Merrickville as with most towns on the Rideau river system, grew beside the rapids which provided the power to drive
development. In the early 1790s, William Mirick, a United Empire Loyalist,
received a Crown grant and built a saw mill, around which grew the community
known as Merrick's Mills. By the early 1800s it boasted lumber, shingle and
grist mills as well as a foundry, blacksmith shop and several hotels and taverns which served the growing Lower Rideau settlement.
|"Mericksville. Rideau" by James Pattison Cockburn ca.1830. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1989-261-2
The opening of the Rideau Canal in 1832 and the commerce it brought enhanced the town's growth. The busy and prosperous town was incorporated first in 1860 as the Village of Mirickville after founder William Mirick, then experienced a name change to Merrickville in 1862 to reflect the contemporary spelling.
As the railways grew, other locations were chosen as divisional junctions and by the 1880s. Merrickville’s growth abruptly stopped. From then to the 1960s the village slumbered in relative obscurity.
The blessing of this repose was that Merrickville’s unique character and architecture has survived many of the ravages of modernization and today exists to the benefit and enjoyment of all as a beautifully preserved 19th century village.
Merrickville and District Historical Society
PO Box 294
Merrickville, Ontario K0G 1N0
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