At different times, by different people, the Sydenham River has been called Jonquakamik, Ah-yan-yon-kege, or Big Bear Creek. One tributary off of the northern branch of the river is still referred to as Bear Creek. The name Sydenham comes from Lord Sydenham, who was governor of Canada from 1839-1849.
Sydenham glass plant, about 1902
The Sydenham River has provided a fishing ground for natives, a transportation route for successive waves of immigrants, and a shipping route for early logging traders. It feeds the area s historic agricultural industry, and offers a prime location for businesses of all kinds.
If you drive along the Sydenham River, it becomes obvious that for many decades now, culture has affected the river. Dams, floodplains and mills are the most obvious signs of this influence. However, you will also see hundreds of historic homes, churches and schoolhouses. These buildings stand where forests once grew, and in some cases, where the river once flowed.
To meet the people who live in the Sydenham's watershed, click on any of the vignettes below.
|Invasion at Baldoon||The Oldest Church in the County|
|Settlement on the Sydenham||The One Room School House|
|To Stake a Claim?||Strife in Upper Canada|
|World War Two and the Home Front||Currie And The Battle Of Vimy Ridge|
|Sydenham Hospitality||Political Opinions and The Age|
|Neither Rain Nor Sleet or Snow...||Woo! Woo! All Aboard!|
|Amazing Maize||Tobacco Farming|
|Home Sweet Home||Wallaceburg's Shipbuilding Heritage|
|Onthaal aan Canada!||Lager, Ale and Mathew Bixel|
|The Lyceum Theatre||The Alvinston Maple Syrup Festival|
|Big Wheels, Keep On Turning!||Boa vinda a Canadá|
|Strathroy Furniture||Slavery and the Sydenham|
|Ontario's Glass Company||Ancient Peoples of the Sydenham|