From Saltfleet To Stoney Creek
Erland Lee (Museum) Home
Stoney Creek, Ontario
Fruitland - The Centre of It All
1Fruitland - The Centre of It All
Fruitland is the geographical centre of the old Saltfleet Township, but its very name evokes the industry that drove Saltfleet's economic progress from its founding in the 1780s to the latter half of the 20th century.
Even today, with urban sprawl decimating the few remaining fruit farms of Stoney Creek, a whisp of the past is sustained in the name of the bedroom community called "Fruitland".
3Although a few isolated families entered the Stoney Creek area prior to the 1790s, Fruitland's history proper began with the 1791 survey of the area by Augustus Jones.
Today, his name lives on with Jones Road, named for one of the family land grants in Fruitland.
5Wesley United Church is situated at the crossroads that defines Fruitland (Fruitland Rd. and Highway 8).
The church is made of local red brick. There was a 19th century commercial brick kiln to the east of the church.
At one time the church had its own tennis court (now the rear parking lot).
The main entrance has now been greatly modified.
7Also at this important corner were the train stop for the Hamilton, Grimsby, and Beamsville Electric Railway, a general store, and Fruitland's 2nd post office.
10Beside the old post office/general store stood the old 19th century Fruitland Brick Kiln.
Another building was erected in the mid 20th century on the site. This building was known as Saltfleet Wood Products in the 1970s, before becoming the modern Fruitland post office, a hair salon, and craft store.
12Fruitland's first post office was the brainchild of local resident, Robert H. Dewar. In 1894 Dewar applied for a postal outlet between the hamlet of Winona and the village of Stoney Creek.
He was granted the license and operated Fruitland's first postal station in a newly expanded east wing of his home.
The cubby hole shelving for the letters on the east wall remained even after the postal station moved from the location. William J. Hewitson, who bought the house in the 1930s recalls seeing the letter sorting shelving on the wall in his youth.
15The Dewar House was purchased c.1930 by William J. Hewitson and his wife Margaret Walker Hewitson (next picture).
The Dewar House still stands in 2003, although it has passed from the Hewitson family (2nd picture following).
18Just down the street from the Fruitland Rd. and Highway 8 crossroads was one of the local inns, operated in late 19th century by landowner Philander Barnes.
This large structure eventually changed hands and was demolished in the 1960s, although the Dewitt Rd. and Highway 8 crossroads remains an alternate commercial central place for Fruitland.
20Between the two intersections lie two churches.
Together with five more in the vicinity, this makes the stretch of Highway 8 between Millen Road and Fruitland Road the section of Saltfleet township with the highest density of religious structures.
23One of the earliest families in the area was the Glover family.
GIover Road is traditionally seen as the eastern-most extension of Fruitland, although some resident classify themselves as being in Winona.
26To the west, Millen Road is traditionally seen as the western-most extension of Fruitland.
Some residents argue that the boundary is actually the junction of King Street and Highway 8 at the War Memorial Cenotaph.
29Another prominent local family was the Dewitt family, for which the road was named.
Interestingly, the road which rises up the plateau and joins Ridge Road at the top was originally named Lee Mountain Road for the family at the TOP of the cliff.
Some time after 1960, the name attached to the road from the lake (Dewitt) was applied to the plateau extension and the name "Lee" disappeared.
32Fruitland's most famous son in the 19th and early 20th centuries was Franklin M. Carpenter.
The Carpenter name was well known in Saltfleet, with at least 3 main branches of the family.
F.M. Carpenter was Fruitland's most prominent politician and one of its wealthiest fruit farmers.
36One of R.H. Dewar's neighbours in the late 1800s was W.M. Orr, whose grand brick house is one of the few surviving buildings in Fruitland.
Although Orr was a relative newcomer to Saltfleet, he was married into to one of the old families of Fruitland, the Biggars, whose house once stood on the NE corner of Highway 8 and Dewitt Road.
40W.M. Orr's son, J.E. Orr, has been well documented by the family.
Following are a series of pictures of J.E. Orr and his family farm.
47Also living nearby by the middle of the 20th century were members of the Thomas family, one of whom, Leslie Thomas, became Reeve of Saltfleet Township.
50More recently Fruitland Road has become the primary off ramp for highway access to the light industry Stoney Creek is increasingly famous for.
Following is a 1970s ad for Fruitland's new industrial park.
52This concludes "Fruitland - The Centre of It All".
Fruitland was shaped by its past, but its future lies increasingly in other industry, and in suburban development.
New ideas and technologies, new names, and a new way of life have changed this crossroads community almost beyond recognition, but a small place stills remains for the past at the geographic and cultural heart of the Stoney Creek region.
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