For almost 150 years this place has been called Acton. It was 1844 when Robert Swan, our first postmaster, suggested this name to replace "Adamsville" (chosen in honour of the founders) and the original name, "Dansville".
Acton was settled in 1825 by the Rev. Ezra, Rev. Zenas, and Rufus Adams. Saddlebag Methodist preachers, they retired to farm and rebuilt their strength, returning to the circuit in 1830.
Acton adopted the theme of "Leathertown" in recent years and with good reason. The tanning industry began in 1842 under Abraham Nelles. By 1865, the Beardmore Tanning Company, a Hamilton tanner since 1844, purchased the business and became an integral part of the village.
They built employee housing, tennis courts, a bowling green, a golf course, boathouse, ran a cooperative store, and the village outdoor arena on Frederick Street. At o ne time the tannery proclaimed itself as the largest in the British Empire. Canada Packers purchased it in 1944, operating under the Beardmore name until they closed it o n Sept. 12, 1986.