Kemptville in the 1860's

When Kemptville separated from Oxford-on-Rideau Township in 1857, its population was not officially large enough to qualify it as a village. That required a population of at least 1,000 residents, which Kemptville did not have. A special Act had to be passed by the Province of Canada to grant Kemptville separate status as a Village.

By the time of the 1861 census, the population of the Village had increased to slightly over the required number, reaching around 1,060. But, ten years later, in the next census of 1871, it seems the population remained very much the same, possibly even less than 1,000.

The populations of Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower likewise remained quite steady in that decade surrounding Confederation, remaining at around 4,300 in Oxford and 1,060 in South Gower.

The maps printed in this issue, as well as the Kemptville Business Directory, date from the mid-1850’s, and were taken from the pages of the Historical Atlas of Leeds & Grenville. A series of these county atlases was published in the 1860’s, but Leeds & Grenville was not covered in that collection. To fill in that gap, Mika Publishing, of Belleville, put together a Leeds & Grenville version in 1973, using original material from a number of sources.


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