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Susan Lougheed
Broker, HBA & Dip ED

Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty Inc., Brokerage
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The History of Georgetown

 

By 1650, the once plentiful Hurons had been wiped out by French missionaries, European diseases, and the Iroquois. The region was now open to the Algonquian Ojibwa (also known as Mississauga), who moved in. By 1850 the remaining Mississauga natives were removed to the Six Nations Reserve, where the New Credit Reserve was established.

Commencing in 1781, the British government purchased blocks of land from the Mississauga Nation. In 1818, they purchased land that later became the townships of Esquesing and Nassagaweya. The task of laying out the townships fell to Timothy Street and Abraham Nelles. Charles Kennedy was hired by Nelles to survey the northern part of the townships, and Charles Kennedy received a significant parcel of land as payment for his work.

The brothers of Charles Kennedy, (John, Morris, Samuel and George) all acquired land close to each another in the Silver Creek Valley. A sawmill was built by Charles Kennedy where today Main Street meets Wildwood Road. George Kennedy also built a sawmill which became the centre of a small settlement, which was located near 10th line.

Esquesing Village (Stewarttown) was the capital of the township. In addition, it was on the main north-south route to the steamships at Oakville. The Stewart Brothers had a prosperous mill in Esquesing Village, and James McNab had a prosperous mill in Norval.

In 1828, John Galt opened the road which connected the settlement around George Kennedy's Mill with the other two settlements in the area. As Kennedy's Mill prospered, he built a grist mill, foundry and a woolen mill. Unfortunately, business was poor, which led to the nickname 'Hungry Hollow'. Around 1834 the Barber brothers arrived and within three years had purchased the mills from Kennedy.

Around 1837, the area adopted the name Georgetown. It was also the year that two of the Barber Brothers (William and James) purchased the mill and land from George Kennedy.

In May 1852 a rail route through Georgetown, Brampton and Weston to Toronto was announced.

On May 13, 1895, brothers Sam & John McGibbon leased, in partnership, Thomas Clark's Hotel for $600/year. "The Hotel McGibbon" was originally built by Robert Jones and was sold to Clark in about 1867. A double veranda graced the Main & Mill Street side of the building until the hotel was ravaged by fire in the 1880s. After the fire, a third floor was added to part of the building.

The McGibbon family lived at the hotel and took great pride in the business they had established. Sam's wife, Ann, kept white linen in the dining room, and in its earliest years had been a popular place for wedding receptions and banquets.

When Sam McGibbon died August 20, 1940 (only a few months after Ann's death) a daughter, Gladys, and a son, Jack, took over the business until 1962. The McGibbon Hotel was sold to Isaac Sitzer Investments and in 1967 to Gladbar Hotels Ltd. George and Nick Markou purchased the hotel in 1978 and have run business to the present day under the McGibbon name, returning its connection to the downtown Georgetown business community since 1895.

French presence

The area had no early history of a concentration of French-Canadians, but that changed after WWII. One boy who went to fight in WWII was George Stanley Latimer. He died on December 20th, 1944. First, in 1947, a boys orphan farm relocated from St. Catharines, Ontario, to Georgetown. This orphanage was operated by Father Clovis Beauregard and his niece, Therese St Jean. The Acadian boys from the orphanage decided to remain here in adulthood. The boys had learned apple farming and other Acadian families moved here to assist them with their apple business. Second, in 1957 a French-Canadian Association was formed. By 1966, about 150 French-speaking Catholic families created their own parish when the old Holy Cross Church was rededicated as L'Eglise Sacre Coeur.

 

The information contained herein is believed to be accurate; however buyers should still make their own inquiries

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