Ailsa Craig is a community on the Ausable River, often referred to as simply "Craig" by the local residents. Ailsa Craig is best known for its annual Gala Days event. The town is the birthplace and home of Earl Ross, the first non-American to win a NASCAR Nextel Cup race, which he did in 1974. Earl was also NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the year in 1974.
The winningest harness horse driver in the world also hails from the Ailsa Craig area. With over 10,000 wins, John Campbell is one of the youngest members to enter the Harness Horseman's Hall of Fame.
Ailsa Craig was named by the Craig family after a namesake island in the outer Firth of Clyde, Scotland, and the word is derived from the Gaelic, Aillse Creag, or Creag Ealasaid, meaning "Elizabeth's rock". In the early 20th century, Ailsa Craig was a thriving village with several hotels, mills and served as the commercial hub for the farm businesses in the area. Located on the Grand Trunk Railway, Ailsa Craig was once the second largest cattle shipping center in all of Canada surpassed only by Calgary, Alberta.. As a child, Norman Bethune often spent his summers in the village.
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