By 1790 the mill, tavern and stores established here near the Bay of Quinte had stimulated the growth of a settlement. Named “Bellville” in 1816, the village progressed steadily as a milling and shipping centre, and in 1834 the thriving village became a police village. The completion in 1856 of the Grand Trunk Railway between Toronto and Montreal, a booming lumber trade, and the development of a fertile agricultural hinterland fostered significant commercial and industrial growth in Belleville, which had become a town in 1850. Following the discovery of gold near Madoc in 1866, Belleville was known as the “gold gate” of Hastings County, and after 1872 because a major Canadian marketing centre for cheese. In 1877 it was incorporated as a city.
Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation
GPS co-ordinates: 44° 09’31.28” N 77° 22’56.72” W (44.1586111 77.3822222)
On Victoria Island in Belleville Harbour
Comment: Other sources say the village was named “Bellville” in 1816, after Lady Arabella Gore, wife of Sir Francis Gore, lieutenant-governor 1815-1817. Previously it had been known as Singleton’s Creek and then Meyer’s Creek.
Photo: Belleville harbour today. Fibreglass boats have replaced wooden sawmills.