Originally settled in the early 19th century, the Township was incorporated in 1850. Soon after, the discovery of gold at Ontario’s first gold mine, at Eldorado, swelled the population. The township was named after legendary Welsh prince Madoc ap Owain Gwynedd, credited by some with discovering North America in 1170. There exists an alternative explanation, for which no evidence exists, that the name comes from a small Welsh village, Llanmadoc on the Gower Peninsula of Wales, not far from the city of Swansea.
Mills and ironworks gave initial stimulus to the community of Madoc. Following the discovery of gold-bearing quartz in 1866, the community prospered as an industrial centre. Eldorado, 6 miles north of Madoc, was the site of Ontario’s first gold rush on 18 August 1866 by Marcus Powell and William Berryman (or Nicholas Snider). The opened up a limestone cave 12 feet long, 6 feet wide and 6 feet high. The resultant mine was named the Richardson Mine, after John Richardson, owner of the farm where it was located. People soon came from all over Eldorado, ON
In 1854, the first meteorite discovery was made in the area of Eldorado and then, in 1866 it was the first town to discover gold. Although the mine closed in 1869, there is still gold to be found. Owner Kim Woodside of the Eldorado Experience, offers visitors the opportunity to visit this historical property. The Eldorado Experience is a 100 acre wellness retreat situated on the site of the Richardson Gold mine and the Eldorado Copper mine 1866-1893. Nature trails, meditation sites and mineral exploration.
The Hidden Goldmine Bakery
A great little café/ bakery in the heart of Madoc.
Madoc Dairy- Burnside’s Casual Dining (& curios)
Hwy 62 at Russell St, south of Highway 7 on the east side
This little restaurant has been operating in the area for 60 years! Stop in and you’ll see why.
O’Hara Mill Homestead & Conservation Area
O’Hara Mill Homestead and Conservation Area is a local treasure. It is an opportunity to relive the day to day hardships and rewards of early pioneer life in Ontario. It includes the O’Hara family’s original buildings; the farmhouse, sawmill, carriage-house, shed and woodworking shop remain in a restored condition, thanks to numerous volunteer hours and generous donations from individuals and businesses in and around the community.
Since 1965 the Homestead has expanded with the addition of relocated buildings from the surrounding area. A log cabin originally located at the Sheffield Conservation Area, now houses a blacksmith’s shop. An original schoolhouse dating back to 1861 was relocated on the site from Elzevir Township. The latest additions to the area are a rebuilt log house (erected on the site of the original homestead in 2008), circa 1850, and a Welcome Centre that was built in 2009.
Grounds & Trails: Open dawn to dusk 365 days of the year. Buildings: Open 10am to 4 pm weekends and holidays from Victoria Day to Labour Day and daily from July 1 to Sept 4 (closed normal Mondays and Tuesdays). During the off season, buildings may be open by chance on the weekends or special occasions.
O’Hara Mill Spillway
A small waterfall at the mill pond.