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Local History

The historical heritage of Hamilton has always meant a lot to the Association as represented by the leadership and support of the Mills family. On Wednesday May 23rd, 1929, Empire Day, the unveiling of the United Empire Loyalist Monument was a generous gift presented to the city by Mr. Stanley Mills. The Monument was designed and executed by Mr. Sydney March of Farnborough, Kent County, England and stands in front of the Court House in Prince’s Square, Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario. The Monument was re-unveiled on Wednesday June 25, 1958 when the new Hamilton and Wentworth County Courthouse was built. His Excellency Governor General Vincent Massey spoke and unveiled the monument.

Other historical sites of interest scattered throughout the city include Dundurn Castle, the home of Sir Allan McNab, originally the second home of Richard Beasley. This beautiful building has been restored and under the leadership of one of the past Presidents of the Branch, Lillian Lomas, it was recommended that the Branch restore the grounds around the Cockpit in 1996 by means of a donation made by the Hamilton Branch. Other historical points of interest in the Head of the Lake area include Joseph Brant Museum in Burlington, Battlefield Park in Stoney Creek, Westfield Heritage Village near Rockton, Fieldcote Museum in Ancaster, and the Oakville Museum.

Many Loyalist settlers who came originally from Britain and the Palatine area in Europe, served with Butlers Rangers, then remained in the Hamilton area.

Richard Beasley, a fur trader, was well known and settled on Burlington Bay, later known as Beasley’s Hollow. Robert Land, one of the earliest settlers, had an important place in Hamilton history. More recently James Elliott, an historian, has completed his book about Robert Land.1 Mr. Elliott has also produced a book about Billy Green,2 the scout who was one of the heroes of the Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812.

(For more information of Hamilton-area sites of historic interest, go to the Hamilton Library’s list of Cultural Landmarks)

1 If Ponies Rode Men, the journeys of Robert Land 1777-1791 by James Elliott 1999
2 Billy Green by James Elliott 1994