Site of a major battle during the War of 1812, the historic name of the community of Stoney Creek has a somewhat different story than that of the original municipalities amalgamated to create the new City of Hamilton in 2001. The village of Stoney Creek was in existence long before the famous battle, which took place in the area on June 6, 1813. The first European settlers, mainly United Empire Loyalists, began moving into the Stoney Creek vicinity about 1786. Parts of famous Gage House, now a portion of the Battle of Stoney Creek National Historic Site, date to 1796. The national historic site designation was granted because the Battle of Stoney Creek marked the deepest inroad of the invasion of Upper Canada by American troops. The victory of the British forces that day is credited with turning the tide of the War of 1812.
While the exact origin of the name Stoney Creek is not precise, it should be noted that the spelling is Stoney Creek, not Stony Creek. There definitely is a creek running close to the historic battlefield and it does have a somewhat rocky bottom, but that would not necessarily relate to the origin of the name.There were two early individuals living in the area whose surname was spelled Stoney. Jim Stoney was a trapper and storekeeper in the earliest days of settlement in the vicinity, and, somewhat later, Edmund Stoney was the Anglican priest for the immediate community. A post office with the name spelled Stony Creek as its address was opened in 1827, although the spelling of that name was later officially changed to Stoney Creek in 1832.
The village of Stoney Creek was part of Saltfleet Township, which was part of the original Lincoln Township, beginning in 1791. Saltfleet Township was then transferred to the newly created Wentworth County in 1816. Saltfleet got its name from a community in Lincolnshire, England. It was appropriate as in the early days of the history of Saltfleet Township there was indeed a salt mine in operation close to the Lake Ontario shoreline in the vicinity of what is now known as the Red Hill Creek. Saltfleet Township went out of existence with the creation of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth in 1974. Saltfleet Township and the small municipality of Stoney Creek became at that time the Town of Stoney Creek. In 1984, Stoney Creek achieved city status. With the completion of the amalgamation of the City of Hamilton on January 1, 2001, Stoney Creek retains its historic identify while serving as one of the most populous and fastest growing sectors of the new city.