This river, and the falls, is the reason that a settlement grew to become Elora, Ontario. Roswell Matthews built a house here, in 1817, at a time when there was nothing but wilderness from here all the way to Lake Huron.
By 1858, enough people had settled in the area, to incorporate the town of Elora.
Elora was named by Captain William Gilkison, who had been a ship's captain, as were all his brothers. His youngest brother was Captain John Gilkison, and some of his voyages took him to Bombay, India. In 1931 he got a new ship, which he named Elora, after the Cave Temples in India. Captain William Gilkison, subsequently named this fledgling settlement beside the Grand river "Elora" after his brother's ship.
In those days, water-powered mills were the magnets that created communities. But now people come to Elora for striking scenery, to find the interesting and unusual, to enjoy fine dining and cultural events, and for adventure and excitement. They also come to view the many landmarks of history--the fine stone buildings, still in use, where the first doctors, stonemasons, and carpenters lived. These early residents lived in the times of the Crimean War, the Fenian raids, and the American Civil War.
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