||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (August 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Mitchell is a community in the municipality of West Perth, part of Perth County, Ontario, Canada. It is located at the intersection of Highways 8 and 23, 20 km west (and a little north) of Stratford, and 60 km north of London.
Mitchell was founded in 1836 by William Johnston, who laid out a town plot and local tavern, and John Hicks, one of the first settlers of the area, who erected a new hotel near the Thames River, where the historic Hicks House Hotel building (now restored with stores and apartments) in downtown Mitchell stands. A sawmill was built in 1842, as well as new stores and businesses, contributing to the town's growth. In 1857, Mitchell was incorporated as a village, and in 1874, was incorporated as a town with a population of 2,000. On January 1, 1998, the town amalgamated with the neighbouring Townships of Logan, Fullarton, and Hibbert to form the new Municipality of West Perth. As of 2001, the former town of Mitchell has a population of 4,022.
The town's major employers include Parmalat Canada (the former Stacey Brothers creamery), a producer of dairy products, and Cooper Standard Automotive, the Canadian centre for the company's automotive parts research and development program. Mitchell is an agricultural service centre, surrounded by high-quality farmland.
A sports-oriented town, Mitchell has a number of hockey, baseball, and ringette teams, and is home to the Mitchell Hawks, a junior hockey team that plays in the Western Ontario Junior C Hockey League.
In the educational sector, Mitchell has two schools, Upper Thames Elementary and Mitchell District High School. Upper Thames Elementary School is a school from J.K. to 6. This school was built in 1970 to serve the rural population (from the former Townships of Logan, Fullarton, and Hibbert), and replaced numerous one and two room schoolhouses in the rural areas. It is a school that has many activities and fundraisers. In recent years, grade 7 and 8 children from the former Town of Mitchell started attending MDHS, with all town children now attending since the closure of Mitchell Public School in 2010.
Mitchell District High School, otherwise known as MDHS, is a secondary school serving grades 7-12. The building, constructed in the late 1950s, is shaped as a square with an open courtyard in the middle, and is one level; there are no stairs which makes it wheelchair accessible. The building replaced a building on St. David's Street which now serves as the municipal office for the Municipality of West Perth. Although a small high school, it has a good range of programs, including music, sports and mechanics, and many extra-curricular activities.
Mitchell Ontario is located in southwestern Ontario which has many small rivers and forests patched throughout the landscape. Mitchell also has these features, for instance, the Thames River runs through the heart of Mitchell. dense brush and forests run along the northern and southern edge of the town. the brush and forest contain commonly seen animals such as, Bufo fowleri, red fox, striped skunk, eastern gray squirrel, eastern cottontail, and the white-tailed deer. The Thames River is home to many varieties of fish life these include but are not limited to, common carp, mirror carp, chub, rock bass, redeye bass, perch, suckers, crayfish, clams, and minnows. The dam in the Thames River is known as the best fishing spot in Mitchell, as it has a 5–6 feet deep pool at the bottom where the majority of the carp are seen and caught. Once caught some fishers will release the carp into the open river, therefore extending the range in the Thames that have carp. Raccoons have been and are a minor problem in Mitchell, while they normally are seen near the older subdivisions some can be seen periodically in the new subdivisions or even uptown. They pose a problem of rabies and when nursing young, have a tendency to attack.
Places of worship
- Bethel Free Reformed Church (Free Reformed Churches of North America)
- St. Vincent De Paul Roman Catholic Church
- Trinity Anglican Church (Rev. Karine Farmer)
- Upper Thames Missionary Church (Rev. Ralph VanOostveen)
- Knox Presbyterian Church (Rev. Robert Adams)
- Main Street United Church
- Municipality of West Perth
- Mitchell Advocate, the community's weekly newspaper
- Mitchell, ON Weather, from The Weather Network.
- History of Mitchell, Ontario William Johnston; History of Perth County 1825-1902 Chapter XXV, Stratford 1903
- Downtown blaze in Mitchell, article on the fire of April 15, 2010