20 81st Crescent
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Ontario Tourism Region : Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
- Pop. 1,001. In Bosanquet T., Lambton C., on L. Huron at the mouth of the Ausable R. and Hwy 21 and C. Rd. 81, 69 km NW of London.
- The Ausable R. originally flowed to within 200 metres of L. Huron and then made an abrupt bend and flowed 21 km S, parallel to the lakeshore, emptying into L. Huron at Port Franks.
- In 1832 a man named Brewster built a mill at the point of the 'grand bend' in the river.
- The settlement that grew up here was called Brewster's Mills. In 1845 a group of French-Canadians fleeing a famine in Quebec, settled in the area which they called Aux Croches, meaning 'at the bends' and referring to the twisting river.
- From the time it was built, settlers complained that Brewster's mill dam caused flooding of their farmlands. In 1860 a group of angry farmers destroyed the mill and dam, but the flooding continued.
- In 1872 a post office was established called Grand Bend. The Canada Company, which held the land as part of the Huron Tract, solved the flooding problem by cutting a straight channel across the series of loops in the river from the village of Port
- Franks to the big loop in the river at Grand Bend.
- The diversion also destroyed the natural harbour at Port Franks. In 1891 a channel was cut from the big loop in the river at Grand Bend to L. Huron, and the community began to develop as a popular summer resort.
- Grand Bend was originally in Huron C., but when Huron stayed dry after repeal of the Canada Temperance Act in Ontario, Grand Bend businessmen felt temperance would hurt their tourist trade, so they seceded to Lambton C.
- The businessmen were right -- providing alcohol further boosted the town's popularity. While the year-round population is only 1,000, there are often 25,000 or more holidayers in and around the town on summer weekends.
- The popular Pinery Provincial Park is 8 km S of Grand Bend off Hwy 21, just S ofthe Lambton Heritage Museum. Grand Bend is also home of the Huron County Playhouse, a summer theatre offering fine straw-hat performances.
Address of this page: http://www.ruralroutes.com/grandbend