and the lumber did not last and by the 1820s the bustling little town had nearly vanished. Today a former hotel, general store and a small handful of early homes are the sole survivors of that industrial era.