Historical Sites

Historical Sites

In its role as a provider of regional parks and open spaces, the HCA owns and/or manages several historical sites. Organized and self-guided tours of these areas are available. Here's an overview of some of the most popular sites to visit.

Griffin House

Griffin House Museum

An excellent example of Ancaster's early history is preserved in a simple 1.5-storey house just west of the Hermitage Ruins. Enerals Griffin and his wife, Priscilla moved to the area in 1829 to escape slavery in the United States, possibly making use of the Underground Railroad. In 1834, they purchased this house with 50 acres of land and for the next 150 years their descendents farmed here. Archeologists have unearthed over 3,000 artifacts on this small site including stoneware, porcelain, clay pipes and masonry. Group tours and themed hikes are organized by the HCA and Fieldcote Museum. The Griffin House is located within the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. For more information, call (905) 627-1233 or (905) 648-8144.

Crooks' Hollow

Nestled in a small valley, through which the Spencer Creek flows on its journey to the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, north of Dundas and Hamilton, lies the pioneer community known as Crooks' Hollow.

Following the close of the American Revolution in the late 1700's, Upper Canada became a haven for United Empire Loyalists escaping the United States, many of whom made their way from Niagara to the western end of Lake Ontario where they had been granted land by King George III of England. Attracted by the potential water power offered by the Spencer Creek, many early settlers came to this area of Flamborough West. It was to this particular area that two early families came, the Mordens and the Crooks.

The HCA owns and manages several properties in the Crooks' Hollow area. A 1.5-kilometre self-guiding trail past early homes, and the ruins of barns, sawmills and water-control devices can be found at Crooks' Hollow Conservation Area parking lot, just off Crooks' Hollow Road.

Westfield Heritage Village

Westfield has their very own webpage with information about their over 30 historical buildings, events and much more.  Visit their webpage to learn more about this significant cultural/historical attraction and the public programs offered there.