Ontario's Historical Plaques 

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Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig

Photo by contributor Tony White - Posted July, 2007

Ailsa Craig

Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted December, 2010

Plaque Location

The County of Middlesex
The Township of North Middlesex
In Ailsa Craig, on the northwest corner of
Main Street (Highway 7) and Jameson Street

Coordinates: N 43 08.845 W 81 32.118


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

The founding of this community coincided with the construction of the section of the Grand Trunk Railway line from St. Mary's to Point Edward, begun in 1858 and completed a year later. In 1861 David Craig and W.G. Shipley registered subdivisions and a post office was opened. Adopting the name of a small Scottish island, Ailsa Craig, the settlement flourished as the centre for the fertile surrounding region. In 1870 it had a population of 500 and contained hotels, stores, mills and several other small industries. By this time Ailsa Craig had become the site of the largest cattle market west of London. By a Provincial Act of December 21, 1874, the community became an incorporated Village, and the first council met on January 19, 1875.



North Middlesex Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted November 27, 2017
My grandmother was born in Ailsa Craig in 1891. Mary Frances O'Neal was the best!
Chris Richmond hercrichmond@gmail.com

> Posted August 2, 2015
In the Depression we moved there from London. My Dad was a working partner to Ralph Drolet who had the Ford dealership there - such as it was. I remember our rented place had a black iron fence around the front yard about 2 1/2 feet high. It was between the main street and the school. They were short of students in 1933 and I was allowed to enrol at the age of just 5. Names I remember are Shipley and Ursula Rosser, and perhaps Brown. I think the teacher's name was Miss Love. Ralph Drolet's daughter was Shirley. We later moved east of town out near the ball park. I had my first cigarette at the age of 6 out under the scoreboard in centre field. I remember the travelling Minstrel Show coming through town. We called them 'darkies'. They ended the show with a scene from 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. And I remember the little town bank getting robbed by gangsters who sped off in a high powered car. The population then was about 400. I've been back 2 times since we left for Toronto in the early '30 s. The old school is gone. I now live is Surrey, B.C. I'm 86 !!!!
Best wishes, Ken Sanders

> Posted September 8, 2013
Ailsa Craig was the 2nd largest cattle shipper in Canada at one time - claiming it was the largest west of London is wrong and inaccurate - Calgary was the largest and it is west of London, Ailsa Craig was second.

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