Merrickville like most of the settlements on the Rideau river system developed beside falls or rapids which provided the water power to drive early development. In the 1790s, William Merrick a United Empire Loyalist received a Crown grant and built a saw mill, around which grew the community then known as Merrick’s Mills.
The Rideau Canal opened in 1832 and the commerce it brought stimulated the community’s growth and, in 1860 the Village of Merrickville was incorporated. As the railways grew, other locations were chosen as divisional junctions and by the 1880s Merrickville’s period of major growth had ended. From then until the 1960s the village slumbered in relative obscurity.
As a result, Merrickville’s unique character and architecture survived many of the ravages of modernization. And so, today it exists as a modern village with a naturally preserved 19th century flavour.