History of Brantford ON
Brantford, one of Ontario’s most loved cities, is a scenic community that has emerged as one of the fastest growing metropolises both within the Ontario and Canada at large. Located on Ontario’s southwestern section, the city lies on both sides and despite being completely encircled by Brant County; it has a completely independent municipal government from that does not rely on that of the county. The City’s population is around 98,000 residents, as a fast-growing figure as recorded in the last census. The city lies within the popular affluent Golden horseshoe.
Brantford, the City’s name, was borrowed from the famous Joseph Brant, a reputed Mohawk chief who served during and after the historic days of the American fight for independence. Brantford is also dubbed the “Telephone City” for being home to Alexander G. Bell, the man who invented and designed the world’s very the first telephone device in what is now referred to as the Bell Homestead, formerly Melville House.
Walking down history lane, the area of land that later developed to near Brantford ON was initially occupied by the native Iroquoian-speaking Neutral Nation or Attawandaron as they were called back then. This group occupied a vast portion of the famous Grand River valley prior the 1600s with their alleged central village which also served as the chief’s center of administration located on the Grand River at the exact location of the beautiful city of Brantford as deduced by renowned 19th-century historians. Unfortunately, this chiefdom along with most of the other Iroquoian settlements were completely destroyed in the 1650s when their leaders declared war against what was then a thriving fur trade business.
It was not until the late 1780s that the area received hope for revival when the Iroquoian Mohawk people arrived from New York along with the famous military captain-Joseph Brant. Since Canada was then a Colony of the British Crown, this group was awarded a vast land grant along the Grand River as a token of appreciation for their royalty. Their first settlement occupied the southern edge of today’s Brantford. This area was a perfect landing for canoes. The Mohawk people also built a crossing/fording near this area which came to be known as Brant’s ford, a name that also became the settlements first name and the source of the current one.
Serious development and population growth started in the 1820s but it was not until the mid-1840s that the Europeans settles startled building settlements on the upper side of the initial settlement and went on to name the area Brantford, the village that became today’s Brantford City.