On March 5th, 1848, William Withers and
Allan Cameron landed by ship at the mouth of the Penetangore River.
They were first settlers in what would become the Town of Kincardine.
Kincardine was incorporated as a village in 1858.
In its early years as a town, Kincardine
had a busy harbour receiving passenger steamships, cargo ships and Huron
skiffs. Hospitality and sand beaches have drawn many people to
Kincardine over the years. The harbour no longer receives steamships
or cargo vessels but has evolved into a fine harbour for yachts and
Kincardine is famous for its sunsets with
its distinctive lighthouse glowing in the foreground. Every Saturday
in the summer, a parade, featuring Scottish pipes, takes place
on the main street. Kincardine is close to the Bruce Nuclear Power
Development and many Kincardine citizens are employed there.
Kincardine is surrounded by the rich agricultural land of Kincardine
The area that would become Kincardine
Township was part of a large tract of land that was ceded from First
Nations Peoples in 1836. The ceded land was known as the “Queen's
Bush. Settlers began to arrive as the area was being surveyed.
Kincardine Township was first settled in the 1850’s as a result of the
large agricultural development that was beginning in Southern Ontario.
The Township offered prime farmland.
Kincardine Township's agricultural peak
occurred in the late 1800’s. During the period 1900-1950, the
rural/agricultural economic trend shifted to an urban/industrial base.
The population decreased as small town businesses closed and improved
transportation systems developed which helped the move to urban areas.
The Township saw a resurgence of
population in the 1970’s when the Bruce Nuclear Power Development
construction began. After the construction phase was completed, the
population levelled off and has become stable.
Bruce Township was initially settled in the
early 1850’s. The Township was surveyed as part of the Queen's
Bush, a large tract of land ceded to the British, by the First Nations
peoples, in 1836. In 1854, the government opened the “school
lands” for sale and colonization officially began. By the late
1800’s, Bruce Township had become a thriving agricultural community
which provided a wide array of industrial and commercial services.
Between 1900 and 1950, with the economic trends turning downwards towards
urbanization, the Township started to see a decline in population as
businesses moved towards the urban centres.
The Township of Bruce has since experienced
a population resurgence. This increase was mainly due to the
location of the Bruce Nuclear Power Development in the Township in the
early 1970’s. The population declined after construction and has
stabilized since then.
Today the Township's economy has remained
closely linked to its agricultural heritage as well as the Bruce Nuclear
Power Development, Bruce Energy Centre, Integrated Energy Development
Corporation and the Bruce Municipal Telephone System.
The population has increased from 1,050 in
1978 to a high of 1,655 in 1991. Recently, Bruce Township has
amalgamated with the Village of Tiverton to form one community.
Tiverton was originally called St. Andrews,
a name that came from its predominantly Scottish settlers. The name
was changed to Tiverton when the Canadian Post Office requested the
change. The Post Office did not want to confuse St. Andrews, Ontario
with a village of the same name in New Brunswick.
Tiverton was incorporated as a village in
1879. It was a hub of activity with a grist mill, saw mill, planing
mill, pearl-ash factory and a large tannery. Tiverton is also known
for its Farmer’s Market which is held every Saturday from May to
Tiverton lies on the Bruce and Kincardine
Township boundary. It is in proximity of the Bruce Nuclear Power
Development. The village offers year round recreation.
Accommodations, restaurants and other services are offered in the village
or nearby in surrounding townships.
Recently, Tiverton amalgamated with Bruce
Township to form one community.
Paisley is located at the junction of the
Teeswater and Saugeen Rivers in Elderslie Township. The village was
established in the 1850’s. The existing Town Hall was built in
1876. The Town Hall has one of the smallest jail cells in Ontario.
The Fire Hose Tower was built in 1891 and
has since been restored to its original condition. The tower, along
with many fine old buildings, gives Paisley an atmosphere of old world
charm. The decorative cornices, semi-elliptical arches, collonettes
and voussoirs add to the old world elegance of the town. For these
reasons, Paisley has become known as the “Heritage Village.”
Paisley is a modern popular place to embark
on a canoe trip down the Saugeen River. Walking trails meander along
the riverbank. Paisley also has a number of shops and boutiques
along its main street which add to the uniqueness of the village.
Tara was incorporated as a Village in 1881.
It is surrounded by the rich farmland of Arran Township. The Sauble
River meanders its way around the town giving the area grassy riverbanks
and overhanging trees.
The name, “Tara,” comes from the
ancient seat of Irish Kings in the County of Meath in Ireland. In
its early years, Tara had a fanning mill, grist mill, woollen mill, saw
mill, a tannery and two cabinet factories. The village is now a
picturesque point between Owen Sound and Chesley.
Tara holds its annual Tara-Arran Fall Fair
in early September. The fair is one fo the largest class “C”
fairs in Ontario. It is renowned for its chuck wagon races.
The Township of Arran was incorporated as a
township in 1851. It is comprised of the communities of Elsinore,
Alvanley and Allenford on Highway 21. The hamlets of Burgoyne,
Invermay and Arkwright are also part of Arran Township.
Due to declining standards of living and
the lure of agricultural possibilities, the majority of the early settlers
were from Ireland and Scotland although a few of the settlers were
English, French, German, Pennsylvania Dutch and United Empire Loyalists.
The Irish settled on the east side of Arran Lake, becoming known as
“Little Ireland,” while the Scottish settled on the west side, which
became known as “Little Scotland.”
Arran Township today still has its roots in
agriculture. Many of its farms are still family owned and operated.
Elderslie Township was formed in 1851 when
George McPhillips surveyed a part of the Queen's Bush (as it was known
then). The name is from the home of the Scottish patriot, Sir
William Wallace. The first person to legally purchase land in
Elderslie Township was John Fraser who acquired Lot 34 Concession A.
Elderslie Township is situated in the heart
of cattle country with many of its 1158 residents engaged in agricultural
pursuits. Today, people come from all over Ontario to enjoy fishing
in or canoeing on the famous Saugeen River. The river winds its way
through Elderslie Township meeting the Teeswater River in Paisley and
continuing on to Lake Huron.
The first settlers came to the Chesley area
in 1854. In 1855, the three McLaggan brothers settled onto lots 30
& 31 of concession 2 of Elderslie Township.. These lots, along
with lot 29, would eventually become the future site of the Town.
Adam S. Elliot founded the Town in 1858. Elliot opened
the first general store and built the first grist and saw mills.
In 1866, there were sixty people living in
the clearing by the North Saugeen River. Chesley was incorporated as
a Village in 1880. The Town received its name from Solomon Chesley,
a loyal Canadian who served in the Department of Indian Affairs. By
1901, the population had grown to 1734 people. In 1906, Chesley was
incorporated as a Town.
Chesley became a booming furniture
manufacturing Town. The population has remained about the same since
1901 with the current census from 1997 showing the population at 1781
people. With the addition of a new apartment building and several
new families in town, Chesley’s current population stands at 1852
Brant Township was labelled “the banner
township of Bruce County” very early in the annals of its history.
The history Brant seems to have started when a treaty was signed with the
local native tribes in 1836. It is a popular consensus that the
township was named after a local native chief, Joseph Brant. Many
settlers found their way to Brant township in the 1840’s.
Brant’s primary industry in the early days was agriculture, a trend that
continues to date. Early in their existence, the townships of Brant
and Greenock found themselves in a political and economical alliance.
Greenock Township was initially settled in
the mid 1800s which coincided with the beginning of a period of
significant agricultural development in Southern Ontario. The Township was
surveyed a part of “The Queen's Bush”, a large tract of land ceded to
the British by the indigenous people in 1836.
The continuing growth of the agricultural community gave birth to small
towns and villages, who provided supplies and services for this community.
Greenock’s population peaked in the latter 1800’s observing a decline
between the 1900s and 1950s. This trend occurred throughout Ontario’s
farming community when society became more urbanized and industrialized.
This trend continues to this date, yet Greenock’s economy is still
closely linked to agriculture.
Town of Walkerton
When Bruce County pioneer Joseph Walker
reached the cross-roads of the Durham Road and the Saugeen River in 1851,
he decided to stay. Industry and settlement followed his lead and fifteen
years later “Walkerton” was proclaimed “The County Town of Bruce”.
This community quickly asserted itself as the major service provider and
industrial centre in all of Bruce County.
The former Town of Walkerton is policed by
The South Bruce-Grey Police Services.
In August, 1851, two shiploads of
Scottish immigrants from the Isle of Lewis, arrived in Montreal. 109
families from this group arrived in Bruce County in the fall of 1852.
These families settled on the concession roads in Huron Township which
became known as “The Lewis Settlement.” The Township became a
thriving agricultural area with many supporting industrial centres and
communities springing up.
During the 1900-1950 era, trends towards
urbanization eroded the population greatly. The area was opened up
by a new network of roads that allowed the importation of manufactured
goods. Local businesses suffered from this downturn and closed.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Huron
Township had a resurgence in its population. This was primarily due
to the construction of the Bruce Nuclear Power Development. The
population increased and decreased with different phases of the
construction. Today, the population has stabilized at around 3,000
people. The Township is still tied to its agricultural roots.
In the last couple of years, Huron Township has amalgamated with the
Village of Ripley to form the “Corporation of the Township of Huron.”
In 1873, Ripley was put on the map by the
Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway. Ripley was opened up to
commercial trade by the railway line. The village was incorporated
Ripley is located in the very heart of
Huron Township at the junction of Bruce County Roads 6 and 7. The
main event event held in Ripley is the Ripley-Huron Fall Fair.
Ripley has amalgamated on 01 January 1995 with the Township of Huron to
form “The Corporation of the Township of Huron.”
Kinloss Township was settled in the mid
1800’s. This was a period of increasing agricultural growth in
what was known as the “Queen's Bush.” Settlers arrived as the
area was being surveyed. The land was ceded to the British by the
local Native population in 1836.
Kinloss Township thrived during its first
fifty years of existence. In the 1900-1950 era, the opening of roads
and the trends towards urbanization eroded the local agricultural economy.
The population decreased and communities faded into the past.
Kinloss Township's economy remains tied to
its agricultural roots today. The retirement of active farmers is
still slowly eroding the number of active farms. In spite of this,
the Township still offers picturesque century old homes and friendly
people. Kinloss Township is still a strong contributor the overall
agricultural success of Bruce County.
Lucknow was settled in 1857 by Scottish
soldiers who had recently fought in the “Indian Mutiny” in India.
Lucknow was the name of the Indian town where a vicious battle was fought
between the British Army and besieging native rebels. Lucknow’s
main street is named after Sir Colin Campbell the leader of the British
relief forces. Lucknow is known as the “Sepoy Town” which refers
to the Indian Foot soldiers who fought on the British side in the Relief
Lucknow sports both summer and winter
recreations. The Lucknow Community Greenway has a 5 km walkway which
runs along the banks of three creeks as they meet the Nine Mile River and
loops back into town. Lucknow is also the heart of the surrounding
agricultural areas. The price of grains can be heard daily on the
radio quoting Snobelen Farms in Lucknow.
Mildmay is located on Otter Creek where the
Elora Road (Hwy. 9) crosses. The village was settled in the late
1850’s. It was incorporated as a village in 1863. The name
of the village was Shield’s Corners, named after an innkeeper. It
was later called Mernersmill, after the biggest entrepreneur. In
1873, the village settled on Mildmay. The name is said to be from
Sir Henry Mildmay, Master of the Jewel Office during the reign of James I
and Charles I, or after Sir Henry’s property, Mildmay Park in North
Mildmay is famous for its ever flowing
artesian well located at the north end of the village in Coronation Park.
The water is very cold, even on the hottest days of the summer.
Another famous landmark in village is the Mildmay Cheese Haus.
Travelers can purchase Bruce County's finest cheeses there.
Carrick Township was incorporated in 1856.
It boasts some of the best and most productive agricultural land in the
County of Bruce. The Village of Mildmay is located in the “Heart
of the Township” and in 1998 the Township and the Village amalgamated to
form the municipality of the Township of Mildmay-Carrick. The Hamlet of
Formosa is also located in the west of the Township and is home to The
Northern Algonquin Brewing Company, which is known around the world and
has won many International Competitions for its beer. Also located
in Formosa is the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, which is a
In the 1860’s the Hamlet of Carlsruhe was
the location of the Kuntz Brewery which was also very popular. In the
southeast corner of the Township, the famous geological formations known
as the Forty Hills of Carrick can be seen. The Township is also bisected
by the Elora Road, which was established to allow settlers access to Bruce
County. This area was known as the “Queen's Bush.”
Teeswater was founded in the mid 1850’s.
It was incorporated as a village in 1875. Teeswater was named after
the Teeswater River which runs through the centre of the village.
The village is located in the heartland of Bruce County. It is the
hub of Culross Township.
Teeswater is the home of Canada's
continuously operated creamery. The first butter ever exported from
Canada to England was churned in Teeswater three years after the village
was incorporated. A number of Teeswater residents also work in
nearby Wingham at the local foundry. The village is surrounded by
the beautiful farmland of Culross Township.
The Teeswater Fair is held in late August.
It is known for its horse shows. Just outside Teeswater, in Culross
Township, is Canada's only manufacturer of highly detailed farm machinery
replicas and miniatures, The Teeswater Custom Tractor Company.
Individuals and groups are welcome to tour the factory.
Teeswater amalgamated with the Township of
Culross to form the new Township of Teeswater-Culross.
Culross Township was settled in the mid
1800’s. At that time, the area known as the “Queen's Bush” was
being surveyed and settled as fast as the surveys could be completed.
Culross Township became a thriving agricultural area with a number of
small industrial centres dependent on the agricultural economy of the
In the 1900 to 1950 era, Culross Township
suffered the same economic downturn experienced by the rest of the Bruce
County agricultural areas. The trend towards urbanization and the
opening of new roads contributed to the decline in the population.
Recently, there has been an upsurge in the
economy and population of Bruce County due to the construction, starting
in the late 1960’s, of the Bruce Nuclear Power Development.
Culross Township has unfortunately not experienced the same trends as
other Bruce County municipalities. As the farm population continues
to age and retire, the rural population of the Township continues to
In spite of these trends, Culross Township remains closely ties to its
agricultural roots. There are many century old homes in the Township
and small urban centres contained in the Township. The area is
picturesque and draws people to its scenic beauty in both summer and
winter. Culross Township amalgamated with the Village of Teeswater
to form the new Township of Teeswater-Culross. The new municipality
is an ideal place for families to live and for businesses to thrive.
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