Embedded Videos

The following videos are provided by the Milton Historical Society in embedded format so that you can watch any of them on this page. Alternatively, return to the main Video Archives page. A summary of the contents of each video appears under the embedded screen.

The Milton Historical Society Video is a Spring 2016 production produced internally by the Society. This video is meant as an introduction to the Milton Historical Society and the physical facilities at the 16 James Street location. Further details on the production staff and musical interlude will follow.

Note that the image of the street signs in the above video suggest that Victoria Park is located at Robert and Hugh Street, which is not correct. The park is located at the intersection of Bell and Mary Streets. During the video the narrator (Jim Dills) is referring to the naming of many streets in the area after the the Hugh Foster Family. It is only coincidental that the video production selected this image to display – a component that we can not change – we did try our best! Please also note that Victoria Park has undergone a significant upgrading in the Summer of 2016 and thus the images shown in this film will be now be different. Victoria Park was donated by Hugh Foster in 1854, with the Court House arriving in 1856. The park has been the home to community events for over 150 years, including hangings in the old jail courtyard. Today the park retains the historic items – including the 1918 German War Trophy, the original Town Bell, a replica of the original Band Stand and the Cenotaph honouring Milton’s War Dead. 

This is the story of the founding of the Town of Milton, located in the Regional Municipality of Halton, Ontario Canada. The town took root out of a settlement by Jasper Martin along the Sixteen Mile Creek; Martin and his wife Sarah emigrated from Newcastle, England with and two sons on May 17, 1818. Martin was granted 100 acres (40 ha) of land, from the Crown in 1820, designated Lot 14, Concession 2, Township of Trafalgar, Halton County. Martin later built a grist mill along the creek and created a pond, known as Mill Pond, to power his mill. The mill became the centre of settlement for others as they settled in the region, thus known as “Martin’s Mills”. In 1837 the area had a population of approximately 100 people and was named “Mill Town”. The town, as it is today, soon after became known as the Town of Milton. In 2012, Milton was the fastest growing community in Canada.

The founder, James Alfred Waldie was born in Scotland in 1832. He completed his apprenticeship as a blacksmith in Scotland by 1853 and as a young man came to Canada eventually taking over a blacksmith business in Acton. By 1865 the Waldie family had moved to Milton establishing a new blacksmith business that would operate in the same building at 16 James Street for over 100 years. The blacksmith shop, built by James Waldie Sr., employed a painter, trimmer, two woodworkers and five blacksmiths from dawn to dusk during its peak period in the early 1890’s. Three generations of Waldie blacksmiths operated out of the facility: James Sr. (1832-1900); James Jr. (1871-1948) and Alfred (1905-1980). Here they shod horses, repaired wagons; as well as manufacturing farm implements and horse drawn carriages for the local community. Alfred was the last member of the Waldie family to operate the blacksmith shop which he closed in the early 1970’s. His dream to have the blacksmith shop restored is now a reality thanks to the efforts of the Waldie family, Milton Historical Society, Town of Milton, Province of Ontario, and the community. Restoration of the Waldie Blacksmith Shop preserves an important link to one of the earliest and most vital businesses in the history of Ontario.

A historic walk down the Main Street of Milton. Ontario Canada with Jim Dills of the Milton Historical Society.