A Little About Our History
Belleville (meaning “beautiful town” in French) is located in southeastern Ontario, Canada, situated on the Bay of Quinte in Hastings County.
The site was first visited by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1615. It was Originally the site of an Anishinaabe (Mississauga) village in the 18th century known as Asukhknosk. Later on, after 1776, it was settled by loyalists from the United States. At that point it was named Meyers’ Creek for John Meyers, an early gristmill operator.
Elijah Wallbridge, a much-revered pioneer, moved from New York to Bennington, Vermont before immigrating to Canada in 1800, accompanied by his son William H. Shortly after, he bought two thousand acres of land in Ameliasburgh from a surveyor. This land was divided up into five farms of about 300 acres each and his children comfortably settled there by the year 1812. A further lot of five hundred acres he reserved for common pasturage, customary in the American colonies. These farms were the first proper homes of the Wallbridges in Upper Canada. As such, the Wallbridge family of that time were much sought-after in the area. They were admired for their high mental calibre, and for their wealth, land and business ventures.
Elijah Wallbridge was one of the principal citizens to petition the third lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Francis Gore, to give a name of more prominent distinction to the growing village we now know as Belleville. In response to their petition, Governor Gore granted the area the name of Belleville, in honour of his wife, Lady Arabella Gore, in 1816.
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