|Southampton 150th Anniversary|
Dates in Southampton history
1816: On Aug. 19 a violent storm wrecked the brig Hunter on Southampton beach. Her hull was discovered in 2001 and excavated in 2004.
1846: Charles Rankin surveyed the route for a proposed road from Owen's Sound to the Ojibway village at the mouth of the Saugeen River. At the future site of Southampton he noted only the presence of "Indian graves".
1848: The first Europeans settled at the mouth of the Saugeen: Capt. John Spence and Capt. William Kennedy travelled overland from Owen Sound in June 1848. In 1851 Capt. Kennedy had to leave for the Arctic, at the request of Lady Franklin, to lead the search for lost explorer Sir John Franklin.
1851: Surveyor R. Lynn laid out a town plan, with notably wide streets and land for churches, schools, other public buildings and a cemetery. An 1857 map showed about 130 houses.
1855-1859: Construction of Chantry Island lighthouse. The first lightkeeper was Duncan Lambert. His house was restored by volunteers of the Marine Heritage Society and opened to visitors in 2001.
1858: Southampton was incorporated as a village on July 24, 1858. It was named after Southampton, England, perhaps in the hope that the new Southampton would become as great a port as the old one. In the early days it was known equally as Saugeen, the name used by the post office and the custom house. Not until around 1890 did the post office change its name to Southampton.
1859: Charles Forest ran a ferry carrying freight and passengers across the Saugeen. In 1865 a bridge was built at Denny's Dam.
1860: A town hall was constructed, now the Masonic Hall. The present town hall dates from 1910.
1872: The Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway brought its tracks into Southampton, having started in Guelph in 1869.
1873-1877: Construction of the Long Dock. In 1923 the townspeople opted to repair the River Harbour dock rather than the Long Dock, which succumbed to storms in 1943 and a government bulldozer in 1946.
1881: The population of Southampton was 1,141. In 1891 it was 1,437.
1882: Writing in Picturesque Canada, George Monro called Southampton "the headquarters of the fishing industry on Lake Huron."
1886: A fire destroyed over 50 buildings on Nov. 4. It started in J.M. Kelly's house and in four hours, fanned by a high wind, razed everything for two blocks along High Street.
1888: William Graham founded the weekly newspaper The Beacon. Starting in 1907 it was published by Ernest E. Short, succeeded by his son Everett Short. These newspapers are on microfilm at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre: Southampton Beacon, 1909-1974; Beacon Times, 1975-1998; Shoreline Beacon, 1999- .
1893: A fire destroyed downtown stores and the Commercial Hotel, which was rebuilt and is now the Southampton Hotel.
1904: Southampton gained the status of a town, as of Dec. 26, 1904. A census gave it a population of over 2,400, but that included summer visitors. A.E. Belcher became first mayor in 1905. The population reached 1,685 in 1911.
1908: The life-saving station was built on the beach, then moved onto the Long Dock in 1918 and retired in 1937.
1954: On the night of Oct. 16 the remnants of Hurricane Hazel struck, bringing heavy rain and widespread flooding. The Saugeen ran two feet above normal, sweeping private docks and boats into the lake. The streets were flooded by 10 p.m.; Palmerston Street resembled a river. At 11:30 p.m. the CNR train toppled over at a washout just short of the station, killing two crew.
1993: On July 1 the 135th Anniversary Flag Pole (135 feet high) was dedicated at the foot of High St.
Southampton 150th Anniversary
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