TESTIMONY OF THE PAST AND CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE
Hemmingford was named in 1792 after Hemingford in Huntingdonshire, England. Its first settlers about 1800 were American loyalists, followed by British colonists, primarily from England, Scotland and Ireland. Among them was Colonel John Scriver, whose stone house built about 1815 at 450 Frontière Street is a historic site in the Village of Hemmingford. The Township of Hemmingford has officially existed since March 18,1799. (Information taken from the book: “Hemmingford 200 Years of Hope and Challenge, 1799-1999). French colonists later followed and occupied primarily the regions’ rich agricultural sectors (‘black muck’).
Interesting fact: most of the township roads are named after early settlers.
In 1877 the Village of Hemmingford, near the center of Hemmingford Township, was incorporated.Through the architecture of certain heritage buildings, modernized over the years, in Hemmingford the past meets the present. Be it by an old hotel converted into a hardware store, then later transformed into a pub, a former convent turned cultural center, or an old railway bed used now used as a bike path, Hemmingford is renewing itself.
“Through generations, this same sense of obligation has required dialogue in Hemmingford to balance change with tradition” (excerpt from the book: “Images of Hemmingford”)
It is important to educate the new generations about the many treasures that were created and discovered by our brave settlers. Such heritage and natural richness encourages and supports the vitality of today’s community.
History is the past of a vibrant future!
The heraldic symbolism of our coat of arms is as follows:
The name of the Village and Township “Hemmingford” is emblazoned across the top of the coat of arms.
A ram’s head surmounts the coat of arms at chief points (in the center) signifying the attachment our Hemmingford has with the English village of Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbot in the county of Huntingdon , England. Our area was named after these villages. Three ram’s heads were part of the coat of arms of the Ramsey family which was prominent in the Hemingford area circa 1625. Sheep were also an important animal to the pioneer farmers here.
In the upper left hand corner is a sable (black) locomotive against a silver background. In 1852, the Montreal and New York Railway Co. completed the 29 mile line from Caughnawaga to Hemmingford. This was the sixth line to open in Canada and the second to make international connections, and was instrumental in increasing commerce and advancing the entire community. The locomotive depicted here was named the “Hemmingford”.
In the upper right hand section is a gules (red) house on a silver background. The house belonged to Julius Scriver, MLA and MP, a scion of one of the original families of Hemmingford and one of its most famous sons. His father Col. John Scriver, who was resposible for the location and early growth of the village, which was initially named Scriver’s Corners in his honour.
Centrally placed on the arms is a border marker. This marker symbolizes the close relationship with our American neighbours the Hemmingford citizens have enjoyed over the years. Hemmingford became a Chief Customs Port on July 8, 1844, the fifth in Canada.
In the lower left section is a black and silver dairy cow against an azure (blue) background. The dairy industry was extremely important during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While the number of herds and cows has declined in recent years, dairying was and is an integral part of life in Hemmingford.
The lower right hand section portrays a black kettle on an azure (blue) background. The most significant activity that drew settlers to our area was the making of potash. The kettle depicts this early industry and was also used for making maple syrup and soap when not being used for its priciple activity.
The central section below the chevron shows a green apple tree on a silver background. The first settlers brought apple trees with them and apples have remained a beloved fruit, whether produced on a tree or two for personal use, or in a large commercial orchard. “Apples” have become symbolic with the name of “Hemmingford”.
“Friends along the border”
Colours: Silver – Gold – Azure (blue) – Sable (black) – Gules (red) – Green