Your home for Genealogy in the Niagara Region in Ontario!
(someone sent this to me. I am sure
it is out of a book somewhere, if you know, could you tell me which one
so i could credit it!! Thanx!)
At Queenston and at Fort Erie, there were ferries between Canada and
the United States. The traveller and writer, John Howison was not impressed
by Queenston in 1821: "The buildings are irregular and inelegant;
Inland, as the townships were surveyed and settlement encouraged through the system of land grants to the pioneer settlers, reservations were not made for village or town locations. Agricultural villages had to emerge against the backcloth of the land and in response to the demands from settlers for service centres and service facilities. They did so, typically at mill sites, like Cook's Mills, and where two or more roads met. Here the village might be named after a nearby resident, like Shipman's Corners, (now St. Catharines), or Moyer's Corners (now Campden), or Beamsville, named after Jacob Beam.
This spawning of numerous agricultural villages may be grouped into sub-categories according to their position within the Peninsula. Stamford and Drummondville were located on the Niagara Portage Road. Cook's Mills began as a small village when a saw-mill and grist-mill were constructed on the banks of Lyons Creek. St. Johns and Effingham took advantage of water power in the Short Hills. With land north of the Niagara Escarpment having a high level of productivity, a series of villages developed along the important wagon road and stage coach route from Queenston to Ancaster, including St. Davids, St. Catharines, Jordan, Beamsville, and Forty Mile Creek (now Grimsby). In the centre of the Peninsula, the triumvirate of Fonthill, Ridgeway and Fenwick were grouped on the road from Niagara to Detroit across the Fonthill kame, while Stevensville and Ridgeway were important in the east and St. Ann's and Smithville were important in the west.
A village in the township of Louth, situated on the Hamilton road, eight miles from St. Catharines. It contains four churches and chapels, viz. -- Episcopal, British Wesleyan, Canadian Wesleyan and Presbyterian. Population about 200. Post office, post every day. Professions and Trades -- Three stores, carding mainline and cloth factory, one tannery, two taverns, one saddler, one cabinet-maker, two wagon-makers, four blacksmiths, two shoemakers, one tailor.
Port Dalhousie and Port Colborne arose at the northern and southern entry points of the Canal, and Port Robinson came into being where the Canal connected with the Welland River. Thorold grew where the Canal crossed the Escarpment, and Allanburg at the end of the Deep Cut, the major construction project on the Canal. Merrittsville (later Welland) was the site of an aqueduct that took the Canal over the Welland River, and Petersburgh (later Stonebridge and Humberstone, and today's Port Colborne) was fostered at a road-crossing point inland from Lake Erie. Dunnville graced the dam on the Grand River, and Stromness and Marshville (later Wainfleet) became villages at strategic points on the line of the Feeder Canal. As the Welland River was also improved, its riparian centres, such as Wellandport and the less well-known Port Davidson, were also stimulated.
With ships, water power, harbours, wharves and sometimes manufacturing activities, these villages took on a different character from agricultural settlements. They were no longer rooted in the land, but on the trade from passing ships. For example, Port Colborne in 1846 is described as: "A village in the Township of Humberstone,... it is a port of entry and has a resident collector of customs. Population about 150". Nearby Stone¬bridge is stated to be "supported almost entirely by works on the Canal".
Railway villages were the next to develop. Lines of track were routed
across the Peninsula in the 1850s and again during the 1870s. Villages
were promoted along the railway lines, as at Bridgeport (Jordan Station)
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