Clearview has a history - Update April 25, 2010
Have you ever passed by the intersection of South Sheridan Way and Sherwood Heights Drive, and seen a silo near the side of the road that seemed strangely out of place? Or perhaps you've noticed the somewhat hidden pyramid like marker that is also in that area. Well these two markers are all that remain today of the hamlet that was once known as Sheridan. These historical features were placed at this location to commemorate the history of the Village of Sheridan. The cairn was constructed of the river stone originally collected to build the stable area foundation for the Lawrence barn in the 1870s. Both sites are listed on Oakville's and Mississauga's heritage register. Here is a link to historical images associated with Sheridan, http://images.halinet.on.ca/results.asp?q=sheridan&st=kw
These lands were originally occupied by the Mississaugas Indians who sold these lands to the Crown between 1805 and 1820. It was in the 1820s that forests of hardwood and pine were cleared to make way for farms and the first buildings.
The area was originally known as Hammondsville after David Hammond, who settled in this area prior to 1820. Frederick Arthur Verner, a Canadian painter famous for his landscape paintings was born in Hamondsville on February 26, 1836. The name was later changed in the 1857 in order for a local post office to be built. At the suggestion of Stephen Oughtred, the local blacksmith, the name was changed in Sheridan after Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the distinguished Irish Playwright ad Orator (1751-1816). A well suited name for a growing community conscious of its image.
In 1823 Dr. Joseph Adamson, one of the original settlers came to Sheridan with his wife and two small children. He was the 1st doctor in the township and treated the local Mississauga Indians and the white settlers. Later four more children were born. The Adamson family has lived continuous in the area.
The interchange of QEW and Winston Churchill Blvd was the heart of the Village of Sheridan. Both the local store and post office were located in this area and remained for almost a century when it was removed in 1956 to make way for the South Service Road.
Sheridan was a strongly Methodist village and in the beginning the religious needs were met by traveling missionaries. In 1838, Sheridan school was built. The building was used not only as a school but also as a community hall and a union church, where all denominations worshipped together. The school served as the village church until 1869 when the school act was passed, and the original building was closed. After that a new red brick Methodist church was built on a half acre of land that was donated by Ferris Lawrence. The old school was converted into a Temperance Hall and was used as such until the 1890’s. Also in 1890, a Zion Church was purchased by the Sons of Temperance and moved by horse and carriage from the hamlet of Frogmore to Sheridan. It was used as a community hall
It is apparent that the village had a very strong sense of community, since no crimes were ever reported there. One notable event however, was reported in 1837. Orange Lawrence (the founder of Orangeville and a United Empire Loyalist) was said to have seen William Lyon Mackenzie flee through Sheridan during the rebellion in Upper Canada!
In about 1880 Sheridan was in its heyday, with approx 100 residents, farms from Clarkson Road West towards Oakville, north to Dundas Street and south to the railway used the Sheridan Post Office as their addresses. In 1937, what was once Upper Middle Road was rebuilt for long distance motor traffic between Toronto and Niagara and renamed The Queen Elizabeth Way. The rebuilding of the motorway caused the sense of community to decline. 1957, the general store and post office closed, in 1964 the town line was fenced off and in 1977 the remaining building, Sheridan United Church was razed making way for the bridge and ramps of the Winston Churchill interchange.
Today all that remains is the Sheridan cairn, a marker that was constructed in May of 1986. On it there is a map of the village and a list of all the family names that once called it home, such as Adamson, Devlin, Greeniaus, Hammond, Henriod, McCleary, Oliphant, Robertson, Shain and Tindell, amongst many others.
In 1962 Sheridan along with Palermo, Bronte and Trafalgar merged with the Town of Oakville.
Clearview has its own history. Please share your memories and pictures of Sheridan and help to keep the story of this lost village alive for future generations.
A Clearview resident shared this history with us. She has resided in our community for over 50 years. Her story has been added to our history.
Clearview Drive, which remains in our community today was developed and named by Mr. Cecil Lawrence. He subdivided that
parcel of land, part of his 90 acres of farmland into 186 ft wide lots. We bought our lot in 1961 and we are still here today. The rest of his land, he later sold to a developer, Mr. Switzer in the 1980's. Before that, Clearview Drive was the only road
off the Service Road past Winston Churchill Blvd. At the request of the Clearview Drive residents at the time, the developer, who tore down the home of the Lawrences, left the silo and also
erected a remembrance monument with three plaques with a bit of history on them. Although these memorials are quite hidden they should be noted and remembered. Cecil Lawrence owned the whole area around the location of the new school, as well as the woodlot and much deeper. We are not the
only ones still living on Clearview Drive. The Elliotts, the Cummings and the Lackich are also here. Bill Lawrence, Cecil's son, lived on Clearview Drive for a while, in one of the new homes. He sometimes would give rides on his tractor and his Dad would bring sweet corn
from the field. Sometimes the cows would be in our backyard. Clearview needs to honour Mr.
Lawrence. We are living on his former property, and it was he who 'baptized' the first road in this whole area, "Clearview Drive". It was the only road in the middle of all the
land, for a long, long time.
Ria VanKleef - Resident