Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

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Home | All About Niagara | The History of Niagara | Niagara Townships

Bertie Township

The Township of Bertie was bounded on the east by the Niagara River, on the south by Lake Erie, on the north the Township of Willoughby and on the west by the Township of Humbertstone. The Township of Bertie contained aprx. 36,000 acres.

The Limestone Ridge traversed the township in a south-westerly direction from the Niagara River to Lake Erie, and divided it in half. Land throughout Bertie Township was laid out in blocks containing two lots, each one 100 acres, with a road allowance around each block.

As well as the Niagara River, several smaller creeks and streams passed through Bertie Township. The largest of these is Black Creek, followed by Frenchman's Creek and Miller's Creek, which all emptied into the Niagara River.

The Two Mile and the Six Mile Creeks flowed through the township on their way to Lake Erie.

The earliest township meeting took place on Monday, March 7, 1807 at Andrew Miller's Tavern. The first order of business was to keep a detailed account of each farmer's livestock identification methods. This practice of nicking and cutting an animal's ear to mark ownership was crude by today's standards but an important method of identification to early settlers.

The second order of business that evening was to take up a collection to be used for the purchase of a notebook to keep such records in and to set up a poor relief fund, should any of the inhabitants of the township find themselves in dire need.

The participants of this first township meeting were Silas Carter, Richard Graham, Christian Hershey, Alexander Douglas, James Smith, Joseph Harper, John Baxter, Michael Sherk, Jr., Johannes Winger, and George Zavitz, Henry Trout, Jacob Haun, Joseph Marsh, John Warren Sr., Joseph Haun, Daniel Pound, Asa Oliver, John Hirrot, Abram Hershey, Peter Wintermute, Henry Nigh, Adam Burwell, Jeremiah Tuttle, Peter Laur, Peter Bleddo, Charles Hibbard, Michael Buck, James Wintermute Edward Carr and Thomas Baxter.

By 1880 the Township of Bertie had three villages, Stevensville, Ridgeway and Victoria, all situated along major rail lines bringing prosperity to the area. By the year 1885 there were 4,000 inhabitants in the township as well as 1,400 horses, 3,255 sheep, 3,100 horned cattle and 1,700 hogs. That same year saw 971 acres of orchards and 4,100 acres sown with winter wheat.