Ontario Heritage Trust

Written Plaque Text

In 1821 George Bolton, an English immigrant, purchased 200 acres of land here on the Humber River.  Two years later in partnership with his uncle1 , James Bolton, one of Albion Township’s earliest settlers2 , he erected a grist mill.  This provided the nucleus around which a community known as Bolton’s Mills3  was established by 1830.  A post office named ‘Albion’ was opened in 1832.  By 1850 the settlement contained a sawmill, stores, a woollen factory, tannery and blacksmith’s shop and within five years a village plot was laid out.  The construction of the Toronto Grey & Bruce Railway in 1871 stimulated the growth of Bolton which, with a population of 795, was incorporated as a Village in 1872.

Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Archives of Ontario 1972

On Sunday September 10, 1972, an historical plaque commemorating the founding of Bolton was unveiled on the old section of Highway 50 that is now Centennial Drive. Show left to right are: Stewart Rutherfold, Werden Leavens, Murray Hesp, David McFall, W.S. Goulding, Erie Smith Schaefer, Wilton Downey, Hilliard Allen, Reverend Knowles, Ivor McMullin, Fred Tingley and Rev. Robert Leckey.
  1. George Bolton was 18 years younger than James Bolton.  It has subsequently been confirmed that they were brothers: James being the eldest in the family while George was his youngest sibling
  2. James Bolton received a Ticket of Location in November 1819 which assigned him to Lot 14, Con 9 in Albion Township.  This lot where James, his wife Lucy and their eight children settled was about 7 km distant from the mill site.
  3. Samuel Walford in his Autobiography wrote that in 1834, when he and his family arrived in Albion Township, the community was referred to as Bolton’s Mill (singular) and also as Bolton Hollow.