the Rivers are calling....

January 30, 2015

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The Saugeen River at Paisley

Photo by Sandy Lindsay

Looking back in history, when the lakes and rivers were the highways, the Village of Paisley was strategically located at the junction of the Saugeen and Teeswater Rivers.

Early pioneer, Samuel Rowe, became involved in a building project in Walkerton, but Simon Orchard, had other ideas. 

He reported having had a dream of rich lands at the confluence of two rivers in the area then known as the “Queen’s Bush".  He constructed a raft 30′ by 15′ of cedar logs and, with his family and household goods, floated down the Saugeen River with no really fixed destination.

On the first eve of their journey, they made camp along the Saugeen at the mouth of the Teeswater River. In daylight, they were pleased with the surroundings and decided it was where they would settle.

They built a crude shanty, on the north side of the river, from boards they had brought on the raft. (The location was near the present site of today's Baptist Church).

 A few weeks later, Samuel Rowe arrived by raft at the same location . He cleared the land on the south side of the river and built a cabin across from the present Town Hall. Surveyors working northward locating the Elora Road came to the spot where Orchard and Rowe had settled. A log building was erected and became known as Rowe’s Tavern.

In 1856, Orchard and Rowe obtained a patent from the Crown, and the village was surveyed. Then, in February 1856, the first post office, with Thomas Orchard as Postmaster, was opened. The men, with John Valentine also built a sawmill and then a foundry and woolen mill were built.

Adapted from An Historic Album of Paisley (1974)

   Click the orange arrow to read the second column

In June 1872, the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway was completed and the first locomotive chugged into Paisley.  At its peak, the village of Paisley had over 1,000 inhabitants.

The village, incorporated in 1874, was named Paisley after a town in Renfrewshire, Scotland and it continued to prosper --- a spot in the wilderness had been transformed into a busy community with many thriving industries.

          Adapted from An Historic Album of Paisley,      published 1974

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Thursday, January 29, 2015