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Victoria County, Ontario Canada Centennial History

Author's Preface

This history has been appearing serially through the Lindsay "Watchman Warder" for the past eleven months and is now issued in book form for the first time. The occasion for its preparation is, of course, the one hundredth anniversary of the opening up of Victoria county. Read more..

Table Of Contents

 Introductory Outline

A New Domain and a Virile Race

A Long Rough Journey From Old to New

The Work of Settlement in the Wilderness

The Steady Changes Wrought With Time

An Early Tragedy in Ops Township

How Grist Mills Grew to Villages

The Beginnings of the Trent Canal

The First One-third Century a Pioneer Era

The Establishment of Municipal Institutions

The Second One-third Century a Railway Era

The Development of the Northern Townships

Victoria County Reaches Maturity in 1861

Wardens of Victoria 1864-1921

Canada, Also Reaches Higher Unity

Final One-third Century, a Modern Era

 The Southern Townships

The Beginnings of Emily Township

The Robinson Immigration

The Mill Village of Omemee

First Village Council

The Municipal History of Emily

The Township of Mariposa

First Township Council

A Trio of County Villages

A Section on Recent Statistics

The Township of Ops

Pioneers in Southwest Ops

The Eastern Concessions

South and Center

Some Annals of the Scugog

Forgotten Highways of Long Ago

Officials and Figures

First Township Council

The Township of Eldon

Survey and Settlement

Roads and Railroads

First Township Council

The Early Kirk in Eldon





The Township of Fenelon

Early Settlements in Fenelon

The Village at the Falls

First Village Council

Farm Villages and Summer Villages


Sturgeon Point

Population and Assessment

The Township of Verulam

Survey by John Houston in 1831

First Settlers Hunter and Bell

The Mill Village of Bobcaygeon

Bobcaygeon Since Incorporation

First Council

Slow Development of Verulam

Some Verulam Hamlets



Ancona Point

An Agricultural Transformation

Comparisons and Contrasts

Rise of Dairying

Cheese Factories

Butter Manufactories

Seven Cheese Factories

Figures of Prosperity

Factors in Agricultural Development

The Development of Machinery

Improvement of Transportation

Agriculture Benefits From Science

New Forms of Cooperation

The Rise of Agricultural Societies

Victoria County Agricultural Society

Other Societies

History of the Lindsay Central Exhibition

The Grangers and the U. F. O.

The Northern Townships

The Beginnings of Baxley

A Phantom Village

Where the Sea Gulls Nested

The City of Peace

Hell's Half Acre

Features of Somerville Township

A Second Generation of Pioneers

Somerville's Villages

Outline of Laxton Township

The Tamarack Plains of Carden

Lakes in the Digby Granite

The Wilderness of Longford

Economics of North Victoria

Not a Mining Country

Farming a Precarious Calling

An Era of Lumbering Now Past

Reforestration Needed

A Resort for Recreation


Town on Lindsay

Early Settlers

The Millers of the Scugog

The Survey of the Townsite

Purdy's Mills in the Thirties

A Period of Invasions

From Village to Town

Municipal Officials

Scourge of Fire

Further Threats of Fire

Primitive Conditions of Life

Growth in Civic Stature

Summary of Industrial Development

Engaged in Lumbering

Miscellaneous Industries

Commercial Lindsay

Family Business

The Banks of Lindsay

Delayed Civic Improvements

Lindsay's Lighting System

Search for a Water Supply

Sewage System Long Delayed

Summary of Public Utilities

The Streets of Lindsay

Shelter for the Aged

Mail and Music

A Few Municipal Statistics

The Record of the Press

Half Century of Sport

The Record of the Rocks

Norland on the Pacific Coast of Greenland

The Great Limestone Cliff

Lindsay Under a Mile of Ice

Ancient Niagara River at Fenelon

Annals of the Red Man

Who These Ancient Villagers Were

The First White Man in Victoria

The Downfall of the Huron

The Coming of the Mississaga

The Days of Mississaga Settlement

The Surrender of the Soil

Camp Sites in Victoria County

Verulam Township

Fenelon Township

Eldon Township

Bexley Township

Somerville Township

Laxton Township

Digby Township

Carden Township

Strange Works and Stranger Ways

Kawartha Navigation

A Season of Surveys

Further Construction in the Thirties

Progress Under Board of Works

Development of Lumbering

Revival of Canal Project

Steamboats of Victoria County

Future of Trent Valley Canal

Spinning the Railway Web

The First Train to Lindsay

Toronto and Nipissing Railway

Whitby and Lindsay Railway

The Victoria Railway

The Blight of Bonuses

The Battle of the Barricade

George A. Cox Achieves Amalgamation

Irondale, Bancroft, and Ottawa Ry.

Hope Deferred Maketh Bobcaygeon Sick

A Line for Manitoba Wheat


A Century of Politics

The U. C. House of Assembly, 1821-41

Politics Following the Act of Union

Rise of Political Parties

Circumstances Leading to Confederation

Basis of Confederation

Victoria County Federal Politics

Victoria County Provincial Politics

Senators From Victoria

A Schoolhouse Revolution

General History of Education in Ontario

Administration of School System

Public School System Develops

Development of Secondary Schools

Libraries and Technical Education

Elementary Schools in Victoria

Agricultural Instruction

Secondary Education in Victoria

Public Libraries in Victoria

Technical School Founded

Present Needs of our Schools

Military Annals of Victoria County, Ontario, Canada

Early Militia Organization in Canada

Local Militia in 1828 and 1839

4th Regiment of Durham Militia, Personnel of the Regimental Staff

5th Regiment of Durham Militia, Personnel of the Regimental Staff

Changes in 1847 and in 1851

Effects of the Trent Affair, 1861

The Fenian Raids Stimulate Enlistment

History of the 45th Regiment

The Saskatchewan Rebellion, 1885

Personnel of the 45th detachment from Lindsay and the surrounding district

Lindsay Soldiers Lead Batoche Charge

The Victoria County Rifle Association

Events Leading up to Boer War

The Sending of Canadian Troops

The Progress of the War

Outbreak of World War in 1914

Victoria County Enlistments

Victoria County Soldier Dead

List of Victoria County War Dead

A Brief Summary, Beginning from 1914

Canadian Share in War in 1915

Canadian Share in War in 1916

The War's Progress in 1917

The Closing Campaigns in 1918

Pages of Parish History

Catholic Church

History of St. Mary's Church, Lindsay

First Resident Priest of Lindsay

Father Chisholm Plans New Church

A Famous Apostle of Temperance

Methodist Church

The First Resident Methodist Minister

1854 to 1868, Senior Incumbents

A Season of Amalgamation

Pastors of the Cambridge Street Church

East Ward Methodist Church

Pastors 1891-1917

Presbyterianism in Lindsay

The Coming of Disruption

The Church Reunited Once More

Church of England

Curates of Church

Baptist Church

Pastors 1893-1920

The Salvation Army

Cemeteries of Lindsay

Research into Pioneer Survival

Biographies from Past and Present

Its chief purposes are four in number:
(1) to place on record the local details of pioneer life that are fast passing into oblivion.
(2) to instruct the present generation of school children in the origins and development of the social system in which they live.
(3) to show that the form which our county's development has taken has been largely determined by physio-graphical, racial, social, and economic forces.
(4) to demonstrate how we may, after a scientific study of these forces, plan for the evolution of a higher economic and social order.

The difficulties of the work have been prodigious. A Victoria County Historical Society, formed twenty years ago for a similar purpose, found the field so sterile that it disbanded, leaving no records behind. Under such circumstances, I have had to dig deep. The Dominion Archives at Ottawa and the Crown Lands Department at Toronto have been systematically ransacked; libraries at Kingston, Peterborough, Lindsay, and Toronto have been consulted; the municipal records of the county have been thumbed over; scores of interviews have been secured with old and prominent citizens; and complete local press files for 47 years have been read through in their entirety. To provide a proper background of general history, over one hundred standard works on history, economics, and sociology have been studied. Every page of the book represents the results of laborious and incessant research.

General readers may perhaps be interested in the following "background" sketches,. which, to the best of my knowledge, are not to be found anywhere else in printed form.
(1) The review of Trent Canal construction, in Chapter IX.
(2) The sketch, in Chapter XII, of the development of the Ontario school system.
(3) The history of the early Canadian militia, in Chapter XIII.
(4) The condensed outlines of Canadian military campaigns, in Chapter XIII.

Victoria County, Ontario Canada Centennial History, Watson Kirkconnell M.A., 1921

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