On September 19, 1804 John Bostwick was granted 400 acres of land on the east side of Kettle Creek.  He settled in the area in the early 1820s and ran an important warehouse and mill.  Although Bostwick is sometimes referred to as the founder of Port Stanley, other early settlers had names like Zavitz, Minor, Smith, Stephens, Price, Begg and Mason.  These names reflect the wide diversity of settlers who poured into southwestern Ontario between 1820 and 1875.  Port Stanley was an important portal of entry.  In one year, 1844, its busy harbour recorded the arrival of 148 boats.  As early as 1822 a road had been opened linking the port to St. Thomas and London, and in 1856 the London and Port Stanley railway started operation, connecting Port Stanley to the vast rail network which was spreading across North America.

     As well as being an important centre for the movement of goods and people, Port Stanley was and still is, the home of a thriving commercial fishing fleet.  In 1910 there were 22 fishing tugs operating from the Port Stanley harbour.

     It was not until the early years of the 20th century that Port Stanley came into its own as a summer resort.  Many of the readers of this pamphlet will remember the L&PS which brought close to a million vacationers a year to the village.

 

The above narrative about Port Stanley has been prepared by Heritage Port,
a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the history of Port Stanley.
It is part of their Historical Walking Tour of Port Stanley and has been reprinted here with their permission.  For more information please contact their chairman,
Craig Cole at (519) 782-4532


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