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Caledonia - Along the Grand River
Prolgue


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 result.

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, since 1856. 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 possible.

BARBARA A. MARTINDALE


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