Natural History

The Grey County Gallery presents the history of Grey County's people, against a backdrop of the County's natural features; its forests, farmlands, waters, and rocks. Presentations are made through static displays, film and hands-on computer stations.

Products of Grey County's Forests

Stack of Wood
Trees - One of Our Best Assets

Grey County's magnificent stands of maple, beech, birch, ash and pine gave birth to a variety of wood based industries in the days of early settlement. Our trees have gone into everything from toothpicks to hardwood floors to wall panelling fit for a Duke! Furniture factories in Durham, Hanover and Owen Sound made Grey County a 19th century furniture capital of Canada.

Visit Grey Roots to learn more about the vast Grey County forests, and to hear more stories of how the 19th and 20th century settlers worked with this vast resource.

Grey County's Farming Roots...

A Way of Life!

The settlers of Grey County engaged themselves in mixed subsistence farming, including both the raising of livestock and the growing of grain. Although horses were the original muscle behind this heavy labor, they were eventually replaced by tractors.

In 1939 a Co-op farm tractor was purchased by Mel Howey for $1,026. The powerful six-cylinder, high compression Chrysler engine not only took care of the family farm, but was contracted out to neighbors as well.

After being sold in 1955, Mel’s son reunited with the family machine in 1990, and after a lengthy restoration the family graciously loaned the machine to Grey Roots.

Waters of Grey

Inglis Falls
Water is Everywhere in Grey County!

We have scenic Georgian Bay shoreline, quiet inland lakes, picturesque waterfalls, and copious groundwater supplies.  And we have rivers.  Four of Ontario's largest rivers arise in Grey - the Nottawasaga, Saugeen, Grand, and Beaver Rivers.  They make Grey County an important headwater region. 

Grey County's six significant waterfalls are located where rivers and streams drop over the cliff face of the Niagara Escarpment.  These falls provided water power for potential mills in the early settlement days.  One of Grey's earliest mills was established at Inglis Falls  less than a kilometre from our Centre.

The Rock of Grey County

Stone Quarry
Stone is never far away in Grey County...

Grey's good farmland is interspersed with outcrops of Niagara Escarpment rock.  Our fields are dotted with granite boulders transported here by the glaciers.  From Stoney Keppel to Rockford, stone has played an important role in Grey County's history.  Stone quarrying is still an important local industry today.

Much of Canada's first Portland cement was made in Grey County.  Beginning in the 1880s, factories at Owen Sound, Durham, Hanover and Shallow Lake made Grey the cement centre of Canada.  Local clay makes local brick!  In southern Ontario, red brick is more common east of the Niagara Escarpment, while the newer buff brick is more common to the west.  Watch for this as you drive across the County.

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