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.

Concession 3,
Front

Lot 7

About 1836 Hugh Collins settled lot 7, con 3 front. Elias Erb in 1858 - c 1867 resident 1885 W. Young. There is evidence that Duncan McPherson of Rear Gore, Pt .lot 27, died at the home of his son-in-law, John McLaren, lot 7 on the 3rd concession of Puslinch July 20, 1905 1906 owned by John Fyfe with lot 8 1950 S. Scott

Lot 8

Thomas Fyfe 1825-1901 and his wife Eliza Oak were on this property 1867, 1885; Eliza Oak. Fyfe was born in Tyrone Co. Ireland in 1830. Her parents emigrated to America in 1831, and took up land in Puslinch in 1834. Her father paid 18s.6d per acre for his farm. Mr. and Mrs. Fyfe were married in 1852 and started life together on the farm which is still the homestead. The only neighbour they had in 1834 was the late Neil Holm, who occupied no.6 on the 3rd concession. Once, her father and mother coming home at night from Betsy McGinnis' wedding, lost track of the blazes, and could not find their way. They had to stay in the bush all night. When daylight came they found close by, the remains of a deer newly killed by wolves. Thomas and Eliza’s daughter Hannah lived most of her life at home. Her brother, John Fyfe 1863-1926 m. Ruthetta Bond took over the farm by 1906 and also had lot 7.Their children were Eleanor m Harry Brazier and Albert. John died in 1926, and his widow moved to Galt with the children.

Lot 9

J. Little with the rear lot too.

Lot 10

Robert Little c1799-1883 1867 Resident; and his brother James of Tyrone, Ireland, came to Kingston and then to this lot in 1839. James d. unmarried. Robert 1867 Resident m. Hannah Oke in Ireland. Issue: William d.c1878-1952 unmarried, Hannah (Halley) 1842-1880, Joseph c1837-1905 lived on lot 9, Dr. John, Alexander, MB, Robert m Alice Bond and farmed in Puslinch, Rev. James who had a son Dr. George Albert who helped in Sunday school when in community, and Ella (Eleanor) 1873-1916 who trained as a nurse in N.Y. city, and married Thomas Robertson c1870-1921 and left an only child, Thomas who lived in Hespeler. Halley was loved by all for giving her help so cheerfully in times of sickness and doing what she could to make others happy. Robert settled on Rear lot 10, con 2. These two brothers were of sterling quality and did much to forward the development of the section and township, serving as school trustees and councillors. Joseph son of Robt Sr. inherited the homestead and lived his entire life there. Was councillor, Bd of Health, Ag Society etc. m. Elizabeth Jacobs Issue: Martha, Eliza d. age 66, and John R. In 1950 John, still living on the original homestead, and having no direct heirs, gave the farm to the County of Wellington to be reforested and dedicated to memory of the first settlers and pioneers of this section.

Lot 10C

Hutchinson in 1858; James Coleman in 1875 J. Little in 1906 1923 R. Vipond.

Lot 11

Wm. Evans 1817-1896 m. Mary Kidd age 29 in 1851. Alfred age 1 & John age 5 (1847-1922) was on the farm in 1875; Alfred in 1906 Family of Wm age 6: Addie 1853-1902; Mary Jane 1854-1924 m John Taylor . William Fenton Evans acquired this from the Crown in 1857. William Evans left it in his will to David Evans, his son, subject to conditions. In 1904, April 28, David Evans to Alfred Evans, his brother for $2,000.00. The indenture of sale from David Evans to Alfred Evans (1904) is signed by David Evans and his wife Alicamon Evans. 1923 Robert S. Evans was a son of Alfred. He d 1968. Wife Anne Shantz, and they lived on the Shantz farm. Children of Alfred and Margaret Porter Evans were Frederick who went Melford SK, Minnie (Mrs. Grier) of Owen Sound, Edith m Ira Sherk. And they were Missionaries in Nigeria. George went to Melfort, SK. Bertha m Christopher Bond, of Puslinch. Children: Edwin A., Elizabeth, Frederick. Percy m Bella Evans, and their daughter was Janet. David Arthur m Isabella Jane Stewart. Children: Ruth Elizabeth (Mrs. Benjamin Gowing), Hamilton, Ont.; James Allan Stewart m Eleanor Lynn Ward, Vancouver; Margaret , Toronto. James, died 1924 Kenneth m Greta Children: Marjorie, Lawrence, Edith. Robert m Anna Shantz. Children: Edwin, Marion, Margaret, Alfred, Shirley, Martin. This lot was bought by Arthur Evans in 1946 from the Alfred Evans estate.

Lot 12

John Hammersley died in 1851 at 30 yrs of age. His widow Janet, from Scotland, age 29 continued on the farm with family Catherine age 7, Robert age 5, Sarah age 4 and Elizabella age 2 and probably a hired man. By 1871 Robert Hammersly and his mother 1871 & 1885 were named as joint owners.

Lot 13

1867 resident, James Aikens was here William J. Aitkens 1871 Nov 4, 1858-1933), there in 1885. Born on the third concession, son of James Aikens & Nancy Henry, he was a contractor. Henrietta Paddock 1863-1896 was his first wife and her sister, Caroline his second wife and stepmother of Thomas & James 1881-1972 of R2 Hespeler. James had three sons, James 1881-1972 at home, Thomas of Puslinch, Albert of Detroit, one daughter, Adabelle, Mrs. Alex Smith, Galt. Three sisters, Sarah Mrs. John Kellerman, Martha, Mrs. William Brown, Guelph, and Mrs. Frank Howard of Hamilton. Thomas Henry Aikens Aug 29 1860 - 1926 husband of Adelaide Paddock March 23 1868- Dec 9, 1952 Their children Mabel Gertrude 1891-1919 and James Wilson 1889-1916 at The Somme Descendants of the family still live on the farm. This family gave its name to the Post Office of Aikensville which existed briefly, across the road, before rural delivery began in 1913.

Lot 14

Sam Appleby; a native of Ireland, who in 1851 was the 23-year old brother of James and Nancy Appelby and he was associated with this lot. John Kinsella in 1867. Martin Bolger 1923. Born at Paisley Block, Martin Bolger farmed nearly all is life in the Puslinch area. His parents, Martin and Mary O’Sullivan Bolger may have brought him and William to Puslinch with others of their family of ten, most of whom went to the US. Martin Jr.m in 1924 to Margaret Coffey. His family was six daughters, Rosemary, Elinor Loreen, Alma, Joan and Betty Ann and two sons, Martin and Stanley.

Lot 15

Pioneered by Alexander McCormick (son of John on lot 16) and wife Catherine McDonald who raised Catherine’s niece, Janet McCormick who m James McLean. Alexander died 1878, leaving his farm lot 15, front conc 3 in trust to executors Peter Stewart, Alex McCaig and Peter Gilchrist, for his wife Catherine until the end of David Scott's tenancy when the farm shall be sold. Then $2000 to adopted daughter Janet McLean and bequests to his brother Angus, sister Janet, brother Archibald's son John. Not more than $300 to be spent on his monument in Killean and not more than $35 for a stone for his mother. 1867 resident; Alex McCormick; 1875 John McCormick 1885 John Mason; 1906 Alexander Kean. John Kinsella; 1923 William Bolger d March 8, 1969 m Amanda d March 11, 1982 Their only child was Helen.

Lot 16

Pioneered by John McCormick & wife Jane Wilkinson, 7 sons Neil (1808-1884), William (1810-1865), John (1812-1885), Archibald (1816-c1855) Alexander (c1821-1878) Angus (1826-1893) and daughter Janet 1821-1897) m John Thomson. Their son John continued on the farm with wife Catherine, his mother, and children John age 7 in 1851, and Jane age 5. John Jr. m Barbara Hogg. When he died in 1919; the farm was then purchased by his sister Janet’s husband William Paddock, followed by their son George Paddock, and his nephew, the late Frank Paddock, who was born in the house on this farm. John W. Gilchrist lived in the house for many years prior to 1938 when he moved to Crieff.

Lot 17

Alexander McCaig b. 1823 in Cape Breton, N.S. m Janet Cochrane in 1844 and pioneered lot 17 F concession 3. His family consisted of 3 sons, Donald, Gilbert, and Alex, all who went to the northwest, and 3 daughters, Mrs. Peter Clark, Mary, Mrs. Patrick Walsh, Mrs. Hugh McLean and Jessie. The Walsh's dau Janet m Donald McIntyre; their son Gilbert m Edith Mulrooney and their son Michael n Marcie Watson. Edith Mulrooney was a granddaughter of Ellen Lynch and Patrick Phelan. The sons owned the farm after their father died, then sold it in 1875 to James Patterson, father of Jack. He had it for 5 years, and 1880 sold to Angus McPherson; then Donald McCaig, nephew of Alexander, (1858 - 1936), m. Mary McPherson bought in 1890 Their son Jim and wife Lila McFarlane rented it in 1923 and bought it in 1932. Their son Donald m Beatrice Winer continued. In 1967 this was the only centennial farm in the section. Donald’s son Neil m. Janice Bell continue to farm here as they raise their young family.

Lot 18, 19

Alexander McKay, native of Loch Broom [Parish of Urray in Ross & Cromarty] came in 1841, settled lot 18 and afterwards bought lot 19. (Previous residents settled by brothers, Thomas and John Stark. Alexander and wife Catherine McLennan’s family included sons, John Donald, Alexander, Roderick and William; and daughters, Mary, Fanny, Margaret, Catherine and Annie. Roderick remained on the homestead, Roderick and wife Barbara Wilkinson’s family was Florence, Mrs. A.E. Quarton, Euphemia, Mrs. Alex Smith 1871-1958, Janet, Mrs. William Laing 1877-1964 ; Gordon Hespeler; Margaret Mrs Rynard 1880-1979; Neil 1882-1971; William 1883-1957; Alex 1873-1956; Christina, Mrs. C.B. Chambers 1886-1979; Mrs. W.L. Sharpe Clara 1893-1978. After a fire, Gordon McKay built the white house on Lot 18. He and his family lived there until 1934, when they moved to concession 2. By 1950 Thos Aikens had purchased the front 50 acres, while Calvin McKay retained the rear 50. Aikens severed lots on which he built 2 homes. He sold the first to Carl Ross when he retired, and Aikens lived in the other until his death. John and Helen (Hanlon). Forestal purchased the remainder of the property and their son Daniel continues on that lot. The School, also on the farm, was closed in June 1965 and sold to Leslie Churcher who built a new home in the north part of the school yard and used the old school for a workshop. Later the School also became a home Roderick’s brother William inherited lot 19. He and Euphemia Ross McKay who were 50 years wed in 1931. Their children were Mary, Mrs. Henry McAuley of Manitoba, Kate, Mrs. John McAuley of Manitoba; Ann, Mrs Samuel Smith d.1955; Greta, Mrs. Keith Henderson d ; Alex, Wm.; Ross , John and Gertrude. Calvin m. Marion Crow and they had one daughter, Audrey. 1923 Calvin. McKay had inherited lot 19. The McKay farm was sold to the Buchannan-Smith family after Calvin died in 1959.

Lot 20

Joseph Lynch 1792-1873 m. Ellen Carroll bought this lot and transferred it to Edward 1844 on his marriage. His half brother Hugh Cassin was on the homestead when he died. Edward (Neddie) b. 1823 and Mary Ann Hanlon started married life there in 1844. Children Ellen 1845 and Joseph (Yellow Joe) 1847-1925 m. Mary Ann Crawley. After being a widow for nearly 2 years Mary Ann remarried in 1851 to Robert Cassin who owned a farm near the Lynches. Ellen Lynch m Patrick Phelan, son of James Phelan and Mary Kinsella 1865 Children Mary 1865- m Frank Coghlan 1908, Ellen 1867 m Joseph Lester, son of Joseph Lester and Sarah Ann Lawrence. They had one son and six daughters. Son Patrick b 1901 m Laura Byrne 1931. James, Catherine, Ann, Margaret, Emma, Edward and Michael. Yellow Joe and Mary Ann Crawley Lynch began their married life here. This is where their first nine children were born. As a result of Yellow Joe's generosity to his companions, his farm was sold under Power of Sale in 1876. In 1888, they left Puslinch for Burnell Township, Muskoka, and in 1917 Toronto. He died 1925. Other owners were 1885 H. Steffler, 1923 H. Stewart 1950 Gordon Crow.

Lot 21

Roderick Cameron m. Ann settled about 1833. He was one of first elders of Duffs Church. 1851 census Roderick, from Scotland was age 72 and his wife Chrisy age 60. Their son Donald, born Scotland, age 29, with wife Christy, age 26, son Roderick age 2, and brother Angus age 24 1867 resident Donald Cameron. Roderick’s family was John, Kenneth, Donald, Alexander, Angus, Duncan and Roderick Jr . and Mrs. Forbes. Kenneth Cameron was there in 1872, and Mrs. Donald Cameron in 1875. Hugh Ross (1855-1948) m.1. Annie Gretz was the next owner. Their daughter Lillian m. Charles Martin wife 2 Catherine McPhail: Their son Carl (1899-1994) occupied the farm next with his first wife, Cora Pollard, and second wife, Bessie McCormick. When they retired , the farm was sold.

Lot 22

F3 L22Thomas m. Barbara Little McLennan were the first settlers on this lot. They had 12 children In the 1851 census, there was only 2-yr old Euphemia. There was also Rev George McLennan m Margaret; Archibald, Grant, Mary m McIntosh, Robert of Minn. John, Duncan. Smith George was b in County Monaghan, Ire in 1829 and came to Canada in 1862, where he settled on 100 acres lot 22 conc 3, Puslinch. He m Catherine Coyle and had the following issue: George Jr., Francis, Henry Samuel, David (d), Mrs. Hector McCaig Jr., and Elizabeth (d) This branch of the Smith family were landed proprietors in Ireland and the late George Smith was a Lieut in the Monaghan constabulary. He was a well-educated man and a wide reader, and both in breeding and education occupied a respected place in the community. He passed away in 1874 at age 45 years, at which time his eldest son was only eleven years of age. His widow with an ability that calls for special mention, raised her young family and cultivated the farm, and has had the satisfaction of seeing her children become prosperous and respected citizens. George is unmarried. He owns and works the old homestead, and his mother keeps house for him Francis, m Cora F. Steel and is a prosperous farmer in Nichol; Henry m Emma Cassin, and own 200 acres near the homestead; Samuel m Annie McKay, and also owns 200 acres near his brother’s farm. 1871 & 1906 George Smith; His son Samuel on rear lot 21; George on homestead; 1923 G. Smith; Francis of Nichol; Mrs. Hector McCaig, Puslinch. George and wife Mabel inherited and farmed here until they retired to live near their only daughter, Charlotte and the farm was sold.

Lot 23

(John) Jack Patterson 1885 m Edna Tolton, and continued on the farm. Their family, Peter and John, both of Puslinch, Sherman of SK and Jennie b c 1872 m William Pinkney, Mrs. Margaret McCaig of Winnipeg and Mrs. Christian Thornton of Toronto. 1923 Mrs. J Patterson.

PATTERSON HISTORY
Peter Philip Patterson 1803-1874
About 1831 a great number of young people decided to leave Scotland to take up land in the new country of Canada. They journeyed to Dundas and then north on the Brock Road as far as Aberfoyle, turning west on the 3rd concession of Puslinch and what is known now as Road 34. There young Peter Philip from Dumfries, Scotland settled on lots 23 and 24 north side of the road of front of the 3rd Concession. He married Maria Smith 1803-1856, sister of Rev. James Smith. . Their family was 4 girls and 1 boy.
Mary (1831- m William Black
Jane c1835 a spinster; lived in a little shack at the end of the lane on the home farm.
Jessie 1837-1909 72 years m Simon McLennan (his second wife)
Margaret c1846 m Wm. Black after Mary’s death. Their family Marie, Isabella who d age 17
James Smith Patterson 1840-1911 m Mary McFarlane 1844-1935 They farmed on the home farm. 3 boys and 6 girls
1. Peter Alexander Patterson 1868-1949 81 years. M. Elizabeth McLean 1870-1929
Their home was lot 31 concession 9 on Road 36. They took up farming on lots 28 and 29 Rear Concession 1 (west side conc. 7). They had a small log house which was bought by Dr. Cote, a vet and moved up the Downey Road to Hanlon Creek. There it was joined to another similar house and made into an attractive dwelling. Their family:
1. James Milton d 1918 flu epidemic
2. Peter McLean m Laurene Jackson 1955 (lot 13 Conc 4); d June 2, 1981
3. Margaret m Ken Crow children Allan, Paul, Helen
4. Mary m Fred McCartney Children Margaret, Murray, Donald, James
1914 sold that farm; bought lot 35,36 pt,37 rear Gore on Highway 6 where he farmed.
2. Jean c1872 m William Pinkney Children Edna, Evelyn and Wilbert
3. Christine died 1955 m James Thornton son Sherman
4. James Sherman Bachelor lived near Saskatoon
5. Catherine d 1969 m widower Fred Newman no family
6. Jessie died 1967 m George Ballentine no family
7. Ida spinster died 1971
8. John (Jack) m Edna Tolton who d 3 yrs later. John carried on farming the original homestead until his death in 1963. No children; farm sold to Emil Wozniak. In 1913 the house burned and John built a new cement block house.
9. Malcolm Alexander m Thelma Elliott d 1964 son James m Lynn Boyd children Catherine, Joan. Alex d in Ottawa May 1, 1981
10. Margaret m McCaig of Winnipeg.
In 1915 when Harold Bell was 16 years old he went to work for Jack Patterson as a farm hand. He agreed to work for a seven-month period for the sum of $100. The Patterson farm, well over a hundred acres, was located on County Road 34, and is now the home of Wozniaks.
Back then the farm work was done with a team of horses, although tractors were appearing on display. Harold remembered walking into the OAC in 1915 to attend the second Provincial Plowing Match. It was held on the grounds where the fire hall is now located. A demonstrator tractor, made by Sawyer-Massey, was the object of much interest.
Harold did the plowing, harrowing and seeding with a team of horses. Harvesting was done with a horse-drawn binder, the sheaves were stooked by hand and when dry were forked up onto a wagon and drawn into the barn. They were stored in the barn until the steam thresher came. The threshing machines would go from farm to farm under their own steam while a team of horses pulled the large wooden water tank. The tank, complete with wheels, would be filled with water at a nearby creek or river. Besides using a vast amount of wood, the machines used copious amounts of water.
The Pattersons had three acres of apple orchard and Harold picked apples for a solid month. The apples were bought by apple packers, who would come with their barrels and pack them on the farm before shipping them out west.
One day Harold won't easily forget is May 24, 1915. It was noon hour and he was coming up the lane with a team of horses when he noticed that the roof of the Patterson house was ablaze. He let the horses go and shouted to Jack who was busy clipping sheep. Jack dropped his shears and the sheep scampered away, half-shorn, dragging its fleece along the ground. Harold then ran to the house and yelled to Jack's mother, Mary, who had been frying fat pork for lunch. She stood in the doorway, frying pan in hand, and screamed.
There were no volunteer firemen in those days, just neighbours. Harold and a neighbour boy, Roy Smith, soaked horse blankets in the water tank and tried to beat out the flames, but it was too late. Before the three-storey house burned to the ground, however, they managed, with the help of neighbours, to salvage everything from the basement and second floor. Harold remembered trying to move the heavy dressers on the third floor, but they couldn't get them down the steps. The Pattersons began rebuilding the house during the summer.
Jack's mother and his sister Heida turned the woodshed into sleeping quarters and a kitchen. Jack and Harold slept in the driving shed and were later joined by Jack McPhee, a carpenter, who was working on the new house. The cement blocks were made on the property with a mould, and Harold says that there were exactly 2700. He know because he handled every single one of them. His finger tips were raw from carrying them up the scaffolding to the stone masons. Both of the stone masons, Jack Hingleman and Fred Dunkie, were from Morriston. Jim McMillan, a former Reeve of the Township, was told that in the early 1900's there were no less than twenty-one masons and helpers who lived in Morriston.
The house wasn't completed until January. There was no heat in the driving shed, and Harold says that it got mighty cold. Frequently, the slush and snow that adhered to Harold's socks and boots would freeze during the night and he would have to pry them off the floor in the morning. After Jack Patterson’s death the farm was sold to the Wozniak family.

Lot 24

First settled by Barney Mooney. He sold to Kenneth McKenzie about 1850. David Stirton, by 1877, had purchased Kenneth McKenzie’s properties. Soon after, James S. Patterson added the wedge to the Patterson farm.

Commercial Activity
At the beginning of Concession 3 there were several small commercial enterprises.
∙Neils Peterson Holm immigrated from Copenhagen Denmark, to the county of York and 1828 purchased lot 1 Front & Rear of concession 3 The Papersmith Mill at the top of Townline road was built at the outlet of Puslinch Lake into the Speed River. Peter Niles Holm built the 3½ storey mill in 1856 as part of a growing collection of the industrial buildings started in 1827, which included a pair of limestone sawmills. In 1864 David Holm, son of Philip, became the owner and built a new dam across the Speed River and in 1882 Lewis Kribs became the mill’s owner and constructed the frame home for the miller that stands in front of the mill. Later it was Cole's Mill, which was later owned and operated by A.J. Shantz. In 1976, the property became known as the Papersmith Mill, named by noted local papermaker and artist Andrew J. Smith, who turned the mill into his residence/studio. Architecturally, the building has been constructed of fieldstone in the Georgian style. It has simple flat-headed windows and doors laid out symmetrically. It has a steel-clad roof punctuated by two small dormers and has a extremely functional design, reflecting its purpose. built a dam on the outlet and a sawmill across the line in Waterloo Township.



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PHYSICAL ADDRESS:

29 Brock Road South
Aberfoyle, Ontario

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Puslinch Historical Society
c/o Puslinch Library
R.R. #3, 29 Brock Road South
Guelph (Aberfoyle), Ontario N1H 6H9

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