TOWNSHIP OF MELBOURNE
The Township of Melbourne, with its 19th century red brick buildings with their slate roofs and New England architecture, is telling of its pioneer roots. They settled here circa 1799, erected the parish in 1845 and founded the Village of Melbourne, name of their English town near Derbyshire and Hampshire, in 1860. Newly arrived from New England after having known famine in Ireland, they settled here because land was still available, accessible, clearable and cultivable. They opened the first school in 1820 and build a congregationist church, St-Andrew's (above). St-Andrews is one of the historical monuments to be appreciated in this area. It was depicted on the Canadian two dollar bills printed from 1954 to 1975. The Melbourne Ridge United Church (1858) is also worthy of mention. We invite you to visit the Richmond Historical Society Museum. Who knows what hidden treasures you will find there...perhaps a painting by reknown artist Frederick Simpson Coburn (1871-1960), one of the most famous Canadian artists, a native of Upper Melbourne.
THE LOYALISTS AND THE EASTERN TOWNSHIPS...
The United Empire Loyalists of New England were the first to influence our architectural heritage and have given the Eastern Townships their distinct flavour.
The first wave of immigrants arrived from 1775 to 1810, during and after the American War of Independance. Wanting to remain faithful to the British Crown and refusing to become American citizens, these Loyalists left the previously English colonies to seek asylum in Canada. Thousands of farmers, shop-keepers and industrials sought refuge in Lower Canada, particularly in the Eastern Townships, as opposed to the Western Townships, Upper Canada.