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Mount Nemo

Frankville', Home of William Spence and Family (1900)The hamlet of Mount Nemo is situated on an outlying plateau of the Niagara Escarpment. Possibly created during the last glacial retreat in the area, a waterway once separated Mount Nemo from the Niagara Escarpment proper. Settlement to the area, known at the time as Table Mountain, began following the survey of 1818. The hamlet and its vicinity functioned as an agricultural area and largely remains as such today. Much of the plateau at Mount Nemo was settled with log, frame or stone homes by the late 1830s.

The first settler to Mount Nemo is presumed to have been John Kenney who was followed by David Auckland, John Couson, George Thomas, John Colling, John Miller and John Foster and brothers. Colling is credited as driving the stage coach to Milton in the earlier history of the hamlet, where he would collect mail for delivery by postmaster Ed. Thomas. Other early inhabitants included blacksmith John Shepherd, grocery operator Mrs. J. Smith and William Spence who dealt in agricultural implements. Spence's homestead was situated on the west half of Lot 1, Concession 3 where his family resided for many years. In the mid-20th century the Spence homestead was demolished to accommodate the expanding land requirements of the neighbouring Nelson Aggregate Quarry that was established in 1958.

Laurence Spence on the Porch of the William Spence HomeIn 1959 the Mount Nemo Conservation Area was established, the existing trails utilize many of the previously defined quarry roads, trails and farm paths in the area. The escarpment edge affords superior views of Rattlesnake Point in Milton and, on a clear day, the City of Toronto. Additionally, a portion of the Bruce Trail comprises the trail network within the conservation area. In 1985 the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) came into effect for the administration of the escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) was established to regulate conservation and development within the plan’s area. The hamlet of Mount Nemo as well as the Mount Nemo Conservation Area fall under the NEP umbrella.

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