Early Days of Mosa Township

The most southwest of Middlesex County’s townships, Mosa Township was initially part of a much larger parcel of land including parts of Kent and Lambton Counties. Surveyor Mahlon Burwell indicated that there was some confusion regarding the naming of the township, first designated as township D and then briefly as Aragon. Finally, the name Mosa, a derivative of the Spanish word Musa (muse). However the Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland decided to name the township Mosa, after the Maas river.

Mosa Township
The belated 200th anniversaries of the Townships of Mosa and Ekfrid and the 150th anniversary of the Village of Glencoe will be commemorated at the Glencoe and District Historical Society Archives on Saturday, July 15, 2023 during Tartan Days.

There were four families squatting or settled in the area near present-day Wardsville when Burwell surveyed the township in 1820 prior to its purchase from the Chippewayan First Nations People. Each of these squatters was required to petition for the land on which they had settled and begun to improve. The population of Mosa grew rapidly in the early 1820s, with a total of 125 inhabitants by the end of 1823, largely in the Wardsville area.

The year 1827 signalled the beginning of the Scottish settlement of the northern part of the township. By 1841, Mosa Township had become largely a Presbyterian community owing to the influx of these Scottish Settlers.

By 1841, the early settlement of Mosa Township was nearly complete, although much “wild land,” or land not yet taken up, remained. Another century would pass before the last lot of land was granted by the Crown.

By 1850, Mosa had 1,775 residents, two grist and two saw mills, one fulling mill and one carding machine in operation. The only large settlement was Wardsville, then boasting 200 inhabitants. Wardsville was incorporated as its own entity in 1867.

Over 200 years later, agriculture remains the main focus in the former Township of Mosa with the descendants of many early settlers remaining in the community today. Mosa, Wardsville, Ekfrid and Glencoe amalgamated to become Southwest Middlesex in 2001.

Published on G&DHS Facebook Page: Harold Carruthers and Marie Williams