On March 5, 1848, Allan Cameron and William Withers landed by ship at the site of the modern-day town, in that part of Canada West known only as the Queen's Bush, and founded a community called Penetangore. On January 1, 1850 the Queen's Bush was divided into counties, and the counties were divided into townships. Penetangore now found itself located within the Township of Kincardine in the County of Bruce. Both the township and the county were named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine.
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