Villages – Ashton

ASHTON

The village of Ashton is situated at the corner of  Flewellyn Road and Ashton Station Road, Ashton belden about 40 kilometres from downtown  Ottawa. The Ashton Station Road serves as the southwest boundary of the City of Ottawa and runs right through the middle of the village, thereby placing half of Ashton in the next-door township of Beckwith and half of it in Ottawa.

Ashton began its life in 1818 with a few former soldiers from the 100th regiment who had received land grants there.  Early settlers were Joseph Stenzel who farmed  100 acres just outside the site of the present village,  and John Stewart, whose oldest son Neil later became a Reeve of Goulbourn Township where Ashton was then situated.  But it wasn’t until the middle of the 1820’s that a settler arrived who brought some prosperity and growth to the little village by building a mill and then engaging in lumbering on the Jock River that flowed through the village.  This was John Sumner who also established a “pot-ashery” and opened a general store.  People began to call the village Sumner’s Corner but when Ashton’s first post office was established in 1851,  John Sumner was the first Postmaster and he preferred to name the settlement after Ashton-Under Lyme, a small village on the rolling Sussex Downs, as a tribute to his English ancestry, of which he was very proud.  So Ashton was adopted as the village name.

Ashton has a number of historical buildings that are worthy of note. Its original Anglican church is a stone building built in 1845 complemented by its historic graveyard.  The church is not in use but is designated as a heritage structure.  Beside it is the present-day Christ Church Ashton, built in 1915.  Ashton also has a historic Presbyterian church, now converted into a residence,   and a more modern United Church.  Its most interesting building is its General Store, built originally in 1879, and partially destroyed by fire in 1908 and rebuilt in that year in its present form.  It is a handsome stone building with a verandah and a mansard roof and it has a heritage designation.  It served as a store, a Post Office and community gathering place for many years  but is quiet these days.  There are other log buildings of interest in Ashton as well, and its Pub, although located on the west side of the Ottawa boundary line, is a popular meeting place for people near and far.