Newmarket, one of the oldest communities in Ontario, was founded on the Upper Canadian frontier in 1801 by Quakers from the United States. Fur traders, entrepreneurs, millers, and many others were soon to follow, some seeking independence, some seeking wealth, and some even seeking freedom from creditors. The community was at the heart of the 1837 Rebellion, found prosperity when a stop on the colonys first railway, and has sent military personnel to every war in Canadas history since the War of 1812. Once a terminal on the street railway from Toronto to Lake Simcoe, Newmarket also bears the remnants of an aborted 19th-century barge canal. It was the seat of the York County government and today is the headquarters for the Region of York.
Behind these events and many others that have shaped Newmarket's history are the people. Tradespeople, the core of the community, aspiring or experienced politicians including Family Compact members, rebels, war heroes, and even a frontier doctor who lived to the age of 118. Here are their stories, all illuminating the early history of Newmarket.