(Moore Line near Telfer Road)
In the early days of Moore Township, when waterways provided the easiest means of travel, the earliest inland settlement occurred where Bear Creek provided transportation.
Bear Creek settlement began with the first arrivals from Ireland in 1832, but in spite of the first settler being Irish, Bear Creek was almost exclusively a Scottish settlement. The year 1834 saw the arrival of many Scottish settlers and immigration from that country continued throughout the 1840s and 1850s.
The history of Bear Creek is closely tied to the history of Bear Creek Presbyterian Church. By 1839, Presbyterian services were conducted occasionally by itinerant preachers, but by 1855 the first Bear Creek Presbyterian Church building was constructed. The cemetery actually predates the church building, as land was acquired in 1845 for a cemetery and future church site.
This first building burned in 1867 and a new building was erected the following year. This was used until 1909 when a more modern building was desired by the congregation. This building was opened in 1910 and served the congregation until 1987, when a declining number of members led to the closing of the church. Today, all that remains of Bear Creek settlement is the cemetery and a cairn marking the location of the church – and the wealth of Scottish names on mailboxes in this area of Lambton.
Carter, Beatrice Long. “The First Scots at Bear Creek”. Lambton Centennial Series, No. 5. Sarnia Canadian Observer, Oct. 9, 1948, pg. 8.
Finlayson, Isabella C. History of Bear Creek Presbyterian Church, 1843 – 1933. [s.l.]: [s.n.], (1933).
History of Bear Creek Presbyterian Church, 1843 – 1955. [s.l.]: [s.n.], (1955).
McBean, Queenie. History of Bear Creek Presbyterian Church, 1843 – 1987. [s.l.]: [s.n.], (1987).