Hereward History

About Hereward

The Hamlet of Hereward was established in the late 1860's which is now known as East Garafraxa.  Our family has been farming in this area for over 5 generations and in 2021, planted 3,000 lavender plants and make spa-quality infused lavender products.

"Hereward" took its name from fiction.  "Hereward the Wake" published in 1866, was a bestselling historical romance for English author Charles Kingsley. It recounted the adventurous life of Hereward, the son of Lady Godiva, and his exile as a "wake" or outlaw in the last days of Saxon England, his two marriages, his rebellion against the Conqueror and his eventual capitulation to the King and restoration as lord of the Manor.


At the corner of the 9th Line and 15 Sideroad (County Road 5), on the road to Belwood, a solitary house is the only tangible reminder of the Hamlet of Hereward. The old home is the last of the cluster of buildings that surrounded the intersection and formed the heart of an active rural community.

Alex Burnett (Stephen's Great-Great Uncle) came from Antrim Ireland with his brother John (Stephen's Great-Great-Grandfather) around the time of the potato famine.  Alex owned "The Rossin House" hotel at Hereward, on east half lot 16, Concession 9, Garafraxa.  He also had the Post Office for a time and lived on the west half, lot 16, Concession 10


John Burnett and Sarah Phair married on December 24, 1862 and lived on Sarah's Father's farm west half, lot 3, Concession 9, Garafraxa. Sarah and John had eight children with four dying in infancy. John had visited Ireland in 1887 and returned to Canada in poor health. He died the following year.

Hereward 1867-1913
Hamlet of Hereward

This was a great little find from the Museum of Dufferin that was sent to us by a friend when she was searching through archives.

**Another interesting fact is that this postcard is written by a member of Stephen's ancestors!!

The postcard features the Southside of Broadway in Orangeville and is dated October 22, 1914, and has a postmark from the Hereward Post Office.

"Black and white postcard of the business district on the south side of Broadway in Orangeville from John Street to Mill Street.  One green Canada postage stamp on the back top corner.

Inscription on the back handwritten, brown ink:

"Miss Martha Graham, Acton, Ontario

Oct 5 22

Arrived safely about six o'clock tonight. About five miles out of Acton it poured and we thought we were going to have to seek shelter for the night but got along fine" - Mamie

Postmark: Hereward, Ont.

Inscription - Postal Frank, Hereward 1914

Studio: Phillips and Wrinch Ltd.

Link to the file here

Main Street Orangeville 1914
Hereward Post Office 1914