Perth, Ontario

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Perth is a town in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario, Canada (pop. 6,003 in 2001). It is located on the Tay River, 83 km southwest of Ottawa, and is the seat of Lanark County. Its centre is located at 44 degrees, 53 minutes, 59.97 seconds N, 76 degrees, 14 minutes, 59.99 seconds W; or in Universal Transverse Mercator Zone 18 at GR 401300 E, 4972600 N, or more simply VQ 013726.

Contents

History

The town was established as a military settlement in 1816, shortly after the War of 1812. Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay, while others were military veterans from France, Germany, Poland. Italy, Scotland or Ireland who were offered land in return for their service. The Rev. William Bell, who arrived in June 1817, noted in his diaries that the settlement was more European then the Scottish settlement described to him. A wave of Scottish and Irish immigrants quickly followed. Many of the Scottish immigrants were stonemasons; their work can be seen in many area buildings and in the locks of the Rideau Canal.

The first secretary/stores-keeper (and eventually postmaster and superintendent) of the settlement was Daniel Daverne, brought up from the Quarter Masters General Department in Kingston, Ontario to assume these positions.

Perth is home to Canada's oldest pioneer burial ground, St. Paul's United Church Cemetery, formerly The Old Methodist Burying Ground. This cemetery is at the south-east end of the Last Duel Park on Robinson Street. The Craig Street Cemetery, sometimes referred to as the "Old Burying Grounds" also contains many historic graves and saw use from 1820-1873.

The Town's motto is "Pro Rege, Lege et Grege" which was adopted in 1980 along with a new crest. The previous motto, "Festina lente sed certo", and original town crest appears on the uniforms of the Perth Citizen's Band [1]. Founded in 1850, this band continues a tradition of community music with numerous concerts each season.

Near the town is the home of world show jumping champion Ian Millar and Millar Brooke Farm where his great horse Big Ben (1976–1999) is buried. The town has erected a bronze life-sized statue of the horse and Ian Millar, in John A. Stewart Park, across from the Code's Mill building.

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