Euphemia Township was surveyed in 1822 by Samuel Smith as part of Zone Township. At the time of the survey the first fourteen lot ranges north of the Thames River were reserved by the government as the ‘Indian Zone’ for the Moraviantown Delaware Nation who had, along with Moravian missionaries, originally settled Fairfield in 1792 (Lauriston, 1949).
1880 Historical Atlas Map of Euphemia Township
It was not until 1848 that the Township of Euphemia and Zone were separated. Euphemia Township remained part of Lambton County and Zone Township become part of Kent County. The name of the township comes from Mrs. Euphemia Cameron, the mother of the Honourable Malcolm Cameron.
Although the first settler in Euphemia Township was David Fancher in 1825, it does not appear that the population began to grow until 1832. Samuel Smith settled in the area in 1835, having named Smith’s Rapids near present-day Florence. Eventually he built grist, saw, fulling, carding and turning mills at the site of the rapids.
Population growth is described as modest in the early years as a result of bad road conditions and the distance to market. The arrival of the Great Western Railway greatly improved the accessibility of the area.
The 1861 Agricultural Census of Euphemia Township indicates that 28,972 acres of land had been sold. Of that land, 12,827 acres were under crops, 6,135 acres under pasture, 6510 acres under gardens and 182 under orchard.
The 1866-7 Directory of Euphemia lists several post offices including one in Aughrim. The Aughrim Post Office was first established in 1855 in Lot 16, Concession 1 in the Township of Brooke. Although the post office was located on the north side of the Sydenham River, the village that grew up around it reached south into Euphemia Township. In 1866, the village included: two churches, one stream saw mill, an Orange Lodge and a Temperance Lodge. Individuals listed in the Directory include: Samuel Craig, a sawyer; Alexander McCallum, a blacksmith; William McDorman, a carpenter; John McKeune, the postmaster; Bernard Murray, a tailor; and Thomas Wall, a farmer. In addition to his duties as postmaster, Mr McKeune was also the proprietor of Aughrim Steam Mills.
A map of oil regions in the vicinity of Bothwell dated to May 1866, show a lack of development in Euphemia Township as compared to Zone Township.
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