Caledonia’s settlement isn’t too different from other
small towns along the Grand River, now designated as a Canadian Heritage
River. The area along the Grand River banks was ripe for settlement during
the early 1800’s, when river transportation played a major role in the
pioneering of this country. Ultimately canal building in the 1830’s had an
effect on where settlements would spring up. Caledonia’s development is a
Of course, there is much more to the
story when we learn of two early villages, one to the east and the other
to the west. Who were the movers and shakers to pull those two villages
into what would be Caledonia?
In this era, some 150
years later, Caledonia and area people are
becoming increasingly proud of their heritage. The history of landmarks,
buildings, businesses and forefathers is important to them. Whether they
are new to the community, longtime residents or visitors who are
interested in features, symbols, ancestors or progress, the meaning behind
what once was is significant. It gives us all a certain perspective.
For this reason,
Caledonia: Along the Grand River has been written. There are at least
another ten volumes to the Caledonia and area story, but one has to begin
and end somewhere in one publication.
The simple, story-like
style was intentional. For most people it will provide enough information
to know a bit about the area’s history in which they either live or have
an interest. For the historian who wants more detail, it will whet their
appetite to search further.
There are many, many people
who have provided information for this book. Each and everyone will know
who they are, and the contribution they made whether it
was filling in a detail, lending a
valued photograph or presenting information about a family member never
told nor published before. Thank you.
Caledonia, as a community, is
fortunate to have continuous publication of its newspaper,
The Grand River Sachem,
Today, anyone wanting to do research can do so through its
pages on microfilm in a public location at Edinburgh Square Heritage and
Cultural Centre. The Sachem
and Edinburgh Square’s Centre also were
invaluable resources for this book.
It was Barry Penhale of
Natural Heritage I Natural
History Inc., who encouraged the writing of
Caledonia: Along the Grand River. His foresight,
editorial skills and desire to publish such a book made it