PHS Research

Township of Puslinch Crest

As part of our ongoing mandate to not only preserve our heritage and history but also to make it accessible to the public we have created this online research portal. Below you will find a wealth of information on the history of Puslinch categorized for easy search. Simply choose a topic below to begin your search.

Rural townships were divided into school sections when public education first began in the mid-nineteenth century. Each area soon became a community of its own and people in Puslinch would say, for example, “We’re from Badenoch.” Immediately other residents would know that they lived in southeast Puslinch. The school sections in the Township were numbered S.S. 1 to 12.

In 2015 the Puslinch Historical Society offered public viewings of their compilation, The Communities in Puslinch. This was presented over 3 evenings, with four of the twelve school districts offered each night.

There have been many requests to see this presentation by people who were unable to attend, so it was decided to post the document on our website. Since the files are mostly pictures – making them large files to download and view – the complete file has been divided into four parts.

Donald McLean

2011 P.H.S. Spirit Walk, Crown Cemetery

by Lois McLean, a direct descendant

In 1831, Donald McLean and Peter Grant came to Crooks' Hollow [now known as Greensville] and worked the winter for Adam Crooks.

Wishing to acquire land for themselves and their families from Scotland, they went north via Galt to Elora. Here they paid an Indian a penny to take them across the river, but they thought it was too far back.

They came south along Brock Road, which was just an oxen trail, known as the Aboukir trail, until they arrived at Kelly's Hotel on the town line between Flamborough and Puslinch. Here they met 2 woodchoppers named Nicoll; who gave a good account of the country in the vicinity.

Donald picked lots 31 front and rear of conc. 9 and Peter chose lots 29 and 30 rear conc. 8. Peter also chose lot 31 rear conc. 8 for his nephew John Clark, Jr. They also chose lot 32 rear conc. 8 for Mr. & Mrs. McBain. They erected a shanty on the McLean lot, where Mrs. McBain kept house for them.

In 1832 they were able to plant a small patch of wheat. In 1833, the McLean, Clark and Kennedy families came from Scotland. Donald gave lot 31 front conc. 9 to his father Peter and took lot 31 rear conc. 9 for himself.

The McLean boys worked together and cleared several farms. They were strong, powerful, active men and excelled at chopping.

Donald was a man of business ability, but never held or sought office. In religion he was Presbyterian and in politics Liberal. He married Margaret Cameron of East Flamborough and they had 5 children.

Mrs. D. R, Clark [nee Margaret McLean], granddaughter of Donald, told this story to Mrs. Donald McLean [ great granddaughter of Donald.]:

"My grandfather was born in Badenoch, district of Inverness shire, Scotland in 1806.

He came to Canada in 1831 and in 1832 he took up 200 acres on Conc. 9 in Puslinch, known locally as Badenoch.

He had to take the wheat to Crooks' Hollow to be ground into flour. This he did by cutting down a small tree, placing the bags on the branches and using the oxen to pull it. The axe was always taken along so when the tree wore out another could be cut and away they went. All this done in a day."

We who now have our bread sliced and placed on our kitchen table will find this hard to imagine. It was on one of these trips that he came upon a shanty in the bush on the 14th concession of East Flamborough. As he was passing, he noticed a lady busy ironing. It must have meant something to him, because this encounter was the beginning of their courtship. Her name was Margaret Cameron. Because they came from different shires, their language was different. However their courtship was carried out in Gaelic. It is said that the Gaelic language has more love words or endearment terms than any other language.

They married in 1840. After 11 years of married life, Grandfather died at 45 years of age. The farm was worked on shares for 3 years, until my father Peter, age 14, took charge and worked the farm until his death.

On Sundays, my grandmother's family walked from East Flamborough to church at Duffs. They would carry their shoes until they were almost to the church. Then after the service the shoes came off again.

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Contact Us


29 Brock Road South
Aberfoyle, Ontario


Puslinch Historical Society
c/o Puslinch Library
29 Brock Road South
Puslinch, ON N0B 2J0

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This is the work of volunteers in the community.
If using any of the content, please acknowledge the Puslinch Historical Society as the source of the material.