120 Wellington St W.
Ontario Tourism Region : Southwestern
- Pop. 43,409. City in Kent C. at the head of navigation of the Thames R. and Hwy 40 and C. Rd. 2, 3 km N ofHwy 401,74 km NE of Windsor.
- First surveyed in 1790 by Patrick McNiff and named by Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe after Chatham in England.
- The first post office, in 1816, was called McGregors Mills because a mill owned by John McGregor operated just outside town.
- During the War of 1812, Shawnee Chief Tecumseth became one of the most heroic fIgures in Canadian history, fIghting on the side of the British in many battles.
- He was allied with Gen. Proctor, commander of the British forces, who ordered a retreat up the Thames R. in the face of strong American forces.
- Tecumseth urged Proctor to stay and fIght at the junction of the Thames and McGregors Cr., but Proctor withdrew, leaving Tecumseth and his warriors to fIght at a nearby swamp called Moraviantown.
- Tecumseth was killed, and Proctor was court-martialled and publicly reprimanded. The town was also known as Chatham Mills, Chatham Village and Chatham West before being named Chatham in 1850.
- It was Chatham native Clarke Wallace Floody who surveyed, designed and engineered the famous tunnel used by Allied soldiers to escape from the German prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft 3.
- If you've seen the movie The Great Escape, you'll recall the tunnel was 336 feet long and 30 feet deep.
- Floody acquired his tunnelling knowledge as a miner in Kirkland Lake. He didn't get to use the tunnel because he was moved to another prison camp before The Great Escape took place.
- Postcards above from A Great Lakes Treasury of Old Postcards 2007 Lorenzo Marcolin, MD 176 pp. For Copies call the Huronia Museum 705 526 2844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Address of this page: http://www.ruralroutes.com/chathamontario