I specialize in helping my clients find homes in the Saugeen Shores area (Southampton & Port Elgin). I can help you look for your dream home, cottage or investment property.
Saugeen Shores is the almalgamation of the Towns of Port Elgin and Southampton.
Southampton is a community of approximately 3000 people on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada, located at the mouth of the Saugeen River.
Although Southampton still has its own post office, it became part of the municipality of Saugeen Shores in the 1990s. Saugeen Shores is made up of Southampton, Port Elgin, and the former Township of Saugeen. The community of Southampton continues to expand. It has become a retirement destination, as well as a tourist destination. It is within 40 kilometers of Bruce Power nuclear power station.
This area is famous for its fabulous sunsets. Every Friday night in July and August you can hear the skirl of a bagpiper under the giant flag at the foot of High Street, a tradition which started in the late 1990’s. Also in July and August you can meet at the flag on Tuesday and Wednesday at sunset and take in a ghost walk! Walk with the ghost walkers and listen to chilling tales of Southampton's past. This makes for a wonderful summer experience for all. During the summer and early fall, the beaches are full of people who have come to see the colourful sunsets lighting up the sky over the lake. Southampton, a popular summer getaway, is close to Chantry Island, Port Elgin, Saugeen First Nation and Sauble Beach.
Southampton is undergoing some major changes, you might say we’ve been Discovered! We have people moving here from a wide variety of areas to enjoy the laid back lifestyle that Southampton has to offer. What a fabulous town to retire in! In the last few years we have had some high end boutique stores added to Southamptons eclectic downtown core. Stores like Sisters on Huron, the Cooks Cupboard, Infinite Lingerie compliment establishments like the Outlaw Brew Company, Armens Cafe, Duffy’s Fish & Chips, The Walker House and more. There are many summer activities to participate in while in Southampton. These include: canoe and kayaking on the river (Thorncrest Outfitters can help you with sales or rentals), biking the railway trail (Martins Bicycles), swimming, sailing, or just spending time amid the dunes on the wide sandy beach. There is an active Tennis Club with three separate court locations in town, and several golf courses in town and nearby.
Recently, a historically significant shipwreck was discovered on the beach. Relics of the "General Hunter" can be found in the Bruce County Museum.
Southampton was also home to one of the last Gaelic speaking communities in Ontario. As late as the 1930s, the language was still used in everyday speech by local fishermen.
Southampton was named after Southampton, the English sea port.
The first known human settlement within Port Elgin’s town limits was a Huron and Petun First Nations community, established around 1340. The Nodwell Indian Site was named after the farmer who plowed and discovered what was originally believed to be a campsite. Excavated in 1971, the site contained twelve long houses and a double palisade. It is believed the site was home to 500 people. The village was only occupied for a brief period of time, approximately 20 years.
When European settlement began, Lachlin (Loch Buie) McLean was one of the first to arrive in Port Elgin as a squatter. He built a shanty north of present day Market St . This early dwelling later turned into a tavern where settlers of surrounding townships could rest on the way up to Southampton . In 1852, George Butchart built a dam and sawmill (that would now be inside town limits). Soon after that, a grist mill was constructed. A group of men, mostly of German decent, settled the farm lots which they then wished to have surveyed into town lots.
In 1855, Port Elgin contained seven houses of which two were taverns. The first pier was built in 1857 helping increase trade, especially with Goderich and Southampton. Within the first years of settlement, there was a wagon maker, blacksmith, sawmill, brick maker, woolen mill and one doctor.
In 1873, the village was incorporated, and the arrival of the train brought more trade and people. In that year, the town was home to 941 people.
Port Elgin has been affected by war, as with every community across Canada and the World. In 1866, many local men volunteered in response to fear of Fenian attacks in Southwestern Ontario . Again, in the Riel Rebellion and the Boer War, Port Elgin men were involved in conflict. In World War One and Two, over twenty-five men from Port Elgin lost their lives.
The first wood frame public school was built in 1854. In the next twenty years, population increased and a new brick school was needed in 1875. Over the years, many changes have occurred in the elementary school system and today Port Elgin has three primary schools; Northport Elementary, St. Joseph’s Catholic and Saugeen Central.
Port Elgin has always been a tourist destination. Evidence of this started in the 1880’s with passenger boats largely from the U.S. visiting this area. Tourism continues today in Port Elgin as one of the town’s main industries. Thousands of visitors come to the area for year-round recreation and to participate in festivals such as Pumpkinfest and its famous Antique and Classic Car Show or the Canadian Big Band Festival. The town was named after James Bruce, Eighth Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, who was Governor General of Canada from 1846 to 1854.