Balls Falls Conservation Area
Located along the banks of the Twenty Mile Creek in Jordan, Ontario is the Balls Falls Conservation Area. Here visitors can step back in time and see the original Ball family home, a flour mill, church and black smith shop. (see below)
Jacob, and his sons Peter and Thomas Ball were Lieutenants in Butler's Rangers. After the disbanding of the Rangers in 1792 the British handed out land grants to militia. Such high positions in the military would have given the Ball men their choice of a suitable parcel of land, and the brothers, no doubt saw the potential of the Twenty Mile Creek to power their mills.
A new addition to Balls Falls is the Ball’s Falls Centre for Conservation where young and old alike can learn about Niagara's rich cultural past, as well as preserving our unique eco-system for the future. * There is an admission fee to this conservation area.
The History of Balls Falls and the Ball Family
Originally from Heidelberg Germany, the Bahl family emigrated first to England and in 1690 the family emigrated to America, settling in the Mohawk Valley region. During the American Revolution the family changed the spelling to Ball, and remained loyal to the Crown.
In 1782 Jacob Ball, along with three sons John, Peter and Thomas made their way to Upper Canada where they were joined by a fourth son George and the female portion of the family. The family was granted over 1000 acres in Niagara as well as acerage in the township of Louth.
Jacob settled with the family in Niagara, along the Black Swamp Road (now Hwy. 55). George and some of his brothers went on to farm the property in Louth. Here there was a waterfall along the Twenty Mile Creek which ran through the property. The brothers soon built a grist mill, a saw mill, woollen mills, a cooper shop (barrel maker) and a general store. This area would prosper and eventually become known as Glen Elgin.
By it's heyday in the mid 1800's as many as a dozen homes lined the street through the village. During the war of 1812 the mills were of great use to the British, and all the Ball men were part of Butler's Rangers. The Niagara farmhouse, along Black Swamp Road was burned to the ground by the Americans, with the occupants barely escaping with their lives.