Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

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George Tillson 1782-1864

George Tillson 1782-1864

Photo by contributor Meagan Berry - Posted July, 2016

George Tillson 1782-1864

Photo by contributor Meagan Berry - Posted August, 2017

Plaque Location

The County of Oxford
Town of Tillsonburg
On Old Vienna Road at a pull-off on the west side
just south of Highway 19

Coordinates: N 42 51.532 W 80 43.210


Plaque Text

Born in Enfield, Massachusetts, Tillson immigrated to Canada in 1822. With Hiram Capron and Joseph Van Norman, Tillson was part-owner of the Normandale Iron Foundry in Norfolk County, one of Ontario's earliest iron works. In 1824, Tillson sold his share of the business and purchased 240 ha of land along Big Otter Creek after finding large deposits of bog iron in the region. In partnership with Benjamin Van Norman, Tillson dammed the stream and built a forge and sawmill in this vicinity. To encourage settlement, Tillson surveyed the town site and constructed roads. The community that he established was originally called Dereham Forge but later renamed Tillsonburg in honour of its founder.

Related Ontario plaques
Annandale House
King Capron 1796-1872
Normandale Blast Furnace
Marmora Ironworks 1823



Tillsonburg Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted October 6, 2010
Tillson's birthplace, Enfield, Massachusetts, no longer exists. It was disincorporated in 1938 and razed by 1940 in preparation for a large reservoir. The site of the town lies mainly submerged under the Quabbin Reservoir. On another matter, it's odd that, in its first sentence, this plaque is highly specific when referring to a foreign (US) location, giving the town name and state (but no country). Yet in the same sentence, it's vague when mentioning "Canada". This irksome style is typical of US sources, but several Ontario plaques repeat it. The reference should at least name the province, Upper Canada.

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