Modern Mississauga and Heritage Mississauga have come together to present an ongoing series called “Way Back Wednesday.”
We’ll share information about the history of Mississauga here and answer your questions.
Today’s topic is the history of the Mississauga’s Pucky Huddle.
Mississauga is home to many “lost villages” – places that disappeared long before the city came to be. One of these places was the crossroads hamlet of Pucky Huddle, located around the modern intersection of Tomken Road and Burnhamthorpe Road. Over time a variety of different spellings were used for the community, including Pucky Huddle, Pucky’s Huddle, Pucky Fuddle, Puggy Huddle and Puddle Huddle. One possible meaning of the name is that “Pucky” is derived from an Irish phrase, “puck”, which means to hit or strike, emphasizing that Pucky Huddle was a rough-and-tumble locale. Other meanings may refer to the muddy state of the roads at the crossroads.
The small community was centred on John Gilleece’s Pucky Huddle Tavern in the 1860s. The tavern catered to Irish Catholic patrons, and later proprietors included John Parks and Patrick (“Patsy”) Herbert. For many early settlers, the Pucky Huddle Tavern was synonymous with vice. One reference tells of an intoxicated farmer’s journey home from Pucky Huddle one night, “full of bad whiskey, ill temper, and good fellowship”.
While alcohol played a large role in Pucky Huddle’s less than savoury reputation, it was not the only reason local residents might have objected. Pucky Huddle Tavern was also apparently a venue famous for cockfighting and dogfighting. Gossip often ran rampant in Pucky Huddle, as one 1899 issue of the Streetsville Review illustrates: “Billy Hawkins said that Withers told him that someone else told him that Jack Toleman said if Puggy Huddle did not get a tavern license this spring there would be a general row.” Pucky Huddle was also home to George Tolman’s brickyard and Patrick Cosgrave’s Brewery.
Today, Pucky Huddle is just vague memory, with not much left to mark its existence. The Pucky Huddle Tavern was said to have burned down around 1915. One private home survives, tucked away in the modern subdivision that grew around it. Known as the Copeland House, it was built in the 1820s and is one of Mississauga’s oldest private homes.