Monthly Archives: May 2014

History of Brampton 1

Prior to the 1800s, all real business in Chinguacousy Township took place at Martin Salisbury’s tavern. One mile distant at the corner of Main and Queen streets, now the recognized centre of Brampton, William Buffy’s tavern was the only significant building. At the time, the area was referred to as “Buffy’s Corners”. By 1834, John Elliott laid out the area in lots for sale, calling it “Brampton,” which was soon adopted by others.

In 1853, a small agricultural fair was set up by the newly initiated County Agricultural Society of the County of Peel, and was held at the corner of Main and Queen streets. Grains, produce, roots, and dairy products were up for sale. Horses and cattle, along with other lesser livestock, were also sold at market. This agricultural fair eventually became the modern Brampton Fall Fair. In that same year Brampton was incorporated as a village.

By 1869, Brampton, with a population of 1800, was in the County Town of Peel in the Township of Chinguacousy. It was a Station of the Grand Trunk Railway. The County buildings were erected c. 1869 of freestone and white brick.

A federal grant allowed the village to found its first public library in 1887, which included 360 volumes from the Mechanic’s Institute (est 1858). In 1907, the library received a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, set up by United States steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, to build a new, expanded library; it serves several purposes, featuring the Brampton Library. The Carnegie libraries were built on the basis of communities coming up with matching funds and guaranteeing maintenance.

A group of regional farmers in Brampton had trouble getting insurance from city-based companies. After several meetings in Clairville Hall, they decided to found the County of Peel Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In 1955, when the company moved to its third and current location, 103 Queen Street West, it took the new name of Peel Mutual Insurance Company. It reigns as the longest-running company in modern Brampton. Harmsworth Decorating Centre was established in 1890, as Harmsworth and Son, operated out of the family’s house on Queen Street West. The current location was purchased on September 1, 1904, after a fire destroyed their original store. Purchased for $1,400, the 24 Main Street South location is the longest-operating retail business in what is now Brampton.