This page describes the St. Davids Ratepayers Association and provides this link to our Join & Pay page where you can sign up and pay your membership fee.
Who are we?
The S.t Davids Ratepayers Association (“SDRA”) is an non-profit organization based in St. Davids, a beautiful and historic village in the municipality of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada. See us on Google Maps: St. Davids Ontario. Our mission is illustrated by the following extract from the SDRA constitution:
“The Association will endeavour to represent the interests of the property owners in the Village of St. Davids by enabling members to have an input into the governance of Niagara-on-the-Lake in areas that affect the quality of life of St. Davids residents. The Association will promote initiatives in other areas to improve the quality of life in St. Davids.”
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You will see the SDRA logo at the top of every page on this website. It was formally adopted by the Association’s board of directors on February 10th, 2015. Here is how we developed it:
In 2005 and 2007, St Davids Ratepayers organized a St Davids Heritage Day, at which a “Chronological History of St Davids” booklet was sold. The booklet was compiled by Ed Wilkinson (1937-2006), one-time President of the SDRA and a very active member of our community. Its front cover featured a Butler’s Ranger, whose image was a reproduction of a painting by Garth Dittrick, the great-great-great grandson of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick, a Butler’s Ranger.
Today the Board of Directors considers the Butler’s Ranger to be a highly appropriate symbol of the heritage of our community. The following extract from their history is from the Niagara Falls History Museum website:
“During the summer of 1777, Butler requested and was given permission to raise a battalion of rangers — eight companies, each consisting of one Captain, one Lieutenant, three Sergeants, three Corporals and fifty privates. Of these eight companies, two were to be composed of individuals knowing Indian languages and familiar with their customs and war practices; the remaining six would be people acquainted with the woods. By the middle of December, 1777, Butler had filled his first company of Rangers. On May 2, 1778, Butler’s Rangers and a number of Indians, began a march from Niagara to recruit men from the Mohawk Valley. They attracted many Loyalists, and the entire battalion was quickly filled. The Rangers wore uniforms of dark green cloth trimmed with Scarlet.They had low flat caps with a brass plate in front bearing a G. R. encircled by the words “Butler’s Rangers.”
The Rangers continued to play an important role throughout the American Revolution, carrying out a number of raids against the American Rebels, from Fort Niagara and F0rt Detroit. Butler suggested that communities be developed for the Rangers and their families who were living around the Forts, and in the latter part of 1780, the first settlements were planned for the Rangers and other Loyalists who had been arriving in the area since the beginning of the Revolution.
When the Butler’s Rangers were disbanded in June 1784, a majority of them (258 officers and their families) decided to remain in the area. Both the Butler’s Rangers and the Loyalists who had given up their land in the United States to remain loyal to Britain, were granted land in Canada by the Crown.”
The names listed as Butler’s Rangers include both David and James Secord. The Secords had a strong connection with St Davids as mill operators and landowners in the area. Today, The Peter Secord Inn is an iconic landmark in our village.
With this historic connection to the Butler’s Rangers, the St. Davids Ratepayers Association Board of Directors approved the image as a basis for our logo.
Garth Dittrick, the artist, now lives in Grimsby. He kindly gave us permission to use his Butler’s Ranger image for non-commercial historical applications and brought the original painting to St. Davids in January 2015 so that we could reproduce it. Don Foley, a local professional photographer and member of the SDRA, photographed the painting, added a banner bearing the letters “SDRA” to create our very first official logo.
Here is a larger image:
The logo can be found on official documents and correspondence issued by or on behalf of the St. Davids Ratepayers Association.
Our sincere thanks go to Garth Dittrick for his kindness, professionalism, and support. Without his approval of our use of his image, this logo could never have been created. Thanks, too to Don Foley for doing such a professional job in creating our logo, of which we are very proud.
The part-history of the Butler’s Rangers is from an article “Butler’s Rangers” to be found on the website of the Niagara Falls Historical Museum: https://niagarafallsmuseums.ca/pdf/Butlers-Rangers.pdf
The Butler’s Ranger image was originally painted by Garth Dittrick.