A patent dated January 13th, 1796, Lots 39, 4, 41, 42 and 43 in the first Concession of Camden were conveyed to Governor Simcoe , comprising of 1000 acres was know as the Simcoe tract. At that time this land was covered by primeval forest. The present village of Yarker stands on Lots 41 and 42. It also included the falls known then as Simcoe Falls. The land was passed onto his heir Henry A. Simcoe (presumely the son) who later sold it all including the falls to Sidney Warner of Wilton for $3,000 on July 1st, 1840.
Due to the volume of timbers going over the falls, the limestone rocks were dislodged and moved down the river causing the height of the falls to change from 26 foot to 12 foot.
A large number of arrow heads and spear heads made of flint have been found around the falls and on the banks of the river.
One of the principle industries was Potash with one of the principle makers being Sidney Warner. Wood ashes were turned into Potash and since wood was the only heat source, settlers would save their ashes and trade them at Mr. Warner’s general store for other goods.
Sometime after 1840, the saw mill, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a carding mill, a store, a post office, a school, and a hotel was opened.
The saw mill was erected in the “suburb” of Yarker known as Woodmucket.
Yarker was also the home of one of the largest carriage wheel factories know as The Benjamin Manufacturing Company, Limited incorporated in 1895.
Until 1859 the village was known as Simcoe Falls. Due to the fact there was already a Simcoe in the County, the village was forced to rename the village. A list of several names was prepared for consideration by the Government with Yarker (an unlikely candidate) being 7th or 8th on the list. The Yarker family presented the school with a bell with the inscription “Presented to George Miller, Esq., and the inhabitants of Yarker by George W. and James S. Yarker, 1959”. The rest is history.
As you approach Yarker from the south (Cty Rd. 6) you are greeted by a beautiful view of the country side with Yarker tucked below its canopy. This is a perfect vantage view to catch amazing sunsets in the western skies. County Rd. 1 and 6 merge at this point for a short distance as they wind and split at the Lucky Dollar Store. As you continue through the village, a stop at the bridge is a must. Get your camera ready to take wonderful views of the Napanee River and the Yarker falls!
Yarker is home to brick & mortar businesses like Quinn’s Meats, the Lucky Dollar Store, and the former Waterfall Cafe. Everything you need from a store, a butcher, a post office, school, library, firehall, and churches. There is no shortage of home based businesses within this community.
During the period of June until October (twice monthly) you can enjoy fresh produce, baking, canning and other local homemade crafts at the Yarker Farmers Market.
For those who love to hit the trails, you can catch the Cataraqui trail to walk, bike, cross-country ski, snowmobile or enjoy nature on this amazing trail which runs from Newburgh, ON all the way to Smith Falls. Winter fun lovers are encouraged to purchase trail permits from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs or contact the Lennox & Addington Ridgerunners club which is based in Yarker, On at 138 Sidings St.