Historical Plaques of
Halton Region

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The following plaque was sent in by Marty Bootsman


Location: "Crawford Lake Conservation Area" just south of the 401,
near the town of Milton

The first prehistoric village in the eastern woodland area of North America to be accurately dated, this archeological site has revealed much about Iroquoian agriculture. A study of sediment collected from Crawford Lake in 1971 lead to discovering of the site. A small, deep body of water, this meromictic lake has limited circulation and little oxygen below the 12-metre level, insuring the preservation of annual deposits of sediment in undisturbed layers called varves. Analysis of their pollen content showed vegetational changes in the area over time and a concentration of corn pollen, dated 1434-59, suggested the existence of an Indian village near by. In 1973 this site was located. Excavations undertaken here during the following decade confirmed that native agriculturalists contributed subsequently to the region's changing environment.

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


Location: at the former Mill, 99 River Dr., Georgetown

In 1854, brothers William, James, Joseph and Robert Barber, prominent manufacturers in the Credit Valley, established a paper mill here. Within a few years it had become an important producer of fine rag paper. Fifteen years later, James acquired sole ownership of the mill, soon afterwards it came under his son John's control. John Reaf Barber was an innovative manager who substantially increased the mills production by employing new technology. He equipped the mill to manufacture wood pulp and, in 1888 installed a dynamo to supply additional power. This power plant was reputedly the first in Canada to produce hydro-electric power for use in industrial production. The stone ruins of the dynamo building are still standing, about three kilometres downstream.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture,Tourisim and Recreation


Location: at the Public Library, 17 River St., Acton

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. They were the nucleus of a hamlet first named Danville, then Adamsville after its first settlers and, by 1844, Acton. In 1856 the Grand Trunk Railway arrived, stimulating growth east along Mill Street from the river to the railway station. By 1869, Acton had some 700 inhabitants and boasted woodworking mills, tanneries, glove makers and a carriage works. It was incorporated as a village on January 6, 1874.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: at the Halton County Radial Museum, Reg. Rd. 1,
(Guelph Line), South of Rockwood

Electric railway service on routes radiating from Toronto began in 1889. Within 20 years, the Toronto and York Radial Railway Company operated lines north on Yonge Street to Sutton, with a branch to Schomberg; from the east end of Toronto to West Hill; and from Sunnyside to Port Credit. In 1917, the Toronto Suburban Railway Company completed its line from west Toronto to Guelph, it also had a route to Woodbridge. These companies operated about 115 miles of trackage. Because they failed to reach downtown Toronto, the radials fell easy prey to through inter-urban highway bus service after 1925. Most services were discontinued in the 1930's. The last, from Toronto to Richmond Hill, was abandoned in 1948.

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


Location: 2439 10th Sideroad at Guelph Line, Campbellville


1842 - 1992

This plaque was unveiled by the Primate of Canada, Archbishop Michael Peers, on May 24, 1992, in the presence of the congregation, and the Rector, Rev. Charles F. Masters. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the establishment in 1842 of an Anglican congregation in Nassagaweya Township, Halton County. A simple white frame church, built on this site in 1844, was replaced by the present church in 1870. It was partially destroyed by a windstorm in 1913 and rebuilt the following year.
    "JESUS CHRIST the same yesterday, and today, and for ever."
                                 - Hebrews 13:8


Location: 5800 Guelph Line, Lowville

In 1834, Collings Church, a frame building, was deeded over by Joseph Colling to the Trustees of Lowville Wesleyan Methodist Church for 5 shillings. By 1873 the present church was built and in 1925 it became Lowville United Church. The building is an example of early Ontario Vernacular Gothic Revival architecture.

Local Architectual Conservation Advisory Committee,
City of Burlington


The following plaque was sent in by Leo Darmitz


Location: Bronte St., 0.8 km south of Steeles Ave. in the town of Milton,
located at the north gate of the Robertson Whitehouse property.

The first firm in the world to produce socket-head screws, the P.L. Robertson Manufacturing Company was formed in Hamilton in 1907 and relocated here the following year. It was established by an Ontario inventor Peter Lymburner Robertson and, using an ingenious process he had developed to punch square holes into cold metal, it manufactured the innovative new screw for industrial markets. In its first two decades the company steadily expanded operations. By 1930, when the last patent on the Robertson screw and the equipment used in its manufacture expired, the firm had already begun to diversify its products. Now operated as the Robertson Whitehouse Company, it has become one of the largest manufacturers of light fasteners, including the original Robertson screw, in North America.

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

The following plaque was sent in by the McRae Family;
Tom, Cathy, Sarah, Daniel, Matthew, Alexander and Nick


Location: on the grounds of W.E. Breckon School, 345 Tuck Drive, Burlington

At the 1954 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, William E. Breckon of Burlington won the World Wheat Championship with grain grown on his Nelson Township farm about two miles north-east of here. He led the white winter wheat class seven times before becoming "wheat king" with a sample of Genesee, a variety developed at Cornell University, N.Y. Since western Canada's hard spring varieties had long dominated the wheat awards at the Fair, Breckon's world championship, the first for an Ontario farmer and the first for winter wheat, was widely acclaimed. This school and the adjoining park were named after W.E. Breckon, who served Nelson Township School Board as chairman or trustee from 1943 to 1956.

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

The next 2 plaques were sent in by JoAnne Dymond and Bob Smith


Location: La Salle Park, North Shore Blvd. E., Burlington

In 1669 René-Robert Cavelier de la Salle, intent on reaching the Ohio River in order "not to leave to another the honour of finding the way to the Southern Sea, and thereby the route to China", set out on the first of his many journeys of exploration. Accompanied by the Sulpican missionaries Dollier and Galinée, he left Montreal in July and reached Burlington Bay at the head of Lake Ontario some two months later. La Salle continued inland to Tinaouataoua, a Seneca hamlet midway between present-day Dundas and Brantford, where surprisingly he met Adrien Jolliet, an explorer returning from a mission to the Great Lakes. Having decided not to proceed westward, he then left Dollier and Galinée and by 1670 had returned to Montreal.

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


Location: Joseph Brant Museum, 1240 North Shore Blvd. E., Burlington

The original house on this site was built about 1800 by the famous Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea). Two years previously Captain Brant had been granted some 3500 acres of land in this area for his military services to the Crown during the American Revolution. He died here in 1807, and the house, around which grew the community of Wellington Square, was thereafter occupied by his wife Catherine and his youngest son Captain John Brant (Ahyouwaeghs). The present house, a replica of the original, is the result of an extensive restoration carried out in 1937-38.

Erected by the Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: Near the mouth of Sixteen Mile Creek at the foot of Navy Street, 4 blocks south of Lakeshore Road, Oakville

The founder of Oakville was born in Nova Scotia of Loyalist parents who moved to Burlington Bay in 1793. William served with distinction in the militia during the War of 1812. He settled in Nelson Township in 1816 and became a successful storekeeper, timber merchant and ship owner. In 1827 he purchased from the Crown 960 acres of uncleared land at the mouth of Sixteen Mile Creek. Here he built mills, laid out a town plot and opened the harbour to shipping. Chisholm was thrice elected to represent this district in the Legislative Assembly.

Erected by the Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: On the north side of the entrance road at Sheridan College, first entrance, west side,
south of Upper Middle Road, Oakville

Verner was born at Sheridan, Halton County, and educated at Guelph. In 1856 he went to England to study art. Returning to Toronto he established his first studio in 1862. Like his older contemporary, Paul Kane, Verner travelled through the west, recording the life of the plains Indians and painting the great buffalo herds. An early member of the Ontario Society of Artists, he was later elected to the Royal Canadian Academy. He lived in England after 1880, but returned to Canada on painting trips. Verner is represented in the National Gallery of Canada by several works, including a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald.

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


Location: On the north side of Lakeshore Road, 2 ½ blocks west of Brant Street, Burlington

St. Luke's Church was built in 1834 on land originally patented by Chief Joseph Brant. Consecrated in 1838 by the Right Reverend C.J. Mountain, Anglican Bishop of Quebec, the church was a simple two-storey, frame building, with tower, plain Gothic windows and box pews. St. Luke's first permanent Rector, Reverend Thomas Greene, was appointed the year of the church's consecration. Greene (1809-1878) had been brought to Canada from Ireland in 1836 by Bishop Stewart's Upper Canadian Travelling Mission Fund. Records of his journeys throughout the London District provide invaluable information on life among the early settlers in that area. As the result of extensive alterations, begun in 1893, his original church has been substantially changed.

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


Location: In Cedarvale Park, Main St. S. just south of Maple Ave., at the east
end of the parking area close to the community centre, Georgetown

On July 1, 1923, a group of 50 Armenian boys arrived at this farm site from an orphanage in Corfu, Greece. The 'Georgetown Boys,' as they came to be known, arrived in Canada between 1923 and 1927 - 109 boys in all. The orphans were survivors of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923). Their plight touched the hearts of thousands of Canadians, who raised significant funds and lobbied the Canadian government to bring them here. Under the care and supervision of the Armenian Canadian Relief Fund's Farm and Home Committee, the children lived at Cedarvale Farm located on this property and were taught English and farming skills. By 1928, the orphans were placed with farm families in Southwestern Ontario. As adults, most of the Armenians became Canadian citizens and chose to remain in this country. By providing assistance to non-British Commonwealth refugees, the Armenian Boys' Farm Home was the first humanitarian effort of its kind in Canada.

Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the south side of Church St. just east of Market St., Georgetown

After British officials acquired a block of land from the Mississaugas in 1818, the initial survey of Esquesing Township was undertaken in 1819. A township surveyor, Charles Kennedy, and several of his brothers settled lands located in the Silver Creek Valley. George Kennedy dammed the stream running through his property to establish a sawmill, and later a gristmill. This provided the nucleus of a small settlement, known as "Hungry Hollow." The York to Guelph Road (now Highway 7) opened in 1828, connecting the settlement to the broader economic development of the province. Around 1837, the hamlet became known as Georgetown. In 1856, the Grand Trunk Railway opened its line from Toronto to Sarnia through the community, providing new opportunities for growth. Georgetown was incorporated as a village in 1865 and as a town in 1922. In 1974, Georgetown and much of Esquesing Township amalgamated with Acton and other communities to form the Town of Halton Hills.

Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the left wall just inside the Royal Botanical Gardens Welcome Centre off
Spring Garden Rd., off Plains Road W. east of York Blvd., Burlington

This important botanical garden is distinguished by its first class horticultural collection. Originating in the late 1920s, it developed as a series of discrete gardens and a wildlife conservation area within an urban context. Some of Canada's most talented landscape architects, botanists and plant curators have collaborated on the garden, imparting an overall unity and aesthetic appeal. In 1975, the Royal Botanical Gardens was designated the International Registration Authority for the names of cultivated lilacs in honour of its world-renowned lilac collection.

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