Chisholms and the Creek

Burlington Gazette - History by Helen Langford

Chisholms and the Creek
Tues., January 24, 1978

During the summer of 1797 an old friendship was renewed between George Chisholm and Joseph Brant. This friendship began in New York State with loyalist activities - George fought with Burgoyne while Joseph led various groups including a company of Butler’s Rangers. Their homes were both within the heavily raided areas. In 1797, Joseph Brant received a grant of land known as Brant’s Block, stretching from the edge of Chisholm’s farm east to Rambo Creek and north to the Dundas Highway - a total of 3,450 acres. On this grant, Brant built his home - the third in the immediate area.

Both Brant and Chisholm were Freemasons and members of Barton Lodge - Brant one of the originals of Jan. 1, 1796, and Chisholm the seventh member joining in July, 1796.

In 1797, George Chisholm was one of the. commissioners on the first bridge over the outlet at Burlington Bay and his name also appears as a commissioner for the purchase of Brant’s Block from the Mississaugas in 1797. By the way the first bridge washed out almost immediately! The Chisholm family continued their association with the beach area for many years, particularly John Jr. eldest son of George. 

John at age 17 operated a tavern in 1801; I wonder what the legal age was! Two years later he realized the potential in importing goods from Montreal and forwarding them across the inlet into the interior - likely even supplying Jame Gage’s store at Stoney Creek. 

About 1803 John married Sarah Davis, also from Stoney Creek, and they settled on the beach. There is evidence that John’s store was the first post office in Nelson Township. 

An early map believed to be by S.H. Ghent about 1800 shows the Chisholm holding and even more interesting, the fortifications in readiness for the War of 1812. 

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 24 Jan 1978. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library - Central Branch. Reel 50.