Cornwall Centre was so named due to the fact that it was the centre of Cornwall Township. The Township comprised nine concessions running from the St. Lawrence River north with 38 lots from east to west.
The first Township Council meeting took place in St. Andrews on January 21, 1850. Until 1855 meetings were conducted in members’ homes or at William Eamer’s hotel. The Township Hall was erected on Lot 18, Concession 4 on land purchased from John Milroy on June 13, 1855; the Civic Address is now 16,933 Cornwall Centre Road. A shed and fence were added in 1856 and demolished in 1960.The Clerk’s living quarters were attached to the Hall until a 1934 expansion which saw the construction of a separate house for the clerk. Since the clerk was responsible for the Hall in what was a rather remote area, the Council took the unusual step of providing for his residence.
The building also functioned as a community centre which saw many dances, showers, suppers, socials and even housed the Post Office prior to the advent of rural delivery. Robert R. Anderson was post master from April 01, 1875 until his death on June 11, 1892. J. Mullin took over on March 07, 1893 and remained at his post until the post office closed on December 27, 1913.
With a large portion of the Township population then living close to the Town of Cornwall, on August 28, 1950 the Township Hall was re-located to a converted garage in the former riverview subdivision at 400 St. Felix Street. At that point, the Cornwall Centre W.I., which was already meeting in the old Hall, was given full use of the facility.
Subsequent to the 1957 City of Cornwall Annexation of a large portion of the Township, Council reverted to using the Cornwall Centre Township Hall and the St. Felix Street site become the home of the City’s Social Services and today is refashioned into townhouses.
Due to increase in Township business, funds became available and the Hall in Cornwall Centre was renovated starting in 1968; the W.I. left the premises in 1970. The renovations included re-configuring the space as well as bringing the building up to standard with proper washrooms with running water, replacing the oil burner with electric heat and a gas furnace and installing a fire exit in place of a window. The lovely exterior stone walls were largely kept intact. Council met there for the final time on December 17, 1997 as the new Township of South Stormont superseded it. At that time the Municipal Office relocated to and amalgamated with the Osnabruck Municipal Office at the former Osnabruck Township Hall and later moved to the newly built South Stormont Municipal Offices in Long Sault. The building is now privately owned.
Cornwall Centre School was located on the north side of Cornwall Centre Road, east of Power Dam Drive.
The Cornwall Centre Womens’ Institute (Cornwall Centre Branch of the Stormont Womens’ Institute) was founded on January 25, 1912 and held its final meeting on April 10, 1990.
White Rose was the Cornwall Centre cheese factory in the early 1900s operated by J.S. Tobin and located near the old Township Hall. Later it was operated by Reddick and McNaughton and ca. 1920 by Alex Gibson.Still later Alex and his son Gordon Cameron took over followed by a Labelle and later a Levac. Ca. 1950 it had become a private residence.
Brookshell was located on the north side of Cornwall Centre Road, west of Power Dam Drive.
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