The Nineteenth Century - Part 1

Aultsville had its beginnings in the late 1700's with the arrival of five disbanded soldiers from the King's Royal Regiment, who received land grants from the British government. The five original soldiers, William Impey, Francis Albrant, Abraham Freeze, Alexander Rose and Michael Ault named their fledgling settlement Charlesville and then slowly began the hard work of establishing a real community.

Charlesville's first store and tavern was opened around 1787 by another Loyalist settler, Richard Loucks, who received a 400-acre land grant just west of the original town site. The Loucks Tavern, sometimes known as the Lunenberg Inn, also had the distinction of serving as the first Court Chambers for the District of Lunenberg. The tavern included a pillory so prisoners could be padlocked just in case they tried to escape. A post office operated by Joseph Bockus was known to have existed as early as 1832.

Ault home and storeThe Ault store and residence [ca. 1870s]

Nicholas N. Ault was a military man who fought against the Americans during the war of 1812. Outgoing and popular, he enjoyed hosting banquets and entertaining members of the militia at his home. His son, Nicholas J. Ault, was an entrepreneur who dammed the creek and then built a sawmill close to the river. In addition to shipping lumber to Montreal, he also became a merchant, opening a store directly across the street from the sawmill. His sons, Samuel, Simeon and Isaiah continued to operate the business under the name Ault Brothers Ltd. Isaiah was the store keeper, doing everything from issuing marriage licences, acting as Justice of the Peace and operating the post office.

Along with their business interests, Samuel and Isaiah Ault were both active in politics. In 1867, Samuel went on to become an MP in Canada's first parliament. Isaiah became Reeve of the Township of Osnabruck and in 1891 assumed the title of Warden of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. In the mid nineteenth century, the village was renamed Aultsville in recognition of Samuel Ault as well as the entire family's many contributions to the community.

Aultsville was fortunate to be situated in a region where there was an abundance of riverbank clay. This led to the establishment of one of Aultsville's most important early industries, Elliott's Clay and Brickworks, operated by brothers John and William Elliott. The Elliotts produced various types of dishes, jugs, crocks and pots that were sold as far north as Ottawa. The brickworks also contributed to Aultsville's reputation as the prettiest of all the lost villages, a result of the prevalence of handsome brick homes and buildings.