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Heritage of the Township

Originally called "Whitefish Falls", the land with the waterpower rights to the falls were purchased by John George Morton in 1853. He planned the model village of Morton which he registered in 1857. By 1861, exploiting the power of the falls, Morton had developed a sawmill, gristmill and plaster mill, a general store and warehouse by Morton Bay on the Rideau Canal. Steam boats came up Morton Creek with produce and travellers from Beverley (Delta) and Furnace Falls (Lyndhurst). An army garrison stood guard against possible Yankee attack. Other services included a blacksmith, cooper, joiner, carriage maker, shoe maker and hotel. George Morton later added a model farm and a cheese factory to his model settlement. Over the next two decades, Morton was forced to sell off his various holdings although he was succeeded by a number of other businesses. Today, dreams, ghosts and some beautiful old houses persist from George Morton's plans.

The Pimple
"The Pimple"
photo by: Ken Watson
Several buildings survive to serve testament to Morton's former activity, his original model design and his great expectations for the community. The street plan, never fully realized, partially survives. The brick school, "the Pimple", built in 1852-53 to incorporate then up-to-date principles of the "octagon mode of building", survives as one of the most unique structures in the Township. Used as a school until 1900, it has been converted to a private home. Also surviving is Morton's General Store, the oldest of its type in the Township, having till recently functioned as a place of business since its construction in 1855. Amos Judd's law office, a contemporary of the general store is located across the street. The Amos Judd house, also built in 1855, was built by Morton probably to provide housing for his local manager. It was occupied and later purchased by Amos Judd who served as Morton's agent for his mills and plaster factory. Very similar to the Judd House is the James Manuel House. Built in 1858 of brick (now stuccoed) it too has a wide broken gable front.

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Township of Rideau Lakes, 1439 County Road 8, Delta, ON, K0E 1G0

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