Pierpoint is recognized as the earliest known non-Indigenous settlement within Centre Wellington. It is associated with the early Black Canadian community and is a significant piece of the Township’s history and to the history of Black Canadians. While much is already known about Richard Pierpoint, who was designated a national historic person by Parks Canada in 2020, the Township is interested in further developing our understanding of the Pierpoint Settlement.

The Pierpoint Settlement was considered as a potential Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) as part of the Township’s recent CHL Study & Inventory (2021). Given that physical evidence associated with the settlement has yet to be uncovered, and its precise historical location is still unknown, the Pierpoint Settlement was not identified as CHL at that time. Archaeological Services Inc. (ASI) has been retained to conduct additional research to further understand the history, location, and significance of the Pierpoint Settlement and, in consultation with the public and stakeholders, to determine appropriate protection, interpretation, and commemoration strategies to recognize and broaden awareness of Pierpoint’s history.

To view the Wellington County Museum and Archives Richard Pierpoint story map, click here.

Pierpoint Project Update - January, 2024

On December 18th, 2023 a Designation By-law Report went to Council which recommended the designation of 255 Lamond Street, Fergus (Pierpoint Fly Fishing Nature Reserve) under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. The following resolution was passed by Council:

“THAT the Council of the Township of Centre Wellington confirms the designation of the property municipally known as 255 Lamond Street, Fergus, in the Township of Centre Wellington, to be a property of cultural heritage value and/or interest pursuant to Section 29 (Part IV) of the Ontario Heritage Act and that the corresponding by-law be given three readings.”

Staff will proceed with the required newspaper notice, and installation of the traditional heritage designation plaque, when weather permits.

The Pierpoint Community Working Group has been struck and will meet regularly to discuss matters related to the Nature Reserve.

The Designation By-law, as well as the December 18th report to Council, which includes the Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest and Description of Heritage Attributes can be viewed under the documents tab.

Pierpoint Project Update - September 25, 2023

At the September 25th Council meeting, Council passed a resolution to issue a Notice of Intent to Designate the property municipally known as 255 Lamond Street, Fergus, also currently known as the "Pierpoint Fly Fishing Nature Reserve", as a significant cultural heritage landscape pursuant to Section 29 (Part 4) of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Council also authorized staff to proceed with establishing a Pierpoint Community Working Group through the Healthy Communities Advisory Committee to develop an interpretation and commemoration program.

The proposed Parks Canada plaque will also be installed at this property to honour and commemorate Richard Pierpoint as a National Historic Person. The Township designation of this property furthers the work of honouring Richard Pierpoint and his contribution to the early history of the Township and specifically the history of early Black Canadians. Township staff have been working closely with Parks Canada staff on these initiatives and will continue to work cooperatively as these projects move forward. The municipal designation will also see the traditional heritage designation plaque installed at the site. The Pierpoint Working Group will explore the existing signage at the property to determine sufficiency and improvements that may be needed. Any recommendations requiring funding or other Council approval resulting from the work of the working group will proceed to Council for decision.

The report to council can be viewed under the Documents tab.

Pierpoint Project Update - April 11, 2023

Staff provided Council with an update on this project, along with the "Pierpoint Settlement Research Project: Interpretation Framework" report prepared by Archaeological Services Inc. (ASI).

In the summer and fall of 2022, ASI conducted additional research, consultation, and public engagement. The research findings combined with the results from the community engagement reveal that the Pierpoint property represents several historical themes determined to be important to the development of the Township. Therefore, Council approved staff’s recommendation to add the Pierpoint Fly Fishing Nature Reserve to the Centre Wellington Cultural Heritage Landscape Inventory and the Cultural Heritage Landscapes Official Plan Amendment Project as an identified significant cultural heritage landscape; and directed staff to bring forward a report concerning heritage designation of the Pierpoint Fly Fishing Nature Reserve as a significant cultural heritage landscape under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act; and directed staff to report back on the development of a Pierpoint Community Working Group to advance work associated with the Pierpoint Research Project.

The presentation and report to council can be viewed under the Documents tab.

Pierpoint Project – Community Workshop Summary (Project Update: December 2022)

The Pierpoint Research Project Community Workshop was a great success! Over 70 people were in attendance, including a number of individuals who have associations with, or have already done so much to broaden awareness and appreciation of Richard Pierpoint. We had the pleasure to meet Janie Cooper-Wilson, Director of the Ontario Historical Society and a great-great-granddaughter of Lemuel Brown; Bob and Lynda Grant, who donated the Pierpoint Fly Fishing Nature Reserve to the Township in 2010; Peter and David Meyler, authors of A Stolen Life: Searching for Richard Pierpoint (1999); and Rosemary Sadlier, whose work led to Richard Pierpoint being designated a National Historic Person by Parks Canada in 2020.

A number of individuals who provided input on the project as part of the initial phase of research were also in attendance, including: Peter Boyer (Pierpoint Park Neighbourhood Group), Millicent Gordon (Centre Wellington Black Committee); Wencke Rudi (University of Guelph); Kyle Smith (Wellington County Museum and Archives); and Donna Starling (Pierpoint Park Neighbourhood Group). We hope we didn’t miss anyone!

The project team would like to thank all the attendees for their active and enthusiastic participation in the workshop as well as all members of Township and County Council and staff who attended and supported the event.

For more information:

For more information on the Centre Wellington CHL Study & Inventory, which was endorsed by Council in June of 2021, click here.