With a population today of 1100, Lucknow has a thriving business community, a sports complex, six churches, seniors homes, schools, service clubs plus cross county skiing and snowmobile trails. The Lucknow Community Greenway with its 5-km walkway follows the banks of three creeks where they meet with the Nine Mile River, and then loops back into town. Anglers can dangle a hook for both warm and cold-water species, including rainbow and brook trout.
Lucknow's variety of shops and services have made the community reminiscent of an old general store. You will notice that the village's gateway signs welcoming people into the community and logo reflect this identity. The village has a butcher, a baker, a hardware store, flower shop, hairdresser, grocery store, four restaurants/eateries, and much more! It's a great place to stop and shop on the way to the beach!
The village has a strong Scottish heritage. Donald Dinnie was a champion wrestler and heavyweight athlete of the world. In 1882, he competed in the Lucknow Caledonian Games and, although he had no ties with Lucknow other than the Games, he was a folk hero of his time and blended into the lore of the community. The Games boomed for about 20 years in Lucknow in the late 1800s.
The village was named after a town in India where, in 1857, a vicious battle took place between the besieging native rebels and the liberating British army. Horrendous tales of the Indian Mutiny, as it was called, reached even the Canadian wilderness. "Sepoy" is a reference to the Indian foot soldiers who fought on the British side in the Relief of Lucknow. There are two theories about the origin of the name of Campbell Street-one is that the main street was named after Sir Colin Campbell, leader of the relief forces. The other is that the street is named after Malcolm Campbell, the community's first merchant. Several Lucknow streets bear the names of some of the British generals involved in the Indian Mutiny: Ross, Outram, Havelock, Willoughby, Rose and Canning.
The first settler to the as-yet-unsettled and unnamed Lucknow was Eli Stauffer who constructed a dam and built a sawmill in 1856. In 1858, Ralph Miller purchased a parcel of Stauffer's land and built "Balaclava House", a log tavern. James Somerville purchased the Stauffer mill and land rights in 1858 and had village lots surveyed, earning Somerville the title of the "Father of Lucknow". With the "Gravel Road" open into Kinloss in 1866, the village continued to grow and had a population of 430 in 1868.