Historical Plaques of
Bruce County

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PLAQUE #1


Location: Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula

ESCARPMENT SUBMERGENCE
This shoreline marks the northern extremity of the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario. Stretching unbroken for 465 miles across southern Ontario from Niagara Falls. The escarpment was created by erosion of layerd sedimentry rocks deposited in ancient seas of the Palezolic Era over 400 million years ago. Portions of the escarpment form the islands between Tobermory and South Baymouth and the same Paleozolic rocks shape the geology of Manitoulin Island.

Erected by the Niagara Escarpment Commission

PLAQUE #2


Location: opposite St. Andrew's Church,
H/Way 21 near S.R. 10, Allenford

"THE ALLENFORD POW-WOW" 1855
In July, 1855, at nearby "Floodwood Crossing" (now Allenford), representatives of the Ojibwa Indians conferred with government officials at a metting later called the "Allenford Pow-Wow". The conference resolved a boundary dispute which had arisen over the terms of the Saugeen treaty of 1854. The Ojibwa interpretation of this treaty held "Copway's Road", an Indian pathway from Saugeen village to Lake Huron, to be the boundary of the land ceded by them on the north side of the Saugeen River. Lord Bury, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs and the government's principal representative, accepted this interpretation which granted the Indians increased frontage on Lake Huron and removed a major source of friction.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of College and Universities

PLAQUE #3


Location: In Centennial Park, Yonge St., Tara

THE FOUNDING OF TARA
Soon after the survey of Arran Township was completed in 1851. John Hamilton and Richard Berford, early settlers in the area, located here along the Sauble River. The opening of the Owen Sound Post road stimulated the growth of a small community and in 1858 Berford registered a village plan. Situated in a rich agricultural region wuth abundant water power, the settlement developed quickly. By 1861 it contained saw and grist mills, a foundry producing agricultural implements, wagon works and a tannery, and the following year a post office was established. Tara became a thriving commercial and manufacturing centre and, in anticipation of the arrival of the Stratford and Huron Railway, it was incorporated as a village by a county by-law effective January 1, 1881.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

PLAQUE #4


Location: In Memorial Park, Yonge St., Tara

"CYCLONE" TAYLOR 1885 - 1979
An outstanding hockey player, Frederick W. Taylor was born in Tara and began his amateur career with the Listowel juniors about 1901. His exceptional skating ability and irrepressible energy drew widespread attention to "Whirlwind" (later "Cyclone") Taylor and in 1905, in Michigan, he entered the International League, hockey's first professional organization. Having joined the Canadian civil service in 1907, he continued to play with Ottawa and Renfrew teams, and soon confirmed his reputation as a brilliant all-round player. He concluded his celebrated hockey career with the Vancouver Millionaires, 1912-20, of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. In 1946 he received the Order of the British Empire for his service to the immigration department. "Cyclone" Taylor was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

PLAQUE #5


Location: In Memorial Park, Yonge St., Tara

SIR WILLIAM H. HEARST

1864 - 1941

Born in Arran Township, Hearst was educated at the Collingwood Collegiate and Osgoode Hall. He practised law at Sault Ste. Marie and was first elected to the provincial legislature as Conservative member for that community in 1908. He was appointed minister of lands, forests and mines in 1911 during the administration of Sir James Whitney, and following the latter's death in September, 1914, became Ontario's seventh prime minister. Hearst retained that post throughout the first World War and was knighted for his services. Following his government's defeat in 1919 by the United Farmers of Ontario, he retired from politics, but served as a member of the International Joint Commission on Boundary Waters, 1920-40.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #6


Location: On Road 13, 6.5 km west of Highway 6 in Wiarton

BRUCE PENINSULA PORTAGE
The Bruce Peninsula presents a formidable barrier to water transportation between Lake Huron and southern Georgian Bay. To avoid a difficult detour to the north, aboriginal peoples developed a portage route across the base of the peninsula. Its eastern section ran along high ground between here and Colpoy's Bay at Wiarton. West of here were two routes. One ran south across Boat Lake and along the Rankin and Sauble Rivers to Lake Huron. The other crossed from Boat Lake to Spry Lake, then overland to the Lake Huron shore opposite the Fishing Islands. For centuries the Bruce Peninsula portage was an important link in the Great Lakes transportation network.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
an agency of the Government of Ontario

PLAQUE #7


Location: In Memorial Park, John & Main Sts., Lion's Head

SERGEANT JOHN PEARSON, V.C.

1825 - 1892

Born in Yorkshire, England, Pearson joined the 8th (The King's Royal Irish) Regiment of Light Dragoons in 1844, and served with this unit in India during the Mutiny. On June 17, 1858, near the town of Gwalior the squadron with which Pearson served formed part of a small force which routed the advancing enemy. His unit then charged through the enemy camp, and returned with two captured guns under a heavy and converging fire. For their gallantry in this action, Pearson and three companions received the British Empire's highest decoration for valour, the Victoria Cross. In 1880 he emigrated to Canada, and in 1888 settled on a farm some nine miles west of here.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario

PLAQUE #8


Location: Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula

300 YEARS OF UPPER LAKES NAVIGATION

"GRIFFON"

LAUNCHED BY SIEUR DE LA SALLE ON
7 AUGUST 1679 AT NIAGARA, SHE SAILED
TO WHAT IS NOW GREEN BAY,
WISCONSIN, AND TOOK ON A CARGO OF
FURS, DOWNBOUND FOR DETROIT,
SHE WENT MISSING WITH ALL HANDS
DURING A VIOLENT AUTUMN STORM.

THE GREAT LAKES CRUISING CLUB PAYS
TRIBUTE TO THOSE COURAGEOUS
ADVENTURERS WHO FIRST FORGED THE
LINKS BETWEEN THE OLD AND
NEW WORLDS. AUGUST 7, 1979.


PLAQUE #9


Location: County Road 12, Formosa

THE CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
This monumental Gothic church, erected on a commanding site overlooking Formosa, was built to serve a thriving German Roman Catholic parish. Begun in 1875, it was constructed around and over an earlier log building. Work proceeded intermittently with volunteer labour until 1883 when the old church was finally dismantled and the new structure completed. Designed by the prominent Ontario architect Joseph Connolly and built of locally quarried stone, the church is distinguished by its simple form, boldly-modelled tower and fine spire. Intricate Gothic-style altars carved by Nicholas Durrer, a local craftsman and parishioner, grace the superb interior. Restored and renovated in 1974-75, the Church of the Immaculate Conception remains the focal point of the village and a religious centre for the surrounding area.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture

PLAQUE #10


Location: At the Town Hall, 2 Clinton St. E., Teeswater

THE FOUNDING OF TEESWATER
By 1855 the first permanent settlers on the site of Teeswater, the families of Matthew Hadwen and Peter Brown, had located here on the Tesswater River, In that year Brown erected a saw-mill and later added a grist-mill. In 1856 a post office was established with Hadwen as first postmaster. Although the settlement's early growth was slow, a tannery, a foundry, two taverns and a pearl-ash factory were in operation by 1867 when the population numbered some 400. The development of the community was spurred by the completion of a branch line of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1874 from a point near Orangeville. Teeswater was incorporated as a Village on January 1, 1875, with a population of about 700.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

PLAQUE #11


Location: At the Municipal Bldg., 338 Goldie St., Paisley

THE FOUNDING OF PAISLEY
In 1852, shortly after this region was opened for settlement, the government reserved land for a town here on the Elora and Saugeen Road, at the confluence of the Teeswater and Saugeen Rivers. Already settled on the site were Simon Orchard and Samuel Rowe and later that year John Valentine built a saw-mill here. The townplot, named Paisley, was surveyed in 1855 and within two years a community of about 150 had developed. By 1867 additional industries, including a foundry and a woollen mill had been established and the village's handsome buildings reflected its prosperity. The Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway was completed through the community in 1872. Two years later, with over 1,000 inhabitants, Paisley was incorporated as a Village.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities

PLAQUE #12


Location: In Willow Creek Park, Queen & Cambridge St., Paisley

DAVID BROWN MILNE 1882 - 1953
One of Canada's outstanding artists, Milne was born on a farm near Burgoyne, Saugeen Township, and raised in Paisley. Though largely self-taught, he studied briefly in New York at the Art Student's League, and in 1913 exhibited some of his paintings at the Armory Show which introduced contemporary European art to North America. Milne served as an official Canadian war artist during the first World War. Working mainly in water-colours, he developed a highly personal impressionistic style of painting. Among his better known works are: "Water Lilies, Temagami"; "Painting Places"; "Snow in Bethlehem"; "Rites of Autumn"; and "White Poppy". His paintings are found in many of the public galleries in Canada.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #13


Location: Queen & Goldie St., Paisley

ISABELLA VALANCY CRAWFORD
Born in Dublin, Ireland, about 1846, this notable Canadian poet immigrated with her family to Canada, 1857-58, settling at Paisley. Her father practised medicine here for some years and after his death in Peterborough in 1875, Isabella moved to Toronto where she attempted to support her sister and mother by writing. A fine knowledge of classical literature, an intense idealism and a gift for startling imagery pervade her poetry. Like many post-Confederation poets, she was influenced by the English Romantic and Victorian Schools. She brought to the pioneer Canadian landscape vivid images of love and death. Her brief life was marked by poverty and lack of recognition. Isabella Crawford's best-known collection is "Old Spookses' Pass, Malcolm's Katie and Other Poems", published in 1884, three years before her death.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities

PLAQUE #14


Location: In Willow Creek Park, Queen & Cambridge St., Paisley

THE FOUNDRY CHIMNEY
This brick chimney is all that remains of a
foundry which once employed as many as
sixty men. Built in the early 1860s, it
operated for several years as Laidlaw's
Foundry. John Stewart purchased the
business in the late 1860s and changed
its name to the Paisley Agricultural Works.
In the 1900s the business could no longer
compete with large manufacturers and
it finally closed. The foundry buildings
were dismantled in 1923.

While the works manufactured a wide
range of iron products such as pots,
hitching posts, fences and ornate chairs
and tables, it was best known for such
implements as the Harvest Queen Reaper,
the Sellar Plow and the Paisley Wrought
Iron Harvester.

Erected by the
Paisley Local Architectural Conservation
Advisory Committee
(LACAC)
With the assistance of the
Ontario Heritage Foundation

PLAQUE #15


Location: High & Market St., Pt. Elgin

THE "NODWELL" INDIAN VILLAGE SITE
This important Iroquoian village site was discovered about 1900, and named after the family which then owned the property. Subsequent archaeological examinations have uncovered a mid-14th century village, consisting of twelve longhouses, from 42 to 139 feet in length, protected by a double palisade. It was probably occupied for about 10 to 20 years by a group of some 500 people who were predecessors of the Huron and Petun Indians. Although primarily farmers who grew corn, tobacco and probably pumpkins and sunflowers, they also engaged in considerable fishing and hunting. A large number of artifacts have been retrieved from this site including fragments of pottery cooking vessels, smoking pipes, arrow heads, adzes, awls and netting needles.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Archives of Ontario

PLAQUE #16


Location: Cenotaph Park opposite post office, 120 First Ave., Chesley

THE FOUNDING OF CHESLEY
A small settlement, "Sconeville", developed here following the erection of mills on the Saugeen River by Adam Elliot in 1858-59. A post-office, named after Solomon Chesley, a former Indian Department official, was established in 1865 and three years later village lots were laid out by Elliot's son, John. The hamlet quickly matured into a thriving community. In 1879, with over 900 inhabitants, it was incorporated as a Village and council meetings commenced in 1880. A branch of the Grand Trunk Railway, completed to Chesley the following year, facilitated its development as an important centre for several agricultural businesses and the shipment of produce, livestock, lumber and bark. By 1885, Chesley's popualtion had risen to 1,400 and in 1906 it became a Town.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

PLAQUE #17


Location: Chesley

TO COMMEMORATE
THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE FOUNDING OF
KRUG BROS. CO. LTD.
OPERATED BY
THE KRUG FAMILY
SINCE 1886

PRESENTED BY
THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF
THE TOWN OF CHESLEY
MAY, 19, 1986


PLAQUE #18


Location: Above the Founding of Chesley plaque, Chesley

This bell was purchased & erected on the Town Hall after the big
fire, June 9, 1888. It was for many years a means of announcing fires,
funerals, return of soldiers & time of day. It was last tolled in April,
1976, for the premature closing of our hospital. Chesley Kinette Club

PLAQUE #19


Location: Park Place Rd. just off Goderich St, H-Way 21, Pt. Elgin

THE FOUNDING OF PORT ELGIN
Port Elgin's development began when, in 1854, Benjamin Shantz, one of Saugeen Township's early settlers, acquired from George Butchart a sawmill on Mill Creek. Nearby he built a grist-mill and within three years a community of 250 people had developed around these mills. Stores, hotels and tanneries were constructed and in March, 1857, a village plot named Port Elgin was laid out. The enterprise of its businessmen, notably Henry Hilker, Samuel Bricker and John Stafford, contributed to the development of the settlement, which had a population of over 600 by 1867. The arrival of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1872 further stimulated the growth of the community and it was incorporated as a Village in 1874 with a population of about 950.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board
Ministry of Colleges and Universities

PLAQUE #20


Location: In Southampton, in a small park at the south side of the mouth of the Saugeen River

FUR TRADING AT SAUGEEN
The Anishnabe lived by the mouth of the Saugeen River before Pierre Piché arrived in 1818 to begin fur trading in the region. By 1826, the Hudson's Bay Company established an outpost at Saguingue to compete with independent fur traders like Piché. From La Cloche, its main post on Lake Huron, the Hudson's Bay Company employed First Nations, Métis, French, and British fur traders who largely depended on Anishnabe hunters to supply deer, bear and marten skins. By 1832, the supply of premium furs was exhausted and the company closed its post. Although many Anishnabe gave up hunting and settled in an agricultural village, fur trading continued here until the mid-19th century when Southampton was founded.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario

PLAQUE #21


Location: In Walkerton, on the west side of McNab Street just south of Durham Street East

THE FOUNDING OF WALKERTON
In 1850 Joseph Walker came here to the Durham Road where it crosses the Saugeen River. He built an inn and contracted to build two bridges and a part of the road. He and his son William were in 1851 granted free lots and later allowed to buy adjoining property. Joseph Walker built a sawmill in 1852 and added a grist-mill the following year. Two stores were opened and "Brant Post Office" was established. Subdivisions were registered by Joseph Walker and others in 1857 when the name of the post-office was changed to Walkerton. The community was proclaimed the "county town" of Bruce County in 1866, and Walkerton was incorporated as a Town in 1871.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario

PLAQUE #22


Location: In Wiarton, on the wall of a building on the SW corner of
Berford Street (Highway 6) and George Street

THE FOUNDING OF WIARTON
In 1855 a town-plot was laid out here on recently acquired Indian land and named Wiarton, reputedly after the English birthplace of Edmund Head, Governor General of Canada (1854-61). Settlement commenced in 1866 and two years later a post-office was established. Agricultural prosperity, excellent harbour facilities and extensive sawmilling operations stimulated the communitie's growth as an important Great Lakes industrial centre. In 1880, with a popualtion of about 750, it was incorporated as a Village. The operation of the Stratford and Lake Huron line of the Grand Trunk Railway, opened to Wiarton in 1882, facilitated its continued development particularly in milling and the manufacturers of wood products. With over 2,000 inhabitants, the thriving community became a Town in 1894.

Erected by the Ontario eritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

PLAQUE #23

Location: At the Bruce Power Visitors' Centre north from Tiverton
on Highway 21 for 6 km then west on Road 20 for 5 km

DOUGLAS POINT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
The Douglas Point Nuclear Power Plant began generating electricity in 1967 and continued until 1984. This joint project between Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and Ontario Hydro was the first commercial-scale Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactor. The Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor in Rolphton, Ontario had proven the CANDU concept in 1962 and the 200-megawatt Douglas Point plant, ten times larger than NPD, demonstrated that a CANDU nuclear power plant could be scaled up for commercial power generation. The advances made at Douglas Point provided the province with a growing and reliable energy supply and contributed to the success of larger CANDU plants in Canada and abroad.

Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario

PLAQUE #24

Location: At Point Clark Lighthouse National Historic Site at the west end
of Lighthouse Road off Huron Road 5 km west of Amberley

POINT CLARK LIGHTHOUSE
Built in 1859 by the Department of Public Works, this handsome 26 m structure is one of six "Imperial towers" on these shores. The circular limestone tower has walls 150 cm thick at the base, tapering to 61 cm at the top. The polygonal cast iron lantern originally housed a dioptric light, of the 2nd order, warning mariners of a dangerous shoal 3.2 km offshore; the light is now one of lesser magnitude serving present needs. Scarcely visible from the ground a decorative rain gutter surrounds the roof of the lantern.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

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