Pre-European Contact History

From Palaeo to Late Woodland

There are many theories and accounts as to the history of Ontario prior to European contact.  As research continues in this area, it is known that Indigenous people were roaming across this land approximately 13,000 years ago.  As the landscape changed, so did the people.  Originally nomadic hunters following the retreating glaciers, these early hunters travelled great distances following game. 

As the climate warmed, food procurement included gathering of nuts and berries with the inhabitants of Ontario moving from encampment to encampment seasonally, often returning to the same encampment year after year. 

With the introduction of agriculture, namely corn, beans and squash, there was a movement towards permanent matriarchal village sites.  At the time of European contact, these villages were thriving throughout Ontario.

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Post-European Contact History

From Palaeo to Late Woodland

Life in Ontario began to change as Europeans began moving into Ontario with mass immigration from Europe in the early 19th century.  The concept of ownership of land had different meanings for the Indigenous peoples and for the British government.  Land treaties were established and land reservations for the Indigenous peoples who were surviving disease and hostility that came with colonization of Ontario.  Haldimand County was surveyed and settlement began in during the 1820s and 1830s.

From 1832 to Present Day

1832 to 1845

David Thompson I purchased land along the Grand River in 1832  erecting a log cabin.

1845 to Present Day

In 1845, the building of the Greek Revival Ruthven Park mansion was underway, with completion in 1847.  The original mansion continues to stand today.

More family information coming soon