Oliphant Swamp

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Rattray Marsh
Conservation Area

50 Bexhill Rd, Mississauga, ON L5H 3L1, Canada

Rattray Marsh offers a rare natural cobble beach on 90 acres of Lake Ontario shoreline in Mississauga. As the last remaining lakefront marsh between Toronto and Burlington, this environmentally-sensitive wetland offers a unique urban experience for nature lovers. As part of the Lake Ontario’s Waterfront Trail, this area has an extensive boardwalk and is accessible to all levels of experience. Walkers can enjoy the spring trilliums, native and migrating birds and waterfront view in the heart of the city.

Rattray Marsh
one of city's jewels

 Mississauga News

The first council of the newly-created City of Mississauga was elected on Oct. 1, 1973. The “reform” council enjoyed a three-year term — the most productive term since the creation of the City almost 40 years ago. Among its many achievements was the purchase of many historical and environmentally pristine properties. The crown jewel of these acquisitions was Rattray Marsh. In 1959, Major James Rattray died and the struggle for the 148-acre estate began in earnest. The property consisted of forest, farmland, beachfront and marsh – an ecological gem unparalleled anywhere on Lake Ontario. Efforts to purchase Rattray Estate between 1959 and 1974 ended in failure. The local residents' committee, steered by Ruth Hussey and others, was denied by the Province and council. In March 1963, the property was purchased by a development group headed by lawyer Clem Neiman for $425,000. In 1967, council approved development of 60 acres of the estate and the bulldozers moved in. In 1971, Credit Valley Conservation Authority(CVCA) purchased 24 acres of marsh for $250,000, but declined to purchase the remaining 57 acres of higher ground, citing lack of funds and different priorities. The highlands were deemed essential for the viability of the wetlands, but it was slated for development. The Rattray Marsh Preservation Committee again tried in vain to convince council to purchase the surviving 57 acres. With the election of a conservation-minded reform City council in October 1973, everything changed. Local councillor Mary Helen Spence, Streetsville Mayor Hazel McCallion and myself met shortly after the election with the Rattray Conservation Committee and promised that one of our first actions would be the purchase of the property. Early in 1974, council approved a motion to recommend to the CVCA that it purchase the remaining 57 acres — by expropriation, if necessary. I will never forget what happened next: I attended a meeting of the CVCA board – composed of reps from the 13 municipalities that made up the CVCA – and it voted not to acquire the property. The excuse used was that the reps from far-flung northern areas were not interested in spending money that would benefit Mississauga residents. The real reason for the face slap was that the Conservative Party establishment, still in shock over its Mississauga election loss, was programmed to thwart any positive action of the reformers. It was eager for us to fail. On the way home in my car, I was grappling with the shocking decision of the CVCA. Then I had a brilliant idea: I would recommend to council that Mississauga would offer to pay 100 per cent of CVCA's portion of the cost. Council did just that. And the CVCA now had no choice but to purchase Rattray Marsh. The CVCA expropriated the property for $1,050,000. The Province paid half, as was its policy, and the local preservation committee raised $93,000. Mississauga contributed $432,000. On Oct. 5, 1975, Rattray Marsh Conservation Area was officially opened, a heritage for future generations.

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Peter W. & Elizabeth Oliphant
SpringCreek Cemetery
Mississauga, ON, Canada

Parents of: Peter S. Oliphant
Grandparents of: R.E. Lee Oliphant
Great-Grandparents of: Ennis C. Oliphant

Also read about the history of


2159 Rogers Road
Mississauga, Peel, Ontario, Canada
on land once owned by John Oliphant


Heritage Mississauga: Dunn Park

Dunn Park: 2009 Official Opening

History of the Marsh

1806:  Cranberry Marsh
1820:  Oliphant's Swamp
1916:    Fudger's Marsh
1975:   Rattray Marsh

The history of the Marsh is from the
City of Mississauga Book -Part One

Rattray Marsh is a protected conservation area. However, the history behind it becoming protected took some determination on the part of several devoted conservationists. In Samuel Street Wilmot’s first survey of Toronto Township in 1806, this area is noted as “Cranberry Marsh” as there were tall cranberry bushes growing there.    
Because of its tall, majestic white pine trees, it was designated land from which would be supplied logs for the British Navy’s ship masts. This changed in 1808 when Christian Hendershot, a cooper, was granted the 200 acres (81 ha), Lot 26, Con. 3. He sold the north half of this acreage to David Kerr, then Peter Oliphant purchased it in 1820 for the equivalent of $325 and the south half in 1843. It was then called “Oliphant’s Swamp.” In 1827, John Peer purchased the north half and farmed it, growing watermelons and cantaloupes on the sunny slopes. In 1855, the Peer family built a substantial brick house which is still in existence today on what is now Bexhill Road. The south half of the property was sold to Thomas Slade in 1851. Slade purchased part of Lot 27, which became Rattray Marsh Estates in 1967. Most of the Marsh’s conservation area lands belonged to Slade until his death in 1913. Harris H. Fudger bought Slade’s 100 acres (40 ha) from the National Trust on June 7, 1916, and another 35 acres (14 ha) from L.A. Hamilton on June 17. His family hailed from Bexhill, Sussex, England, and he was born in Toronto in 1851. He became a partner in the purchase of the Robert Simpson Company in 1898 and was president. The marsh became known as “Fudger’s Marsh.” Between 1918 and 1920, Fudger constructed a mansion he called “Barrymede House”. … The estate was sold to Major James Halliday Rattray on May 26, 1945.   The Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVCA) proceeded with expropriation in March 1975. The Rattray Marsh Conservation Area was officially opened on October 5, 1975.

The Oliphant Family – 1819   The Oliphants became a prominent family in the Clarkson area. Peter (b. 1763, d. 1846) and Elizabeth (1769-1826) Oliphant, came from Trafalgar Township, Halton County, in 1819 with their children, Aaron (1788-1868) and Hiram (1802-1864). Peter purchased the north half of Lot 26, Con. 3, for £130 ($325) in 1821 from David Kerr. This property was sold to John Peer in 1827. Peer built a brick house on Barrymeade Road (now Bexhill Road) that is still there. The Oliphants bought property all over Clarkson: In 1825, Aaron, whose first wife was Catherine Hendershot, purchased 150 acres (61 ha) of Lot 27, Con. 3, for £200 ($500) from John Marlett. In 1843, Peter bought the south half of the property that is now the Rattray Marsh, which was then called Oliphant’s Swamp. This section was sold to Thomas Slade in 1851. In 1856, Aaron’s son, Isaac (1824-1894), bought 70 acres (28 ha) for £800 ($2,000) of Thomas Merigold’s grant, Lot 29, Con. 3. Over the years, parts of Lots 23, 25, 28 and 34 were purchased. Besides being wheat farmers, the men of the family were great hunters, trappers and fishermen. They were also community minded and were involved with the Methodist Church and School #6 for as long as they resided in Clarkson. On May 25, 1860, Isaac and Catherine Oliphant registered a deed on a small piece of their property on Lot 29 to the Church for a meeting place and burial ground. The cemetery never materialized. In 1884, a list of members of the Carman Methodist Church included Thomas Oliphant (b. 1858 to Aaron’s son Phillip and his wife Eliza, who had 75 acres (30 ha) of Lot 28, Con. 3), as a steward, and his family. Thomas purchased 50 acres of lot 29 and 30, Con. 3, in 1886 and built a two story house. Thomas played the organ at the turn of the Century. He was also mentioned as one of the actors in the 1910 annual minstrel show held in the Community Hall. His second wife, Mary Shook, daughter of Henry and Alicia, belonged to the Church’s Ladies Aid. Their only child, Armadell, married Gordon Pattinson. Thomas passed away in 1911 and Mary sold their home. Around 1920, she rented Edith Clarkson’s house on Clarkson Road North, Lot 29, Con. 2, to use as a boarding house. Edith, who had died in 1919, had started selling off her property in 1913 and had had the house built north of the Clarkson store and post office. Mary boarded some of the teachers from S.S. #6, along with Annie Hall. Eva Herridge, a young widow with a seven year old daughter, Irene, went to work for Mrs. Oliphant as housekeeper in 1927. She and Irene lived there until 1938, the year that Mary died at age 71. Mary had one of the largest funerals in Clarkson, which was held at the Clarkson United Church with Reverand R. Spencer officiating with the burial at Spring Creek Cemetery. There are no longer Oliphants living in Clarkson, but the last Oliphant residence (the Edith Clarkson house), a two story white brick building a 1160 Clarkson Road North, next door to the Toronto Ability School, is owned by Teresa Hunker.

City of Mississauga Clarkson Book Part One

Read More about Canadian Oliphants

Read More about Aaron Oliphant

Read More about SpringCreek Cemetery

Read More about SpringCreek Cem. Map

Read More about Aron Oliphant's Grave

Read More about Cath. Oliphant's Grave

Read More about P. W. Oliphant's Grave

Read More about Oliphant Property

Read More about Peel Co. Directory


Aaron Oliphant

Aaron Oliphant
SpringCreek Cemetery
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Birth:  Feb. 17, 1788
Bucks County, PA, USA     
Death:  Aug. 29, 1868
Aron's correct given name was Aaron. His gravestone states his name as Aron. 
Aaron was a son of
Peter W. & Elizabeth Oliphant

Aaron Oliphant was the first member of our Oliphant family to migrate from New York State to "Upper Canada" prior to the War of 1812. The rest of the family went to Canada sometime between 1810 and 1812.
Aaron Oliphant fought with the British in the War of 1812. His younger half-brothers, Peter Scofield Oliphant and Hiram Wortman Oliphant later migrated to Lockport, Niagara County, N.Y., USA., about 1826, after the opening of the Erie Canal.

Oliphant Family
in Mississauga
Peel County
Ontario, Canada 

Conditions of Use:
See Terms of Use & Privacy Statement.
Description: Thomas Oliphant (1858-1911) was the great grandson of Aaron Oliphant who came in 1819 from Trafalgar Township to Clarkson and bought land there. Thomas purchased land on Conc 3, lot 28 and built a house there in 1886. His second wife was Mary Shook, daughter of Henry Shook. After Thomas's death she sold the property and rented Edith Clarkson's house on Clarkson Road North.
Agency: Mississauga Library System


Conditions of Use:
See Terms of Use & Privacy Statement. Description: Photograph of Mary Oliphant, taken when she lived in Edith Clarkson's house. Her husband, Thomas Oliphant (1858-1911) was the great grandson of Aaron Oliphant who came in 1819 from Trafalgar Township to Clarkson and bought land there. Thomas purchased land on Conc 3, lot 28 and built a house there in 1886. His second wife was Mary Shook, daughter of Henry Shook. After Thomas's death she sold the property and rented Edith Clarkson's house on Clarkson Road North.
Agency: Mississauga Library System


Conditions of Use:
Terms of Use & Privacy Statement. Description: From L. to R.: Mrs. Henry Shook, the former Alitia Starratt; her granddaughter, Armadell (Della) Pattinson, formerly Oliphant; and Alitia's daughter, Della's mother, Mary Oliphant, formerly Shook. Della is holding her son, Alitia's great grandson, Tom Pattinson.
Agency: Mississauga Library System

Edith Clarkson House, Coach House, Clarkson

Edith Clarkson House, Coach House, Clarkson

Title: Edith Clarkson House, Coach House, Clarkson
Date Built: ca 1913

Conditions of Use:
See Terms of Use & Privacy Statement.  Description:
1160 Clarkson Road North.
Plan G-13, Lot 1.

This is a two-and-a-half storey Queen Anne brick structure with stone facing.
Warren Clarkson, who died in 1882, left the property north of the railroad on the west side of Clarkson Road to his son, William. This block of land extended to just north of the Adams property (as of 1863) and west of the 5th Line. Eventually it became the property of Edith Clarkson, daughter of William Clarkson and his wife, Lorenda Hemphill. She built the house, just north of the Post Office, in 1913. Edith Clarkson was the post mistress and operated the Telephone Office and General Store until her death in 1919. The Edith Clarkson House is listed on the Heritage Register.
Agency: Mississauga Library System

Mississauga, Ontario

Among the first settlers were the Bradley, Clarkson, Gable, Greeniaus, Hammond, Hendershott, Jarvis, Marlatt, Merigold, Monger, Oliphant, Shook and Thompson families, amongst others.
Located in the Clarkson area is the Rattray Marsh, a significant and protected natural conservation area. Originally designated as a Masting Lot because of its majestic white pines, the land provided masts to the British Navy. Known at one point as the Oliphant Swamp, after the property owners, other early settling families on the property included the Hendershott, Slade and Peer families. Major Rattray bought the property in 1945 from H.H. Fudger. After Rattray’s death in 1959, local citizen groups convinced the City of Mississauga to purchase the property.

Learn more about the OLIPHANT Family in the Village of Clarkson

Read the Book:

Clarkson and its Many Corners
by Kathleen A. Hicks


1859 Map of Port Credit, Ontario

Oliphant Properties in Peel County, Ontario, Canada

Detail from Tremaine’s Map of the County of Peel, Canada West, 1859,
showing the old Credit Village between the Credit River and Mississauga Road. From the University of Toronto Map & Data Library.


Section of a Peel County, Ontario Map 1859

Enlarged section of map showing Oliphant Properties
Top-Left: Isaac Oliphant
Bottom-Left: Philip Oliphant & P. Oliphant (Peter Oliphant)
Top-Middle: Mrs. Oliphant
Bottom-Middle: Aaron Oliphant
Right-Top: Duncan Oliphant

note: Thos Slade at location of "Oliphant's Swamp" (near middle of map)

From a Historical County Map of Peel County, Ontario (late 1800s)
with Oliphant Properties shaded in light-yellow

Aaron Oliphant is the father of the Oliphants living near Port Credit.

Aaron was a brother of Peter S. Oliphant of Niagara County, NY