Wheatley is nestled within Carolinian forests on the shore of Lake Erie. Prior to the arrival of the white settlers the area contained a population of Indians known as Neutrals. The Neutral Indians were considered experts in the carving of arrowheads, spear points and tomahawks. The flint beds located along the shores of Lake Erie provided the hard stone building material.
The beginning of construction on the southwestern portion of the Talbot Road took place about 1818. During the first decade of the nineteenth century, Col. Mahlon Burwell, the chief surveyor, was hired by Col. Thomas Talbot, a British officer and a land developer, to supervise the construction of the road, which eventually stretched over three hundred miles along the shoreline of Lake Erie in Southern Ontario. When completed, the road was said to be the best in Ontario.
As soon as the Talbot Road was completed, settlers began to arrive, taking up their Crown lands. Richard Wheatley was the first to locate near the Essex – Kent County Line, arriving in 1832 from England. His property was on Lot 218, Talbot Road south in Essex County. The area continued to prosper as relatives and friends of the first families arrived to settle in this new land of opportunities.
Today Wheatley boasts some of the best bird watching in Ontario. Wheatley Provincial Park and two nearby conservation areas draw thousands of birds every year. There are several nature trails in the area and a nine hole golf course. Fishing is a popular pastime and Lake Erie provides an abundance of perch and walleye for the angler.