Although Ajax is a relatively new community, a section of town known as Pickering Village, just down the road from the Stonebury Gates site, actually dates back to 1807 when a Quaker man named Timothy Rogers purchased 800 acres and invited a number of other Quaker families to settle there. When the Regional Municipality of Durham was created in 1974, the Village of Pickering was included in the Town of Ajax so the community “rebranded” itself as Pickering Village to differentiate itself from the Town of Pickering next door. The focal point of the village is The Courtyard, a Tudor-style complex that was actually built in the late 1980s but contributes to the village’s ineffable period charm. Inside the courtyard are pubs, cafes and restaurants, among them Sauter’s Inn restaurant, specializing in hearty Hungarian cuisine. For the sixth year in a row this past June, Old Kingston Road, in the heart of the village, came alive with its now annual JAM Festival, a street party where local musicians “rock it out” while revelers feast on all manner of delectable fare and soak in the village’s unique ambience. Many of the village’s historic structures have stories to tell. Case in point: the Casa Verde restaurant is housed in a house, circa 1890, whose original incarnation was a “birthing house,” and it later served as a hideout for rumrunners during Prohibition.