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Table of Contents

Title Page
Author's Preface
1 The Road through Richmond Hill
2 First Peoples on the Land
3 The European Settlers Arrive
4 From Miles' Hill to Richmond Hill: The Birth of a Community
5 Tories and Reformers
6 Stagecoach Lines and Railway Tracks
7 The Neighbours at Mid-Century
8 Fire Brigades and Fence Viewers
9 Picture Post Card Village of the 1880s and 1890s
10 Rails through Richmond Hill
11 The Flowering of Richmond Hill
12 The Village Transformed
Appendix A. Settlers
Appendix B. Occupations*
Appendix C. The Clergy
Appendix D. The Schools
Appendix E. Post Offices and Postmasters
Appendix F. Community Organizations
Table of Illustrations

Appendix B. Occupations*

A look at the growth and decline of trades in a community offers more than lists of people active in the village at a particular time. Everyday living habits are revealed by the number of tradespeople working in their respective fields. A look at bakers can indicate the trend away from each housewife baking her own bread and cakes, through to mass manufacturing and distribution. The numbers and locations of sawyers and brickmakers will relate to types of building construction found in the community at different times.

The growth of the service trades, such as dressmakers, tailors, milliners, and mantlemakers, is a clear indication of increased dependence on professionally made clothes and the greater availability of ready cash with which to purchase them.

The following lists are only a sampling of the many trades and services available to Richmond Hill residents between 1800 and 1930. A brief explanatory key will assist in understanding them.

V, M, K, and W = Vaughan, Markham, King and Whitchurch - the four townships comprising Richmond Hill
c = circa; usually taken to mean about 5 to 10 years either side of the given date
Lot 15-2-M = for example, Lot 15, Concession 2, Markham

For those working in the village, Vaughan or Markham is noted beside their name, whenever it is known in which of the former townships they were located.

In many instances the range of dates given is based on the earliest and latest references found. The tradesperson may well have been active earlier or later, but is unlikely to have worked in Richmond Hill during a prior or following census year. The available census years are 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891. The 1851 census is not available for Whitchurch.

The information has been compiled from a variety of sources. As well as census records, the following sources have been used:

- assessment records
- deed abstracts and land title deeds
- directories
- Dunn and Bradstreet ratings
- newspaper advertisements
- newspaper social and news items
- miscellaneous archival records

* For further information, please consult the local historical collection at the Central Branch of the Richmond Public Library.


There appear to have been two main bakeries in the village. The first was on a property leased from Thomas Morgan and located on the east side of Yonge Street, just north of the present Lorne Avenue. This bakery operated from at least 1850 to about 1870, with a frequent turnover of bakers.

The second bakery was started by George Soules, at the northeast corner of Yonge Street and Dunlop Street (formerly Dufferin). The trade stabilized, with bakers generally lasting eight or more years. The longest tenure was that of David Hill, who operated his bakery for about 26 years before switching to the automotive business and the Hill family's Canadian Tire franchise.

Location Name Date
Village McDonald, John Lot 46-1-M c1851
White, James Lot 46-1-M c1851
Gregory, George Lot 46-1-M 1852
Spence, Thomas Lot 46-1-M 1853
Bye, Robert Lot 46-1-M 1854 - c1855
Gregory, George Lot 46-1-M 1856
Perry, Charles Lot 46-1-M 1857
Holliwell, William c1858
Taggart, Charles Lot 46-1-M 1860 - 1862
Pollock, Wm. S. Lot 46-1-M 1865 - 1867
Bassingthwaite, Peter Lot 46-1-M 1867
McIntosh, John 1871
Soules, George Vaughan c1871 - 1875
Soules, George at Dunlop 1875 - 1880
McCarthy, Joseph Lot 46-1-V 1877
Lymburner, Robert at Dunlop 1880 - 1882
Brown, John at Dunlop 1882 - 1890
Hagerman Bros. at Dunlop 1890 - 1891
Rupert, Adam J. at Dunlop 1891 - 1892
Sharp, John c1891
Wiley, Alfred c1891
Hill, David at Dunlop 1892 - 1918
Hill, James at Dunlop 1892 - 1918
Eden, Arthur A. at Dunlop 1918 - c1930
Winterton, Charles Lot 47-1-M 1922
Unknown Bird, Charles 1909
Mylks, William 1918


Richmond Hill residents must have tended to their own tonsorial needs until the 1870s; no barbers appeared in census records or newspaper advertisements until Thomas Coupland advertised in 1872. The decade between 1875 and 1885 saw as many as five barbers working in the village at the same time. Many of them had their barbershops in the hotels where they could cater to the travelling public as well as local residents.

Location Name Date
Village Coupland, Thomas B. Lot 47-1-V 1872 - c1875
McCarthy, Joseph Lot 46-1-V 1874 - 1877
Wright, George Lot 47-1-V c1875 - 1880
Stephenson, J. Dominion Hotel 1876
McRae, J. Lot 46-1-V 1877
Wright, George Grand Central Hotel 1880 - c1883
Wright, George Dominion House c1883 - 1884
Andrews, Albert (Bert) Lorne Block 1883 - c1894
Lloyd, A. Grand Central c1883
Boynton, Warren c1891
Ransom, Moses Lorne Block c1895 - 1913
Ransom, Moses Lot 46-1-V 1913 - c1931
Grainger, Edward (Ted) Dominion Hotel c1911 - c1923
Storey, Wilbert Hotel Richmond c1923


Blacksmithing was an essential service from the very beginnings of settlement. Richmond Hill's earliest references show blacksmith shops operating from at least 1827, with the final reference being a century later in 1926.

Several of the shops were located on the east side of Yonge Street, south of the current Lorne Avenue. However, they were also found in each hamlet and at many of the main crossroads, as well as scattered throughout the rural areas.

A number of blacksmiths were also wheelwrights, while others concentrated on agricultural implements. This led to the growth of two industries, wagon and carriagemaking and agricultural implement foundries.

Many of the blacksmiths in Vaughan between 1861 and 1881 were probably employed at the Patterson Agricultural Works.

Location Name Date
Langstaff Gardner, Alexander Lot 36-1-M c1854
Lot 38-1-V Routledge, James c1851
Lot 41-1-V Burr, Reuben 1833 - 1836
Sanderson, Samuel 1836 - 1844
Boothby, Thomas 1844 - c1871
Jackson, George c1851
Thompson, Stephen c1861
Wright, William c1891
Wood, George c1899 - 20thC
Lot 44-1-V Munshaw, William east c1865 - 1874
Grist, James east c1871
Thompson, William 1874
Village Morgan, Thomas & John Lot 46-1-M c1827 - c1846
Rogers, Thomas Lot 46-1-M 1828 - 1831
Wilcox, Jonathan Dudley Lot 46-1-M 1831 - 1844
Wilkie, Thomas & John Lot 47-1-V 1838 - c1855
Sanderson, Samuel Lot 46-1-M 1844 - 1862
Sedman, Thomas Lot 46-1-M c1846 - c1881
Langrel, John Lot 46-1-M c1851
Gardner, Alexander Lot 47-1-V c1851 - c1854
Charles, Thomas Lot 48-1-V c1861
Smith, John Lot 46-1-M 1861 - 1864
Deveny, John Lot 46-1-M c1861
Moran, James Vaughan c1861
Plaxton, John Vaughan c1861
Sims, John Markham c1861 - c1870
Trench, William, Sr. Lot 46-1-M 1869 - c1871
Sims, John Vaughan c1870 - c1906
Clark, Robert Lot 46-1-V c1871
Coyle, Thomas Vaughan c1871
Farrell, George Vaughan c1871
Gaby, Joseph Vaughan c1871
Hopper, Robert, Jr. Vaughan c1871
Miller, James Lot 46-1-M c1871
Moylan, Patrick Lot 47-1-V c1871
Savage, John Vaughan c1871
Trench, Robert Vaughan c1871
Trench, William, Jr. Lot 46-1-M c1871 - c1892
Stephens, George Lot 47-1-M 1879 - c1881
Barber, John Dominion Hotel c1881
David, Nelson R. Dominion Hotel c1881
Gardner, William Vaughan c1881
Gray, David Vaughan c1881 - c1891
King, Joseph Vaughan c1881
McDonald, James c1881
Slaney, Michael Vaughan c1881
Trench, George c1881
Campbell, Alexander Church St. c1891 - c1908
Cooper, William c1891
Glover, George c1891
Sims, Alexander c1891
Wiley, William c1891
Cowie, George Lot 48-1-V 1903 - 1926
Good, Ralph Vaughan c1905 - c1907
Maxwell, James Church St. c1905
Northcot, William Palmer House c1906 - c1909
Allison, Russel Dominion Hotel c1907
Mantle, Elijah Vaughan c1908
Hunt, James Lot 48-1-M 1923 - 1924
Elgin Mills Trench, William, Sr. Lot 51-1-V 1842 - 1869
Dunn, Charles Lot 50-1-V c1851
Craik, Peter Lot 49-1-V c1861 - 1869
Craik, Peter Lot 51-1-V 1869 - c1871
Clift, Albert S. Lot 51-1-V c1891
Clift, John Stone Lot 51-1-V c1891
Clift, Samuel Lot 51-1-V c1891
Woodward, F. J. Lot 51-1-V 1909 - 1912
Lot 59-1-M Mortson, Thomas c1851 - c1861
Oak Ridges Routledge, Peter Lot 68-1-K c1848 - 20thC
Ramsey, William c1851
Redden, William, Jr. Lot 68-1-K c1851
Lot 15-2-M Phillips, Peter c1851 - c1857
Teasdale, William east c1852 - c1881
Lot 25-2-M Drewery, John west c1871
Dollar Wilkinson, Jonathan Lot 11-3-M c1851 - c1861
Caldwell, George Lot 11-3-M c1852
Cowie, George c1895 - 1903
Headford Robinson, John Lot 20-3-M c1851
Comisky, Alexander c1891
Lot 21-3-M Lepaugh, Stephen c1851
Lot 23-3-M Steel, Anthony c1852 - c1853
Lot 35-3-M Woodward, F. J. New Gormley 1912
Whitchurch Clift, John Stone c1871
Clift, Samuel c1871
Leslie, Roger Bethesda & Leslie c1860 - c1861
Unknown Bell, George 1858

Boot and Shoemakers

An essential trade from the first half of the nineteenth century was that of the shoemaker. There were at least five shoeshops in the village around mid-century, with others in each of the hamlets. Prior to 1840, Richmond Hill residents must have had to travel to more populated areas to have their shoes made.

Advertisements indicate that ready-made shoes and boots were available from the shoeshops early in the second half of the century. The change from shoemaking to shoe repair occurred gradually during the last decade of the 19th century and into the 20th century.

Location Name Date
Lot 41-1-V Walls, Joseph Carrville Rd. c1851
Hastings, Thomas c1861
Lot 42-1-V McLean, Steven c1851
Lot 44-1-V Locke, Matthew c1851
Horn, Samuel c1861
Village Hewison, Robert Lot 47-1-M 1840 - 1868
French, John W. Lot 48-1-M c1848 - 1856
Hall, James Lot 46-1-M c1850 - 1869
Duffy, James Lot 46-1-V c1851
Stark, Samuel Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1855
Tompkins, John Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1855
Wood, Robert Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1852
Stark, Samuel Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1855
Tompkins, John Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1855
Sivers, R., Sr. & Jr. Lot 46-1-M 1852 - 1856
Sivers, R., Sr. & Jr. Lot 47-1-M 1856 - 1904
Gibson, J. W. Lot 47-1-M c1857
Lee, Reuben Lot 48-1-M c1857 - 1862
Myers, William Church lot c1857 - c1876
Verney, James Lot 47-1-M c1857 - c1872
Durham, Richard Lot 48-1-M c1858 - c1908
Dolmage, Tobias Lot 46-1-M 1859 - c1866
Bilton, William Markham c1861
Hall, Francis Hall's shop c1861
Power, William Lot 46-1-M c1861
Sandvidge, William Lot 46-1-M c1861
Simpson, James Lot 46-1-M c1861
McConaghy, Francis Dolmage's shop c1862 - 1870
Fox, William Vaughan c1866 - c1871
Dolmage, Tobias Lot 47-1-V c1866 - 1872
McConaghy, Francis Lot 46-1-V 1870 - 1875
Busby, John Vaughan c1871
Gamble, William Lot 46-1-M c1871 - 1882
Siver, William Sivers' shop c1871
Isbbit, James Lot 46-1-M c1871
McConaghy, Francis Church Lot 2 1875 - 1919
Hannigan, John Mrs. Gamble's shop c1881
Kennersley, John c1881 - 1910
Kennersley, George c1881
McConaghy, James McConaghy's shop c1881
Rowe, John Vaughan c1881
Dillon, Michael c1891
McConaghy, Charles McConaghy's shop c1891 - c1913
Forrester, Henry Markham c1907 - c1908
Franklin, F. A. c1917
Elgin Mills Williamson, Robert c1840 - c1882
Williamson, Robert, Jr. c1871 - c1881
Bodell, Andrew Williamson's shop c1881
Oak Ridges McKenzie, Murdoch at Stouffville Rd. 1851
McKenzie, Murdoch c1871 - c1881
Graham, Robert King c1881
Lot 13-2-M Jobbit, Thomas c1852
Lot 14-3-M Taylor, William c1852
Headford Ford, Thomas c1851 - 1852
Hughs, Jesse c1851
Newlove, Joseph c1861
Whitchurch Manon (?), William c1861
Giles, William c1881


When the settlers arrived, their first priority was to place a roof over their heads. These first homes were often of round log construction built by the settlers and their neighbours, and were relatively simple homes meant to provide basic shelter.

With the advent of the sawmills in the 1820s and 1830s, lumber was more readily available. Once the settlers had cleared a portion of their land and were reasonably established financially, they could set to building a second house.

The construction of this second house could take such forms as timber frame, transitional framing, plank-on-plank, or vertical plank. They could have been roughcast, or sheathed with clapboard or board-and-batten.

The settlers used fieldstone for their foundations, and if stone was plentiful, for their entire houses too. Small quantities of brick could be brought in for fireplaces and chimneys. For a brief period during the 1830s a few Richmond Hill residents made their own sun-dried mud brick, but these had to be carefully covered by stucco or wood sheathing to protect them from the elements.

By the mid-1840s, brick was more readily available and a few brick homes began to appear. Locally made bricks were usually in varying shades of buff to orange, and were quite soft. Red brick, being more expensive, was more prestigious, and frequently the face of local buff brick would be dipped in a red slurry for appearance.

As the century progressed the use of patterned brickwork began to occur, with a contrasting colour being used for quoin (corners of the building), voussoirs (over doors and windows), and banding (decorative bands). Towards the turn of the century, brick buildings were usually constructed of all buff or all dark red brick. However, frame (wooden) buildings continued to be a popular form of construction, the style of framing evolving from the earlier timber-frame (barn framing) to stud framing similar to today's methods.

It is difficult to differentiate between carpenters, joiners, and builders in Richmond Hill. The same person was often listed in different ways in the census and directories of the day. Many of those on the list of builders will be also found under "Carpenters." Some, such as John L. Innes and John. L. Harris, are even referred to as architects.

Location Name Date
Lot 42-1-V Little, John c1871
Village McNair, Matthew 1860 - c1903
Gilroy, John c1879 - c1881
Chamberlain, Charles c1881
Chamberlain, George c1881
Clifford, William c1881
Harris, John Ley Lot 48-1-V c1881
Redditt, James c1881
Innes, Leslie & Sons Richmond St. 1886 - c1920
Graham, Wm. H. Centre St.E. 1910 - 1917
Graham, Wm. H. Church St.S. 1917 - 1924
Atkinson, Ralph c1920 - c1930+
Elgin Mills Newton, James, Sr. c1835 - c1881
Whitchurch Matthewson, James c1871
Unknown Curry and Langford c1883


This trade could also be classed as a retail service, although it is not clear from the references at what point butchering became less of a service of butchering residents' own animals, and when it evolved into a retail butchering trade. There were definitely butcher shops in the 1870s and probably in the 1860s.

Location Name Date
Village Dove, William Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1860
Hopper, Robert Lot 46-1-V c1857 - 1871
Bailey, James Raymond's Hotel c1861
Hutly, William Nicholl's Hotel c1861
Holliday, James Lot 46-1-M c1865 - 1867
Williams, Stephen Lot 46-1-M 1867
Cox, William W. Lot 46-1-M 1867 - 1869
Cox, William W. Lot 47-1-V 1869 - 1872
Glass, Wm. H. Lot 46-1-V 1871
Hopper, Henry F. Lot 47-1-V 1871 - 1874
Hopper, William c1871
Pugsley, Wm. H. Lot 46-1-V 1872 - 1884
Pugsley, Reuben partner of W. Puglsey 1872 - 1884
Glass, Wm. H. partner of W. Pugsley 1872 - 1884
Hopper, Robert 1875 - c1890
Hopper, Henry F. Lot 46-1-M 1878 - 1885
Brownlee, James c1881
Pugsley, Arthur E. Lot 46-1-V c1881
Glass, Wm. H. Lot 46-1-V 1884 - 1930+
Hopper, Henry F. Lot 47-1-M 1885 - 1901
Hopper, Herbert H. Lot 47-1-M 1891 - c1912
Gould, William c1891
Hopper, Thomas c1891
Redman, J. Lot 46-1-M 1897
Grainger, George Lot 46-1-V c1905
Patton, Matthew c1905 - c1907
Mansbridge, F. J. Lot 47-1-M 1919 - c1930+
Elgin Mills Dove, George c1851 - c1858
Lot 12-2-M Dove, William front c1861
Lot 18-2-M Newlove, Joseph c1852 - c1856
Lot 22-3-M Simpson, Robert c1851
Lot 28-3-M Ellerby, Joseph c1852
Vaughan Legge, W. H. c1891
Whitchurch Holliday, James c1861 - 1865


Skilled cabinetmakers operated over a 30-year span in Richmond Hill. Village trade supported four cabinetmakers during the decade from 1845 to 1855, but from the 1860s on, furniture shops were carrying ready-made stock as well as offering custom-made articles.

With the growth of machine-made furniture, the cabinetmaker's skill quickly became redundant.

Location Name Date
Village Reid, William Lot 47-1-M c1845 - c1857
Pollock, Charles c1846 - c1856
Bone, George Lot 48-1-V c1849 - 1861
Hurst, Thomas Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1854
Willson, Thomas Lot 47-1-M c1857 - c1859
Webber, Edwin Church Lot 3 1861 - 1862
Webber, Edwin at Centre 1862 - 1865
Coghlan, Thomas at Centre 1866 - 1869
Savage, Peter G. at Centre 1869 - c1875


Unlike their colleagues in the cabinetry shops, the carpenters were in demand throughout the history of Richmond Hill. As the village grew, so did the carpentry trade. The busiest decades were from 1850 to 1890.

Fathers and sons, master carpenters and apprentices - many of the carpentry shops consisted of a number of carpenters. Unlike the blacksmiths, however, the carpenters tended to set up shop in the village and hamlets, with only a few scattered throughout the rural areas.

Location Name Date
Langstaff Cook, William c1835 - 1862
Bilton, William c1851
Bilton, George c1851
Lot 38-1-V Harris, Thomas at Westwood Lane c1847 - c1871
Dexter, Elijah c1851
Dexter, David c1851
Dexter, John c1851
Hellyer, John c1851
Dyer, Richard at Westwood Lane c1851
Lyons, James at Westwood Lane c1851
Cober, Jacob rear c1861
Cober, Nicholas rear c1861
Ness, James c1881
Ness, John c1881
Ness, Thomas c1881
Ness, William c1881
Lot 41-1-V Burr, Rowland c1820 - 1836
Burr, Nathaniel c1830 - c1860
Bilton, Hugh c1851
Lot 45-1-V Penny, William rear c1871
Village Rogers, Thomas Lot 46-1-M c1827 - c1831
(also listed as blacksmith)
Chamberlin, Eriel Mill St. c1847 - 1867
Doner, Samuel Lot 47-1-M c1847 - c1852
Ambler, William Lot 46-1-M c1850 - c1860
Bridgeford, John Richmond St. c1851
Graham, George Vaughan c1851
Hurst, Samuel Markham c1851
Kelly, James Vaughan c1851
Quintin, William Vaughan c1851
Shaw, Thomas Vaughan c1851
Horner, Jacob Lot 47-1-M c1852 - c1857
Sedman, Thomas Lot 46-1-M c1852 - 1853
(also listed as blacksmith & carriagemaker)
Davidson, Benjamin, Sr. Richmond St. c1855 - c1870
Grant, Jesse Vaughan c1856 - c1891
Dolmage, Gideon Markham 1857 - 1858
Kline, Peter c1860 - c1881
Storey, John W. Richmond St. c1860 - c1871
Wiley, Francis Vaughan c1860 - c1882
Harris, John L. Lot 48-1-M c1860 - c1908
Boynton, George Vaughan c1861
Boynton, Porie Vaughan c1861
Coghlan, Thomas Lot 47-1-V c1861 - 1866
Davidson, Benjamin, Jr. Richmond St. c1861
Peck, Hiram Vaughan c1861
Richmond, Willard Vaughan c1861
Croley, Thomas E. c1861 - c1881
Dancey, John c1871 - c1881
Gale, William Vaughan c1871 - c1881
Lang, James Vaughan c1871
Lyons, Benjamin c1871 - c1891
Manton, William Vaughan c1871
McNair, Matthew Vaughan c1871 - c1891
Redditt, Benjamin Vaughan c1871
Savage, Sylvester Vaughan c1871
Wiley, Gerard J. c1871 - c1907
Wilson, Asa B. Vaughan c1871
Wilson, Thomas Vaughan c1871
Wilson, William H. c1871 - c1881
Bell, Aaron Vaughan c1881
Bell, Henry Vaughan c1881
Clifford, William c1881 - c1891
Cook, Arthur Lot 48-1-V c1881
Gilroy, John c1881
Grant, Arthur L. c1881
Harvey, Joseph c1881
Hellyer, John c1881
Hellyer, Thomas c1881
Innes, George c1881
Kelly, Patrick Vaughan c1881
Kelly, Thomas Vaughan c1881
Mapes, Jesse c1881
Mapes, John c1881
Martin, Joseph H. c1881
McDonald, John c1881
McMann, Thomas Vaughan c1881
Mundy, John Vaughan c1881
Quantz, Alfred Richmond St. c1881
Robinson, David Vaughan c1881 - c1891
Robinson, James Vaughan c1881 - c1890
Storey, William T. c1881
Wiley, Douglas G. c1881
Wiley, Walter E. c1881
Wiley, Francis Arnold & Elizabeth c1882 - c1910
Innes, Leslie Richmond St. c1888 - c1908
Innes, John Richmond St. c1890 - c1921
Sims, George S. 1891 - c1924
Cosgrove, Francis c1891
Espey, Robert Lot 48-1-V c1891
Innes, William Richmond St. c1891 - c1905
Law, Robert c1891
Lyons, George c1891
Lyons, Jeremiah c1891
Lyons, Thomas c1891
Peach, Thomas c1891
Singleton, William c1891
Teel, William Richmond St. c1891 - c1907
Trench, Thomas Markham c1891
Dennison, Herman Centre St. E. c1905
Gibson, William Vaughan c1905 - c1907
Harp, Asa Centre St. E. c1905
Kinnee, Robert Church St. c1905 - c1907
Metcalf, George Vaughan c1905 - c1908
Patterson, Alec c1905 - c1910
Patterson, Lorne c1905 - c1907
Ransom, Fred c1905 - c1907
Robinson, Frank Lot 48-1-V c1905 - c1907
Robinson, David Church St. N. c1905
Bond, Edward Church St. 1906
Atkinson, John F. Lot 48-1-V c1906 - c1908
Jackson, Frederick c1906 - 1908
Hopper, Frederick Elizabeth St. c1907 - c1908
Metcalf, Aylmer Vaughan 1908
Elgin Mills Newton, James, Sr. Lot 51-1-V 1835 - c1871
Bone, Thomas c1851
Shepherd, John Lot 49-1-V c1851
Shepherd, William Lot 49-1-V c1851
Topham, John c1851
Turner, John c1851
Humphrey, Jay Lot 49-1-M c1861
Moodie, Alexander c1861 - c1871
Oak Ridges Phillips, Isaac c1851 - c1881
Woodman, Sylvanus Lot 70-1-K (rear) c1851
Alexander, Samuel King c1861
McKenzie, Phillip Lot 69-1-K c1861 - c1871
Proctor, Samuel King c1861
Moss, William Whitchurch c1861
Hennessey, James King c1871
McLean, David King c1871
Steel, Peter Whitchurch c1871
Willcox, James King c1871
Beynon, Josiah King c1881
McComb, David King c1881
Lot 27-2-M Heise, Jacob c1891
Lot 35-2-M Leary, Robert New Gormley c1861
Dollar Wilkinson, Jonathan, Sr. c1851 - c1861
Clark, Thomas c1852 - c1891
Couch, William c1852 - c1871
Headford Phillips, William Lot 15-2-M c1851
Helmkay, Henry Lot 16-2-M 1851 - c1861
Gamble, Ezra c1852
Stark, John c1857
Mapes, Cyrus c1861 - c1891
Mapes, William c1881
Lot 26-3-M Cook, John c1852
Lot 30-3-M Nigh, Frederick rear c1881
Markham Bliss, James c1861
Doner, John c1861
Lunau, Henry c1861
Baker, Jacob c1871
Breckon, James c1871
Doner, Jacob c1871
Whitchurch Royal, Reuben Lot 1-2-W c1861
Collard, George Lot 1-2-W c1861 - c1871
Unknown Davey, John c1860
Mortley, John c1860 - c1871
Snider, Edward c1886

Carriage and Wagonmakers

Transportation was a serious concern to the early settlers, since roads were not much more than rough, muddy tracks filled with stumps. However, by mid-century Yonge Street had been macadamized through Richmond Hill and the demand for wagons, carriages, and coaches increased dramatically. Sleighs were also in demand, since they were an easier and more comfortable form of transportation over the snow-covered frozen ground, than through mud, potholes, and corduroy roads.

Richmond Hill had several prominent carriage makers. Thomas Sedman also entered into the undertaking business, since he had the available hearse. Trench's Carriage Works was a large establishment, shipping carriages as far as Manitoba. Wright Carriage Works, which had taken over from MacBeth, also turned out reputable vehicles, and like Sedman, carried on an undertaking business. With the advent of the radial car on Yonge Street, and finally the automobile, the carriage industry died out. Trench's was the last one to close, in the 1920s.

Location Name Date
Langstaff Cook, William c1851
Village Hall, Henry Wright St. c1851
MacBeth, Thomas Wright St. c1851
Sedman, Thomas Lot 46-1-M 1856 - c1881
MacBeth, Andrew Lot 48-1-V c1861 - 1873
Trench, William Lot 46-1-M c1864 - c1920
Powell, Peter Lot 47-1-V c1871
Wright, John H. Lot 48-1-V c1873 - c1881
Martin, Joseph J. c1881
Storey, William T. c1881 - c1891
Trench, Thomas Lot 46-1-M c1891 - c1920
Linklater, Alexander c1891
Oak Ridges Hughey, William c1881

Carriage Painters and Trimmers

There were many more carriage painters and trimmers than the Wright family, but they are listed under painters or carpenters, since they used their skills in a variety of ways.

Location Name Date
Village Wright, William Ashford Lot 48-1-V c1881
Wright, Thomas E. Lot 48-1-V c1881
Wright, Alfred Lot 48-1-V c1891
Wright, Charles Lot 48-1-V c1891
Wright, James Lot 48-1-V c1891


Coopering, like cabinetmaking, was short-lived. The busiest time was in the 1850s, when the coopers were making barrels for George P. Dickson's steam grist mill at Elgin Mills. John Hamilton had 11 coopers living with him at his cooperage, in the 1851 census. By the 1861 census, the number of coopers at Elgin Mills had dropped to five.

Location Name Date
Village Johnston, Nicholas Mill St. c1847 - c1860
Pogue, William, Sr. Lot 48-1-M 1856 - 1865
Pogue, William, Jr. Lot 48-1-M c1865 - c1881
Pogue, Thomas Lot 48-1-M c1865 - c1871
Elgin Mills Hamilton, John c1850 - c1871
Brown, William c1851
Brown, Thomas c1851
Dobin, James Lot 53-1-M c1851
Harper, Frederick c1851
Jelfic, Joseph c1851
Jones, Edward c1851
Kelly, Daniel Lot 53-1-V c1851
Mathis, John c1851
Montgomery, John (1) c1851
Montgomery, John (2) c1851
Muir, John c1851
Nicolson, Andrew c1851
Plim, John c1851
Plunket, Ullrich c1851
Pogue, William, Sr. c1851 - 1856
Pogue, William, Jr. c1851 - c1865
Pogue, Thomas c1851 - c1865
Rankin, Abram c1851
Roberts, Isaac c1851
Roberts, Jacob c1851
Roberts, Thomas c1851
Walker, John c1851
Whitley, John c1851
Hamilton, James c1861 - c1871
Joyce, Redman c1861 - c1870
Noller, James c1861
Wallis, George c1861
Bell, James c1871
Doyle, Stephen c1871
Naughton, Patrick c1881
Hamilton, George c1871
Mulholland, John c1871
Headford Arnip, William c1849 - c1857
Lot 28-2-M Harrison, John c1861
King Brenniss, John c1851
Brighton, Edward c1851
Flinn, John c1851
Glassford, John c1851
Holland, Daniel c1851
Hollival, John c1851
Jollip, Joseph c1851
Rogers, Charles c1851
Vaughan Finlay, Samuel c1871
Smith, John c1871 - c1881
Smith, William c1881


Richmond Hill's first druggist, Robert Hall, appears to have set up business about 1856. By 1861, the census records also list his wife, Ann, as a druggist. This was not a business that required more than one or two in a village, but from 1856 on, Richmond Hill always had at least one. Sandersons became famous for their "Infallible Oil," which they promoted by travelling the province in their decorated wagon.

Location Name Date
Village Hall, Robert Lot 46-1-M c1856 - 1863
Hall, Ann Lot 46-1-M c1861 - 1863
Hall, Robert & Ann Lot 46-1-V 1863 - 1869
Law, Robt. Emery Lot 47-1-M 1869 - c1887
Sanderson, Henry Lot 47-1-M 1869 - c1919
Sanderson, Wm. A. Lot 47-1-M c1871 - c1907
Sloan, J. Howard c1917 - c1924
Glenn, G. H. Lot 46-1-M 1923 - c1930+
Porter, Ernest M. 1924 - c1926
Wray, Henry E. c1927
Unknown Austin, H.F. c1929 - c1930

Grocers and General Store Merchants

Although early residents of Richmond Hill had to be fairly self-sufficient, some household necessities had to be purchased, and so the general store was essential from the very beginnings of settlement.

Abner Miles was the first to open a store in the area, and his account books are still available to give an interesting picture of the commodities required.

There is no evidence of a store between Miles' death in 1806 and Benjamin Barnard's store in 1821, but it is likely that one existed. Possibly James Miles kept his father's business interests alive for some time after Abner's death. However, from the 1830s on there were grocery and general stores available in Richmond Hill, with their numbers increasing as the decades progressed.

Merchants often seemed to lease premises for a few years, and then when they were securely established, purchased a location of their own. The owners and lessees of a particular site can be fairly readily traced, showing a rather remarkable change-over of shopkeepers at any particular spot.

There was a sprinkling of stores throughout the concessions on Yonge, but on the back concessions, only a single store would be found in the hamlets, and very few on the in-between lots.

Most of the rural post offices were located in stores, so that the list of postmasters probably indicates who the shopkeepers were. However, they are only listed if they are definitely known to have had a shop on the premises.

Location Name Date
Langstaff Langstaff, John c1820 - c1880
Horne, Henry c1881 - c1891
Boyle, David c1893 - 1930+
Richvale Sumner, Mr. c1920
Allison, George 1921
Lot 41-1-V Lund, Wm. c1861
Sanderson, Samuel c1871
Lot 42-1-V Lawence, A.P. c1851
Lot 45-1-M Miles, Abner c1803 - 1806
Village Barnard, Benjamin Lot 46-1-M c1821 - 1831
Logan, Alexander Lot 46-1-M 1831 - 1833
McKechanie, Alex Lot 46-1-V c1832 - c1846
Sinclair, James Lot 46-1-M c1836 - 1844
Wallington, John Lot 47-1-V 1844 - 1850
Chadwick, Wm. Lot 46-1-V 1846 - 1847
McPherson, William Lot 47-1-M 1846 - c1854
Hastings, Richard Lot 46-1-V 1847 - 1849
Eastwood, Richard Lot 46-1-V 1849
Teefy, Matthew Lot 46-1-M c1849 - c1850
Teefy, Matthew Lot 46-1-V c1850 - 1857
Falconbridge, J.K. Lot 46-1-V c1850 - 1861
Barnard, B. & G.A. Lot 46-1-M c1851 - 1857
McPhillips, John Lot 47-1-M c1851 - c1854
Searle, Stephen Lot 46-1-M c1851
Jenkins, James Lot 47-1-M c1852 - c1865
Crosby, Parker Lot 47-1-M c1853 - 1868
McKinnon, William Markham 1854
Hopkins, David Lot 47-1-V 1856 - c1880
Harrington, John north end 1858 - c1868
Durrant, Charles Lot 46-1-V 1857
Barnard, G.A. Lot 46-1-M 1857 - 1874
Clarkson & Lynot Lot 46-1-V 1858 - 1859
Teefy, Matthew Lot 46-1-V 1860 - c1900
Pollock, Wm. S. Lot 46-1-M 1860 - 1867
Flood & Price Lot 46-1-V 1862 - 1864
Price, Thomas Lot 46-1-V 1864 - 1865
Flood, Richard Lot 48-1-M 1864 - 1865
Atkinson, Wm. Lot 46-1-M 1864 - 1866
Henderson, John c1864 - c1865
Kellar, C.M. c1864 - c1869
Waterhouse, John Lot 47-1-M 1866
Shields, Wm. Lot 46-1-M 1866 - c1870
Atkinson, Wm. Lot 46-1-V 1866 - 1874
French, Isaac Lot 46-1-M 1868 - c1871
Crosby, Isaac Lot 47-1-M 1868 - 1889
Morgan, Thomas Lot 46-1-M c1868 - c1869
Warren, R.C. c1868
Duncan, William Markham c1871
Grant, Jesse at Richmond c1871
Jenkins, James c1871 - c1874
Clifton, Jarvis Markham c1871 - c1874
Moodie, Alex Lot 46-1-M 1871 - 1874
French & Elliott c1871 - c1872
Savage, P.G. Lot 47-1-V c1872 - c1909
Brown, John at Centre 1872 - 1884
Moodie, Alex Lot 46-1-M 1874 - 1913
Atkinson, Wm. Lot 47-1-V 1874 - 1876
Sheppard, Charles Lot 46-1-M 1874 - 1878
Clifton & Co. north end c1874
Falconbridge, J.K. Lot 46-1-V 1875 - 1878
Atkinson & Switzer Lot 47-1-V 1876 - 1892
Trench, George Lot 46-1-M 1878 - 1879
Reynolds & Newton Lot 46-1-V 1878 - 1883
Trench, George Lorne Block 1879 - 1889
Pogue, Mrs. Wm. Lorne Block 1880 - c1886
Skeele, A.L. & Clarence Lot 47-1-M c1880 - 1930+
Lymburner, Robt. at Dunlop 1881 - 1882
Soules, Mrs. Geo. & W.C. Lot 46-1-M 1882 - 1886
Sneath & Grennan Lot 46-1-V 1884 - 1886
Hall, Joseph & Wellington at Centre 1884 - 1913
Kirkby, Fred Lot 46-1-M 1886 - c1891
Grennan, Benjamin Lot 46-1-V 1887
Harrison, Mrs. C. Lot 47-1-V c1882 - c1895
Neville, R.W. Lot 46-1-V 1888 - c1890
Atkinson, Wm. D. Lot 47-1-M 1889 - 1892
Brown, Oscar J. Lorne Block 1889 - c1896
Graham, Mrs. John c1891 - c1892
Elliott, A.G. Lot 46-1-V c1892 - c1896
Atkinson (Wm. D.) & Switzer Lot 47-1-V 1893 - 1895
Switzer, J.A.E. Lot 47-1-V 1895 - 1909
See, Mr. Lot 46-1-V 1896
Ross, Mary Lorne Block 1896 - c1908
McDonald, John c1896
Hopper, Mrs. H.F. c1900 - c1904
Ludford, Thomas Lot 46-1-M c1905 - 1906
Savage, W.C. Lot 46-1-V c1906 - 1913
Savage, Armand Markham c1907
Sims, Frank E. Lot 46-1-M 1907 - 1930+
Grainger, Fred c1909 - c1911
Switzer, Mrs. J. & Ethel Lot 47-1-V 1909 - 1920
Lynett, Mrs. E. J. c1912
Savage, W.C. Lorne Block c1913 - 1920
MacDonald, G.A. Robinson Block 1913 - 1918
Cowie, George Lot 48-1-V 1915 - c1916
Duncan, Wm. Robinson Block 1918 - 1930+
Savage, W.C./Dominion Stores Lorne Block/Robinson Block 1920 - c1923
Andrew, G. E. c1921 - c1922
Bennett, Mrs c1922 - c1926
Murphy & Beynon c1923 - c1926
Sharples, E.H. c1923 - c1929
Allison, George c1923 - 1929
Stein, J. & M. c1923 - 1926
Stein/Leaders Stores 1926 - 1930+
Circus, Mrs. c1928 - c1931
Elgin Mills Lawrence, James c1851
Waterhouse, John c1862 - 1866
Newton, H. & A. Lot 50-1-V 1866 - 1867
Bernard, John G. Lot 51-1-M 1866 - 1872
Newton, Henry Lot 50-1-V 1867 - 1869
Naughton, Michael & John Lot 50-1-V c1870 - 1919
Newberry, Robert 1871
Hamilton, George c1881
Kempner, Mr. Lot 50-1-V 1919
Lot 54-1-M Harrington, John 1856 - 1858
Jefferson Gale, J.W. 1882 - 1890
Oak Ridges Suttle, Frederick & Georgina c1861
Beynon, John c1861
Mabley, Albert c1871
Blain Bros. c1923
Dollar Couch, William c1851
Provin, Thomas c1852
Amoss, Thomas c1853
Headford Taylor, Edward c1852 - c1857
Reading & Baker c1857 - 1860
Baker, Charles 1860 - 1861
Gamble, W.W. c1861
Smith, Thomas c1871
Wellman, James c1881 - c1896
McBride, Mrs. 1903 - 1905
Hendricks, Mrs. c1906
Lot 26-3-M Allison, Thomas c1852
Whitchurch Todd, James, Jr. c1861
Mosley, Robert c1861
Hughes, William c1861
Emery, J.R. c1871
Woolings, Mr. New Gormley c1910
Cober, Peter New Gormley 1912 - c1915
Birch, Mr. New Gormley c1915 - 1918
Johnson, John T. New Gormley 1918 - 1930+


Hotel, inn, tavern - all were used to describe the accommodations for travellers in the early 1800s, and appear to have been used interchangeably. All offered lodging, food, and drink.

"Drink" was the operative word for most of the establishments from the very beginning of Upper Canada. Tavern licenses were required and renewed yearly. Licenses on Yonge Street were more costly than those on the back concessions or sideroads, an indication of the greater profitability of a Yonge Street hotel.

In the early years of the 19th century, even Yonge Street could scarcely warrant the word "road." Although theoretically opened, various sections were reclaimed by the forest from time to time. Consequently, Richmond Hill may well have been a good day's travel out from York, and therefore a good location for the early inns. By the 1820s, settlement was increasing and the settlers required accommodation as they moved to their settlement lands. As well, soldiers moving between York and Penetanguishene required lodging. The 1820s were busy times for inns in Richmond Hill.

Political unrest, economic depression, and fear of cholera had their effects on the Yonge Street hotel trade of the 1830s, but the 1840s, with its rapid increase in immigration, saw a resurgence in the tavern business. The 1850s and 1860s were the heyday of the hotel, but the Temperance movement of the 1870s and economic stagnation created uncertain times, reflected in an unstable hotel trade in Richmond Hill. By the 1880s the hotels of Richmond Hill had decreased until only a few remained, but those that had survived were mainly large establishments. As the hotel trade declined through the 1890s and the 1900s, the larger hotel buildings suffered the most, becoming vacant or housing an assortment of unrelated enterprises.

Location Name Date
Lot 36-1-V
Yorkshire House Cook, Wm. & Jane 1838 - 1862
" Cook, Jane 1862 - c1885
Lot 41-1-V
Lymburner's Tavern Ashley, Jarvis c1820 - c1834
" Lymburner, Matthew c1834 - c1850
" Tack (Tuck), James c1851 - c1855
Lot 45-1-M
Miles' Tavern Miles, Abner c1802 - c1806
Lot 46-1-M
Vanderburgh's Tavern Vanderburgh, Barnabas 1823 - c1828
O'Hearne's Tavern O'Hearne, William 1829
" O'Hearne, Francis 1830 - 1836
" Dalby, Francis (possibly) 1837 - 1840
" Unknown 1841 - 1849
Masonic Arms Simpson, John c1850 - 1851
" Hughs, Nathan 1852 - 1853
" Linfoot, George 1854 - c1855
Victoria Hotel Wiseman, Robert 1856 - 1859
" Simpson, George 1860
" Wilson, George 1861 - 1865
" Simpson, George 1866 - c1870
" Logan, George 1871
Lot 46-1-M
Ambler's Hotel Linfoot, George 1852
" Sheppard, Edward 1853 - c1856
" Ambler, William 1857 - 1860
White Hart Inn Vannostrand, Cornelius 1860 - 1865
" Dolmage, Gideon 1866 - 1868
" Logan, George 1869 - 1870
Dominion Hotel Davis, Nelson 1870 - 1871
" Proctor, Simon 1871 - 1879
Grand Central Hotel Chamberlain, Charles 1880 - 1881
" Powell, John & Frank 1882 - 1886
" Powell, William 1886
" Gilmour, Gilbert 1887
" Rupert, A.J. 1887 - 1891
Lot 46-1-M
Dalby's Tavern Dalby, Francis 1841 - 1851
" Maguire, John 1852 - c1855
Richmond Hill Hotel Nicholls, Richard 1856 - 1864
Robin Hood Hotel Cook, Thomas 1865 - 1866
" Ferris, Robert 1867
" Velie, John 1868 - 1874
" Lemon, Walter 1875
" Cosgrove, Frank 1876 - 1881
Royal Hotel Hewison, Warren 1881 - 1883
Dominion House Brillinger, Benjamin 1883 - 1895
" Ellston, John 1895 - 1904
" Stong, Daniel 1905 - 1906
Lot 46-1-M
Clark's Tavern Wright, Archibald (possibly) 1826 - 1828
" MacAdams, Thomas (possibly) 1829 - 1831
" Brown, John (possibly) 1832 - c1835
" Clark, John 1836 - 1837
" Unknown 1838 - c1849
Linfoot's Hotel Linfoot, John c1849 - 1852
(White) Swan Hotel Gaby, Joseph 1852 - 1858
Plough Inn Peck, H.W. 1858
Raymond's Hotel Raymond, Robert 1859 - 1872
Palmer House Palmer, John 1872 - 1891
" Palmer, Walter c1891
" Kelly, John 1891 - 1897
" Hulse, Walter 1897 - 1899
" Palmer, John 1899 - 1905
" Savage, W.C. c1905 - c1907
" Knight, John c1905 - c1907
" Wright, Henry 1907 - c1910
" Michael, Robert c1909
" Good, John 1911 - c1913
Hotel Richmond Kelly, John 1913 - 1916
" Lang, A.G. & Co. 1917
" Grant, Ezra 1918 - 1924
Lot 47-1-V
Bridgeford's Hotel Bridgeford, David c1820 - c1829
Lot 48-1-V
Halfway House Sheppard, Edward (possibly) c1849 - 1851
" Linfoot, John 1852 - 1858
" Gaby, Joseph 1858 - 1862
" Wootten, Edward c1863 - c1865
Lot 49-1-V
Raymond's Tavern Raymond, James c1823 - 1828
" Raymond, Ann 1828 - 1832
Lot 50-1-V
Flanagan's Tavern Flanagan, William 1814 - 1816
" Flanagan, Leah 1817
Lot 50-1-V
Crew's Tavern Crew, William 1837 - 1838
Lot 51-1-V
Fleck's Inn Fleck, James 1819 - 1823
Lot 51-1-V
Elgin House Hotel Bingham, Robert c1847 - 1854
" Raising, John c1851
" Horseman, J. c1855 - c1858
" Anderson, George c1859 - c1864
Lot 51-1-M
Elgin House Hotel Christian, Mr. & Mrs. James c1866 - 1870
" Christian, Mrs. Ann 1871 - 1876
" McQue, Patrick c1871
" Joyce, Redmond 1876 - c1902
" unknown 1902 - 1920
" Chatburn, Mr. & Mrs. T. 1920 - 1921
" Bridges, E. 1921
Pilkington's Tavern Pilkington, Isaac c1810
Lot 63-1-K
Bond Lake Hotel MacAdams, Thomas 1832 - c1834
" Beach, Hiram 1835 - 1836
" Unknown 1837 - 1838
" Graham, James 1839
" Steele, Thomas 1839 - 1858
" Unknown 1859 - 1869
" Suttle, Frederick 1870 - 1873
" Bell, Robert 1874 - 1883
" Bell, William 1884 - c1893
" Morell, Adams c1891
" Cosgrove, Francis 1894 - c1902
Oak Ridges
Gordon's Tavern Gordon, John King c1823 - 1827
" Gordon, John Whitchurch 1828 - c1831
Lot 65-1-W Christison, Mr. c1860 - 1861
Suttle, Frederick 1862 - c1870
Curtis, Asa c1871 - c1895
Lot 65-1-W
Ridge Inn Hudgins, Mr. & Mrs. unknown
" McGaffen, Mr. c1903
" Unknown c1904 - c1920
" Malloy, John c1920
" Thompson, John 1921 - 1944
Lot 69-1-K Redden, William c1851
Thompson, William c1851
Briggin, George c1851
Collome, Henry c1871
Johns, Francis c1871
Dollar Shields, William c1852


During the 19th century some form of head covering was considered essential for all women. Even around the house, a simple cap was worn. As hats became more elaborate, greater skill was required to make them, so by the 1860s a number of women were advertising their services as milliners. Some operated alone, and some in association with dry goods stores. Millinery was one of the few trades considered appropriate for women, especially spinsters and widows.

The height of the millinery trade in the village was in the 1860s and 1870s. Perhaps by the 1880s "store-bought" bonnets were more readily available.

Location Name Date
Village Baker, Emma Lot 46-1-M c1861
Robinson, Jane Lot 47-1-M c1861
Frank, Marilda Vaughan c1861
Davidson, Agnes Vaughan c1861
Coulter, Miss Lot 47-1-V 1862
Todd, Miss Lot 46-1-M 1863
Cooper, Misses Lot 46-1-M c1866
Routledge, Misses M. & A. Lot 46-1-M c1866
Jenkins, Mrs. W. Lot 47-1-M 1867
Myers, Mrs. Wm. Lot 46-1-V 1868 - 1874
Clarke, Mrs. H. Lot 46-1-M c1869 - 1871
Hassett, Mrs. Lot 46-1-M c1872 - c1874
Atkinson, Mrs. Wm. Lot 47-1-V c1880
Fishburn, Frances c1881
McKiterick, Mary 1891
Davies, Mrs. Wm. 1918 - 1930+
Batty, Mrs. Norman c1922
Oak Ridges Carscadden, Ann Lot 65-1-K c1861


Richmond Hill's painters were a versatile group. Their activities included house painting, carriage painting, wall papering, graining, and even glazing (installing window glass). Our first record of painters occurs in the 1851 Census, but early examples of stenciling and wallpapering have been found, suggesting the trade flourished from a much earlier period. The greatest number of painters appears during the 1880s, a time of great activity in building new homes in the village.

Location Name Date
Village Miller, John Markham c1851
Vailes, Richard north end 1858 - c1861
Craig, John Masonic Arms c1861
Cooper, William Lot 48-1-V c1862 - 1872
David, H.A. Arnold St. 1869
Hutchins, John Arnold St. c1869
Wilson, Robert Arnold St. c1871 - c1872
MacBeth, Thomas Lot 48-1-V c1871
Hewison, Warren c1878 - c1922
Archer, Rolph Lot 46-1-M c1881
Derry, George Vaughan c1881
Kendrick, Edward C. c1881
Maitland, F. J. c1881
McLean, Gordon c1881
Riley, William Mill St. c1881
Sheppard, William c1881
Size, Charles Vaughan c1881
Tully, James Vaughan c1881
Wiley, William E. c1881
Benson, Walter c1891 - c1907
Minthorn, Walter c1891 - c1897
Piper, John c1891
Shierk, Albert c1891
Sims, John, Jr. c1891
Sims, Frank c1891 - c1906
Glover, John Markham c1905 - c1906
Tiffin, John Markham c1905 - c1907
Hopper, Ernest F. Richmond St. 1907
Rethwick, Walter C. Lot 48-1-M 1909
Ellis, John Lot 47-1-V 1914
Ellis, John Lot 47-1-M 1915
Elgin Mills Cooper, William Lot 52-1-M c1861 - c1862
Shepherd, J. S. 1920
Unknown Morrison, J. c1857
Davies, C. c1875
Morris, Gilbert c1875
Penrose (1st name unknown) c1890 - c1891
Shepherd, J. S. c1920

Physicians and Surgeons

Richmond Hill was fortunate to have had the services of a physician from very early in the century. Dr. Asa Reid first came to Lot 49-1-Markham in 1820. During this early period, Richmond Hill residents could also call on a number of Thornhill doctors who advertised that their practices covered the townships of Vaughan, Markham, and neighbouring areas. During the late 1820s and early 1830s Anthony Gapper, John Daly, James McCague, and Lucius O'Brien were practising in Thornhill.

From the arrival of James R. Langstaff in 1849, the medical needs of Richmond Hill were well-served by various members of the Langstaff family for nearly 128 years. Throughout the same period there was almost always another doctor in residence in the area.

There seem to have been no doctors on the back concessions or sideroads throughout Richmond Hill's history and only one in the northern part of the community. The Oak Ridges area was undoubtedly served by doctors from Aurora.

Location Name Date
Village Langstaff, James M. Lot 48-1-V 1849 - 1889
Duncumb, John Lot 46-1-M c1851 - 1862
Hunter, J. John Vaughan c1851
Langstaff, Lewis M. c1855
Hostetter, John Dominion Hotel 1873
Playter, Edward c1873 -c1875
Brown, George Lot 48-1-V 1875 - c1878
Tyrell, Dr. c1878
McKenzie, B.E. Lot 48-1-V 1880
Langstaff, John Elliott Lot 48-1-V 1881 - 1882
Wilson, Wm. J. Richmond St. 1884 - 1895
Langstaff, Lewis G. Thornhill 1889 - 1897
Francy, C.H. 1890
Langstaff, Rolph L. Lot 48-1-V 1891 - 1930+
Hutchinson, James N. c1897 - c1902
Lawrason, Lavern Lot 47-1-V 1903 - 1905
Langstaff, Lillian C. Lot 48-1-V 1905 - 1939
Dean, William E. Lot 47-1-V 1906
Boyd, Samuel J. Lot 47-1-V 1907 - 1911
Cassidy, James I. Lot 47-1-V 1908
Wilkinson, Jonathan Lot 47-1-V 1908 - 1910
Pentland, W.R. Lot 47-1-V 1910 - 1919
Wilson, John P. Lot 47-1-V 1919 - 1930+
Elgin Mills Hostetter, John Lot 51-1-M 1862 - 1872
Whitchurch Mortimer, Charles c1861

Saddlers and Harnessmakers

There were two main harnessmakers with shops in Richmond Hill - William Harrison and William H. Myers. Harrison opened his own shop in 1856 and continued until about 1908. Myers set up business at about the same time, but moved from Richmond Hill 20 years later. Each shop employed several men.

Throughout the last half of the nineteenth century, there was a regular turnover of smaller shops in the village. There were almost no harness shops within present day Richmond Hill which were outside the village.

Location Name Date
Lot 44-1-V Reid, George c1851
Village Brown, Thomas Lot 46-1-V c1851
Harrison, William c1851 - c1856
Maguire, John at Centre c1851 - c1852
Soden, James Maguire's shop c1851
Potter, John Lot 46-1-M 1854
Myers, William Lot 46-1-V c1855 - 1877
Harrison, William Lot 46-1-M c1856 - c1858
Harrison, William Lot 47-1-V c1858 - c1908
Bellasley, Martin Harrison's shop c1861
Benrose, Edward Myers' shop c1861
Edmonson, Charles Myers' shop c1861
Glass, Thomas Harrison's shop c1861
Richardson, Leeds Myers' shop c1861
Barns, Hezekial Vaughan c1871
Clarke, Henry Lot 46-1-M 1871 - c1881
Warren, James Markham c1871
Dewsbury, Henry B. Lot 46-1-V 1876 - c1885
MacDonald, George A. Lot 47-1-V c1881 - c1914
Mapes, George c1881
Devlin, Joseph Lorne Block 1882 - c1886
Sturmer, George Lot 46-1-M c1891
Barker, Morley at Centre c1907 - c1908
Robinson, W. R. Lot 46-1-M 1915 - c1917
Lot 32-3-M Crothers, Westin c1851

Seamstresses and Dressmakers

It was not until a decade into the last half of the 19th century that families turned to outside resources for their clothing needs. Only one reference was found to a seamstress prior to 1861.

Dressmaking and its associated skills of millinery and mantlemaking were considered appropriate pursuits for single ladies and widows. Some worked from their homes, but a number leased shops, especially during the 1870s and 1880s. The village held the greatest concentration of dressmakers, but there were a few scattered at prominent points along Yonge Street. None is listed in the rural concessions.

Location Name Date
Langstaff Barsted, Marie Lot 36-1-V c1851
Horne, Margaret Lot 36-1-V c1871
Lot 41-1-V Sanderson, Elizabeth c1871
Lot 45-1-V Williamson, Annie Yonge St. c1871
Village Forester, Fanny Vaughan c1861
Lockwood, Elizabeth Vaughan c1861
Pollock, Mrs. W.S. Lot 46-1-M c1861 - c1874
Ransom, Ursula Powell St. c1861
Simpson, Minnie Markham c1861
Slaney, Margaret Markham c1861
Cooper, Misses Lot 46-1-M c1866
Routledge, Misses M. & A. Lot 46-1-M c1866
Jenkins, Hannah Vaughan c1871
Storey, Mary Richmond St. c1871
Pollock, Mrs. W.S. Lot 47-1-M 1874 - c1877
Esdale, Miss Lot 47-1-M 1877
Andrews, Annie S. Markham c1880
Clifford, Mrs. Centre St.W. c1880
Durham, Elizabeth Lot 48-1-M c1881
Harvey, Ellen c1881
Powell, Emily c1881
Ross, Mary c1881 - c1891
Furlong, Miss opp. Richmond 1888 - c1890
Harrison, Clara Yonge St. c1888 - c1894
Lyons, Miss with Furlong 1888 - c1890
Albin, Alberta (Bertha) Arnold St. c1891 - c1892
Boynton, Harriett c1891
Eyer, Charlotte c1891
Harris, Amelia Lot 48-1-V c1891
Kennersley, Mary c1891
McLean, Colleen c1891
Moodie, Jessie Lot 46-1-M c1891
Morris, Hannah c1891
Pinder, Jennie c1891
Powell, Martha c1891
Wiley, Fanny c1891
Sterling, Georgina c1893 - c1896
Elgin Mills Williamson, Elizabeth Lot 51-1-V c1871
Lot 53-1-M Leander, Bertha c1891
Lot 55-1-V Coupland, Elizabeth c1871
Lot 58-1-M Gorman, Mary c1891


Tailoring is quite a different skill from dressmaking, and was a male-dominated field. Until 1891, when two women identified themselves as tailors, only Margaret Storey advertised as a tailoress. She is also found among the dressmakers.

Men's clothes are more difficult for the home sewer to construct, which is probably why Richmond Hill had seven tailors in the 1850s. Three (John Coulter, Thomas Stockdale, and Alex Hume) had tailor shops for several decades.

Only a few tailors were scattered in the outlying areas, with no one shop showing up consistently in the records.

Location Name Date
Lot 41-1-V Grainger, Joseph Carrville Rd. c1861 - c1881
Village Quinn, Alexander Lot 47-1-M c1846 - c1856
Knight, Richard Vaughan c1851
Rowan, James Vaughan c1851
Russell, John Vaughan c1851 - c1852
Russell, John Lot 46-1-M c1853
Coulter, John Lot 47-1-M c1856 - c1895
Stockdale, Thomas Richmond St. c1859 - 1869
Burnes, James B. Lot 47-1-M 1860 - 1861
Burnes, James B. Lot 47-1-V 1861 - 1863
Shea, Timothy Coulter's shop c1861
Turner, James Coulter's shop c1861
Storey, Margaret Richmond St c1865 - c1885
Carry, William Lot 46-1-M c1867
Stockdale, Thomas Lot 47-1-M 1869 - c1882
O'Grady, Thomas Coulter's shop c1871
Hume, Alexander Lot 47-1-M 1879 - c1916
Bain, John Coulter's shop c1881
Trevethan, C. Lot 46-1-M c1886 - c1888
Daniels, Harriett c1891
Pilgrim, Charles c1891
Rahan, Minnie c1891
Redditt, Ralph Elizabeth St. c1905 - 1906
Greene, John A. at Arnold c1921 - 1930+
Elgin Mills Campbell, William 1868
Dollar Smith (first name unknown) c1851
Lot 14-3-M Carter, Thomas c1881
Padget, William c1881
Lot 27-3-M Ralmer(?), Christian c1861
Whitchurch Steels, Thomas c1861


Watchmaking is a highly skilled trade and Richmond Hill's prominent horologists operated almost consecutively in the village. Although Thomas Richardson owned numerous properties in Toronto, he apparently lived and carried on his trade in Richmond Hill. Since he also owned a number of Yonge Street properties locally, it is difficult to know if he had a shop separate from his residence.

A.L.Skeele carried on a watchmaking and jewellery business in the centre of the village for nearly 40 years, and was a respected member of the community. As he approached his declining years, young Jerry Smith moved into town and soon established a name for himself locally and beyond the village.

J.J.Wheeler and Alexander Henderson each had their own shops, but the others listed worked for one of the major watchmakers.

Location Name Date
Village Richardson, Thomas Lot 48-1-M c1836 - 1860
Wilson, Asa c1861 - c1870
Henderson, Alexander Lot 46-1-M 1868 - c1869
Skeele, Andrew L. Lot 47-1-M c1869 - c1908
Skeele, Clarence Skeele's shop c1891 - 1935
Smith, Jerry Lorne Block 1900 - c1905
Smith, Jerry Church Lot c1905 - 1935
O'Brien, Stephen Smith's shop 1907
Unknown Wheeler, J. J. 1858 - c1860
Henderson, Alexander c1860 - c1864

Miscellaneous Occupations

In any community there are a number of trades which are essential to the independence of the village, but whose function can be satisfied by only one or two people at any one time. The following is a representative list of assorted occupations carried on in Richmond Hill in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The list is by no means complete, but is meant to give a general idea of the variety of occupational activities in the area at that time.

Trade Name Location Date
Agent Davis, James Lot 40-1-Vaughan c1861
DeGeer, John B. village (Markham) c1861
Breckon, Richard village c1881
Hughes, Owen Whitchurch c1881
Proctor, Albert village c1881
Proctor, Simon village c1881
Proctor, William village c1881
Ludford, Thomas Elgin Mills c1891
Auctioneer Barnard, Benjamin Lot 46-1-M c1822 - 1831
Pollock, William Lot 46-1-M c1851
Bailiff Pottage, Edward Lot 44-1-V c1851
Cool, John Jefferson c1851
Keller, Joseph village (Markham) c1852 - c1861
Stewart, James Lot 42-1-V c1871
Coal & Wood Proctor, William 1882 - 1900
Michael, John & Robert Lot 46-1-M c1905 - c1907
Michael, John & Robert Lot 46-1-V c1905 - c1909
Sheardown, John Richmond St. c1905 - 1905
Sheardown, John Centre St. E. 1906 - c1907
Stiver & Ramer Centre St. E. 1909 - 1919
Pratt, William Centre St. E. 1917 - 1922
Ramer, Ira Centre St. E. 1919 - 1930+
Savage, A.W. Centre St. E. 1922+
Coroner Bridgeford, David Richmond St. c1851 - 1862
Dealer/cattle Glass, Reuben village c1891
Pugsley, David village c1891
Pugsley, William village c1891
Dealer/grain Dickson, George P. Elgin Mills c1861
Dealer/marble Arnold & Watkins village c1881
Drover Hopper, Henry Richmond St. c1905 - c1906
Excise Officer White, John village (Markham) c1871
Farrier Sanderson, Henry at Centre St. 1848 - c1880
Finisher Boyle, Edward Vaughan c1871
Richards, Henry Vaughan c1871
Lindsay, Thomas Lot 45-1-V c1871
Foreman Conger, Alanson P. Vaughan c1871
Lewis, John L. Vaughan c1871
Grafter Prentiss, James Vaughan c1861
Horse Trainer Foster, Richard Lot 40-1-M c1851
Ironmonger Gould, William Arnold St. c1905 - 1908
Gould, William Elizabeth St. c1908
Laundry Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan c1861
Maxwell, Tillie Lot 46-1-M c1870 - 20th C
Lee, Hip Lot 46-1-M c1906 - c1908
Lettercarrier Hay, James village (Vaughan) c1851
Whales, John Lot 36-1-V c1851
Atkinson, Joshua Lot 44-1-V c1851
Artress, Henry village (Markham) c1861
Ferris, Robert Nicholl's Hotel c1861
Hugo, Thomas Elgin Mills c1871
Brown, John at Centre 1872 - c1877
Proctor, Simon Dominion Hotel 1875 - c1911
Warren, Bishop village c1881
Rupert, A.J. Dominion Hotel 1885 - 1887
Proctor, William village c1891
Allison, George P. village c1905 - c1907
Stong, Lou Dominion Hotel c1912 - c1923
Pedlar Hughes, Robert Lot 41-1-V c1851
Harathy, Michael village (Vaughan) c1851
Whitlock, Frederick village c1881
Walder, Isaac Richmond St. c1905 - c1907
Franklin, Ernest Richmond St. 1906
Pump Makers Phillips, Nicholas Headford c1851
Brillinger, George village c1861
Brillinger, Jacob unknown c1868
Phillips, P. &/or Reuben village c1869 - 1872
Phillips, R. & Brillinger, J. village 1871 - 1872
Brillinger, Jacob village 1872 - c1874
Phillips, P. &/or Reuben village 1873 - c1875
Miller & Hall Church St. c1874 - 1875
Miller, Henry village 1875 - c1891
Hall, John village 1875 - c1896
McKinnon, Gordon village c1881
Jackson & Coleman unknown 1882 - c1883
Cable, Ernest John village c1896 - c1908
Scrap Dealer Keech, Frederick Lot 44-1-V c1891
Tollgate Keeper
Ross, John Lot 55-1-V c1851
Brown, Thomas Lot 55-1-V c1861
Windross, Morris Lot 55-1-V c1871
Weaver Redfern, Robert Lot 25-2-M c1851
Greenwood, William village (Vaughan) c1861
Longbottom, George Headford c1861
Wilson, James Elgin Mills c1861
Beatty, James Headford c1881


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Copyright Richmond Hill Public Library Board, 1991