Lucknow, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Lucknow, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Lucknow is a community located in Bruce County, Ontario, located at the junction of Bruce Roads 1 and 86. Lucknow has a strong Scottish heritage back to the late 1800s when the Lucknow Caledonian Games were held for twenty years. The village was named after Lucknow, India where, in 1857, a battle Indian Rebellion of 1857 took place between the native rebels and the British army. Eli Stauffer first settled here in 1856 where he constructed a dam and built a sawmill. In 1858, Ralph Miller built Balaclava House, a log tavern.

Architectural Photos, Lucknow, Ontario

Stauffer Street – Gothic – stone architecture

Architectural Photos, Lucknow, Ontario

Campbell Street – mural – keystones on right

Architectural Photos, Lucknow, Ontario

Campbell Street – Second Empire style, mansard roof with dormers

Architectural Photos, Lucknow, Ontario

Campbell Street – Gothic Revival

Architectural Photos, Lucknow, Ontario

Stone architecture

Architectural Photos, Lucknow, Ontario

578 Havelock Street – Lucknow Presbyterian Church – erected 1889

Why I Plan

Why I Plan

A year ago in December 2016, I had my first introduction to planning a novel. Jennifer Blanchard reviewed Story Engineering by Larry Brooks over the course of four weeks. Then I read Story Fix by the same author, and Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham.

When I wrote my first book, Coins of Gold, I felt driven to write a story about my Mom and the life she lived. It was a celebration of her life, a woman who knew how to enjoy the simple things of life. I knew nothing about how a story should be structured or that there was even such a thing as story structure.

“Show don’t tell” were just words with no meaning. Character arc I may have heard of, but I certainly did not know how to apply it in my writing. I always admired Daniel Boone when I was growing up. I loved to watch the stories of his adventures as seen on television. For my second book, I decided to write a fictional story about Daniel Boone and I called it Arrows, Indians and Love. Each day I waited for inspiration, did research of course, and slowly the story came about.

One of my fans suggested I write about a Canadian hero. I chose Laura Secord as my next character and built a story around my family in central Ontario intertwined with the Secord family and the service Laura did for Canada during the War of 1812. I compiled a Cromwell family history tracing my ancestors back to the 1100s and wrote some books of interest to me (Olympics, Wonders of the World, Wars, Inventions, etc.).

My next inspiration was a novel about Joe and Kate starting with a dream of going to Montana. It became a series that I wrote as inspiration arrived. I didn’t understand about stakes in a story and why they are needed. I didn’t understand about inner demons and antagonists. I didn’t understand the need for a resolution to a problem. I just tried to have a good ending to the life story.

I realized I needed better covers so I approached Andrew Rudd www.detailfordesign.com and he produced five lovely covers for my Montana Series.

What was the plot of my books? Was my main character wanting something and going on a journey to achieve it? I didn’t have a clue about this aspect of a story either. What opposition was there in my stories? There were some inner struggles, but exterior struggles were really absent. The idea that people wanted to be transported into the lives of the characters was a nice thought, but I didn’t know about the need to overcome opposition, defeat it and be the victor. These ideas were completely foreign to me.

Then I had the opportunity to join a group of authors with Jennifer Blanchard www.jenniferblanchard.net  to take the Write Your Damn Novel (WYDN) course. Jennifer walked us through the stages of planning our stories from the premise and concept, through the journey that needs to occur to make a story work. I learned about a hook – a medallion is my hook for my next novel. I learned about First and Second Plot Points, First and Second Pinch Points and a Midpoint. They were all new terms for me to get my head around.

I started with a couple of thoughts for a novel. I didn’t have much of a premise or concept, but I pushed ahead to stay on track with the course, learning to apply some of the things as I went along. I managed to plan about three quarters of the book, knowing how it would turn out, before I started writing.

There are those who think that planning a novel takes away the creativity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because I had the title for the scenes and knew sort of how the story was going to progress, inspiration had its part along the way and many twists and turns came in as the words mounted up. There were daily blog posts, videos, and additional courses and books along the way to help me get my novel finished.

Once I had the novel finished as much as I could do, then there was the scary part of actually sending my manuscript to a content editor. Jennifer Blanchard agreed to perform this service for me. A little over a month later, I had several pages of written notes, and an hour long conversation on where the novel was not working and lots of suggestions of how to fix it.

I had a well-developed main character, I had a journey he was on, and I had some interesting scenes. I managed to break many of the biggest story mistakes writers make but this was all a learning process. I had random things in the story which did not connect to the main story. Jennifer was very encouraging on what was working and gave me lots of suggestions of how to make it work better.

I went back to the drawing board, so to speak. I was determined to make changes and create an even better story for my readers to enjoy. I worked on it daily over the next couple of months until I was satisfied that I had done everything I could to improve the story structure. It is now back to my content editor and by year’s end I will have more ideas of what to fix, or get the nod of approval that it now works.

Being a multi-passionate person, my photography hobby expanded into another whole line of work. I love the old architecture in towns and started taking pictures. The first town I photographed was London, Ontario. When I look back at the first book I created, I chuckle to myself. I had the basic concepts, but I have grown into the project as the years have gone by. I do research ahead of time so that I have a better idea of where to start a project. Most towns I can complete in a day, but usually that will be a long day. I never seem to have enough time to finish as I would like to. There are always more pictures I could take.

Then comes the time I get to play around with the pictures and put them into books. I say “play” because it doesn’t seem like work. I love to compile the histories in photos, Saving Our History One Photo at a Time.

When we travelled to Winnipeg, Manitoba last year to visit my brother James and his wife Mary Ann, I thought it would be “nice” to photograph some of the buildings in the city. James knows the city very well, and he took us on our first photograph session. Wow! What a city to photograph! Day after day, James took us to another area with lovely architecture. We came home in the late afternoon every day with three or four hundred pictures on the camera.

After returning home, I had a huge project to put together. There were many articles on the architecture of Winnipeg available for me to add to the knowledge included in my pictorial history of the city where I was born. It took nine books to include all of the choice pictures I had taken. There are always pictures which get discarded. That’s the plus of digital photography – I can take as many pictures as I like, from as many angles as I like, and then choose the best ones.

I have my next photo projects planned and research done of the cities and towns. We get to see a whole different picture of the places we visit. We often don’t get into the museums and places of interest, although sometimes we do. Depending on the town, I may get a lot of walking in; in other towns, buildings are more scattered and Harry drives me from place to place. What I love to do is to be left on my own for an hour or two and explore and see what I find. I never limit myself to what I am told are the heritage buildings – I want to record more than those. Some architecture is unique, some is rather plain. I have learned about different architectural styles as I have progressed through the years. I have also learned terms that are used.

It is nearly time for me to plan the first one hundred days of 2018. Yes, it is just around the corner. It has been great to be connected to the 100 Day Challenge since 2007 as I am encouraged to plan. I have accomplished much more in the last ten years that I would have if I had not planned what I was going to do and given myself deadlines for accomplishing the goals I set. Sometimes it takes me longer than I originally planned to complete items, but then I give myself a new time frame to work towards.

And my journey carries on. To see some of the things I have accomplished, check out my website at http://barbararaue.ca.

What are your plans for this week, month, and the year 2018? If you plan, set yourself deadlines, and put in the work, you will be amazed what you can accomplish.

Wingham, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Wingham, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

In the early 1850s, settlers began moving into the townships in the Queen’s Bush north of the Huron Tract. One of these townships, Turnberry, was surveyed by 1853 and a plot for a market town was designated where two branches of the Maitland River met. Among the earliest settlers on the plot was John Cornyn who was operating a hotel here in 1861. A year later a post office named Wingham was established and by 1866 Wingham had become a prominent supply and distributing center for the agricultural and lumbering area. In the 1870s railway expansion stimulated growth and led to Wingham’s incorporation as a village in 1874 with a population of 700. Five years later with a population of 2000, Wingham was incorporated as a town.

Wingham, located in Huron County at the intersection of County Roads 4 & 86, became part of North Huron municipality in 2001 when the former township of East Wawanosh, the village of Blyth, and the town of Wingham were amalgamated. County Road 86 connects to Kitchener-Waterloo to the east. The main thoroughfare is County Road 4, called Josephine Street within Wingham, which connects to London, Ontario to the south.

Wingham has manufacturing businesses and a variety of retail and service businesses. Wescast Industries has three manufacturing facilities producing auto parts. BI-AX International produces plastic film for use in food packaging and industry. Royal Homes is a manufacturer of pre-fabricated homes. Britespan Building Systems Inc. is a manufacturer of fabric covered steel structure buildings.

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Town Hall A.D. 1890 – mansard roof, dormers, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Queen Anne style – turret, fretwork, voussoirs, keystones

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Edwardian style – fretwork, voussoirs, keystones

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

#251 – Gothic Revival, dormers, cornice return, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

26 John Street East – stone architecture, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

John Street East – verge board trim on gable, cornice brackets under eaves

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Meyer Block – dichromatic brickwork, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

#221 – Queen Anne style, turret

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

#13 – Queen Anne style, turret, voussoirs, keystones, fretwork

Port Elgin, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Port Elgin, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Originally, the village of Port Elgin was named Normanton. In 1873, the community was named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, a former Governor-General of the Province of Canada. In the 1990s, Port Elgin was merged into the town of Saugeen Shores.  Port Elgin is close to MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Southampton in Bruce County; the community has several beaches on Lake Huron.

In 1854, Benjamin Shantz acquired a sawmill on Mill Creek from George Butchart. Nearby he built a gristmill and within three years a community of 250 people developed around these mills.  Stores, hotels and tanneries were built and a village plot for Port Elgin was laid out in 1857. Businessmen Henry Hilker, Samuel Bricker, and John Stafford contributed to the development of the settlement.

The original economic development of Port Elgin during the 19th century was based on its harbor facilities on Lake Huron constructed in 1857–1858. This made the village a distribution center for the surrounding agricultural region.  The arrival of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1872 further stimulated the growth of the community. The increasing urbanization of Ontario and the increased importance of the road network for transporting goods resulted in a declining economy and population. More recently, recreation and the nearby Bruce Nuclear Generating Station have dominated the local economy.

The Port Elgin and North Shore Railway is a two foot (610 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway. The railway operates excursion trains along the beach on a one-mile route in downtown Port Elgin. The round trip takes about twenty minutes.

The last picture is from Port Elgin Book 2. There are lots more beautiful homes in Port Elgin Book 2.

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

543 Mill Street – Queen Anne style – yellow brick, quoins, Palladian windows in gables, large fretwork pieces resembling brackets on eaves of second floor porch, decorative window hoods

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

467 Green Street – Italianate style – “Lavrock House” – corner quoins, bay windows

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

500 Green Street – two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with projecting eaves and large fretwork pieces resembling brackets, 2nd floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

464 Mill Street – Ezra Swartz, Merchant – 1900
Gothic Revival – Verge board trim, cobblestone verandah

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

Italianate with belvedere on roof, two storey frontispiece with triangular pediment and arched window hoods, single cornice brackets, bay window on side

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

559 Mill Street – Italianate style, wrap-around porch, second floor balcony, dormer in attic – Henry Ebert, Merchant – 1923

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

#575 – Italianate style with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with projecting eaves and large fretwork pieces resembling brackets, wrap-around verandah on first and second storeys

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

Gothic Cottage – verge board trim on gable

 

There are lots more beautiful homes in Port Elgin Book 2. Here is one example.

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

704 Gustavus Street – Gothic Revival – elaborate verge boards, Romanesque style arched window voussoirs – yellow brick – Book 2

Neustadt, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Neustadt, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Neustadt is a community in the municipality of West Grey in Grey County in southern Ontario. The village is located south of Hanover on Grey Road 10 and north of Guelph and Kitchener. Neustadt is a picturesque rural Ontario village with German roots and a village history full of vibrant farming culture.

The village’s name is of German origin and it translates to “new town”. It was founded in 1856 by David Winkler, a settler from Germany. He purchased 400 acres from the government, laid out the town-site, dammed Meux Creek and built a sawmill. A flour mill and grist mill were also erected near the dam the following year. Many other German speaking settlers began arriving immediately. Winkler was the founder of many other institutions, including opening the first post office in town in the year 1857. Later he became a Justice of the Peace and Reeve of Normanby Township.

John Weinert, a saddle maker from Prussia, moved into Neustadt in 1859 and established a tannery on the north side of William Street. By 1861, he had added a boot and shoe factory and supplied footwear to the settlers. Henry Huether, an immigrant from Baden, Germany, constructed a wooden frame Brewery; a fire in 1859 destroyed it. The brewery was reconstructed in fieldstone and reopened in 1869.  The brewery continued to be successful until 1916 when it became a creamery. For many years it remained empty until 1997 when it was reopened as Neustadt Springs Brewery which currently brews ten brands of beer.

In the early 1880s, the village saw its peak of development. The opening of a modern school and several new churches, businesses, and industries lead to a growth in population. Many years later, small businesses, farm equipment dealer, creameries, woolen mills, egg grading stations, some stores and later banks began to vanish.  Each closure was critical to the village. Fewer attractions meant fewer visitors; the economy and population began to decline. In 2000, the Village of Neustadt with the Townships of Bentinck, Glenelg and Normanby, and the Town of Durham formed the Municipality of West Grey.

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Robert and Janice Polfuss’ house – Gothic Revival, stone, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Neustadt Springs Brewery – Gothic, stone

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Gothic – stone, cornice return on gable, dormers, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

The Right Honorable John Diefenbaker, son of a local school teacher, was born in this house on September 18, 1895. A distinguished Parliamentarian, he was first elected to the House of Commons in 1940 and served as 13th Prime Minister of Canada, 1957-1963. Gothic Revival, verge board on gable.

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

#720 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Tudor house

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Stone architecture, pediment

Harriston and Clifford, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Harriston and Clifford, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Harriston is a community in Wellington County located at the headwaters of the Maitland River. In the summer of 1845, the first non-Aboriginal settlers arrived in the area and the Crown made land available for sale in the region in 1854.

The town was named after Archibald Harrison, a Toronto farmer who was granted land along the Maitland River in 1854. Harrison’s brothers George and Joshua built several mills in the area and the community soon grew.

A post office was established in 1856. The southern road leading to Harriston was graveled in 1861, opening easier access to the larger markets of Guelph, Hamilton, and Toronto. By 1867, the village contained many businesses including wagon works and blacksmith shops.

The town became a prosperous commercial and farm-implement manufacturing center following the construction of the Wellington Grey and Bruce Railway, completed to Harriston in 1871. A telegraph link to the community followed soon after. A second rail line, the Toronto, Grey and Brue Railway, intersected the village in 1873.

Harriston was incorporated as a village in 1872, and as a town in 1878. In 1882, the Grand Trunk Railway began shipping through Harriston. A Carnegie Library opened in Harriston in 1908.

Beginning in the late 1860s, Harriston’s citizens began to create friendly service organizations parallel to, as well as outside, of religious groups. In 1868, the Loyal Orange Institution opened a Harriston Lodge; in 1871, the Freemasons established a Lodge.  Other groups followed, such as the Independent Order of Oddfellows (1879), and the Independent Order of Good Templars (active by 1874) and the Royal Templars of Temperance (active by 1900).

The Harriston Minto Agricultural Society was founded in 1859 and continues to operate an annual fall fair on the third weekend in September.

 

Clifford is a community in the Town of Minto in Wellington County. The village of Clifford was founded around 1855 as Minto Village. After the opening of the post office in 1856, the settlement was renamed Clifford by the first postmaster Francis Brown after Clifford in West Yorkshire, England. Clifford was incorporated as a village in 1873.

Clifford is home to Wightman Telecom. The Wightman family has owned and operated a communication system in Clifford since 1908. The company is now involved in high speed fiber-optic internet, cable, and telephone throughout mid-western Ontario.

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

Collison House, established 1876 – bevelled dentil moulding, corner quoins, balcony above entrance, yellow brick

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

house in Harriston

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

138 Elora Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable – William Gordon, Cheesemaker – 1875

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

Harriston – #123 – Alexander McDougall, Contractor – 1874
W. A. Harvey, M.D. – 1885 – Italianate, hipped roof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Architectural Photos, Clifford, Ontario

Clifford – 1868 – stone, corner quoins, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Clifford, Ontario

Clifford – #101 – Gothic Revival, dichromatic brickwork, verge board trim

Architectural Photos, Clifford, Ontario

24 Elora Street, Clifford – fretwork, two-storey bay window

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Known at various times as Butlersburg, West Niagara, and Newark, its first permanent settlers, Butler’s Rangers and other Loyalist refugees arrived in 1778 when they began crossing from Fort Niagara to settle the west bank of the Niagara River.  A town was laid out in a grid pattern of four-acre blocks and grew quickly, gaining prominence as the first capital of Upper Canada from 1792 to 1796.  The town was captured by American forces on May 27, 1813; upon their withdrawal on December 13, 1813, the American forces burned the town.

Following Niagara’s destruction, the citizens rebuilt mainly in the British classical architectural tradition, creating a group of structures closely related in design, material and scale.  Spared from redevelopment, the town’s colonial buildings eventually became one of its greatest resources.  Beginning in the 1950s, residents rehabilitated and restored old structures, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the preservation of local heritage.

The Prince of Wales Hotel is a historic Victorian hotel located at King Street and Picton Street.  Built in 1864, the three storey 110 room hotel went by several names (Long’s Hotel, Arcade Hotel, The Niagara House) and was renamed with the current name after famous guests The Duke of York (and Prince of Wales) and The Duchess of York in 1901.  Queen Elizabeth II stayed at the hotel during her visit to the area in 1973.

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

6 Picton Street – The Prince of Wales Hotel established 1864 – Second Empire style, mansard roof, dormers, window hoods, dichromatic brickwork, cornice brackets, second floor balcony – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

26 Queen Street – Niagara Court House built in 1847 for the united counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand – This is the third and only surviving court house erected for the former Niagara district. Constructed between 1846 and 1848, it is in the Neo-classical style. Though the courts were moved to St. Catharines in 1862, this building continued to play an important role in the life of the community. It served as the Town Hall and later as the founding home of the Shaw Festival.

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

17 Byron Street – Queen Anne style, cornice brackets, pediment, tower, third-storey balconies, ionic capitals – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

209 Queen Street – The Charles Inn c. 1832 – Georgian style – The house was constructed in 1832 by Charles Richardson, a barrister and Member of Parliament. He used the house as his principle residence and later as his summer house. -Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Victoria Street – Marrakech Mansion – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, pediment, bay window – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

177 King Street – The Romance Collection Gallery featuring the exclusive works of Trisha Romance and Tanya Jean Peterson – Queen Anne style home – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

132 Prideaux Street – c. 1832 – Book 3

Orillia, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Orillia, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Orillia is located in Central Ontario between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, 135 kilometers (84 miles) north of Toronto.  Both lakes are part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Travel north on Lake Couchiching, then through three locks and the only marine railway in North America leads to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron.  Traveling south-east across Lake Simcoe, through many locks (including two of the highest hydraulic lift locks in the world) eventually leads to Lake Ontario.  From either of these Great Lakes one can connect to the St. Lawrence and then to the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to logging and rail links with Toronto and Georgian Bay, Orillia became a commercial center and summer resort in the mid-1800s. William Tudhope opened a blacksmith shop in 1864 at Andrew and Colborne Streets.  By the end of the century, William’s son James headed the Tudhope Carriage Company as part of a conglomerate of businesses. In 1866, Thomas Mulcahy launched his mercantile career in dry goods with the opening of his California Store. Mulcahy and his sons were responsible for the construction of many of Orillia’s dwellings and commercial buildings. Andrew Tait was the President of the Huntsville Lumber Company. Tait was a major employer and said to be Orillia’s first millionaire.

Across Lake Couchiching, John Thomson opened his Longford saw milling operation in 1868, using Orillia as a shipping base. By 1900, Orillia was one of the most bustling towns in Ontario. Many of the commercial and residential buildings erected and still standing used red brick trimmed with limestone quarried from Longford.

The town boasted the best Opera House north of Toronto and industrial growth almost unparalleled in the province. With the expansion of the railways, thousands arrived each summer for picnics and holidaying at Couchiching Park.

In 1912, Orillia was the first municipality in North America to introduce daylight saving time and had the first municipal hydro electric transmission plant in North America. This energy powered an industrial boom with sawmills, iron foundries, and a host of manufacturing companies producing farm implements, carriages, and automobiles and shipping these products across Canada.

In Stephen Leacok’s 1912 book Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Orillia was used as the basis for the fictional town known as “Mariposa”. The book was based on Leacock’s experiences in the town and the city has since the book’s release attempted to mimic the fictional location in as many ways as possible.  Orillia is known as the “Sunshine City”. The Stephen Leacock Museum is a National Historic Site in Orillia.

William E. Bell’s 1989 novel Five Days of the Ghost was set in Orillia with many readers recognizing popular local spots, including the Guardian Angels Catholic Church, the Samuel de Champlain statue in Couchiching Beach Park and Big Chief Island in the middle of Lake Couchiching. Orillia is also known as the birthplace of Gordon Lightfoot.

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

24 Penetang Street – St. Joseph House – Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

Gothic Revival, verge board trim, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

84 Brant Street East – E.J. McCrohan, Harness Maker c. 1880 – Second Empire style, mansard roof, iron cresting around roof, finials on dormers, second floor balcony, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

Dormer in attic, pediment above wraparound verandah, second floor bay window

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

#106 – Gothic Revival, cornice brackets

 

Acton, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Acton, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Acton is located at the intersection of Highway 7 and Halton Regional Road 25. Methodist preachers Ezra and Zenas Adams and their brother Rufus settled on the west branch of the Credit River in the 1820s. A community of pioneer families grew around the Adams family farms. Nicklin’s saw and grist mill and Nelles’ tannery operated here by the early 1840s.

Acton was first named Danville when Settler Wheeler Green opened a dry-goods store in 1828. It was later called Adamsville, after the early settlers. In 1846, the postmaster named the community after the area of Acton in West London, England.

Tanning was an important industry in Acton from 1844 when the first tannery was established. The area was attractive to the leather industry because of the large numbers of trees. Acton was known as the leather capital of Canada. At the turn of the century, it was the largest tanning center in the British Empire. The tannery continued in operation until its closure in September 1986.

The town’s location was chosen because of the good source of waterpower from the Black Creek, and the flour mill established at the beginning is still in operation today, although its source of power has changed. Acton is near the watershed between the Credit River and the Grand River which is just west of the urban area where the Blue Springs Creek begins.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

Queen Anne style, three-storey turret, architraves with keystones, verge board trim on gables, fretwork, ionic pillars

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

39 Willow Street – Knox Manse established 1889 – Italianate with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay, pediment above pillared porch, fretwork and verge board on gable

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

55 Mill Street East was built in 1879 by William H. Storey who came to Canada as a child in 1845 and came to Acton in 1856 as a saddle apprentice. He branched out on his own and eventually owned the Storey Glove Factory which was located on Bower Avenue (where the Post Office is now). He built this beautiful Victorian Home at 55 Mill Street East for his family. It was called “The Sunderland Villa”. His carriage house was located at 7 John Street and he heated the carriage house and his home via underground steam pipes from the factory. Mr. Storey died in 1898. After the First World War the building was used to house soldiers and then sat derelict for a number of years until Victor Rumley purchased it in 1937 and moved The MacKinnon Family Funeral Home with Shoemaker Chapel to this location.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

105 Mill Street – Italianate, hipped roof, corner quoins, banding

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

129 Mill Street – Gothic Revival, dichromatic brickwork, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

98 Church Street – Moorecroft c. 1896 – Italianate, Doric pillars, dormer in attic, wraparound verandah on lower level, pillared balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

19 Willow Street North – Acton Town Hall opened in 1883 with a grand ball and remained the hub of Acton’s social life for over 80 years. The upstairs auditorium was used for meetings, dances, concerts, Sunday School plays, amateur dramatics, and minstrel shows. The police station, council chambers, library, and practice room for the Acton Citizens’ Band were housed downstairs. In 1974 the regional government moved out of Acton to Georgetown. It is in the Italianate style, cornice brackets, cupola, arched voussoirs with keystones over the windows, cornice return on the gable of the two-and-a-half storey frontispiece; sidelights and transom windows around the front door.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

69-71 Bower Street – Syndicate Houses built 1882 – Five double houses were built by the Acton Building Association as tenements for workers. Each is remarkable for its distinctive brick pattern

Rockwood, Ontario – My Top 4 Picks

Rockwood, Ontario – My Top 4 Picks

Rockwood is located on Highway 7 between Acton and the city of Guelph.  The Eramosa River runs through the center of the village.

Early settlers to this area were Quakers. John Harris, the first settler, erected a shanty in 1821. In 1840 Colonel Henry Strange settled and brought further development to the area which became known as Strange’s Mills. Strange was the Deputy Provincial Surveyor and he opened a lime quarry which provided stone for building mills.  In the 1850s the community became known as Rockwood which reflected the lovely river valley, mixed forest, high rocky hills, and geological potholes. The Eramosa River provided power for John Gamble’s sawmill which was the first in Wellington County. Grist, flour, oatmeal, stave, and woolen mills followed. A post office was opened in 1853 and the Grand Trunk Railway opened a station in 1855.

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

149 Main Street – limestone house, cobblestone architecture

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

477 Main Street – Rockwood Academy – Georgian style – three-storey stone building with limestone walls, rough-cut quoins, symmetrical five-bay façade with double-hung six-over-six wood sash windows with a central door with a portico and a transom window and sidelights. It has a low-pitched cedar-shingle gable roof with many small brick and stone chimneys. The owner’s bedrooms still exist on the second floor, as do the students’ bedrooms on the third floor. The south wing still has the classroom below the student bedrooms. The west wing remains unaltered and contains a carriage house on the ground floor with a gymnasium above.

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

130 Guelph Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, corner quoins, arched voussoirs, two-storey tower-like bay

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

125 Richardson Street – Italianate, hipped roof, dormer in attic