Heritage Village, Vineland, Ontario

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history clock  ROOTS I :  PIONEERS

Iroquois Trail & Vineland roots

 17th Century: Neutral natives are permanent residents, until eliminated by  invasions from Hurons (Simcoe area) and Iroquois (New York area). Area becomes hunting grounds for Mississauga natives (just like today). No settlements but British consider area part of colony of Quebec.

  1775-1783: American Revolution threatens colony of Quebec. Colonel John Butler of British Indian Department, battles American rebel colonists in alliance with New York Iroquois. The Mohawk warriors led by Joseph Brant create Iroquois Trail (now King Street), Lakeshore Trail  and Mohawk Trail (now Fly Road).

~1780-82: Butlersburg is founded (later Niagara-on-the-Lake) by UEL refugee squatters and Rangers on crown land. All are subject to Quebec Napoleonic Law.

1783: Colonel John Butler  gets land titles for his Butler's Rangers covering 12 miles along lake, west of Niagara River. 1784:  Brant gets titles for Mohawk refugees on land around Brantford and Burlington.  

1786: First Mennonite refugees from war, reach Twenty Mile Creek: Tilman, Kolb (Culp), Albrecht (Albright), Hahn (Haun, Haynes). Families Meyer (Moyer), Fretz, Katz, Fry, Overholt, Hipple, Hoch (High), Gross, Rittenhouse and Tufford join them about 1799.  Their anglicized names now identify our neighbourhood roads.

1791: Constitution Act creates Upper Canada, now under British Law. Capital is named Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake).

1793: County named Lincoln.  Settlers loyal to the British Crown during the Revolution are honoured with post-nominal initials UE (United Empire Loyalists).  These are still the only inherited titles recognized under Canadian law.  The Milita Act of 1793 exempts Mennonites from military duties.

1799: Mennonite Jacob Moyer (1767-1833, born "Meyer") from Bucks County, Pennsylvania scouts for land in Vineland area.  Follows the Iroquois Trail (now King Street).

1801: "Meyer Meeting House" congregation assembles on Jacob Moyer's farm, in Dilman Moyer's house (on Cherry Ave since 1799) until log school house is available. 

1803: Crown Grant to Thomas Butler.  100 acres being Lot 1,Concession 4, Township of Clinton.  Some 1,100 acres sold to Mennonites at $1.50 to $2.50 per acre,

1807:  Jacob Moyer becomes first Mennonite Bishop in Canada.  The Meyer Church worships in German untill 1890's. His house still stands.

1812: Lincoln Militia founded by Colonel John Butler to fight American invasion.

1815: Land registered to Jacob Moyer. 

1816: First mail stage to Vineland, via  the Queenston-Hamilton Road.

1846: Lincoln County divided into Lincoln & Welland Counties.  

1849. Samuel T Moyer (1797-1874) buys 61 acres from Jacob Moyer Estate.

1851: The Samuel Moyer family brick home is built. (site: behind Heritage Square and John Charles Boulevard).

1894: Vineland gets a post office.

1910: Moyer house & farm property transferred to William Milch.

1912: Farmpurchased as wedding gift by Charles J. & Emma Myles.  Son-in law Charles E. Martin and daughter Florence get title in 1920.

1924-26:  Mennonites from Russia arrive in Vineland, found Vineland United Mennonite Church.

1934: Vineland Burial Society formed.

1944:  Mennonites as Concientious Objectors (CO) allowed to perform alternative service such as in mental health hospitals. Mennonite Sickness Benefit Society of Ontario, Vineland is founded.

1950: Beginnings of the Dutch floriculture invasion.  Greenhouses multiply.

1951: October 14. Princes Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive by train to Vineland.  Greeted by recent Dutch immigrants, now speaking English.

1952: Dr. Frederick Short, economist and Vineland real estate broker,  acquires 50 acres  land for a fruit tree farm. Moyer House title officially registered to Short, 1957.

1953:  United Mennonite Home for the Aged founded in Vineland.

1957: The Vineland-Jordan Post is founded by William F. Rannie.

1970: Town of Lincoln is born by amalgamation.  But where is it?

1986:  Mennonites celebrate 200 years in Canada. Bicentennial Monument erected on site of First Mennonite Church (former site of Meyer Church). In the Stonewall cemetary rest the pioneer families: Kratz, Moyer (Meyer), Hoch (High), Gross, Hunsberger (Honsberger) and others.

 Dr. Frederick Short  and his wife Diana, launch Bicentennial project honouring 200 years of Mennonite settlement on the Twenty, by development of an 1820's style village. 

Further Reading:

click here to go to next section:  Birth of the Village

Foster Vernon (2002)  Story of Heritage Village, in Then & Now, Inheritage Magazine, Part I, Oct., Part.II, November.

Cornelius J. Dyck (1993) An introduction to: Mennonite History, Herald Press, Waterloo.  


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