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Ontario Tourism Region : The Great Waterway
Description From Owner:
- Pop. 305. In Charlottenburgh T., Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Cs., on the Raisin R. and C. Rds. 17 & 19, 29 km NE of Cornwall.
- The community was founded in 1778 by United Empire Loyalists led by Sir John Johnson. It was first called Ballaviellen, Gaelic for 'mill town.'
- When the post office opened in 1833 the name was changed. to Wi!liamstown to honour Sir William Johnson, father of Sir John Johnson.
- Sir William was superintendent.of Indian affairs in the northern American colonies.
- In 1802 more than 400 Scottish Highlanders, many named MacMillan, emigrated to Canada from Invernesshire under the leadership of cousins Archibald and Alan MacMillan.
- They settled m Argenteuil C., Lower Canada; and Glengarry and Stormont Cs., Upper Canada.
- St. Andrew's Church was built in 1812 to house the province's first Presbytenan congregation, which formed in Williamstown in 1787.
- Sir Alexander Mackezie, explorer ofthe Canadian West, donated a bell for the church and persuaded friends in Scotland to provide a communion service.
- Although its eastern headquarters were in Montreal and its inland depots were at Grand Portage and later Fort William the North West Company's roots were in Glengarry C.
- Many employees were reuruited from the county's Scottish settlements, and several senior partners made their homes in Williamstown.
- Duncan Cameron (1764-1848), who commanded the Red River area for the North West Company during the company's fierce rivalry with the Hudson's Bay Company, returned to live in Williamstown in 1820.
- The Williamstown Fair has been held since 1808 on a 12-acre (4.8 ha) site donated by Sir John Johnson.
Address of this page: http://www.ruralroutes.com/williamstownontario