Foot Prints in Perry Cover

Historical Committee

The Perry Township Historical Committee was formed by Council in 2009 to collect and archive the history of Perry Township.

The Committee meets on a monthly basis, at the Perry Township Library located in Emsdale.  We have several projects in the planning stages and new members always welcomed.

For information on our projects, collection or how to join the Historical Committee, please contact Carol Stevens at .

Our collected material is housed at the Library. The Library also has a wide range of material on Local History.
Please contact the Librarian, Pat Aitchison at

Emsdale Community CentreHistorical Overview

When the Township was opened for settlement during the 1870’s, Perry’s agricultural potential was vastly over-estimated by officials.  Land records indicate the first location ticket was issued on September 10, 1877.  By the end of 1878, free land grant location tickets had been issued on about 250 of 525 lots.  About 150 families (mainly from southern Ontario) made Perry home in 1878.  However in 1881, roughly 20 of the original farm families had already departed the Township and the population stood at about 800.  Homesteaders soon realized that, once the forest had been removed, the infertile and rocky soil of the Canadian Shield would not allow them to support themselves entirely through agriculture.  However, those settlers who were skilled teamsters and axmen could earn a meagre living working in the bush while continuing to subsistence farm.  (continue reading)


Historical Committee and Volunteers

The Historical Committee and community volunteers met at the St. Andrew’s Cemetery in Novar to conduct the second headstone cleaning.  The weather was beautiful and the clean up a success!  The committee hopes that this will become an annual event and look forward to next year’s clean up and volunteers.  Thank you to all, who came out and helped.