March, 2019:

Chatsworth and Grey Bruce Ontario in Colour Photos – My Top 21 Picks

Chatsworth and Grey Bruce Ontario

Chatsworth is a township in south-western Ontario in Grey County located at the headwaters of the Styx, Saugeen, Sauble, Bighead, Spey, and the old Sydenham Rivers. The current township was formed on January 1, 2001 with the amalgamation of Holland Township, Sullivan Township, and the village of Chatsworth. The first white settlers arrived in this area in the early nineteenth century.

Canadian suffragette and activist Nellie McClung was born in the town of Chatsworth. The Sullivan Township area has a large Amish population.

The township includes the town of Chatsworth, Arnott, Berkeley, Desboro, Dornoch, Glascott, Grimston, Harkaway, Hemstock Mill, Holford, Holland Centre, Keady, Keward, Kinghurst, Lily Oak, Lueck Mill, Marmion, Massie, Mooresburg, Mount Pleasant, Peabody, Scone, Strathaven, Walters Falls, Williams Lake, and Williamsford.

Chatsworth is located south of Owen Sound and north of Durham where Highways 6 and 10 merge. The village neighbors Williamsford, Dornoch, and Desboro. The name of the town comes from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England near the home town of the postmaster. Chatsworth was founded in 1848 at the northern terminus of the Toronto-Sydenham Colonization Road. Modern Highway 10 follows most of the original road’s route.

The first building in the village of Desboro in 1856 was a log school house. The area was originally called Brown’s Corners. At some point its name was changed to Donnybrook and then to Desborough after a village in central England. The first house and store were built in 1866 by George Smith. The Desboro hotel was built in 1869 and was one of the only rural taverns still operating in the township before it closed in 2011. The town hall was built in 1875 and enlarged to a two-storey building in 1950. Desboro is about 13 kilometers west of Chatsworth and Williamsford.

Keady is a small farming village, located at the intersection of Grey Roads 3 and 16. Keady saw its first settlers in the 1850s. The original general store was built in the late 1860s and operated for almost 100 years before being converted into a residence. It has a Community Centre, licensed mechanic, livestock market, machine shop and a United Church, and is home to about 200 people.

Keady is well known in the area for the weekly summer farmer’s market and numerous functions held at the Keady Community Centre.

The village of Dornoch was settled by Bartholomew Griffin in 1841 when he encountered a crossroads that appealed to him. The area was originally called “Griffin’s Corners” after Griffin started the first general store. In the late 1850s the village was served by a stage coach that was running between Durham and Chatsworth. Around the turn of the century, the name was changed to Dornoch after the village in northern Scotland. The community center was built in 1952 and still serves Dornoch. Dornoch is situated between Williamsford and Durham on Highway 6 and is 33 kilometers south of Owen Sound.

Williamsford is a village on the North Saugeen River. It has a general store, post office, a bookstore and restaurant housed in a historic grain mill. A small dam controls the river. It has several churches, and a community cemetery. It is located on Highway 6 between Durham and Owen Sound. The village of Williamsford was first surveyed in 1858 comprising 400 acres in preparation for a railway which was to run from Toronto to Owen Sound. The post office was built in 1847 and the general store was built in the late 1800s. At the south end of the village sit the community centre grounds with a playground, a baseball diamond and a curling rink. The curling rink was completed in 2010 and has a lounge and two rinks.

West Grey is a township in western Ontario in Grey County spanning across the River Styx, the Rocky Saugeen River, the Beatty Saugeen River, and the South Saugeen River. Unlike most rural communities, West Grey maintains its own police force, the West Grey Police Service. The municipality was formed on January 1, 2001, when the former Townships of Bentinck, Glenelg, and Normanby, the Village of Neustadt, and the Town of Durham were amalgamated in a county-wide reorganization. Elmwood is one of the communities in this township.

Elmwood is a village in Grey County on the county line between Bruce and Grey, about six miles (10 kilometers) north of Hanover. It was a location in which Mennonites were to be found from before 1870, when ministers from Waterloo County were sent to Brant Township every eight weeks to conduct services which alternated in the homes of Mennonite families living there. In 1875, when the Mennonite Brethren in Christ (MBC) were organized in Ontario, Elmwood was one of their earliest places of worship. It was the village into which the retired farmers moved when they left the farms in that community.

Duncan is located south of Thornbury.

Euphrasia is a former township in Grey County. Since 2001 it is a part of the municipality of Grey Highlands. Euphrasia is located east of Beaverdale, north of Wodehouse and southwest of Beaver Valley. Euphrasia has an elevation of 433 meters.

Markdale is a community in Grey County. Markdale was first settled in 1846. In 2001, Markdale was amalgamated with the townships of Artemesia, Euphrasia and Osprey to form Grey Highlands. On August 20, 2009, an F2 tornado originating in Durham touched down in Markdale and caused some local damage.

Arkwright was an important community in the early days of Bruce County’s history. First settled in the 1850s, it gained prominence as both a supply centre and busy stopping place along the stage route. At its height Arkwright boasted two hotels, two stores, a wagon shop, two blacksmiths and a physician. A sawmill was located close by. There was also a school and two Methodist churches that later merged. A post office operated from 1857 to 1915 in one of the general stores. Arkwright served as the seat of township government for many years. Lack of a railway prevented Arkwright from attracting any major industries.

Tara is located in the municipality of Arran-Elderslie in Bruce County and is located on the Sauble River. Tara was named after a town in County Meath, Ireland which served as the seat of Irish royalty. Soon after the survey of the township was completed in 1851, John Hamilton and Richard Berford, early settlers in the area, located here along the river. The opening of the Owen Sound Post road stimulated the growth of a small community. Situated in a rich agricultural region with abundant water power, the settlement developed quickly. By 1861 Tara had saw and grist mills, a foundry producing agricultural implements, wagon works and a tannery. Hamilton opened a hotel to serve the incoming settlers of the surrounding townships. A post-office opened in 1862. In 1880, the local newspaper, The Tara Leader was first published. Tara became a thriving commercial and manufacturing center and, in anticipation of the arrival of the Stratford and Huron Railway, it was incorporated as a village on January 1, 1881.

Williscroft was a farming hamlet, located in Bruce County, first settled around 1850. By 1856 it had a post office, followed by a school in 1858. The village quickly grew to include a blacksmith shop, a store, two coopers, a door and sash building business, and saw and grist mills. A Baptist church was added in 1875. Later industries in Williscroft included a cheese factory and woodworking and carriage shops. Farm based organizations, which took hold during the 1880s, led to the construction of a large Grange Hall, also used as a community and social center, and later as an Orange Lodge.

Architectural Photos, Chatsworth, Ontario
777346 Ontario 10 – Holland-Chatsworth Central School – banding, voussoirs
Architectural Photos, Chatsworth, Ontario
Chatsworth – #141 – Gothic
Architectural Photos, Desboro, Ontario
Desboro – verge board trim on gable
Architectural Photos, Desboro, Ontario
Desboro – Gothic Revival – dichromatic brickwork, bay window, corner quoins
Architectural Photos, Desboro, Ontario
481 Grey Road 40 – Desboro Tavern – dichromatic brickwork, banding, corner quoins
Architectural Photos, Dornoch, Ontario
Dornoch – Stone building
Architectural Photos Ontario
Grey Road 40 and Grey Road 3 – Gothic – spindle work in the gable
Architectural Photos Ontario
Grey Road 40 and Grey Road 3 – Gothic, red brick, dichromatic brickwork, banding, quoins, bay window, voussoirs and keystones
Architectural Photos, Williamsford, Ontario
Williamsford – Gothic – dichromatic brickwork, corner quoins, second floor balcony, voussoirs
Architectural Photos, Marmion, Ontario
Marmion – S.S. No. 6 School – 1877
Architectural Photos, Keady, Ontario
Chalmers United Church, Keady – battlement on top of three-storey tower
Architectural Photos, Elmwood, Ontario
Elmwood – #40
Architectural Photos, Duncan, Ontario
Duncan Union Church – 1901
Architectural Photos, Euphrasia, Ontario
No. 21 Euphrasia – 1900
Architectural Photos, Markdale, Ontario
Markdale – verge board trim on gable, banding, voussoirs
Architectural Photos, Arkwright, Ontario
Architectural Photos, Arkwright, Ontario
Arkwright United Church – lancet windows, buttresses, dentil molding
Architectural Photos, Dobbinton, Ontario
Dobbinton – Gothic – corner quoins
Architectural Photos, Tara, Ontario
Tara – Bay window
Architectural Photos, Tara, Ontario
Tara – verge board trim and finial on gable, dichromatic banding
Architectural Photos, Williscroft, Ontario
Williscroft – S.S. No. 8 Elderslie school – 1907

Beaver Valley, Ontario in Colour Photos – My Top 13 Picks

Beaver Valley Ontario in Colour Photos

The Beaver Valley is located in southern Ontario at the southern tip of Georgian Bay. The Beaver River flows north through the valley emptying into Georgian Bay in the town of Thornbury. It is a productive agricultural area producing 25% of Ontario’s apple crop on 7,500 acres of apple orchards. The main towns in the valley from Flesherton at the south end are Kimberley and Thornbury. Grey Road 13 follows the meandering Beaver River along the valley floor. It rises briefly before crossing the river again at Heathcote.

Clarksburg, the hidden gateway between the picturesque backroads of the Beaver Valley, the slopes of the Blue Mountains, and the shores of Georgian Bay, is located just south of Thornbury on Grey Road 13. The Beaver River cascades through a series of picturesque rapids from Clendenan Dam through the village and north to Georgian Bay. In 1858 William Jabez Marsh travelled from Holland Landing to purchase 500 acres of Crown land adjacent to the village of Thornbury. After choosing a location for his own farm, he donated 2.5 acres for the building of a church and rectory. The first church was a frame building erected in 1863 and named St. George’s and was located in the newly established village of Clarksburg immediately adjacent to the border with Thornbury in order to serve both municipalities. The original church served until 1899 when it was replaced by the present brick structure erected on the same site. Once the brick church was completed, the original frame building was dismantled and transported in mid-winter by horse-drawn sleighs to Beaverdale where it was reassembled and continued to serve the congregation there for another 50 years. The brick rectory next to the church was built in 1867 and has been well maintained.

Markdale is located on Highway 10 north of Flesherton. Settlement began in 1849, and it was incorporated as a village in 1888 with a thriving business center, three churches, a bank, a school, a wagon shop and a drug store. The beautiful Beaver Valley lies just a few miles to the east of Markdale.

Craigleith is located east of Thornbury on Georgian Bay. The name is Gaelic meaning rocky bay and the town was given the name by Andrew Craig Fleming, one of the community’s earliest settlers. Craigleith was the home of Sir Sandford Fleming who contributed to the establishment of standard time earning him the title of “The Father of Standard Time.” Fleming also designed the first Canadian postage stamp; issued in 1851, it cost three pennies and depicted the beaver, now the national animal of Canada. The Sanford family began operating a quarry and lumber mill in Craigleith which provided essential building materials to their new settlement.

On November 24, 1872 the steamer “Mary Ward” ran aground two kilometers offshore as she was traveling from Sarnia to Collingwood. A group of local fishermen rescued those remaining on board; however, the last of three rescue boats capsized and eight passengers drowned.

One of the last remaining wooden CNR stations is located here.

Flesherton is located at the junction of Highway 10 and Grey County Road 4. In 1850, 25-year-old William Kingston Flesher surveyed a portion of the Township of Artemesia. The north-south Toronto-Sydenham Road and east-west Durham Road which both ran through the township, were built shortly after the survey was finished, thereby opening the area to settlement. The intersection of the two roads which lay in a small valley was named Artemesia Corners.

As was usual for the time, Flesher was paid for his work in property within the survey area. He chose the valley containing Artemesia Corners and laid out a portion in village lots. Aaron Munshaw arrived as the first settler and built a tavern on the southeast corner of the intersection of the two roads. In 1864 as the village grew, Munshaw built a larger inn and stagecoach stop that incorporated some parts of the original hotel. This building, operated as a hotel by the Munshaw family until the 1960s, is now known as Munshaw House and still stands on the original spot.

Throughout the 1850s many Scottish immigrants arrived to claim lots and began to clear the land. Mr. Flesher continued to develop the valley economy building a sawmill and a grist mill on the Boyne River that flowed through the bottom of the valley. He encouraged other businesses to settle in the area. In his honor, the name of the settlement was changed to Flesherton.

The red brick Methodist Church was built in 1877. In 1879 Chalmers Presbyterian Church was built where the Toronto-Sydenham Road crossed the Boyne River. In 1926 the Methodist Church joined with Chalmers Presbyterian to form St. John’s United Church. The combined congregation chose to retain the highly visible Methodist building and sold the much smaller Presbyterian building.

Leith, located on the south shore of Georgian Bay, is nine kilometers northeast of the city of Owen Sound. It is the boyhood home of the renowned Canadian landscape artist Tom Thomson who is buried in the pioneer cemetery behind Leith United Church.

Heathcote is located in Grey County on the Beaver Road and Concession Road 13 south of Thornbury. William Fleming settled here in the 1840s and for a time the place was called Williamstown after him. That name was already in use elsewhere in Ontario, so when the post office opened in 1859, this community was called Heathcote, possibly after a place of that name in Derbyshire, England.

Meaford is located on the southern shore of Georgian Bay, on Highway 26 between Thornbury and Owen Sound. In 1837 inhabitants of St. Vincent Township petitioned the government requesting that land at the mouth of the Bighead River be reserved as a landing place. In 1841 there was a saw mill, a grist mill, several roads had been constructed to the landing place, and a post office was established. The town plot of Meaford was laid out in 1845.

Meaford Town Hall was built in 1908-09 with Palladian lines and stately Doric columns after the original building built in 1864 had become dilapidated and was destroyed by fire on October 5, 1907. Local contractor James Sparling recycled as much of the original town hall’s brick as possible in the construction of the new building. Like many public buildings across small-town Ontario, Meaford Hall was made to be more than a town hall. The building housed the council chambers and town offices. The chambers also served as a court room and there were two tiny jail cells in the basement.

At the other end of the building was the Meaford Public Library. Farmers used the basement on market day, and the space has been used for a ballroom, meeting area, and Boy Scouts hall. It has housed the Women’s Institute, the Meaford Quilters, a Senior Citizens’ Club, and the Senior Men’s Euchre club. The second floor Opera House was the cultural heart of the community. Local plays, high school graduations, concerts and famous speakers have all made use of the theatre. In 1967, the library moved to a bigger space in the old post office. The Meaford Police Department left the hall in 1996. The town vacated the old offices in 2002.

In 2003, Meaford secured a grant to restore and renovate the building. Thousands of volunteer hours later, the Meaford Hall Arts and Cultural Centre opened for business in the spring of 2006. The building housing the current museum was built in 1895 as the towns Pumping Station. The Public Utilities Department was later relocated to the Pump House and the building was called the “Power House.” During the 1940s, the chimney was removed. Cyrus Sing, a local citizen, donated his collection of memorabilia to the Town, and the building which had been vacant for a while was converted to a museum and opened to the public on July 1, 1961. Due to a continually expanding collection, several renovations and additions have been made to the building over the years.

Born in Nova Scotia, Margaret Marshall Saunders (1861-1947) was a novelist whose second book “Beautiful Joe” achieved international recognition. Inspired by a visit to Meaford in 1892, it is based on the story of a dog rescued from a brutal master by a local miller, William Moore. In 1994 the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society was formed to honor the life and story of Beautiful Joe and the literary and humane achievements of Margaret Saunders. Beautiful Joe Park is located in Meaford.

Victoria Corners is located on 21st Sideroad near Loree Forest and north of the hamlet of Banks.

Thornbury is located on Georgian Bay between Meaford and Collingwood. The Township of Thornbury was incorporated in 1833. In 1855 the town’s first business, a milling operation, was set up, followed by a general store, blacksmith, cooper and fanning mill shops, grist and saw mills, and a post office. In 1887, feeling they were unfairly burdened with high taxes, the businessmen of Thornbury petitioned for independence from the Town of Collingwood. After much negotiating, they received it and the Township of Thornbury became the Town of Thornbury. The apple packing industry took root in Thornbury in 1885. At the Thornbury Village Cider House, they produce Premium Apple Cider from apples grown in the area, cider that is light, crisp and refreshing.

On January 1, 2001, the Town of Thornbury and the small settlements in the Township of Collingwood were amalgamated. Thornbury is the primary population center. The town’s territory includes the communities of Banks, Camperdown, Castle Glen Estates, Christie Beach, Clarksburg, Craigleith, Duncan, Gibraltar, Heathcote, Kolapore, Little Germany, Lora Bay, Loree, Ravenna, Red Wing, Slabtown and Victoria Corners.

Walter’s Falls is located south of Owen Sound on Grey County Road 29. It was the site of a saw mill and woolen mill. The saw mill burned down but the woolen mill remains. Water from Walter’s Creek flows to form Walter’s Falls.

Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Clarksburg – Hipped roof, paired cornice brackets, bay windows with corner quoins, second floor balcony
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Craigleith – In 1872 Andrew Grieg Fleming, father of Sir Sanford Fleming, sold a parcel of land to the Northern Railway Company for the purpose of building a train station to serve his newly founded community. The station building was constructed from local timber between 1878 and 1881 and included a rounded turret. By 1881 there were six trains a day at the Craigleith station. In 1882, the Northern Railway was purchased by the Grand Trunk Railway. In 1923 the Grand Trunk became part of the Canadian National Railway. The convenience of the railway allowed businesses to be created and to prosper. In the 1940s the ski industry in Ontario began to grow with weekend ski trains from Toronto. Passenger service to the Craigleith station ended in 1960. In 1966 the station and lilac grove were saved from destruction by Kenn and Suyrea Knapman who re-opened the station as a restaurant and museum. In 2001 the Craigleith Depo was purchased by The Blue Mountains.
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
#41, Markdale – red brick Gothic style house with white accents, checkerboard band
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
65 Main Street West, Markdale – turret on the Gothic style home
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
A gorgeous Second Empire style mansion in Markdale
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Flersherton – 2½-storey tower-like frontispiece, polychromatic brickwork and banding, bay windows, second floor balcony
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Verge board trim on gable, pediment with decorative tympanum
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Flesherton – Gothic – 1889 – dichromatic brickwork, bay window
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Heathcote – Gothic – verge board trim on large gable, second floor balcony
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
#60, Meaford – Gothic Revival – verge board trim and finials on gables, corner quoins
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
27 Bridge Street, Thornbury – Bridges Tavern – two tower-like bays with verge board trim on gables and fretwork, second floor balcony, dormer in roof
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
S.S. No. 4 Victoria Corners School – 1880
Architectural Photos, Beaver Valley
Walter’s Falls

Town of Pelham, Ontario in Colour Photos – My Top 14 Picks

Town of Pelham, Ontario

Fenwick is a community in the in the town of Pelham located in the Niagara Region. Welland is the closest city center. The community was named in 1853. The name probably comes from Fenwick, East Ayrshire in Scotland, which was the birthplace of Dr. John Fraser, who was reeve of Pelham Township at the time.

Ridgeville is a community within the town of Pelham. It borders the western limit of Fonthill. It derives its name from its location on the south western ridge of the Fonthill Kame. It has a post office, a rural mail route named Ridgeville, a small number of shops found along Canboro Road, including a bakery, chocolate shop and specialty home and bath shops, the local high school, Gwennol Organic Blueberry Farm and the Berry Patch Tea Room.

Fonthill is a community in the town of Pelham. It has a few small industries, but is primarily a residential suburb known for its fruit orchards, nature trails, and neighborly attitude.

Fonthill shares its name with the Fonthill Kame, on which it is located, formed by glacial deposits. Effingham Creek, a cold-water stream, originates in the glacial silts and sands of Short Hills area of the moraine, northwest of Fonthill. Effingham Creek is a tributary to Twelve-Mile Creek, which empties into Lake Ontario.

The Fonthill Kame is a geological feature in the form of a large, isolated hill composed of sand and gravel deposited by the retreating glaciers of the last ice age. The Fonthill Kame rises about 75 meters (246 feet) above the surrounding land and is the highest elevation in the region. The kame is 6 kilometers (4 miles) east to west and 3 kilometers (2 miles) north to south. It slopes gradually on the west side, more steeply on the south and east and merges with the Short Hills Provincial Park area of the Niagara Escarpment on the north. The Fonthill Kame influences the climate of Pelham by sheltering it from the winds from the southwest. This provides good growing conditions for fruit crops, including the grape vines that supply the local wine industry. It is also mined for sand and gravel.

Letters written by Henry Giles, a settler who came to the area in 1840, suggest that he chose the name Fonthill because the area looked similar to the area around Fonthill Abbey in England. The village’s first post office was established in 1856. On June 10, 2006, Fonthill celebrated its 150th anniversary. The celebration was marked by the opening of the band stand (a replica of the original bandstand that existed in the early 1900s), historical displays and a variety of musical and artistic presentations.

On a clear day, the tall buildings of Niagara Falls to the East and the Toronto skyline to the North are clearly visible from a vantage point near Effingham Street and south Tice Road just west of Fonthill. This also allows views of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and the skyline of Buffalo.

In 1970, the Town of Pelham unified five historical communities: Fonthill, Ridgeville, Effingham, North Pelham and Fenwick into a single town covering more than one hundred and twenty-six thousand square kilometers. This integration brought together a mix of farming (agriculture) and commercialism.

The Town of Pelham is located in the center of Niagara Region. The town’s southern boundary is formed by the Welland River, a meandering waterway that flows into the Niagara River. To the west is the township of West Lincoln, to the east the city of Welland, and to the north the city of St. Catharines. Pelham Township was part of Welland County since the late 1780s. The Town of Pelham derived its name from Pelham Township which was named by John Graves Simcoe in the 1790s. Simcoe gave names to the Townships of Niagara that were created to provide land for Loyalist refugees, disbanded troops former rangers and others after the British defeat in the Revolutionary War (which ended in 1783). The policy of Simcoe was to adopt township names from England.

Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
655 Canboro Road – Gothic, verge board trim on gable
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
683 Canboro Road, Fenwick – hipped roof, sidelights
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
695 Canboro Road
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
704 Canboro Road – former Pelham High School – 1926 – now Canboro Gardens
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
742 Canboro Road, Fenwick – hipped roof, paired cornice brackets
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
Canboro Road, Fenwick – hipped roof, corner quoins, voussoirs
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
840 Canboro Road – hipped roof, cornice brackets, porches decorated with bric-a-brac
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
Canboro Road, Ridgeville – Gothic – verge board trim on gables
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
Elm Avenue, Fonthill – dormer
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
90 Canboro Road, Fonthill – The Wilson-Hansler-Stirtzinger House was built by John Wilson in 1876 of triple brick in the Gothic style. The walls are two feet thick and the floors are made of a mixture of cherry and maple woods. There is verge board trim on the gables, and a pediment above the door with sidelights and transom windows. The house passed onto the family of Dr. John Hansler, and then to his nephew John Loyal Stirtzinger in 1926. The house still remains on the property owned by descendants of Stirtzinger. Outside the house, the original Hansler carriage step and one of the hitching posts still stands.
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
Chestnut Street, Fonthill – Italianate, two-storey tower-like bays each topped with a pediment, cornice brackets
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
1567 Pelham Street, Fonthill
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
Pelham Street, Fonthill
Architectural Photos, Town of Pelham
711 Tice Road – The Rice Moore House has been designated a heritage site for its architectural value. There is barge board trim around roof line, and steeply pitched gables.