Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections
457 Ninth Line, Oakville, Canadian Inventory of Heritage Buildings, 1971
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457 Ninth Line, Oakville, Canadian Inventory of Heritage Buildings, 1971

Ninth Line below Upper Middle Road was renamed Ford Drive, in honour of the Ford Motor Company manufacturing plant that came to Trafalgar Township in the 1950's. An article in the Daily Journal Record, August 14, 1963 p.1, has the title "Ford gets road move Ninth Line" which indicates how the plant changed local roads. Looking at road maps today, we can see Ford Drive no longer follows the original surveyed straight Ninth Line to Lake Ontario, but curves around the Ford plant property. Today, 457 Ninth Line is 457 Maple Grove Drive. When Parks Canada photographed it in 1971, the owners were Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Hooey and the name of the house was "Hill Top House". The original owner was James Wesley Hill, and the house was estimated to have been built in 1865. The house is described as being "gothic revival". James Wesley Hill was a slave who escaped into Canada in a packing case. In addition to making his life and raising his family in the Oakville/Trafalgar Township area, he personally made trips guiding others fleeing slavery along the Underground Railroad into Canada. In Montgomery County, Maryland he is remembered as "Canada Jim". He owned this property, a strawberry farm. His story by "Oakville Images" is linked to this record for your further information.