The grist-mill built at Point Cardinal by Hugh Munro about 1796 fostered the development here of a small settlement. A sawmill and store were later erected, and in 1837 a post-office, "Edwardsburgh", was established. In 1858, attracted by abundant water-power and the operation of the Galops shipping canal (1846) and the Grand Trunk Railway (1855), William T. Benson and Thomas Aspden founded the Canada Starch Works. Its prosperity stimulated the growth of Elgin, as Edwardsburgh was also known, and in 1864 the hamlet, with 300 inhabitants, contained several other prominent businesses, notably the James McLatchie foundry. The community was incorporated as the Village of Cardinal, with a population of 800, by a by-law which became effective in 1880.