The rise of ground on which Richmond Hill stands was a natural stopping place for travellers on Yonge Street. And, in the 1800s, a settlement began to appear on the hill as Squire Abner Miles built a log house and opened a hotel for travellers. Miles soon became the hill’s most prominent resident and the inhabitants at this time decided to honour him by naming the settlement Miles Hill. It is presumed the hill remained know as Miles Hill until Abner Miles death in 1806, at which time it was changed to Mount Pleasant.
According to legend, in 1819, the Village was renamed Richmond Hill in honour of Charles Gordon Lennex, the fourth Duke of Richmond and the Governor General of British North America (now Canada). When the Duke stopped on the hill to rest and feed his horses during one of his trips up Yonge Street, he spoke with the workmen who were building the Presbyterian Church. Those who talked to Mr. Lennox found him very charming and pleasant. The crest and the motto of the Richmond Family were officially adopted by the Town in the 1920s.
Heritage Services is a part of the Community Services department of the Town of Richmond Hill. We offer a variety of services dedicated to the highlighting the rich history of the Richmond Hill community. This includes offering programs, events and workshops, cirrculum based programming for schools and community groups, we feature changing exhibits showcasing the history of Richmond Hill and display many unique artifacts. Finally Heritage Services maintains a collection of historically significant artifacts from the early 19th century to present time. The efforts of Heritage Services can be seen throughout the town. Exhibits and Programming are presented at many of the Town’s Community Centres and Heritage Homes, take in our outdoor Museum of the Streets exhibit, the Doors Open event, investigate our archeaology history at the A.J. Clark Interpretive Centre and our pride and joy The Richmond Hill Heritage Centre on Church Street.