Elderslie Township

Elderslie Township was named after the Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie.

Elderslie Township Places

  • Cantire – a hamlet on the 4th and 5th concessions. It is an altered spelling of Kintyre. Many of the early settlers came from Kintyre, Scotland.
  • Carnegie – a post office and hamlet on lot 24 of the 7th concession.
  • Chesley – the Chesley post office was opened in 1868. It was named after Solomon Chesley, a post office department bureaucrat. Before the post office opened, the village had been called Sconeville. Chesley was incorporated as a village in 1879.
  • Dobbinton – named after James Dobbin, who was the first postmaster when the post office opened in 1868. On the 12th concession. Dobbinton United Church 
  • Dunblane – a hamlet and post office on the Elderslie – Saugeen townline. See the Saugeen Township page for more information.
  • Ebenezer – a hamlet on the Elderslie – Arran townline. A church was first built in Ebenezer in 1857. A skating rink was built in 1915. 
  • Ellengowan – on the Elderslie – Brant townline. The post office opened in 1858.
  • Gillies Hill – a hamlet and post office, on the 6th concession, named for early settler John Gillies. The first settlers arrived in 1852. The post office opened in 1874.
  • Grimston – a post office originally in Sullivan Township, Grey County, and then in Arran Township, it served residents in the northeast corner of Elderslie Township.
  • Lockerby – a hamlet on the 6th and 7th concessions. There was a post office briefly in 1857. Lockerby had a grist mill and sawmill, and in 1872 a dam was built. An electrical power plant was built in 1894.
  • Mickle – a post office and hamlet on the 8th concession at the Bruce – Grey county line.
  • Paisley – located where the Teeswater River flows into the Saugeen River, was named after the town of Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland. Paisley’s first settlers arrived in 1851. Simon Orchard arrived first, followed shortly after by Samuel Rowe. The post office opened in 1856, and Paisley was incorporated as a village in 1874. The town hall was built in 1876.
  • Porridgetown
  • Ravelston – a post office opened in 1888 on the 11th concession. Later renamed Salisbury.
  • Salem – a more recent name for Salisbury.
  • Salisbury – a hamlet and post office on the 10th and 11th concessions. In 1891 the Ravelston post office, on the 11th concession, was renamed Salisbury. Today the hamlet is called Salem.
  • Scone – a hamlet and post office on the North Saugeen River. The post office opened in 1857 on the Elderslie – Brant townline. In 1859 it moved to the 2nd concession of Elderslie.
  • Sconeville – an early name for Chesley.
  • Scooptown – a hamlet on the 14th concession. It was settled by families from Colonsay, Scotland.
  • Skibbereen – was on the 8th concession. It was named after Skibbereen in County Cork, Ireland.
  • Vesta – a hamlet and post office at the 15th sideroad of the Elderslie – Brant townline. The post office, which opened in 1860, was in Brant Township. Other buildings, including the sawmill, church and tavern, were on the Elderslie side of the road.
  • Williscroft – a hamlet and post office, named for George Williscroft, of Lot 9 of the 13th concession. The post office opened in 1856.

Elderslie Township Notable People

Isabella Valancy Crawford, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1850,  moved to Paisley in 1858, where her father was a physician. 

Isabella Valancy Crawford plaque in Paisley

James Dale Fraser was born on lot 34, concession A, and attended Dunblane school. In 1925 he became the Chief Grain Inspector for Canada.

John Gillies, born in Scotland, arrived in Elderslie Township in the early 1850s. He was a reeve,  magistrate and warden, and in 1872 was elected member of parliament. He lost his House of Commons seat in 1882, but in 1883 won a seat in the Ontario Legislature. The Canadian biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self-made men: Ontario volume contains a biographical sketch.

Christian, Conrad and John Krug and their brother-in-law Henry Ankenmann founded Krug Brothers Furniture in Chesley in May, 1886. Younger brothers William and George Krug, and parents Peter and Anna Krug also moved to Chesley later the same year. The Krug furniture factory continued operations until 1987.

Hon. Duncan McLean Marshall was born on concession 12, Elderslie Township on September 24, 1872. He was a cabinet minister, and later a senator. Before entering politics, he was in the newspaper business in Thornbury, Clarksburg and Bracebridge and Edmonton. He was married to Christena MacIsaac of Prince Edward Island, and had three sons, John, Duncan and Bruce. He died in 1946.

Honourable Duncan Marshall Plaque

John MacNeill, born in 1874 on Lot 30, Concession A of Elderslie, became president of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, and also President of the Baptist World Alliance.

David Browne Milne, artist, was born in Saugeen Township, and also lived in Elderslie Township. See the Saugeen Township page for more information about him.

David Brown Milne plaque in Paisley

Thomas O’Hagan, whose parents were from County Kerry, Ireland, was born in Ontario in 1855. He spent his childhood on the 8th Concession of Elderslie. He was an essayist and poet. Some of his poems recall his Elderslie farm life. He died in 1939. His writings, including The Collected Poems of Thomas O’Hagan, are available at archive.org.


A Century of Excellence, Krug Bros. & Co. Furniture Manufacturers by Howard Krug, 2001. 

Chesley … Past & Present by The Chesley Centennial Committee, 1980.

From Days of Yore: A Pictorial History of Chesley: A Collection of Postcards and Photographs by the Historical Committee of the Chesley Homecoming, 1995.

An Historic Album of Paisley by the Paisley Centennial Book Committee, 1974. 

History of the County of Bruce by Norman Robertson, 1906. 

The History of Elderslie Township 1851 – 1977 by The Elderslie Township Historical Society.

It Happened in Ellengowan by Mary I. MacKay, 2000.

I Think We’ll Go Too by Mary I MacKay, 2002.

The Scooptown Diary by Mary I. MacKay, 2003.