Long ago when Tillsonburg was just getting started, Bloomer Street, where George Tillson built his Bloomery Forge, was our main street, but as the town grew homes and businesses moved up Oxford Street and then from the south end of Broadway going north.
By the 1850s Washington Grand Avenue was pretty much the limit of our little village. From Washington Grand Ave, only Broadway went north with a few homes on it. All stopped at Concession Street, which became the northern town limit for many years. This is where Hardy’s Mill Pond started, today known as Lake Lisgar.
The following is a story is of an event that would have occurred prior to 1854. It was recorded by Nancy Tillson VanNorman, granddaughter foundress of Tillsonburg, Nancy Tillson. They are her words with my helpful hints are in Italics.
“One day ma (Harriett Tillson), grandmother (Nancy Tillson), and her daughter Mary Ann Charlotte wished to visit Aunt Mary Chase, the ‘lend a hand’ neighbor who lived a few miles out on the Ingersoll road. Returning, darkness came on before 11th Concession was reached. Grandmother’s mount (the horse was also named Nancy) was an Indian hater of the first degree and would sense their presence if anywhere near; now knew the signs and bolted. The others followed suit but brought their riders home. The missing horse was soon found, but it required an hour or more of search with lanterns before the rider was discovered between logs at about the intersection of Bidwell and Baldwin streets, unconscious and with a broken arm.”