The Robinson Treaty of 1850, the area which was to become Laird Township was part of the original Reserve set apart for the Indians in recognition of their services. The total area at the time encompassed ”the eastern and northern shores of Lake Huron from Penetanguishene to Sault Ste. Marie thence to Batchewana Bay on the northern shore of Lake Superior together with the islands in the said lakes opposite to the shores thereof, and inland to the height of land which separates the territory covered by the charter of the Hudson’s Bay Company.” (1) It appears that for a sum of 2,000 pounds gold, paid to the chiefs at that time, and a further perpetual annuity of 600 pounds gold, this same land was purchased back by the Crown except for all lands which were designated as Reservations.

The description of the area is as follows: Laird is bounded on the north by the Township of MacDonald, on the east by the Townships of Tarbutt and Johnson, on the west and south by Lake George. It was subdivided into sections and quarter sections in 1875, by A. S. Forest, Provincial Land Surveyor. The total area of land is 24,632 acres. The surveyor reports that there is a considerable quantity of good land in this township – the soil being chiefly a loamy clay: there are also several tracts of open prairie land. The timber is cedar, spruce, tamarack, balsam and poplar, and hardwood composed of birch and maple – there is not much pine. (2)

In 1877 the Report of the Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs states there were 22,900 acres of land in Laird still unsold, selling price was from .50 cents to $1.00 per acre, with 2/5ths to be paid in cash, the balance in 3 annual installments with Interest at 6%.

There has been much conjecture about the origin of the name, Laird. One speculation was that it was named after a certain David Laird, who was the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwest Company. The second possibility was that the name was designated to the township by Judge Walter McCrae, after Robert C. Laird, who was the second Magistrate of Sault Ste. Marie. We now have documented proof that the Crown Land Inspector for this area at the time was a Mr. J. Laird, who in 1872 submitted an expense account for inspecting the township in the amount of $40.00. The gentleman was an older brother of the aforementioned David Laird, who was born In New Glasgow, Nova Scotia In 1825, and died in 1898. Laird Township is named after this family.

The usual procedure in incorporating a new township was by court order by the Judge of the District. Then a “Quieting Order” would be given to quell any dissenters. After any and all objections had been dealt with, the said Judge would issue a decree to the effect that a township was incorporated, and pursuant to that notice, usually within a couple of weeks, the first council meeting would be held. Whether or not the office of Reeve was chosen by the Judge or by the residents is not certain. However, the first Council Meeting of Laird Township was held March 7, 1891 and consisted of Reeve – John Armstrong; Clerk – William H. Evoy; Councillors – Robert Murray, William McBain, William Hollingsworth, and Thomas Bruce.

(1) Robinson Treaty – September 9, 1850
(2) The Undeveloped Lands In Northern and Western Ontario, by Murphy.

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More Information About The Beginning Of Laird Township
Laird History Volume Two – The “Laird” Name
Laird History Volume Two – Laird Government