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Town History

The Town of New Tecumseth was created in January 1991 and encompasses the former municipalities of the Town of Alliston, Villages of Beeton and Tottenham, and Tecumseth Township.

Tecumseth Township

The name Tecumseth came from a famous Shawnee Indian Chief called Tecumseh who fought and died for the British cause in 1813. A derivation of his name, Tecumseth, was given to the township on April 14, 1821 when the bill was passed in the Ontario Legislature establishing the names of the Townships that would make up Simcoe County.

Tecumseth Township was surveyed, in part, by Gabriel Lount in 1819 and by his son, George Lount, in 1832. The first influx of settlers came in about 1820, with most settling in the southeast quarter of the township.

Municipal government was first established in 1842 and the first town hall was erected in Penville in 1858 at the cost of $450.00. The first Reeve was Robert Cross (1850-1855) and he was selected by the Councillors and not by the popular vote.

Village of Beeton

Beeton was once a bustling centre of manufacturing, honey production, lumbering, flour making, woolen and knitting mills, and more. It began as Clarksville in 1856 named after a blacksmith named Robert Clark. In 1874 that name was changed to Beeton named after David Jones who was the first commercial honey producer in Canada.

Other celebrities that came from Beeton are Gorden Tamblyn, owner of Tamblyn Drug Company and Kate Aitken, an author, radio broadcaster, columnist, good will ambassador of the U.N. and U.N.I.C.E.F.

Village of Tottenham

Tottenham was incorporated in 1884, however records indicate that there were settlements there in the early 1800’s. The name Tottenham, could have come from two different places. The first is believed to have come from the Tottens, a pioneer family. The other is from a man named Halladay who was the first postmaster and named the village after Tottenham Court Road in England around 1850.

In 1877 a railroad company called Hamilton and North-Western built a railway through Tottenham which increased the population to 700 where it stayed for several years. By 1884, there were quite a few industries such as a foundry, and the Coleman Fare-Box Company which supplied fare-boxes to street railways in all parts of the world.

In 1895 a disastrous fire destroyed a large portion of Tottenham’s business section with over 90 buildings falling victim to the flames, however, in a very short time this section was rebuilt. The first bank was owned by a man named Mr. Drew. Banking was tried on various occasions but they found it did not pay and were forced to close; one of these being a branch of the Bank of Hamilton.

Town of Alliston

In early November, 1847 William Fletcher and his son erected a log shanty, the first building in Alliston. During the summer of 1848 the Fletcher family erected a saw mill and established the first industry of the Town, and in 1853 built a grist mill.

By 1874 the population had increased to such an extent that approval was given to incorporate the hamlet of Alliston into a village. The first council took charge in January, 1875 with Reeve George Fletcher, son of the pioneer, presiding.

In 1878, Alliston received it’s first train running on the Hamilton and North Western Railway.

In 1891 the Village of Alliston became the Town of Alliston with John Steward as Mayor.

May 8th, 1891 there was disastrous fire which destroyed almost all of the business section and many of the residences, a total of about 30 acres. The following year arrangements were made to install the water works.

In 1919 Victoria Street was paved from Paris Street to the C.P.R. tracks.

On February 14, 1924 Dr. Fredrick Banting, later Sir Fredrick Banting, following his discovery of insulin, opened the Memorial Library. Dr. Banting attended the Alliston Schools.

For more information on our history please visit the Museum on the Boyne page.