Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

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

Grimsby Township

The township of Grimsby is located in the northwestern part of Lincoln County. and is bordered on the south by Gainsborough and Caistor Townships, on the north by Lake Ontario, on the east by Clinton Township and on the west by Salfleet and Binbrook Townships which at that time were located in Wentworth County.

Originally referred to as Township No. 6 the name Grimsby has an interesting meaning. Grimsby was the name of a town on the eastern coast of England and received the name Grimsby Township after Governor Simcoe set forth a naming method for all the townships. The original Grimsby in England was named after "Grim" a Danish invader and the ancient town of Grimsbi is mentioned in an early literary work entitled "The Lay of Havelock the Dane".

The first township meeting was held on April 5th, 1790 at John Green's home. Elections were made and John Moore was elected Clerk, John Beamer, Constable, Levi Lewis and John Green, overseers of roads, John Petit and Levi Lewis, overseers of road, and estimators of damage.

The township of Grimsby was a very diverse township. Traversed by the Niagara Escarpment or "the Mountain", the northern portion of the township below the escarpment had quite different geological features and even different weather conditions than the area above the escarpment.

In 1833 the township was divided into South and North Grimsby Townships. Several rivers and creeks flowed through the township. To the south was the Twenty with Black Creek and Sinkhole Creek flowing into it.

To the north of the township was the Forty Mile Creek which cascaded over a waterfall then known as Beamers Falls. The earliest settlers to the area along Lake Ontario were the families of Beamer, Anderson, Hixon, Lawrason, Lawrence, Walker, Smith, Petit, Nelles, Neil, Moore, Lewis and Woolverton.

This earliest settlement would become known as The Forty and eventually the name would be changed to Grimsby. Below the escarpment the village of Grimsby would flourish. Farmers would find the soil and climate favourable for the growing of tender fruit. Lake Ontario and the Kings Highway (old #8) would provide excellent transportation routes for goods to be shipped to market.

Smithville would serve as the head of the township of the newly formed South Grimsby. Some of the first settlers to South Grimsby Township were the families of Bell, Hill, Griffin, Harris, Lounsbury, North, Meredith, Myers, Nelson, Adam, and Merritt. The first Reeve of South Grimsby Township was James Oille and Edward Irvine was the first Clerk.