History of Bruce County, Ontario

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Bruce County is located in southwestern Ontario. It was first established in 1836, when the Queen's Bush was received through the Saugeen Tract Agreement. In 1851, a strip of land was used for a road between Owen Sound and Southampton. In 1854, The Saugeen Surrenders saw the Bruce Peninsula transferred to the Crown.

Originally, it was part of the United Counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce, with the Bruce Peninsula being part of Waterloo County. In 1851, the Bruce Peninsula was withdrawn from Waterloo County and transferred to Bruce County. In 1867, the United Counties were dissolved and Bruce County became an independent entity.

The County took its name from James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, and Governor General of the Province of Canada (1847-1854).

Settlement History

The Durham Road was surveyed by Allan Park Brough and David Gibson between 1848 and 1849, to encourage settlement in the area.

The Garafraxa Road was surveyed by Charles Rankin in 1837.

Villages in Bruce County prior to the 1998 amalgamation were:

  • Hepworth
  • Lion's Head
  • Lucknow
  • Mildmay
  • Paisley
  • Ripley
  • Tara
  • Teeswater
  • Tiverton

Towns in Bruce County prior to the 1998 amalgamation were:

  • Chesley
  • Kincardine
  • Port Elgin
  • Southampton
  • Walkerton
  • Wiarton

Townships in Bruce County prior to the 1998 amalgamation were:

  • Albermarle
  • Amabel
  • Arran
  • Brant
  • Bruce
  • Carrick
  • Culross
  • Eastnor
  • Elderslie
  • Greenock
  • Huron
  • Kincardine
  • Kinloss
  • Lindsay
  • St. Edmunds
  • Saugeen

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