The Crest

The Paisley crest was designed in the early 1920's by the late _John R. Shoemaker, brother of Winston Shoemaker of Paisley, in collaboration with the late David Forrester who was reeve at that time. It was first used as a decorative motif on the monument commemorating the soldiers who paid the Supreme Sacrifice in the First World War.

If you examine the crest carefully you will see a Y that depicts the Teeswater and Saugeen Rivers meeting with the bridge in the centre. The saw represents the lumber industry of early Paisley as well as the churn for the creamery and the bag of feed for the flour mills. The latin “Not for us, but for the Village” was the motto that our predecessors practised.

"Not for Us but for the Village"



In this booklet, “A History of Paisley", we have tried to reproduce as much of the history of Paisley as possible. We realize that there will be omissions and errors in our attempt to include items of interest from both the past and the present.

Some of the material has been copied from the files of the Paisley Advocate, some from valuable clippings kept over the years by Mrs. Chester Teeple, some recalled by senior citizens, and some from various other sources.

The pictures have been taken from old postcards, from photos so generously lent to us and from the snapshot album of the late Jack Nichols, graciously offered to us by Jim and Irene Crawford.

Without the help of the Centennial Committee and the many people who provided research and editorial material, we could not have produced this hook.

To those who helped to type material, to Elizabeth Woelfle who reproduced the pictures and to others who helped in any way to make this history a realization, we offer a most sincere "Thank you".


Lois Woelfle, Irma Bender, Elma Dryden & Ren. Bell


Reeve's Message

On behalf of the Corporation of The Village of Paisley we extend a warm welcome to all former residents of Paisley and district, to participate in celebrating the Village's 100th Birthday Aug. 2nd to 5th - 1974.

The Council, the Centennial Committee and other organizations are sparing no effort in making Paisley's Centennial Celebrations an occasion to remember. `

As our village enters its second century as an incorporated municipality, let us pay tribute to the foresight and courage of those pioneers who moulded Paisley's future, and all those who throughout the years have guided our village's destiny, ever striving to build, improve and update our municipal services for on-coming generations.

On this wonderful occasion, we look to the past with pride and face the future with confidence. With great honour, we offer to you this comprehensive history of the Village of Paisley for your reading enjoyment.

Yours truly,
Reeve Andy Cormack

Reeve Andy Cormack
1930 - 2012

In the obituary of Mrs. Isabella Cormack (Andy's great grandmother) who died in 1905, it stated that, “In 1845 she and her husband came from Aberdeenshire Scotland to Canada and took up 700 acres of land on the 14th of Brant Township. The area was covered by bush and the nearest neighbour lived seven miles distant. The head of the family carried the supply of four on his back all the way from Owen Sound.
ln 1865 they moved to the farm concession 2 E1derslie.” (now occupied by Andy's brother, Jerry Cormack.)


Centennial Chairman's Message

Ron Abbs, Chairman
Paisley Centennial Committee

As Chairman of the Paisley Centennial Committee I would like to congratulate the Centennial Book Committee on the publication of this book.

The hours they have spent compiling photos, history and personal experiences of the past one hundred years in the Village of Paisley will be difficult for anyone who is not involved with the publication, to imagine.

As the Village changes during the coming years I hope that the history of the community is recorded to ensure that the way of life in Paisley is not forgotten.

It is my honour to be Chairman of the Centennial Committee. To all those who have helped make this 100th anniversary a success, my sincere “Thank You”.

Centennial Committee

Paisley held an open meeting September 28, 1972, for the purpose of setting up a Committee to plan events for the Centennial year 1974. The following were appointed at that meeting:

Ron E. Abbs, representing The Village Council; Mrs. _Iohn Gold, the Women's Institute; Mrs. Larry Bender, Bruce Packers Ltd.; Pat Nelson, Presbyterian Y.P.S.; Robert Thompson, ]unior Curling Club; Norman Hagedorn, Anglican Church; Mrs. jack Pearce, Erna Rebekah Lodge; Beverly Lustig, Paisley Central School; Wilson Gregg, Fall Fair Board; Dr. Roy Spracklin, Paisley Legion Walter Coates, Curling Club; Winston Shoemaker, Village Council; Mrs. John Vanderplas, Lawn Bowling Club; Walter Spong, I.0.0.F. Lodge and Bob Atkinson, Community Centre Board.

At a later meeting the following Committee was appointed

Standing from left: Mrs. J. Pearce, R. Spracklin, W. Coates -Treasurer, N. Hagedorn
Seated; Mrs. J. Vanderplas; E. Parker- Antiques and Audio Visual, R. Abbs - Chairman,
Mrs. Irma Bender - Sevretary, Mrs. G. Woelfle - Centennial Book Committee Chairman
Not in the Photo; Mrs. Gloria Bell & Mrs, Inez Taylor - Publicity, Mr. Lewis Coffmann - Centennial Choir Leader

Small Crowd at Kickoff Event for Centennial

A disappointingly small crowd turned out to the Memorial Arena New Year's aftemoon for the "kickoff" of a year-long program of events to mark Paisley's Centennial.

In the brief informal program, Ron Abbs, chairman of the Centennial Committee, outlined the program of activities which will be highlighted by the weekend homecoming August 2 - 5. Reeve Andy Cormack, in officially opening the Centennial Celebration, urged the public to co-operate in making 1974 a memorable year. As Reeve Cormack concluded his remarks, the switch was closed to light up a huge model Centennial birthday cake.

The Paisley girl's hockey team played to a 3-3 tie against their fathers but were declared winners on a 30-29 in shots on goal. The girls came up with a “ringer” Jocelyn Richards of Toronto, a visitor with Mr. and Mrs. Stan Edwards. Jocelyn was the star and scored all three of her team's goals in the fast, injury riddled game - the men were fast to the ice, and came out of it injured by the first physical exertion in years.

Playing for the girls were “Lily” Prues in goal, and Jeanette MacDonald, Betty James, Pat Nelson, Susan Irving, Donna Stark, Sheryl Cumming, Cindy Seiler, Betty Becker, Cindy Becker, Jocelyn Richards, Cathy Carlaw, Helen Becker, Dawna Campbell, Brenda Rae and Marg. Webb. In the fathers lineup were: Gord Becker, in goal and Bill Karcher, Ed James, Bob Cottrill, Stan Edwards, Clem Campbell, Jack Webb (an import from Cargill) and jack Seiler.

On display in the community centre was the beautifully handcrafted Centennial quilt bearing the village crest and the names of all village reeves since incorporation, on which draw tickets are being sold.

1967 Dominion Centehnial in Paisley

The highlight of the village’s Centennial celebrations took place on June 17, 1967. A steady downpour of rain which fell during the day, did not dampen the spirit of the largest crowd in many years to gather on Paisley’s main street. The parade of floats well over a mile in length, required an hour and a quarter to pass. Themes of the floats were widely diversified, depicting striking comparisons between the present and the past.

A Detroit resident, passing through the village at the time, stopped to view the floats, and in a call to the Advocate office requested a copy of the paper that would record the celebration taking place. She remarked, “It is simply remarkable that such a tiny community can stage such a remarkable display".

The most important event of the day was the official opening of Paisley’s Centennial project, a new Public Library building. Reeve George Grant of Paisley and Reeve Arthur Teasdale of Elderslie Township cut the ribbon to open the Library. A plaque in the building was unveiled by Eric Winkler of Hanover, M.P. for Grey-Bruce, and Stuart Forrester of Paisley, representing the warden who was unable to attend. Also taking part in the ceremony were John Murdoch, chairman of the Library Board, and Beverly Lustig, chairman of the Centennial Committee.

Construction of the library was made possible by a bequest of the late ]ames Steele, the township of Elderslie, the village of Paisley, the province of Ontario, and the government of Canada.


Paisley Rotary Club accepted responsibility of the project of floodlighting the Boettger Dam at the confluence of the Saugeen and Teeswater Rivers in the centre of the village. Though no government grant was available, the floodlighting was accepted as a centennial project, secondary to the construction of the Centennial Library. Through the help of donations this project was completed and the lights were turned on in 1967.

Many interesting heirlooms were on display in store windows and in the Oddfellows’ Hall. Church services, dedication ceremonies, variety concerts, crowning of a Centennial Queen (Patricia Anderson), a beard-growing contest, and dances all contributed to make “Centennial Year” a memorable occasion.

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An Historic Album of Paisley
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