The area around Brooklin began to be settled in the 1820s. The community itself grew after 1840, when brothers John & Robert Campbell built a flour mill on Lynde Creek. (The present mill building was built in 1848 after a lightning fire destroyed the original.) The village was originally named Winchester, but renamed when the post office was established to avoid duplication with a village named Winchester in eastern Ontario. In 1847, the residents chose to rename the community Brooklin, possibly from Brooklyn, New York or Brooklin, Maine. It could have been named for the “brook” that ran through the town, but this waterway has always been described as a “creek”, and naming the village after a community in New England or New York is logical since several prominent early residents migrated from there.
Prominent people from Brooklin include John Dryden (1840–1909), long-serving agriculture minister of the Province of Ontario. While Minister, Dryden created the northwestern Ontario experimental farm that eventually led to the formation of the town of Dryden.
Housing developments arrived in the late 1950s with the Meadowcrest subdivision, which expanded the village to the west of Baldwin St. For several decades after this, there was no further major house construction and Meadowcrest was known colloquially as “The Subdivision”. Housing activity resumed in the mid-1990s east of the village between Queen St. and Thickson Rd. with the Village of Brooklin subdivision, and continued into the late-1990s with further developments to the southeast. Housing developments reached Ashburn Road to the west in 2000, the development featuring a decorative water control pond, and the Olde Winchester subdivision was begun east of Thickson in 2001. Growth is expected to bring the population of the village to capacity of 25,000 residents by 2015.
History of Brooklin Courtesy of Wikipedia