Westlake Historical Society
1371 A Clague Rd, Westlake, OH 44145


Those wishing to sponsor a brick for the Miner Memorial Planter please call 440-471-4090 

Born John Thomas Miner on April 10, 1865, in Dover Center (Westlake), Ohio, he and his family moved in 1878 to Canada.

Their home would be a free homestead at Gosfield South Township (part of Essex County), near Kingsville, Ontario. Miner's parents had emigrated from Leicestershire, England in the mid-1800s, and John Thomas was the second of ten children. He did not receive a formal education, and was illiterate until the age of 33. In the 1880s he worked as a trapper and hunter to supplement his family's business income in the manufacture of tiles and bricks (from a claybed on their land).

Miner's first experiments with conservation took the form of erecting brushwood shelters and providing grain to BobwhitQuail , which seemed to have difficulty surviving the winter. He also raised Ringnecked Pheasants.  At last, he noticed that Canadian geese were stopping at ponds on his land in spring, on their migration northward.

In 1904, Miner created a pond on his farm with seven clipped, tame Canadian Geese, hoping to attract wild geese. It would take four years of effort before the wild geese finally began to settle at Miner's sanctuary. In 1911 and onwards, geese and ducks were arriving in large numbers, and Miner increased the size of his pond. In 1913, the entire homestead had become a bird sanctuary. The provincial government of Ontario provided funding for Miner's project, allowing him to add evergreen  trees and shrubs, and to dig more ponds and surround them with sheltering groves.




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