One of the earliest settlements of the township. Delta was first known as "Stevenstown", named after Abel Stevens who brought a number of settlers north from Vermont after 1794. A mill site from its earliest days, in 1815 it was called "Stone Mills", later "Beverley" and finally in 1856 it was named "Delta" because of its location on the flat and fertile "delta" of the creek flowing from Upper to Lower Beverley Lakes. Once there was only one lake, in earlier times called Gananoque Lake, source of the Gananoque River, a busy canoe and bateau route to the St. Lawrence. Several creeks flowed into this ancestral lake providing excellent sites for pioneer mills. One of these, Plum Hollow Creek was dammed and Upper Beverley Lake formed, flooding over 2 000 acres of pioneer farmland. The excellent mill site formed the nucleus of a flourishing industrial and agricultural centre throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century. Now our excellent municipal park beside Lower Beverley Lake attracts rest and relaxation seekers each summer from across Ontario and beyond.
Each summer the Delta Fair provides a focus of activity for the community itself and for visitors who are attracted by the opportunity to participate in a traditional agricultural fair. Begun in 1830 and based permanently in Delta after 1866, the fair is centred in the historic Delta Fair Building built in the 1890s.
Old Stone Mill Museum photo by: Ken Watson
The Delta Mill, built in 1810, has survived and is now a national historic site and museum. However, many other industrial buildings of this once bustling community have since disappeared. Several private homes of merchants and industrialists survive to attest to Delta's prosperity. The Walter Denaut House, a majestic two storey stone house built in 1849 by a wealthy and influential mill owner is now a country inn. The Philo Hicock House built circa 1845 by a successful foundry owner, the Alexander Stevens House built in 1882, the Omer Brown House built in 1905, all speak to the local prominence of their original owners while the Dan Davison House, boyhood home of Dr. Lorne Pierce stands testament to those who achieved success and fame elsewhere. The Delta Town Hall built in 1888 to include a theatre, also points to the prosperity of the town as do its churches: St. Paul's Anglican church built in 1811, one of the oldest continuously-used churches in Ontario, the imposing United Church built 1888 and the Baptist Church. (for more detail, see the "Heritage Tour of Delta").