Doors Open: Walton

Concession 17 Walton JOHN HEWITT NAMED the village Walton after his native village in Buckinghamshire, England. Hewitt had sailed for Canada in 1843, settling first in York County for four years. Land Registry records show that Hewitt purchased Lot 1 Concession 18 Grey Township in 1856. He had his corner section surveyed into townsite lots in 1862. A post office was opened that same year and also named Walton. In the 1850s, however, many settlers had come to this area which was then called Biggar's Corners after the local tavern owner, George Biggar.

Mary A. and William Henry Humphries Kenneth McLeod operated a public house in Walton called the Rob Roy House, but it had disappeared by the time taverns were licensed in the 1850s-or perhaps was then known under another name. In 1854 Nesbit Biggar bought Lot 1 Hewitt Survey, which indicates that those who had kept a hotel before this date did not own the land. From that date to 1880 there were many names associated with the hotel either as bartenders or tenants. In February 1857, George Biggar applied for a tavern license for the Biggar Hotel. It was also known at one time as the Exchange Hotel, the Victoria Hotel and the Royal Hotel. During the 1880s, many oyster suppers were served at what was then the Royal Hotel operated by William Biernes. Opposite this hotel was a tavern called the Walton Hotel, owned in 1862 by John Swallow. Travellers to the area were provided board, bed and bar at these two hotels.

Humphries Store The old Biggar Hotel was converted to apartments in the 1920s. The three Driscoll sisters, Margaret, Susan, and Ida, operated a dressmaking shop in the hotel. A barbershop in the same building was operated by Peter McTaggart and a Dr. Robinson had an office and rooms here for a time. In 1928, J.S. Lawrence Cummings bought the building and converted it into a garage while living in upstairs. In 1930, he tore down the large brick building that had for so long served as a hotel and erected a new steel garage.

The first log schoolhouse was built in 1860 and residents could attend Methodist, United Presbyterian or Presbyterian Church. St George's Anglican Church arrived in 1880.

Walton's growth was spurred by the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1907. The station was built by Harry Edge of Seaforth and had a waiting room, office and living quarters. Mary A. and William Henry Humphries bought Lots 4 and 5 in 1885. He set up a blacksmith shop on Lot 5, but event-ually moved it northeastward and built a store on the site, a 2-storey brick building. Almost everything necessary in those days could be purchased over its counters while hanging outside just as you came in were boots, halters, strings of bells, etc. The inside walls were lined with calicoes, soft cashmere, Paisley shawls, sewing notions and thread, cake tobacco, dishes, crockery, molasses, raw sugar, pewter mugs, rock candy and gum, bins of flour, medicines and liniments.

Walton had many of the usual trades of the time: wagon and carriage makers, blacksmiths, harness, and cooperage shops; livery stables; flax, grist, saw and chopping mills; a brickyard and a cheese factory; a number of shoemakers, weavers, dressmakers, tailors and milliners; and, a medical as well as a veterinary doctor.

Site Submissions

Walton Inn
Location: 83001 Brussels Line
Year built: 1862

The first owner of the hotel, one of two in Walton in 1866, was John Swallow. Charles Sage took over in 1868 and ran the hotel with the help of his wife and daughters who provided entertainment playing musical glasses. The Walton Inn is now owned and operated by Graeme Craig. more...
Walton Inn
Walton General Store Walton General Store
Location: 83004 Brussels Line
Year built: 1900

This white brick building was built by the Ancient Order of United Workmen in 1900. The AOUW used the upper floor and rented the ground floor. The Sovereign Bank was here in 1906. A jewellery store and a barbershop were here before Douglas Ennis opened a general store in 1934. more...
Walton Community Hall
Location: Blyth Road
Year built: 1873

The New Connexion Methodists of Walton built this as their church in 1873. It served as a church until 1925 when it was sold to the Loyal Orange Lodge. In the 1930s it was sold, moved to its present location, and converted to use as a community hall. more...
Walton Community Hall
Walton Public School Walton Public School
Location: Walton
Year built: 1907

This red brick schoolhouse is the third school building to serve children of the Walton area. It replaced the original log and frame schools. C.S. White was the first teacher here receiving a salary of $400 a year. The schoolhouse is now home to Nuffield Tractors Sales & Service. more...
Walton Venture Centre
Location: 42659 Walton Rd
Year built: 1961

The Walton Venture Centre has three tenants: Walton Little School, Barmy Tech, and Huron Perth Cattlefeed Co-op Inc. of Dublin. In 2001 Walton Little School was converted to a privately owned Early Literacy Centre. Barmy Tech, the second tenant, is a Canadian Company making Cotton Barmy Bags and other fabric accessories. more...
Walton Venture Centre