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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.

Main Street Looking North


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

Echoes of the past can be seen in this early 20th-century image looking north on Main Street, then gravelled with hitching posts for horses and wagons still evident. The cross-fade with the modern image shows how the community has evolved. In the front left of the historic photo is Skinner’s butcher shop, now a private residence, with its delivery wagon parked out front. George Thomas Skinner, who started in the butchering business at age sixteen, ran a successful business for many years and later went into partnership with his youngest son Blake. Mid-ground, partially hidden by a tree in the historic photo, is a typical board-and-batten commercial building at 239 Main St., now occupied by Horizon Realty. Originally built as 1 ½ stories to avoid higher taxes, these buildings had a false front to make them appear as a full, more impressive, two stories. With a central front door and large windows to illuminate the interior, these stores often had living quarters upstairs for the family who ran the business. Next door, at 245 Main Street, was the location of Alfred Eastwood’s drugstore. Eastwood and his wife Caroline Thompson appear on the 1871 census with one child and then the 1881 census with their three children. This attractive building, built circa 1875, is now home to Cake Realty. Further along the west side of Main Street, in the background of the modern photo, the red brick squared shape of another commercial building can be seen. Now home to The Scottish Nook and The Quilters Nook, 283 Main St. originally housed the business of Ernest Stuckey, druggist. Born in Orangeville, Stuckey served in the CEF during WWI and then returned home to complete an apprenticeship and attend Pharmaceutical College. In 1922, he purchased a drugstore in Schomberg that was destroyed by fire (seen in the distance of the historic photograph). The following year was more favourable for Stuckey as he rebuilt the drugstore in red brick and married Dora Lockhart of North Bay. Schomberg Pharmacy served the community for many years.

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 its post office, the place where one can connect with the outside world. In Schomberg's early days, there was no post office 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. A post office was therefore established in 1862. The post office pictured above is 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 store and buy our meat from a refrigerated shelf, complete with plastic packaging, the townspeople of Schomberg in the early 20th century had to buy their meat from the local butcher. In Schomberg, this 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

Part of the growth of small towns everywhere is the development of speciality retailers. Owned and operated by locals, these stores are geared towards the needs of the community, and they in turn shape the community they are located in. On the historic street captured above, a bakery can be spotted in one corner. Today, this same street is lined with several small shops and businesses.

The Post Office


The Post Office The 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, the post office moved throughout the town. It finally settled into the old mill property on Main Street in 1965.

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, the market, and the store. In the 1920s, a railway terminus was built in Schomberg to connect the little town to Toronto. This led to 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. It was owned and run by George Skinner, the son of George Sr., who was known for walking from Schomberg to Toronto for work as a plasterer on Monday and returning on 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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