Waterford, Ontario

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Waterford is a small community in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. As of 2011, Waterford is considered to be the 142nd biggest urban population center in Ontario (out of 270) with 3119 people living within the proper city limits of Waterford.[1]

Antiques from different historical eras can be purchased from nearby antique stores. Norfolk FS (formerly known as the Norfolk Co-Operative) also holds a major base of operations here, which provide chemicals and most agriculture-related goods in addition to animal feed for local farmers.

The Townsend Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company would have their head office based in this community; they are a fire insurance company that established themselves back in 1879.[2]

Summary[edit]

Established in 1794, this community was first established as a saw and grist mill community.[3] Paul Averill would operate the first successful grist mill venture during the start of the 19th century.[3] The earlier names of the settlement included: Sayles' Mills, Sovereign's Mills and Lodersvile, before finally becoming Waterford in 1826 when they opened their first post office.[3] Waterford become the northernmost marketplace in Norfolk County; complementing Simcoe as its center marketplace.[3] The village would become incorporated in 1878 when its population reached 1100 people.[3]

The local high school is called Waterford District High School and their teams are collectively called the Wolves. Founded in 1892 and once having its sports teams collectively called the Redmen before political correctness forced a name change; this high school started out with only 58 students.[4] A high school rugby program was initiated in 1991 by teacher David Zeldon and is considered to be one of the most dominant teams in the NSSAA boys' rugby league.[5]

This community sits on the old Canada Southern Railroad,[6] preceding various other rail company takeovers, the latest of which was by CN/CP. The now idle line passes through Ontario between Buffalo, New York and Detroit, Michigan. An electric railroad once operated in Waterford; the official fare from Galt to Waterford was a mere $1.05 ($10.59 in today's money) while taking it to nearby Simcoe cost $1.25 plus taxes ($12.6 in today's money).[7] By the 1950s, Waterford was a thriving hub for railway travel; although the Grand Erie Railway Company had already scrapped passenger service to Waterford by the winter of 1950.[8]

The area surrounding the town is primarily agricultural land, with tomatoes, tobacco and corn among the chief crops. Other natural health and organic crops are being explored, such as ginseng, but area farmers are generally suffering from the decline of the tobacco industry. Many non-essential services and businesses would traditionally close their operations one hour earlier on Wednesday afternoons in order to allow workers to have time with their families; this "tradition" would cease during the 1970s as extra demand for services and economic recessions would force most business owners to adopt a seven-day work week. In 1979, a freak tornado swept through Waterford, devastating trees, homes, and public property.[9]

Pumpkinfest[edit]

During the middle of October, locals celebrate Pumpkinfest, a local celebration of pumpkins.[10] A huge "pumpkin pyramid" of 1500 carved pumpkins is an annual tradition for this local fall festival.[10] An annual car show and a soap box derby are some of the other attractions at Pumpkinfest.[10] Many banks, convenience stores, LCBO dealerships, and restaurants observe this festival as a boost to the local economy.When the pilgrims come Abby Lawrance is always there with the typical Norfolk folk music.[10]

Notable people[edit]

  • Nelson Emerson, retired National Hockey League player
  • Douglas Glover, Canadian author
  • Paul Hellyer, Canadian engineer, politician, writer and commentator
  • Win Kellum, retired Major League Baseball player
  • Walker Powell, Canadian businessman, militia officer and political figure
  • Robin Shulman, author of Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York
  • Chester Samuel Walters, Canadian politician and bureaucrat

References[edit]

Coordinates: 42°55′55″N 80°17′22″W / 42.931856°N 80.289459°W / 42.931856; -80.289459