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King Township

Greater than the Sum of its Parts


Nestled between the Holland Marsh to the north and Toronto to the south, King Township was first surveyed in 1800 and grew steadily throughout the 19th century. Dozens of small communities with humble origins and a shared history were established as settlers were drawn to the rich agricultural lands of the Township. Some of these hamlets, like Strange and New Scotland, may have faded into history but larger communities like Schomberg, have flourished. Now known as the largest Township in York Region with the smallest population, King Township, with thriving villages, recreational areas and picturesque landscapes, has much to offer and many areas to explore. Preview this first version of On This Spot in King Township and give us your feedback. We’d love to hear more personal stories, Schomberg anecdotes and see more historical images ([email protected]). Check back here for a full walking tour of OTS Schomberg to be launching in May.

These photos and tours are possible through the generous support of our partners.

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Then and Now Photos

Schomberg's Baptist Church


Schomberg's Baptist Church Schomberg's Baptist Church
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

Located at the centre of Schomberg, the Baptist church is a little square building with front facing windows. It began not as a baptist church however, but a methodist one. The Baptist community of Schomberg officially bought the little red brick church when the Methodist community built another church in 1881. It was later purchased by the Presbyterian Church in 1907, and there it remains.

The 1927 New School


The 1927 New School The 1927 New School
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

Beginning with the 1820 iteration, each of the four schools that were built in Schomberg grew in size to accompany its rapidly growing population. The school photographed was built in 1927, and welcomed with open arms for its large class sizes. Mr. Cooper, the Chairmen of the Board of Trustees was recorded at its opening saying: "I feel safe in saying, that we have one of the best schools in the country at a very conservative cost."

Main Street From the North


Main Street From the North Main Street From the North
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

One of the most drastic changes that came about from the early part of the twentieth century to the later, was the development of cars as a means of transport. When the above photo was taken, Schomberg's Main Street was still lined with the ever present hitching posts and wooden rails to tie one's horse to. Notably a wagon sits outside of the butcher shop, while today this street is lined with cement. How drastically times have changed.

A New Post Office in 1965


A New Post Office in 1965 A New Post Office in 1965
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

One of the most important features of any small rural town is it's post office, the place where one can come and collect mail, and the greater connection to the outside world. In Schomberg's early days, there was no post office to be found and all mail had to be collected in Lloydtown. In 1861, however, the absence of a post office became a sore spot in the town, especially as Schomberg continued to grow in size, and a post office was established 1862. The post office pictured above was the latest iteration, and opened in 1965 on a former mill property.

The Butcher Shop Wagon


The Butcher Shop Wagon The Butcher Shop Wagon
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

1907

Unlike many of us today who go into the supermarket or grocery and buy our meat from a refrigerated shelf, complete with plastic packaging, townspeople of Schomberg in the early 20th century had to buy meat from the local butcher. In Schomberg it was George Skinner. People would go to the butcher and only buy as much as they could cook, or preserve, as basic refrigeration was not as common as it is today. In Canada, industrialized meat packing as we see it now would not become a reality until the 1930s.

Main Street From the South


Main Street From the South Main Street From the South
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

In the growth of small towns everywhere, one of the most notable items is the development of speciality retailers. Owned and operated by locals, they are geared to the needs of the community, and shape the community they are located in. On the historic street captured above, a bakery can be spotted in one corner, while today this same street is lined with several small shops and businesses.

The New Post Office


The New Post Office The New Post Office
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

When Schomberg first received a post office in 1862, the town was so enthused that the Examiner, a local newspaper, printed: "The office opens today. A post office is what we have long wanted, and at last, have got it. Hurrah for Schomberg!" The town's first postmaster was Asa Moore, a local general store clerk. From 1881 to 1965, when it finally settled into the old mill property on Main Street, the post office would move throughout the town.

Schomberg's Main Street


Schomberg's Main Street Schomberg's Main Street
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

The heart of Schomberg has always been Main Street, from which one could access the church, or the market, or store. In the 1920s, several things were happening in Schomberg at the time, including adding in the railway terminus that connected the little town to Toronto, and then the rapid urbanisation in the 1930s.

Skinner's Butcher Shop


Skinner's Butcher Shop Skinner's Butcher Shop
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King Heritage & Cultural Centre On This Spot Enterprises

George Skinner's Butcher Shop was the only one located in Schomberg in the late 1800s. Owned and run by George Skinner, he was the son of George Sr. who was known for walking to Toronto for work as a plasterer on Monday from Schomberg, only to return Saturday night. George Jr. began working as a butcher when he was sixteen, and continued to do so all throughout his life.


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