Sombra, Ontario

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Sombra
Unincorporated village
Sombra waterfront
Sombra waterfront
Sombra is located in Ontario
Sombra
Sombra
Coordinates: 42°43′N 82°29′W / 42.717°N 82.483°W / 42.717; -82.483Coordinates: 42°43′N 82°29′W / 42.717°N 82.483°W / 42.717; -82.483
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Lambton
Municipality St. Clair
Government
 • Mayor Steve Arnold (St. Clair Twp)
 • Federal riding Sarnia—Lambton
 • Prov. riding Sarnia—Lambton
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code N0P 2H0
Area code(s) 519 and 226
Website www.twp.stclair.on.ca

Sombra is a village situated on the St. Clair River, in southwestern Ontario, Canada within the municipality of St. Clair Township. In its early days, the village developed out of local transport and agricultural trade via rail and ship and evolved mainly into a summer resort community, serving seasonal residences and summer cottagers through much of its history.[1] The village is now home to mostly permanent residences and commuters supported by larger cities and towns such as Sarnia, Corunna, and Wallaceburg. Each year, in July, the town hosts Sombra Days. This community is served by two elementary schools, several churches and a small service industry. The public school is Riverview Central School. Sombra serves as a registered port of entry into Canada by means of a ferry crossing from nearby Marine City, Michigan. The village is renowned for quaint specialty shops and fine dining.

History[edit]

Sombra was named by Sir Peregrine Maitland, the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, because it was so densely wooded that the sun was blocked out. Sombra was chosen as a derivative of sombre, a Spanish word meaning "shade".[2]

Samuel Burnham and Abraham Smith initially settled here in May 1812. Initially logging and lumber was the primary industry, however by 1822 agriculture was beginning to emerge as an important industry. The first school was built in 1820 and rebuilt after a fire in 1882.[3]

Its first year of municipal organization was 1822.[4]

During Prohibition in the United States, Al Capone transported liquor at Sombra. In fact, one of his cars went down off the ferry. This car, along with some crocks of whiskey still inside, may be viewed at the Sombra Museum. Between 1920 and 1933, many boats along the St. Clair River carried barrels of liquor that cleared RCMP customs legally for export to Cuba or Bermuda. However, the cargo was diverted to the Detroit area.[5]

Sombra also was a stop along the Underground Railroad en route to Owen Sound, Ontario. This was part of the alternate route around Detroit, Michigan.[6]

Population[edit]

Sombra's current population is approximately 250 people.[7]

References[edit]