Augusta, Ontario

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Township (lower-tier)
Township of Augusta
North Augusta
North Augusta
Augusta is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 44°45′N 75°36′W / 44.750°N 75.600°W / 44.750; -75.600Coordinates: 44°45′N 75°36′W / 44.750°N 75.600°W / 44.750; -75.600
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Leeds and Grenville
 • Type Township
 • Reeve Doug Malanka
 • Federal riding Leeds—Grenville
 • Prov. riding Leeds—Grenville
 • Land 314.73 km2 (121.52 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 7,430
 • Density 23.6/km2 (61/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 613

Augusta Township is a township in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville; located in eastern Ontario, Canada.[2] Augusta is situated along the Saint Lawrence River, and extends back into rural hamlets. The township is located between the city of Brockville to the west, and the town of Prescott to the east.

The hamlets and villages within Augusta were established prior to the 1900s; primarily by the Loyalists. There are plenty of buildings and homes still standing in the township today that were built by early settlers; many of these historic homes are even still occupied by direct descendants of the first settlers.[3]

In 2013, it was discovered that Samuel Bass, the Canadian abolitionist mentioned in Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir 12 Years a Slave, was from Augusta township.[4] According to early census records, Bass was born in Augusta in 1807;[5] while here, he married Lydia Catlin Lane,[6] with whom he fathered four children.[7] His wife and children remained in the area,[8] and some of his descendants still reside here to this day. Bass' grandparents were among the first Loyalists to settle in the area,[7] and his parents are buried at Maynard.[9]


Augusta township is located within the St. Lawrence Lowlands region;[10] its southern-most boundary is the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River. Much of the area is situated on top of large layers of limestone and grey sandstone, which formed between 500-75 million years ago during the Paleozoic era and the Ordovician period.[11]



The earliest known school established in Augusta was the Johnstown Grammar School which stood in Maitland. It was a simple log-structure, built around 1788 and was probably the only school in the area at that time.[12] Even into the 19th century, the farming families in the predominately rural township saw little value in formal education. A child's primary responsibilities involved their family and farm, therefore the few pupils enrolled in the few schools that existed at the time attended sporadically, as their responsibilities allowed.[13] Aside from the general apathy surrounding schools at the time, financial restrictions also hindered the establishment of a formal education system; even when a primitive schoolhouse managed to be built, there was little or no money for teacher's salaries or the appropriate texts and classroom instruments.[12] These early schoolhouses were simple, log structures, built by volunteer farm labourers and made mostly with what they could find for free; these structures lacked basic necessities, such as toilets and floors, and often had holes which were patched with moss and dirt.[12]

In 1816, The Common Schools Act came into affect in Upper Canada; this Act called for the distribution £25 grants to pay each teacher's wages, and for the township to be divided into school sections.[14] The sections were to be determined based upon the locations in which approximately 20 pupils could easily congregate. Although the Act provided some improvement for the area, there was no financial aid for building materials or classroom materials thus the grants provided little encouragement for the settlers to establish schools. It was not until the mid-1800s that substantial progress was made in regards to education in Augusta township. By 1844, the township had been successfully divided into 22 school sections, as well as 5 part-sections, which were union sections with neighbouring townships with pupils from multiple townships.[15] The original sections and schools were as follows:[16]

Maitland, Ontario


Centuries ago, the area was home to an Iroquoian village. Many excavations in the township have uncovered numerous native artifacts and graves, some of which were over 500 years old.[17] In the beginning of the 18th century, the French, during their occupancy of Canada, briefly stayed in what would later become Augusta. The most obvious sign of the French's stay in Augusta is Pointe au Baril,[18] in Maitland; which was the site of a French shipyard and fort. By the time the Loyalists began to settle here in the end of the 1700s, much of the physical evidence regarding the French's presence in the area had disappeared.[19][20]


The township comprises the communities of Algonquin, Bisseltown, Blue Church, Charleville, Domville, Garretton, Glenmore, Herrons Corners, Lords Mills, Maitland, Maynard, McLeansville, McRoberts Corner, North Augusta, Perrins Corners, Riverview Heights, Roebuck, South Augusta, South Branch, Sparkle City, Stones Corners and Throoptown. Prior to 1834, Prescott was considered a part of Augusta township; the town became a police village in this year which severed its ties with Augusta. By 1849, Prescott officially became a separated town with its own mayor and council, as it remains today.[21]


Algonquin,[22] Ontario,[23] is a small rural hamlet located north of Maitland. Its centre location is the intersection of Algonquin Road and County Road 15.[24] In the early 1800s, the village was referred to as Wright's Corners after the Wright family, who owned the majority of the land there at the time. The Wright's were a wealthy, prolific family within the community, who were noted to have paid the teachers in Augusta their salaries, as well as workers from the Algonquin cheese factory.[25] By the 1860s the hamlet was listed as Algonquin, according to post office records.[26]

Blue Church[edit]

Blue Church, Ontario is the name given to the community which surrounded The Blue Church,[27] which stands at the corner of Blue Church Road and Ontario Highway 2 in Augusta township.[28] By 1790, the site of the church had already been in use as a burial ground; on January 1, 1790, the township made the decision to build a church and establish a proper graveyard on the lot. Initially, the community that was to be built around the church was to be named New Oswegatchie.


Domville, Ontario is a small hamlet located around four miles north of the town of Prescott, along County Road 18. The name Domville was first used around the 1870s; prior to this, the community was first referred to as either Henry's corners or Fell's Corners. Upon the post office being established, residents asked council to come up with a more palatable name for their hamlet; a Royalist named John Dumbrille put forth the name Frogmore, in reference to Frogmore house. This proposed name change offended the residents, who thought Dumbrille had selected the name in regards to the hamlet's proximity to a large swamp. Around 1876, there was still much dispute over the name of the hamlet; church records from that year referred to the hamlet at Nelsonville. Ultimately, the residents chose Dumbrille's second choice, Domville, which was the original spelling of his surname.

The first families to settle in the area were the Fell family and the Henry family, where the name's Fell's corners and Henry's corners originate. A small cemetery located within the hamlet contains at least one member of the Fell family, and is dated back as far as 1814; before the Maynard cemetery was erected. By the mid-to-late 19th century, Domville's population was listed as 125 persons; according to census records and newspapers from the time, the hamlet boasted many businesses and successful farmers. In 1875 a stone schoolhouse was built on donated land, which opened the following year. This one-room school was built between the fourth and fifth concessions along McCully road, approximately 1,300 feet from where an earlier school once stood; the previous school was a primitive, poorly built structure which had essentially begun to collapse and been deemed unsafe. The new, stone structure was built with a stone porch, as well as a woodshed on site; into the 20th century, the school was equipped with new hardwood floors, a wood-burning stove, and a fenced in playground for the students.

By 1885, the community had its own post office established, as well as two general stores, a blacksmith and carriage shop, two churches and a grist mill. Domville was also home to a fairly large cheese factory, which reportedly used the around milk of 600 cows daily to produce their cheese. By the 1890s, more small businesses emerged, including a saw mill, butcher, and shoemaker. Many farmers were successful in growing and selling hops commercially, to nearby breweries. By the 1970s, the post office, cheese factory, and school had all ceased operations. The swamp in Domville was gradually drained, and new homes were built where it once was.


Garretton, Ontario is a small hamlet located approximately seven miles east of the North Augusta along County Road 18; Garretton is situated within the Rideau River watershed, with the south branch of the Rideau running through the centre of the community. When the land was first settled in the area settlers immediately set up farms along the banks of the river, in between the ninth and tenth concessions; whereas in most other nearby hamlets, lots were placed along the concession lines. The name Garretton came from one of the first settler's, Joseph Garrett, who headed one of the first families to establish themselves along the river there around 1830; his son Nathaniel Garrett was postmaster. In 1849, a French-Canadian man, Sorel Sophy (sometimes recorded as: Soffey), along with his wife and brother packed all their belongings into a canoe, and set out on the Rideau River from the Kemptville area. Their intention was to find a new location to settle; eventually they decided on a piece of land located within Garretton, and built a farm. This lead to the trio becoming the first and only people within the are who secured their land through squatter's rights. The hamlet of Garretton was considered to be fairly isolated from other communities; the first roads in the area were old native-American trails, and a corduroy road built by the first settlers along the river.


Roebuck,[29] Ontario,[30] is a small hamlet located approximately 13 km north of the St. Lawrence River; its centre location being the intersection of County Roads 18 and 21.[31] The official boundaries of the hamlet are within an approximately 200-metre radius from this intersection. This hamlet is built around what was once the site of an Iroquoian village with a population of around 1,600 villagers.[32] Initially, the hamlet was referred to as Heck's Corners, after the Heck family who established many businesses here in the 19th century.[25] By 1866, postal records indicate the hamlet was officially named Roebuck.[33]


Read's Cemetery, Augusta

Augusta township is home to many small cemeteries, many of which were erected in the 19th century;[34] some are still currently in use. There are also many old, family burial grounds and tiny abandoned cemeteries in the township as well as known native burial grounds. Due to the age of some of the tombstones in the area, they cannot properly be transcribed. Early cemetery records obtained by the Grenville Historical Society have only given moderate insight into the area's first cemeteries that are unmarked, or completely destroyed/illegible. It is strongly believed that the township is home to many more family burial plots, which were never recorded, and the whereabouts remain unknown.[35] The Ontario Cemeteries Act[36] requires all of the known cemeteries and burial ground in Augusta to receive minimum care, if not already being attended to by any person or organization. As a result of strict funding in regards to Cemetery Boards and care, most of the responsibility of preserving centuries-old burial grounds falls directly onto local volunteers.[35] So far, volunteers have succeeded in transcribing every legible stone in the township.

In Roebuck, there is a historical plaque located on County Road 21 which honours the site of an Iroquoian village.[37] This plaque also marks the site of a 500 year old burial ground which was excavated in the 20th century.[38][39] In total, 120 skeletons were excavated from the site; 85 of the skeletons belonging to Iroquoian villagers, and 35 of the skeletons, which were buried further away from the others, were from outsiders.[40] When the remains were studied, it was determined the first set of 85 skeletons were villagers, due to the fact the skeletons were relatively intact, and nicely buried; some skeletons were even buried in pairs.[40] The group of 35 skeletons was determined to be the bones of captives or enemies of the tribe, with only a slight possibility of the remains being those of Iroquoian people. This conclusion was made after archaeologists ruled at least 31 of the 34 skeletons recovered belonged to young men; in contrast to the former group of remains which contained a mixed demographic in regards to age and gender. The latter group of 35 skeletons were also found disarticulated or fragmented; and many proven to be victims of cannibalism.[40]


According to 2011 census data, the population of children, individuals who are 0–14 years of age, accounted for 15.2% of the total population of Augusta. 17.4% of the population were aged 65 years or older, and 67.4% of the population consisted of working-aged individuals; ages 15 through 64.[41] The percentages of both working-aged individuals and children are below the national averages, however the percentage of senior residents is above the national average by almost 3%. The median age of 46 in the township is over 5% higher than both the provincial and national median ages.[41]

Race, ethnicity and language[edit]

According to NHS data, in 2011 foreign-born immigrants accounted for only 8.5% of the total population, while 91.5% were Canadian-born. The percentage of foreign-born immigrants in Augusta is 20% lower than the provincial percentage of 28.5%. There were no non-permanent residents reported in the township.[42] 8% of the immigrants accounted for were recent immigrants, having landed between 2006–2011; the most common country of origin being the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. In 2011, 92.8% spoke an official language (English and/or French) at home; the most frequently reported non-official language by recent immigrants was Tagalog.

In 2011, an estimated 70 individuals, or 0.9% of the total population of Augusta were considered visible minorities; 25% below the provincial percentage. The largest minority group being of Filipino or South Asian descent. The most frequently cited ethnic origins of Augusta's populace were solely, or a combination of: Canadian, English and Irish.[43]

Religious demographics[edit]

Religious Affiliation Count Percentage
Roman Catholic 1,460 19.8%
United church 1,730 23.4%
Anglican 1,460 19.8%
No religious affiliation 1,130 15.3%[43]

National Household Survey data from 2011 states that 84.7% of the population of Augusta associated themselves with a religion; leaving only 15.3% of the population unaffiliated with any religious denomination. The most common religion stated was with the United Church, second most common being both Anglican and Roman Catholic. In contrast, statistics for the rest of Ontario report that Roman Catholic is the most frequently reported religion in the Province; the United church being the second most frequent and Anglican the third.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Augusta census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  2. ^,+ON/@44.7655334,-75.5823367,1130m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x4ccda0a4c4d8de79:0x1408d31cb1633d45
  3. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. (many)
  4. ^
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  7. ^ a b
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  11. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 43
  12. ^ a b c Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 135
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 136
  16. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 143
  17. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 1
  18. ^
  19. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 2-3
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  21. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 262
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  24. ^,or.r_cp.&bvm=bv.88198703,d.dGY&ion=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ei=Nj4CVYrPH5SzyATdkIHwDQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoATgU
  25. ^ a b Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 216
  26. ^
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  28. ^,+ON+K0E/@44.6798924,-75.559928,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x4ccd077dc2b67409:0x7802c72b095dcf8b
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  31. ^,+ON/@44.8052451,-75.6045811,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x4ccda4fef7c0e297:0xfc78d14a0d2cf3a5
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  35. ^ a b Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 205
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  39. ^ Goldie A. Connell (1985) Augusta: Royal Township Number Seven. St. Lawrence Printing Co. ltd. p. 323
  40. ^ a b c
  41. ^ a b
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  43. ^ a b
  44. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  45. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  46. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15.