The Township of Egremont

The main migration of settlers to Egremont began in 1850. Before that the Iroquois had hunted these lands since 1640. The Iroquois were driven out by the Ojibways who were in Grey County when the first pioneers arrived.

In 1837, Charles Rankin P.L.S. (Provincial Land Surveyor) received instruction from the Government of Upper Canada to mark a trail from Fergus to Sydenham (Owen Sound). He started at the northwest corner of Garafraxa Township from, which was given the name of the Garafraxa Road.

In 1841, The Government thinking the Road too long and crooked sent John McDonald P.L.S. to re-survey it. He straightened it out somewhat and laid out the concessions and lots one on each side of the road. In 1845, Robert W. Kerr P.L.S. added Concession 2 and 3.

In July 1851, from the diary of J.D. Daniels P.L.S., he tells of coming from Owen Sound to the Towns of Durham with a team of horses, provisions and employing "hands for the survey. They traveled south and stopped at Smiths Inn for the night. Next morning they began the survey of Egremont to the rear of Concession on the sideroad between Lots 63 & 64.

Another surveyor Wm. R. Romborough P.L.S. is mentioned working to the west and north of Holstein. Isaac Traynor P.L.S. surveyed Holstein and Orchardville.

The Township of Egremont on the southern boundary of Grey County, takes its name from a town in England. It has one of the highest elevations in the county being 1550 feet above sea level at the northeast corner. From this high point in the north, the Township generally slopes down into a hollow in the middle and then again rises in the south. The northern part is hilly with considerable limestone and always free from summer frost. The central part is flat, especially on the east. The southern part is undulating with varying soil from sandy to heavy clay.

Egremont has an area of 72,000 acres with a population of 3,949 in 1871. In 1984 there were 2,018 residents.

Egremont was one of the final sections of Grey County to be settled, despite its southerly location in the county. Its seems many of the early settlers coming from Guelph passed right on through for land closer to the water. When the Township was organized in 1850, most families were farming within two concessions of the Garafraxa Road (Highway 6) Mostfarms were located right along side the road.

The early pioneers were mostly Loyalists or else recent immigrants from Great Britain. Egremont used the British money system until 1858.

Nominations for Egremonts first Council in 1850 were held at Bateys Tavern in Orchard where the elections were a simplified affair carried out by a show of hands. The first Council were Reeve David Cochran and Councillors B. Crittenden, T. Smith, I Stirrett and J. Brown. The Clerk was Thomas Acheson and the Treasurer Isaac Batey.

• The above information was taken from the book "While We Still Remember A History of Egrmeont 1840-2000", compiled and published by the Egremont Historical Committee.


  • This book is no longer available. For those who already have the book, there is an update to that book available at the Township office at a cost of $20.00. 
All information on this website is provided as a public resource of general information. Every effort is made to ensure that the documents on this website are accurate and contain the latest amendments; however, the Township of Southgate does not guarantee or accept any responsibility for accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of information provided here.