History of Coniston

The Town of Coniston is located 7 miles (11.27 km) east of Sudbury in the former Neelon Township. Neelon (named for Sylvester Neelon, an M.P.P. for Lincoln County) can trace its origins back to 1883 when the first survey was conducted.

The first family to move to what would become Coniston were the Butlers in 1902. John and Peter Butler, along with their parents, cleared approximately 18 acres of land on either side of the creek where they built their farm. By 1904, five more families had come to the area and were growing hay, rye, and oats.

After the completion of the survey in 1905, many positive developments started happening for the area. The Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) began constructing its railway line through the eastern portion of Coniston near where the Canadian Pacific Railway main line was established in 1883. As well, the St. Clair Construction Company established the Coniston Woodworks Lumber Mill in the area to help meet the demands for lumber in the railway industry. By this point, twenty families had settled in Coniston, many of whom were workers on the CNR line from Capreol to Coniston who chose to put down roots in the developing community. By 1908, the CPR had built the Toronto-Romford line through Coniston and with two major railway companies running lines through the area, industrial business started to expand.

Up until this time, the community of Coniston was without a name and since the residents were attempting to gain postal service to the area, the villagers began the process of naming their town. Many suggestions were provided, including "Town of Neelon" by Dennis O'Brien, but the winning suggestion was that of Coniston as made by railway superintendent T.R. Johnson. Mr. Johnson had come up with this name while reading a novel set in a place called "Coniston Lake district of northwestern England."* The townspeople liked the name and so the formerly unnamed community within the Township of Neelon became known as the Village of Coniston.



*The Coniston Historical Group. The Coniston Story. c1983.

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