Originally known as Four Corners and Steene's Corners after an early settler, much of the area of what is now Seaforth was acquired by brothers Christopher and George Sparling in anticipation of the construction of the Buffalo, Brantford and Goderich Railway. Developer James Patton of Barrie purchased the land and laid out a townsite in 1855.
In many ways, Seaforth is the quintessential small Ontario town. The Victorian streetscape stands as a testament to the town's rich history and all the image and influences that make rural Ontario and its hierarchy of small urban centres so unique.
Seaforth's Main Street is a Provincially Designated Heritage Conservation District, and architectural critics consider it to be one of the finest late 19th century streetscapes remaining in the Province.
The name 'Seaforth' may be derived from the Scottish Seaforth Highlanders regiment or Loch Seaforth in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
A post office was established in Seaforth in 1859. Incorporation as a Village followed in 1868 and as a Town in 1874. In 2001, Seaforth was amalgamated with Brussels, Grey Township, McKillop Township and Tuckersmith Township to form the Municipality of Huron East. In September 1876, at two o'clock in the morning, a fire broke out in Mrs. Griffith's Candy and Grocery store raging through Main Street destroying 12 acres (49,000 m2) of the business section. The town rebounded and Main Street was rebuilt with the brick and block structures which we see today, more than a century later.
Seaforth's Main street was designated in 1984 as a heritage Conservation District because of its distinguished late 19th-century architecture. This architectural composition of two storey brick buildings is unique in its uniformity of scale and character. Through grants and local support, property owners have been encouraged to restore and preserve the architectural characteristics of their buildings so that this valuable resource may continue to be an asset to the community in the years ahead, and be a comforting reminder of Seaforth's history.