Hastings Real Estate Listings and Information
"Hastings, ON" and "Hastings, Canada" redirect here. For other articles with similar names, see Hastings (disambiguation).
Hastings, Ontario is an amalgamated village on the Trent River, in what is considered to be Ontario's "cottage country". Hastings exists within the municipality of Trent Hills, Northumberland County, in the province of Ontario, Canada. Hastings gained its present name in 1852 and was officially incorporated as a village in 1874. Hastings has a population of 1,208 as of the 2001 Census. It is known as "The Hub of the Trent", as Hastings is directly on the Trent River, and serves as a major centre for tourists, boaters, and fishermen. One of Hastings' major symbols is a tall blue water tower which can be seen from kilometres outside of the community.
Hastings is now part of the municipality of Trent Hills, and makes up the second biggest population centre in the municipality. The current mayor of Trent Hills is Hector MacMillan. Mayor MacMillan was elected during the 2003 municipal election, and, as of November 13, 2006, was re-elected for a second term.
A marina was built in Hastings which added to the already busy waterfront. In continuation of the streetscape design theme from the new Hastings Village Marina, a Hastings Waterfront & Downtown Improvement Plan was prepared in early 2009. In 2009, after a four-year break, the local Chamber of Commerce was revived. Its website contains a number of historical photographs of Hastings. There is a chapter of the Lions Club in the village which is associated with the largest annual event in Hastings, the Canada Day celebrations. The celebrations include a parade that runs through downtown during the day, and a fireworks display at the waterfront at sundown among other events. In recent years, the fireworks display has attracted an increasing number of spectators, and despite Hastings being a relatively small community, the display has been considered one of the best in Ontario.
The first European presence in the area dates to 1615 when Samuel de Champlain made a visit to Huronia. However, his "journals are too vague to make any final decisions." about the exact route taken. In 1810, James Crooks purchased 1,050 acres (4.2 km2) of land on the north and south shores of the rapids at the top of Rice Lake, Ontario. A map prepared by Lieutenant James Smith in 1816–17 shows the name Little Bobakaijuen opposite rapids. The settlement of Crooks' Rapids was named in 1820. As late as 1835, the only house on the site of the present village of Hastings was a small frame building on the bank, erected several years before that date, by the Hon. Mr. Crooks, as a mill, containing one run of stones. It is doubtful whether it ever ground much, and it is believed to have been intended to secure the valuable mill privilege, at that place, than for practical utility.
Between 1837 and 1839 at a preliminary estimated cost of £7062, a lock was built at Crooks' Rapids, together with a dam and slides, "the expenditure on which gave occupation to a great number of persons; laid the foundation for the village of Hastings".
The following is a contemporary description of the village in the middle 19th century.
From the building of the locks at Crook's Rapids in 1837–8, that place gradually grew into a thriving village of much importance. T. Coughlan, Esq., was the first hotel keeper and store keeper in that place. Its most marked progress took place after the chief portion of the property was acquired by Henry Fowlds, Esq., and his sons, and their removal there in 1857. A new grist and flouring mill was added to the old one, a saw mill of great power and numerous saws, capable of manufacturing large quantities of lumber yearly for the foreign market, were speedily erected. These were followed in later years, by other extensive factories filled with valuable machinery. Adjoining the saw mill mentioned, was a large woolen factory, which had just got into active operation when it was swept away by a most destructive fire in 1863, which also consumed the sawmill and its contents, and also a large planing mill and sash and door factory just erected by Mr. Henry Lye in close proximity. This great loss for a time checked the progress of the village, and paralyzed the enterprise of several active and industrious citizens. Another large factory erected for a cotton mill, a wool carding and knitting factory, and a bit larger saw mill than the former one, had in the meantime been erected on the south side of the river, just below the bridge, and these important structures with their valuable machinery, continue in active operation, and not only reflect much credit upon the enterprise of the place, but contribute much towards its prosperity. Another serious fire occurred in Hastings in the spring of 1864, by which a fine brick store and a large stock of goods were almost entirely destroyed. Hastings was buoyant, rapidly progressive, and looking forward to the time ere long, it might become an incorporated village, when these severe disasters, followed by the general depression occasioned by scant harvests, and the embarrassment of the agricultural community, placed a barrier against further progress, and caused a withdrawal of a portion of the inhabitants to seek more remunerative employment elsewhere. But this dark day, it is believed, has to a threat extent passed away; and increased hope and renewed enterprise promise ere long to restore this fine village to more than its former prosperity. For many years Hastings was but poorly furnished with church accommodation. This want has,however, been abundantly supplied, and several fine church edifices crown the rising ground which commands a beautiful view of the river and the bustling village. The first of these was the Free Presbyterian church, a large frame structure, erected in 1858, in which the Rev. James Bowie ministered for several years. An Episcopal church, also frame, pleasantly situated on the south side of the river, followed in 1863, of which the Rev. M. A. Farrar is Incumbent. In 1864, the Wesleyan Methodists, with commendable zeal and enterprise, completed a tasteful and commodious brick church, while in 1865, a much larger and well finished edifice of stone was erected and dedicated by the Roman Catholics, chiefly through the zeal and indefatigable exertions of their pastor, the Rev. J. Quirk.
A neat and tasteful brick school house has now been many years in use, -- two or more teachers employed, and the most liberal provision made for the education of the rising generation. In the year 1864, a printing press and type were introduced to the village, by Mr. A. E. Hayyter, and the Hastings Messenger was for a time published there, but the attempt was premature, and during the period of depression referred to, the effort was abandoned. Hastings, besides its unlimited water power, is pleasantly and advantageously situated on the river Trent, which furnishes communication by steamboats with the Cobourg railway at Harwood at Rice lake, and other points above and below the village. A new steamboat, the Forest City, was built and launched here in 1858, by the Messrs. Fowlds, and has since continued to ply up and down the river and lake in the transport of goods, passengers and lumber.
In Hastings' early history, lumber from the northern part of Peterborough passed through Hastings locks on its way to Lake Ontario. The Messrs. Fowlds, at Hastings, also manufactured from two to three million feet of sawn lumber annually ... which at Port Hope was worth $12 per 1000 feet. It originally had a foundry, a cotton factory, grist mills, a stone Roman Catholic Church, Church of England and Presbyterian and Methodist Churches.
The locks were completed in 1844 and the waterways became part of the Trent-Severn passage. There are 60.5 kilometres (37.6 mi) from Lock 18 in Hastings to Lock 19 in Peterborough. Henry Fowlds bought Crooks' Rapids in its entirety in 1851 and renamed the settlement to Hastings in 1852, when the first post office was opened.
 The Fowlds family
The Fowlds family had a large influence on the village of Hastings in its early history. Henry Fowlds bought and renamed the settlement of Crooks' Rapids to Hastings. He named the village after Lady Flora Hastings, a boyhood acquaintance. His family played significant roles within the community, such as reeve (now the term "mayor" is used in most communities), and also started small businesses. There is a park in Hastings named after Henry Fowlds.
Henry Fowlds was born in 1790 in Scotland. In 1813, he married Jane Marshall Steele. Together they had ten children, (Eliza, John, James S., Robert H., Elizabeth, Henry M., Mary C., William J., Mary Anne, and Theresa) of which only five survived (James S., Elizabeth, Henry M., William J., and Theresa). James S. (1818–1884) married Margaret MacGregor and they had nine children between the years of 1845 and 1860. Their seventh child, Frederick W. (1857–1930), married Elizabeth Sutherland and they had three children, Helen, Eric, and Donald. Eric and Donald were soldiers in World War I and Helen was a nurse in the same war. Helen married Gerald Marryat after the war and became a remarkable local historian of the Peterborough region. Helen Fowlds Marryat died on June 16, 1965. Her records and papers were bequeathed to Trent University.
The family came to North America in 1821, settling first in New York City, and then in Hartford in 1833. In 1834, they crossed the border and settled in Prince Edward County, Upper Canada. The Fowlds family settled in Asphodel Township in 1836, and then moved on to Westwood, where they set up a saw mill in conjunction with Dr. John Gilchrist in what was to become the village of Keene.
Henry Martin Fowlds (born in New York City, ca 1826) purchased the water rights, land and buildings of Crooks' Rapids, later known as Hastings, from the Honourable James Crooks, on September 27, 1851. Henry Fowlds and sons built upon this base, expanding their original saw mill to a corporate business of a saw mill, grist mill, general store and post office. The three Fowlds' brothers, James, Henry M. and William, set up a lumber and flour business under the name of Jas. L. Fowlds and Bros. This company was terminated with the death of James Fowlds in 1884. The Fowlds were quite active in Hastings, occupying the seat of reeve, and the office of postmaster. From 1844 to 1852, Henry Fowlds was County Superintendent of Schools. Captain Henry J Fowles commanded the 57-man Hastings Infantry Company in June 1866 in response to the Fenian Invasion James S. Fowlds was postmaster in 1867. Postmaster was a position that the family kept for over 90 years in the village. These public-minded men served on local councils, notably as reeve. Their industry resulted in a rise of population from 200 in 1852 to 1,500 in 1882.
Henry Martin Fowlds died instantly of heart failure on July 3, 1907 in Hastings, Ontario, Canada.
Hastings Community Blog
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