Once defined as “a fine settlement and a pleasant situation,” the village features many original Upper Canadian settlements with one notable exception: until the mid-1830s the village occupied Six Nations territory.
Situated in the 5,000 acre Mount Pleasant Tract established by Mohawk leader Captain Joseph Brant, the village stretched along the Long Point Trail, an old native hunting trail running south to Lake Erie.
Many of its first settlers were Americans who left after the revolution. Some, like village founder Henry Ellis, came because of support to the British. Others, like the village’s other founder, Amos Sturgis, chose a fresh beginning.
The founders and their families journeyed together from their former homes in Pennsylvania. When they arrived in 1799 at the height of land above Brant’s Fording Place on the Grand River, they pronounced their new home Mount Pleasant to honor of Henry Ellis’ memories of his birthplace in Wales.