Historical Plaques of
Dufferin County

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Location: on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church,
River Rd., north of Shelburne, Horning's Mills

In 1830 Lewis Horning, a successful settler from the Hamilton area, located in this vicinity with his family. He cleared 80 acres of land and built a sawmill, grist-mill and frame house, but later returned to Hamilton. With the opening of a government road through the district in 1848, the few familes who had settled near Horning were joined by others and a post office was opened in 1851. The locality's excellent water power attracted industry and by the closing decades of the century the village boasted six or seven mills, various tradesmen and shopkeepers, a public school, three churches and approximately 350 inhabitants. Horning's Mills was an important pioneer settlement in this region of Ontario.

Architectural and Historical Sites Board of Ontario


Location: at the Town Hall, 302 Main St. E., Shelburne

Settlement of Melancthon Township began in the late 1840's and coincided with the construction of the Toronto-Sydenham Road. By the 1860's settlers had moved into the Shelburne area and in 1865 William Jelly, one of the community's earliest inhabitants, established the British Canadian Hotel, commonly known as Jelly's Tavern. Within a year the setlement included a post-office named Shelburne, reportedly after the Earl of Shelburne. In 1872 Jelly and his brother John ordered the survey of a village plot in anticipation of the arrival of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway. Rapid economic growth followed and the population increased from 70 in 1869 to 750 in 1877. Two years later Shelburne was incorporated as a Village and, in 1977, it became a Town.

Ereceted by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: Across from the CPR Station, Mill St., Orangeville

This pioneer railway was chartered in 1868 and the first sod was turned at Weston on October 5, 1869, by Prince Arthur, third son of Queen Victoria. Constructed under direction of chief engineer Edmund Wragge, the main line from Toronto to Owen Sound was completed in 1873 and a branch line from a point near Orangville to Teeswater was finished about a year later. Freight and passenger service was begun on the section from Toronto to Orangeville in September 1871, and from Orangeville to Owen Sound in August, 1873. The original choice of narrow-gauge track proved ill-advised and standard guage track was laid in, 1881-83. The line was leased to the Ontario and Quebec Railway in 1883 and absorbed by the C.P.R. the following year.

Ereceted by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board
Ministry of College and Universities


Location: 51 Zina St., Orangeville

Construction of this imposing brick court house was begun in the spring of 1880. Designed by C.J. Soule, a Guelph architect, it was built by the contracting firm of Dobbie and Grierson. Although the first provisional county council meeting was held here on November 24, 1880, the two-storey rectangular building constructed to house the judicial and administrative offices of the newly created county of Dufferin was not completed until early 1881. Its impressive exterior is distinguished by a prominent central tower, projecting gable ends , irregular roof treatment and decorative white brick. Except for the addition of a new wing in 1973, the building remains largely unaltered, and still serves as the centre for the administration of justice in the county.

Ereceted by the Ontario Heritage Foundation
Ministry of Culture and Recreation