North Dundas is located within the National Capital Region, approximately 50 km south of downtown Ottawa, midway between Ottawa and Morrisburg. It is primarily rural with a few small villages. It is spread across the South Nation River and the East Castor River watersheds.
The Township of North Dundas was established in 1998, with the amalgamation of the former Townships of Winchester and Mountain and the Villages of Chesterville and Winchester.
In 1848 the Province of Ontario was divided up in to townships, in 1850 the first Chamber of Council was established in Chesterville. Originally called Winchester, Chesterville was the prime location because of it being situated on the Nation River, a major transportation route at the time. In the early 1830s, Thomas Armstrong and his son John, both of Edwardsburg, erected a saw mill on the same site that two men by the name of Merkley years earlier in 1825 had built a mill, but due to a tragic accident they were both killed. Thomas soon had in operation a grist mill, by 1838, the building of these two mills had attracted many settlers to the area. In 1875 the name “Winchester” was changed to Chesterville and in 1890 Chesterville was incorporated as a Village.
Village of Winchester
The Village of Winchester was originally settled by Ben Bates in 1835 and was first called “Bates Corners”. During the early years residents traveled to Winchester (Chesterville) for supplies and to pick up their mail they went to Matilda (Iroquois). The Morewood area had swamp like conditions which drew the Irish and Scottish settlers, as water has always been crucial for survival and development. The early Irish settlers in the Ormond area used the Castor River as means of transportation. Business started to evolve and by 1855 Winchester had a general store, blacksmith shop, a carriage maker and a farm produce business. Also in 1855, the first post office was opened and with this the name of “Bates Corners” was changed to “West Winchester”. In 1884 with the establishment of the CPR, “West Winchester” became “Winchester”. Winchester enjoyed years of growth and in January 1888 was incorporated as a Village and an independent township.
1798 Mountain Township was named by Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe after Rev. Jacob Mountain the first Anglican Bishop of Quebec, a personal friend of his. The Township of Mountain began to develop between 1868 to 1872 when two saw mills were erected by John Smirle and James Hyndman. The township had three post offices one in South Mountain (1851), Hallville (1873), and Mountain (1888). In September 1887 the first railroad track was opened and with this opening the Mountain station became a shipping station for cheese, livestock, milk, eggs and other farm produce. The Tinkler's Oak Valley Farms are one of the many examples of great quality dairy out of the region.
Most family history material will be found under the names of the original townships.