The Hamlet of Haydon was originally registered as the Village of Charlesville in 1855. The reason for the name change and the significance of either name is not ‘clearly’ known. Concession 8 was once known as Charles Street. The early history of Haydon began with a crown grant of 200 acres to a Joseph Winters in 1802 (Lot 14, Conc.8) and continued with slow growth until latter half of the century.
A tributary of the Bowmanville Creek greatly influenced the hamlet’s growth and supported numerous mills, the first of which was the “Haydon Mill”, (a grist and saw mill) built by Charles Bates of the 8th Company, Darlington Regiment in 1847. He built the mill some two years after he planned and laid out the village. It would seem that this mill named “Haydon Mill” later lent it’s name to the hamlet.
By 1900 flax, grist, flour and lumber mills were working the stream. Growth of the hamlet was also supported by lumbering of virgin pine forests in the area with lumberjacks supporting such local commerce as the Haydon Hotel and Tavern. The natural prosperity of the hamlet weakened with the receding forests, a lack of proximity to major travelled routes and the decline of the stream based industries.
A partial listing of trades and services located within the hamlet around 1900, indicates the relative prosperity enjoyed by the residents at that time including:
- flour mills
- saw mill
- flax mill
- carriage shop
- general store
- school house
- Methodist Church
- Baptist Church
- many farmers and labourers
Today, Haydon is quite different – gone is the hustle and bustle that made her history, now replaced by a quiet hamlet. There are some residents who are descendants of the original settlers, and we still have farmers and labourers. Haydon’s only service for many years was Graham’s Garage (once one of Canada’s few Studebaker dealers), which later became Haydon Automotive, and is not home to the Motor City Car Club. The Haydon Auction Hall, housed in the old Church shed has recently hosted most auctions online, but was at one time a popular weekend destination for antique enthusiasts.
One thing that has remained constant is the spirit, fun and community outreach that is the trademark of Haydon’s ‘Club 21’. This group began as the Haydon Home and School Club in January 1963. When the school closed in 1965 this same group of people decided to keep the school open as a community centre.
Haydon Public school was built in 1876. It is a brick structure that began as a one room school and has been slightly renovated to include a meeting room (30’10” x 26′), a fully equipped kitchen (14’9″ x 26′) and 2 washrooms. The building retains many of its historic features including the original wall to wall slate blackboard which is still popular & useful today. The school closed in 1965 when regional schools came into being. The building and property is owned by Municipality of Clarington and run by Club 21 – also known as the Haydon Community Hall Board.
Club 21, or Haydon Community Hall as it is now known, are a group of volunteers who meet monthly or as needed. Various community events such as potlucks, Wellness Days, card parties, yoga classes, demonstrations/classes by local artists, luncheons, community clean-up, open houses, meetings of local organizations, Halloween & Christmas parties are regular events. Follow us on FaceBook or Instagram for up to date happenings at Haydon Hall.
If you are interested in bringing your talents to Haydon by organizing an event – please contact us! We are open to things like speakers, craft evenings, movie nights and classes or workshops (from painting to cooking to whatever people are willing to learn!)
New people are always welcomed and you don’t have to live in Haydon to be part of our community – we’ll happily adopt you!
(based on information from The Histories & Recipes of Haydon – 1982)