The “confluence” of Confluence Field Trips is that of Dick’s Creek and Twelve Mile Creek – you can see it in the header image on the Choose a Field Trip page and you will pass by it when walking on the old steel-span bridge during Confluence Field Trip #1.

All three walks are in Canal Valley and many locals refer to the waterway as the “Old Welland Canal”; I grew up knowing it that way. In fact it is the main part of Dick’s Creek, which was used for the first and second Welland Canal and it interests me that we know it by its commercial/industrial name and use, not by the natural feature.

Dick’s Creek is almost certainly named for Richard Pierpoint, an escaped slave, Butler’s Ranger and petitioner responsible for the Coloured Corps in the War of 1812 in which he fought in his late 60s. There are numerous pages and links on this website about Richard Pierpoint; go to the Explore pages. (Here are direct links to the Timeline page and the map showing the lots awarded to him in 1791 because of his soldiering in Butler’s Rangers, who were a British guerrilla unit fighting the Americans in the American Revolution.)

I was surprised to learn in my research that Dick’s Creek is much more than the main tributary I knew, but runs throughout most of south St. Catharines. The map below shows in blue where Dick’s Creek is currently evident above ground. Our cities have of course been built over natural features and many cities have buried creeks and wetlands.

Within the walks, you can see one place where Dick’s Creek goes underground right at the headgate pictured on the Confluence Field Trip #2 page. It emerges just downstream of the confluence.

Dick's Creek 3