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In 1813 James Crooks located his homestead and business above the escarpment at what is now known as Crooks Hollow.
He first started a store and grist mill, then a saw-mill, general store, blacksmith's shop and other businesses to service the growing agricultural community along the escarpment.
By 1812 there were 200 people living in Dundas along the four main streets; Dundas (Governor's Road) Hatt, York, and Hare (later King Street).
Road connections improved over the next 40 years allowing further commerce and travel.
Tanneries provided leather goods while paper goods, furniture and carriages were produced from local lumber.
The two mainstays of Dundas manufacturing also started in this era: textiles and foundries.
The Dundas Forge building (1846) dates from this period. The town included a post office, a registry office, a courthouse, a jail, and nine churches.
Settlers were attracted to the ready power source provided by Spencer Creek and the excellent soil.
The Dundas region came under the control of the British in 1759 after the fall of Quebec.
Shortly thereafter, Loyalists started to arrive and colonize the area as "authorized squatters".
Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe arrived in Upper Canada in 1792 with ambitious plans for organizing the new province into a strong British colony that would provide a lawful and prosperous society in contrast to the rebellious Americans.
The Dundas Valley was placed in the Home District, one of many district created in Ontario, as an important link in the planned inland defense system to be created by connecting Lake Simcoe, London, Kingston and York (Toronto).