Our earliest records show our Chamber of Commerce was operating in 1949, but the group didn’t become "official" until May 17, 1951. Thirty local gentlemen, including four farmers, a doctor, a veterinarian, several merchants, clerks, contractors and even an undertaker, signed their names on the document and the group became The Dutton and Dunwich Chamber of Commerce. The President and Vice-President were required to swear an oath of office before the mayor, reeve or justice of the peace, according to the first by-laws.
Upon examination of the early records, it appears that ten dollars was collected from everyone, and their first community event seems to have been a baseball tournament. Another recorded event in those early days was the purchase and sale of chickens! Here we are many years later still collecting a small sum from our members, turning it back into the community and we are all the better for it.
In that first document, these men all agreed that "The object of the Dutton and Dunwich Chamber of Commerce shall be to promote the Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural and Civic welfare of Dutton and the surrounding district." In short, they cared about their community. Today, the municipalities of The Town of Dutton and The Township of Dunwich have blended into one municipality called Dutton/Dunwich and the Chamber is so-called because of that melding; but it has never wavered in its efforts to make our community, whatever it may be called, a good place to be.
Historical Footnote - the following article was found among the Chamber memorabilia. Unfortunately the author is not known, but we thank him. Bev Galbraith, Former President, The Dutton and Dunwich Chamber of Commerce
There was a Dutton Businessmen's Association before the village was incorporated. In April of 1890 this group had a project of beautifying the yards and streets. They planted sapling(sic) maples along the streets. An editorial asked why maples only were planted. "What was wrong with chestnut, ash and evergreens?"
These maples are 100 years old and some of them still grace the streets of the village. Over the last two decades many of these maples have disappeared and have been replaced by trees of various species by the village council. This association made petitions to council concerning the safety at the railway crossing, lamplighting on Main Street, fire protection and sprinkling Main Street with water during the summer to keep down the dust. In April of 1901 a Board of Trade was formed to promote present businesses and encourage new ones to locate here, The Board of Trade must have lapsed because in March of 1912 it was reformed. How long this organization lasted is not known. The present Chamber of Commerce was officially organized in February of 1950.
Many good people have written in these ledgers and turned the pages of these books. Here’s to those who came before.
Notice the horse and buggy, and misspelled name
Remember When? (1993)
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