Belfountain is situated on the west branch of the Credit River, at the junction of County Roads 1 (Mississauga Road) and 11 (Forks of the Credit Road), just west of Highway 10 and approximately 15 kilometres south of Orangeville. It’s also about 30 kilometres northwest of Brampton, and 82 kilometres northwest of Toronto.
The first settlers arrived before 1850, and in 1852, the village was called “Tubtown”. This was a reference to a local blacksmith, Archibald McNaughton, who used large octagonal iron tubs to cool hot metal. The tubs sat outside his shop, which occupied a prominent place in the village, next to the town pump. Fortunately, this name did not last long. A post office was opened at Belfountain (some sources cite it as “Bellfountain”) by Thomas J. Bush in 1853. By the 1870’s the village had a population of about 300 and the local business establishments included a tannery, grist mill, sawmill, one hotel and two general stores.
Charles W. Mack building the caves and
dam for his summer retreat home called Mack’s Park
(Photo Source: Peel Information Network)
The picturesque location of Belfountain draws visitors from far and wide, particularly in the autumn when the changing leaves clothe the surrounding hills in brilliant colours. The origin of the name appears unclear, although it may have come from the French “belle fontaine”, or “beautiful fountain” – a reference to the clear waters of the Credit river.
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Web Sites About Belfountain
For a more detailed history of Belfountain, please visit the Belfountain Heritage Society or the Caledon Public Library.
For more information about the history of other villages in Caledon, please contact the Heritage Office at the Town of Caledon, Peel Information Network and the Local Historical Societies.
Books About Belfountain
“Belfountain Caves, Castles and Quarries in the Caledon Hills”
by Berniece Trimble with assistance from Alma Corbett, Eve Laughlin, Agnes Lawr
Publisher: Belfountain-Rockside Women’s Institute, 1975.
“Belfountain and the Tubtown Pioneers”
by Margaret Whiteside
Publisher: Boston Mills Press, 1975
Book: Belfountain Caves, Castles
and Quarries in the Caledon Hills