Looking back over Lambton County's 150 years, it is hard to imagine that a district so rich in history, people and industry could have such a humble beginning.
Until the 1830s, Lambton was mainly frontier. In 1834, only 1,728 people resided in Lambton which, at that time, was the northern part of Kent County. The population almost doubled by 1836.
The population tended to increase in spurts. By 1851, two years after Lambton received its name officially, 10,815 people resided here. In 1852, Lambton completely severed boundaries have remained unchanged since 1853.
Even though this area was one of the last regions in Southwestern Ontario to be settled, development and settlement progressed rapidly. The natural resources, extensive waterways, forests, and rich agricultural soils, attracted many poor immigrants from the British Isles. Those seeking a better life were lured by the prospect of cheap land. Eventually other settlers, disillusioned by life in eastern regions of the provinces, also made their way to Lambton.
Many of the county's first farmers supplemented their income by selling forest products and about 70 per cent of area residents were farmers. By 1861, the population had reached 24,835 and the principal crops were wheat, peas, pork and cattle.
With the start of the "oil boom" in 1858, the railway arrived, the shipping industry expanded and ferry service to the U.S. was formed. All of these services greatly enhanced the agricultural industry.
Today, only a fraction of the population of Lambton County are farmers. However, the agricultural industry has survived and, at times, prospered.