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.

Holm's Mill

(a.k.a. Krib's, Cole's and A. J. Shants' Mill)

From A History of Vaughan Township by G. Elmore Reaman

Neihls Peterson Holm was a Dunkard and a sailor. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in Oct.19, 1774, he came to Canada (Waterloo County) with the Mennonites from Pennsylvania. He was a sailor in his younger days, and when Admiral Parker, assisted by Nelson, bombarded Copenhagen in 1801, had a narrow escape with his life. After the fall of Copenhagen, he and others like him, took to the open seas, where, for a few years, they led a piratical life. Having eventually landed on the east coast of America, and wishing to avoid punishment for his crimes, Neihls made his escape to Little York (Toronto) under the cover of night. He there married Anna Catharine Phillips of Hamburg, Germany. The couple resided in Markham Township, York County where their children were born.

Although the Eby book states that they came to Puslinch in 1839, it is recorded by others that they were here 10 years prior, when the first small dam was constructed( lot 1 - 3rd concession ), on the outlet from Puslinch Lake,used to power a small saw mill . In 1850, a new dam powered the larger saw mill erected at the same time. No longer able to tolerate his land legs, and having built a suitable vessel, Neihls first sailed the waters of Puslinch Lake in 1845. What a joyous occasion that must have been, for Neihls and for all the "sailors" since!

Early assessment rolls of Waterloo County indicate that among his neighbours there, were the Pannabeckers, Clemens, Baer, Bergey and Ellis families, other surnames common to Puslinch history.

By 1856, a grist mill had been added which was operated by his son Peter Niles Holm (born March 16, 1811). His wife, Cober, (born June 4, 1813) was the daughter of Nicholas Cober of Vaughan Township. Peter's son Daniel married Esther Pannabecker and Anna Pannabecker, and farmed lot 6 in the 3rd concession. At about age 35, Peter was ordained as a minister of the River Brethren church, and it is said that his friends and admirers were of all denominations and that possibly when Peter died on Dec.13,1880, he did so without a single enemy.

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Membership in the society is open to anyone interested in the history of Puslinch Township giving you access to the archives, assistance with your research from committed volunteers, a newsletter and occasional events of historic interest.

Click here for full membership information or to help by donating or volunteering.

Contact Us


29 Brock Road South
Aberfoyle, Ontario


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

Click here for full contact information including email addresses and telephone numbers.

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.