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Creemore’s History

The Creemore area was settled in 1842 by William Nalty, and the village itself was founded 3 years later in 1845 by Edward Webster. The name Creemore has an Irish origin and comes from the Gaelic phrase “cree mohr”, which means “big heart”. Edward Webster, as the founder, named the streets of Creemore after his family: Louisa, Wellington, Francis, Caroline, Elizabeth, Edward, and George. These streets all still exist in Creemore today.

Creemore’s close proximity to the railway built in the 1850’s brought jobs as the timber trains began running to Toronto in 1861. In 1955 the Creemore railway station burned down and the railway closed in 1960.

During the 1860’s, hotels became a big part of the village. A couple of hotel buildings that are still standing are the Sovereign at 157 Mill street, and the Matchett Hotel at 113 Mill street, which is now the Mad River Pottery.

The weekly newspaper in Creemore, called the Creemore Advertiser, was started in 1886. The name of the paper was changed a few times, starting in 1889 to the Mad River Star, then in 1903 to the Creemore Star, and finally, to the Creemore Echo, which is the paper’s name today.

Creemore experienced many firsts leading up to the 1900’s:

  • A saw mill and flour mill were built by March 1844
  • The first post office in Creemore opened in 1851
  • Creemore’s first school was organized in 1854, just outside of the village on the 5th Line
  • The first church built in Creemore was the Anglican Church in 1855, with the St. John’s United, First Baptist, and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Churches following within approximately the next 20 years
  • Creemore’s first doctor, Dr. George McManus, arrived around 1865
  • A telephone line was built in 1892 from Gelncairn to Creemore and anyone could make a call for 25 cents in Corbett’s Drug Store
  • Electricity came to Creemore by way of a steam plant in 1895

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