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The History of Blair

 

Blair, originally known as “Shinglebridge ”, was one of the first communities to be settled inland of the Great Lakes. As with many tracts of land in the district, this one was originally inhabited by the Six Nations Indians. In 1800, settlers from the Mennonite communities of Pennsylvania moved here, built the first dam in the area, and shortly thereafter built the first sawmill. As a result of this settlement, Blair also has one of the oldest European cemeteries in the Region, est. 1804. Blair is renowned for its rare Carolinian forest and the Sheave Tower - the most painted piece of scenery in Waterloo Region and home to one of the world’s smallest hydro generating projects. 

 

Historic Blair Sheave Tower, Cambridge Ontario 

 

 

Situated on Blair (Bowman) Creek, the 9.4 metre (31 ft) Sheave Tower was built by Allan Bowman in 1876 to harness water power, via a pulley and cable, for the 1846 Blair Carlisle grist mill. This grist mill stood 70 m (240 ft) across Old Mill Road. As Ontario's oldest hydroelectric generating site, Heritage Cambridge restored the tower in 1999 as a passive (non-functioning) display. This slide show presents various views of the restored tower and nature studies of Blair Creek and its wetland foliage, accompanied by composer Bill Douglas performing 'First Light', bookended with quotes about change by author Don Drews

 

Grand River & City Scenes


BridgeMixed shots taken in the heart of Cambridge, Ont. Located by the Grand River, Cambridge offers a wonderful mix of nature and historic architecture.  More
 

Speed River Millpond & Dam


Guy SmilingSpeed River Mill Pond Dam: Early summer views of Jacob’s Landing, the Silknet Dam, Hesepler Mill Pond and the Speed River.

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Riverside Park


Happy WomanRiverside Park: The largest park in Cambridge, Riverside Park in Preston encompasses 102 hectares (256 acres) and is situated beside an 1890 millpond on the Speed River
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