Ebenezer Griffin - the founder of Waterdown
It was the arrival of entrepreneur Ebenezer Culver Griffin in 1823, purchasing over half of Alexander Brown's property, that marked the true beginning of the Village of Waterdown. It was Griffin that had his property surveyed into village lots in 1830.
The name "Waterdown"
A local story credits Ebenezer Griffin with giving Waterdown its name. A prohibitionist, Griffin did not approve of the vast quantities of alcohol being consumed during the Victorian Age, including the whiskey used to christened new mills. During the christening of one of Griffin's mills the carpenter called out for its name and someone in the crowd called out "Hey Ebenezer, throw that water down." The carpenter heard the name "Waterdown" and it was given to the mill and soon adopted by the emerging village. It is important to note that Alexander Brown did not share Griffin's displeasure of alcohol.
Waterdown was born out of the Industrial Revolution. Thanks to the plan drawn up by Ebenezer Griffin, settlers and industrialists rooted themselves in village life. Mills grew along the banks of Grindstone Creek (especially in the area known as Smokey Hollow - given this name because of all the smog caused by the many complexes) as individuals like William P. Howland arrived to make their fortune. By 1879 the settlement was severed from the Township of East Flamborough and incorporated as a Village in its own right with quarrier Charles Sealey as its first reeve. Waterdown remained its own municipality until it was absorbed into the Township of Flamborough in 1974.
Waterdown, and its associated Great Falls, (also called Grindstone Falls, so named for the Grindstone Creek that feeds it, or Smokey Hollow Falls, so named for the smoke rising from the hollow from the mills, or Barnes' Falls, named after the Barnes family who owned the property until 1978), are located on the local portion of the Bruce Trail System in Ontario. Many national and regionally rare flora species grow in the natural areas of Waterdown.
Furthermore, Waterdown also has many wetland trails in the eastern end of town which are well marked and have informational signage.