Elgin County is a county of the Canadian province of Ontario with a population of approximately 49,000. The county seat is St. Thomas, which is separated from the county but within its geographic boundary. Elgin County is known as the Keystone Township due the lateral length which takes in over 100 kilometres along the north shore of Lake Erie and includes many quaint and unique ports for both pleasure boating, recreational and commercial fishing.
Originally Elgin County was once part of Suffolk County. Elgin County was organized as a separate county in 1851 and named after Lord Elgin, governor-general of Canada.
Elgin County is divided into 7 townships, each with their own municipally elected Mayors and councillors. The Mayors of each township hold a seat on the County Council.
West Elgin: The township was originally known as Aldborough Townsip. It was first settled in 1804. In the early days it had a forest of oak, chestnut and black walnut. Rodney and West Lorne are the largest villages in the township.
Bayham Township: Organized in 1810 and became part of Elgin County in 1851. It was named from Bayham Abbey in Kent, England. Port Burwell, Vienna and Straffordville are the largest villages in the township.
Dutton / Dunwich: The township was originally known as Dunwich Township. It was first settled in 1803. During the War of 1812 only twelve families lived in the township. In 1817 a company of Selkirk’s Highlander settled in the Township. The Township is named after a town in Suffolk, England.
Malahide Township: It was first settled in 1810, and was named for Malahide Castle in Ireland, the former home of Thomas Talbot, patriot of the region. Aylmer, Springfield and Port Bruce are the largest villages in the township.
South Dorchester Township: This township is now part of Malahide township. Although surveyed in 1798, it was not settled until 1826. This township was part of Middlesex County until 1851.
Southwold Township: Opened for settlement in 1797, however the first colonist arrived in 1809. It was named for an English town in Suffolk. Fingal and Shedden are the largest villages in the township.
Municipality of Central Elgin: This township was originally known as Yarmouth Township. It was surveyed in 1792 and settled in 1810. Port Stanley, Sparta and Belmont are the largest
villages in the township.
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