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History & Heritage

The first European to see The Township of King was Étienne Brûlé in 1615, while travelling the Toronto Carrying Place, a portage route that provided the fastest route (via the Holland and Humber Rivers) between Lakes Ontario and Simcoe.  This route had long been important to native peoples, and would later become vital to the fur-trade as well.  Lake Simcoe was called "Taranto" or "Toronto" by the native people - the word was used to describe a large area, including the Humber River. 

King Township was named for John King, the British undersecretary of state at the time when the township was created in 1794.  European settlers began arriving around the same time.  Among the first arrivals were Quakers from Pennsylvania, hardworking and religious people who founded the communities of Lloydtown and Schomberg.  Other settlers, including American colonists (known as the United Empire Loyalists) who sided with Britain during the War of Independence, soon joined them.  The rich soil provided bountiful crops, allowing the settlers to prosper.

Most of the early communities formed along streams, which provided power for the mills that provided for the basic needs of the settlers---grist mills grinding grain into flour for food, and sawmills cutting lumber for shelter. Lloydtown, Glenville, Laskay, Kettleby, and Schomberg all owe their existence to mills.  These mills provided the impetus for development and growth. In 1811, when there were perhaps two or three mills in the entire Township, a mere 206 people called King home.  By the 1870s, however, the number had jumped to more than 3,000.

When the importance of village mills waned in the latter years of the 19th century, King Township residents fell back on the soil to provide for their well-being.   Click Here For Additional Information on the History & Heritage of The Township of King