Founding of Exeter, The

In 1833, the families of James Willis and William McConnell became the earliest settlers in this area. Within a year, McConnell had erected mills here on the banks of the Aux Sables River near which a community known as Francistown developed. South of the mills, near Willis's location on the "London Road," Isaac Carling opened a store and tannery in 1847, and James Pickard a general store in 1851. Four years later, a village plot (Exeter) was laid out and, by 1860, Exeter had become the chief market centre of the district. In anticipation of the growth that the London, Huron and Bruce Railway would bring, Exeter and Francistown were amalgamated and incorporated as the village of Exeter on March 29, 1873.


In Riverview Park, Main Street South, just south of the Ausable River bridge, Exeter

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Huron

Municipality: Municipality of South Huron