Settlement in East Flamborough Township came slowly.
Even though many of the lots had been awarded to government officials, militia and loyalists by 1800, few came to the area to take up their grants due to the difficulties of access. Even the opening of the eastern branch of Dundas Street in 1805 and the construction of a sawmill on the Grindstone Creek by Alexander Brown before the start of the War of 1812 resulted in only a sparse population as the second decade of the 19th century began.
The arrival of the Griffin brothers, Ebenezer and Absalom, from Smithville in the early 1820s began the stimulus of settlement along the Grindstone Creek and Dundas Street that led to the establishment of Waterdown in 1830.
In 1822, George Baker purchased 100 acres on the southwest side of Centre Road between the 5th and 6th Concessions that became the small community known as Bakersville. In 1828, John Eaton and his family from Saltfleet Township travelled up the Centre Road to take up Lots 8 and 9 in Concession 8, a total of 400 acres on the southwest side of the road. As other settlers moved into the surrounding area, the Eatons, devout Methodists, opened their home for regular Sunday worship services.
With the gradual opening up of Centre Road and the arrival of immigrants from the British Isles to settle in the middle concessions of the township, a small community began to develop around the intersection of Centre Road and the 9th Concession. As membership grew, the Eaton home gave way to a small log lean-to building, known as the ‘Chapel on the Twelve’, which served as both a chapel and school house. The little community took the name of Eatons for several years, but as the settlement grew, the question of a name was raised so that a Post Office could be established. For some reason, the original names of Eatons or Eatonville were rejected. Centreville was then suggested, but this was found to be already in use elsewhere in the province.
In 1848, the choice of the name Carlisle, after a town in northwest England, appeared to please the majority of the inhabitants, although some who were not pleased with the English spelling of the proposed name, stated they preferred the Irish spelling of Carlyle, while another small group reputedly said they did not care what it was called, “if only it had a hotel in it.”
Sylvia Wray is the former archivist with the Flamborough Archives. She can be reached through the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published in the Flamborough Review, 18 March 2010.