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Lambton County, Ontario Canada Names and Places -S-

Sarnia
The history of Sarnia and vicinity begins with the coming of the first white man, LaRoche Daillon, a Recollett missionary, who visited the Attiwandaron Indians in 1627. These Indians were afterwards called by the French "The Neutrals," and occupied many villages in Western Ontario. One of these villages, called "St. Francis," by the French missionaries, was situated a few miles from Sarnia.
The first white man to pass down the Sainte Claire River, earlier known as the "Otisissippi," (meaning `clear water') was Joliet, (a native born Canadian), about the year 1669. The river was named St. Clair by Father Hennipen in 1670 He was storm bound at the foot of Lake Huron, then known as "Karegnondi," by the Neutrals and as "Canatara" by the Iroquois, and he tells us that there were then three mouths to the river. Point Edward was known as Petagwano and as late as 1770 two channels were still open.

In 1686, Duluth founded Fort "Saint Joseph" at the foot of Lake Huron on the Canadian side and thirteen years before the founding of Detroit. A few years before this LaSalle sailed up the Sainte Claire in a boat which he had constructed above Niagara Falls.

In 1829 the Township of Sarnia was surveyed by the Government and a memo in the notes of the surveyor Roswell Mount, states that on the LaForge farm, where the present post office now stands, there was an orchard at least seventy-five years old and stumps of an older orchard, from which he concluded that the farm had been occupied for one hundred and twenty-five years.

Sarnia was first called "The Rapids," and while as far back as 1835 a town site was surveyed at Corunna, four miles below this city, with the intention of making it the county seat, later development established "The Rapids" (Sarnia) as the county town. At this date there were forty-four taxpayers in the village, there being nine frame houses, four log houses, two brick houses, two taverns and two stores. Previous to this time the inhabitants had become convinced that a change in the name of the village was necessary, and with a pitiful lack of imagination, the English favored the name "Buenos Ayres," and the Scotch "New Glasgow." In 1835, Sir John Colborne, who had been governor of the Island of Guernsey, and then governor of Upper Canada, paid a visit to the Village and at his suggestion, at a village meeting, the name "Port Sarnia" was formally adopted, Sarnia having been the Roman name for the Island of Guernsey.
Sir John Colborne reached the height of military fame, when, as Colonel of the 52nd, one of the regiments comprising the Light Brigade, he charged and broke Napoleon's Old Guard Line at Waterloo. This feat is generally regarded as the turning point of the battle.

In 1890 Sarnia and Port Huron, Mich., were connected with a tunnel under the Sainte Claire River, and at this time, the town became known as "Sarnia Tunnel." In the last few years, however, the word `Tunnel' was officially dropped and the city has since been known as, simply Sarnia.

Steamship and Railway lines give Sarnia easy transportation facilities to all parts of Canada and the United States.

Sarnia Reserve
Comprises in the neighborhood of four thousand acres in the Township of Sarnia, lying immediately south of Sarnia City's southern boundary, and fronting on the St. Clair river. The Indians are Chippewas and number about 280.

This reservation is gradually diminishig in size, portions being surrendered from time to time to industrial plants.

Sarnia Township
Sarnia Township bears its name from the same source as that of the County Town, namely the Roman name for the Island of Guernsey, which was given this section of the county by Sir John Colborne. Its western boundary lying on the St. Clair River probably accounts for this township being the earliest settled part of Western Canada. While the Anglo Saxons began their settlements in this locality in the early thirties, yet there had been a French settlement where Sarnia now stands, a century and a half prior to this. The first municipal organization of the township took place in 1836.

Today Sarnia Township is One of the best developed in the county. The district lying adjacent to the City of Sarnia is divided up into small farms for market gardening, for which its soil is wonderfully adapted and the products of these farms find ready markets in the city and northern ports.

The township was surveyed in 1829 by one Rosswell Mount, and its population in 1921 was 2583 Its area covers about thirty-nine thousand acres.

Seckerton
A post office opened some years ago on Lot 18, Concession 6, Moore, with Thomas Johnston as first postmaster. The post office was moved frequently within the next few years, its first removal being to Lot 13, Concession 7, where William Gray was postmaster. From there it was moved to Lot 21, Concession 7, with D. Laroux as postmaster, and later to Lot 20, Concession 7, with Emanuel Edwards as postmaster.

The name of this post office was given by the Postal Department. Just why is not apparent.
An interesting feature in connection with it is that the salary of the first postmaster was twelve dollars per year.

Shetland
Originally known as Dobbyn's Mills, but on the opening of a post office there, with John Drew as postmaster, it was named Shetland by the Postal Department, after the Shetland Islands. The post office no longer operates, but a store, school, church, flour mill and several homes comprise the village. It is situate on Lot 24, Con. 2, Euphemia Township, and close by the Sydenham river.

Sombra Township
Sombra Township occupies the south westerly corner of Lambton County and was so named by the surveyors from the Spanish word "sombre" meaning shade.

The above surveyors finding it densely wooded to such an extent as to almost exclude the light of day, hence the name.

Its first municipal organization dates in the year 1822. At that time it was united with the Township of Dover in the County of Kent. In 1826 Sombra withdrew from Dover, and St. Clair Township, comprising the present Sombra and Moore, as well as Walpole Island, became a township. Later on it separated from Moore and became a separate Township. It was left with an acreage of seventy-two thousand acres.
In the early days it was a reserve peopled by the Shawnee Indians. The Sydenham river (north branch) traverses the township from north to south. For many years owing to the lack of drainage, this township was slow in development, but in later years it has wonderfully developed into a fine agricultural area, peopled by a hardy industrious population, numbering in 1921, three thousand two hundred and seventy-four souls.

Sombra Village
A village of the township of the same name, situate on the St. Clair River, 6 miles north of Port Lambton. It's name is synonymous with that of the township. It is a thrifty, pleasant village of some 250 people, connected by a ferry service with Marine City in the U. S., and this population is greatly increased in warmer months by those seeking a pleasant summer resort. It is a station on the Pere Marquette Railroad.

Squirrel Island
A small island separated from Walpole Island by the Chematagon Channel, and lying at the south of Walpole, and is practically a part of this island, being under the same Indian Council. It is also peopled solely by Indians.

Stag Island
Isle-aux-Serfs which, on being interpreted from the French, reads Isle of Stags, hence the name Stag Island. In early days our records show, it was a rendezvous for deer, and many interesting tales are related relative to hunting on this island by early explorers and settlers.
It comprises some two hundred acres, the eastern side of which is beautifully wooded, while the western side is cleared.

A spacious dancing pavilion, summer hotel and numerous cottages, are built along its eastern shore line and the constant passing up and down of steamers together with its natural surroundings make it a very pleasant spot for a summer outing.

While apparently in mid-stream of the St. Clair River, it yet belongs to Canada. It lies immediately opposite the Village of Corunna.

Stoney Point
A point projecting itself into the waters of Lake Huron, a short distance above Kettle Point. and so called from its stony surface. The Stoney Point reservation of Chippewa Indians, numbering about forty, occupy the twenty-five hundred and ninety acres lying adjacent to this point.

Sutorville
A post office situated on Lot 14, Concession 13, Township of Brooke, opened in 1891. The first post master was James Davis and the post office bore its name from a Mr. Sutor who owned and operated a stave mill there for some years.

The post office has passed out of existence and an Anglican church alone remains to mark the place which at one time had one or two stores and a stave mill operating.

Sydenham
A river, the two branches of which with their tributaries, meander over the greater part of the centre and southern portion of Lambton County, furnishing practically the natural outlet for this section of the county.

The southern branch takes its rise in Warwick Township, flowing southward where it is joined by Bear Creek which enters the County about the center of Brooke Township's eastern boundary. From there it flows south and east, entering Euphemia Township's northern boundary about the center; wanders in a south easterly course across this township into the Township of Dawn, emerging from the county at the south eastern corner of this last mentioned township. It then follows a winding course across the county of Kent, joining the northern branch at Wallaceburg.

The northern branch of this river also finds its source in the township of Warwick, and joined by other numerous streams or creeks lying in the territory adjacent to the town line between Enniskillen and Moore, flows southward, being swollen by many other little rivulets including Black Creek or Bear Creek; until as it reaches Wilkesport, Sombra Township, it has assumed the proportion of a real river. From there on it flows south and west into the county of Kent and joins the south branch as above stated at Wallaceburg. The now united streams form the parent river, which from this point follows on in its ever varying course, eventually emptying its waters into Lake St. Clair. From the lake as far as Wallaceburg, the river is navigable for moderate sized vessels, and both branches for further distances for small craft.

The river was named after Charles Edward Poulett-Thompson, Governor-General of Canada in 1839 and whose landed title in England was Lord Sydenham.

Sykeston
A post office on Lot 7, Con. 10, Moore, first postmaster Robert Heal. Named Sykeston by Robert Fleck, after the Sykes family who settled in this township, some of whom are still resident in Moore.

Lambton County


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