Trafalgar Township Historical Society

“Recognizing, documenting, educating and celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of North Oakville,Trafalgar Township”

Early Ward 5

Ward 5

Please note that this is not a full history of Trafalgar Township but only a small section of it. Ward 5 is only about one quarter of the original Trafalgar Township. It is the area north of the QEW (formerly Lower Middle Road) and south of Lower Baseline Road. It falls between The Sixteen Mile Creek to the West and Trafalgar Road (formerly 7th Line) to the east). Please feel free to email us information to broaden this history so we can include all of Trafalgar Twp. and have a comprehensive history. We are interested in information on villages, families, buildings, schools, cemeteries etc. – please contact us with any additions or corrections.

The Original Residents

The Iroquois Indians were the sole occupants of the land by 1649. Early maps show our area as hunting grounds for the Northern Iroquois. In the early 1700’s the Iroquois left the area and their place was taken by the Chippewa Indians of the Algonquin Nation. A branch of the Chippewa’s, the Mississaugas occupied the north shore of Lake Ontario. There was an early road that had been used for ages by the Indians. It was a link in the long trail leading from Quebec to New Orleans. In Trafalgar Township the trail ran at the foot of the low ridge a mile from the lake. This ridge was known as the Red Hill. The ridge is what was left of the shore cliff of Lake Ontario’s predecessor known to geologists as Lake Iroquois. In Ward 5 you can still see the ridge today. It is just north of Oakville Place Mall and runs alongside Leighland Avenue. Indians travelled along this route as it was gravelly, level and dry. This route was also taken by French couriers and later by the British during winter when navigation on the lake was not possible. It is shown on numerous early maps.

The land was sold to the government on 12 Sep 1806 according to the signed documents, however the first settlers signed up for their land July 10, 1806.

Early Settlement

Halton County was late in being settled because the land still belonged to the Mississauga’s. Dundas Street was laid out as a trail in 1793, but it was not until 1806 that it was surveyed into the regulation 66 foot wide roadway. On Septmeber 6, 1806 the deed of conveyance and release for the land purchased from the MIssissauga Indians for the use of His Majesty in the Home District was transmitted to the Lieutenant Governor. The concession roads of the 1806 survey, and the line roads that ran perpendicular to them, blocked out the township in areas a mile and a quarter square with five 200 acre lots to a square; between every five lots ran a line road. The 7th line (present day Trafalgar Rd.) situated between lots 12 and 13 does not appear on the survey.

In July 1806 the first settlers arrived. They included the following families Kaittings, Freemans, Posts, Biggars, Mulhollands, Kenneys, Chisholms, Thompsons, Munns, Trowbriges, Shannons and Lamberts. Early settlers in Trafalgar paid about seven shillings and 6 pence per acre. The settlers were required to clear 5 acres, fence in their lots and build a house. The settlers who had land bordering a road had to clear the trees within 100 feet of the road and also “make improvement” on the road itself. Some settlers in Trafalgar Twp. had completed these duties by January 1808.

Dundas Street was almost impossible to traverse except on foot or horseback. The empty Clergy reserve land along the highway meant there was no one on that land to clear out the stumps in the road. Because of the problems these lots caused, the clergy reserves were moved to more remote areas. In 1817 Robert Gourlay met with the inhabitants of Trafalgar Twp. at the house of Daniel Munn to ask questions of the state of the Township. The inhabitants shared that the land is level, the top soil clay mixed with loam and a little gravel. Under that is red clay. The timber was red and white Oak, large white pine, beech, sugar maple and soft maple, black as well as white Ash, basswood, hickory, elm, white and red Hemlock, Ironwood, Chestnut, some Birch, asp, some cedar, some Butternut. The Timber is mostly large and stands thick on the land. Sleighing lasts about three months from Jan 1 to the end of March. There was between 3 and 4000 acres of land for sale in the Township. A great number of the farmers when they first settled had little more than a cow, a yoke of oxen, a log chain and an axe.

Present day Ward 5 was located first in the Home District until 1816 , then in the Gore District and in 1849 Halton County. Trafalgar Twp. had three hamlets– Munn’s Corners, Posts’ Corners and Sixteen Hollow. In 1845 it was decided that districts were too large an area to govern and smaller Township councils were elected. An election was held at Post’s Inn. In 1849 the Districts were divided up into smaller Counties. In the 1960’s Trafalgar Township ceased to exist and became part of the municipality of Oakville. In 1831 7th line (now called Trafalgar Road) was built and 6th Line was improved. 7th Line was needed so the new settlers in moving in above present day Lower Baseline Road could travel down to Oakville.

On Dec 7, 1837 William Lyon Mackenzie made his historic flight following the skirmish at Montgomery’s Tavern. The Montgomery’s Tavern connected with the Rebellion was burned to the ground during the Rebellion and was located on the west side of Yonge Street near Eglinton Avenue. John Montgomery had his tavern leased to a John Linfoot at the time that it was destroyed in 1837. Mackenzie fled west along Dundas in a wagon past Post’s Corners and Munn’s Corners towards Sixteen Hollow and The Sixteen Mile Creek. On being hotly pursued he jumped out of the wagon before reaching the bridge and took to the woods. He later ended up crossing the sixteen holding his clothes above his head. Halton legend says after crossing the creek he found shelter at Philip Trillers. Triller was on the east bank but the Triller family had intermarried with the Bucks and Howells who were on the west bank.

By 1839 the traffic coming down to Oakville’s port from the north was so heavy that it was decided to improve the 7th Line by “planking” the road from Oakville to Post’s Corners. The residents had wated the road planked all the way to Owen Sound but only got the Government to agree to the 4 miles between Oakville and Post’s Corners. In 1850 elections were held for the Municipality of the Township of Trafalgar. The township was divided into wards and elections were held at local Inns.

In the May 11, 1841census of Trafalgar Twp. peoples native country was listed. Here is the breakdown… Native Of USA 306, Europe 15, Canada of British Origin 2,584, Canada of French Origin 32, Scotland 127, Ireland 964, England 467.

In 1850 the 7th Line (Trafalgar Rd.) was planked for 17 miles from the lake. Toll booths were placed every few miles to cover the cost of maintenance. The booth at Dundas & Trafalgar was operated by Donald Campbell.

In 1850 the 7th Line (Trafalgar Rd.) was planked for 17 miles from the lake. Toll booths were placed every few miles to cover the cost of maintenance. The booth at Dundas & Trafalgar was operated by Donald Campbell.

The Mail

Dundas became the main east west thoroughfare and a mail service was instituted between Toronto and Dundas. Early on the mail was delivered on horseback. In 1816 a stage coach service was started along Dundas between York (Toronto) and Dundas. The stage stopped at Post’s Corners. The driver of the coach put the mail bags under his seat or on top of the coach. The coaches were adorned with the King’s Coat of Arms. Upon reaching a post office the driver blew a blast on his horn and threw the mailbag off the stage. The postmaster emptied the bag, took out what was addressed to his district and put the rest back, along with outgoing mail from his office. At Post’s Corners there was a twenty minute delay while the horses were changed over. The receiver paid for the letters when they arrived and because of the cost some pioneers were unable to get their mail. A letter from England would take about 6 months to arrive in Halton Co.

The Trafalgar Post office was opened in 1822 at 9th line in the store kept by Henry Proudfoot. It was the first post office in Halton County and the only post office between York and Dundas. The office was later moved to Post’s Corners with the opening of 7th line (Trafalgar Rd.) to the north. It was located on the north-west corner of Trafalgar and Dundas and was purchased by James Applebe. In 1833 the mail was delivered along the Lakeshore and a Duncan McColl was the post-boy on horseback who for years carried the mail up to Post’s Corners Post Office. In about 1908 Jim Curry of Milton started a rural mail service and delivered to people’s homes.

Population

  • 1806      Ward 5 Area        33 Landowners
  • 1817      Trafalgar Twp. (all of Oakville and part of Milton)      548
  • 1841      Trafalgar Twp. (all of Oakville and part of Milton)      4590 (790 homes inhabited)
  • 1850      Trafalgar Twp. (all of Oakville and part of Milton)      4513
  • 1858      Ward 5 area         54 landowners
  • 1871      Trafalgar Twp.     5,027
  • 1877      Ward 5 Area        71 Landowners
  • 1891      Trafalgar Twp.      4,153
  • 1911      Trafalgar Twp.      3968
  • 1931      Trafalgar Twp.      4,442
  • 1951      Trafalgar Twp.      8118
  • 1961      Trafalgar Twp.     31,743
  • 1967      Ward 5  4,864
  • 1977      Ward 5  10,034
  • 1988      Ward 5  17,707
  • 1996      Ward 5  26,808
  • 1996      All of Oakville   128,015
  • 2001      Ward 5 est.          33,833

Some Signatories: Conditions of Settlement Form Jul 10 1806

  • Ezekiel Post – lot 7 north of Dundas 28 Feb 1807 200 acres completed Settlement duties 2 Jan 1808 (He was east of Trafalgar Rd.)
  • Abraham Yuill – lot 13 1 Con N Dundas 200acres
  • James Thomson – lot 14 1 con N. Dundas 200acres
  • Daniel Munn – lot 15 1 Con S. Dundas 200 acres completed 2 Jan 1808
  • David & Mary Trowbridge – lot 17 1 Con S. Dundas & N. Dundas 400 acres
  • Mary Corknil – lot 18 1 Con S. Dundas 200acres
  • Charles Bigger – lot 19 1 Con N. Dundas 200 acres completed 12 Jul 1808
  • William Corber – lot 20 1 Con N. Dundas 100 acres
  • Daniel Shannon – lot 20 1 Con S. Dundas 200 acres completed Feb 2 1808
  • Fanny Lambert – lot 22 Con 2 N. Dundas 200 acres completed 8 Apr 1808

Ward 5 Cemeteries

Munn’s Cemetery –Munns was secured in 1808 and is about 1/4 acre on s side of Dundas Street and Sixth Line. It used to part of the Munn’s family farm which consisted of 200 acres. They provided this section for burial property. The farm stayed in the name of the Munn’s family until the time it was sold to Senator Hayes in 1983. Munn’s is owned and operated by the corporation of the town of Oakville. Here are a few of the individuals buried there. Ephraim Post born Hebron, Conn., Apr 26, 1776 d. Aug 7 1851 Elizabeth, wife of Ephraim Post, born Sturbridge, mass. March 17, 1784 d. May 26 1851 Mehetable d/o E & E Post d. Nov 15 1837 in the 21st year of her age. Hiram Post d. Aug 23, 1860 age 57yrs Jane Sibles, wife of Hiram Post, born Pebles, Scotland, Jan 16, 1812 d. Nov 10, 1854 Emily, wife of Peter D. Kenney and d/o Hiram & Jane Post, d. Mar 13 1862 age 27 yrs 4 mos 15 days Elizabeth Lyon, youngest daughter of Hiram & Jane Post, d. Jan 16, 1855 age 5 yrs 5 mos 13 days Ephraim Post 1823- 31 Aug 1883 age 60 yrs ; his wife Jane Miles 1825-10 Mar 1867 Herbert E. Post second son of Ephraim & Jane Post d. 6 May 1877 age 20 yrs 24 days

Knox Sixteen – Knox Sixteen is on the south side of Dundas and is located behind the Knox Sixteen church. It is owned and operated by the church.

Trafalgar Cemetery – Trafalgar cemetery. was established in 1958 by Trafalgar Twp at that time and under the auspices of the Oakville cemetery board and now maintained by the Parks and recreation dept. It is approx. 60 acres in total. It is owned & operated by the corporation of the town of Oakville

Early Churches

Most of the people living in Trafalgar Township were Methodists. The Methodists had two itinerant saddlebag preachers in Trafalgar by 1817. At a later date Trafalgar became part of a circuit. Two preachers, each had thirty appointments in the four weeks it took to cover the territory. They had 400 people under their pastoral care.

Munn’s Church – At Munn`s corners at the 6th Line a congregation met in the schoolhouse and later in a church building.

Knox Sixteen – Knox shared a minister with the Oakville Presbyterian Congregation. Rev. Robert Murray until 1842. James Nisbet in 1845. Rev Nisbet made 120 pounds per annum.

Early Schools

From a 1855 Report of the Local Superintendent lists three schools for Postville. No 3, 4 and 9.

Two were established in 1824 and one in 1847. These were the only schools located in present day Ward 5. The Post’s Corners School either SS no 4 or SS No 9 was located on the north east corner of Dundas & Trafalgar. It was moved to Burnamthorpe near Sniders Corners and still stands there today. There was a school called Munn’s Corners S.S. No 3 established in 1824 and that was located at Munn’s Corners on the north east corner of Dundas and Sixth Line. The 1877 Historical Atlas lists Robert A Fleming as the teacher for SS No 3 Postville. He came to Trafalgar in 1870. It is not yet known were the third school was located.

In 1841 a permanent school fund was established in each township. The Trafalgar Twp. Council was responsible for raising through taxation a money equivalent to the government grant for the support of its schools. In addition to the tax a school fee of 1s 3 d per month was levied on each child of school age whether they were attending school or not. For the first time schools in the township had a permanent source of income.

In 1867 The Munn’s school No 3 with teacher James Baker and Palermo school No 2 with teacher Robert Coates visited Sniders Corners School. The following children from Munn’s and Palermo signed their names in the registry. Miss Albertson x2, David W. Albertson, George Albertson, Sarah Albertson, Thomas Archer, Nancy Barber, Maggie Bigger, Muriel Buchanan, Arthur Conover, Edwin Culham, Summer Featherson, David Fish, Hiram Fish, Miss Gilldand, James Gillelan, Miss Gilly, Robert Hall, Sarah Hall, Miss King x2, Obadiah W. King, H.S.P.K. Larresser, Cyrus Leaurcuer, Mary Jane Lyons, Catherine Manly, Miss Mayne, James Munn, Joseph Munn, Millicent Munn, John Pickering, Harry Post, Josephine Post, Euicy Richardson, Joseph Secord, Edwin H Secord B.B.H., Albert Shain, E.R. Shain, Miss Snider, Maggie Snider, Sarah Snider, Miss Sproule x2, John Tobin, Samuel Williamson, James WInsson Moms? – Mrs. Connover, Mrs. Henderson, Mrs. Albertson

Open Archives

We host our Open House at the heritage Palermo School House. Check the calendar below for the next scheduled day.

Meet our archivist, search our archives, research township family history or just come to reminisce. You’ll never know who will show up with a fascinating new piece of local history.

Admission FREE but voluntary donations are welcome.

Upcoming Events

Sep
20
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Sep 20 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
3:30 pm Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Sep 20 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
 
Sep
28
Sat
10:00 am Family Heritage Fair @ Palermo School House
Family Heritage Fair @ Palermo School House
Sep 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Trafalgar Township Historical Society-Family Heritage Fair is part of Doors Open Oakville. Join us to celebrate area history. Special guests and exhibits. Featured is the one-room schoolhouse. Share your documents,[...]
Oct
18
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
Oct
26
Sat
10:00 am 3rd Annual Oakville Family Histo... @ Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre
3rd Annual Oakville Family Histo... @ Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre
Oct 26 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
October is Family History Month, and Oakville Public Library’s Family History Fair returns on October 26! Drop in to visit with historical and genealogical groups, family history vendors, or attend[...]
Nov
15
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Nov 15 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
3:30 pm Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Nov 15 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm