The Founding of Uxbridge
How did Uxbridge get its' name?
- The Township of Uxbridge was originally 9 miles square, and was surveyed in the winter of 1804-05. It straddles the Oak Ridges Moraine about 35 miles north-east of Toronto.
- The settlement of this area was stimulated by the arrival about 1806 of approximately twelve Quaker families from Pennsylvania, by way of Yonge Street and Newmarket. Christopher Beswick, an Anglican, came with the Quakers, and received from the Crown a free grant of 200 acres. He was born in London, England, and became a medical doctor in the American Colonies. Dr. Beswick turned the first sod on the site of the future town when he started to build a mill dam. He died in 1839 at the age of 118. Beswick sold his property to Joseph Collins, who completed the mill in 1808.
- The Hamlet
- More settlers arrived in the 1830's, mostly from the United States, and a hamlet called Uxbridge Mills started to grow. When the post-office was opened in 1836, it was called Uxbridge after the township. The first Postmaster was Joseph Bascom.
¹The second male child born in the township was Joseph Gould, who for many years represented this and the adjoining township of Scott in the Home District Council, was first provisional warden of the County of Ontario on its separation, first reeve of the Village of Uxbridge on its incorporation and for several terms member of the old parliment of United Canada for North Ontario. He was born in 1808. ²His mother taught him to read and write, and when he found out that gold was the name of a metal, he said he wanted the name Gould which was a man's name. So the name became Gould instead of Gold. Gould was a leader in municipal, commercial, education, manufacturing, lumbering and agricultural matters in the township. His son Issac, was County Warden and represented North Ontario more than once in Provincial and Dominion Parliaments. He represented West Ontario at the time this constituency was abolished on the redistribution of Dominion constituencies.
- The Village
- The hamlet grew considerably in the 1850's. The completion of the section of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway between Scarborough and Uxbridge in 1871 fostered the growth of the community. In 1872, the hamlet incorporated as a village with a population of 1,367.
- The Town
- In 1885, Uxbridge officially became a town. Uxbridge Town received an offical coat-of-arms on May 20, 1956.
- The Municipality
- Regional government arrived at the end of 1973. The name of the local county was changed from Ontario to Durham. Scott Township, Uxbridge Township and Uxbridge Town all became one municipality called Uxbridge Township. The Township's population in 1982 was 11,450. The current population is about 15,000.
Information provided by Uxbridge-Scott Museum
¹ County of Ontario By J.E. Farewell, LL.B., K.C.
² Uxbridge Quaker Heritage By Allan McGillivray
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