When the government gave away land, there were often conditions the new owner had to live up to. This could include building roads, mills, and armies, but often, it meant inviting immigrants from Britain to live on their land. For example, a settler might receive 20 000 acres of land, but would be forced to give away 5,000 to other settlers. They would be expected to organise how the immigrants would get to the new settlement, what they would do when they arrived (such as raise sheep, beef or cotton), and help them settle in by building churches and schools. This is how settlements and villages were created along the Sydenham river.

One of these settlements was Strathroy, where John S. Buchanan, a native of Ireland, set up the first saw and grist mills in the area. He was joined by other Irish Protestants. "Strathroy" means "Red Valley" in Gaelic, and the settlement was named after Buchanan’s home in Ireland. Today, place names all along the river recall the early British settlers, with village and township names such as Shetland, Dover, Caradoc and Cairngorm.

Related Links:
The One Room School House
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