21 College St. W.
Ontario Tourism Region : The Great Waterway
- Pop. 45,065. In Thurlow T., Hastings C., on the Bay of Quinte at the mouth of the Moira R. on Hwys 2, 37 & 62, 81 km. W of Kingston.
- Founded in 1790 by United Empire Loyalist Capt. John Walter Meyers and first known as Meyer's Creek. Upper Canada's first brick house was built nearby in 1794
- The first post office in 1816 was called Singleton's Corners after a Capt. George Singleton, who operated the store.
- In 1816 the name was changed to Belleville in honour of Arabella (Bella), wife of Lt.-Gov. Francis Gore of Upper Canada. Belleville's City Hall, built in the 1870s, is a well-preserved example of High Victorian architecture.
- The official establishment of the Methodist Church resulted from a series of meetings held in Belleville in 1884, and was the culmination of years of debates and mergers between Methodist groups of British and American origin.
- In 1966 the Belleville Seminary, founded in 1857, was rechartered as Albert College, an affiliate of the University of Toronto. Five years later it became an independent, degree-granting institution.
- The Ontario School for the Deaf, the fIrst provincial school for deaf children, opened here in 1870. Sir Mackenzie Bowell (1823-1917) of Belleville, served as prime minister of Canada 1894-1896.
- Canada's first side-by-side hanging:
- A dispute over a hen resulted in Canada's first side-by-side hanging and the last public execution in Belleville.
- A neighbour, a Mr. Munro who lived across the road from Richard Aylward (1836-1862) and Mary Aylward (1839-1862) had hens that used to cross the road to eat the grain in the Aylward's grain field.
- When one of Munro's hens went missing after his wife heard a gunshot, he and his son Alexander accused Aylward of killing his hen. A scuffle ensued during which Alexander was hit with 29 pellets in his backside.
- May Aylward rushed to the defence of her husband armed with a scythe slashing Munro on his arm and head. Munro died a week later, saying, according to his son, he would 'rather die than be treated by the Indian doctor.'
- The Aylwards were arrested and charged with murder. After a trial lasting less than a day, and in which the arresting officer admitted he lost both the gun and the scythe, a 12-man jury announced a verdict of 'guilty with a recommendation of mercy'.
- The judge, Chief Justice Draper, ordered the couple to be hanged. On the morning of the hanging, a crowd of more than 5,000 people, many of them drunk, gathered to watch.
- After the couple had died, their bodies hung on disp- lay for a half hour for the satisfaction of those attending. The couple's three children were split up and raised by two supportive families.
- Postcards above used with permission 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
Natural Resources Canada in Hastings County.
Address of this page: http://www.ruralroutes.com/belleville