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.

Linderman's Saw Mills

John Linderman (ca 1791 - 10 March 1853)married zilpha (surname unknown) (8 Aug. 1797 - 10 Nov. 1855). John Linderman, born about 1791 of Dutch descent, came about 1830 from Orange County, New York State to Guelph where he owned and operated the Royal Hotel.

When the first settlers came to Badenoch settlement in 1833, John Linderman bought 600 acres of land here - lots 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, west halves (front) of concession 10, and lot 34, east half (rear) of the same concession. Along the creeks that ran through these properties he built sawmills, known as “Linderman‘s Sawmills” which were among the first in this part of the country. As well as farming, he operated these mills until his death on 10 March 1853.

Robert Forbes (2 July 1814 - 6 May 1895) married Ann Duthie (22 Dec. 1825 - 25 Nov.1911). After John Linderman’s death, the sawmills and 400 acres of property were purchased in 1859 by Robert Forbes, a native of Berwickshire, Scotland who came to Badenoch in 1839-40.

In the Badenoch settlement he carried on the lumbering business on lot 35 making barrel headings and shingles until 1877 when he and a partner purchased what later became known as “The R. Forbes Co. Ltd. Woollen Mills” in Hespeler. There he was assisted by his sons, James Hyde Forbes and George Duthie Forbes. In 1871, he moved with his wife and family from Badenoch to “Summerhill”, 9 Dundas Road, Guelph, a property of about 30 acres. Later an east to west street was constructed along the front of their home and named “Forbes Avenue” for this family.

John MacFarlane (28 Sept. 1841 - 24 Nov. 1908) married (1st wife) Margaret Hanning (25 Feb.1840 - 27 Feb. 1879) and 2nd wife) Annie MacEdward (6 Apr. 1854-5 Aug. 1927). After Robert Forbes sold the last of his Badenoch properties in the late 1870's, the barrel heading and shingle mills were owned and operated by John MacFarlane. He and his wife, the former Annie MacEdward, and his five children from his first marriage to Margaret Hanning moved to a farm at Northcote, Hampden Township, Kittson County, Minnesota, U. S. A. in late 1880 or early 1881.

James S. Laking (28 Aug. 1860 - 10 Oct. 1944) married Annie McPherson (14 Aug. 1868 - 18 Oct. 1941). After 1880, James S. Laking had the barrel heading and shingle mills until he and his wife and daughter, Edna Katherine (24 Jan. 1892 - 28 Mar. 1975) moved to 126 Queen Street in Guelph in November 1910

Over the years, mills employed a number of men. In early years, houses were built for those men and their families, who were not landowners, beside the mills on lot 35 and across the side road in a field on lot 36.

Local farmers were hired to transport the finished products by team and wagon or sleigh down to the front - Burlington or Bronte to be shipped. They would load up and leave in the morning and return in late afternoon.

On lot 36 front of concession 10 on the east side of the small creek that crossed the sideroad there was for many years a high lime kiln that was operated by Dugald Lamb. Although not used for years, it was still standing in the late 1930's.

Marjorie Clark

[Back to research menu]


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.