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Wellington Square

Residence of John Triller ca 1858Following the death of Joseph Brant in 1807, Stoney Creek resident James Gage purchased a 338.5 acre parcel of land at the southeastern corner of Brant's Block from Brant's estate (Turcotte 1989). With plans to establish the townsite of Wellington Square, Gage surveyed his holdings in 1810. Though Gage owned and surveyed the land, he did not actually live in Burlington. His home was in Stoney Creek (now Battlefield House Museum). Following the survey, and for reasons unknown, Wellington Square was not officially opened for settlement until the arrival of Gage's sons Andrew and James. The sons later inherited land at the Square from their father between 1827 and 1837 (Turcotte 1989). Representing the Gage interests in their father’s absence, the Gage sons prospered at Wellington Square. Andrew Gage was noted as one of the most prosperous people in the Township of Nelson by 1833. Prior to the opening of the Burlington Canal in 1832, Wellington Square is said to have been a more important shipping port than Hamilton.

In the early history of the village the Gage brothers constructed a pier and wharf at the foot of Brant Street. Industrial enterprises such as a warehouse, steam powered flouring mill, saw mill, shingle factory and a lath and stave mill were established in the square.

Wellington Square Flouring Mill ca. 1877Gage's businesses and much of the Wellington Square lands were purchased by David Torrance and Company by 1855. The 1873 Plan of the Village of Wellington Square incorporated both Wellington Square and the Village of Port Nelson. Port Nelson was a small shipping village situated about one mile east of Wellington Square. In 1846, Port Nelson had a population of approximately 60 people supporting a store, tavern and shoemaker (Smith 1846). As the name suggests, Port Nelson was an active shipping port in the area.

Old Port Nelson 1912In 1874 the amalgamated Villages of Wellington Square and Port Nelson were named the Village of Burlington. The name 'Burlington' reflected the surrounding Burlington Heights, Bay and Beach and is thought to have originated from an adaptation of John Graves Simcoe's home town of Bridlington Bay, Yorkshire, England.

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Associated Properties:

St. Luke's Anglican Church – Built in 1834, St. Luke’s was the first church built on Wellington Square lands formerly owned by Elizabeth Brant Kerr and Augustus Bates. There is also a cemetery located on the property, the burials predate the construction of the church. Many prominent early settlers' are interred at the cemetery including: the Kerrs, Chisholms, Bateses, Buntons, Allens and Daltons.

1442 Ontario Street- Built in 1888 as the parsonage for the First Baptist Church of Burlington by James Bent, it is representative of the Picturesque/Carpenter Gothic style of architecture. It is part of a collection of homes constructed by Bent, often referred to as the James Bent streetscape on Ontario Street.

1457 Ontario Street "Miller-Bush House" - Built in 1875 for Robert Miller, former Reeve of the Township of Nelson and later a Collector of Customs for the port of Wellington Square, the Miller-Bush House is noted to be one of the first buildings constructed by George Blair. The home was later owned by the Bush family, owners of a prominent men's wear clothier.