Our Communities

Discover the history of our three communities before we amalgamated, forming what is now the Township of Huron-Kinloss. For more in-depth details on the history of these communities, History Books can be purchased at the Township of Huron-Kinloss Municipal Office.

Our Communities

Huron Township

Before settlers arrived in the area, First Nations peoples ventured through the Township, traveling the Pine River by canoe. A sacred burial ground was located near the mouth of the river.

The forests covering Huron Township, disappeared in the 1800s as settlers began arriving, clearing the land for farms and settlement. These settlers arrived on foot or by boat, travelling from Goderich along the shoreline of Lake Huron and used the beaches as roads. Many families lost their possessions when the small boats they were traveling in overturned in rough water.

In 1852, a group of 109 families settled in what is now Ripley. Evicted from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, this group is believed to be one of the largest groups to travel together and settle in one place in Canada.

In 1886, the first graveled roads appeared in the county, laying the groundwork for today's highways. Up until the early 1900s, farmers and their teams of horses laid gravel and maintained the county roads. In 1874, the first train tracks crossed the township and established the village of Ripley as a commercial centre.

The population of the township reached its peak during 1885-1890 and then began to shrink as township residents moved to Western Canada, Michigan, the Dakotas and Minnesota. With the construction of the nuclear power plant at Douglas Point, now known as Bruce Power, the township's population has grown in recent years.

 

Kinloss Township

One of the first settlers to Kinloss Township was Joel Eli Stauffer, who in 1850, settled on the “Free Grants.” Stauffer is acknowledged as the first man to ever cross the Township of Kinloss.

An historic schoolhouse, built in 1876, which replaced an old log building, remains a piece of Kinloss Township history and is still standing today. Over the years, this building has seen many renovations and used by different group organizations for meetings, family gatherings and community events.

Typical for its time, a one-room schoolhouse accommodated all classes with wooden benches for the students to sit on. An outhouse provided the restroom facilities while a woodstove in the centre of the room provided heat during the winter. A bell in a tower atop the school beckoned students to school. Dr. O. Lockhart purchased the bell in 1968, which he later donated to the Bruce County Museum & Archives in Southampton, Ontario.

Improvements were made to the school as attendance grew. School desks replaced the benches and, in 1902, a porch was constructed. A well was dug for drinking water. Indoor plumbing and electricity were installed in 1946.

By 1960, decreasing attendance forced the closure of the school and students were transferred to either the new Holyrood Public School or to the Lucknow Public School.

Starting in December 1960, the Kinloss-Kairshea Women's Institute used the school building for their meetings and eventually, celebrated several anniversaries in the schoolhouse-its 25th, 40th and 45th.

In 1995, the former Kinloss school building was purchased by a local farm.

Lucknow

With a population today of 1,100, Lucknow has a thriving business community, a sports complex, seniors homes, an elementary school, service clubs plus cross country skiing and snowmobile trails.

The village has a strong Scottish heritage. Donald Dinnie was a champion wrestler and heavyweight athlete of the world. In 1882, he competed in the Lucknow Caledonian Games and, although he had no ties with Lucknow, he was a folk hero of his time. The Games boomed for about 20 years during the late 1800s.

The village was named after a town in India where, in 1857, a vicious battle took place between the besieging native rebels and the liberating British army. Horrendous tales of the Indian Mutiny, as it was called, reached even the Canadian wilderness. "Sepoy" is a reference to the Indian foot soldiers who fought on the British side in the Relief of Lucknow.

The first settler to the as-yet-unsettled and unnamed Lucknow was Eli Stauffer who constructed a dam and built a sawmill in 1856. In 1858, Ralph Miller purchased a parcel of Stauffer's land and built "Balaclava House", a log tavern. James Somerville purchased the Stauffer mill and land rights in 1858 and had village lots surveyed, earning Somerville the title of the "Father of Lucknow". With the "Gravel Road" open into Kinloss in 1866, the village continued to grow and had a population of 430 in 1868.

Point Clark

In 1850, Point Clark was known simply as "The Point". The name was changed to "Pine Point" because a lantern was hung from a pine tree to warn sailors of the offshore shoal before the Lighthouse was built. When, during the 1870s, settlers arrived from Clark Township and Durham County, they renamed their new-found home, Point Clark.

Point Clark is best known for its imperial lighthouse tower which warns sailors of the dangers of the reefs. The lantern was first lit on April 1, 1859 and there are 114 narrow steps up to the red-domed lantern room. It was the first Ontario lighthouse to be designated as a National Historic Site by Parks Canada in 1967. Tours of the lighthouse and museum (located in the former keeper's quarters) are available from mid-June to Labour Day.

The first lighthouse keeper, John Young, and his wife lived in the small, stone lightkeeper's cottage until 1878.

Ripley

Ripley was named after a town in Derbyshire, England and was settled by 109 families who were evicted from their crofts on Lewis Island, the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

The post office opened in 1857. From 1874 to 1880, the community was known as "Dingwall", before reverting back to Ripley.

The first village store was a liquor store operated by Mr. Carter. The completion of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1873 placed Ripley on the business map. By 1886, Ripley was a thriving community with dozens of stores including a jewellery store, barber shop, harness shop, four general stores, two blacksmith shops, a grain elevator, two grocery stores, a carriage works, a flax mill, a brick school, a furniture store, three hotels, a bookstore, two shoe stores, a planing mill, a township and society hall, an oatmeal mill, a hardware store, a bakery, three hotels, a drugstore and four churches of various denominations.

The village was incorporated in 1925 and the first election was held on June 1, 1925. John B. Martyn was the village's first reeve and R.H. Martyn was the first clerk.

Today, Ripley has a population of about 600 people and features a post office, legion, retirement home, an arena, soccer fields, a library, a school, tennis courts, three churches, a ball diamond, various stores and restaurants and a volunteer fire department.