|The history of this city
is traced back more than three centuries to a time when the Native tribes
lived in the magnificent forest wilderness of the grand River Valley.
The prime figure in the history
of Brantford was Captain Joseph Brant, leader of the Six Nations peoples.
Joseph Brant's Monument is worth visiting. It is located in Victoria Park,
Brant known as "Thayendanegea"
to his people, fought on the English side during the American Revolution.
At war's end, Brant chose to remain under the Crown and requested land
in Canada for his people.
Through the efforts and negotiations
of Joseph Brant, the Six Nations were granted a tract of land six miles
in depth on each side of the Grand River from its mouth to its source.
In 1784, Brant led his tribes from their lands in the Mohawk valley of
upper New York State to the Grand River Basin, where they crossed the river
and became known as Brant's ford and hence, the location and history of
Brantford had begun.
However, because of the obscurity
of the headwaters of the Grand River, much of the land granted to the
native people was never settled by the Iroquois for the simple reason that
they did not know it was there. Brant sold some of the adjoining land to
white farmers, many of who were his friends, so that the Iroquois could
learn from them and develop agricultural and farming skills.
The first white settler,
John Stalts, arrived in the village in 1805. By 1818, the European population
consisted of twelve people, and five years later there were 100 people.
In 1826, a meeting was called
to name the village, After many suggestions, the name of Brantford was
chosen in honour of Captain Joseph Brant.
In 1830, the reminder of
the village site was sold by the Six Nations to the white settlers. The
town of Brantford was incorporated on July 28, 1847. By this time, the
Natives feeling pressure from the Europeans, had slowly moved to the south
side of the river to land held in trust for them to set up their homes.
This land was known as the Six Nation Indian Reserve and now is called
Six Nations of the Grand River. The County of Brant was established in
On May 31, 1877, with a bustling
population of 10,000 people, the town of Brantford, through a Special Act
of Provincial Parliament, became a city and began to grow into the prosperous
community that it is today.
For the first half of the
20th century, Brantford was an important Canadian industrial center and
once the third largest city in Ontario. The city is at the deepest navigable
point of the Grand River and was once the railroad hub of Southern Ontario.
The combination of water and rails helped Brantford develop from a farming
community into a blue collar industrial city based on the agriculture implement
industry centred around companies such as Massey Harris and the Cockshutt
Plow Company. This industry, more than any other, provided the well paying
and steady employment that allowed Brantford to sustain economic growth
through most of the 20th century.
By the 1980s and 1990s, the
economy of Brantford was in steady decline as a result of the bankruptcies
of White Farm Equipment, Massey Ferguson, Koering Waterous, Harding Carpets,
and other manufacturers. The closure of the businesses left thousands of
people unemployed and created one of the most economically depressed areas
in the country.
The completion of the Brantford
to Ancaster section of Highway 403 in 1997, provided an increased incentive
for business to locate in Brantford again because of easy access to Hamilton
and Toronto, as well as being along the quickest route through southern
Ontario between Detroit and Buffalo.
We are proud to present beautiful
Brantford - "Best Bloomin City" in Canada, from a Native Iroquoian Village
in 1784 to a town in 1874, to a city in 1877, to a vibrant small town today,
with a very proud heritage and a bright future.