Photo Gallery #4 : Development of Communities

Growth of communities usually followed the development of mills. Generally a community consisted of some of the following: a mill(s), church, school, general store, hotel and post office.  There were approximately twenty communities in Esquesing Township but some now exist only as the name of a road (Lawson Road), a sign post  (Whaley’s Corners) or a pioneer cemetery (Mansewood).  The following are community photos taken from the EHS archives.

Acton Pioneer Cemetery 1919

The founder of Acton, Rev. Ezra Adams, arrived in town in 1823. One of his family members, Maria Adams started a school in 1826 where Knox Church is now located. Phineas Adams died in 1830 and was the first burial in the area behind the school house in the cemetery in this photo.

Blacksmith Shop

This blacksmith shop was built in 1871 by William Tost on Prince Street, Glen Williams.

Norval Dam – 1912

The earliest settlers in Norval were Alexander McNab and his family in 1820. His brother James built a grist and saw mill on the Credit R.

Ashgrove Methodist Church

Ashgrove Methodist Church on Trafalgar Rd. was built in 1860 and was
closed in 1969. The building was moved to Limehouse and used as a house. The horse sheds can be seen behind the church.

Ballinafad Commercial Hotel – 1910

By 1857 there were three hotels in Ballinafad.

Terra Cotta Post Office – 1958

In 1866 the post office opened with name Salmonville but was renamed Terra Cotta in 1891. According to early settlers ”At spawning time one could fairly walk across the backs of the salmon” on the Credit River.

Ballinafad School House

The log school stood at the corner of Nathaniel Rossell’s lot in the village of Ballinafad where Trafalgar Rd. intersects 32 Sideroad.

Limehouse Station and Lime Kilns

During the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway a long “cut” had to be blasted through Limehouse, earning it the affectionate name of “The Rock.” During the construction of the line, a temporary settlement of two hundred workers and their families was located in the village.

Alliance Paper Mill: Georgetown

The Alliance Paper Mill Company (Domtar) was created in 1928. This was the first all-concrete building in Georgetown, built by J. B. Mackenzie.

Acton Town Hall

A bustling economy resulted in the Acton Town Hall being built by the town fathers in 1882.

Milton Heights Public School – 1945

Milton Heights School, located south of Hwy 401, was part of Esquesing Township until the last few decades.

Esquesing Council Chambers – 1900 (Stewarttown)

The Esquesing Council Chamber at the corner of John St. and Main St., Stewarttown was used between 1879-1924. Stewarttown was known as the “capital of Esquesing Township” for more than 140 years and claims to be the oldest village in the township. The booming village of Stewarttown quickly lost its importance after 1856 when the railway opened through Acton and Georgetown.

Mansewood cemetery on the corner of 3rd Line and 5th Sideroad