Archibald Hunter – Level 1
Archibald Hunter was the first settler in Durham. Hunter located in Durham on May 1, 1842, emigrating from Scotland to America in 1841, he spent one year in New York State. Hearing of the free homesteads to be obtained in Canada and no doubt impelled by the love he had for the old flag, he with a party of four others, decided to make a home for themselves in the “Queen’s Bush”.
Robert McGowan – Level 2
Robert McGowan bought the Edge mill property and built a new mill in 1888. McGowan modernized the mill installing a new roller mill for producing flour. Then in 1890, inspired by attending the Chicago World Fair, and McGowan’s Mill started producing electricity having received permission to erect poles on the streets for electric lights, and later providing homes with electricity for a fee of $1 per light. This continued until the Aberdeen Company purchased the electrical business in 1897. The McGowan family contributed to Durham’s development with Robert’s son John building the upper damn in 1913, operating numerous businesses including grain grinding, seed cleaning, alfalfa hay grinding until 1952 when the milling operation ceased.
Durham Huskies – Level 3
The Durham Hockey club was founded in 1920 Huskies. During the 1951-52 season, the Durham hockey club was competing in the Western Ontario Hockey Association Intermediate “A” League. The club was dominant, a reporter from the Durham Chronicle felt the team was missing a name, he attempted to name the club with many attempts such as the “Hornets” and the “Phantoms”, but they weren’t sticking. Then, possibly by mistake, nearing the end of the playoffs The Chronicle ran an article calling the team the “Huskies”, the name stuck and the club won their first championship in over a decade.
Kroehler – Level 4
Durham Furniture started in the late 1890’s as a community initiative to provide employment opportunities for the Town of Durham’s younger residents. In the 1950’s Durham Furniture was purchased by Kroehler Furniture Manufacturing, the largest furniture manufacturing company in the world. At this time the name was not changed, Kroehler was purchased by Strathearn House Group in 1979 and then in 1981 the factory was renamed Kroehler Furniture Factory. When Strathern House Group entered receivership in 1992, a committed group of Durham people stepped up to secure Durham’s economic future purchasing the company from receivership. The name was changed back to Durham Furniture Inc. on June 22, 1992 and continues to manufacture solid wood fine furniture as one of North America’s leading manufacturers.
Garafraxa – Level 5
Garafraxa Street was named this as it was the first road blazed from Garafraxa Township, north of Fergus, to Sydenham which is now Owen Sound. This was the first road created in Durham.