Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

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

Pelham Township

The Township of Pelham sat directly in the centre of the Lincoln County. It is bounded on the south by the Welland River which separated it from Wainfleet Township, the east by the Township of Thorold, the west by Gainsborough and Clinton Townships and the north by Louth Township.

The Township of Pelham was settled mainly by Quakers and Mennonites as early as 1790. By the year 1817 the population of the township was seven hundred and seventy six inhabitants.

The township possessed one Quaker church and five schools as well as three grist mills and five saw mills. The township varied greatly in it's geography, the northern part being quite hilly, with gently rolling hills making up the interior.

The southern portion near the Welland River was predominately flat. The southern portion of the township was irrigated by several small streams; tributaries of the Welland River, while the hilly northern part of the township was the source of the Twelve Mile Creek.

Three main settlements could be found in Pelham Township. Fonthill, Ridgeville and Fenwick each contained approximately 300 inhabitants in the year 1885. There were also 1,200 horses, 1,750 sheep, and 2,200 horned cattle in the township at that time.

A large population also sprung up along the Canboro Road where from Fonthill to Fenwick, a distance of roughly six miles, the road was filled continuously with homesteads and well tended gardens and orchards. A portion of the village at St. John's also fell within Pelham Township.