History of South Huron

Founded in the year 2001 as a result of municipal restructuring, the Municipality of South Huron is comprised of the communities of Stephen and Usborne Townships and the Town of Exeter. The Township of Stephen was founded in 1842 with the sparkling waters of a great lake known as Lake Huron to the west and a large expanse of land to the east. The Township of Usborne was founded in 1842, when early settlers established their homes and farms in a rich, fertile area of land, known as Huron Tract. The Village of Exeter was founded in 1873 in the middle to both of these Townships. It was the centre for retail and industry for the area and later became the Town of Exeter in 1951.

The Canada Company was formed in London, England in 1824 and incorporated on August 29, 1826 by John Galt, who came to Upper Canada in the fall of 1826 to begin the work of settling the Huron Tract. The acreage, known as the Huron Tract was purchased from the Chippewa Indians on April 26, 1825 for a price of 1,100 pounds. The area of the Huron Tract was settled by immigrants from the British Isles and European Countries, therefore the settlers named their communities in Stephen Township as Crediton, Centralia, Khiva, Shipka, Harpley, Boston, Corbett, Greenway and Brewster. In Usborne Township, settlements were known as Devonshire, Corners, Elimville, Winchelsea, Rogerville, Farquhar, Woodham, Kirkton and Lumley. The Village of Exeter had been known as Francistown north of the Ausable River and Exeter to the south. Exeter was established in a vibrant and abundant area, where many grist mills were built to harness the use of water power and established industries to use the good farming products including grains, vegetables and forest products that were being manufactured. Thus the establishment of the Canadian Canners Factory in Exeter in the early 1930's along with the Verity Plow Company and many industries which build farming equipment.

South Huron municipality has flourished over the years making good use of the rich agricultural produce and the close proximity to major markets in Canada and the United States. The South Huron area is well known for the cottage industry and tourism that is offered on the shores of Lake Huron, including the great outdoor trails in MacNaughton Park and Morrison Dam area, and the famous White Squirrels that are found in parks and back-yards in South Huron, make our community unique.