Playfairville was originally known as Playfair, Playfair Corners, Mills, or Rapids. It is located at the junction of McDonald’s Corners Road and Fallbrook Road, west of Perth, Ontario. It was named after Lieutenant Andrew William Playfair of the 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot.
He was granted 600 acres of land after his service as a lieutenant in the War of 1812-1815 with the 104th Regiment of Foot 1 At least 300 acres were in the Perth Military Settlement. On his original land grant at the rapids along the ‘Little’ Mississippi, Playfair built a dam, and established lumber, grist and carding mills. Housing, a store, hotel, post office, blacksmith shop, stable and Methodist church were also built. An iron ore mine was built located off Iron Mine Road. The mills and mine operated until the forests and iron ore were depleted. 2
Only the stone hearth chimney of Playfair’s original house and stone remnants of the dam remain along the river. However, Playfair Manor, a Georgian Loyalist-style stone house built in 1830 by Lt Col Andrew Playfair and his son ‘Big’ John Playfair on a bend of the ‘Little’ Mississippi still stands. 3 It is no longer owned by any descendants of Playfair.