Roseville Walking Tour

map of tour

Roseville is a small settlement located between Ayr and Kitchener in the North Dumfries Township. Some of the earliest land owners in Roseville were: Abraham Johnston, George Reynolds, John Bricker, John and Jacob Wisman, Jacob and John Detweiler, Henry Clemens, Daniel Sleighter, Benjamin and Elis Wildfong, Christian Becker, Jacob Rosenburgher, Adam Unger, and Jacob D. Hallman. The early settlers built their first homes from logs, with clay used to fill in the gaps. Usually these simple houses had one large room with a loft and an open fireplace. By the mid 1800's the village started to obtain more businesses. Parsell's Atlas gives a description of the village as it was in 1880.

"In the midst of a fine farming section, it
contains the attractions usually incident to
a rural village of about 200 inhabitants,
consisting of the stores, shops, school,
churches and residences, which, with the
inevitable hotel, constitute the claim of
Roseville to be placed in the rank of Waterloo
County villages."

During its history Roseville has had two taverns, two hotels, four churches, three schools, a sawmill, and a shingle factory. There has also been a wagon and carriage works, a blacksmith shop, a printing shop, two cooper shops, a turnip factory, a post office, a candy store, a shoe shop, and a general store. According to the County Directories, the population in Roseville was 150 in 1864 as well as in 1886, and 210 in 1881.


There are two different versions of how Roseville received its name. According to some residents, Roseville was named after a man called Rose. This man was fond of liquor and was always asking people for more drinks. As a result, the people called him "Rose will". "Will" was Pennsylvania Dutch for "want". Eventually, this name was adopted for the village. Others residents have a different story. According to these people the village was originally called "The Settlement", but the villagers felt that a more distinctive name was needed. A meeting to discuss the matter was held. The immigrants from Pennsylvania insisted that the name end in "ville". Suggestions were: Brickerville, Erbsville, and Snyderville. Finally a Englishman by the name of Rose, who was the village shoemaker, proposed the name of "Roseville". Since no one had any objections to this name, it was the name chosen for the village. Over the years, the names of the roads have changed within the area of Roseville. Regional Road 46 is now known as Roseville Road, and Regional Road 58 is now called Fisher-Hallman Road. There has also been the addition of civic address signs outside of each property. These signs are the equivalent of house addresses.



The Roseville road has been in use for at least 140 years. This road was first used as a Native American trail and then was used as a bush road that lead to a lime kiln half a mile north of the village. Lime was used in the construction of a number of houses in the neighbourhood. The road was also used to get to Galt before the Cedar Creek Rd. was built. Further improvement to the roads were made when the government instituted a Statue labour policy in the 1800's. This policy stated that men between the ages of 21-60 had to spend two days labour working on the roads, or a total of 16 hours. If the men did not want to do the work they had to pay 2 shillings and 6 pence per day. By the time cars were used the roads had improved considerably from their former state. To ensure that no speeding occurred on the Roseville the road, constables were appointed with stop watches to watch the cars. On one occasion, motorists were apprehended because they were going 20 miles when the speed limit was only 15 miles. In 1939 the Ontario Department of Highways took care of the roads from Galt to Roseville and south of Black Horse Corners. In 1941-1942, no traffic could get through to Galt for five days because of a snow storm. As a result, no one had any milk, because there were no snow plows to clear the roads. The greatest improvement to the road was made in 1956 when a portion of the road was hard topped. In 1957, the responsibility for the roads was transferred back to the county. Presently, the road is maintained by the Region of Waterloo.

LOCATION: Roseville Rd. past Northumberland St. Civic Address: 3445
DESIGNATED: October 16, 2001

Detweiller Mennonite Meeting House and CemeteryThis traditional nineteenth century Mennonite Meetinghouse was made of fieldstone. During its history, many renovations to the building have occurred. The original building had two doors, one on the east end for women and the one located on the west end was for men. The seating was also segregated, the men being allowed to sit in the main seats, and the women sitting along the sides. In 1921 an entrance door was cut into the east end of the building, the pulpit was relocated to the west end, and the benches were moved. In 1956 when the building was 101 years old, the exterior of the church was covered in stucco. The Sunday School room and oil furnace room were also built.

The historical significance of this building is immense. The building is called the Detweiler Meetinghouse because the first minister of the church was Jacob Detweiler. Jacob Detweiler and his family moved to Roseville from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1822. In 1830 the land for the church was bought for ten schillings from Samuel C. Snyder, the son of Doon Pioneer, Christian Schneider. In 1836 a log church was built. This building was located west of the present building. The stone church that presently stands on the site was built in 1855 and used as a church until 1965. On January 7th, 1966 the church was closed and the Roseville congregation joined with the Mennonite congregation in Blenheim. The last sermon was given by Bishop C.F. Derstine. In 1987 there were plans to demolish the building, but they were never carried out because of the widespread protest by members of the community. In 1992, the land was transferred from the Mennonite Conference of Ontario to the Detweiler Meetinghouse Inc. The cemetery was founded in 1833, and in 1958 additional land for the cemetery was granted by Melvin Becker, the great grandson of Samuel Snyder. The cemetery contains many early settlers of Roseville. The tallest stone in the cemetery was a Perrin Family stone which at one time had a large ball of red granite at the top. Members of the cemetery board thought the ball was too tall and removed it from the cemetery.

LOCATION: Roseville Road, on the right-hand side of the road. Civic Address: 3258

The church has a stone foundation, white clapboard walls and a green roof. Two areas on the front have been altered, a window and a small square section just below the gable in the roof.

The United Church congregation in Roseville was established in 1839 upon the arrival of Evangelical missionaries from the neighboring Township of Blenheim. The first place of worship was known as Union House because the building was used by the United congregation, the Mennonites and by the Evangelicals. The building was located on what was later to be Mr. Ephraim Fried's farm. The congregation also held services in people's houses, as well as 'The United Brethren in Christ Church'. In 1919, the Grace United congregation bought the property from the 'Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church' and built the present building. The parsonage was built in 1923 under the direction of Reverend A.T. Walsh. In 1952 this church had 124 members, a Sunday school, the Women's Association, and a Youth Fellowship. In January 1968, along with other Evangelical congregations, the church entered the United Church of Canada.

DATE BUILT: circa 1861
LOCATION: a vacant area between the Sawmill Antiques and a home

In 1878 there was a sawmill in Roseville located north west to the General Store. The operators of the sawmill were James Barton and later D.W. Clemens. At one time the sawmill employed serval Roseville residents. The sawmill supplied Galt with its products and was later moved to Galt. In the winter a sleigh was used to transport the products to town. Mrs. Nast, a resident of the village, once commented about the workers at the sawmill saying,"The young teamsters vied with each other in keeping their horses well groomed, their harness clean and shiny, and their horse collars decked with gaily painted balls and bright, flying ribbons...The sleigh bells are a never to be forgotten part of the picture."

DATE BUILT: 1850's
LOCATION: Located on Roseville Rd. Across the street from the Restaurant. Civic Address: 3218

This one and a half storey house originally had cedar roof shingles, although they are now green shingles, and it has brown clapboard siding. There is a small porch facing the road, and the windows are 2 over 2 with a yellow and green trim.

In the early 1900's it was believed this house was haunted. People in the village would often tell stories of how former owners heard strange noises in the house, such as heavy chains dragging. One woman believed that a ghost would go into her children's rooms and remove their blankets at night. According to the villagers', the house became haunted after an elderly woman died in the house. It was reported that she had lost her mind. Two other prominent owners of this house were William Perrin, who was the former road commissioner for the village; and Gordon Fried, who was an active member of the Roseville community.


DATE BUILT: circa 1852
LOCATION: Roseville Rd, between Northumberland St. and Fisher-Hallman Rd.

The entrance to the restaurant is on the side of the building, while the store's entrance is facing the road. The building has a flat roof, the sides are covered with white boards, and the trim and window shutters are painted brown. The building is two storeys high, and the windows on the top floor are still in the same area that they were originally built, as can be seen in the picture on the following page.

The General store has existed as a business in Roseville since 1852. In 1861 the census describes the store as a two storey frame building owned by Moses Gingerich. Subsequent owners were: Mr. Beattie, Mr. Veitch, Mr. Cochrane, John Brown, F.A. MacDonald, and Mr. Rutherford. In 1910 Melvin Snyder remodeled the premises and in 1912 sold the store to Albert Shelby. While the Shelbys owned the property they had boarders. In 1939 Jean Perrin remembers being a boarder there. In 1945, the Shelbys sold the store to Aubrey Pickard. In 1955 Aubrey Pickard sold the property to Elory Ruby. Under the ownership of Elory Ruby, the building was modernized and a lunch bar was added. The property was sold to Irwin Rung in 1962. In 1968 Irwin Rung sold the store to William Fish. In 1972 the Busuttil family took over the business and renovated the interior and exterior of the store. They also opened the Roseville Country Restaurant.

To the right of the General Store, before it moved into the general store, was where the former post office was located. The first post office in Roseville was established in 1852 with John Detweiler as the first postmaster. The mail was brought by a carrier named "old man Krauel". However, for unknown reasons the post office closed in 1858, and only reopened in 1859 because of a petition from the residents asking Council to stop their mail from going into Ayr. The letter also requested if John Unger could be the postmaster. In the 1861 census, Mr Unger is recorded as being the postmaster. Mr. Unger and his wife Mary lived in a two storey frame house located on the northwest corner of lot 34, concession 11. The post office was finally closed on Monday April 30, 1917.

DATE BUILT: Circa 1910
LOCATION: corner of Roseville Road and Fisher-Hallman Road. Civic Address:3212

According to an article in the 1984 newspaper, The Advertiser, this red brick house was built by Gideon Hamacher in 1910, and was uniquely built with winding stair cases, up to three layers of brick, exterior verandas and lots of bay windows. This is a Victorian-style house, with a white roof and trim.

The Red Lion Tavern was formerly located on this site, but it burned down in the early 1900's, and the house was built on this site. Former owners of the land include James Hope and Austin Bricker, who was the roads superintendent for the Township of North Dumfries in 1939. Currently the house is home to Rocha Carpet Limited.

DATE BUILT: Circa 1822?
LOCATION: Center of village, across from school on corner of Roseville Rd and Fisher-Hallman Rd. Civic Address: 3194.

This beautiful two storey log home has 4 over 4 window frames, a centered front door facing the road, and a shingled roof. The property used to be the home of the Kaiser family, and they had a printing shop, which has since been torn down. The Schiedel family is currently building an addition on the back of the house.

This log home was only recently 'discovered' when the present owners were replacing the siding on the house, the workers found the wood walls. They decided to simply renovate the original walls, and made the home appear to be as it was when it was originally built. This house was previously owned by Frederick and Louis Kaiser, who came to the Roseville area in 1822 from Pennsylvania. Fred Kaiser's son, Louis Kaiser was a printer and operated a printing shop located on the northeast corner of the property. In his shop, Louis Kaiser employed five men. His grandson, Robert Marshall, remembers as a little boy helping his grandfather deliver invoices in a horse and buggy to various to businesses in Galt. The printing shop also specialized in wedding invitations, funeral cards, and business cards. By the end of his career, Louis Kaiser had worn out five presses. His last press was donated to Doon Pioneer Village. On Friday January 31st, 1958 the headline of the Galt Reporter read,"Roseville printer, the Oldest in Canada" . The first school in the Roseville area was also located on the Kaiser farm across from the Roseville United Brethren in Christ Church. A blacksmith and cooper shop were also located on the property. In 1961, Stuart E. Franklin obtained a part of the former Kaiser property and started to build a residential subdivision. The size of the Kaiser property was reduced a great deal by this sale. In 1966, in agreement with Melvin Becker, a community water system was put in. After this system was installed many more homes were built.


LOCATION: The front, right-hand corner of the Roseville Community Center property, across from Fisher-Hallman Rd.

This structure is made of stone, with a metal plaque on the front. There is a garden surrounding the base of the cairn.

This cairn is significant because it recognizes one of the most prominent residents in Roseville, D.B. Detweiler. The cairn reads:

"This cairn is erected to commemorate the
birthplace of -1860 D.B. Detweiler 1919-
"The committee of one who fostered the
Municipal Hydro Enterprise for the Citizens
of Ontario"

In 1935, a cairn was placed near the school by a group of residents from Roseville. Albert Shelby, who worked at the General store, was the main organizer. The cairn was built by the Ball Brothers in Kitchener and all the money needed to erect the cairn was contributed by the community. A light was placed near it and the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario supplied free electricity for the light. The light has since been removed. The Government of Ontario erected a flagpole and light standards near by. The flower bed near the cairn was maintained by the Ayr Horticultural Society and is now maintained by Roseville residents. On April 10th, 1860 Daniel Bechtel Detweiler was born on a farm near Roseville. The youngest son of Reverend Enoch Detweiler and Abigail Bechtel Detweiler, he would grow up to be a prominent businessman. One of Detweiler's first accomplishments as a businessman was achieved when he advised the Berlin(now Kitchener) Board of Trade to grow sugar beets, resulting in the establishment of a Sugar Beet Factory. In 1902 he helped develop the Algoma Power Company and was appointed as the "Committee of One". His job was to convince people to switch to Hydro, but this was very difficult, as many people were skeptical about using Hydro. In an attempt to convince people of Hydro's advantages, Detweiler would ride through the countryside on his bicycle. Today he is considered one of the founding fathers of Hydro. Perhaps Detweiler's greatest accomplishment was achieved on October 11, 1910 when, as a direct result of his efforts, Berlin was the first Municipality in the world to receive electric power that had been transmitted at high voltage over a long distance. (The power was transmitted from Niagara Falls). Roseville finally received Hydro in 1926, after a lengthy delay because of the Fist World War. Not only did Detweiler promote Hydro, but he supported the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, as well as the Canadian and American Peace Bridge. In 1919, D.B. Detweiler died, as a result of a stomach malady he contracted when he was kicked by a horse.

LOCATION: Roseville Rd and Fisher-Hallman Rd. Civic Address:3195

There has been an addition on the left hand side of the school, several windows have been filled in, and the window panes have been replaced by more recent ones.

Originally built in 1867, this building served as the third Roseville school (School #22) until 1973. The Roseville community founded the school by themselves until 1871 when the government took it over. On the one hundredth anniversary of the school in 1967, George and Jean Perrin wrote a brief history of the school entitled A History of Roseville and its school. In December 1973 the roof collapsed and Mr. Corbett, the Grade five teacher, had to help the students escape. Since it was going to cost $10,000 dollars to replace the roof, the Waterloo Board of Education said they could not justify the expense and as a result, the school was closed. In 1976 members of the Roseville community sent a petition to the school board asking if the school and grounds could be used as a community centre. On November 28th, 1977 the land was transferred to the Township of North Dumfries and the community has since renovated the building. Presently, the Roseville Neighbourhood Association holds meetings in the hall and the Township Parks and Recreation Committee has started a play ground for children in the summer. Overall, the building has been used by Roseville residents for 135 years. Before this school was built, there were two other schools in Roseville. The first school was a private school located on the Kaiser property across from the United Brethren Church. The classes were taught by two spinsters. The second school was located east of the General store in what now would be the General store parking lot. The building was a small stone, square structure and was used as a school, until the third school was built in 1867. At one time over a hundred students went to the second school. After the third school was built, the former school property was sold for a $100 dollars. The building then became a blacksmith shop and afterwards a garage.

DATE BUILT: circa 1874
LOCATION: Fisher-Hallman Road, past the United Brethren in Christ Church, but on the same side of the road. Civic Address: 2517

This one and a half storey fieldstone house is classified as a typical Scottish stone cottage, with the front facade containing the most significant features. These features include: the inside front door, the decorative structure around the outside of the door, the verandah (including its ceiling and underside frame), and the porch posts. These features are designated by the North Dumfries L.A.C.A.C. committee. The rear of the house is part of an addition that was added on in the 1970's. The committee believes the stone path leading to the house dates from 1874.

This house was part of the Perrin family for over one hundred years, although not consecutively. Joseph Perrin built this house in 1874 after William Perrin, his father, retired and moved into a home in Roseville. The original house that William Perrin built on this lot was torn down.

LOCATION: Fisher-Hallman Road, before the T-Intersection with Roseville Rd. Civic Address: 2729

The original church was constructed of wood frame, and later was re-bricked in yellow. The roof has brown shingles, and the windows are have white trim. The front door of the church is blue. The addition on the back of the church is a one-storey tall structure with brown brick, brown shingles and white window trim.

The church was originally built by the Lutherans and their reverend was a man by the name of Mr. Bachus. The nine charter members of the church were: Mr and Mrs William Perrin, Mr and Mrs Fred Licht, Mr and Mrs Benjamin Perrin, Mrs James Barton, Mrs Enoch Detweiler and Mrs Jacob Bricker. The Lutherans eventually sold the church to the Wesleyan Methodists, and in 1881 it was bought for $200 by the United Brethren Christ church. In 1967 the church had 56 members. In addition, the church had a Sunday school, a Missionary society, and Junior and Senior Christian Endeavour groups. James Hope was a class leader in the church for forty years. This church is the only one of this denomination in the Township.

LOCATION: Roseville Rd. It is the last farm out of Roseville, with Civic Address: 3103. Look for the double row of trees along the driveway, the house is way in the back.

In January of 1890, John Perrin bought this farm which has since been in the family for over a hundred years. The double rows of trees on the property were planted in 1891 by John Perrin and his sons. The house is a two storey Late Victorian structure, with bay windows on the first floor, white trim around the windows and doors, a brown roof and light coloured bricks. The barns are painted red. Prior to purchasing the farm, John Perrin worked for variety of employers such as: Moses Unger, James Bunion, John Newstead, William Hope, and Henry Bricker, doing such tasks as cutting firewood and helping out with the wheat harvest. In 1861 it is recorded that he worked for Mr. C. Wilks at Cruickston Park, earning $89.03 and $114.55 in 1862. He also worked for Benjamin Hallman at the sawmill for a dollar a day. Mr. Perrin also had an egg dealing business with his brother William in Newmarket. The eggs were shipped to Toronto, Boston, and Scotland. The brothers transported the eggs by filling oak barrels with oats.

LOCATION: Roseville Rd., in front of a house with Civic Address: 2849. Closer to Industrial Road than it is to the Village of Roseville.

The cairn is triangular shaped, made of concrete and the tombstones are encased in it.

This Cairn was constructed in 1967 under the Municipal Council, as a part of the Centennial celebrations. There are 50 tombstones, with the earliest stone from 1810 and the latest stone from 1911. On June 1st, 1847 a one acre plot on the northeast corner of Lot 31, Concession 11 was deeded from Adam Unger to Jacob H. Detweiler, a trustee of the Mennonite Church for a total of $15. The site was to be used as a burial ground for members of the Mennonite Society of British North America, but soon became a burial ground for the neighbourhood. Forty six burials took place there all together, including persons from the prominent families of the Hallmans, Detweilers, and the Schliegels. In 1967, the Mennonite church transferred the land the cemetery was on to the North Dumfries Township.

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