Merchants of Alton, Ontario-1904

Back row- Robert Clark, Undertaker: Dr. MacKinnon: Ross Mackenzie, merchant of stone store: John Lovell, butcher: Rev. MacKay, Presbyterian; Wm. MacQuarrie, Baker.

Second row- Frank Anderson, shoe-maker; SAm Barber, carriage works; Robert Kerr, hotel (brick); Stan Davis, post office; Willis Coulter, merchant; Gordon MacQuarrie, bake shop; Alex Patterson, harness shop; Everton Barber, carriage works; D.C.Worts, druggist; Amos Mason, merchant; John Gibbs, painter.

Third Row-X-; Rev. Langford, Methodist church; Thomas Meek, flour mill; Wm. Rowcliffe, blacksmith; Lorne Widdis, barber; James Barber, carriage shop; W. MacKenzie, merchant; Alix Dick, foundry machine shop; J. Menzies, carder, woolen mill.

Per- Mrs. Wylie Houston

Alton Ball Club - About 1900

Joe Palmer, Bill Algie, Billy Neely, Dr. Algie, Jack Gibbs, Angus Crawford, Billy Bowers, Wylie Houston, Jim Dick, Jim Algie and in the front is Orion Barber

The Town of Alton, Ontario

The town of Alton, Ontario, is located in the Township of Caledon, County of Peel, on a branch of the Credit River. This river helped Alton to become one of the most prosperous communities in Ontario. There was about a mile of rapids with a fall of about 108 feet. This was ideal for water power sites needed in the early years. At one point, eight power dams were developed. Industries in the early years included a sawmill, grist mill, ax factory and woolen mills. John S. Meek was appointed postmaster in 1855. His son, Thomas ran a flour mill at one point. It is believed that John S. Meek gave Alton it's name when the village was incorporated about 1850. Robert Meek, my great grandfather, was also merchant there.

The Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway was built through Alton, giving transportation between the village and Toronto. Hydro was introduced to Southern Ontario giving other communities power for factories causing Alton to lose it's edge with the competition. Other towns grew in size while Alton remained the same, losing some of its' importance.

Today Alton has a rubber mill, and old knitting mill which has been restored, a few stores and businesses and a bank. It also has a library from which some of this material was obtained. Some of the village's churches were bought and turned into antique stores.

I found Alton a charming area with much of its history still evident along the river.

A visit to the Alton Cemetery revealed many gravesites of the MEEK families.


In 1889, the bursting of the McClellan dam caused a wall of water, sixteen feet high, to roar down the valley into the town. Some of the other dams along the river were wiped out. Two residents, Mr. & Mrs. Harris lost their lives.

The above photo is of the 3rd Line Bridge destroyed in the flood. Building in upper right is the Cooper Shop where Barrels were made.

This photograph was donated to the Alton Lady's Club by Mrs Ada Redman & Mrs. Pansy ---, both grandchildren of Mr. & Mrs Harris, who were drowned in the flood.

Many thanks to Mrs. Marguerite Cameron and the Lady's Club of Alton for supplying some of these photographs

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