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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XIII. The Townships of Norfolk


This township was named after the now extinct town, Charlotteville or Turkey Point. It is probably the most historic of the seven townships, chiefly on account of its containing Turkey Point, rich in historical memories, of which a number will be mentioned in subsequent chapters.

The soil is a loam, with a tendency towards sandy loam in some places, chiefly in the southern part. Yet the township contains a great deal of rich farming land.

It is watered by a multitude of creeks, most of them short and flowing directly into Long Point Bay. It was one of the very earliest townships settled, chiefly because, as the Loyalists came generally in batteaux, they would strike the lake shore first, and not go further inland than necessary to obtain good land or favorable locations.

Among the earliest Loyalist settlers were Frederick Maby (Mabee), Lieut. Joseph Ryerson, Anderson, McCall, Munro, Secord, Johnson, Spurgin, Finch, Montross, Freeman, Smith, Welch, Brown, Teeple and Tisdale.

The towns and villages are Simcoe, Vittoria, Normandale, Walsh, Lyndock, Glenshee, Forestville and the much-to-be-regretted Charlotteville or Turkey Point.


Is a comparatively regular township at the south-east corner of the county. It has a large lake front and two harbors—Port Dover and Port Ryerse. The latter harbor has been spoiled by the drifting in of sand, but many years ago it was a regular calling-place for the steamers which plied up and down the lake.

The township is well watered. Among the creeks is the Lynn, and one district is called the Lynn Valley, where the Austins settled. The soil is rich, very rich in places. This was the attraction which drew so many Loyalists to the country in the early days; as, for example, Capt. Samuel Ryerse, Wycoff, Davis, Austin, Matthews, Williams, Berdan, Wilson, Price, Millard, Gilbert and Bowlby.

The chief town is, of course, Port Dover, if we except Simcoe, which takes a corner off four townships. Port Ryerse has lost almost everything but its name.


This township would be regular, were it not for a “bias line” which cuts off its north-easterly corner. It also is a rich township and well watered, chiefly by small creeks, which are tributary to those in other townships.

Many Loyalists settled here, notably Dougharty, Fairchild, Green, Haviland, Shaw and the Culvers. The chief town is Waterford, and the chief villages, Rockford, Boston and Villa Nova.


Is the only township perfectly rectangular and contains fourteen concessions nine miles long and five-sixths of a mile wide, laid out on the same plan of survey as Daniel Hazen followed in Walsingham.

The soil of Windham varies greatly, from almost pure sand to the heaviest clay or muck, with all the intermediate grades.

The chief rivers are Big Creek and Paterson’s Creek. In the western part of the township is Hunger Lake, called so by a party of Indians who camped a winter on its shores. It is of great depth, indeed, is said to be unfathomable; its waters are “ crystal clear,” while the banks slope gently up from the shores and are covered with the richest verdure among the pines.

It was one of the earliest of the townships settled, as will be seen from mention of the following names: Beemer, Powell, George Brown, Joseph and Philip Sovereen, Jesse Munro, Jacob Powell, Wood, Martin, Glover, Peter and Henry Boughner, John Butler.

It heads the list in the number of villages: Kelvin, Wellington, Powell’s Plains, Colborne, Windham Centre, Teeterville, Nixon and Bookton.


This township was originally covered with great forests of pine, and the axe of the woodman busily plied for a century has scarcely removed much more than half of its timber. In the western part of the township the land is a clay loam, in the eastern a sandy loam, and admirably adapted for all kinds of crops. Bog iron ore is found in great quantities.

The streams are the Little Otter in the western part and various branches of Big Creek. Venison Creek takes its rise in the south. It is therefore a well-watered township, and abounds in water-power facilities.

It will be noticed in the map that the roads in this township are peculiarly laid out, and this makes the shape of the farms trapezoid, or diamond shaped. The reason for this is that the concessions follow the direction of the celebrated Talbot Street, which was planned in 1803 by Colonel Talbot, of Malahide, an aide-de-camp on the staff of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe. He was given a large grant of land, chiefly in Elgin County, and settled at a place on Lake Erie called Port Talbot.

The principal villages are Fredericksburg (Delhi) and Middleton Centre (Courtland).

Settlement.—Middleton was not settled as early as Walsingham or Charlotteville. About the year 1812 settlers moved into the township chiefly from the adjoining townships. Frederick and Henry Sovereen (Sovereign) and the four sons of Samuel Brown were among the earliest settlers. Lot Tisdale removed to Middleton Centre in 1823. Southwest of Delhi is a settlement of Protestant Germans from Wurtemberg. This consists of about eighty families, the great majority of whom came in one body in 1847. The old settlers tell of the destruction in 1824 of an immense beaver dam near Guysboro’, on Talbot Street.


“The sandy township.” The soil in this township, the most westerly in Norfolk County, is principally a sandy loam, with pure sand predominating in many places.

The “Sand Hills” are famous. One is a thousand feet long, three hundred wide, and two hundred high, of which the summit presents the form of a circular plateau with a crater, both deep and wide, a natural ampitheatre or coliseum. The sand is composed almost entirely of grains of silica, with a small proportion of limestone, feldspar and garnet, the particles very round. It is a great absorbent of moisture, which it retains for a long time. This keeps the hills in their original shape. There is an observatory of the United States Lake Survey on the summit. Another of the peculiarities of these sand hills is a curious appearance presented by the tops of great pine trees, protruding from the sand which has engulfed them, resembling the spars and masts of a fleet of wrecked ships. No description is adequate, the sight is simply unique.

The chief streams are Clear and Hemlock creeks, flowing into the lake, and some branches of the spider-like Otter.

Settlement.—Houghton was first settled along the lake shore by the Beckers, Burgars and Walkers. These were not Loyalists. The two villages are Houghton Centre and Clear Creek.


The soil of the southern part of Walsingham is a heavy clay loam. Towards the centre it becomes sandy, but from this to the north town line there is much excellent land. Altogether it is a very fine agricultural township.

The largest stream is Big Creek, which takes its rise in Windham Township. After being joined by its most important tributary, Venison Creek, it becomes a large stream, and is in places very deep where the current is held in by high banks. Occasionally it flows through deep gulches and ravines. In Galinee’s journal it is mentioned that his party were delayed more than a day in attempting to cross this stream. It was also at the mouth of this creek that the McCall party landed in 179G. The township was surveyed by Sergeant

Daniel Hazen in 1797. The chief villages are Port Rowan, St. Williams, Walsingham Centre, Port Royal and Langton.

Settlement—Walsingham was one of the earliest settled of the townships. “Dr.” Troyer and Lucas Dedrick (1793), Ed. McMichael (1794), one of the Browns and Daniel Hazen (1797), Cope, Backhouse and Wm. Hutchison (1798), Rohrer and Foster (1800), the Fecks in 1805, Ellis and the Schumackers in 1807; also John McCall, Silas Secord, James Munro, David Price and William Johnson. The reader will recognize that many of the names are those of Loyalists.


For many years this district was popularly known as the Long Point Settlement, hence a few lines of description of the peninsula will be d propos.

Long Point is a tongue of land (the greater part being hard sand) extending out into Lake Erie for about thirty miles, and for municipal purposes attached to the Township of Walsingham. It is now an island, a kind of shallow canal having been dredged between it and the main shore.

It abounds in waterfowl, wild duck, geese and turkeys, quail and partridge. It is also the “anglers’ paradise,” rock bass, salmon trout, carp, whitefish. pike, pickerel, and mackerel being found in abundance.

It is now owned by a private corporation, who bought it from the Government. They have also a preserve of deer on the island, the number of which is increasing from year to year.

There is but one settlement on the island, called the “Cottages" to which a small boat runs a regular ferry service in the summer.

To the north, that is on the inner side, is a small triangular isle, called Ryerson’s Island. The reader is referred to the map subjoined, for a clearer idea of this curious formation and the bay enclosed between it and the mainland.

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