photo of store with lodge upstairs and post office attached on the side


Early established villages were mainly along the river.  By 1846, Sutherland’s Landing (halfway between present-day Mooretown and Courtright) was already a thriving village.  In the early 1850s, however, James Bâby surveyed part of his farm into the village of Moore (later Mooretown).  When Bâby was awarded one of the first four post offices in Lambton County, Moore began to outgrow Sutherland’s.  By 1869, Mooretown was home to 17 businesses and 450 residents. 

Following the great oil boom in Oil Springs, Mooretown also played a part in the oil industry, but only briefly.  In 1862, Josiah Smith built an oil refinery at Mooretown.  Wagons or sleighs brought the oil from Oil Springs to be stored in underground tanks until needed for the refinery.  An anticipated plank road from Oil Springs to Mooretown was never built, however, so the refinery closed.  Later, a salt block was established on the refinery site.

For more information, A History of the Village of Mooretown, 1800 to 1900, by Isabella C. Finlayson is downloadable on this page.

photo of industrial complex


photo of group of men in work clothing


photo of street in Mooretown, with two storey hotel on left side


photo of church of dark wood with very tall spire

photo of interior of a church with pews, organ and oil lamp chandeliers

photo of rolling land, with people in foreground and Trinity Church in background


photo of white frame church with centre tower


photo of a church building no longer in use with deterioration and long grass in front


photo of three storey mill building by river


photo of two storey wooden school building


photo of small brick jail with two windows and woman standing in front


photo of military men on horses


photo of man holding blacksmithing tools and wearing leather apron


photo of train crossing a bridge over a creek


photo of two storey house with two women and a man in front