The Grand River, a Canadian Heritage River, has played an integral part in the development of the Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations and New Credit communities. The river valley is steeped in stories, traditions and history. In 1784, Captain Joseph Thayendanegea Brant, a Mohawk Chief, led the Six Nations people from upper New York State to the Grand River basin, a shallow crossing spot. Here, they made their village, which is now known as Brantford. The prosperity of the 19th and early 20th centuries, due to Brantford's large manufacturing industry, is reflected in the historical architecture found in older city districts where Victorian mansions line streets, and magnificent churches, theatres and commercial buildings echo of details of the past.
The Grand River also played a significant role in the settlement patterns throughout the County of Brant. The rich agricultural lands in the watershed attracted settlers from the United States and Europe. The initial focus on farming and related industries led to the growth of hamlets, villages, and towns throughout the County. Today the communities of Burford, St. George, and Paris are thriving with boutiques, specialty shops, and antique havens showcasing Brant County antiquities for the avid collector.