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> i 1) M ii 









II. THE Co MINT. <>i- THI: Luy.\usT> 7 





VII. Aix>i.i iirsT<>WN 135 


IX. FRKDi.KK-KsiH-Kr.u ^- 




XIII. Tin- GROWTH (i- XAI-ANKK - - i 






XIX. CAMDKN AND Xi:\vr,rKC,n - S^ 

XX. Siu-.i-rir.i.n AND THH XDRTIIKRX To\vx>iiii s 326 

XXI. { .loc.KAi iiK-Ai. SKKTI-HES 





The County of Lennox and Arlington Frontispiece 

Specimens of Indian Relics from the Collection of Walter Clark i 

The Lennox Anns 1 7 

The Addington Ann- 17 

A Commission from Sir Uaac P. rock 32 

Mill- on the Appamv River, fnun the Drawing by Mr-. Simcoe. 

i/95 -^ 

The Macpherson Mill at Xapanee .U 

Minutes of the Fir>t Town Meeting of Adnlphnstown 4* 

Hay Bay Methodic Church. Muilt !/>_> 4 s 

Dominion Hotel. Odessa <>7 

ging on the Xapanee River ( )7 

Pioneer Log School House - 

Continuation School, Tain worth i i - 

The Langhorn Residence. Bath : 129 

The Kinkle Tavern, P.ath -") 

Rev. \\"illiam Case 1 44 

Rev. Robert Corson 144 

The Switzerville Chapel. P.uilt 1826 144 

The U. E. L. Monument. Adolphustown 14*; 

St. Paul s Church. Adolphustown H9 

The Fairfield Residence, Bath 156 

St. John s Church, Bath 156 

Napanee in 1874 193 

Covered Bridge, Napanee. 1840-1909 208 

G.T.R. Bridge, Napanee. P.uilt 1855 208 

Alexander Campbell Residence, Napanee 209 




The Old Red Tavern, Napanee 209 

Archibald McNeil Residence, Clarkville 224 

Allan Macpherson Residence, Napanee 224 

David Roblin 229 

Benjamin C. Davy 229 

John Herring 229 

John Gibbard 229 

Allan Macpherson 236 

George H. Detlor 236 

Alexander Campbell 236 

William Grange 236 

Sir John A. Macdonald at Napanee, 1877 241 

Napanee Snow-Shoe Club, 1885 241 

The First Registry Office of Lennox and Addington, Millhaven 256 

Promissory Notes, Free Holders Bank 256 

Rev. Saltern Givens 261 

Rev. Dr. Bernard Lander 261 

St. Mary Magdalene Church, Napanee, 1840-1872 261 

Rev. Paul Shirley 268 

Rev. Cyrus R. Allison 268 

Rev. Father Browne 268 

Rev. John Scott 268 

Lennox and Addington Newspapers 273 

The Academy, Newburgh 288 

The Academy, Napanee 288 

Samuel Clark 309 

Calvin Wheeler 309 

Dr. James Allen 309 

Ebenezer Perry 309 

Hon. John Stevenson 316 

Augustus Hooper 

Sidney Warner 

John D. Ham , : 316 

John Solomon Cartwright 321 

Marshall Spring Bidwell 321 



Peter Perry 3 

Samuel Casey 3- 

Sir John A. MualonuUl 33 ( > 

Sir John A. Macdonald 33 ( > 

Sir Richard Cartwriglu 33* > 

lames X. I.apum 33 

William H. Wilkison 353 

Daniel Fowler 353 

Captain Thoma- 1 )< >rland 4 353 

Robert Phillips .W 

Sir Gilbert T\irkt-r. K.C.M.G .V s 

Hon. Sir Allen Aylcsworth, K.C.M.G 

Charles CannitY James, C.M.G 

Matthew Joseph liutler. C.M.G . 

( )fticers and Trophy Team. Xapanee Curling Cluh. !<)<>_> .V " i 

County Council of KX^ and other^ 

Silver Leaf I .a^ehall Cluh. i.^-iSjS 

Xapanee Cricket Club at Syracuse. iSSo 400 

Xapanee Uicycle Club. iSSn 4 () 4 

The Staff. The Xapanee Standard. iSjS 404 

Members of the Board of Education. Xapanee, iS<K>iS<)3. . . . 413 

Xapanee Collegiate Institute Football Team, 1905 417 


Had I not consented to undertake the task of writing a history of 
Lennox and Addington, before I began to look about me for material, 
1 would probably not have given that consent quite so readily. Those 
only who have attempted a work of this character can appreciate the 
difficulties that lie in the way of the amateur historian. Many hours of 
fruitless research may often be spent in an effort to fix a date or to 
ascertain a name, and very frequently what appears to be reliable author 
ity may upon closer examination be found to be far astray in the inform 
ation so confidently communicated. All the depositories appeared to be 
empty, many of the old residents had recently departed this life, and 
such records as could be found were very incomplete. Old minute books 
which had served their original purpose have been destroyed or are still 
concealed among the rubbish of some unknown attic. If municipal 
clerks and secretaries of public bodies had only been taught to preserve 
all the books and documents appertaining to their office the work of 
(he historian would be greatly lightened. Yet with the assistance of 
many willing helpers I have endeavoured to unearth all the available 
data that I considered within the scope of my inquiry. 

To Mr. Clarence M. Warner, President of the Lennox and Adding 
ton Historical Society, I desire especially to acknowledge my gratitude 
for his never failing courtesy in placing at my disposal his own well 
selected library and the files of the Society. He has directed my atten 
tion to many items that otherwise would have escaped my notice. I 
received many valuable suggestions from Prof. W. L. Grant of Queen s 
University. I am also deeply indebted to the gentlemen whose papers 
are reproduced in this volume, namely : Mr. E. R. Checkley, Geo. Anson 
Aylesworth, Paul Stein, and J. P. Lochhead. The following have also 
cheerfully rendered all the assistance in their power : Robert Cox, A. 
C. Warner, C. R. Jones, P. F. Carscallen, P. W. Dafoe, Daniel Davern, 
Dr. H. S. Northmore, Ira Hudgins, Jno. A. Timmerman, T. S. Henry, 
Alfred Knight, Jno. M. Wallace, Jno. T. Grange, Abraham E. Loucks! 
Isaac Lockwood, E. O. Clark, Miss Helen Merrill, James S. 
Cartwright, K.C., and Rev. James Cumberland. In short, on every 
hand where I have sought for information I have found an eager 
ness to help. But for such encouragement I would long ago have felt 
disposed to abandon the undertaking. My thanks are due to the Hon- 



curable the Minister of Education for his kind permission to use the 
extracts from the Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada 
which appear in the chapter upon the early schools. I have also con 
sulted and obtained much useful information from the following works : 
-Picturesque Canada, Nothing But Names, Centennial of Canadian 
Methodism, The Settlement of Upper Canada, The Makers of Canada, 
the Ontario Bureau of Archives Reports, The Loyalists of America and 
Their Times, The Medical Profession In Upper Canada, The Emigrant s 
Guide to Upper Canada, the Statutes of Upper Canada, A Compendious 
History of the Rise and Progress of the Methodist Church, the files of 
the Napanee Standard and the Napanee Beaver, and many other author 
ities dealing with the early history of the Province. 

Doubtless many readers will think that some important events have 
been but lightly touched upon, and some may venture the criticism that 
undue prominence has been given to others. In reply to the former 
1 may say that I have endeavoured to make the most of the material at 
my command, and I would remind the latter that it is very difficult to 
measure the importance of preserving some apparently trifling bit of 
history. Above everything else I have aimed at accuracy, and while 
many errors may have crept in unobserved, I feel confident that the 
general statements of facts are upon the whole correct. 

I have been singularly fortunate in securing photographs of many 
of the county s most celebrated men. Some of these are copies from 
daguerreotypes, and others from faded photographs which are not in 
suitable condition for reproduction ; but I feel that it is better to preserve 
imperfect likenesses of such men as Samuel Casey and Peter Perry 
than allow the opportunity to pass and lose all knowledge of their per 
sonal appearance. 

Napanee, Ont., July ist, 1913. 





\\ e have no reason to believe that our county was at any time the 
permanent home of the red man, though from the relics that have been 
found we know that he frequently roamed over it in his hunting- expedi 
tions and temporarily camped within its limits. We have not been able 
to find traces of extensive burial places or fortifications such as have 
been discovered in other localities, where the Indians were known to 
have resided in large numbers for years at a time. The history of Len 
nox and Addington is thus a blank until the advent of the white men, 
and the first European to set foot upon our soil was none other than 
Champlain himself. t In the autumn of 1615 he came down the Trent 
River with his Huron allies, followed the Bay of Quinte to its mouth, 
crossed the head of Lake Ontario, and entered the Mohawk Valley to 
make war upon the Iroquois. Returning from this unsuccessful venture, 
they wintered somewhere in this district, spending several weeks in a 
grand deer hunt. 

The exact route followed by the explorers after re-crossing the lake 
has been the subject of much controversy. We have advocates ready 
to uphold the claims of Cataraqui River as being the stream which 
they ascended, while others just as zealously award the distinction 
to Hay Bay, Napanee River, and Salmon River. Champlain has told the 
story himself, and I cannot do better than give his own words as trans 
lated by Annie Xettleton Bourne. Having concluded the description of 
their retreat from the country of the Iroquois he continues: "After 
having crossed the end of the Lake ("Ontario) from the Island before 
mentioned we went up a river about twelve leagues; then they carried 
their canoes by land half a league, at the end of which we entered a lake 
some ten or twelve leagues in circumference where there was a great 
quantity of game, such as swans, white cranes, bustards, wild geese, 
ducks, teal, thrushes, larks, snipe, geese, and several other kinds of birds 
too numerous to mention, of which I killed a great number, which stood 
us in good stead while we waited for some deer to be caught. 

"From there we went to a certain place ten leagues off, where our 
savages thought there were a great many of them. Twenty-five savages 
got together and set about building two or three cabins of logs of wood, 
laid one upon another and they stopped up the chinks with moss to pre- 


vent the air from coming in, covering them with barks of trees. When this 
was done they went into the woods near a grove of firs where they made 
an inclosure in the form of a triangle closed on two sides and open on one. 
This inclosure was made by a stockade eight or nine feet high and about 
1,500 paces long on each side: at the apex of this triangle there was a 
little yard which grew narrower and narrower, covered in part by 
branches leaving an opening of only five feet, about the width of an 
ordinary door, by which the deer were to enter (this yard). They did 
so well that in less than ten days they had the inclosure ready. Mean 
while some other savages had gone fishing for such fish as trout and pike 
of immense size which were all that were needed. When everything 
was ready they started half an hour before daylight to go into the woods 
about half a league from their inclosure, separated from each other 
eighty paces, each having two sticks which they beat together, marching 
slowly in their order until they came to their inclosure. When the deer 
hear this noise they flee before them until they reach the inclosure, into 
which the savages drive them and gradually they come together at the 
opening of their triangle, where the deer move along the sides of the 
stockade until they reach the end, towards which the savages pursue 
them sharply, with bow and arrow in hand, ready to shoot And when 
they reach the end of their triangle they begin to shoot and to imitate 
wolves, which are plentiful and which devour the deer. The deer, hear 
ing this frightful noise, are obliged to enter the small yard by the narrow 
opening, whither they are pursued in a very lively fashion by arrow 
shots, and there they are easily caught ; for this yard is so well -inclosed 
and so confined that they cannot get out of it. 

"There is great sport in such hunting, which they continued every 
two days so successfully that in thirty-eight days they captured 120 deer, 
from which they feasted well, reserving the fat for winter, which they 
use as we do butter, and a little of the flesh which they carry off to their 
houses to have for feasts with one another, and from the skins they make 
themselves clothes. There are other devices for catching deer, such as 

the snare, with which they take the lives of many This is 

how we passed the time while waiting for it to freeze, so that we might 
go back more easily, since the country is very marshy. 

"In the beginning, when we set out for the hunt, I went off too far 
into the woods in pursuing a certain bird, which seemed strange to me. 
It had a beak like that of a parrot and was as big as a hen and was 
yellow all over except for its head which was. red and its wings which 
were blue. It made short flights like a partridge. My desire to kill it 
led me to follow it from tree to tree a very long time, until it flew away. 
Then losing all hope I wished to return my steps when I found none of 


our hunters, who had been constantly gaining upon me until they had 
reached their inclosure. In trying to catch up with them, going, as it 
seemed to me, straight to where the inclosure was, I lost my way in the 
forest going now one way, now another without being able to see 
where I was. As night was coming on I passed it at the foot ot a large 

"The next day I set out and walked until three o clock in the after 
noon, when I found a little stagnant pond and seeing some geese there I 
killed three or four birds. Tired and worn out I prepared to rest and 
cook these birds, from which I made a good meal. My repast over. I 
thought to myself what I ought to do, praying God to aid me in my mis 
fortune : for during three days there was nothing but rain mingled with 

"Committing all to His mercy. I took courage more than before, 
going hither and thither all day without catching a glimpse of any foot 
print or trail, except those of wild beasts, of which I generally saw a 
good number: and so I passed the night without any consolation. At 
dawn of the next day, after having a scant meal, I resolved to find 
some brook and follow it. judging that it must needs empty into the 
river on whose banks our hunters were. This resolution once made I 
put it through with such success that at noon I found myself on the 
shores of a small lake about a league and a half long, where I killed 
some game which helped me very much ; and I still had eight or ten 
charges of powder. Walking along the bank of this lake to see where 
it discharges, I found a rather large brook, which I followed until five 
o clock in the afternoon when I heard a great noise. Listening I could 
not discover what it was until I heard the noise more distinctly, and 
then I concluded that it was a waterfall in the river that I was looking 
for. Going nearer I saw an opening, and when I had reached it, I 
found myself in a very large, spacious meadow where there were a great 
many wild animals. And looking on my right, I saw the river wide and 
big. Wishing to examine this place, and walking in the meadow I found 
myself in a little path where the savages carry their canoes. When I 
had examined this place well. I recognized that it was the same river, 
and that I had been that way. Well pleased at this, I supped on the 
little that I had and lay down for the night. When morning came and 
I had studied the place where I was. I inferred from certain mountains 
that are on the border of that river that I was not mistaken and that our 
hunters must be higher up than I by four or five good leagues, which I 
covered at my leisure, going along the bank of this river till I caught 
sight of the smoke of our hunters. I reached this place, greatly to their 
happiness as well as to my own." 


This brief narration of the experiences of the first white visitor to 
this district is full of interest. We can form an idea of the abundance 
of game when we consider that 120 deer were captured within the area 
embraced by the stockades, which would not be more than 300 or 400 
acres at the most. This fact would also indicate that there was no 
extensive settlement in the neighbourhood. The trail of the portage 
referred to by Champlain would point to a well defined route probably 
used in reaching their famous hunting-grounds and lakes teeming with 
fish. No clue, however, is furnished as to the point where he entered 
this territory after re-crossing the lake upon their retreat from the 
Mohawk Valley, although he refers to the "island before mentioned ;" 
for no single island is referred to in the narrative. In describing the 
trip across the lake on their way to the land of the Iroquois he uses the 
following language : "When we arrived there we went across the eastern 
end (of Lake Ontario ) which is the entrance to the great River St. Law 
rence at Latitude Forty-three where there are some beautiful and very 
large islands." It is not clear therefore which of these large islands he 
passed upon the return trip. It is reasonable to suppose that the river they 
ascended after re-crossing the lake was the Cataraqui (Rideau) for 
there is no other answering the description. It has been urged by some 
that he regards the bay as a river and that he came up this bay ; but 
this theory will not hold, for no portage of half a league from the shore 
of the bay would bring them to a lake "ten or twelve leagues in circum 
ference." The theory that Hay Bay is referred to may also be dismissed 
for they could not go up Hay Bay "about twelve leagues." The descrip 
tion of his route also negatives the suggestion made by some writers 
that he ascended the Napanee or the Salmon River. Thus by a process 
of elimination and by giving to his words their clear and obvious mean 
ing, we cannot arrive at any other conclusion than that the river he 
ascended after crossing the end of the lake was the river at the mouth 
of which he would find himself, the Cataraqui. Making due allowance 
for the distances which he gives, and, bearing in mind that the league 
referred to by him is the equivalent of two and one-half English miles, 
let us open our maps and follow him in his wanderings. 

Going up the Cataraqui, the only lake in any way answering Cham- 
plain s description is Lake Loughborough, and the leagues would be pretty 
short ones. As the ultimate destination of the party was Lake Simcoe 
they would naturally work their way along in a north-westerly direction. 
The cabins were built upon the banks of a river ten leagues distant. I 
find great difficulty in fixing any spot upon the Napanee River that can 
in any way be identified as the location of this encampment. I would 


rather suggest the Salmon as the river referred to, and the point where 
they took up their temporary abode as somewhere between Long Lake 
and Crotch Lake. I would further suggest that the noise which he 
concluded was a waterfall was made by the rapids at Tamworth. He 
does not say there was a waterfall but that he was attracted by a noise 
which he concluded was a waterfall, and when he approached the place 
from which the noise came he saw an opening and found himself in a 
very large spacious meadow, and he saw the river wide and big. After 
the autumn rains, when the Salmon River would be swollen it would 
appear "wide and big" above the rapids at Tamworth. He would also 
recognize it as the same river which he had passed on his way to the site 
of their encampment above Long Lake. T>y studying the location, as he 
did on the following morning, probably from a tree top, he would be 
able to discern in the distance the "mountains that are on the border of 
that river" and satisfy himself that the hunters were higher up by "four 
or five good leagues." In his wanderings about this region, while hunt 
ing for his companions, he would easily come across several bodies of 
water corresponding with the "small lake about a league and a half 
long." I am aware that this theory is not altogether free from objec 
tions, but I submit that the identifications which I suggest are quite 
consistent with the narrative, and that in following out his course I have 
done less violence to the description given by Champlain than will be 
encountered in the other theories brought under my notice. While it 
would be satisfactory to be able to point out the exact spot where 
Champlain and his party built their cabins, it is not probable we will 
ever be able to do so; but practically all authorities agree that it was 
within or at least very near to the present limits of our county. 

For the fifty years following the expedition of the Hurons into the 
land of the Iroquois, this section of the coivntry appears to have 
attracted little, if any, attention. The feud between these fierce tribes 
continued until the Hurons were almost exterminated and the Jesuit 
mission among them abandoned. During this period, the Five Nations, 
forming the allied Iroquois confederation, had confined themselves to 
the territory south of Lake Ontario except when away upon their trad 
ing, hunting, or war expeditions. Several years after the dispersal of 
the Hurons a band of Cayugas had crossed the lake and established a 
colony on the south side of Prince Edward County. Their village was 
called Kente and the small body of water upon which it was located was 
later called Lac de Kente by the French. Historians differ as to the site 
of this village, some contending that it was upon West Lake, others 
advancing as good, if not better reasons to prove that it was at Weller s 


These Indians had for many years been more or less accustomed 
to receive the ministrations of the Catholic Church from the Jesuit 
missionaries who had been sent among them, and when established in 
their new home at Rente they felt the want of the services of the "Black 
Robes," as they called the priests, and in 1668 sent a deputation to Mon 
treal to petition the authorities to send a missionary to them. As their 
application did not at first appear to be favourably received the old chief 
Rohiaria went himself to Montreal in the month of September to urge 
the needs of his people, with the result that two Sulpicians, MM. 
Trouve and Fenelon, volunteered for the service. The great French 
statesman Jean Baptiste Colbert was at this time the moving spirit in 
all colonial matters under Louis XIV. He had shown a deep concern 
for New France and hoped to win the Indians from their savage cus 
toms by teaching them the French language and thus bringing them in 
closer touch with civilization, and had given instructions to Governor 
Courcelles to do all in his power to; further this end. The missionary at 
this time was recognized, not only as the representative of the Church, 
but was expected to render certain services to the state also, and in more 
than one crisis proved himself to be a wise and skilful diplomat. The 
two Sulpicians, therefore, upon receiving the consent of their Superior 
to engage in the new enterprise, hastened to Quebec, obtained their 
appointment from Bishop Laval, and their credentials from the civil gov 

These were the first official steps taken by the church and 
state to care for the wants of the inhabitants of the Midland District of 
Ontario and we have no occasion to be ashamed of the first representa 
tives set in authority over this territory. Father Fenelon was a young 
man of noble birth, son of Count Fenelon-Salignac and brother of the 
great Archbishop of Cambray. We may rightfully boast of the many 
great men who have lived in the counties bordering on the Bay of 
Ouinte ; but we recall none of better lineage and fairer parts than this 
modest and pious Sulpician, who freely abandoned a life of comfort and 
luxury in France to devote his means and talents to assist in redeeming 
the pagan Indians of New France. It was a long move from the Court 
of King Louis to the wilderness of Canada, but he gladly embraced the 
opportunity and, full of hope and determination, completed his prepara 
tions for the journey to the new field that opened up for him at the 
Cayuga village. 

Everything was in readiness on October 2nd, and the two priests 
set out from Lachine accompanied by two Cayuga guides. It was 
a long and tedious paddle and one that most young men not accus 
tomed to the hardships of pioneer life would seek to escape ; but the 


Sulpicians bore their full share of the burden and arrived at the 
appointed post on October the 28th. Tired and hungry they were wel 
comed by the Cayugas, who regaled them with a repast of pumpkins 
fried in suet and varied the menu on the following day by a dish of 
corn and sunflower seeds. They at once entered upon their duties, 
making their headquarters at Kente, from which their field of labour 
\vas known as the Kente mission. So closely was this associated with 
that body of water, over which they frequently paddled, that in the 
course of time the name of the village was transferred to the bay, and 
in Quinte we retain to-day a corrupted form of the word "Kente." 

Not content labouring in one place alone, the missionaries sought to 
extend their sphere of usefulness by establishing outposts at convenient 
points. One of these was at Frenchman s Bay, the lake shore port of 
the town of Whitby, another at Ganeraski, the site of the present town 
of Port Hope, and the third. Ganneious, has generally been conceded to 
have been in this county, somewhere upon the Napanee River not far 
from its mouth, which would indicate that at this time there must have 
been at least some scattered Indian lodges along the bay. The necessity 
for living in villages was not so urgent among these representatives of 
the Iroquois who had crossed the lake to settle on the north shore, as it 
was among the Hurons and Algonquins fifty years before. There was 
no one to wage war upon the new arrivals in this part of the country 
and large communities no longer required to live together for the pur 
pose of defence. Except for such general hunts as were described by 
Champlain, an isolated family could provide itself with game more 
easily if living apart from its fellows in some secluded cove or sheltered 
spot. There does not appear to have been any successful effort to fix 
with certainty the location of this outpost, probably because there is 
so little data from which to deduce any conclusion. Through the efforts 
of the zealous Jesuit Father the Rev. A. E. Jones, S.J., nearly every 
village and mission house of Huronia has been located; but there the 
structures were upon a more extended scale than we would expect in 
the case of a new mission station. It has been recently contended that 
Ganneious was on the Fredericksburgh side near the mouth of the river, 
and it is claimed that there still exist upon the farm of Ezra Hambly 
traces of the foundation of the building erected by Fenelon and his 

France had been bitterly disappointed at her failure to subdue the 
Indians, and severe criticisms had been made of the methods of the 
Jesuits in endeavouring to teach the Indians in their native tongue, 
instead of instructing them in the French language, which it was 
claimed was the surest road to civilization. Thus did these arm-chair 



critics in Paris sit in judgment upon the holy fathers, who had laid 
down their lives for the cause that was so dear to their hearts. Little 
did the courtiers know of the wide gulf that separated the savage from 
the white man. Champlain, through his unfortunate alliance with the 
Hurons and Algonquins, had added more fuel to the fire of hatred that 
burned within the breasts of the Iroquois, who vowed a terrible ven 
geance not only upon their hereditary enemies, but upon the white men 
who had humbled their pride, slain their chiefs, and invaded their terri 
tory ; and nothing would satiate their thirst for the blood of their rivals 
but the complete extermination of the tribes opposed to them. 

The history of the world has recorded the incompatibility of the 
sword and cross advancing hand in hand, and the task of the Jesuits, 
difficult enough at its best, was rendered much more so by reason of the 
attacks of the French upon the Iroquois at the very beginning of their 
attempt to colonize New France. The messengers of peace, not 
through the assistance of the representatives of the crown, but in spite 
of the unwise policy of the civil authorities, had made substantial pro 
gress in their missionary labours among the savages. To no other cause 
can we attribute the desire of the Cayugas at Kente to have a missionary 
sent to them than that the lingering traces of the truths of Christianity 
that had been instilled in their hearts by such faithful exponents of the 
Gospel as Father Jogues still influenced them. It was upon this founda 
tion laid by him and his fellow labourers, a foundation shattered and torn 
asunder by the inconsistencies of the representatives of the crown, that 
the Sulpicians now began anew to build up a faith in the religion of the 

To appease the Governor and the Intendant, who had received their 
instructions from Colbert, a new policy was to be adopted. The Indians 
were to be taught the French language, and it was hoped that by this means 
all racial differences would be wiped out, the native tribes would be 
brought nearer to the superior race, in closer touch with their life, its 
aims, and ambitions, and that by this new method, light would be admit 
ted to the darkness surrounding the pagan soul, trade would be re-estab 
lished upon a surer basis, and a colony would spring up that would 
greatly extend the power of France over the new world. To this end 
the Sulpicians bent all their energies, and during the long winter even 
ings in the stifling atmosphere of a crowded and smoking wigwam the 
patient fathers imparted to the wondering circle of attentive listeners the 
mysteries of the new tongue. At Ganneious was established one of 
their embryo academies, the first step taken towards the creation of an 
educational system in this district. In the spring of 1669 Fenelon paid 
a flying visit to Montreal and reported upon his work ; and so pleased 


were the authorities with the progress he had made that another priest 
was added to his staff and he returned witli M. D Urfe, who remained 
with M. Trouve at Kentc while his Superior proceeded farther west and 
spent the following winter at Frenchman s Bay. 

The season proved to be the severest ever experienced by the white 
men in the new world, both for its length and intensity. They were too 
far removed from Montreal to obtain any succour from that source and, 
as the colony had been in existence for only four years, the Indians had 
not been able in their now home north of the lake to raise sufficient food 
stuff upon the limited quantity of land under cultivation to tide them over 
until spring. To the bitterness of the keen frost was added the terror of 
a wasting famine, and the priests shared the miseries of their parishioners 
by eking out their scanty larder witli such game as they could share and 
such roots as could be dug from the frozen ground. It is generally believ 
ed that from the exposure suffered by M. Fenelon during these terrible 
months his constitution was so shattered that he never fully recovered. 
For five years he laboured in this district, dividing- his time among the 
various stations of the mission, and penetrating to the north in Victoria 
County where Fenelon township and Fenelon Falls still bear the name 
of this ardent young pioneer priest and educationist. 

In 1674, shortly after the building of Fort Frontenac, he became 
involved in an unfortunate quarrel over the appointment of a Governor 
of Montreal, which seigniory belonged to the Sulpicians, who claimed 
the right to appoint their own Governor and resented the interference of 
the Governor of the colony. Quite naturally, Fenelon espoused the cause 
of his brethren of the Seminary, and with perhaps more courage than 
prudence, considering the jealousy existing between the civil and ecclesi 
astical authorities, he preached the Easter sermon in the Church of the 
Hotel Dieu at Montreal, and in the course of his remarks pointed out 
the attributes that should characterize the rule of a God-fearing Gover 
nor. Among his congregation was a warm friend of the Governor who 
was associated with him in some business transactions of the very char 
acter which the preacher had denounced. The offending Abbe was 
summoned before the Council at Quebec, appointees of the Governor, 
and charged with sedition. He challenged the jurisdiction of this civil 
tribunal to sit in judgment upon him and the case was eventually car 
ried before the King. Fenelon s objection to the authority of the Coun 
cil was sustained; but for diplomatic reasons, possessing no true merit, he 
was enjoined from again returning to the mission field. He died a few 
years after his return to France at the early age of thirty-eight, a 
natural death it is true, yet none the less a martyr to the cause to 
which he so unreservedly devoted his life. 


While it is generally conceded that Frontenac was a wise and able 
Governor and possessed of remarkable tact in dealing with the Indians, 
it is at the same time alleged that he did not scruple to take advantage of 
the opportunities that came his way to engage in trade to repair his 
shattered fortunes. The member of Fenelon s Easter congregation, who 
resented the insinuations of the pulpit, was none other than Sieur de la 
Salle, the famous explorer, whose long cherished dream was the dis 
covery of a western passage to China. He, like so many of the early 
adventurers to Canada, was born of wealthy parents and had received a 
good education. From his elder brother, a priest of St. Sulpice, who 
had preceded him to Canada, he had gathered much information of the 
new world. The priests of the Seminary of St. Sulpice were the feudal 
lords of Montreal, and in order to facilitate the growth of the settle 
ment, they granted large tracts of land to intending settlers. In 1666 
La Salle sailed to Canada and obtained from the Sulpicians a grant of 
land on the bank of the St. Lawrence at the place now known as 
Lachine. This he parcelled out among a number of settlers, reserving 
a considerable portion for himself. He soon mastered several Indian 
languages, preparatory to the great task he seems to have conceived 
shortly after his arrival in Canada, if, indeed, he had not entertained the 
idea before he sailed from France. Ever since the travels of Marco Polo 
in the thirteenth century the wealth of China had attracted the civilized 
world and it was still believed that a passage would yet be discovered 
across America that would afford a short route to that land of gold and 

La Salle had heard of the Ohio River, which he believed emptied 
into the Gulf of California, and which would thus solve the problem \vhich 
had so long perplexed the adventurers in search of this western passage. 
To explore this river was now his one great object in life to which all 
his other enterprises were tributary. Such was his burning zeal that to 
his Seigniory was given in mockery the name of China, known in France 
as La Chine. Obtaining the consent of the Governor to pursue his 
explorations he sold his Seigniory at La Chine, purchased and equipped 
four canoes, and set out on his first expedition. I have dealt elsewhere* 
with the heroic efforts of La Salle to accomplish his end, and it is not to 
our present purpose to follow him through all his trying experiences. 
Suffice it to say, that by 1673, he had satisfied himself that the Mississippi 
flowed southward into the Gulf of Mexico, and would furnish a direct 
means of communication with the fertile plains of the interior of the 
continent, the hunting-grounds along the banks of -its northern tributar 
ies, and the shores of the upper lakes. Frontenac, the Governor at this 

* Martyrs of New France, page 105 


time. had. from the time of his arrival, been studying the trade and 
Indian problem and adopting the recommendation of his predeces- 
concluded to erect a fort near the outlet of Lake Ontario, which would 
serve the double purpose of holding in check the restless Iroquois and 
controlling the fur trade of the upper country. La Salle had won the 
confidence of the Governor, who despatched him in advance to locate the 
site of the new fort, while he made elaborate preparations for his impos 
ing trip up the St. Lawrence. The original design was to erect the fort 
upon the Bay of Quinte and, but for La Salle. who chose the mouth of 
the Cataraqui instead, Kingston would have been shorn of a portion of 
her glory and our county would in all probability have enjoyed the 
distinction of po-<-osing the first military and trading-jK)st in this part of 

There is a general belief, which appears to be well founded, 
that the Governor saw in this new enterprise an opportunity to reap a 
rich harvest from the cargoes of furs that would naturally find their way 
to the new fort, and subsequent developments appear to justify the con 
clusion that La Salle expected to enjoy a portion of the profits. In any 
event the establishment of a post at the foot of the lake was one step in 
his design and brought a possible base of supplies nearer the scene of 
his own future operations. 

La Salle repaired to Onondaga. the chief village of the Iroquois, to 
invite them to meet the great Onontio, as the Governor was styled, at 
the rendezvous upon the banks of the Cataraqui. On July I2th, 1673, 
Frontenac, arrayed in his richest apparel, the centre of attraction of a 
flotilla of a hundred and twenty canoes, manned by four hundred follow 
ers, was received w r ith great pomp on the site of what is now the Lime 
stone City. The following days were spent in outlining the new fort, 
haranguing the Iroquois, and in council meetings and festivities calcu 
lated to inspire them with fear and respect for the Great White Father. 

Meanwhile the Frenchmen in the district who were skilled in the 
use of their tools, set to work felling trees, hewing them into shape, 
and placing them in position under the direction of the engineer; and 
to the astonishment of the Iroquois there soon arose the first building on 
the site of the present City of Kingston, which in honour of its 
founder was afterwards called Fort Frontenac. There can be no doubt 
that it served its purpose of keeping the hostile Indians in check, but 
was not calculated to improve the trade of the country in general, as 
was quite evident from the storm of opposition raised by the merchants 
of Quebec. After the ceremonies were concluded and the Iroquais had 
returned across the lake, a number of representatives from Kente and 
Ganneious appeared upon the scene to pay their respects to the Great 



Onontio, who addressed .them as he had their brethren, exhorting them 
to live in peace with the French. 

It was in the following spring that La Salle so rudely interrupted 
the Easter sermon of Abbe Fenelon on behalf of his friend the Gover 
nor, who was not slow to compensate him for his action. La Salle, 
armed with strong recommendations from Frontenac, returned to 
France and petitioned the King for a grant of the fort, upon condi 
tion that the petitioner be bound to maintain it in an efficient state of 
defence, to pay to the Governor the cost incurred in establishing it, to 
make grants of land to all willing to settle there, to attract thither the 
greatest number possible of Indians, to induce them to lead lives 
more conformable to the customs of the white men, and to build a church 
when the settlement had reached one hundred souls ; meanwhile, to 
entertain one or two Recollet friars to perform Divine service. In 
short La Salle was to be the feudal lord of this grant, which was to 
include not only the fort, but four leagues of land along the lake shore 
westward and the two islands now known as Wolfe and Amherst. To 
add further dignity to the proprietor he humbly supplicated His Majesty 
to grant him letters of noblesse in consideration of the voyages and dis 
coveries he had made and the services he had rendered to the country. 
By a decree bearing date May I3th, 1675, the prayer of La Salle, 
with very slight modifications, was granted by King Louis. 

This was the first grant of land in the province of Ontario, and as 
our Island township was included in the Seigniory it will be seen that 
that part of our county at least is justly entitled to some distinction. I 
reluctantly forbear enlarging upon the growth and development of Kings 
ton which more properly belongs to the history of the adjoining county 
of Frontenac.* 

When Amherst Island first figured in history it was known by the 
Indian name of Koonenesego and subsequently as Isle de Tonti, so called 
after the faithful companion of La Salle. So far as known, the only 
part it played in the programme of La Salle was upon the parchment bear 
ing the seal of King Louis, as the plan of colonization of the first settler 
of Upper Canada was never realized. Had he been content to confine 
himself to the course mapped out in his petition to the King he could 
have amassed a fortune from the fur trade, which the advantageous 
position of the fort would have secured for him ; but the obtaining of 
the Seigniory was but a means towards the accomplishment of the great 
object of his life. He was first and foremost an explorer, determined 
to wrest from the unknown west the secrets of its great rivers and 

(*) To the reader who desires more enlightenment along- this line I can confidently 
recommend a perusal of Miss Machar s " Story of Old Kingston. " 


seas. To this end he directed all his energies, using Fort Frontenac as 
the first of a series of bases marking his advance into the wilderness, 
lie had the satisfaction, after many reverses and bitter disappointments, 
of reaching the mouth of the Mississippi and proclaiming the sovereignty 
of France over all that great territory afterwards known a^ Louisiana. 

Upon his return from this expedition La Salle found that his patron, 
Frontenac, had been recalled. There had been a long-standing quarrel 
between the Church and the Governor over the sale of liquor to the In 
dians, the Bishops claiming that the natives were debauched through, the 
traffic, while the Governor upheld the practice as being necessary to retain 
their trade in furs, advancing the argument that if they could not get 
brandy from the French they would carry their peltries to the HiuN ii 
and exchange them for the rum of the English. The argument of the 
Bishops prevailed, and La Barre, who had no sympathy with the enter 
prise of the western explorer, now ruled as Governor of New France. 

Under the pretext that the conditions of the grant had not been ful 
filled, he had in the absence of its proprietor sequestered Fort Frontenac. 
Enraged at this harsh treatment, La Salle sailed for France and laid 
before the King a plan for establishing a colony at the mouth of the 
Mississippi and another farther up the banks of the Illinois, which well- 
conceived plan, if successfully carried out. would have given to France 
the control of the trade of the interior of the continent. His Majesty 
favoured the project, rebuked the Governor for his seizure of Fort 
Frontenac, and bade him return it to its rightful owner. 

Full of hope in his new enterprise, La Salle sailed from France for 
the Gulf of Mexico in July, 1684. fully equipped with four vessels, a 
hundred soldiers, and a company of mechanics and labourers. In addition 
to these, thirty volunteers, a number of families to form a colony, and six 
priests joined the expedition. This ill-fated venture was doomed to almost 
every form of disaster, and its unfortunate author, after witnessing 
the loss or departure of all his ships and most of his followers, was mur 
dered on the plains of Texas in a last desperate effort to reach New 
France overland. No stone or monument marks to-day the last resting- 
place of the first owner of a portion of the soil of what is now the county 
of Lennox and Addington. 

La Barre had proven himself so incompetent to cope with the situa 
tion in the New World that the King, under the pretence of solicitude 
for his health and advancing years, requested him in 1685 to return to 
France, acquainting him in the same letter with the appointment of 
Monsieur de Denonville as his successor. The new Governor was 
expected to master the Indian problem, which had been going from bad 


to worse since the recall of Frontenac. The English were bidding high 
for the fur trade both at New York and on Hudson Bay, and the Iro- 
quois were growing restless and defiant. It was claimed by the French 
that the English resorted to every artifice, not only to intercept the trade 
on its way to the warehouses of Quebec, but to stir up the Iroquois to 
attack the French colonies. 

In 1687, after receiving reinforcements from France, Denonville 
resolved to strike a blow at the Iroquois, calculated not only to subdue 
them but to regain the confidence of the western tribes, whose trade was 
slowly finding its way to the English. At the inception of his campaign 
he practised a deception upon his enemies which his warmest supporters 
never seriously attempted to justify. Setting out for Fort Frontenac 
with a strong force he sent messengers among the Iroquois inviting them 
to a feast and friendly conference at the fort. The missionary, Lamber- 
ville, believing that the Governor merely intended to follow the course 
pursued by Frontenac at the building of the fort, prevailed upon many 
of the chiefs and their families to cross the lake to meet Denonville and, 
no sooner were they within the palisades than they were captured, and 
the able-bodied warriors deported to France as galley slaves. The 
Indians, with a more delicate sense of honour than that shown by their 
treacherous Governor, did not visit their vengeance upon the missionary, 
who was still in their power, but, knowing that he had been deceived as 
well as themselves, they permitted him to escape to his fellow-country 

Among the number ensnared by this disgraceful artifice of Denon 
ville were the leading representatives of the villages of Kente and Gan- 
neious ; in fact, some eighteen men and sixty women and children were 
made prisoners at the latter village while pursuing their peaceful occu 
pations. During these years of strife they had remained neutral, living 
on friendly terms with the garrison at Cataraqui, for whom they hunted 
and fished, receiving in return such merchandise as the French were 
able to supply them. Although the Governor in his subsequent invasion 
of the Mohawk valley achieved a signal victory against the Iroquois, the 
honour of his achievement was robbed of its glory. The unoffending 
villagers, who had been instructed in the white man s code of honour by 
Fenelon and his successors, fell easy victims to the trap that was laid 
for them. The apparent advantage gained at the time was more than 
offset by the years of bitter warfare which followed, culminating in the 
terrible massacre at Lachine. The good work of the missionaries was 
undone ; and the Kente villages, which might, under the fostering care of 
a prudent Governor, have developed into thriving colonies in this and 


the adjoining counties, no longer trusting to the promises of the white 
men appear to have faded away, probably to join their brethren across 
the lake. 

By 1689 the fate of New France was hanging by a very slen 
der thread. The motherland was at war with England and the colonists 
of Canada were terrorized by the raids of the bloodthirsty Iroquois. 
Trade was paralyzed, the English were gaining ground in every direc 
tion, and the colony appeared to be doomed. All eyes turned to Fron- 
tenac as the one man capable of coping with the situation. I Ic was now 
in his seventieth year; but when appealed to by the King to assume 
command again in the colony, he consented. One of the last acts of 
Denonville was to order the destruction of Fort Frontenac, which order 
the new Governor sought too late to countermand. It was dismantled 
and blown up, to be rebuilt again in ifx)6 by its founder, who recognized 
its strategic position. 

The century following the return of Frontenac to Xew France was 
a period fraught with events of momentous importance to Canada ; but 
our local territory was far removed from the principal scenes of action, 
and we hasten on to a time when our history begins to have a local 

It may well be asked what transpired in this part of the country 
during this long period of nearly one hundred years from the capture of 
the Indians at Ganneious to the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists. 
That the traders and Indians frequently passed this way along the waters 
of the Bay of Quinte there can be no doubt. It is equally probable, in 
fact almost certain, that the red man traversed these townships in pur 
suit of game, camping in favourite spots perhaps for weeks at a time, 
and returning again to the same haunts in successive years ; but no event 
of historic importance appears to have transpired within the limits of 
the county. Relics have been found in various parts of the county, but 
not in sufficient quantities to justify the conclusion that at any time 
prior to the advent of the Loyalists had there ever been a settlement of 
any consequence. The collection gathered by Mr. Walter Clark of 
Ernesttown and now in the possession of the Lennox and Addington 
Historical Society consists of such articles as might, from year to year, 
be lost or cast aside in the chase or carelessly left behind when shifting 
a temporary camp from place to place. This excellent collection, the 
only one in the county worthy of the name, consists of arrow-heads, 
axes, pipes, spear heads, pestles, and ornaments, the result of a syste 
matic search extending over a period of thirty years. With commendable 
pride and enthusiasm Mr. Clark recounts his experiences in gathering 


so many valuable relics of the aborigines of the county. Nearly all of 
these were found upon or near the banks of Big" Creek in the Fifth 
Concession of Ernesttown, and Mr. Clark is of opinion that they do 
not indicate the location of a village, but a temporary camping-ground of 
Indians engaged in the chase or some other peaceful pursuit. These 
hunting-grounds could be reached by canoe, entering the mouth of Big 
Creek at the head of Hay Bay, and that is probably the route that was 

R I 



S L D M U T H. 





The permanent settlement of this county began with the arrival of 
the United Empire Loyalists in 1/84. Let us briefly glance at the causes 
which led to the emigration of so great a number of American colonists 
to the provinces of Canada. No one to-day attempts to justify the 
oppression of the American colonies by King George the Third and his 
ministers, and none will deny that the colonists had just cause of com 

From its very inception the colony of Massachusetts Bay, 
founded by the "Puritan Fathers" in 1628, but not to be confounded 
with the "Pilgrim Fathers" of 1620, had been a thorn in the side of the 
Parliament of Great Britain. No sooner had they set foot in America, 
than they cast to the winds all idea of religious toleration and set up an 
established church more exacting in its demands than that from which 
they had fled. As one eminent statesman tersely put it: "In short, this 
people, who in England could not bear to be chastised with rods, had no 
sooner got free from their fetters than they scourged their fellow 
refugees with scorpions; though the absurdity as well as the injustice 
of such proceeding in them might stare them in the face!"* The wor 
ship of the Church of England was suppressed, the Congregational 
Church set up in its stead, and all who refused to subscribe to the new 
doctrine were disfranchised and punished by whipping and banishment. 
Operating under an English charter, they denied the right of that gov 
ernment, under whose favour they had a legal existence, to exercise a 
supervision over the powers granted them. Although strong in their 
hypocritical professions of loyalty, they disregarded the mandates of the 
Crown and, while preaching the doctrine of freedom of speech and 
action, they granted no liberties to their fellow colonists who refused 
to subscribe to their articles of faith. True it is that in time their inso 
lence was checked and much of the mischief which they had done was 
relieved by the intervention of Great Britain ; but this only emphasized 
the danger of colonial rule and the wisdom of the American colonies 
remaining integral parts of the parent state. For the disaffected colonies 
to complain of their treatment at the hands of the King and his advisers 
and to seek redress for their grievances was the undoubted right of 

* Burke, Vol. II, Second London Edition, 1758 


every British subject, and many of England s wisest statesmen, trusting 
in their repeated professions of loyalty, were the strongest champions 
of their cause. 

In the autumn of the year 1774 a general convention of delegates 
from twelve of the thirteen provinces Georgia not sending any dele 
gates was held at Philadelphia. The principal acts of this Congress, 
as it was called, were a Declaration of Rights, an address to the King, 
an address to the people of Great Britain, a memorial to the Americans, 
and a letter to the people of Canada. A close study of these several 
documents will not disclose a single expression of disloyalty to the 
Crown. Their arguments were based upon the constitutional rights of 
the colonists as subjects of Great Britain. There is no hint or sugges- 
tion of secession ; but on the contrary they entreat "His Majesty s gracious 
interposition to remove such grievances and thereby to restore to Great 
Britain and the colonies that harmony so necessary to the happiness of 
the British Empire, and so ardently desired by all America." 

In the address of this Congress to the people of Great Britain they 
specifically deny any idea of seeking independence in the following words : 
"You have been told that we are seditious, impatient of government, and 
desirous of independence. Be assured that these are not facts but 
calumnies." It was upon the assurance that independence was not the 
object in view that the colonists supported the delegates in their Declar 
ation of Rights, the principles of which could be advocated by every 
Canadian to-day, without detracting one iota from his loyalty. It was 
upon this assurance that Lord Chatham, and many other English states 
men of unquestioned loyalty to the throne, so ably defended their 
brethren across the sea. Can it be supposed for one moment that the 
authors of the words I have quoted would have had the support of their 
fellow colonists, if they had announced their intention of invoking the 
aid of England s bitterest foes, who, with their Indian allies, had raided 
the towns and villages of New England and laid in ashes the homes of 
the frontiersmen? The colonists were determined to insist upon what 
they considered to be their rights under the British Constitution and, if 
necessary, were prepared to defend those rights by force, not as revolu 
tionists, but as British subjects, and the delegates to Congress had no 
mandate from the people to adopt any other policy. To depart from 
the principles outlined in the Declaration of Rights and in the address to 
Great Britain was a breach of faith, not only with the colonists them 
selves, but with their sympathizers in Great Britain, who were fighting 
their battles for them in Parliament. The despotic rule of King George, 
seconded by his corrupt ministers and Parliament, was as loudly 
denounced in England as it was in America ; but the champions of the 


colonists had no thought of encouraging secession, and no reason to 
believe that the American Congress would violate its professions of 
loyalty. As late as November, 1775, the legislature of Pennsylvania 
passed a resolution giving to its delegates the following instructions: 
"We direct that you exert your utmost endeavours to agree upon and 
recommend such measures as you shall judge to afford the best proposal 
of obtaining redress of American grievances, and restoring that unity 
and harmony between Great Britain and the colonies so essential to the 
welfare and happiness of both countries. Though the oppressive meas 
ures of the British Parliament and Administration have compelled us to 
resist their violence by force of arms, yet we strictly enjoin you, that 
you, in behalf of this colony, dissent from and utterly reject any pro 
positions, should such be made, that may cause or lead to a separation 
from our mother country or change the form of this government." 
Could words be framed to express in stronger language the attachment 
of the legislature to the British constitution and its determination to 
adhere to it? 

When we consider the feelings of the loyal colonists, who, 
although ready to assert by force of arms their rights under the British 
Constitution, were averse to substituting another form of government, 
we can readily conceive how their long cherished attachment to the 
British flag received a cruel and unexpected shock when the unheralded 
Declaration of Independence was passed by the Congress. Contrast the 
assurances given out on both sides of the Atlantic to the friends of the 
persecuted colonists with the concluding paragraph of that historic 
document : "We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of 
America, in Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the 
World for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the 
authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and 
declare, that the United Colonies are, and of right ought to be Free and 
Independent States ; and that they are absolved from allegiance to the 
British Crown : and that all political connection between them and the 
State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, 
as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy war, con 
clude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other 
acts and things which Independent States may of right do. And for the 
support of this Declaration, with a pious reliance on the protection of 
Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our 
fortunes, and our sacred honour." 

Let us glance for a moment at the manner in which this remark 
able change of front was brought about, and we shall see that it was far 
from the unanimous voice of the delegates, although it was so announced 


at the time. Upon the reassembling of the General Congress in May, 
1776, the great question of independence was for the first time proposed. 
During the adjournment of the delegates the worst government Great 
Britain had ever known, encouraged by its most despotic of Kings, had 
rejected the petition of the colonists praying for redress of their griev 
ances and had resolved upon the most drastic measures to drive their 
American fellow subjects into submission. An Act was passed 
providing for the increase of the army and navy and the 
hiring of seventeen thousand Hanoverian and Hessian mercen 
aries to chastise the colonists. The King entertained the hope that such 
a display of force would overawe the rising tide of rebellion, but in this 
he sadly misjudged his people. He had received ample warnings from 
America and from his ablest statesmen in England, notably such men 
as Chatham, Camden, Shelburne, Fox, Burke, and Cavendish that the 
spirit of freedom in the proud breast of every British subject could not 
be quenched even by a King and Parliament and that the fundamental 
principles of the British Constitution would in the end prevail. 

When the news of the passing of this Act reached America, the 
country, as a whole, was determined to resist the invasion of their rights. 
Fiery editors and pamphleteers preached the doctrine of independence. 
Thomas Paine s pamphlet "Common Sense" was read in every village and 
hamlet and more than any other agency diffused the sentiments and feel 
ings which produced the act of separation. Yet in the face of the agitation 
for independence, only four of the colonies had taken a position, which, 
upon the most favourable construction, could be interpreted as giving 
authority to their delegates to vote for a Declaration of Independence, 
if such a resolution should be introduced. Resistance to the King s 
forces was held by the great majority to be quite compatible with a 
desire to preserve the old political ties. A parallel case has been aptly 
cited in that of the Barons of Runnymede, who had no thought of 
renouncing their allegiance or changing the form of government when 
they wrested the Magna Charta from an overbearing King. 

On June 7th, 1776, a resolution in favour of independence was sub 
mitted to the Congress by Richard Henry Lee and, after some discussion, 
it was found that the time was not yet ripe to bring it to a vote, and fur 
ther consideration was postponed for a period of three weeks. On July 1st 
the debate was resumed, and it was determined upon the motion of some 
astute politician, whose name has not been preserved, that "the decision 
on the question, whatever might be the state of the votes, should appear 
to the world as the unanimous voice of the Congress." On the first 
vote six colonies were in favour of independence and six were against it 
and, among those in favour of retaining British connection, was 


Pennsylvania, whose delegates had received specific instructions "to dis 
sent from and utterly reject any propositions, >hnuld such be made, that 
may cause or lead to a separation from our mother country or a change 
of the form of this government." Through the influence of Samuel 
Adams the vote of this colony, in violation of the trust committed to 
the delegates, was turned in favour of the resolution by prevailing upon 
one of their number cither to absent himself from Congress at the criti 
cal moment, when the resolution was again presented, or to vote against 
what must have been his own conviction up to that time. 

It thus seems evident that the Declaration of Independence 
was not the spontaneous .act of the delegates to Congress or 
of the legislative bodies which they represented, not the deliberate 
act of the people, brought about by the regularly constituted 
authorities; but that the far-reaching resolution emanated from 
a small body of men carried away by a momentary popular 
uprising. Thousands, who declaimed against the tyranny of King 
George and his ministers and were prepared to defend their con 
stitutional rights at the point of the bayonet, just as consistently refused 
to acquiesce in the invasion of those same rights by their fellow colon 
ists. They had cast in their lot with their political leaders, who had 
repeatedly assured them that there would be no change in the form of 
government and, on July 4th, 1776, they felt that this confidence had 
been betrayed. 

It is not my purjx~)se to follow up the details of the bitter 
war that followed or to discuss the ultimate advantage or disadvantage 
of that bloody conflict to the contending parties. In our present 
examination of the events which followed the Declaration of Inde 
pendence we are interested only in those whose loyalty to the British 
connection would not permit them to take up arms in a cause that 
meant the severance of the ties hallowed by many sacred associations. 
Their detractors argue that it was purely a matter of sentiment and 
that it was to their interest to fall into line and assist in overthrowing 
British rule. The last proposition is a debatable one into which we will 
not enter. As to the former, it has only to be proposed as an argu 
ment to be at once dismissed, for the moment that we discard sentiment 
as a mainspring of human activity we destroy the home, patriotism, 
friendship, and all in life worth living for. The finer sensibilities of the 
Loyalists were wounded when the General Congress cast to the winds 
their former professed allegiance to Great Britain, and insult was added 
to injury when an alliance was sought with France. Tame submission 
to the new order of things by those who had been taught from their 
infancy to respect the ideals of British connection would have been more 


humiliating than surrender to the demands of King George and his 

If Congress had adhered to the principles which they had 
advocated up to the secret session of July, 1776, the colonists would 
have presented an unbroken front and with the assistance of their sym 
pathizers in England would have carried their point and driven from 
power a corrupt government ; but having committed a breach of faith by 
declaring for independence, they not only stultified themselves but stig 
matized their supporters in the British Parliament and House of Lords 
as accomplices in their design to sever the tie with the motherland. They 
could well afford to be tolerant to the Loyalists of America, even if the 
latter chose to enlist under the standard of their King but, as we shall 
presently see, those who consistently remained true to their principles 
were branded as traitors and exposed to the severest penalties. 

The framers of the Declaration of Independence gave first place to 
the following articles of their professed creed : "That all men are creat 
ed equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 
rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." 
No sooner had they proclaimed these self-evident truths, than they pro 
ceeded to disregard the inalienable rights of those who were in every 
respect their equals and to enact cruel laws aimed directly against the 
life, liberty, and happiness of their fellow colonists. No one has pre 
sumed to belittle the respectability and social standing of the large min 
ority, men of wealth and unimpeachable character, who could not and 
would not enlist in a cause at variance with their convictions and repug 
nant to the traditions of their forefathers. The legislatures of various 
colonies placed upon their statute books the most stringent laws imposing 
confiscation, banishment, and even the death penalty upon all who showed 
a disposition to remain true to the principles so warmly advocated by 
their persecutors twelve months before. Besides the general provisions 
operating against all who fell within their pale, scores and hundreds 
were designated by name, and by a stroke of the pen, without a trial or 
an opportunity to answer the charges preferred against them, were 
shorn of their property, rights, and liberty, and proclaimed as outlaws. 
In Massachusetts alone three hundred and eight persons, who had fled 
for safety from their persecutors, were proscribed and made liable to 
arrest, imprisonment, and banishment if they presumed to return to 
their own homes, and for a second offence the penalty was death. In 
like manner these exponents of the inalienable rights in Pennsylvania, 
who had instructed their delegates to Congress utterly to reject any 
proposition that might lead to a change in the form of government, 
designated by name sixty-two persons as attainted by treason, unless 


within a specified time they surrendered themselves for trial. These 
are not isolated cases, but fair examples of the legislation that followed 
that famous Declaration beginning with "All men are created equal." 
Upon the slightest pretext, the property of the Loyalists was confiscated 
and not unfrequently passed to some prominent official and never 
reached the public coffers. 

Whatever plea might be advanced for the unnatural treat 
ment of the Loyalists during hostilities, it would be difficult 
to find an excuse for continuing the persecution after the conclusion 
of the war. During the negotiations for peace the welfare of the Loyalists 
was frequently under consideration. The Americans, having attained 
their end, could well afford to be generous towards all those who had 
differed from them, and one would scarcely expect to find it necessary 
for the British Commissioners to urge some degree of leniency in pro 
viding for a general amnesty to the Loyalists and compensation for the 
property that had been confiscated. The Americans suggested no techni 
cal objections when agreeing, as they did, that there should be no future 
confiscations nor persecutions and that all pending prosecutions should 
be discontinued ; yet, while assuming jurisdiction to embody these terms 
in a treaty of peace, they claimed that neither the Commissioners nor 
Congress had power to provide for restitution of the property that had 
been confiscated. 

The outcome of the prolonged conferences was a provi 
sion that Congress was to recommend to the several States that 
indemnity should be granted to the Loyalists, and with no further guar 
antee than that, the Loyalists were left to the tender mercies of their 
persecutors. No colony suffered quite as much from the depredations 
of the British troops as South Carolina, yet, when peace was concluded, 
it was the only State to grant indemnity to the Loyalists and to receive 
them again into full citizenship. All the other States continued to pur 
sue them with relentless fury. This uncompromising hostility towards 
their former citizens is tersely described in Sabine s "Biography of the 
American Loyalists." "At the peace, justice and good policy both 
required a general amnesty and the revocation of the Acts of disability 
and banishment, so that only those who had been guilty of flagrant 
crimes should be excluded from becoming citizens. Instead of this, 
however, the State legislatures generally continued in a course of hos 
tile action, and treated the conscientious and pure, and the unprincipled 
and corrupt with the same indiscrimination as they had done during the 
struggle. In some parts of the country there really appears to have been 
a determination to place these misguided but then humbled men beyond 
the pale of human sympathy." 


In order that we may form a proper estimate of the character of the 
first permanent settlers in this county I cannot do better than supple 
ment the foregoing quotation from an American author with the testi 
mony of the leading statesmen of Great Britain to whom the Loyalists, 
in their extremity, were forced to appeal for assistance. 

Lord North, who was Prime Minister during the War, in speak 
ing of the Loyalists, said: "I cannot but lament the fate of those un 
happy men, who, I conceive, were in general, objects of our gratitude 
and protection. The Loyalists from their attachments, surely had some 
claim to our affection I cannot but feel for men thus sacri 
ficed for their bravery and principles men who have sacrificed the 
dearest possessions of the human heart. They have exposed their lives, 
endured an age of hardship, deserted their interests, forfeited their 
possessions, lost their connections, and ruined their families in our 


Mr. Burke said : "At any rate it must be agreed on all hands that 
a vast number of Loyalists had been deluded by this country and had 
risked everything in our cause ; to such men the nation owed protection, 
and its honour was pledged for their security at all hazards." 

Mr. Sheridan execrated the treatment of those unfortunate 
men who, without the least notice taken of their civic and religious 
rights, were handed over as subjects to a power that would not fail to 
take vengeance on them for the zeal and attachment to the religion and 
government of this country." 

Sir Peter Burrell said: "The fate of the Loyalists claimed the com 
passion of every human breast. These helpless, forlorn men, abandoned 
by the ministers of a people on whose justice, gratitude, and humanity 
they had the best founded claims, were left at the mercy of a Congress 
highly irritated against them." 

It was in language such as this that both Houses of Parliament 
recognized the sacrifices that the Loyalists had made for the motherland 
and admitted their liability to make good to some extent the losses that 
had been sustained. To remain in a community that denied them the 
rights of citizenship was out of the question. During and after the war 
of the Revolution, it is estimated that no less than 30,000 were driven 
from their homes and settled in the Bahamas, Florida, the British West 
Indies, and Canada. Large numbers were conveyed to Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick, so many indeed, that the British commander of New 
York bethought himself of finding some other outlet for the hundreds 
still to be provided for and turned his attention to Upper Canada. 
Entertaining serious doubts whether that part of the country was habit 
able, he applied for information to Michael Grass, who during the 


French war had been a prisoner for two or three years at Fort Fron- 
tcnac. lli> informant assured him that the territory about the fort and 
nl.-ng the Bay of Quinte was a desirable location for a colony and, 
thanks to Mr. Grass favourable report, five vessels were fitted out, 
filled with refugees, and conducted by him to the northern wilderness. 
They sailed from New York on September 8th, 1783, and arrived at 
(Juebec on < >ctober 8th, and proceeded to Sorel where they wintered in 
tents and hastily constructed cabins. Another common route from New 
York, followed by the Loyalists after the war, was up the Hudson River 
to the mouth of the Mohawk River, a few miles north of Albany, thence 
up the Mohawk and Wood Creek to a portage leading to Oneida Lake. 
From this lake they entered the Owego River which carried them to 
Lake Ontario, whence they proceeded to Kingston, the Bay of Quinte, 
Niagara, or Queenston. ( nhers again followed the old Champlain route 
down the Richelieu River and thence to Sorel. It will be remembered 
that although hostilities ceased on September 2Oth, 1783, the British did 
not give up possession of New York until the 25th of November, which 
date has since been commemorated as "Evacuation Day/ This city 
naturally had become a rallying point for the Loyalists, 12,000 of whom 
sailed in the month of September from this port for the Bahamas, Nova 
Scotia, and Canada. 

The incidents in connection with the emigration of many of the 
first Loyalists who settled in this country have fortunately been pre 
served in an interview with the late John Grass, of the township of 
Kingston, son of the Michael Grass before referred to. His statement 
is as follows: "My father had been a prisoner at Fronteiiac (now Kings 
ton) in the old French war, and at the commencement of the American 
Revolution he resided on a farm on the borders of the North River, 
about thirty miles from New York. Being solicited by General Her- 
kimer to take a captain s commission in the American service he replied 
sternly and promptly that he had sworn allegiance to our King, mean 
ing George the Third, and could not violate his oath and serve against 


"For this he .was obliged to fly from his home and take refuge 
within New York, under British protection. His family had soon to 
follow him, being driven from their home, which by the enemy was 
dilapidated and broken up. They continued in that city till the close of 
the war, living on their resources as best they could. On the return of 
peace, the Americans having gained their independence, there was no 
longer any home for the fugitive Loyalists of which the city was full; 
and the British Governor was much at a loss for a place to settle them. 
Many had retreated to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick ; but this was a 


desperate resort, and their immense numbers made it difficult to find a 
home for them all even then. In the meantime, the Governor, in his 
perplexity, having heard that my father had been a prisoner among the 
French at Frontenac, sent for him and said: Mr. Grass, I understand 
that you have been at Frontenac, in Canada. Pray tell me what sort 
of a country it is? Can people live there? My father replied: Yes, your 
Excellency, I was there a prisoner of war, and from what I saw I think 
it is a fine country and that people might live very well. Oh ! Mr. 
Grass, exclaims the Governor, how glad I am to hear that, for the sake 
of these poor Loyalists. As they cannot all go to Nova Scotia, and I am 
at a loss how to provide for them, will you, Mr. Grass, undertake to 
lead thither as many as may choose to accompany you? If so, I will 
furnish a conveyance by Quebec, and rations for you all until such time 
as you may be able to provide for yourselves/ My father requested his 
Excellency to allow him three days to make up his mind. This was 
granted, and accordingly at the expiration of the three days, my father 
went to the Governor and said he would undertake it. Notices were then 
posted up through the city, calling for all that would go to Frontenac 
to enroll their names with Mr. Grass; so in a short time the company 
of men, women, and children was completed, a ship provided and fur 
nished, and off they started for the unknown and far distant regions, 
leaving the homes and friends of their youth, with all their endearing 
recollections behind them. 

"The first season they got no further than Sorel, in Lower 
Canada, where they were obliged to erect log huts for the 
winter. Next spring they took boats, and proceeding up the St. 
Lawrence, at length reached Frontenac and pitched their tents on 
Indian Point, where the marine docks of Kingston now. stand. Here 
they awaited the surveying of the lands, which was not accomplished so 
as to be ready for location before July. In the meantime several other 
companies had arrived by different routes under their respective leaders, 
who were all awaiting the completing of the surveys. The Governor 
also, who by this time had himself come to Quebec, paid them a visit, 
and riding a few miles along the lake shore on a fine day, exclaimed to 
my father : Why, Mr. Grass, you have indeed got a fine country ! I am 
really glad to find it so. While the several companies were together 
waiting for the survey some would say to my father : The Governor will 
not give you the first choice of the townships but will prefer Sir John 
Johnson and his company because he is a great man. But my father 
replied that he did not believe that, for if the Governor should do so 
he should feel himself injured and would leave the country, as he was 
the first man to mention it to the Governor in New York and to pro 
ceed thither with his company for settlement. 


"At length the time came, in July, for the townships to be given 
out. The Governor having assembled the companies before him, called 
for Mr. Grass, and said: "Now, you were the first person to mention 
this fine, country and have been here formerly as a prisoner of war. 
You must have the first choice. The townships are numbered first, 
second, third, fourth, and fifth. Which do you choose? My father 
says: The first township (Kingston). Then the Governor says to Sir 
John Johnson: Which do you choose for your company? He replies: 
The second township (Ernesttown). To Colonel Rogers: Which do 
you choose? He says: The third township (Fredericksburgh). To 
Major Vanalstine: Which do you choose? He replies: The fourth 
township (Adolphustown). Then Colonel McDonnell, with his company, 
got the fifth township (Marysburgh). So after this manner the first 
settlement of Loyalists in Canada was made. 

"But before leaving, the Governor very considerately remarked to 
my father: Now, Mr. Grass, it is too late in the season to put in any 
crops. What can you do for food? My father replied: If they were 
furnished with turnip seed they might raise some turnips. Very well, 
said the Governor, that you shall have. Accordingly from Montreal 
he sent some seed, and each man taking a handful thereof, they cleared 
a spot of ground in the centre of where the town of Kingston now 
stands, and raised a fine crop of turnips which served for food the 
ensuing winter with the Government rations."* 

The point of embarkation upon the last stage of the journey was 
from Lachine, where flat-bottomed boats were constructed for the 
purpose. They were heavy and clumsy affairs capable of holding four 
or five families with their effects, and when ascending the rapids or 
against a swift current, the boatmen, sometimes wading up to their 
waists in water, hauled them along by means of a rope attached to the 
bow. Although the Surveyor-general had received instructions in 1783 
to lay out the townships for the reception of the settlers, they arrived 
some weeks before they could be located. On June i6th, 1784, a mem 
orable day in this county, Major Vanalstine with his band of refugees 
landed at Adolphustown near the site of the present U. E. L. Monu 
ment. Each family had been provided with a tent capable of accom 
modating eight or ten persons. Sufficient clothing for three years, of a 
coarse but suitable quality, had been given to each. To each two fam 
ilies was given one cow, and the Government had been liberal in the 

* The late William Kingsford, in his " History 01 Canada," Vol. VII, page 218-9, 
attempts to disprove this story, but his reasoning is quite inconclusive, and there is no 
reason to doubt the correctness of the story ^iven by Captain Grass. Kingsford s note 
at most proves that a certain amount of friction arose between Captain Grass and 
Governor Sir Frederick Haldimand. 


distribution of seed grain and tools, but of the latter the axe was ill- 
suited for the purpose of felling trees, being the short-handled ship axe 
intended for quite a different purpose. As the survey was not complete 
at the time of their landing, they pitched their tents upon the shore in 
groups until the allotments were made, when they dispersed to their 
several locations and the battle with the forest began. The concessions 
were laid out in lots of 200 acres each; four lots covered a mile in 
frontage, and every two or three miles a strip forty feet in width was 
reserved for a cross-road. The surveyors did their work so hurriedly 
that in later years there were found to be many inaccuracies which led 
to confusion and litigation and were the cause of a great deal of trouble 
and bad feeling. 

As early as the month of July, 1783, the King, declaring himself 
desirous of encouraging his loyal subjects in the United States of 
America to take up and improve lands in the then Province of Quebec, 
and of testifying his appreciation of the bravery and loyalty of the 
royal forces in the Province, issued instructions to the Governor-in-chief 
to direct the Surveyor-general to admeasure and lay out such a quan 
tity of land as he deemed necessary for that purpose, and to allot such 
parts thereof as might be applied for by any of his loyal subjects, non 
commissioned officers, and private men in the following proportions, 
that is to say: 

To every master of a family, one hundred acres, and fifty acres 

for each person of which his family shall consist. 
To every single man, fifty acres. 
To every non-commissioned officer in Quebec, two hundred 

To every private man of the force, one hundred acres, and 

every person in his family, fifty acres. 

The same instructions contained a notification of the purchase of the 
Seigniory of Sorel with a request that all undisposed-of lands be laid out 
into small allotments and distributed among the reduced members of 
the forces and other loyal subjects, as might by the Governor be judged 
the most conducive to their interests and the more speedy settlement of 
the Seigniory. These instructions account for the general muster of the 
refugees at Sorel before ascending the St. Lawrence for the Western 

The townships having been assigned to the several companies, 
as described by Mr. Grass, the first "drawings" took place in 1784. The 
Surveyor superintended the process, which was impartially conducted by 
placing in a hat small pieces of paper, upon which were written the 
numbers of the lots to be distributed. Each applicant "drew" out a 


piece of paper, and the Surveyor, with a map of the township spread out 
before him, wrote the name of the person drawing the number upon the 
corresponding number upon the map, and the locatee was given a certi 
ficate or "location ticket" as it was commonly called, entitling him to a 
patent of the lot or part of lot so drawn by him. As provided in the 
King s instructions, a record of every allotment and subsequent aliena- 
t on was kept in the office of the Receiver-general, which was the only 
land registry office in Canada at the time. It was under this system 
that the drawings took place in 1784, with the result that 434 of Jessup s 
Corps received their location tickets for Ernesttown, 310 of the Kin: 
Royal Regiment of New York and Colonel Rogers with 229 men located 
in Fredericksburgh, and Major Vanalstine and his party and some of 
Rogers men, about 400 in all, became the first settlers in Adolphustown. 
In addition to the plan of allotment referred to in the instruction- of 
1783, every Loyalist field officer was to receive 1,000 acres, every chap 
lain 700, and every subaltern, staff, or warrant officer, 500 acres. The 
excess over the ordinary allotment was not to be in one block, and not 
more than 200 acres were to be drawn by one person in a front conces 
sion. These regulations prevailed until superseded by instructions of a 
similar character issued in 1786 authorizing an additional grant of 200 
acres, as a sort of bonus for good behaviour, to each settler who, by his 
conduct, had given such proof of his loyalty, decent deportment, and 
thrift in improving the land already received by him. as to warrant the 
presumption that he would become a good and profitable subject. 

On July 24th, 1788, the Governor-general divided what was after 
wards called Upper Canada into four districts, namely : Lunenburgh, from 
the River Ottawa to Gananoque ; Mecklenburgh, from Gananoque to the 
River Trent ; Nassau, from the Trent to Long Point ; and Hesse, from 
Long Point to Lake St. Clair. At the same time a judge and sheriff 
were appointed to administer justice in each of these Districts, and the 
Dutch names soon gave way to the more acceptable English titles, 
the Eastern District, the Midland District, the Home District, and the 
Western District respectively. Early in the following year the system 
of parcelling out the land was improved by appointing in each District 
a Land Board to receive and report upon applications. Each Board 
was to consist of not less than three members, whose term of office was 
to expire on May 1st, 1/91, unless continued by appointment. Regula 
tions calculated to facilitate the faithful performance of the duties of 
the Board in receiving and adjudicating upon applications presented to 
them and in preserving convenient records of the same were prepared 
by the Governor-in-Council, together with approved forms to be used by 
them in their respective offices. 


In November the Governor-general found opportunity for fur 
ther expression of the gratitude of the Crown for the attachment 
of the Loyalists by ordering the Land Boards to take proper steps 
for preserving a register of the names of all persons who adhered 
to the unity of the Empire and joined the Royal Standard in 
America before the Treaty of Separation in 1783, as it was his wish to 
put a "Mark of Honour" upon the families in order that their posterity 
might be discriminated from future settlers. To the sons and daughters 
of all such he ordered that a lot of 200 acres be assigned upon their 
attaining the full age of twenty-one years. One member of the Land 
Board for the Mecklenburgh District was the Hon. Richard Cartwright. 
Another was the Rev. Dr. John Stuart, the founder of the Church of 
England in Upper Canada and Chaplain of the first Legislative Council. 
He was tendered the commission of Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, which honourable position he declined in order that he might 
devote his talents to his holy office. 

In 1791 was passed the Constitutional Act, dividing the Province of 
Quebec into two separate provinces to be known respectively as Lower 
Canada and Upper Canada. General John Graves Simcoe was appointed 
the first Lieutenant-governor of the western Province. The new Lieu 
tenant-governor by a proclamation bearing date July i6th, 1792, divided 
the new Province into counties, among them being the counties of Ad- 
dington and Lennox; at the same time he superseded the old District 
Land Boards by appointing County Land Boards. For this purpose 
Addington, Lennox, Hastings, and Prince Edward were grouped to 
gether, and the Land Board consisted of Peter Vanalstine, Hazelton 
Spencer, Alexander Fisher, Archibald McDonnell, and Joshua Booth. 
It was at this time our county assumed its present name. The name 
Lennox is derived from Charles Lennox, third Duke of Richmond, who 
at the coronation of King George III carried the sceptre with the dove. 
He was ambassador extraordinary to the court of France in 1765 and 
Secretary of State in 1766. Addington was named after Henry Adding 
ton, Viscount Sidmouth, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1789 
to 1791, afterwards Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister 
of Great Britain. 

The new order of things was short-lived, for in November, I794> 
the Executive Council of the Province abolished the County Boards and 
resolved that thereafter all petitions for crown lands be made to the 
Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council. A simple form of procedure was 
adopted in the case of intending settlers. Any person professing the 
Christian religion and capable of manual labour could present himself to 
a magistrate residing in the county, who, being notified of his proper 


qualification to be admitted to the possession of lands within the Province, 
furnished him with a recommendation to the local deputy surveyor, who 
assigned him his location, upon payment of the usual fees of 4, 95. and 
6d., of which sum 4 was paid for the title deed when the patent was 
granted. It was not, however, until 1795 that the grants or patents to the 
allotted lands were actually issued and then only to such as produced their 
tickets or certificates. Originally the tickets were transferable by endorse 
ment, but so many abuses crept into the practice that the Government 
and improvident and intervened for the protection of the thoughtless 
decided that patents should be issued only in the name of the original 

The land jobber was then, as now, much in evidence, and when the 
patents were granted it was not unfrequently found that large tracts 
passed into the hands of single individuals, while others at the begin 
ning of their career in the wilderness were forced to begin life anew 
as the servants of their more provident companions. Some parted with 
their holding for a pint of rum or some other trivial consideration, and 
others, being so unfortunate as to draw a lot in the third or fourth con 
cession, regarded the location as too undesirable to be of any real value. 
As there were no roads the lots upon the water-front were most highly 
prized, and the locatee of land which could not be reached by boat, would 
willingly exchange his 100 acres in the interior of the township for a 
much smaller quantity upon the bay. The Government had supplied 
them with a number of small boats, they made more for themselves, 
and the common means of travel was by the water routes, as each family 
had its dinghy, punt, or dug-out. 

The so-called pioneers in our prairie provinces who are to-day car 
ried within a few miles of their locations by a comfortable colonist 
sleeper and have merely to break the soil of the virgin prairie in 
order to secure a harvest in a few months time, know little of 
the difficulties experienced by our forefathers, who, even after leav 
ing Sorel, tugged at the oars and rope for weeks before reaching 
the site of their future homes, where a more stubborn foe, the 
forest, had to be overcome before they could engage in any form of hus 
bandry. But men who had sacrificed all their worldly possessions and 
endured bitter persecution for the principles they cherished were not 
to be checked in their progress by any ordinary obstacle. With axe in 
hand they advanced against the last barrier. One man could not accom 
plish much single-handed, so with that neighbourly spirit which is to 
this day so characteristic of our farming community, they organized 
"bees," thereby imitating those industrious little insects, which by their 
united efforts successfully accomplish what would be an impossibility 
for the single individual. 


A suitable site for the log cabin having been selected, they set 
to work with a will. "Round logs (generally of bass-wood) roughly 
notched together at the corners, and piled one above the other to 
the height of seven or eight feet, constituted the walls. Openings 
for a door, and one small window designed for four lights of glass, 
seven by nine, were cut out, the spaces between the logs were chinked with 
small splinters, and carefully plastered outside and inside with clay for 
mortar. Several straight poles were laid lengthwise of the building, on 
the walls, to serve as supports for the roof. This was composed of strips 
of elm bark, four feet in length by two or three feet in width, in layers 
overlapping each other and fastened to the poles by withes, withj a suffi 
cient slope to the back. This formed a roof which was proof against wind 
and weather. An ample hearth made of flat stone was then laid out, 
and a fire back of field stone, or small boulders, rudely built, was car 
ried up as high! as the wall. Above this the chimney was formed of 
round poles, notched together and plastered with mud. The floor was 
of the same material as the walls, only that the logs were split in two, 
and flattened so as to make a tolerably even surface. As no boards could 
be had to make a door, until they could be sawn out by the whip saw, 
a blanket suspended from the inside for some time took its place. By 
and by four little panes of glass were stuck into a rough sash and the 
shanty was complete."* 

While the dwelling was in course of construction and before the 
chinks were filled with plaster, long poles were placed across the ends 
about two feet from the floor, supported by the logs of the side walls. 
Across these were stretched thin strips of bass-wood bark, thus form 
ing a platform which was the only bedstead known to our forefathers 
for many years after their arrival. Rude tables and benches hewed out 
of the green timber supplied the furniture of their humble abodes. 
Before winter set in all were comfortably housed ; but the attack upon 
the forest continued. The work was slow and tedious, and the ship axe 
would be found but a sorry tool by our workmen of to-day. To get rid 
of the green timber and remove the stumps and underbush was no easy 
task. They had at first no oxen or horses, and all work had to be done 
by hand. To facilitate the clearing process the trees were killed by 
girdling them about the base and sometimes, at great risk of destroying 
their homes, fire was employed. The trees when felled were cut into 
convenient lengths, rolled by hand into large heaps, and the torch 

Among the settlers were many men not accustomed to manual 
labour, but old and young, without distinction of rank or age, joined in 
* Canniffs Settlement of Upper Canada, pag-e 185 


r By ISA XC BROCK, Efyuirt, Prefutent admm- 

ijlrring tin. Government of the Province of Up- 
prr Canada, and Major-General Commanding 
Ihs Mi] fly 5 Fonts therein, kc. &c. Sec. 
(/ ; -/ 

~0 Q / //// i^tfl^fftif ^ - 

/ /// $/* / C* , / ^ r 
. *-/ tt^*f^.,^{ ,(. <^(i-/ A ,,,.^ . f 

\5I71IEREAS l\ an AO of i ne Pariianu-nt ot tins Province, -pushed in the tony 
lour-.h jcar <>! ili< M. j.:;!\\ , v-i^-!, ulcJ, An Act lor the bctlcr sccuiinglhu 
" Provii! "jrl) the tranquillity thtrrof," 

it. is amon; otiwr things provided, l ,i.,t it slull and may be lawful for the Governor, 
" Lieutenant tJuvernor, or I crson adi-:;! ;v:crin^ tlic Government for the time being, to 
" appoint such I cr.-on or Per . ; appear to him proper, for the purpose of ar- 

li rt-siin; such P-rson or Persons not having been an Inhabitant or Inhabitants of 
" Pruvincc for the space of Six Months preceding (he date of his \Varrant, or not ha- 
Mn^ taken the Oath of Allegiance to our Sovereign Lord the King, who by words or 
" aUion.t, or other behaviour or conduit, ha:h or have endeavoured, or hath or have 
" given ju;t cause to suspecl that he, .she, or they, is or are about to endeavour to alienate 
" the mind s of His Majr.siv s SuhjecU of iliis Province from His Person or Government^ 
" or in any wise wiih a seditious intent to disturb the tianquillity thereof." NOW 
KN OW YE, that I ISAAC BROCK, Enquire, President, and Major-General Com- 
man(^ng His Majefly i Forces within the said Province, by viriue of the powers so ve.-tid 
!!i me under the au;hori;y of the bc-forc reciied A8, have appointed and deputed, and 
by these Presents appoint and i!?pute \ou the said ^/p/; , t 

, +/<~.*.*>~J/if/- d &it^m^**r*r *~ /A- 

to carry into Execut.on thescvcrii Provisions in tiic said before rcciied Ai contained 
triG y conforming yourself in every particular thereto. 

GIVEN under my Hand and Seal, tit Aims, at the Government House, at York. 

* x" f^ ^-~f 

this" a-S****~~S~s^. tS ft < j^,^ /< l j day of c^*^-- ._ r 

./ ^ 

in the year of Our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and Twelve, .am 

His Majesty s Reign, the Fifty-second, /ff ^ / 

ijf *** 
His Honor s Command, 





the general onslaught, working early and late. With aching bones, but 
buoyant spirits, they gathered about the open fireplaces during the long 
winter evenings and recounted, but with no expression) of regret, the 
suffering their loyalty had brought upon them. Hard as was their 
lot, they rejoiced in the freedom of their wilderness homes. Day after 
day the sturdy Loyalists plied the axe ; little by little the forest yielded 
and the spring of 1785 witnessed a wonderful change. The bright sun 
shine revealed here and there small clearings covered with heaps of 
charred logs, unyielding stumps, and masses of tangled underbrush. In 
the centre was a rude cabin which would compare unfavourably with 
that which had sheltered their oxen in the south. A few ploughs had 
been supplied them but there were no draft animals to hitch before 
them and, even if there had been, little use could have been made of 
the plough during the first year or two. The cleared spots were small, 
many stumps and roots still encumbered the soil, and the spade was the 
only instrument of cultivation. The main staples of food were Indian 
corn and wild rice. In a few localities portable mills for grinding the 
grain had been furnished by the Government, rude contrivances, to be 
turned by hand, like a coffee-mill, but there were few if any in this 
county, and the settlers were forced to resort to the primitive method of 
placing the grain upon a smooth flat rock and pounding it with an axe 
or stone, until it was reduced to a powder. This soon gave way to the 
"hominy block" or bowl hollowed out in a hard-wood stump and cap 
able of holding a bushel or more. This possessed the advantage that it 
held more and that the grain could be more easily kept in place while 
it was pounded with a heavy wooden pestle known as a "plumper." 
Sometimes a cannon-ball attached to a long sweep took the place of a 

The pumpkin in our day serves two important ends, far removed 
from each other. By far the greater quantity is fed to our cattle and a 
few only are reserved for the old-fashioned but most palatable dessert, 
the "pumpkin pie." But our forefathers and the Indians raised it more 
for table use and served it up in many styles. The "pumpkin loaf" 
appears to have been relegated to the past, its nearest survival being 
"Johnnie cake," now served up in individual cakes and disguised under 
the name of "corn meal gems." The pumpkin was mixed with the 
Indian meal, spiced, rolled into a small loaf, baked in the open oven, 
broken into pieces, and spread with butter, if by good fortune the larder 
contained any, or was eaten with maple syrup, an important article of 
food which could be had at the very doors for the taking, or sweetened 
in the making by adding a liberal allowance of maple sugar. Game 
and fish, as a rule, were plentiful, so that with the rations supplied by 


the government there was a sufficient supply of plain but wholesome 
food to meet the ordinary demands. Cattle, horses, and pigs were 
gradually introduced, but, owing to the depredations of wolves, it was 
many years before sheep could be raised to advantage. Dishes were 
very scarce but, occasionally, we still run across a highly prized U. E. 
L. heirloom, a tea-cup or plate handed down from generation to gen 
eration. This want was at first supplied by wooden dishes which the 
handy craftsman whittled out of the fine-grained wood of the poplar. 
These were gradually replaced by more durable pewter articles, intro 
duced by the Yankee pedlars. 

In the matter of dress, the beau of the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century far outshone in his gorgeous array the dude of the twentieth. 
Hanging on a wooden peg in the corner of the log cabin might be seen 
the faded blue damask frock-coat, with its high rolling collar and velvet 
lining. Carefully stowed away in the family chest was the white satin 
waist-coat, and the close fitting black satin knee breeches, the white silk 
stockings, and the red morocco slippers, surmounted with huge but 
highly prized silver buckles. What a sensation would such an attire 
create upon our streets to-day! The occasions for making use of such 
finery were rare indeed in this new settlement. The ordinary costume 
was made from the coarse cloth and Indian blankets supplied by the 
government ; but the most common and serviceable garments were 
made from deer skins and were worn by both sexes. As soon as they 
could spare the land for the purpose flax and hemp were grown, and a 
coarse linen was woven upon the home-made loom, which became an 
indispensable part of the equipment of every cabin. Woollen garments, 
the most serviceable of all, were scarce until the danger from the wolves 
had been sufficiently reduced to allow the keeping of sheep. Soap was a 
luxury, and the week s washing could be accomplished only through a 
weak solution of lye, and the records inform us of the embarrassing 
experience of a young woman who made use of this same liquid in 
cleaning her only garment, a suit of buckskin. To her amazement her 
leather gown shrivelled away to infantile proportions and she was 
forced to conceal herself in the potato pit beneath the floor until her 
mother came to her rescue. 

Among the manuscripts given by the late Dr. Canniff to the Len 
nox and Addington Historical Society is a copy of a "Testimonial of Mr. 
Roger Bates" whose grandfather originally settled in the Bay of Quinte 
district, but afterwards removed to the township of Clark where he 
died "at the premature age of 84." As his grandmother lived to be 
ninety-six Mr. Bates believed that his grandfather, in the natural 
course of events, would have lived to reach his hundredth year but for 


a fright he received at a fire, which hastened his end. In writing of 
wearing apparel he says: "Skins of animals they obtained from the 
Indians who at that period were very numerous throughout the coun 
try. \Yith those skins my grandmother made all sorts of useful and 
last (lasting) dresses which were most comfortable for a country life, 
and for going through the bush made leather petticoats for herself and 
girls ; as they could not be torn by the brambles, they made capital 
dresses made some for the boys, and at night were extremely comfort 
able for bed covers. There were no tanners in those days. Shoes and 
boots were made of the same useful material." Dame Fashion had 
little to furnish to the young ladies of that day and the young man in 
search of a bride was not bewildered by the latest creations of the mil 
liner or the ever-changing fantasies of the dressmaker. Such finery as 
they had was obtained from the pack of the pedlar who paid the settle 
ments periodic visits. His stock in trade consisted of an inferior qual 
ity of calico, to be had at a dollar a yard, a piece of book muslin and 
another of check for aprons at double that price, a few common shawls, 
stockings, and handkerchiefs, and an assortment of ribbons, tape, 
needles, pins, and horn combs. His arrival in the neighbourhood was 
one of the events of the season, heralded from clearing to clearing, for 
he not only supplied many of their wants from his pack, but in the 
absence of newspapers and a regular mail service, he was the bearer of 
news from the outside world. After displaying his tempting wares 
upon the floor and disposing of such coveted articles as the lean purse 
of the household could afford to purchase, the family gathered about the 
blazing hearth-log to be regaled by the pedlar s latest experiences in the 
fat away cities, which some of them in their better days had been wont 
to visit. 




At the conclusion of the war and before the Loyalists had left the 
colonies they organized an agency composed of one delegate from each 
State to prepare a statement of their condition and to appeal for com 
pensation to the Government of Great Britain, which they felt had made 
very scant provision for their protection by relying solely upon the 
promise of the Peace Commission to recommend to the several State 
Legislatures that they be indemnified for theif losses. We have seen 
how the persecution was continued just as relentlessly after the war, 
which would almost justify the conclusion that the American Commis 
sioners at no time had any serious intention of taking the proper steps 
to see that their recommendation was put into effect. The Committee 
appointed by the Loyalists prepared a tract entitled "The Case and Claim 
of American Loyalists impartially Stated and Considered" in which 
they forcibly set forth their condition and cited precedents which would 
warrant the Imperial Government in taking action in their behalf. This 
pitiful prayer for help presented the following unanswerable argument : 
"His Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament having thought it 
necessary, as the price of peace, or to the safety and interest of the 
Empire, or from some other motive of public convenience, to ratify the 
Independence of America without securing any restitution whatever to 
the Loyalists, they conceive that the nation is bound, as well by the 
fundamental laws of society as by the invariable and external principles 
of natural justice to make them compensation." The British Govern 
ment was not unmindful of the claim of those who in its behalf had 
dared and suffered so much. At the opening of the session of Parlia 
ment following the presentation of this petition of the Loyalists the 
King in the speech from the throne said : "I have ordered inquiry to be 
made into the application of the sum to be voted in support of the Ameri 
can sufferers ; and I trust you will agree with me that a due and gener 
ous attention ought to be shown to those who have relinquished their 
properties or professions from motives of loyalty to me or attachment 
to the mother country." 

Five Commissioners were appointed to investigate and report upon 
the claims, and the time for applying for relief was in the first instance 


limited to March 25th, 1784, but it was from time to time extended until 

1789, and the final report was not presented and finally disposed of until 

1790. The American Peace Commissioners had blundered in making- no 
provision for restitution by those who had profited by the confiscation, 
a blunder which in the end cost them the loss of tens of thousands of 
their best citizens, with a corresponding advantage to Canada. The 
Commissioners appointed to adjust the claims also committed a serious 
blunder in imposing onerous and unreasonable conditions upon the 
claimants. They were disposed to view the Loyalists rather as sup 
plicants for charity than as British subjects demanding British justice. 

In commenting upon the procedure adopted the late Rev. Dr. Ryer- 
son, who gave the subject closer study than any other Canadian writer, 
said: "Every claimant was required to furnish proof of his loyalty, and of 
every species of loss for which he claimed compensation : and if any 
case of perjury or fraud were believed to have been practised, the claim 
ant was at once cut off from his whole claim. The rigid rules which 
the Commissioners laid down and enforced in regard to claimants, 
examining each claimant and the witnesses in his behalf separately and 
apart, caused much dissatisfaction and gave the proceeding more the 
character of an Inquisition than of Inquiry. It seemed to place the 
claimants in the position of criminals on whom rested the burden of 
proof to establish their own innocence and character, rather than that 
of Loyalists who had faithfully served their King and country, and 
lost their homes and possessions in doing so. Very many, probably the 
large majority of claimants, could not prove the exact value of each 
species of loss which they had sustained years before, in houses, goods, 
herds of cattle, fields with their crops and produce, woods witli their 
timber, etc., etc. In such a proceeding the most unscrupulous would 
be likely to fare the best, and the most scrupulous and conscientious the 
worst ; and it is alleged that many fake losses were allowed to persons 
who had suffered no loss, while many other sufferers received no com 
pensation, because they had not the means of bringing witnesses from 
America to prove their losses, in addition to their own testimony." 

As the Commissioners insisted in every instance upon the personal 
appearance of the claimant and attached little weight to any testimony 
that was not delivered upon oath before themselves, it can readily be 
conceived that a very large proportion of the Loyalists were not in a 
position to comply with the requirements of the Commissioners, and the 
result was that only about one third of those who emigrated to Canada 
received any compensation and the proportion in the remote part of the 
country was even less. Even so, however, the Government of Great 
Britain expended over $16,000,000 in satisfying their claims. In addi- 



tion to the grants of money there were the land grants, to which refer 
ence has already been made, and the distribution of clothing, tools, and 
provisions which were dealt out impartially to all refugees. The rations 
were such as were allowed to every private soldier and were regularly 
conveyed in bateaux to each township where depots were established 
and placed in charge of some trusted refugee. 

During the first few years of the settlement the only produce that 
brought them in any return was the potash made from the ashes. They 
bartered among themselves, and a very small portion of their roots and 
grain reached the military post at Kingston, which was the extent of 
their marketing. There was very little money among them and that 
was usually carried away by the itinerant pedlar. Promissory notes 
and I.O.U. s passed current in the neighbourhood until worn out with 
usage, when they were replaced with fresh ones. 

The letters U. E. L. which we see after the names of some of the 
earliest settlers are not of local origin or applied in any haphazard 
fashion to all the pioneers; but represented the honorary title con 
ferred only upon those who had taken their stand for the unity of the 
Empire and had allied themselves with the Royalists before the Treaty 
of Separation in 1783. As has been pointed out the Executive Council 
of the Province of Quebec did, in, 1799, at the instance of the Governor- 
General, direct the Land Boards to register the names of all that were 
entitled to have the "Mark of Honour" put upon them, but the direction 
appears to have been wholly overlooked or neglected. Governor Sim- 
coe had a passion for hereditary titles and one of his dreams was to 
build up a Canadian aristocracy, so in 1796 he revived the idea of con 
ferring titles upon the class pointed out by Lord Dorchester, and by 
proclamation directed the magistrates of Upper Canada to ascertain 
under oath and register the names of all such persons, which was 
accordingly done, and from that time they were known as United Empire 
Loyalists and entitled as an honorary distinction to place after their 
names the letters U. E. L. 

It must not be supposed that all the settlers in the front townships of 
this county came in one group in 1784. The greater number came then, 
settling in the first five townships, but for many years after others came 
trudging through the State of New York by different routes to join 
their old comrades on this side of the lake. Every newcomer received 
a grant of land and set to work to clear and cultivate it ; but these later 
arrivals were not prepared to provide for themselves as were their more 
advanced neighbours who had preceded them. The Government had 
arranged to supply rations for three years following the arrival of the 
large contingent in June, 1784, and in accordance with this original 


design, which, it was hoped would give the colony ample time to become 
self-supporting, no provision was made for supplying their wants from 
the Government Commissariat after the expiration, of that period. 

A number of circumstances combined to threaten the extinction of 
the colony. The belated arrivals had consumed what they had brought 
with them, and some few, unskilled in pioneer life and farming, had not 
made very substantial progress in their clearing operations, and a current 
report appears to have gained credence among most of them to the 
effect that the King would continue to deal out the provisions for an 
other year or so at least. By some misfortune or bad management the 
Commissary Department not only failed to forward supplies to the set 
tlers, as had been done in former years, but even the rations for those 
in the public service who depended solely upon the Government for the 
means of subsistence were not forthcoming either. To add to the dis 
tress, the season of 1787 proved to be one of those exceptional non-pro 
ductive years when the soil yielded but a very meagre return for the 
seed and labour bestowed upon it, and, when winter set in, the disheart 
ened colonists found themselves face to face with a threatened famine. 
The strictest economy was exercised in dealing out what little provision 
was on hand. Those who had laid by a store, paltry though it was, 
ungrudgingly shared it with their less fortunate neighbours, and the new 
year, 1788, known in their history as the "Hungry Year" was ushered 
in with lamentations instead of the usual happy greetings. They had 
been eking out a miserable existence on short allowances ever since it 
had been learned that the Government could afford them no relief, 
there were several months of winter still ahead of them, and the larders 
were almost empty. The bay and rivers teemed with fish but the sur 
face was covered with two feet of ice. Game was plentiful but ammuni 
tion was scarce, and the ingenious snares devised to capture the wild 
animals and birds could not supply the ever-increasing demand. Fabulous 
prices were offered for food which under ordinary circumstances could 
be purchased for a few shillings. 

In this connection the late Canniff Haight in an address delivered 
at Picton in 1859 said: "Men willingly offered pretty much all they 
possessed for food. I could show you one of the finest farms in 
Hay Bay that was offered to my grandfather for a half hundred 
of flour and refused. A very respectable old lady, whom numbers 
of you knew, but who some time since went away to her rest 
whose offspring, some at least, are luxuriating in comfort above the 
middle walks of life was wont in those days to wander away early in 
the spring to the woods and gather and eat the buds of the bass-wood, 
and then bring an apron or basketful home to the children. Glad they 



were to pluck the rye and barley heads for food as soon as the kernel had 
formed; and not many miles from Picton a beef s bone was passed 
from house to house and was boiled again and again in order to extract 
some nutriment." Men dug in the frozen ground for roots, and in the 
early spring the first signs of vegetation were hailed with joy and the 
first green leaves and buds were eagerly sought out and devoured to 
allay the pangs of hunger. It is recorded that one family was reduced 
to such straits that they lived for two weeks upon the tender leaves of 
the beech trees. Others ate the inner bark of certain varieties of trees, 
and ransacked the woods to discover the hidden store-houses of the squir 
rels, that they might expropriate the nuts they had laid by for winter con 
sumption. Some of the weak and aged actually died of starvation, 
while others were poisoned by eating noxious roots. 

As the spring of 1788 advanced the famine was relieved, and the 
settlers applied themselves to their ordinary work and soon forgot 
the horrors of the "Hungry Year," or referred to them solely as an 
incentive to greater exertion in order that they might avoid a re 
currence of the bitter experiences they had just passed through. 
Cast upon their own resources they laboured as men determined 
to win ; the clearings continued to expand, barns and outbuildings 
sprang up on all sides to receive the crops and shelter the cattle, 
which were being gradually introduced. They felt the need of im 
proving some of the primitive methods then in vogue, particularly 
the old-fashioned "hominy block." This served its purpose fairly 
well in crushing corn, but proved very unsatisfactory when applied 
to wheat which required to be ground much finer than the coarser grain 
before it could be used to advantage by the good housewife. A mill 
had been built by the Government in 1782-3 at Kingston, or more properly 
speaking five or six miles up the Cataraqui River, the first one in 
Central Canada before the arrival of the Loyalists; but this was too 
far away to be of much service to the inhabitants of the remote parts 
of this county. To propel a bateau from Adolphustown to Kingston 
necessitated the passing of both the Upper and Lower Gaps where the 
waters of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte join at either end of 
Amherst Island, and these, at all times during the season of naviga 
tion, are likely to be pretty rough. The only alternative was to carry 
the grist upon the shoulders through the forest or haul it upon a hand 
sleigh in the winter. At a moderate estimate, allowing but a few hours 
for the miller to do the grinding, the errand could not very well be 
accomplished inside of two days, and there would be a certain expense 
in procuring lodging for one night at least, unless the settler chose to 
do the greater part of his travelling in the night. 


The government recognized these inconveniences, and in order to 
overcome them, determined to construct a mill that would better serve 
the needs of settlers in this county, and quite naturally chose the site 
at Appanea Falls, which afforded the best available water-power. To 
Robert Clark, the mill-wright who had built the Kingston mill, was 
^ned the task of superintending its erection. It was built of logs 
and roughly squared timbers during the year 1786, and was ready for 
operation in 1787 but, owing to the famine and the consequent scarcity 
of grain, very little grinding was done until 1788. From an examina 
tion of the account of the articles purchased in connection with the work 
it would appear that intoxicating liquor was considered an indispensable 
part of the rations to be served upon special occasions such as a raising. 
No less than two gallons and three pints of rum were deemed necessary 
to keep up the spirits of the workmen at the raising of the saw-mill and 
four gallons and one quart when the grist-mill was raised. For nine 
years at least, until the building of the mill at Lake-o/i-the-Mountain in 
1796. this was the only mill in the Midland District west of the one on 
the Cataraqui River, and received the grist of all the townships along 
the bay, among the patrons being the loyal band of Mohawks in the 
township of Tyendinaga. Appanea or Appanee, and finally Napanee, 
became the synonym for flour in the Indian tongue, so popular had it 
become as the only convenient place where that article could be manu 
factured. This led to the erroneous belief that the town took its name 
from the Indian word for flour, while the converse is the case. The 
original meaning of the word Appanee is unknown. The mill property 
was purchased by the Honourable Richard Cartwright in 1792 and 
remained in the family from generation to generation until 1911 when 
it was sold to the Seymour Power Company. So popular was the mill 
that it could not meet the demands made upon it and, shortly after its 
transfer to Mr. Cartwright, he decided to tear it down and build another 
with greater capacity, and Robert Clark was again commissioned to do 
the work. A new building with three run of stone was speedily com 
pleted, and so well was the work performed that fifteen years later it 
was referred to as the best mill in the Province. Mrs. Simcoe, who 
accompanied her husband in his journeys through the Province, made a 
sketch of it in 1795 which is herewith reproduced.* 

Robert Clark, who played such an important part in laying the 
foundation of what was to become the county town of Lennox and 

* The cut of this sketch published in Mr. J. Ross Robertson s " Diary of Mrs. 
Simcoe," gives the impression that the mill stood on the left or north bank of the river, 
the copyist, evidently mistaking- her representation of the falls to the left of the mill for 
a portion of the river s bank. The relative positions of the mill, the falls, and the mill- 
race in the sketch by Mrs. Simcoe will be more clearly understood by reference to the 
photograph of the Macpherson mill which is built upon the same site. 


Addington, was born in Duchess county in the State of New York in 
1744. He was a carpenter and mill-wright by trade and owned two 
farms of one hundred and one hundred and fifty acres respectively, both 
of which were confiscated because of his loyalty to the British standard 
during- the revolutionary war. He served under General Burgoyne, 
Major Jessup, and Captain Sebastian Jones. While engaged under the 
Government in building the mills at Cataraqui his wife and their 
children arrived with the other refugees at Sorel in 1783, where they 
endured great hardships from the ravages of small-pox. They subse 
quently joined him after a separation of seven years, and the reunited 
family settled upon Lot Thirty-four in the first concession of Ernest- 
town. He was one of the prominent men of the Midland District, was 
appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1788, a captain of the militia in 1809, 
and died in 1823. 

As the clearings increased in size and number and the annual yield 
from the soil supplied more than the wants of the table, life among 
the settlers became more tolerable. The want of live stock had been a 
serious drawback; but during the first few years they had neither the 
means to procure them, nor the feed to maintain them. It is stated upon 
good authority that one Thomas Goldsmith obtained a fair herd of 
cattle in 1786, but being unable to secure a sufficient quantity of suitable 
fodder all but three starved to death. After the year of famine when 
the country assumed a brighter aspect and the virgin soil began to yield 
bountiful harvests, cattle and horses were gradually introduced from 
New York State and the older settlements on the St. Lawrence. By 
1795 horses, cattle, and sheep were plentiful, the pioneers were relieved 
ofi the heaviest part of their work, which they transferred to the beasts 
of burden, and enjoyed the luxury of fresh meat, butter, and cheese. 
Hens and other barn-yard fowls made their appearance about the same 
time ; but considerable care was still necessary to protect them from the 
foxes and other denizens of the forest, which had a particular relish for 
the farmer s poultry. One of the most onerous duties cast upon the 
settler was that of making roads, as each one was required to clear a 
road across his lot. At first trees were blazed from one clearing to 
another, marking a footpath through the woods; for, although regular 
allowances were laid out in the survey, these were rarely followed, and 
particularly in the townships of Adolphustown and Fredericksburgh, 
which are cut up by arms of the bay, the paths were irregular, some 
times following the configuration of the shore line or deviating to avoid 
a creek or swamp. As horses were introduced the boughs were trimmed 
to permit the rider to pass along without the danger of being brushed 


off by an overhanging branch and, with the advent of carts and sleighs, 
stumps and trees were removed to enlarge the passage way and there 
was gradually developed the modern highway ; but many of the bends 
still remain, although the causes for the deviations no longer exist, or 
if they do, most of them would be no serious obstacle to the modern 

The author of The Emit/rant s Guide of 1820 has this to say 
upon the state of society in Upper Canada : "The state of society in 
Upper Canada, especially to a European, is not attractive. To the 
spiritual mind it offers little spirituality, (but where alas shall we find 
more!), to the votaries of politeness and etiquette, little of that glare 
of studied polish, which is so often, so arrogantly, so blindly, and so 
ruinously set up in the place of the great principle of Christian love of 
which it is so deplorable an imitator. The Canadian society has rather 
roughness than simplicity of manners ; and scarcely presents a trace of 
that truly refined, that nobly cultivated, and that spiritually improved tone 
of conversation and deportment, which, even in the most highly polished 
circles and amidst all the inflections of real or imagined superiority, is 
so rarely to be found. 

"Yet the state of society in Upper Canada is not without its advan 
tages. It is adapted to the condition of the country and is consistent 
with the circumstances of which it forms a part. 

"Its general characteristics may be said to be, in the higher classes, 
a similar etiquette to that established at home, with a minor redundancy 
of polish, and minor extravagance; and in the lower, a somewhat 
coarser simplicity. As far as I have seen the people, they appear to 
me fully as moral as any other I know, with as much mutual kindness 
among themselves, and more than commonly hospitable to strangers. 
They seem to me rather inclined to seriousness than levity, and to need 
only the advantage of pious instruction and of pious example, to become, 
under grace, one of the most valuable people upon the earth. 

"Their habits are, in general, moderately industrious, frugal, and 
benevolent. Their amusements, of course, are unhappily like those of 
the world. Horse-racing, betting, shooting; and where leisure abounds, 
idle conversation, balls, cards, and the theatre, etc. Yet I have observed 
with pleasure a^ somewhat more domestic tone amongst their women; 
and it has amply compensated to me for the absence of that greater 
degree of polish which at once adorns and disgraces the general mass 
of our European ladies. But the passion for that polish, corroborated 
as it is by all the vanities, as cultivation develops them, of our nature, is 
afloat. It is tending rapidly to displace the remaining and superior 


charms of that simplicity: and threatens ere long to render as irrelevant 
to Upper Canada that beautiful sentiment of Goldsmith : 

"More dear to me, congenial to my heart, 
One native charm, than all the gloss of art." 

Though it does not bear directly upon the history of our county 1 
cannot forbear quoting the same author s comments upon the then town 
of Kingston. "There are few towns and villages in Upper Canada, and 
those few are small, Kingston, the most considerable of them, being 
less extensive than the generalty of the common county towns in Great 
Britain and Ireland. Agriculturalists, such as are almost universally 
the people of Upper Canada, scatter themselves over their farms, not 
crowd together as do the colonies of commerce. 

"Still towns and commerce are essential parts of the prosperity of 
states: and as the settlements in Canada are extended, and at the same 
time that they produce more abundant articles for export, shall demand 
the enlarged introduction of foreign conveniences, towns and commerce 
must flourish. 

"Kingston, situated in the township of Frontenac, at the head of 
the River St. Lawrence where it issues from Lake Ontario, already feels 
this difference. Within the last few years, it has increased amazingly 
and promises to go on rapidly improving. Placed in the great course 
of water communication: possessed of a harbour and dockyard, with a 
commanding point, which is fortified, and forms the strongest point at 
present in the province: while at the same time, it is the key of some 
subordinate, but extremely important lines of internal intercourse, it 
may be regarded as a dawning emporium, where wealth and grandeur 
shall hereafter stalk with a gait as proud and as lordly as they now stalk 
in places, then perhaps shorn of their meteor magnificence." 

If the spirit of the Captain were to revisit Kingston to-day would 
he consider that his eloquent prophecy had been realized? He enter 
tained no such hopes for York nor ventured to predict its future pos 
sibilities, but dismisses it with a few words as to its favourable location 
after referring to it as "next in importance to Kingston." Belleville is 
described as "a new and thriving village, situated at the head of the 
Bay of Quinte." 

The Ambitious City was then in the embryonic stage and the author 
of the Guide was not very exact as to its location, but honours it with a 
passing reference: "And between Belleville and York, near Smith s 
Creek, is another village, called Hamilton." 

His advice to emigrants regarding methods to conduce to the pre 
servation of health is in many respects timely, even to the emigrant of 


the twentieth century: "The first object to emigrants lately arrived, is 
to avoid every excess of every kind ; to be temperate in all things ; and 
to provide, as far as possible, against exposure to the inclemencies of 
the weather, particularly of the night air. 

"For this purpose an ample supply, particularly of blankets, should 
be laid in at Quebec or Montreal; and this precaution should by no 
means be omitted on account of the incumbrance of their carriage. Of 
course this advice applies especially to those whose finances do not 
enable them to command the more expensive means of shelter wherever 
they go. Damp, and particularly remaining without motion in damp 
clothes, should, at however great a trouble, be sedulously avoided ; and 
the best attainable shelter, even to the utmost extent of the) person ^ 
means, should be everywhere diligently sought ; more especially between 
the months of September and June. 

"Marshy and swampy situations should be particularly avoided, if 
possible, and where altogether unavoidable, the house should be built 
as remote from them, as consistent with any tolerable degree of con 
venience in other respects. 

"The wood about the dwelling should be immediately and entirely 
cleared away ; no branches or logs left, as is very universally the case, to 
gather and preserve stagnant and putrefying moisture. 

"The dwelling should be made as impervious as may be to the sur 
rounding air, every crevice being well closed, and everything should be 
kept clean and dry about it. 

"When clear, good spring or river water cannot be had, the water 
for drinking should always be boiled and suffered to cool before it is 

"In damp situations, which are exposed to agues, I esteem a moder 
ate use of liquor to be healthful ; but it would be better never to use it 
than to use it with the smallest degree of intemperance. 

"Generally throughout the province, but in the western district 
particularly, it is pernicious to work exposed to the sun during the hot 
season in the heat of the day. The labourers should rise at a propor 
tionately early hour, and rest from eleven till two. People just arrived 
from Great Britain commonly feel a vigour which would tend to make 
them despise caution ; but it is offered by one who has collected it from 
a very extensive experience, and he trusts it may be useful." 

Although the first settlers in this county spent nearly all of their 
waking hours in heavy toil their life was not to them a life of drudgery. 
Their hearts were in their work. Every acre that \vas cleared \vas one 
more victory over the stubborn barrier that stood between them and the 
road to prosperity. Every timber that was laid in their dwellings and 



barns brought them one step nearer to a realization of their desire. There 
was a grim satisfaction in subduing nature and enlisting her forces as 
allies in their struggle for existence. There was a spirit of independence 
in their daily battle for bread. After the government rations were with 
drawn, they were beholden to no man; but trusted solely to their own 
good right arms, and to their work they devoted themselves with a will. 
Sunday was their only holiday and there were no fixed hours for labour. 
So long as there was work to do and strength to do it, the rule was 
work, work, work, and when tired out, lay it aside and enjoy that 
refreshing rest that comes to those who know; what honest labour is. 
During the long evening the pine knots would be piled about the huge 
back-log and the different members of the family would have their work 
apportioned among them; but an air of comfort and cheerfulness per 
vaded the room in keeping with the dancing blaze which diffused its 
light to the remotest corner. The father, with a last resting upon his 
knees held in place by a strap passing over it and under his foot, would 
pause with uplifted hammer to recount 1 some amusing incident of his 
day s experience. The mother would smile approvingly or join in the 
general laughter, never ceasing in her work upon the family socks except 
now and then to raise her knitting needle to caution the others against 
waking the younger children cuddled in a bunk upon the floor. A son 
musingly whittled at a shuttle he was shaping for the loom, while his 
sister, with a wooden tray upon her lap, hummed a favourite tune, 
while she peeled and quartered its contents of apples and hung them 
up in garlands above the fireplace to dry. Work was the predominating 
feature of many of their festive gatherings. The husking bee was the 
occasion of much good cheer. Each farmer had his corn to husk ; but, 
instead of sitting down by himself to do it, he summoned his neighbours 
to a, bee, to which all within a certain radius would expect an invitation, 
and if any were overlooked, they would feel that an offence was 
intended. These bees were always held in the evening in the barn, 
which was lighted by candle lanterns securely suspended a safe distance 
above the sheaves. Seated about in a semicircle cm the floor, with a 
bundle of corn beside each couple, the guests did the husking, throwing 
the ears upon a heap in the centre, while the attendants removed the 
stripped stalks and brought them a fresh supply. Larger and larger 
grew the heap of golden ears to the confusion of the attendants who 
dodged the flying missiles as they were hurled through the air. At the 
sound of the dinner horn all repaired to the house, where a steaming 
pot-pie awaited the hungry huskers. Dough-nuts and cider usually 
formed a part of the menu, which always concluded with a pumpkin pie. 
Then followed the pipes and stories and sometimes the fiddle, the only 



musical instrument in the neighbourhood. At midnight the party 
would disperse; the farmer s corn was husked, all had had a jolly, 
sociable evening and a good supper, and it never occurred to any of 
them that they had been at work. 

There were also the logging bees in the earlier days, when the 
neighbours turned out with their oxen, their axes, and cross-cut saws. 
These were more serious affairs and meant hard work, but all applied 
themselves cheerfully to the task of cutting the fallen trees into lengths 
that could be conveniently handled, and hauling them to the burning heaps 
where they were consumed to ashes, which in turn were converted into 
potash, the only return from the magnificent trees for which there was 
little demand. 

The women had their "afternoons," a sort of clearing-house for the 
gossip of the neighbourhood, but that was the only resemblance it bore 
to the social functions of to-day. The housewife was never quite so 
happy as when at work, and when she called upon her neighbours she 
took her knitting with her. They had their bees as well as the men. 
and the most popular of all was the quilting bee, when they gathered 
about wooden frames upon which was stretched the material for the 
quilt and deftly plied their needles while they merrily discussed the cur 
rent topics of the day. 

The paring bees were also popular, when the apples that could not 
be kept fresh during the winter were pared, and quartered, and strung 
upon linen thread to be dried in the sun or over the fireplace. 

The hospitality of the pioneers was proverbial, and visiting was a 
recognized social custom especially during the winter season. They did 
not wait for an invitation, but when they felt disposed, generally select 
ing a time when the nights were bright and the roads were passable, 
the heads of the family would drive away to pay their respects to some 
old friend, arriving at his dwelling in ample 1 time to give the good 
housewife an opportunity to prepare a hot supper, and rarely if ever 
was she caught with an empty larder. A good fat goose was gener 
ally suspended from a peg in the woodshed and a peep into the cupboard 
would invariably disclose a stock of brown dough-nuts, fruit jams, mince 
pies and other delicacies a\vaiting just such an occasion. The visitors 
were always assured of a warm welcome and a right good supper. 
After doing justice to the edibles, more pine knots were heaped about the 
back-log, and the remotest corners of the room were filled with a cheer 
ful brightness that no modern electrolier can equal, and hosts and 
guests gathered about the hearth, "spun their yarns," and with the latest 
news bridged over the interval since their last meeting. Many happy 
hours were thus spent, and at midnight the visitors took their leave. 


At a time when newspapers were scarce, the postal service expensive 
and irregular, and the means of communication with the outside world 
very incomplete, these gatherings served the useful purpose of exchang 
ing bits of news which had been gathered by different members of the 
company. As late as 1840 there were very few post-offices in this 
county, as appears from the following list taken from the Kingston 
Almanac published in the third year of the reign of Queen Victoria. 



Adolphustown Stephen Griffiths 4)4 

Bath Wm. J. McKay 4>i 

Camden East Samuel Clark 

Fredericksburgh W. Anderson 

Mill Creek (Odessa) Timothy Fraser 

Napanee Allan Macpherson 4^ 

The population of this county is given in the same little publication 
as follows : 

Adolphustown, 1,620; Amherst Island, 822; Camden East, 3,155; 
Ernesttown (then Ernest Town), 3,976; Fredericksburgh, 2,674; Rich 
mond (including the village of Napanee), 1,859; ar >d Sheffield, 473. 

The weather prophets were as venturesome seventy years ago as 
they are to-day. The one writing for the Kingston Almanac unhesitat 
ingly informs the reader months in advance what he may expect from 
the elements. He thus predicts for the month of October: "The com 
mencement of this month until the 4th will be unusually warm and 
steady. On the 5th, Northeast winds will set in, accompanied by cold, 
sleety rain, with heavy showers of hail, with interruptions of bright, 
cold, blowing days, continuing to the twelfth : after which the weather 
will become fine, with cold, frosty nights, the days being warm and 
temperate. On the i8th the weather will again change, with cold rain 
and blustering weather, with occasional cold, clear, frosty nights chang 
ing at sunrise to soft rainy weather with frequent squalls. On the 23rd 
frost will set in with steady, clear weather. On the 26th it will. become 
more temperate." The almanac joker had evidently just begun to put 
in an appearance, as only five or six of his attempts appear in this issue. 
This is one of them: "In what do the Loughborough girls ex-sell?" "In 
the market." 

We of the twentieth century within easy call of the skilled physi 
cian by means of the net-work of telephone lines, urban and rural, know 
little of the disadvantage under which our forefathers laboured in this 
respect; for even as late as 1817 there were only ten qualified physicians 
in the Midland District, not a single one of whom resided in this county ; 
and at the time of the first settlement the pioneers were dependent 



* / , 





entirely upon the army surgeons at the military posts. We are not to 
infer from this that all followers of that profession were on the revolu 
tionary side; on the contrary the leading 1 physicians not only espoused 
the cause of the Loyalists but made no effort to conceal their views. The 
explanation is given in Sabine s Loyalists of the American Revolution : 
"The physicians who adhered to the Crown were numerous, and the 
proportion of Whigs in the profession of medicine was less, probably, 
than in either that of law or theology. But unlike persons of the latter 
callings, most of the physicians remained in the country and quietly pur 
sued their business. There seems to be an understanding that though 
pulpits should be closed and litigation be suspended, the sick should not 
be deprived of their regular and freely chosen medical attendants. I 
have been surprised to find from verbal conversation and various other 
sources, that while the Tory doctors were as zealous and as fearless 
in the expression of their sentiments as the Tory ministers and the 
Tory barristers their persons and property were generally respected in 
the towns and villages where little or no regard was paid to the bodies 
and estates of gentlemen of the robe and surplice." 

There were army surgeons attached to the garrison at Kingston ; 
but as their duties were limited to the post at which they were stationed 
they were not at all times willing to go any distance from their station ; 
and the refugees for years were obliged to depend upon what little 
knowledge they themselves possessed of the healing art. The most 
dreaded scourge was small-pox, and in view of the modern controversy 
upon the subject of vaccination the following extract from an editorial 
appearing in the Newark Journal of February ist, 1797, is of interest: 
"We hear from every settlement the determination for a general inocu 
lation for the small-pox. This resolution is highly commended by per 
sons of prudence. The country being young, and growing more exposed 
to that disorder, a general inoculation every two or three years will 
for ever render its prevalence in any way of very little concern, there 
being then none, or but few excepting young children, to be affected by 
it. This season of the year is highly favourable to do it : to defer it 
until warm weather or summer is highly dangerous. The blood is in a 
state then easily to become putrid, fever may set in with it, and besides 
these to place it in the most favourable situation, must sus 
tain infinite injury. To enact a law to enforce a general inoculation 
looks arbitrary: but the writer of this who can in no wise be interested 
by himself or friends, is of opinion that such a law in any country, more 
particularly in a new one, would operate to the greatest possible benefit 
of the country, and be justifiable on the principles of public and private 
good. But a so beneficial law he expects never to see so long as there 


remains a blindness in so many to their own safety and welfare, and a 
delicacy in our rulers to compel a man to throw off old prejudices and 
to do those things that are taught by the simple and natural law of self- 

Although a statute was passed as early as 1788 to prevent persons 
practising physic and surgery without first having obtained a license 
from such person as the Governor or Commander-in-Chief should ap 
point for the purpose, and though other acts were, from time to time, 
enacted with the same end in view, these laws were not enforced and 
the country for a time was overrun by a number of unqualified quack- 
doctors, possessing little or no knowledge of the diseases they treated 
or the drugs they administered. 

One of the first to declare war against these fraudulent practitioners 
was the Reverend, afterwards Bishop, Strachan, who, under the pseu 
donym, "Reckoner," wrote several letters to the Kingston Gazette in 
1812, in which, among other things, he says: "The Province is overrun 
with self-made physicians who have no pretensions to knowledge of any 
kind, and yet there is no profession of any kind that requires more 
extensive information. 

"They comprehend not the causes or nature of diseases, are totally 
ignorant of anatomy, chemistry, and botany; many know nothing of 
classical learning or general science. Where shall you find one among 
them attending particularly to the age, constitution, and circumstances of 
the patient and varying his prescriptions accordingly? It is indeed pre 
posterous to expect judgment and skill, a nice discrimination of diseases, 
or proper method of cure, from men who have never been regularly 
taught, who cannot pronounce, much less explain, the terms of the art 
they profess, and who are unable to read the books written upon the 
subject. The welfare of the people calls aloud for some legislative pro 
vision, that shall remedy the increasing evil." The Reverend gentleman 
cites several instances of gross incompetence that came under his personal 
observation, among them the case of a young woman ill of the fever 
for whom the doctor, without measuring it, poured out such a dose of 
calomel "as would have killed two ploughmen." Upon the departure of 
the medical attendant, the patient s spiritual adviser threw the dose out 
of the window. 

Another Act to license practitioners was passed in 1815; but it re 
mained a dead letter, and the war against quackery was renewed by a 
writer from Adolphustown who in a letter to the Gazette thus states 
the case: 

"It is a subject of deep interest to many that the executive and 
magistracy should show such a sluggishness in enforcing the laws of the 


province. It is particularly to be deplored so far as those laws^ relate 
to persons calling- themselves doctors; not only our fortunes but also 
our lives are in the hands of those deplorable quacks. How does it hap 
pen that an Act of the session of 1815 is not acted upon? Is it because 
that Act is unwise, or is it because the executive does not think it of 
sufficient importance to put into operation ? If the first, why not expunge 
it from the laws of the province? If the latter, what is the use of a 
House of Assembly at all? 

"Perhaps, Mr. Editor, you and other respectable gentlemen living 
in town, who have access to and knowledge to value the merits of those 
practising medicine, may not feel so much as I do the miserable condi 
tion of the country ; but. sir, if the health of the subject is not a matter 
of sufficient importance to rouse the morbid sensibility of those whose 
duty it is to administer the laws, I should imagine that in a political 
point of view it would be a matter of great importance to look after 
those quack spies who are daily inundating the province. Those men 
(most brutal, generally speaking, in their manners, and in their conduct 
immoral in the highest degree) go from house to house like pedlars, 
dealing out their poisonous pills and herbs, and holding out to the gaping 
ignorant the advantages of a republican government. 

"But to give you an instance of the contemptible conduct of one of 
those animals, nearer yourself. During the last Session of the Peace I 
had occasion to be in Kingston, and although I lodged in a private house, 
I had occasion to call one morning at a tavern. While speaking to the 
landlady in the bar, in comes a doctor and calls for a gill of brandy. 
He drank it, in the course of which he put a great many questions to 
her about the health of her customers, and finally said he would leave 
some fever powders, as it was likely the country people would be get 
ting drunk (as he termed it) and would require medicine. The lady 
thanked him, and said if she wanted any medical aid she knew where to 
send for it. 

"To conclude, Mr. Editor, the consequences of the present system 
will be, in the first place, to prevent native merit entering into the pro 
fession ; secondly, those few respectable and regularly educated men 
whom we have amongst us will either leave the province or get a mis 
erable subsistence if they remain; and, lastly, though not the least, the 
province will be in some degree revolutionized by those emissaries of a 
licentious republic." 

"Adolphustown. May I4th, 1816." 


The truth of the words of the Rev. Dr. Strachan and "Veritas" is 
demonstrated by the following- advertisement of the cure-alls offered for 
sale by these impostors : 

"Richmond, Oct. i?th, 1817." 

"Advertisement This is to certify that I, Solomon Albert, is Good 
to cure any sore in word Complaint or any Pains, Rheumatic Pains, or 
any Complaint whatsoever the Subscriber doctors with yerbs or Roots. 
Any person wishing to employ him will find him at Dick Bells. 

"Solomon Albert"* 

If Solomon s remedies were of the same class as his English, it is 
to be hoped that the good people of Richmond did not consult him in a 
professional way. 

The Legislative Assembly, no longer able to withstand the attacks 
made upon it for not protecting the public against the quacks and their 
pernicious concoctions, passed an Act creating a Medical Board, com 
posed of five or more persons legally authorized to practise medicine, 
with power "to hear and examine all persons desirous to practise physic, 
surgery, or mid-wifery or either of them within the province," and upon 
the certificate of the Board as to the fitness of the applicant, a license to 
practise might be granted to him. This Statute came into force on 
November 27th, 1818, and the Board was promptly appointed and con 
vened at York and proved themselves equal to the occasion by rejecting 
one out of two petitioners for license. At the April session one out of 
two was rejected, and at the meeting in July four out of seven appli 
cants were found unfit to practise. A remedy was at last found for the 
long standing evil. Mr. George Baker of Bath was the first gentleman 
from this county to pass a satisfactory examination before the Board. 
He received his certificate in January, 1820. In July of the same year 
Hiram Weeks of Fredericksburgh was similarly honoured, and the third 
practitioner for the county was John Vanderpost of the same township, 
who was licensed in January, 1821. 

For the next sixteen years the following appear to be the success 
ful candidates from this county, so far as can be gathered from the 
minutes of the Board. 

James Fairfield Bath 1827 

Abraham V. V. Pruyn Bath 1831 

Isaac B. Aylesworth Bath 1835 

Thos. Chamberlain Bath 1837 

* The Medical Profession in Upper Canada, page 36 


That quackery was not thoroughly eradicated is quite manifest from 
the following advertisement which appeared in the Napance Standard 
in 1873: 

"Dr. Hyatt" 
"Clairvoyant and Magneticphysician" 

"examines diseases by a lock of hair, photograph, or autograph. Can 
be consulted at his residence opposite Green & Son s furniture ware 
houses, Dundas Street, Napanee." 




By an Imperial Act passed in 1774 entitled "An Act for making 
more effectual provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec 
in North America," the boundaries of the province were so fixed as 
to include all lands lying north of a line drawn from the Bay of Chaleur, 
following approximately the present southern boundary of the Province 
of Quebec, thence along the St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie, 
and on westerly to the Mississippi River, excepting only the territory 
granted to the Hudson s Bay Company. It also included Newfoundland 
and all islands and territories falling within the jurisdiction of its 
government. Provision was made for the government of this extensive 
territory, by further enacting that His Majesty might appoint a legis 
lative council, not exceeding twenty-three in number nor less than 
seventeen, which council would have power to make ordinances for the 
peace, welfare, and good government of the province. There was an 
\express prohibition against levying any taxes, except such rates and 
taxes as the inhabitants of any town or district might be authorized to 
assess, levy, and apply for the purpose of making roads, erecting and 
repairing public buildings, or for any other purpose respecting the local 
convenience and economy of such town or district. In the same year 
an Act was passed fixing the duties to be imposed upon brandy, rum, 
and other spirits, and syrups and molasses, discriminating in favour of 
all such manufactured in great Britain or carried in British ships. In 
striking contrast with this last mentioned Act there was passed in 1778, 
as a result of the American Revolution, an Act declaring that the King 
and Parliament of Great Britain would not impose any duty-tax or 
assessment, except only such as it might be expedient to impose for the 
regulation of commerce, and that the product of all such duties should 
be applied exclusively for the use of the colony in which the same were 

From the breaking out of the rebellion in 1776 the Province 
of Quebec appears to have been a special object of solicitude on the part 
of King George and his Parliament. Year after year we find enact 
ments calculated to encourage new settlers. With the coming of the 
Loyalists the people of this extensive domain felt that they had outgrown 
the age when they could be ruled by a Government and Legislative 


Council in whose appointment they had no voice. The Act of 1774, 
popularly known as the Quebec Act, provided no machinery for the 
self-government of the local districts, such as the Loyalists had been 
accustomed to in their former homes; and such ordinances as had been 
passed by the Legislative Council were not well suited to the require 
ments of a people accustomed to British laws and institutions. During 
the first few years after their arrival in the county the settlers were 
too busy to give much attention to the question of the administration 
of justice; yet differences arose between neighbours, and offences were 
committed by wrongdoers, and these differences had to be settled and 
the offenders punished. From the time they had first set out on their 
northern journey they had lived under martial law, and the officers 
appointed to command the several companies continued to exercise 
their authority until they were gradually replaced by the civil authorities. 
They, however, did not enforce that rigid military discipline that is 
generally understood to prevail under such circumstances; but, in their 
own way, endeavoured to maintain peace and order by applying the 
English laws as they understood them. 

Lord Dorchester, who came to Canada in the autumn of 1786, 
was the first Governor to take up the question of the administra 
tion of justice in Upper Canada. A few magistrates were appointed 
in this part of the province, but their jurisdiction was so limited 
that matters of any magnitude could be determined only by the 
higher tribunals in the lower province. When Upper Canada was 
divided into districts in 1788 a General Commission of the Peace was 
issued appointing two magistrates for each township in the district of 
Mecklenburgh. This number was added to from time to time as cir 
cumstances required or sufficient influence was brought to bear to secure 
an appointment. More extended power, both ministerial and judicial, 
was vested in the justices, who were authorized to sit collectively as 
one body known as the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, a name 
retained long after the justices had ceased to exercise their powers in 
session. This important body performed the duties now assigned to 
our municipal councils, justices of the peace, police magistrates, and to 
some extent the county judges. One such court was established in 
each of the four Districts, and the first court held in the Mecklenburgh 
District was at Kingston on April I4th, 1789. There were four jus 
tices present, Richard Cartwright, Junior, Neil McLean, Richard Porter, 
arid Arch. McDonnell. 

For over twenty years Richard Cartwright was the leading spirit of 
these sessions, at which he presided when present, and his addresses 
have been characterized as remarkable for their "sound principles, liberal 


views, and tempered dignity." Upon the few occasions when he was 
absent his place was taken by Neil McLean, Alex. Fisher, or Thomas 
Markland. During the first few sessions up to the passing of the Con 
stitutional Act the court not only heard and determined civil and crim 
inal cases, but also issued ordinances calculated to provide for the good 
government of the district. Some pretty heavy sentences were handed 
out by the sessions with the evident intention of stamping out the crime 
of larceny. We find that at the April sessions of 1790, one Frederick 
Piper, for having stolen a ploughshare purporting to be of the value of 
ten shillings, was ordered to be given thirty-nine lashes on his bare back 
at the public whipping-post, to be imprisoned for one month, and to 
suffer the further humiliation of being exposed one day each week in 
the stocks and duly labelled with the word "Thief," in order that all 
passers-by might know the crime for which he had been convicted and 
have the opportunity of taunting him upon his degradation. 

That the reader may appreciate the multifarious duties performed 
by the Court of Quarter Sessions in addition to the hearing of civil and 
criminal cases, let me briefly review the records for the year 1797. The 
first meeting presided over by Alex. Fisher was held at Adolphustown 
on January 24th, and no less than thirteen justices took their places upon 
the bench. Two new justices were sworn in and took their seats, thus 
swelling the number to fifteen. The formal proceeding of reading the 
commission and summoning the grand jury was performed in the usual 
manner, but no general business was transacted except the ordering of 
a levy of 26 from the counties of Addington and Ontario to meet the 
expenses of the member, Joshua Booth, in attending the meeting of the 
Legislative Assembly for the year 1796 and the sum of 25 to cover his 
expenses for the year 1795. 

A special session, attended by only two justices, was next held at 
Kingston on March i8th to receive the accounts and lists of the road 
overseers and to apportion the road work to be done by them. 

Another meeting was held at Kingston on April 25th and 26th, at 
which five justices were present the first day and two on the second. 
The chief business transacted at these sessions was the ordering of the 
levy of a rate for the ensuing year, the recommendation of the appoint 
ment of two additional coroners, the passing of several accounts for 
services rendered in connection with the relief of the poor, and other 
accounts of the clerk of the peace and township clerks, the granting of 
a license for a public inn, the auditing of the treasurer s accounts, and 
the appointment of constables for the year. 

On July nth and I2th the sessions were held at Adolphustown with 
seven justices in attendance, which number was increased to eight by 


swearing in a newly appointed member of the court. At this court the 
justices established a Court of Request in the township of Marysburgh, 
and another in the townships of Sophiasburgh and Ameliasburgh. 

At a meeting held in Kingston on October loth, four constables 
were fined twenty shillings each for non-attendance. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that the justices transacted a 
large amount of business outside of their judicial duties. In 1798 
licenses were granted by them for the establishment of a ferry across 
the Napanee River, fixing the toll for foot passengers at 3d., and horse 
and man at 7d., and another at Murray at which the toll was fixed at 
46. and 8d., respectively. 

Prior to 1798 ministers of the Church of England only could legally 
perform the marriage ceremony, but an act was passed in that year 
authorizing the Quarter Sessions, when six justices at least were pre 
sent, to grant licenses to clergymen of the Church of Scotland or Luth 
erans, or Calvinists to solemnize marriage, upon their taking the oath of 
allegiance, being vouched for by seven respectable persons members of 
the congregations or community to which they belonged, producing 
proofs of ordination and the sum of five shillings. Robert McDowell, 
the Presbyterian minister, complied with these conditions at the sessions 
held at Adolphustown in July, 1800, and was given the required certi 
ficate, the first issued in this district. In January of the following year 
a similar certificate was granted the Lutheran minister, John G. Wigant. 

At the sessions held at Adolphustown on January 25th, 1803, the 
first ferry license between Ameliasburgh and Thurlow was granted to 
William Garow (Gerow) with the following tolls: every man is., two 
or more gd. each, man and horse 2s., span of horses and carriage 2s. 6d.. 
yoke of oxen 2s. 6d., every sheep 3d., every hog 4d. 

In 1791 was passed the Constitutional Act, dividing the Province 
of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada and making provision for the 
government of the two provinces thus formed. Each legislature was 
to consist of three branches, the Lieutenant-Governor, the Legislative 
Council, and the House of Assembly, corresponding to our Governor- 
General, Senate, and House of Commons. Under the new order of 
things Colonel John Graves Simcoe was the first Lieutenant-Governor of 
Upper Canada, and pursuant to the authority vested in him, he pro 
ceeded by proclamation, bearing date July i6th, 1792, to divide the 
province into counties and to declare the number of representatives to be 
elected by each to serve in the Legislative Assembly, which was to con 
sist of sixteen members. The component parts of our county, as at 
present bounded, entered into the composition of three separate counties, 
namely, Ontario, Addington, and Lenox (afterwards spelled Lennox). 


The county of Ontario was composed exclusively of islands, compris 
ing all the islands lying between the mouth of the Gananoque River and 
the most easterly extremity of Prince Edward County, among the num 
ber being Amherst Island, then known as Isle Tonti; Addington was 
composed of the Township of Ernesttown and all the land between Lake 
Ontario on the south and the Ottawa River on the north that would fall 
within the extension of the eastern and western boundaries of the town 
ship, including of course the then township of Camden. Lennox was 
bounded on the east by the county of Addington, on the south by the 
Bay of Quinte, and on the west by the Bay of Quinte, and the western 
boundary of the township of Richmond extended northerly, until it 
intersected the western boundary of Addington. In fixing the repre 
sentatives that the several counties, nineteen in all, were entitled to, 
the apportionment was much more confusing from the twentieth century 
point of view. Ontario and Addington were to send one representative ; 
Adolphustown was severed from the neighbouring townships and linked 
to Prince Edward to form an electoral district to be represented by one 
member, and the remainder of Lennox, that is Fredericksburgh and Rich 
mond, were united with Hastings and Northumberland in sending one 

The present county of Ontario was sparsely settled at the 
time and had then no separate existence. So few indeed had taken up 
land on the north shore of Lake Ontario that all the territory between 
Weller s Bay and Burlington Bay was divided into three counties, 
Northumberland, Durham, and York, and the latter two had not suffi 
cient population to entitle them to a representative, but were joined to 
a part of Lincoln to form one electoral district. The members of the 
Legislative Council, seven in number, were appointed by the Crown and 
held office for life. Fully equipped with all this legislative machinery, 
to which was added an Executive Council or advisory board, Upper 
Canada entered upon its career as a self-governing province at Niagara 
in September, 1792. The first act of the miniature Parliament contained 
a provision which gave great satisfaction to all the inhabitants and has 
proven a blessing to all future generations. It was expressed in few 
words but was far-reaching in its consequences, for it swept away the 
obnoxious French Civil Code and brought the province under the laws 
of Great Britain. The operative words were as follows: "That from 
and after the passing of this Act, in all matters of controversy relative 
to property and civil rights, resort shall be had to the laws of England, 
as the rule for the decision of the same." At the same session trials 
by jury were established and Courts of Requests created for the easy 


and speedy recovery of small debts before two or more justices of the 

The four Districts which had been given Dutch names to appease 
a large number of Loyalists of German descent were renamed the 
-Eastern," "Midland," -Home," and "Western" Districts respec 
tively. The Court of Requests, corresponding to our present division 
courts, were presided over by justices residing in the respective divi 
sions. In 1840 there were eleven of these divisions in the Midland 
District, and the Kingston Almanac published in that year gives the fol 
lowing list of courts and justices severally assigned to them : 

"Division 3rd. Ernesttown and Amherst Island : Isaac Fraser, 
Wm. I. McKay, Orton Hancox, Benjamin Seymour, William Fairfield, 
Junior. Holden at Bath." 

"Division 4th. Camden and Sheffield : Jacob Rombough, Samuel 
Clark, Calvin Wheeler, R. D. Finley, W. M. Bell. Holden at Camden 

"Division 5th. Part Fredericksburgh and Adolphustown : James 
Fraser, David L. Thorp, Samuel Dorland, Samuel Casey, Jacob Detlor, 
Williams Sills. Holden at Charters Inn." 

"Division 6th. Part Fredericksburgh and Adolphustown: Archi 
bald McNeil, James Fraser, W. W. Casey, Geo. Schryver, A. CampbelL 
Holden at Clarkville." 

"Division /th. Richmond and part Hungerford : Allan Mac- 
pherson, Archibald Caton, George H. Detlor, David Stuart, Charles 
Macdonald. Holden at Napanee." 

There was only one registry office in the District, at that time, and 
it of course was at Kingston, but there were two deputy registrars, Isaac 
Fraser at Bath, and Robert McLean at Belleville. When the Loyalists 
first settled here there was no workable statutory authority for municipal 
government, but the necessity for it was felt, and the Quarter Sessions 
took it upon themselves to supply the defect, levied assessments, let 
public contracts, and issued orders for the good government of the Dis 
trict corresponding to our by-laws. The citizens were not content with 
the rule of the justices. They had been accustomed to their town meet 
ings, their town offices and by-laws, and saw no reason why they should 
not enjoy the same privileges in their new home, and they proceeded to 
convene town meetings, appoint their own officials, and frame regu 
lations to meet their needs. 

There lies before the writer the original minute-book of the town- 
meetings of the township of Adolphustown extending over a period 
from 1792 to 1849. 


All of the business transacted and recorded at the first meeting- is 
embodied in twelve lines, containing only ninety-four words, and the 
entire record from 1792 to 1849 inclusive, after which date the Municipal 
Act came into force, is contained in less than one hundred pages, the 
greater portion of which is given over to census returns and lists of 
officers elected. The officers chosen at the meeting of March 6th, 1792, 
were a town clerk, a constable, two overseers of the poor, three 
pound-masters, and two fence-viewers. At the meeting of March 5th, 
1793, there were chosen a town clerk, two constables, two overseers of 
the poor, four overseers of the highway, and six fence-viewers. The 
Act providing for the nomination and appointment of parish and town 
officers was passed July 9th, 1793, after which a special town meeting 
was held on August 28th of the same year, and the following officers 
were chosen: a town clerk, two assessors, a collector, four overseers of 
the highway and fence-viewers, the two offices being combined by the 
Statute, three pound-masters, and two town wardens. The Statute 
enacted that the inhabitant householders should choose "two fit and dis 
creet persons to serve the office of town wardens for such parish, town 
ship, reputed township, or place; but as soon as there shall be any 
church built for the performance of divine service, according to the use 
of the Church of England, with a parson or minister duly appointed 
thereto, then the said inhabitant householders shall choose and nomin 
ate one person, and the said parson or minister shall nominate one other 
person, which persons shall jointly serve the office of churchwarden ; 
and that such town wardens or churchwardens, and their successors 
duly appointed, shall be a corporation to represent the whole inhabitants 
of the township or parish, and as such, may have a property in goods 
or chattels of or belonging to the said parish, and shall and may sue, 
prosecute, or defend in all presentments, indictments, or actions for and 
on the behalf of the inhabitants of the said parish." 

Notwithstanding the building of a church for the performance of 
divine service, the town meetings in apparent disregard of that provi 
sion of the Statute, continued to elect two wardens until 1823, when for 
the first time the right of the church to nominate one of the wardens 
was recognized, as appears by the following minute for that year: 
"Thomas Williams, Esq., Church Warden, appointed by the Clergyman ;" 
and Lazarus Gilbert was appointed by the town meeting. In each suc 
ceeding year up to 1836 the church nominated one of the wardens, after 
which date the wardens or commissioners were all chosen by the 

At the annual meeting of 1792 Reuben Bedell was appointed town 
clerk, Joseph Allison and Garret Benson constables, Paul Huff and 


Phillip Borland overseers of the poor, Willet Casey, Paul Huff, and John 
lluvck pound-masters. The dimensions of hog yokes were fixed at 
18 x 24 inches. The height of a fence was fixed at four feet eight inches, 
and Abraham Maybee and Peter Ruttan were appointed fence-viewers. 
It was further decreed that water was not to be regarded as a fence, 
that no pigs were to run at large until they were three months old, and 
stallions were not to be allowed at large at all. Our forefathers wasted 
no words in their municipal enactments as the foregoing regulations 
were embodied in the following brief sentences : "Dimensions of hog 
yoaks 18 inches by 24, height of fence 4 feet 8 inches. Fence-viewers 
Abraham Maybee and Peter Ruttan, Water voted to be no fence, 
no pigs to run till three months old. No stallion to run." The minutes 
concluded with "Any person putting fire to brush or stubble that does 
not his endeavour to hinder it from doing damage shall forfeit the sum 
of forty shillings." \Ve thus see the two bodies, the self-constituted 
town meeting and the Court of Quarter Sessions exercising concurrent 
jurisdiction, as the latter body at its session of July I4th, 1789, passed 
the following order: "Xo stallion more than two years old shall be 
allowed to run after the twentieth instant under a penalty of forty shill 
ings to be paid by the owner, one half of which will be allowed the 
informer." This conflict of authority was the subject of legislation at 
the next meeting of the Provincial Parliament held at Niagara in July, 


It must be borne in mind that Adolphustown was recognized as 

the most important centre of civilization in Upper Canada at the time, 
and the representatives of this district were men of high standing 
whose counsels carried great weight. Kingston had grown to be a town 
of a hundred or more houses, was a military and naval centre, but 
Adolphustown took the lead in all matters appertaining to the adminis 
tration of the civil affairs of the province. The right of the people to 
appoint their own officials was recognized by the second Act of this the 
second Parliament which authorized the calling of town meetings on 
the first day of March each year for the purpose of choosing a town 
clerk, assessor, collector, overseers of highways, pound-keepers, town 
wardens, and constables. To those officers was intrusted the authority 
to administer the laws within their respective spheres ; but no power was 
given to the local body to enact any by-laws, yet upon this slender 
foundation has been built our Municipal Act of to-day. At the same 
session an Act was passed for holding the Quarter Sessions for the 
Midland District alternately at Adolphustown in January and July, and 
at Kingston in April and October. The town meetings scored another 
victory at this session by being given the power "to ascertain and deter- 


mine in what manner and at what periods horned cattle, horses, sheep, 
and swine, or any of them, shall be allowed to run at large." 

Turning again to the minutes of the town meetings we find the 
inhabitants of Adolphustown providing for their own needs, regard 
less of either the Quarter Sessions or Parliament. In 1794 the 
first declaration of war was made against the thistle whieh was carried 
to this part of the province in the bateaux from Lower Canada. The 
following minute appears in the record for that year: "It is agreed by 
the township that the weed called thistle should be crushed in its 
growth and to this purpose that pathmasters do direct the people to assist 
every person on whose land the same may grow in subduing it. Pro 
vided it be found necessary and of this the pathmasters are to be the 

Beginning with the year 1794 the town clerk carefully entered in 
his minute-book, as directed by the Statute of the previous year, a return 
of all the inhabitants ofl the township. This is repeated in the same 
precise form each year, giving the name of the head of the family in the 
first column and the number of men, women, male and female children 
in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th columns respectively, and the total number 
of the household in the 6th. From these records the population of the 
township in 1794 was 402 ; in 1804 it had increased to 585, but fell back 
to 552 in 1814; the last return, which is for the year 1822, gives the 
total as 571. The average family during these twenty-nine years was 
six and seven, and Paul Trumpour and Alexander Fisher head the list, 
each having a household of seventeen. The war against the thistle was 
continued, and in 1799 eleven overseers were appointed "to determine 
whether a fine of forty shillings shall not be laid on any person or per 
sons who shall be found remiss or negligent in stopping the growth of 
the thistles on their premises, which fine if so laid by the aforemen 
tioned persons or any three of them shall be laid out in subduing said 
thistles in this township. It is also agreed that when any person has so 
many growing on his lands that it may by the pathmasters or any one 
of them be thought to be burthensome for him to cut, that the path- 
master do order out all the persons liable to do statute duty on the high 
ways to his assistance." Notwithstanding the master stroke in adding 
the rider to their order by which a friendly pathmaster could come to 
the relief of the delinquent the provision appears to have been unpopular 
and this "Prudential Law" was repealed the following year, only to be 
re-enacted in 1801. 

For the next eight years the town meeting contented itself with 
appointing officers and continuing the same "Prudential Laws" 
from year to year, the only attempt at original legislation being 


the simple enactment in 1810 "that hogs and pigs are not to be 
commoners unless lawfully yoaked the whole year." For the next 
thirty-nine years the town meetings did little more than appoint the 
officers of the township and re-enact the laws of the previous year by 
simply inserting in the minutes "Prudential Laws the same as last 
year." Their efforts at law-making were practically confined to vary 
ing from time to time the regulations concerning animals running at 
large. Meanwhile the Quarter Sessions continued to administer the civil 
and criminal laws to the extent of their jurisdiction, and to exercise 
their other powers in managing the jail and other public institutions; in 
laying out and improving the highways ; in levying an assessment to 
provide for the sessional indemnity of the members of the Assembly; in 
appointing street and highway surveyors, district and township con 
stables, and inspectors of weights and measures. They regulated ferries 
and markets, and the granting of certificates to applicants for licenses to 
sell liquor, and to the clergymen of dissenting congregations, who could 
not solemnize marriage until authorized by the court. That the people 
of Upper Canada for over fifty years continued to intrust the manage 
ment of their local public affairs to a small body of men nominated by 
the Crown speaks volumes for the patience and law-abiding qualities of 
the inhabitants, and is no small compliment to the intelligence, public 
spirit, and fair-mindedness of the justices composing the Sessions. 

When we consider what the Loyalists had already undergone in order 
to maintain their principles we wonder that they submitted as long as 
they did to the autocratic rule of the justices. They had been accus 
tomed to popular self-government and had learned through their experi 
ence at the town meetings how easy a matter it was to make and repeal 
laws. The towns gradually broke away from the authority of the 
Quarter Sessions by the creation of Boards of Police to regulate 
their affairs, and in some cases notably Toronto, Kingston, Cornwall, 
and Bytown (Ottawa), by special Acts of Incorporation. With these 
example? before their eyes, popular government in the rural sections 
could not long be deferred, and in 1841 the Quarter Sessions were shorn 
of much of their power by the passing of The District Councils Act. 
Each District was constituted a municipal corporation to be governed by 
a District Council clothed with power to build and maintain schools, 
public buildings, roads, and bridges, to fix and provide means for paying 
the salaries of the district and township officers, and to levy assessments 
to meet the expense of the administration of justice. 

It was not without a bitter struggle that this victory for the 
people was achieved. Lower and Upper Canada had just been re 
united, and the Honourable S. B. Harrison at the first session cham- 


pioned the Act through the new House against such strong opposi 
tion as Sir Allan MacNab and Mr. J. S. Cartwright, the member 
for Lennox and Addington, both of whom are credited with oppos 
ing the bill because it was democratic and republican in prin 
ciple, while the member for Hastings (Mr. Baldwin) thought that 
it did not go far enough, and was pleased to style it "an abominable 
bill" and a "monstrous abortion" which he viewed "with detestation." 
The bill was eventually passed, some sections being carried by very 
narrow majorities. In 1798 there had been a readjustment of the 
counties by which the old county of Ontario was done away with, and 
it was enacted "that the townships of Ernesttown, Fredericksburgh, 
Adolphustown, Richmond, Camden (distinguished by being called 
Camden East), Amherst Island, and Sheffield do constitute and form 
the incorporated counties of Lennox and Addington." The Midland 
District at the time the District Councils Act came into force comprised 
the counties of Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington. The first meeting 
of the new council was held in 1842 and was composed of one repre 
sentative from each township duly chosen at the respective town meet 
ings. | 

The Act of 1841 proved to be so satisfactory that the same Mr. 
Baldwin who had viewed it "with detestation." sought to extend its 
principles in 1843 by introducing a general municipal act providing for 
the incorporation of all townships, towns, counties, and cities. The bill 
passed its three readings in the Assembly but was strangled in the Legis 
lative Council. Six years later he reintroduced the same measure with 
certain amendments and improvements, among them being the inclusion 
of villages in the list of municipalities eligible for incorporation. The 
principle of the District Councils Act had so grown in the popular 
esteem that but little opposition was offered, and our "Magna Charta 
of Municipal Government" became law, and remains to-day in our 
Municipal Act a lasting monument to the wisdom of its author. During 
the same session it was deemed expedient to abolish the territorial divi 
sion of the province into districts, and the county was made the unit 
for judicial and other purposes. 

By a series of so-called "Gerrymandering" Acts successive gov 
ernments have carved up many of the counties into electoral dis 
tricts; but for other practical purposes the principle of the Act of 
1849 has been maintained. As the several districts had erected 
jails and other public buildings the rights of the several counties 
making up the district were preserved by providing that the dis 
trict jail, court-houses, grammar schools, and officers should thence 
forth belong to the counties and union of counties set forth in the 


schedule to the Act. In this schedule we find Frontenac, Lennox, and 
Addington united for judicial purposes and, under the above mentioned 
proviso, joint owners of the public buildings which had been erected 
in the town of Kingston. In 1851 certain other alterations were made 
in the territorial divisions of the province whereby new townships were 
added to many of the existing counties. Addington is described as 
being composed of the townships of Camden, Ernesttown, Kaladar, 
Anglesea, Sheffield, and Amherst Island ; while Lennox retained its 
original territory but was defined as Adolphustown (formerly Adolphus 
Town), Fredericksburgh, Fredericksburgh additional, and Richmond. 

By an Act of Parliament passed in 1860 the county of Lennox 
was incorporated with the county of Addington to form the county of 
Lennox and Addington and the union with Frontenac was continued as 
before. By the same Act the townships of Effingham, Abinger, Ashby, 
rind Denbigh were added to and formed part of Addington. In 1863 
Frontenac was severed from Lennox and Addington, and each became 
a separate county for both judicial and municipal purposes. The only 
connection between the two, apart from the neighbourly feeling created 
by long association, is in respect to our county judges, whereby the 
judges of the two counties alternately exchange duties in the county and 
division courts. 

In 1896 an attempt was made to improve the system of selecting 
county councils, as the number of members in some counties was so great 
that the councils were too unwieldly to dispose of the business brought 
before them with that despatch that is supposed to characterize their 
proceedings. The new Act provided for the subdivision of the counties 
according to a sliding scale under which our county was rearranged 
with five divisions as follows : 

I. The Highlands Division, consisting of the townships of Abinger, 
Anglesea, Ashby, Denbigh, Effingham, Kaladar, and Sheffield. 

II. The Camden Division, consisting of the township of Camden 
and the village of Xewbtirgh. 

III. The Ernesttown Division, consisting of the village of Bath and 
the townships of Amherst Island and Ernesttown. 

IV. The U. E. L. Division, consisting of the townships of Adolphus 
town, North Fredericksburgh, and South Fredericksburgh. 

V. The Napanee Division, consisting of the town of Xapanee and 
the township of Richmond. 

Two councillors, or commissioners as they were called, were to be 
elected from each division, making ten in all, and each elector, being 
entitled to two votes, could if he saw fit cast his two votes for one can 
didate by making two crosses upon his ballot opposite the name of the 



candidate of his choice. For ten years the experiment was continued, 
and while it had a few redeeming features, which operated to some 
advantage in very large counties, yet, in the average county, the innova 
tion was not regarded as a success. It was felt that the old system of 
sending members of the local councils as the representatives of the 
municipalities which elected them brought together as a county council 
a body of men in close touch with the wants of every part of the 
county. Such representatives, being members of the councils of the 
lesser municipalities, were better able to give expression to the wishes of 
the body they represented than one or two individuals elected by the 
general vote of two or more townships. The policy of the local munici 
pality should be in harmony with the policy of its representative in the 
county council, and a representative not cognizant of all the inner work 
ings of the lesser body might very easily have defeated the aims of the 
electors who supported him. This opinion was quite general, and the 
Act was repealed in 1906, and we returned again to the original method 
of forming the county council. 

We have seen how in the early days the justices of the peace were 
the most important personages in the community. The squires were 
looked up to as the supreme local authority; for they not only adminis 
tered the finances of the district, levied the rates, and appointed officials ; 
but sat as judges in both civil and criminal matters. Little by little 
encroachments were made upon their authority, first by the town meet 
ings, to which bodies were assigned certain rights, then by the district 
councils, and finally by the County Courts Acts passed in 1845. In the 
same year a law was passed providing tfiat the county judge should 
preside as chairman at the Quarter Sessions of the Peace. The right 
of the justices to sit at the sessions was still recognized, and the justices 
present were authorized to elect a chairman pro tempore in case the 
county judge from sickness or other unavoidable cause was unable to be 

The legislature went one step further in 1873 and declared by 
Statute that in order to constitute a court of sittings of the General Ses 
sions of the Peace presided over by the county judge, it was not neces 
sary that any other justice of the peace be present. Thus the squires were 
told in modest yet unambiguous language that, while their presence was 
not prohibited, the business of the court could be carried on without 

In the following year the legislators went one step further and 
enacted that whenever from illness or casualty the judge was not able 
to hold the sittings of the General Sessions of the Peace the sheriff 
should adjourn the court, or in other words while the presence of the 


justices could be dispensed with, that of the county judge could not. 
It is many years since the justices have taken their places upon the 
bench alongside the county judge, but their right to do so could not be 
successfully challenged. The statutory authority for the constitution of 
the court remained unchanged from 1801 to 1909, except the provisions 
relating to the chairman and to adjournment in case of the absence of 
the county judge. He is still styled the chairman of the court, and the 
present Consolidated Act of 1909 still recognizes the right of the justices 
to participate in the proceedings by re-enacting the section of 1873 taat 
the presence of the justices is not indispensable in order to have a 
regularly constituted court. 

Another inroad upon the jurisdiction of the justices was made 
by the Police Magistrate Act first introduced as a part of the 
Municipal Institutions Act of 1866, and after Confederation so 
amended from time to time that now justices are prohibited from 
adjudicating upon or otherwise acting in any case for any town or city 
where there is a police magistrate. In this very prohibition, extended 
also to cases arising in a county for which there is a police magistrate 
before whom the initiatory proceedings have been taken, these words 
appear "except at the Court of General Sessions of the Peace." This 
quotation from the Police Magistrates Act of 1910 makes it clear that 
it never has been the intention of the legislature to exclude the justices 
from taking part in the sessions if they see fit to exercise their preroga 

The result of all the foregoing legislation is that our justices of 
the peace to-day have been shorn of practically all their power, and to 
day are the custodians of the Statutes and administer an occasional oath 
to the witnesses to conveyances. There are scores in every county, 
among them many of our best citizens ; but not one in ten has ever 
presumed to take an information or adjudicate upon a case. The old- 
fashioned "Squire" who was a terror to evildoers and the standard 
authority upon all matters in his neighbourhood, has passed away with 
the stage-coach and wayside inn. Faithfully he served his day and 
generation as the local legislator and judge, the guardian of the public 
funds, and the administrator of the public business, and not unfre- 
qnently his counsel and advice were sought in matters not falling within 
the pale of his public duties, and his services were sought as arbitrator 
of the disputes between neighbours. By precept and example he gen 
erally wrought for the well-being of his fellow-citizens. As a public 
conveyancer his presence in the community was a convenience, and 
many of the documents drafted by him display considerable skill and 
good judgment. To the old justices, who before the creation of our 


present system of courts and municipal institutions, took upon themselves 
the burden of ministering to the people s needs, we can all look back 
with admiration and gratitude, for they were the stalwart men of one 
hundred years ago. 

In the year 1820, one C. Stuart, a retired captain of the East 
India Company s service, after a year s residence in the Western District 
of Upper Canada, wrote a very interesting little volume entitled The 
Emigrant s Guide to Upper Canada. He appears to have been a keen 
observer, and his reasoning is clear and sound, particularly in dealing 
with the adverse opinions of the day in respect to the gift by the British 
Government of a free constitution to the Canadas. In commenting 
upon the administration of justice in Upper Canada he writes: "At 
York (the capital) is the Supreme Court, consisting of a chief and two 
minor judges. These three traverse the three circuits into which 
the province is divided, namely, the Eastern, the Home, and the Western 
in rotation ; holding their assizes at Brockville, Niagara, and Sandwich, 
in the autumn yearly. Besides these in each District, there is a district 
court, which sits quarterly the day following the breaking up of the 
general quarterly sessions, and determines all minor civil suits. 

"The general quarterly sessions are the same as in England, and 
meet early in April, July, October, and January. 

"The magistrates or justices of the peace, and the various other 
parish or town officers are the same as in England ; and are equally 
invested with the authority to correct and equally inattentive to the 
sacred duty of correcting the common vices of drunkenness, profaneness, 
and Sabbath breaking, which distort and afflict society. 

"As far as this remissness, which is everywhere a general feature 
of the human character, permits, and where these common principles of 
corruption, which are everywhere inherent in human society, interfere 
not, the administration of the laws decidedly partakes of the general 
excellency of the laws themselves. Justice may be said to pervade the 
province. A Canadian is free, in one of the fairest and happiest mean 
ings of that term. He need fear no evil, to the correction of which 
human laws can reach, unless he himself provoke, and the public good 
require it." 

The Consolidated Statutes of Upper Canada provided that when 
the census returns taken under an Act of Parliament showed that the 
junior county of any united counties contained 15,000 inhabitants or 
more, then, if a majority of the reeves and deputy reeves of such county 
in the month of February in any two successive years passed a resolu 
tion affirming the expediency of the county being separated from the 
union and, further, if in the month of February of the following year a 


majority of the reeves did transmit to the Governor-in-Council a peti 
tion for the separation, then the Governor, if he deemed the circum 
stances of the junior county such as to call for a separate establishment 
of courts and other county institutions might, by proclamation setting 
forth the facts, constitute the reeves and deputy reeves a provisional 
council, and therein name one of its members to preside at the meeting, 
also therein determine the place for and the name of the county town. 
Twelve years before its consummation, conditions were ripe and the 
agitation began for the separation of this county from Frontenac; but 
little progress was made until the Honourable John Stevenson took the 
matter in hand and followed it up with that determination which charac 
terized the man. Frontenac of course was opposed to the movement and 
used every means in its power to thwart the will of the inhabitants of 
Lennox and Addington. The greatest drawback, however, arose from the 
prolonged controversy over the selection of a county seat, there being no 
less than four aspirants in the field: Tamworth, Newburgh, Napanee, 
and Bath. The case of Tamworth was thus summed up in a resolution 
presented at a meeting of the reeves and deputy reeves called for the 
purpose of considering the question : "Whereas this county being ninety 
miles long, we think that there would be an injustice perpetrated against 
the settlers in the rear of the county if a frontier village should be 
chosen for the county seat ; for of a necessity the inhabitants of the new 
townships cannot for years have good roads, nor acquire wealth enough 
to have easy carriages to convey them to the county town ; and if Bath, 
Newburgh, or Napanee should be chosen the rear settlers would have 
to travel over eighty miles to do their county business. And whereas 
the Village of Tamworth, in the township of Sheffield, approaches the 
nearest to the centre of this county and is a healthy location, we deem 
it the best available place for the county seat." For obvious reasons 
this species of argument did not appeal to the county s representatives, 
and Tamworth did not long continue in the race. Bath s chances of 
securing the prize were little better than those of Tamworth ; but 
Ernesttoxvn fought stubbornly for the claims of the old village in the 
forlorn hope that in the bitter war waged between Newburgh and 
Napanee, the dark horse might win through a compromise between 
these irreconcilable contestants. Matters became more complicated by 
the presentation of a petition from the inhabitants of Amherst Island 
that in the event of a separation their township should remain in the 
senior county. 

When just on the eve of the general election of 1863 the reeves 
and deputy reeves determined to force the hands of the government ; an3 
on April i8th, a meeting was held in the town hall, Napanee, to con- 


sider the best method of selecting the county town. In the month of 
February of the two preceding years the necessary resolutions had been 
passed affirming the expediency of the separation, and in the month of 
February of the then current year the necessary petition had been trans 
mitted to the Governor, praying for the separation ; but the vexed ques 
tion of the county seat still remained unsettled. It was a critical hour 
for the two rival villages of Newburgh and Napanee when Mr. J. J. 
Watson of Adolphustown was called to the chair. Bath had retired 
from the contest, and the reeve and deputy reeve of Ernesttown joined 
forces with those of Camden to establish the seat of the county at} New- 
burgh. All manner of wire-pulling was indulged in to outwit the cham 
pions of the claims of Napanee. The first vote taken was to seal the 
fate of Tamworth, when to the surprise of many the vote of Camden 
went for the northern village in the expectation of capturing the nor 
thern vote when the yeas and nays were called for the resolution favouring 
Newburgh as the county town. Tamworth secured five out of fifteen 
votes, Newburgh obtained but one more. It was apparent at this stage of 
the proceedings that Napanee would carry the day, and it would have 
befitted the wisdom and dignity of the meeting to have passed the re 
maining resolution unanimously; but such was not the temper of the 
disappointed fighters from Ernesttown and Camden, and when a show 
of hands was called nine supported the claims of Napanee and the same 
six, who had voted for Newburgh, still persisted in their opposition and, 
to their chagrin, the votes of the northern townships were all in favour 
of the present county town. 

The opposition did not stop there. Much bitterness had been 
engendered during the long struggle, and the editors of the Napanee 
papers were not wholly blameless for the bad feeling created. The 
reeve of Newburgh might with good grace have accepted his defeat; 
but his blood was up, and he petitioned the government to defer 
the question, thus causing a further delay. To offset this last 
move Mr. Stevenson prepared a counter petition signed by the repre 
sentatives of Napanee, Kaladar, Sheffield, Richmond, Adolphustown, 
and North and South Fredericksburgh in which the attention of the 
government was again called to the fact that all thd conditions precedent 
for the issuing of the proclamation had been complied with, and that 
the delay was "highly detrimental to the interests of the localities which 
your petitioners represent, and inconvenient and injurious to the great 
majority of the people at large." Finally on August 2ist, when the 
elections were over and no further excuse could be found for withhold 
ing from the people of Lennox and Addington the long deferred answer 
to their petition, the royal proclamation issued; the separation was an 


accomplished fact. Xapanee was the county town, and John Stevenson 
was named as the person to preside at the first meeting of the provisional 
council which was called to meet in the town hall, Napanee, on the loth 
of the following- month. The Newburgh sympathizers bowed to the 
inevitable, and the Napanee press, content with the victory achieved, 
counselled that all local jealousy should cease, and that the provisional 
council enter upon their new duties in a proper spirit and with a view 
only to the welfare of the whole county. At the appointed time the 
council met and was composed of the following gentlemen : J. J. Wat 
son, Adolphustown ; J. McGinnis, Amherst Island; W. F. Peterson, Bath; 
S. Warner, Reeve, C. Fraser, Deputy Reeve, Ernesttown; D. Sills, 
South Fredericksburgh ; M. Parks, North Fredericksburgh ; J. N. Lap- 
um, Reeve, G. Paul, Deputy Reeve, Camden; J. D. Ham, Newburgh; 
E. Perry, Reeve, J. Murphy, Deputy Reeve, Sheffield; C. R. Flint, 
Kaladar and Anglesea ; I. Sexsmith, Reeve, R. Denison, Deputy Reeve, 
Richmond, and John Stevenson, Napanee. 

Mr. Stevenson was unanimously elected warden and Mr. Wm. V. 
Detlor was appointed clerk. To the credit of all concerned the coun 
cillors sank their former differences and entered upon the serious busi 
ness of setting their house in order. A by-law was introduced at this 
first session providing for the issue of debentures for the sum of 
$20,000.00 to provide funds for the building- of a court-house. At a 
meeting of the council called on December i8th to consider the by-law 
introduced at the September session the same was finally passed, and the 
incoming council for 1864 found themselves in funds for the erection of 
the court-house, which was energetically proceeded with. 

The County Courts Act had been in force for many years at the 
time of the separation, and Judge Mackenzie was the only judge in 
Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington. He presided at all the division 
courts in the united counties and the county court as well, which was 
held only at Kingston. Division courts in this county were held at 
Amherst Island, Millhaven, Conw r ay, Tamworth, Centreville, Newburgh, 
Napanee, and Wilton. 

The separation called for an entire new set of officers for Len 
nox and Addington. John Joseph Burrows, county crown attorney of 
the united counties, was appointed county judge of this county, and 
Judge Mackenzie remained county judge of Frontenac for a few 
years, when he resigned and removed to Toronto and resumed prac 
tice. He was succeeded by Judge Draper, who died in 1869, when 
Judge Burrows was transferred from Napanee to Kingston and made 
judge of the county of Frontenac. William Henry Wilkison, who had 
been called to the bar in 1861 and was practising in Napanee, was the first 


county crown attorney of this county and was appointed judge in 1869 
to fill the vacancy caused by the removal of Judge Burrows. His 
Honour Judge Price was appointed in 1878 to succeed Judge Burrows, 
and His Honour Judge Madden was made Judge of Lennox and Add- 
ington in 1903 upon the death of His Honour the late Judge Wilkison. 
The first sheriff of the county was Oliver Thatford Pruyn, who dele 
gated his duties to his brother M. W. Pruyn for a few years and after 
wards to his son, Thomas Dorland Pruyn. He died in 1895 at his farm 
in the front of Fredericksburgh where he had continued to live after 
his appointment, and was succeeded by the present sheriff, G. D. 

There have been no less than five county crown attorneys in the 
following order: W. H. Wilkison, W. A. Reeve, A. L. Morden, S. C. 
Warner, and H. M. Deroche. 

John Bell McGuin was the first clerk of the county court, and upon 
his death in 1887 was succeeded by the present incumbent W. P. 

Our county has been singularly fortunate in its public officers and 
particularly in the judges of the local courts. By an arrangement which 
prevails in very few other counties in the province the county judge of 
Lennox and Addington exchanges every alternate sitting of the county 
and division court with the county judge of Frontenac, so that each 
county has the benefit of the services of twq senior judges. At the time 
of his death the late Judge Wilkison had borne the honours of county 
judge thirty-four years, and the present judge of the county court of 
Frontenac has already completed his thirty-fourth year upon the bench. 
It falls to the lot of few public servants to render such long and faith- 
fi:l service to their country. His Honour Judge Madden now complet 
ing his tenth year as judge is still in the prime of manhood and bids 
fair to maintain the record for longevity in service established by his 
predecessor and contemporary. Fortunately for the bar of the two 
counties, and fortunately for the litigants, our county judges have been 
men who ranked high in the profession and brought to the high office 
to which they were called not only the experience of a successful practice 
but what is of greater importance still the unblemished record of men of 
high moral standing. The township of Camden claims the honour of 
being the birthplace of the county judges of both counties. 




The settlers in our newly opened territories of to-day suffer very 
little inconvenience in obtaining the staple necessaries of life whether it 
be in the forests of New Ontario or on the plains of the Northwest, and 
the prices paid are not much greater than those prevailing in the towns 
and villages of the older settlements. The catalogues of the departmental 
stores will be found in the remotest corners and they serve as useful 
guides in determining the values of the goods offered for sale. When 
there were no railways, express companies, or parcel post the merchant 
and customer were both sorely handicapped. The transportation facili 
ties were of the most primitive character and the carriage of goods from 
the larger centres to the country store was slow and expensive. 

From dire necessity the farmer had learned to wait upon himself, 
and his patronage of the store was confined to a few staples which he was 
unable to procure from the rivers, the forest, or the soil, or to manufacture 
from the raw material which those afforded him. To a certain extent he 
was his own butcher, baker, carpenter, blacksmith, tailor, and shoemaker, 
and he served himself in many other capacities. His wants were so 
few and simple that could he revisit the scenes of his toils and pleasures 
he would stand aghast as he viewed our honest yeomen of to-day revel 
ling in the luxuries and labour-saving devices of the twentieth century. 
The pack-pedlar was the first to serve his needs, and then the country 
store, and as his circumstances improved his patronage of the latter 
increased. As the merchant s sales increased and the cost of carriage was 
reduced he could not only lay his goods down for less money but could 
subsist on a smaller margin of profit. Stores in the neighbouring villages 
or townships created competition, and from these several causes the cov 
eted merchandise was gradually brought within the reach of the poorest 
inhabitant. A few references to the growth and development of the 
customer s means and the tradesman s sales will not be without their 
useful lesson. In the "Testimonial of Mr. Roger Bates," to which I 
have elsewhere alluded, he writes : "As our family grew up in the Clarke 
settlement my grandfather wished to see them well settled before he 
died, and an opportunity offered by the purchase of a military grant 


from George Shaw of 600 acres which they drew in 1804 in the vicinity 
of Cobourg. 

"Whilst the lands were being cleared and a log house erecting 
they opened a small store close to the property now possessed by the 
White family. Here my father, Stoddard Bates, and my uncle, Lew 
Bates, planted an orchard, and we had a snug temporary residence. This 
store was supplied with goods by Enoch Woods, who brought the first 
assortment to Toronto. Everything at that time was very dear, but a 
system of barter was carried on that was of advantage to all parties. 
My father made a great quantity of potash which fetched at that time 
a good price. This in part paid for his goods. On referring to the old 
books now in possession of my mother I find some entries that give an 
idea of the general prices of goods, which people then had to pay: 
1804, Gimblet, $^, Padlock $^, Jack-knife $i, calico $i^ per yard, 
needles id. each, Ball of cotton $7^, Board of pigs $i dollar per week, old 
axe $2^, had to send them to Kingston to be ground, Tea 8s., bk. 195., 
Halifax currency, barrel pork 27 to 30$ per barrel, flannel 6s. 3d. yard, 
salt 6d. per lb., mill saw fourteen dollars. 

"My father and uncle were partners in this store, which turned out 
very profitable, as the settlers round were always in want of something 
or other. The woods at that time were alive with deer and bears. Many 
were killed by the Indians who traded off their skins dressed by the 
squaws, which made useful garments. 

"For a long time my grandfather had to go with some of his neigh 
bours all the way from Clarke to Kingston, 125 miles, with their wheat 
to be ground there. They had no other conveyances than bateaux, 
which were commodious as the journey would sometimes occupy five or 
six weeks. 

"Of an evening they put up into some creek and obtained their sal 
mon with ease, using a forked stick that passed over the fish s back and 
held them tight as with a spring." 

Either Mr. Bates must be in error as to the time expended in mak 
ing the round trip of 250 miles or much time was wasted owing to the 
rough weather encountered on the south shore of Prince Edward 

The following account is copied from the original now on file 
among the archives of the local Historical Society : 

Mr. John Ham 

1809 To Peter Smith, Dr. s. d. 

Jan. 13 To 2 black silk handkerchiefs, @ 73. 6d 15 

Balmy Pope, @ is. 4d I 8 


i. s. d. 

Jan. 18 ico Ibs. shingle nails, @ is. i l / 2 & s I2 6 

50 Ibs. plank nails, @ $s i 17 6 

50 Ibs. nails, @ 9^5 i 19 7 

Feb . 6 To cash paid him amounting 4 10 6 

23 To i piece white cotton 37^ yds., @ is. io^d. 3 10 

yds. shirting, @ 35 7 6 

yds. Irish linen, @ 35. 6d 12 3 

3 wine glasses, @ ?y 2 d i 

3 brown soap, @ is. id 3 3 

Cash paid him amounting to 15 

Mar . i To 2 axes, @ ics i 

10 To 85 iron, @ 6d 2 2 6 

Cash paid him amounting to 5 

i barrel @ i 5 .. 

Apr. 27 i barrel green tea 7 

May 30 i can of tobacco weighing 2^4, @ 2s 5 6 

6 yards cotton, 2s 12 

i Bohea tea 4 

1 green tea 7 

Get .11 i green tea 7 

2 muscovado sugar, @ icd i 8 

I nail hammer 2 6 

J4 indigo 4 5 

I paper ink powder I 

3 knives and forks, 125. 6d. per set 6 3 

I stick blacking ball 9 

Cash paid him amounting to 15 9 

Oct. 12 To i barrel Liverpool salt i 15 9 

Y-Z bushel ditto 5 

The following is copied from the original upon the same files 

Mr. James Long 

1809 To Rich & Robison, Dr. s. d. 

Jan. i To balance as per acct. rendered 10 3 

20 i qt. whiskey I 4 

Feb .11 i do. do I 4 

Mar.u i do. do i 4 

21 i do. do i 4 

25 i do. do i 6 

June 17 4 yds. cotton, @ 2s. 6d 10 

3 handkerchiefs, @ 2S 6 . . 


L s. d. 

June28 i qt. whiskey i 6 

July 20 i urag stone I 

i hat 12 

i hat 5 

3 Ibs. sugar 3 

1 Ib. pepper 3 3 

2 handkerchiefs, @ 2s 4 

3 hks. thread 3 

i Ib. snuff 2 . . 

YZ yd. sprig muslin 2 6 

i paper pins i 10 

4 yds. Bingal stripe 16 

1 yd. tape I 

ll A yds. yellow flannel 4 

2 yds. shirting cotton . . 6 6 

2 yds. cotton, @ 2s. 6d 5 

2 yds. calico, @ 35. 6d 7 

1 yd. lace 3 . . 

24 yds. muslin 4 6 

9 hks. thi ead 9 

Aug. 5 4 hks. thread 4 

Taylors thimble 6 

J4 indigo 4 

12 i spelling book 2 

2 doz. buttons, 9d i 6 

A snuff box 2 

Aug. 15 3 gallons spirits i 16 .. 

A handkerchief 3 4 

i% flannel 35. 6d 4 

23 Y* Ib. powder 2 6 

2 Ibs. shot 2 

i Ib. snuff 2 

A spelling book 2 10 

1 bbl. salt i 7 6 

A shawl 3 9 

Sept. 9 2^2 yds. cotton, @ 2s 5 . . 

13 y*t Ib. allspice 2 

2 gallons spirits, @ i2s i 4 

Paid Henry German i 16 1 1 

15 i gallon wine 15 

YI doz. knives and forks 5 6 


. S. d. 

Sept.27 i qt. spirits 3 

Oct. 4 I qt. wine 3 9 

16 i qt. wine 3 g 

2 yds. gray cloth 13 

18 5 yds. cotton, @ 2s 10 

i pr. stockings 4 6 

A pocket handkerchief 2 

i muslin handkerchief 2 6 

A shawl 3 3 

1 shawl 4 3 

2 yds. binding 8 

Tape and thread 4 

i l /2 yds. calico, @ 35 4 6 

1^2 yds. calico, @ 2s 3 . . 

23 i Ib. green tea 7 6 

Xov. 2 i dozen needles 9 

A sad iron 3 9 

7 i qt. spirits 3 3 

14 I qt. spirits 3 3 

17 Paid Wm. Bailey 7 

22 i gallon spirits 12 

2 setts knitting needles 12 8 

A country store-keeper s ledger as a rule is not very interesting 
reading, but a perusal of that of Squire William Bell, who conducted 
many lines of business in the township of Thurlow, ninety years ago, 
throws light upon the every day dealings of our grandfathers. As early 
as 1797 the Squire was schoolmaster to the Mohawk^ upon a salary of 
30 a year which was paid to him by drafts made upon Rev. John 
Stuart of Kingston, agent for the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel. The departmental store is not a creation of the last few decades, 
as the entries made by the Squire in the hand-made book, stitched with 
shoe thread, now lying before the writer, reveal the fact that besides 
being coroner for the Midland District and a justice of the peace issu 
ing summons, warrants, and executions he was a general merchant and 
dealt in every article that his customers could reasonably expect to find 
in a new country. Under date of May 1st, 1823, we find the two fol 
lowing items charged to one Andrew Kenady : 

s. d. 

"For 6 gallons of whisky, @ 2s. 6d 15 

"For Court costs assumed for you 4 6 


The record is silent as to the relation these two items bear to each 
other. The Squire dealt extensively in whiskey, selling- it by the gallon, 
quart, and bottle, and does not appear to have handled any other intoxi 
cant. It will be observed that the price is just about one fifth of what 
it is to-day and the quality no doubt was quite up to the standard. The 
store-keeper was the private banker of the neighbourhood, as in the 
same account appear the two following items : 

. s. d. 

"Paid Robert Smith on your note taken up for you 9 7^ 

"Cash lent when going to Belleville i 

Many of his other customers were accommodated in like manner. 
The last item in that account "for a sow with pigs i, 55.," lends 
a variety to their dealings not found in modern accounts. 

The following items selected from the account of Jacob Kitchenback 
for the years 1823 to 1830, inclusive, disclose a variety quite as remark 
able as the dealings with Kenady (Kennedy). It will be noted that 
the Squire s spelling, although he had been a school teacher, is not 
quite orthodox, but the writer has seen much worse in our county town 
during the past few months: 

s. d. 

"For one pair of shoes 10 

""For paid to McClure 17 

"Postage paid for a letter 

"For 2 summonses for Philps & Lewis i 

"For ballance due me on dear skins 6 6 

When settling with a customer he very wisely made a memorandum 
of the fact, invariably stating the circumstances. The following memo 
randa at the end of this account are a very fair illustration: 

"Jan. I4th, 1829. Settled with Jacob Kitchenback in full by an 
agreement between him and myselfe and in presence of his son Edward 
and a number of other persons, a calff skin and sheepskins due still, 
which he is to deliver at Morrow s Tavern in Belleville. 

"Received the calf s skin and some sheepskins due y 2 a sheepskin." 

In those days a few lasts, awls, and other shoemaker s tools were 
indispensable in every farm-house, and factory boots were practically 
unknown. Nearly every man was his own cobbler, and the country mer 
chant sold the materials for mending boots, and in some instances Squire 


Bell charged for making the repairs. Probably one of his many 
employees officiated at the cobbler s bench when not otherwise engaged. 
The following items are gathered at random from his ledger: 

"For grafting a pair of boots for your man and finding 

leather ........................................... 4 6 

"For one pair of half soles ........................... i 3 

"For i yard of shoe lining .............................. 2 

"For out soles for your wife s shoes ................... i 8 

"For sole leather and making your shoes ................ 7 6 

"For leather for a pair of men s shoes ..................... 10 

This singular entry, perhaps for a one-legged customer, also 
appears : 

"For half of a pair of shoes ............................ 5 

There must have been a seamstress in connection with the estab 
lishment as we find several charges similar to the following: 

s. d. 
"For a cotton shirt and making ........................ 8 

For cotton and thread for a shirt ...................... 5 6 

Making the shirt ...................................... 2 

Trimmings and making a pair of pantaloons ............ 8 

Cotton for 2 shirts ..................................... n 8 

Making and thread for ditto ........................... 5 

Making a weastcoat ................................... 5 

For making a pair of pantaloons finding thread, silk, and 

lining ............................................ 7 

He occasionally dealt in live stock as is shewn by the following 
items : 

s. d. 

"For a pair of oxen ............................... 18 15 

"A yoake and bows ................................. 7 6 

"For a pair of steers sold you at Belleville ............ 6 10 

"For a heifer to St. Pier the French man ........... 2 15 

"For a cow and calfF which is to be returned if not paid 

for .......... ................................ 4 15 .. 

There appears to be no end to the Squires resources for earning a 

few shillings, as we find a charge against George Kitchenback "For the 


use of my horses to break up 12 acres of land, etc., and putting in the 
seed." Other entries for horse hire appear: 

s. d. 

"For the use of a horse to Rawdon, 4 days at is. 3d 5 

"For 2 days of my horse . 5 

For my horses and slay to the big Island Marsh for a load 

of hay 5 .. 

He rented his oxen in like manner 
"One day of my oxen 3 6 

Another customer who purchased some pork and had some writing 
done was charged 

s. d. 
"For keeping a span of horses one night 2 6 

The following account is quite characteristic of the many bewilder 
ing roles in which the Squire figured in his dealings with his cus 
tomers : 

"Thurlow, Aug. nth, 1823 

James Limburner 

To Wm. Bell, Dr. 

s. d. 

For an emetic from Doctor A. J. Williamson 2 

For cash sent in a letter to George Ridout, Esq., for you. 15 

Paid the postage of the above letter to, York I 6 

Cash at Gregware s shop 2 

Aug. 25 For 2 summonses I 

For a subpoena 6 

26 Cash at Belleville for postage of a letter i 10 

Oct. 5 Paid for taking your tool chest and your selfe to the 

Nappannee Mils 10 9 

Keeping a horse 10 days in pasture 5 

Costs paid in Court for you 

Paid Campbell for you 12 6 

For board and lodging when sick, weeks @ 75. 6d. 
per week ^i i 

Among the other interesting facts to be gathered from the fore 
going account we may observe the excessive postage upon the two letters 
and that our county town was then known as "the Nappannee Mills." 


The Squire also rented a house, but accurate as he usually was in 
his figures I cannot follow him in his computation of the rent charged 
to one Joseph P. Huyck in the following entry : 

L s. d. 
"Dec. 4th, 1829. House rent from May 4th, 1829, to Dec. 

4th, 7 m. @ IDS 4 . . 


In a more dignified capacity than that of mending boots and making 
shirts does the Squire appear at times: 

i. s. d. 

"For a trip to Judge Fisher s with slay and horses i 10 

"For going with you to Taylor and searching record 

and writing 5 

"For writing and attending on an arbitration between 

you and Peter Moon 6 3 

"Attending you arbitration at Shannonville with Soper . . 7 6 

In the good old days the people borrowed from their neighbours 
with the usual results, but the Squire kept a strict account of the break 
ages and articles lost, a plan that might prove advantageous to the 
lender if adopted in our day: 

. s. d. 

"For a shuttle lost 3 9 

For salt lent at different times 5 

For the cutter broke by Augustus 2 16 3 

For tobacco lent at different times i 6 

For 4 loaves of bread lent your men and not returned. ... 3 6 
An ox ring broke and not repaired nor any furnished 

to replace it 

For corn and pease borrowed and not returned 15 

The following items gathered from his various accounts enlighten 
us as to the prices charged ninety years ago, and further illustrate the 
endless variety of the store-keeper s stock-in-trade: 

i. s. d. 

"F or a bushell of onions to your brother 5 

For 10 bushells of apples, @ is. 3d 12 6 

For 1,000 feet of lathing 2 

For 4 apple trees, @ jy 2 2 6 

For slabs pr agreament 5 

For half a kid skin 10 

For 2 loads of wood by my son Stephen 6 

For a pair of sleigh runners 5 



L s. d. 

To half a quire of paper i 

For 20 bushells of potatoes at 2s. per bushell 

For i bushell beets 5 

For 2 bushells of onions, @ 75. 6d 15 

For 3 bushells of carrots, @ 55 15 

For 4 bushells turnips, @ is 4 

To 182 Ibs. beef, @ 3d 2 6 6 

For one pound tobacco i 6 

For i dozen awl blades 2 

For \y 2 bushells of wheat, @ 55 7 6 

For 2 cotton handkerchiefs, @ is. 2d 2 4 

For 4^ Ibs. porke, @ 6d 2 3 

For 8^ Ibs. fresh pork, @ 4^5 4 2 

For 238 feet i l / 2 plank clear stuff 12 \o>y 2 

For 484 feet 734 boards @ 45. 6d i 2 2J/2 

For 600 feet ^4 boards i 10 

For 300 seasoned siding, @ 55. 6d 13 3 

For a mill gudgeon 99 Ibs. at 6d. per pound 2 9 6 

For 2 flannell shirts, @ I2s. 6d i 5 

To a stripe shirt 8 7^ 

For a pair of ribed socks 4 

An auction sale possesses a fascination for most people, and espe 
cial interest must have been taken in that of Daniel Haight held at 
Adolphustown in 1829. He was a prominent man at the time, the 
father of eleven children, and the year before his death he held a dis 
persion sale or vendue as it was called. The conditions of the sale as 
announced over his signature were as follows: "Any person purchas 
ing, and not to the amount of twenty shillings, must make immediate 
payment, and those purchasing to that amount or upwards must give 
satisfactory security or the property will be exposed to a second sale. 
If it sells for more he is to reap no benefit, but if for less he is to make 
good the first sale. All that comply with these conditions shall have 
one year, without interest, to make payment in, and if at the expiration 
of that time they come forward and pay one half they shall have one 

year for to pay the other half by paying interest. 

Daniel Haight 

N.B. The security first entered in the list is to stand for the pur 
chase by that individual for which his name is first entered. True copy 
of conditions of sale made public at the day of sale. 

R. Haight" 


The following inventory of his household furniture will throw con 
siderable light upon the manner in which the early houses were furnished. 
Although he was a man possessed of no small amount of this world s 
riches, as appears from the inventory of the sale, and had some literary 
taste, as might be inferred from an inspection of his library, yet in the 
house we find the most expensive single article of furniture was the 
kitchen stove. This, too, was the only stove in the house, which was no 
doubt heated by the old fashioned fireplace. Blankets and quilts there 
were in abundance, but bedsteads were few. One was of fancy cherry ; 
and doubtless the pride of the good wife s heart, and sacredly reserved 
for the use of visitors were the set of light calico curtains and the 
"teaster sheet and cloth" used to decorate this article of furniture. The 
most of the family probably slept upon folding bunks, which served as 
seats in the daytime, and as bedsteads at night. 

"A Memorandum of the Household Furniture, 4th month, 1829." 

. s. d. 

A desk, black walnut 3 10 

i clock and case 5 

i stove and pipes 7 

I looking glass 3 

i cherry stand 3 10 

i strong box "iro" 6 

6 Windsor chairs, 455., 6 chairs, i8s 3 3 

i cherry bedstead and cord, 243 i 4 

1 set dark curtains, 255 I 5 

4 window curtains, i stand cover, 2s 12 . . 

14 white flannel blankets, good 12 12 

8 check blankets, 2os 8 . . 

3 striped blankets, i8s 2 14 . . 

5 Indian blankets, 55 i 5 

7 quilts, 225., i cradle quilt, 55 7 19 

2 bedsteads and cords 2 

i bedstead curtains and mattrass 2 10 

5 straw bed ticks, 55 i 5 

3 cotton sheets, 73., 3 linen sheets, 75 2 2 

1 set light calico curtains, Teaster sheet and cloth i 3 9 

2 Willow baskets 4 

3 sets of upper valance, head cloths and Teaster sheets. . i 15 
2 ink bottles, is. ; sugar box, is. ; bread dish, is 3 

I pair spoon moulds, 73. 6d. ; i pitcher, is. ; pepper box, is . . 9 6 
Butter ladle, is. ; fat bottle, is. 9d 2 9 


S. d. 

i pair gold scales and weights 7 6 

i pair pippe tongs, 35. gd. ; copper tea kettle, IDS 13 9 

I knot dish "chopping bowl" 2 

i iron pot, 55. ; 10 gal. cask, 45. ; meat tub, 55 14 

Wash tub, 35. ; dye tub, 35. ; pickle tub, 45. ; soap tub, 35. . . 12 

i plaid blanket 12 

i map of the Holland purchase 5 

i map United States, 55.; i map England, Ireland, etc. .. n 

i large Bible, 155., 3 vols., Clarkson s Penetrations, 2os. i 15 

1 Buchan s Domestic medicine 6 3 

2 vols. Brooks , 6s. 3d. ; 3 vol. Pownal, 35. gd 10 

i Lewis Dispensatory 5 

3 pair under valance, 2s. 6d., and 73. 6d. ; 4 window cur 

tains, IDS 19 6 

1 set muslin vallance, 2s. 6d. ; 4 tablecloths, 35 14 6 

I 1 pillows, 45 2 4 

2 caps, 35 6 

3 brass candlesticks, 55 15 

i iron basin, 35. 9d. ; i smoothing iron, 35. 6d 7 3 

i iron candlestick i 6 

14 pair pillow cases, 2s. 6d. ; 2 bolster pillow cases, 2s. 119.. 

4 feather beds, 6os 12 

6 towels, is. ; 2 tin pots, 55 16 

3 milk pans, 2s. 6d. ; 9 metal spoons, is 16 6 

9 silver spoons, 53 2 5 

10 case knives and 7 forks 10 

3 tea cannisters, is. 3d 3 9 

1 tin tea pot, 2s. ; 4 tin basins, is. 8d 3 

2 decanters, 35. 9d. ; 2 wine glasses, 9d 9 . 

1^2 gal. glass jar 7 6 

i blue-edged platter 3 9 

i green-edged plate, is., i oval dish, 9d i 9 

i pewter platter, 43. ; 9 earthern plates, 6d 6 

i bowl, 6d. ; cups and saucers, 45. 6d. ; 2 sugar bowls, 

is. 3d 7 6 

11 saucers and cups, 45. ; 2 gal. jugs, is. 2d 6 6 

i Elliott Medical Pocket Book i 

i Franklin Sermons 3 9 

1 Stackhouse s History of the Bible 2 6 

2 vols. Brown s Union Gazeteer . . 7 6 

i vol. i6th, Report British and Foreign Bible Soc 2 6 


L S. d. 

I vol. History of the United States of America 7 6 

1 vol. Elias Hicks sermons 6 3 

2 vols. Newton s Letters 7 6 

I vol. Ricketson on Health 5 

i vol. Jersey Kurgy 2 6 

i vol. Memorials Deceased Friends 2 6 

T vol. Harvey s Meditation 2 6 

i vol. Reply to Hibbard I 3 

I vol. John Scott s Journal 5 

i vol. Barclay on Church Government 2 6 

I vol. Abridgment of Morse s Geography 3 

I vol. on Shakerism 2 6 

I vol. Works of the late Dr. Franklin 5 

I vol. Journal of Richard Davis 2 6 

I vol. Lessons from the Scriptures i 6 

i vol. Lessons by Picard i 3 

i vol. Sequel to the English Reader 3 6 

114 18 

An examination of the following list of property disposed of at the 
sale will reveal the fact that the stock of an Adolphustown farm of 
eighty-four years ago would compare favourably with that of most 
farms in the same district to-day. In the inventory we miss the binder, 
horse-rake, and other farm implements in such common use to-day, 
although the fanning mill appears to have arrived upon the scene. 

"A List of property sold at vendue, January 26th, 1829, belonging to 
Daniel Haight of Adolphustown." 


4 Hogs 

4 Hogs 

5 Hogs 

6 Sheep, first choice 
g < 

6 " " " 

11 Bull., 
I . , 

6/9 per head 


Ricketson Haight. . 

Consider Haight.. 

t < 


Ricketson Haight. . 
Samuel Dorland 
Ricketson Haight. . 

Phillip Haight 

Ricketson Haight. . 


Consider Haight. . . . 
Ricketson Haight. . . 

15/3 per head 

14/3 " 

10/ John D. Haight. 

s. d. 
1 19 6 
4 11 6 
3 14 9 
1 1 
1 1 9 





2 Calves 

2 " 

1 Calf 

2 Steers 

1 Heiffer 

1 Ricketson Haight 

1 Cow 



1 Heiffer 

1 Yoke Oxen 

1 Horse 

1 Mare 

1 Gray Colt 

1 Horse 

1 Mare 

1 Cutter 

1 Fanning Mill 

1 Sow and Pigs 

1 Potash Kettle (1) 

1 Set Harness 

1 Leach Tub (2) 

1 Sleigh 

1 Saucepan (3) 

1 Pot 

1 "(4)-.. 

1 Pan 

1 Axe 

1 Cake Pan and 2 Tin do. 
1 Chair and Sundries.... 

3 Pails 

1 Fork 

1 Handsaw 

1 Waggon Chair (5) 

1 Pruning Knife 

1 Handsleigh (6) 

6 Chairs 

6 " 7/9 

1 Set Dutch Harness (7). 

2 Collarsand 4 trace chains 

1 Neck Yoke 

1 Pocket Compass 

1 Set Harness 

1 Ox Carte 

1 Chair . 


Daniel Ruttan 

Consider Haight.. 

Ricketson Haight. 
Consider Haight. 

Noxon Harris. . . . 

Job Dunham 

Ricketson Haight. 
Reuben Haight. . . 
Ricketson Haight. 
Consider Haight. 
Phillip Haight.. . 
Consider Haight. 
Samuel Haight. . . 

John Mullet 

Rowland Haight. 
Consider Haight. 
Ricketson Haight. 
Consider Haight. 
Daniel Ruttan, . . 
Consider Haight. 
Ricketson Haight. 
Marvel Garrison. . 
Ricketson Haight. 

Marvil Garrison 
John Dunham. . 

Andrew Quackinbush 
Consider Haight.... 
Ricketson Haight. . . . 
Consider Haight.... 

John Haight 

Consider Haight. 
Ricketson Haight. 
Ricketson Haight. 

Consider Haight.... 

George Bedle 

Ricketson Haight. . . . 

Marvil Garrison 

James Ackerman, Sr, 

John Clapp 

Daniel Ruttan 

Consider Haight. . . . 




Ricketson Haight. 

i !-* ** 

Edwin Mallory 

Ricketson Haight. . . . 


















, 17 

s. d. 

13 6 

8 6 
12 6 


10 6 






9 6 

12 6 




8 3 

6 3 
10 3 

6 9 
5 3 

7 6 

8 6 

3 9 

4 3 

5 6 

4 6 

6 6 
10 6 

8 6 

3 6 




13 2 




1 Cutter 

1 Two Horse Waggon. . . 

1 Saw (8) 

1 String Bells 

1 Wood pt. of Waggon . 

1 " 

1 Cheese Hoop (9) 

1 Copper Kettle 

1 Griddle (10) 

1 Toasting Iron 

1 Flesh Fork 

1 Pair Steel Yards (12).. 

1 Lantern and Basin 

1 Pestle and Mortar (13) 

1 Apple Peeler (U) 

1 I ron Mortar 

1 Heckle (15) 

1 Tin Horn (16) 

1 Cradle 

1 Basket and Shears 





1 Tea Kettle 

1 Kettle 

1 Churn 

2 Tubs 

1 Keeler and Bowl (17). 

3 Trays (18) 

2 Trays and Bowls 

2 Trays 

1 Cheese Knife 
1 Keg 

1 Cheese Rack. 


1 Tub 

1 Bowl 

1 Pail 

1 Bread Tray 

1 Tub 

1 Five-pail Kettle (19). .. John Frederick 

1 Whip [John Clapp 

1 Pail Lewis Lazier 

1 Whip 

1 Waggon Chair 

Phillip Garrison 
Phillip Haight. 
Daniel Ruttan 
Samuel Dorland 
Job Dunham 
John Clapp. 
Ricketson H 
John Clapp. 
George Bedle 
Reuben Haight 
Reuben Clapp 

Daniel Ruttan 
James Ackerman 
George Bedle 
Marvil Garrison 
Rueben Haight 
Phillip Haight 
Reuben Haight 
Ricketson Hai 
Phillip Haight 
Phillip Garrison 
Ricketson HE 
Lewis Lazier 
Ricketson Hz 
George Bedle 
Edwin Mallory 
John Haight 
Daniel Ruttan 
John Haight 
Daniel Ruttan. 
Reuben Haight 
John Clapp 
Phillip Garrison 
Reuben Haight 
John Haight 

1 Bedstead and Cord (20) 

1 Table 

George Bedle 
Consider Haight 
William Hopson 
Lewis Lazier 



man. . . . 
lijrht. , 

Jas. Ackerman, Sr. . 


Marvil Garrison 






Paid in Work 

ht. , 

aieht. , 

< i 


ht. , 







aight. , 

aight. . . 

e. ...... 




hi. , 




ht. , 


John Dafoe 




iSfht . 

?son .... 




s. d. 

4 2 

6 11 

16 8 

3 6 



6 1 

1 4 

2 9 

2 2 
14 3 

8 1 

6 3 


3 8 

1 (5 

17 1 

2 8 
2 1 

5 4 

4 8 

2 7 

3 8 
2 1 

1 3 
1 5 

1 7 
1 3 

3 9 

4 1 
1 6 
4 6 
1 3 
1 1 
1 10 
1 9 


12 6 

3 9 




1 Table 

2 Half Rounds (21) 

John Clapp 


Half Bushel Measure. 


Flour Chest 

Pair Sieves 

Patent Plough (22). . . 


Harrow . 

Cradle (23) 

Set Blacksmith s Tools 

Pitch Fork (24) 

Cradle and Scythe 


" and Snath 



Scythe and Snath 




Combus Table (25) 

A lot of things in 

A box of bucks 


1 Cradle 

1 Grind Stone 

1 Punchon and Coder. . . 

1 Empty Pipe 

1 Spade and Shovel 

1 Tub 

1 Hoe and Clevis 

1 Hand Irons and Tongs. 

1 Ton of Hay 

2 Tons of Hay 

1 Broad Axe 

1 Beetle and Wedge 

2 Trowels 

1 Ox Yoke 


1 Grindstone 

1 Chair. 


Lewis Lazier 

Edwin Mallory. . . 
Daniel Ruttan . . . 
Ricketson Haight 

X <( 

Phillip Garrison. . 
Reuben Haight . . 
Daniel Ruttan . . . 
Consider Haight . 
Ricketson Haight 
Consider Haight. . 
Samuel Borland. . 
Lewis Lazier .. 

Ricketson Haight. 
Consider Haight . 
Ricketson Haight. 
Reuben Haight. . . 
Ricketson Haight. 
Rowland Haight . 
Ricketson Haight. 

the shop Consider Haight 

Ricketson Haight . 
Ricketson Haight. 
Isaiah Thompson. 
Daniel Ruttan . . . 
Ricketson Haight. 

George Bedle 

Ricketson Haight. 

Consider Haight 

John Mullette . . . 
Ricketson Haight. 
Consider Haight. . 
Daniel Ruttan . . . 
Consider Haight . 
Ricketson Haight. 
Consider Haight . 
Ricketson Haight. 





Andrew Quackenbush 

s. d. 

1 12 



1 1 
1 1 

5 6 




18 6 

7 6 
10 1 

4 11 

8 3 
1 3 

8 5 

1 11 
4 2 

1 5 3 

13 9 

3 9 

3 7 

1 9 9 

3 9 
8 3 

2 9 

1 16 6 

2 1 

4 3 
10 1 

4 6 

2 2 

1 4 6 

1 18 6 

2 17 

8 3 

9 3 

1 3 

7 6 

2 3 

326 6 8 



"i. Potash Kettle. This was a very large iron cauldron which would 
hold three or four barrels of water, sometimes more. It was called so 
because it was used for boiling down the lye obtained from hardwood 
ashes. Nearly every farmer who could afford it had one. It was 
inclosed by a stone plastered wall having at one side an opening to 
receive wood, and on the other side a flue to produce a draught and 
permit the smoke to escape. Its rim rested on the top of the inclosure 
and at an elevation sufficient to allow a fire to be made under it. By 
this means the water was evaporated more speedily from the alkali, or 
impure carbonate of potassa, a white metallic substance used for many 
purposes. It was one of the few things in demand which brought money 
in those days, and hence the ashes from the wood heaps and the house 
were carefully preserved. 

"2. Leach Tub. This was usually made of boards, of oblong shape, 
and in the form of a "V" barrels were often used and secured on a 
thick plank, with a slight incline to carry off the lye. Before filling the 
tub coarse straw was put in the bottom over which some lime was scat 
tered, and then it was filled with ashes, after which water was applied 
clay after day until the alkali had been all washed out, when it was 
conveyed to the kettle and treated as above. 

"3. A flat-bottomed pot with a cover, otherwise called a baking pot. 
They are still in use but of less consequence now. The good house 
wife in those days had not dreamed of cook stoves. If she wanted to 
make a stew, she raked a few live coals out in the hearth and set this 
contrivance upon them. 

"4. Note refers to payments. 

"5- Waggon Chair. This was a strong splint-bottomed seat capable 
of holding two persons comfortably, and three at a pinch, made to sit 
on the inside of the box of a lumber waggon the farmer s carriage 
then. As the waggon had to be used on the farm the box was movable 
and usually painted. If a visit was contemplated or a meeting attended 
on Sunday, the box was put on, the chairs placed and covered with 
buffalo skins or quilts. 

"6. Hand Sleighs were about as useful in those days when the 
ground was covered with snow as a wheel-barrow is in summer now. 

"7. Dutch Harness. In contradistinction to harness in which collar 
and names are used, quite common now, but not so then. 

"8. This is a long saw with a handle at both ends, a cross-cut saw, 
used for sawing timber and an important implement at that time. 


"9. A wooden hook eight or nine inches deep and fourteen or six 
teen inches in diameter in which the cheese curd is put and pressed. 

"10. Griddles have not gone out of date, but the griddles of that 
time had hoop handles with an eye in the top which enabled the cook 
to turn it round. When in use it was suspended over the fire by an 
iron hook fastened to the crane. 

"11. Flesk Fork. Used to turn meat in the pot. 

12. Steel Yards. Every farmer had them. As there was a great 
deal of barter going on then they were a necessity. 

"13. Pestle and Mortar. Very common in farmhouses then and 
useful. There were numbers of things required for culinary and other 
purposes that could not be reduced by any other means. 

"14. Apple Peeler. A little machine for peeling apples. A great 
improvement on the knife and a prominent feature at apple bees. 

"15. Heckle. A wooden instrument used to free the fibre from the 
stalk of the flax. 

"16. Tin Horn. Used to call the men to their meals. Many a time 
in my young days have I awaited its pleasant call. 

"17. Keeler and Bowl. The first a shallow wooden vessel of two or 
three gallons capacity used for holding milk in the place of! tin pans 
which were not easily to be had, and were expensive. The bowl was a 
wooden dish usually made out of ash knots by the Indians, who were 
experts in making these dishes and numbers of other useful things for 
the house, such as splint brooms, spoons, ladles, trays, baskets, etc. 
which they exchanged for provisions. 

"18. Trays. An oblong wooden dish made by the Indians, and used 
principally by the housewife for manipulating butter. 

"19. Five Pail Kettle. A pot that would contain five pails of water. 

"20. Bedstead and Cord. The old post bedstead has disappeared 
with its straw and feather ticks. The posts were morticed to receive 
the beams. The latter were pierced with holes about nine inches apart, 
through which the cord was passed lengthwise and crosswise and then 
drawn as tight as possible with a wrench made for the purpose. This 
held the frame together and supported the bed. 

"21. Half Rounds. The half of a circular table which could be 
drawn out and pieces put in to extend its length, or they could be placed 
at the ends of another table. They were usually made of cherry. 

"22. Patent Plough. This was a cast-iron plough with a wood 
beam and tail. It was first made, I believe, by Willet Casey, and a great 
advance on the old ones which were made altogether of wood, except 
the sabre which was of wrought iron. My father had one and sometimes 


used it, but it was a clumsy implement and discarded as soon as pos 

"23. Cradle. At that time the only implement in use for cutting 

"24. Blacksmith s Tools. Farmers and their sons were their own 
carpenters, blacksmiths, and, to a large extent, also harnessmakers, 
shoemakers, coopers, and waggonmakers. 

"25. Combus Table. Probably some kind of an extension or folding 

The next ten or fifteen years witnessed a decided change in the 
class of goods handled by the country merchants, or the ordinary cus 
tomers from Richmond and Fredericksburgh were more fastidious in 
their tastes than those who dealt with Squire Bell. The writer has 
examined the original day-book of David Roblin for the year 1838, and 
parts of the years 1837 and 1839, and finds a great change in the class 
of goods sold. Hel carried on business as a general merchant on the 
Deseronto Road near the present residence of Mr. Herchimer Ayles- 
worth. The following items are not exceptions but fairly represent the 
class of goods which passed over the counter week after week during 
the year : 

i. s. d. 

To y 2 tea, @ 55. 6d 2 9 

To l /4 N>. snuff, 35 9 

To 7 yds. plaid, @ is. 6d 10 6 

To i Ib. tobacco I 3 

By 16 bushels ashes, @ lod 13 4 

To 4 bushels peas, @ 55 i 

To 6 Ibs. pork, @ 6s 3 

To i cwt. flour 15 

To i pr. kid gloves 3 9 

To 2 plugs sweet tobacco 4 

To 2 yds. gingham, @ is. 6d 3 

To 6 yds. fustian, @ 2s 12 

To 7 yds. lace, @ 33 i i 

To *4 Ib- powder 6 

To i Ib. shot 

To i gun lock 5 

To 2,400 feet boards, @ 35. 6d 4 4 

To i dress hndkf 3 

To S^4 yds. calico, @ is. id 9 5 

To 16 yds. factory cotton, @ is. id 17 4 

To y 2 gallon whiskey, @ 55 2 6 


S. d. 

To i yd. ribbon, @ 46 4 

To i qt. rum, @ 6s I 4 

To \y 2 yds. silk, @ 55 7 6 

To i table cover, los 10 

To io^4 Ibs. cheese, @ 6d 5 4^ 

To 2% yds. buckskin, @ 6s 13 6 

To i pack cards i 3 

To i pr. side combs 5 

To i fur cap 15 

To i silk hdkf 7 6 

To 3^ Ibs. sole leather, @ is. 6d 5 3 

To 10 yds. S loom, is. id 10 10 

To 3 yds. gray cloth, @ 35 9 

To i counterpane 11 6 

To 3 yds. red flannel, @ 35. Qd n 3 

It will be seen at a glance that the goods handled by Mr. Roblin 
were very superior to those handled by Squire Bell. Tea at five shill 
ings and five shillings and sixpence was sold every day and was a 
luxury evidently unknown to the citizens of Thurlow ten or twelve years 
before. Mr. Roblin sold very little whisky, in fact it was very excep 
tional to find an entry for intoxicating liquor, which leads to the sup- 
positjon that he did not carry it in stock but upon very rare occasions 
accommodated a customer with a quart or more. Silk handkerchiefs 
and dress goods, side combs and counterpanes would indicate a decided 
improvement in the purchasing power of the ordinary customer. The 
age of the deerskin skirt had passed, the maidens scorned the home 
spun, and the merchant was called upon to carry an assortment of dry 
goods such as muslin, calico, factory cotton, pilot cloth, shirting, check, 
flushing, blue cloth, red flannel, bed ticking, moleskin, cambric, silk, and 
canvas, all of which I find figuring among the sales of a single week. 

The following blacksmith s account is among the interesting papers 
of our Historical Society: 

1832 James Long to J. Grant, Dr. 

i. s. d. 

June 4 To seting tyer 2 6 

To repairing a feller 6 

To baleng a kittle .1 3 

7 To a cleves and ring 2 To repairing a whippletree 9 



L s. d. 

Aug. 14 To sharpening a colter 

To a hook 

Dec. 8 To shoeing a horse 

12 To a pair of andirons 

15 To a pair of andirons IO 

17 To seting 4 shoes 


Jan. 5 To an iron to a wooding horse 

10 To shoeing a horse 

Feb. 5 To jumping an axle 

9 To seting i shoe 

2 i 3 
Cr. i s. d. 

By 14 pounds of veel 

July 9 By 15 pounds of veel 

By cash 4 

Xov.23 By 92 pounds of beef T 4 

Feb. 9 By 2^/4 pounds of butter 

i 3 
Balleiice due J. G 1 7 

The following market quotations are from a copy of the Index 
published at Newburgh on April 27th, 1854: 


s. d. s. d. 

Potatoes per bushel 3 6 to 

Oats per bushel 2 IO 3 

Barley per bushel 4 

Rye per bushel 3 

Peas per bushel 5 6 

Apples per bushel 


Beef per cwt 2 7 6 

Pork 30 

Ham per Ib 

Flour per cwt 2O 

Buckwheat per cwt 

Indian meal per cwt 


S. d. S. d. 

Mutton per Ib . . 6 

Veal .. 3 

Butter 10 i 

Cheese 5 . . 6 

Tallow . . 8 

Eggs per dozen 10 I 

Fowls per couple i 8 to 2 6 

Partridges per couple 2 6 3 .. 

Geese each 2 .. 2 6 

Turkeys each 2 6 5 6 

In August, 1855, are found the following quotations upon the same 
market : 

KINGSTON MARKET August 7, 1855 

s. d. s. d. 

Potatoes per bushel 3 6 4 6 

Oats per bushel 2 9 3 

Peas 6 3 

Beef per Ib 5 . . 

Pork per Ib 6 . . 

Hams per Ib 7^ . . 9 

Flour per cwt 25 . . 27 

Indian meal per cwt 13 . . 14 

Mutton per Ib 4 . . 5 

Veal per Ib 3 . . 4 

Butter per Ib 7^2 . . 9 

Cheese 1 1 

Tallow 6 

Eggs per doz 6 . . 9 

Fowls per couple 2 6 3 .. 

Hay per ton 40 . . 60 

Straw per ton 20 . . 25 

Wood per cord 1 1 3 12 6 

In the copy of the Standard published on February 7th, 1856, we 
find the following quotations of the Napanee markets: 

s. d. s. d. 

Flour per cwt 25 . . to 27 6 

Rye per bus 7 6 8 9 

Barley per bus 4 

Oats per bus i 9 2 .. 


S. d. S. d. 

Peas per bus 3 6 4 .. 

Potatoes per bus 2 

Indian meal per cwt n 6 n 3 

Oat meal per cwt 15 . . 20 

Beef per Ib 3 . . 4 

Mutton per Ib 3 . . 4 

Pork per cwt 30 . . to 32 

Venison per Ib 3 . . 4 

Lard per Ib 6 . . 7^ 

Butter per Ib 10 I 

Eggs per dozen 10 i 

Cheese per Ib 6 . . 9 

Apples per barrel 2 .. 2 6 

Potash per cwt 27 6 

Wood per cord 7 6 10 

Hay per ton 40 . . 50 

It was not the custom of the merchants in those days to advertise 
the selling price of their wares, but Thomas Lamb demands the atten 
tion of the reader in the same issue of the Standard by the glaring 
head line "Mark? Read?? and Learn??" Having engaged the attention 
of the reader by this device he then most modestly begs leave to acquaint 
him with the fact that he has removed to those near central and com 
modious premises on Dundas Street recently vacated by Robert Easton, 
Esq., and proceeds under the following heads to extol the quality of his 

Dry Goods, Broadcloths and Ready Made Clothing, 

Sugars, Teas, Tobaccos, 


Brandy, Gin, Scotch Islay, Proof and Whiskeys, 

Hardware, Knives and Forks, 

Weavers Steel Reeds, 

Boots & Shoes, 


All he craves on the part of a discerning public is a timely inspec 

For the purpose of comparison I append extracts selected from the 
accounts of different individuals as they appear in a ledger of a merchant 
carrying on business in Napanee in 1859. These accounts possess an 


additional interest as they mark the transition, from sterling to decimal 
currency. The gross amount of the purchases is invariably carried 
forward in decimal currency but the book-keeper could not break away 
entirely from his pounds, shillings, and pence and seems to lapse involun 
tarily into the old method. 


Jan. 4 y 2 tea, 35., 300. ; I5th y 2 tea, 6oc., 3oc ................ 

22 i tea, 5oc. ; y> mustard, 3Oc., I5c ..................... $i . 50 

Jan. 4 To i tea, 2s. 6d. ; knobs, 2d ............................ 54 

To 5 flannel y^, 618 ................................. 1.49 

Jan. 5 By turkey, 43c. ; 3 pecks potatoes, 50, 37^c ............ 81 

Jan. 5 To i tea, 6oc. ; set spoons, 2oc. ; 7 calico, nd., $1.28. ... 2.08 

Jan. 22 8^2 lining, 6d., 95c. ; i silk, $1.00; i ribbon, 2oc. ; 4 trim 

ming, 2s., I4c .................................. 1 . 94 

To bot. electric oil, 55., i oz. condition root, ice ....... 

Jan. 6 To pr. Prunella boots, $1.75; 7th i tea, 2s. 6d. ; 7 calico, 

10, 55. icd. ; spools, IDC ......................... 3.52 

Jan. 7 y 2 tobacco, 345., I7c; I5th i tea, 60, i7th; 7 Cobourg, 37$. 

$2.59; i Holland, 20, i Selecia, 125 ............. 3.68 

Jan. ir To i horse rasp, 47c. ; 2 spelling books, i2 l / 2 c., 2$c ....... 72 

Jan. ii To i doeskin, $1.75; y$ cassemere $1.50, $1.32; i casse- 

mere, OXDC ...................................... 3-97 

Nov. 23 To y 2 tea, 35. 6d., is. gd. ; trimming, 75. 6d., $1.50; 28th 

trimming, 95. 6d., $1.90; i tea, 35. 6d. 7oc ......... 4.45 

Jan. 14 To slate 13, peas 3, i qr. paper 17, pencil i, 2 penholders 

i, 2 button 8 ................................... 44 

Mar. 2 To ^ silk, 73. 6d., $1.32; cash 50 pr. rubbers, 8oc ..... 2.62 

Apr. 19 y 2 muslin, is. loc. ; braid, 8 ........... .............. T 8 

Jan. 22 To i qt. molasses, 9d ................................ T 5 

Oct. 19 \y 2 ribbon, i^d., 2^d., 2 sk. silk 3d., 6d. ; \y* fruit 3d., 

4^d. keg lead 145. 4^d ......................... 3- IQ 

Mar. i ioy 2 goat hair lustre 25, $2.63 ; 3 Cobourg y 4 80 ; i lining, 

13 ............................................. T "3 8 






Before the division of Canada into the Upper and Lower Provinces 
there were no schools in this province under government supervision. 
The first school in Upper Canada, so far as we have any record, was 
opened by the Rev. John Stuart in Kingston in 1785. In 1786 John C. 
Clark opened a school in the township of Fredericksburgh and remained 
in this county teaching for two years. It has been stated that the school 
\vas located at Clarkville in the town of Napanee, but I have been 
unable to find any authority supporting the contention. The first mill 
was built here in 1786, and several workmen were employed in its erec 
tion, but there was no settlement of any consequence along the river 
until some time after the mill had been built. His son Major Clark, in 
writing of his father s movements, is credited with saying: "He arrived 
with his family in Montreal in the year 1786 and proceeded to the Bay 
of Quinte. He remained two years at the Bay, employed in teaching." 
The fact that he used the word "Bay" in indicating the locality where 
his father spent the two years teaching is not at all conclusive that he 
means he was engaged on the shores of the Bay ; as this district might 
quite properly be spoken of in that manner by any one writing from a 
distance, but, at the time the Major gave the information, Napanee was 
a village of some consequence, and, if his father had been engaged in 
teaching at Napanee, he in all probability would have said so. This, 
the first rural school in this province, was undoubtedly in the township 
of Ernesttown or Fredericksburgh and the honour is generally conceded 
to the latter township. 

A Mr. Smith opened a school in Ernesttown in 1789. We have 
this bare fact with no further details to enlighten us as to the Christian 
name of Mr. Smith, or the location of the school. It may be that Mr. 
Smith at first went from house to house, which would be given over for 
the day for the use of the teacher and pupils, until a suitable building 
could be provided. As the Clarks were the most prominent men in 
the township and the foremost leaders in opening up schools, it pro 
bably was located near their old homestead in the vicinity of Millhaven. 

In 1789 a Mr. Lyons conducted a school in Adolphustown. The in 
formation regarding Mr. Lyons is just as meagre as that concerning Mr. 


Smith; but we have trustworthy information as to the location of the 
first school-house. Under date of February 29th, 1908, Mrs. Alma Gun- 
solus, sister of the late D. W. Allison, made the following statement: 

"I, Mrs. Alma Gunsolus (nee Alma Allison), now entered upon 
my ninetieth year of age, state with distinct recollection that the afore 
mentioned school-house stood on the property now owned by Frederick 
Membery, immediately adjoining a small building to the east, now stand 
ing there, and once used as a blacksmith shop, and only a short distance 
from the U. E. L. Memorial Church to the west of it, and that the first 
teacher s name that taught in this school when I first went to school was 
a Mr. Hughes. He was considered the best teacher far and wide, and 
many persons came to this school from a distance on account of his 
superiority over other teachers. The late Sir John A. Macdonald 
attended the school. I remember him as being nicely dressed and looked 
upon as being rather superior in ability to others in attendance, and 1 
do not remember seeing him barefooted as some have said he was. J. 
J. Watson, Parker Allen, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. Allen Vanalstine and 
Joseph Allen, Mrs. Tull, Mrs. Garner, Thos. Rennie, Jas. Rennie, Bessie 
Rennie, Caroline Rennie, Mrs. Captain Chambers, John E. Borland and 
sisters, Jas. Borland, Thos. Borland, John Borland, Jane Ann Borland, 
the family of Peter V. Borland, Gilbert Wilson, Stephen Casey and 
sister, Mrs. Thos. Wilson of Kingston were all my schoolmates at this 
school, but they were all older than I. In my father s and, mother s 
time, and their schoolmates Colonel Peter V. Borland, Colonel Samuel 
Borland, Samuel Casey, Thos. Casey, the Ruttans and others being the 
second generation of the U. E. L. s got their first days of school here, 
and Arthur Vandyck, the grandfather of Henry Vandyck of Fredericks- 
burgh, was their teacher and walked from where Henry Vandyck now 
lives, around by the Bay shore fully four miles every day to school." 

Mrs. Gunsolus statement is confirmed by the Honourable Henry 
Ruttan, son of William Ruttan, one of the pioneers of Adolphustown. 
He was at onel time Speaker of the Legislature, and for many years 
sheriff of the United Counties of Northumberland and Burham. In 
his autobiography he says: 

"In a few years as the neighbourhood (Adolphustown) improved, 
school-teaching was introduced by a few individuals whose bodily 
infirmities prevented them from hard manual labour. At seven years 
of age I was one of those who patronized Mrs. Carnahan who opened a 
Sylvan Seminary for the young idea. From there I went to Mr. Jona 
than Clark s, and then tried Mr. Thomas Morden, and lastly, Mr. Wil 
liam Faulkner, a relative of the Hagermans. You may suppose that 
these gradations to Parnassus were carried into effect because a large 


amount of knowledge could be obtained. Not so ; for Dilworth s Spell 
ing Hook and the New Testament were the only two books possessed by 
these Academies. About five miles distant was another teacher whose 
name I do not recollect. After his day s work was over in the woods, 
but particularly in the winter, he was ready to receive his pupils. My 
two elder brothers availed themselves of this opportunity, and always 
went on snowshoes, which they deposited at the door, ready for their 
return. By moonlight it was considered a beautiful and exciting excur 
sion, especially when the school girls joined the cavalcade. Then the 
same process of learning was gone through with in Dilworth s Spelling 
Book and the New Testament. 

Years later, there stood the old square log school-house on the hill 
at Adolphustown Village, some rods east of the church, where Mr. John 
Hughes taught, a somewhat celebrated teacher in his day, to whom 
children were sent from other townships. That must have been in the 
twenties of this century, and among the scholars there then were the 
Macdonalds, afterwards Sir John, and Mrs. (Professor) Williamson, the 
Aliens, Hagermans, Dorlands. Trumpours, Ruttans, and others, whose 
names linger in the memory of the older people. It was the only school 
in the entire township, south of Hay Bay, and numbers of the children 
had to trudge their weary way four or five miles daily to reach that 
school through the heavy woods and bad roads ; and yet some fairly 
good scholars and very intelligent persons came out from those four low 
log wall-. All who now linger of them are those venerable citizens, 
Mr. Parker Allen, J.P., Mrs. Alma Gunsolus, and Mrs. Garner. How 
times have changed since one teacher and one small school-house of 
twenty feet square seemed to suffice for nearly an entire township. 

"Among the other excellent qualities of Governor Simcoe, he was 
an ardent enthusiast upon the subject of education, and before he 
assumed office he had matured his plan of establishing grammar schools 
in every District with a university at their head, at the seat of govern 
ment. A policy good enough as far as it went, but lacking in one essen 
tial, that it contained no provision for elementary education. 

"In 1807 the first step was taken to carry into effect, in part at least, 
the recommendations that had been so strenuously advocated by him by 
enacting that one public school be established in each and every District 
of the province, and "that the public school for the Midland District 
shall be opened and kept in the town of Kingston." The sum of eight 
hundred pounds was appropriated for the maintenance of these public 
schools, from which the sum of one hundred pounds was to be paid to 
each teacher of the eight Districts into which the province was then 


These public schools, commonly known as "Grammar Schools," 
are not to be confused with the common schools, which were first brought 
into existence by the Act of 1816. As this Act of 1807 was to remain in 
force for only four years, it was hoped by the inhabitants of this county 
that at the; expiration of that period some more satisfactory arrange 
ment would be made for the accommodation of the youth of the town 
ships along the Bay: but this hope was dispelled by the repeal of that 
clause in 1808, thereby making the location of the one public school in this 
District perpetual. The grievances of the inhabitants of this part of the 
District were set forth in a petition to the House of Assembly dated 
January 6th, 1812, in which it was stated that "by reason of the place 
of instruction being established at one end of the District and the sum 
demanded for tuition (being such) that most of the people are unable 
to avail themselves of the advantages contemplated by the institution 

a few wealthy inhabitants (in the District), and those of he 

town of Kingston reap exclusively the benefit of it (the Grammar 
School) in this District." They had in the previous year given a more 
practical demonstration of their dissatisfaction with the provision of 
the Act of 1807 by founding an academy at Bath and issuing the follow 
ing prospectus: 

"The subscribers hereby inform the friends of learning that an 
Academical School, under the superintendence of an experienced pre 
ceptor, is opened in Ernesttown near the Church, for the instruction of 
the youth in English Reading, Speaking, Grammar, and Composition; 
the Learned Languages Greek and Latin ; Penmanship, Arithmetic, 
Geography, and other branches of Liberal Education. Scholars attend 
ing from a distance may be boarded in good families on reasonable 
terms, and for fifteen shillings a year ($3) can have the use of a valuable 

Sig. "Robert McDowel, William Fairfield, Benjamin Fairfield, Solo 
mon Johns, William Wilcox, Samuel Neilson, George Baker, Thomas 

Ernesttown, March nth, 1811." 

It was thus that the first public school in this county made its bow 
to the public. The first Master of the Bath Academy was Mr. Barna 
bas Bidwell, who came to Upper Canada from Massachusetts in 1803 
or 1804. The Academy was deserted and used as a barracks during the 
war of 1812, but apart from this interruption it was noted as a well 
conducted school, and among the illustrious pupils who have received 
their training under its roof was Marshall Spring Bidwell, son of the 
preceptor, who was returned as representative of this county to the 
House of Assembly in the elections of 1825, 1829, and 1831. Mr. Robert 


Gourlay who came to Canada in 1817 and at great pains collected all 
the information he could regarding the country, which was subsequently 
published by him in two volumes, entitled Statistical Account of Upper 
Canada, in speaking of this Academy says: "Among other indications 
of the progress of literary ambition I cannot forbear referring to the 
Academy lately erected in Ernesttown, by the subscription of public 
spirited inhabitants of that and the neighbouring townships, who appear 
to be convinced that the cultivation of liberal arts and sciences is 
naturally connected with an improvement of manners and morals, and a 
general amelioration of the state of soc ; ety." 

After the Academy had resumed its classes the trustees issued the 
following notice : 

"The Trustees of the Ernesttown Academy hereby give notice that 
they have appointed the Reverend Alexander Fletcher, Preceptor of that 
academical institution which will be opened in a few days, after having 
been closed for some time. 

"The Reverend Alexander Fletcher and Mr. Mclntosh have com 
menced teaching in the Ernesttown Academy, viz., the English language 
grammatically, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, geography with the 
use of the globes, mathematics, recitation, composition, and history, with 
the Latin and Greek languages. 

"Mr. Fletcher attended a complete course of classical studies at the 
colleges of Glasgow and Edinburgh ; Mr. Mclntosh received a liberal 
education at King s College, Aberdeen : and from their combined experi 
ence in. and adoption of the most successful and approved modes of 
tuition, they hope to merit the approbation of their employees. 

"Boarders can be accommodated in respectable private families on 
the most reasonable terms. 

Ernesttown, October 6th, 1818." 

\Yhen the Academy was erected the deed of the land was taken in 
the name of certain prominent citizens as trustees for the school. As 
their children grew up, these trustees, while interested in the general 
cause of education, had not the same personal incentive to devote their 
time and attention to the carrying on of the undertaking, and others 
who had grown into manhood since it was first organized, or had moved 
into the neighlwurhood, had little voice in its management, although 
they may have had a deep personal interest in seeing that it was 
efficiently conducted. To meet the wants of those who were willing to 
contribute towards the maintenance of the institution an Act was passed 
in 1834 incorporating as a body politic by the name of "The Bath School 
Society," all such persons as had contributed by subscription to the 
original building or to the repairs that were found necessary shortly 


before the Act was passed, together with all such persons as might there 
after contribute to the support of the school to the amount of two pounds, 
ten shillings annually, so long as they continued to contribute such 
annual sum. The Society was authorized to take a conveyance of the 
school lands, to elect trustees, and do all things necessary for the proper 
management and maintenance of the school. 

In the following year, 1835, tne Assembly introduced several bills 
dealing with educational matters, and by a vote of thirty-seven to 
seven carried a resolution to grant annually for a period of five 
years the sum of ;ioo for the support of competent teachers for 
the Academy. All of these bills, including among them the one 
providing the grant for the Bath Academy, were rejected by the 
Legislative Council. It may well be asked why the Legislative Coun 
cil and fhe Executive Council were alike hostile to legislation which 
aimed at the improvement of the school system. It was a notor 
ious fact that the schools were in a wretched condition, and that 
all of the proposed measures were steps in the right direction, and 
were passed by the Assembly with very few dissenting votes. Mr. 
Frederick Burrows has answered this question in an address delivered 
in the Historical Hall, Napanee, in November, 1909: "You will doubt 
less wonder why there should have been such persistent opposition to 
elementary education on the part of the administrative and responsible 
section of our early Parliaments. The fact must be confessed that the 
early Governors and the majority of the gentlemen appointees of the 
Governors who composed the Executive and Legislative Councils, 
although well educated themselves, were averse to the education of the 
masses. They honestly believed that popular education would lead to 
sedition and discontent. 

"The policy of the early Governors beginning with Simcoe, the first 
one after the passing of the Constitutional Act of 1791, was to have a 
State Church, a University connected therewith, and a few classical 
schools as feeders of the University, all to be endowed from Crown 
lands. This, they felt, would amply meet the intellectual, moral, and 
spiritual needs of the people. 

"Dr. Hodgins, in his Documentary History, aptly calls this policy 
of establishing higher institutions of learning before providing for ele 
mentary schools, an educational anomaly an anachronism beginning at 
the apex and working down to the base." 

Bath was one of the sufferers by the action of the Legislative 
Council, and both Newburgh and Napanee have since outstripped it in 
the race for recognition as an educational centre. Had the Society 


received that assistance from the government which the public spirit 
and enterprise of the supporters of the Academy so justly merited, the 
school would have been able to retain its standing and our county town 
might have been on the Bay of Quinte instead of upon the Xapanee 

The following letter from Robert Phillips, of Fergus, written in 
April, 1896, throws some light upon the position of the schools at the 
time of which he writes : 

"In 1845, I was appointed the teacher of the Bath Public School. 
The building was rough cast, two stories high ; the lower story was 
divided into two rooms. In the one room was the Public School Depart 
ment, and in the other was the Grammar School. In both these Depart 
ments, the fittings were similar to those in the first school I taught, but 
the pupils were more advanced. In a short time the Irish National Sys 
tem of School Readers, Arithmetics, Grammars, etcetera, was introduced ; 
and after these were Maps, Anatomical Plates, Orrery and Tellurian 
were added. All these were of great benefit to the pupils. 

"As it was, the Academy finally became merged under our Public 
School Act into an ordinary common school ; but it has remained one 
of the best and most progressive schools in the county. 

"While the District School at Kingston and the Academy at Bath 
served their purpose in their respective spheres the want of common 
>chools in the several townships was severely felt, and the demand for 
elementary training of the youth was general throughout the province. 
The first attempt to meet this want by legislative enactment was in 1816. 
The speech from the throne by Lieutenant-governor Gore outlined the 
fundamental features of our present system of education in the follow 
ing words : 

"The district schools instituted by law (in 1807), and admirably 
pitted as a step between elementary schools and a seminary for the 
higher branches of education, will not, without further aid, produce 
sufficient advantage to the youth of the province. 

"The dissemination of letters is of the first importance to every 
class; and. to aid in so desirable an object I wish to call your attention 
to some provision for the establishment of schools in each township, 
which shall afford the first principles to the children of the inhabitants ; 
and prepare such of them as may require further instruction to receive 
it in the district schools. From them it seems desirable that there should 
be a resort to a provincial seminary for the youth who may be destined 
for the professions or other distinguished walks in life, where they 
might attain the higher branches of education. The royal bounty has 
already been besto\ved toward that end, in the destination of large tracts 


of land, and no attention shall be wanting on my part to second and 
carry into effect the result of your deliberations on this important sub 

"The reply to His Excellency s speech was couched in fitting 
language which voiced the feelings of the people of the whole province. 
"The system detailed by Your Excellency for the education of 
youth in this province fully corresponds with our sentiments on the sub 
ject, and as the dissemination of letters is of the first importance to 
every class in promoting morality and religion, in ameliorating the con 
dition of mankind, and in beautifying posterity, this subject will claim 
from us such consideration as will carry into effect the benevolent 
intentions of Your Excellency. 

"We will not question the good intentions of either His Excellency 
or the House of Assembly, but the Act produced as the means of putting 
into effect those "benevolent intentions" was lamentably weak and lack 
ing in many essential details, and if one were disposed to be sarcastic 
some stress might be laid upon the fact that it came into effect on the 
first day of April. The Assembly, apparently doubtful as to its efficiency, 
declared that it should remain in force only four years. It was not a 
compulsory measure, but simply declared it to be lawful for the in 
habitants of any town, township, village, or place to meet together for 
the purpose of making arrangements for establishing a school, and when 
a school had been built and provision made for payment of a portion of 
the teacher s salary "to appoint three fit and decent persons trustees to 
the said common school, who shall have power and authority to examine 
into the moral character and capacity of any person wishing to become 
a teacher of such common school, and, being satisfied of the moral char 
acter and capacity of such teacher, to nominate and appoint such person 
as the teacher of such common school." How the school-house was 
to be erected or how the funds were to be raised to pay the undefined 
portion of the teacher s salary was left to the ingenuity of the inhabit 
ants ; but section seven of the Act seems to show that it was to be by 
voluntary subscription by providing that all such contracts may be 
enforced by suit. A. board of education of five members appointed by 
the Lieutenant-governor for each district was to exercise a general 
supervision over all schools within their jurisdiction and to apportion 
among them any moneys that might be granted by the government for 
that purpose. Prior to the coming into force of this Act all schools in 
the province were private enterprises, and down to 1810 the only ones 
in the county were those already mentioned, together with one at 
Napanee conducted by Mr. D. A. Atkins in 1791. 



"From statistics collected by Mr. Gourlay we learn that in 1818 
Ernesttown with a population of 2,450 supported thirteen common 
schools, besides the Academy at Bath, and Adolphustown maintained 

"The following course of study, copied from the Documentary His 
tory of Education in Upper Canada, may be taken as typical of all com 
mon schools throughout the province about the year 1820. 


of Pupils. 

Books used. 

P irst class of 


First class of 

Second class of 

Second class of 


Third & Fourth 
class of 


Grammar Lessons, Exer 
cises on Grammar, Read 
ing, Spelling and Parsing: 
Writing or Arithmetic. 

Grammar "Tasks": Defini 
tions, Correction of Er 
roneous Syntax: Reading: 
Parsing and Spelling : 
Writing or Arithmetic. 

Grammar, Parsing, Etymo 
logy, Reading, Spelling 
and Parsing. 

Grammar Lessons, Defini 
tions, Reading, Spelling 
and Parsing: Writing. 

Spelling: Reading: Analys 
ing: Orthography. 

Murray s Eng- 

u r r a y 


Murray s 
Grammar and 
Ex e rci s e s : 
Gray & 

Walkingham s 

Enfield s Speak 
er : Murray s 
Grammar and 
Carpenter s 
Scholar s 
Assistant : 
Walikngham s 

Murray s 
Grammar and 

Barrie s Reader: 
Murray s 
Scott s Les- 

Testament and 
Murray s 




of Pupils. 

Books used. 

First class of 


Reading, Spelling and Par 
sing- : Writing- or Arith 

Same as in the 


First class of 


Reading 1 , Spelling- and Par 
sing- : Writing or Arith 

Same as in the 


Second class of 


Reading-, Spelling 1 , Parsing 
and Writing. 

Same as in the 

Second class of 

Third & Fourth 


Reading, Spelling, Parsing 
and Writing. 

Same as in the morning. 

New Testament 
and Barrie s 


It will be seen that in this rather monotonous programme the study 
of Geography is omitted, and it probably is just as well for the youth 
of that day, as the only available text-book upon the subject would not 
have been very enlightening so far as the New World was concerned. 
The following comprises all the information between the two covers 
about the North American Continent : 

What is America? The fourth part of the world, called also the New 

"How is North America divided? Into Old Mexico, New Mexico, 
Canada or New France, New England, and Florida. 

"What is New France? A large tract of ground about the River St. 
Lawrence, divided into East and West, called also 
Mississippi or Louisiana. 

What does the east part contain? Besides Canada, properly so-called 
it contains divers nations the chief of which are the 
Esquirnals, Hurons, Christinals, Algonquins, Etechem- 
ins and Iroquois. The considerable towns are Quebec, 
Tadousac, and Montreal. 

"What is New Britain? It lies north of New France and is not culti 
vated, but the English who possess it, derive a great 
trade in beaver and originac s skins." 

* Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada, Vol. 1, pagfe 166 


Whatever faults the author of this valuable treatise may have 
possessed he could not have been charged with unduly exalting the great 
ness of the United States. 

There were no text-books published in Canada a hundred years ago, 
and very few were used in the schools. From a careful examination of 
the books of several general merchants carrying on business in the 
Midland District from seventy to a hundred years ago I have not found 
the entry of any books but spelling books ; and from statements made by 
old residents I believe the speller and the New Testament were about 
the only ones possessed by the ordinary pupil. I take it therefore that 
the text-books enumerated in the typical course of study above referred 
to would not be found with the pupil but with the teacher. In March, 
1820, the provision of the Act of 1816 with certain amendments was 
continued in force and a new impetus was given to the formation of new 

This Act made the erection of a school-house a condition precedent 
to the organization of a school section ; but furnished no machinery for 
raising funds to meet the necessary expenditure. Any contribution 
towards that end could only be voluntary, and, we all know from experi 
ence that it is no easy matter to induce the general public to assume new 
burdens, especially if there be no particular immediate benefit accruing 
to the individual tax-payer. 

In the year 1820, John C. Clark was road-master for the first 
concession of Ernesttown, and as such he kept a small pass-book 
in which he entered the names of all liable for the performance 
of statute labour within his division, and from day to day he kept 
a strict account of the work done by each. The names of those so 
working upon the roads and the number of days service required of 
each as entered* in the book are as follows: Josiah Lamkin, 4; John 
Mitcher, 4 ; Henry Galloway, 3 ; Charles Hagedorn, 2 ; John C. Clark, 
j i ; Daniel Rose, 7 ; Henry L. Holcomb, 6 ; John Fairfield, 8 ; David 
Sheldon, 2 ; Stephen Fairfield, 8 ; William J. McKay, 7 ; David Purdy, 
7 ; Philip Daly, 7 ; Peter Sheldon, 2 ; Captain Pane, 7 ; Samuel Purdy, 3 ; 
Gilbert Purdy, 3 ; Owen Kinney, 3 ; Chester Micholson, 2 ; Matthew 
Clark, 2 ; Leonard Brown, 2 ; John Miles, 3 ; Charles Butler, 2 ; Hiram 
Hawley, 2; Joseph Abbott, 3; And. Wilson, 3. While so engaged Mr. 
Clark, who, it will be observed, was the largest ratepayer, appears to 
have conceived the idea that a school-house could be constructed in the 
same manner. 

And as most of the road work had been commenced in the month 
of March, 1820, during which period the road-master would have been 


brought into contact with each individual in his division and he, no 
doubt, made good use of his time in advocating the building of a school- 
house, as from the repository from which the pass-book containing the 
entries of the road work came, we have another identical pass-book, 
hand-made with the sheets of paper fastened together with an old-fash 
ioned brass pin with a spherical head. In this latter are entered the 
names of all those contributing labour and materials to the school-house, 
and the first entries are about six weeks later than the first date relating 
to the road work. This little book tells its own story of the difficulty in 
obtaining a building in which to instruct their children. The heaviest 
ratepayer, John C. Clark, bore the brunt of the burden and must have 
felt discouraged at times, as the accounts show that it took three and 
one-half years to complete the undertaking. In only one instance was 
the work commuted, and then in the case of a woman whose husband 
had apparently died after the work was begun. As no price was put 
upon the work or material supplied it is quite evident that it was volun 
tary. If a comparison be made between those called upon to perform 
the road work and those who assisted in the erection of the school-house 
it will be seen that nearly all the ratepayers did a fair proportion of the 
work, but not until five or six of the leading men had got out the frame 
and work had been suspended for more than a year. 


Account of Labour and Materials at School House 


1 820 

Apr. I 1 ? 

William J. McKay, Work. Day. 


i 1 / 




2Q . 



Auer. 4. . 

William J. "McKay, Work. Day. 

y 2 

Sept. 6 


o . 

By two thousand shingles. 



May 20 By order los. W. Venton. 

Xov. 7 .............................................. l 

8 .............................................. 2 

29 .............................................. 


!82o John C. Clark. Cr. days. 

\pril By getting timber at the frame ............... 

13 .............................. 

14 ............................................... 

17 ............................................... 



1822 John C. Clark. Cr. days. 

Aug. 4 

vSept. 6 

7 By Carter 6 

9 */* 

By 163 feet boards 

By 136 feet plank 

J 3 By 75 feet plank 

14 By 105 feet plank 

316 feet plank 

14 By carter .................................... 4/ / 2 

16 By 740 feet siding ......................... 

Oct. 27 By 49 do do 

Apr. 18 By y 2 day s work ............................. 

22 By 43 in. boards ............................. 

Xov. 2 .............................................. 2 

8 .............................................. l 

10 ............................................... 

28 .............................................. I 

29 ................. .............................. l 


Samuel Purdy. Cr. days. 

Apr. 13 Work at the frame I 

14 i 

15 i 

17 i 

22 I 

28 I 

29 I 


Sept. 4 By 5 Ibs. Board Nails, @ 9 i 

Dec. 25 By y 2 day Drawing Boards i 


John C. Clark work 20 

Paid Carpenter (Carter) io l /2 

Plank 316 feet 

Boards 206 feet 

Siding 789 feet 

Gilbert Purdy. Cr. day. 

Apr. 13 i 

17 l 

22 I 


Dec. By boards 

1820 Matthew Clark, Esq. Cr. day. 

By two thousand shingles 


26 By work l 

Apf.iS By work T 

19 By work l 

Nov. 7 r 

8 i 

28 Drawing Brick and work at the House 2 

Mrs. Fairfield. Cr. days. i. s. d. 

Apr. 1 3 Work J 3 

14 J 3 

15 3 


1822 Cr. days, i s. d. 
Sept. 4 By Y* . 13 

4 By 4 Ib. Shingle Nails, icd 

4 By 4 Ib. 2 oz. Board Nails, gd 

4 By 2 Ib. 6 oz. Shingle Nails, lod 85 

18 8 

27 By cash i 24 

18 8 



1823 Mrs. Fairfield. Cr. days, i s. d. 

Paid Carter 5 

Nov. 8 Work */2 . i 6 

27 By Cash 15 

Henry Galloway. Cr. day>. 

Apr. 1 3 Work i 

14 l 

Wm. H. Clark. Cr. days. 
Nov. 7 i 

1820 Matthew Clark, Jr. Work. Cr. days. 


U l 

22 I 

28 y* 

1822 29 i 

Oct. 25 y* 


Apr.iS i 

1820. Daniel Rose. days. 

Apr.28 */2 

29 54 

By getting timber 3 

viz., 2 plates & 7 posts. 

Sep.27 By 1 12 ft. siding boards 


Apr. 19 By Work l 


Henry L. Holcomb. days. 

Apr.29 y 2 

Dec. i 


Apr.iS i 

19 i 

Nov. 7 i 

1822. Charles Hagedorn. Cr. days. 
Sept. By y Thousand Shingles 

1822. Josiah Lamkin. Cr. days. 

Sep. 18 By Work i 

Dec. By work with oxen i l / 2 


Apr.iS i 

1823. David Ptirdy, Work. Cr. days. 
Apr.iS i 

19 T 

James Hough. Cr. clays. 
By work i 

Peter Hough. Cr. days. 
By work I 

1823. Bn. Vii. Winckel. Cr. days. 
Apr. i By Work i 

1822. Owen Keogh. Cr. days. 
Dec. By John Wilson, Work i 

1823. John Vent. Work. Cr. days. 
Nov. 7 i 

1823. Wm. Hawley. Cr. days. 

Apr.iS By five pieces Siding 

By making a pannel door 

By making four window sashes 

Nov. 7 By Benj n H. Days Work i 

8 l / 2 





Sam l Huffman. Cr. days. 
Nov. 7 i 

1823. Thomas Denison. Cr. days. . s. d. 

June By order on Mr. Cartwright 15 

X< >v. 7 By work I 

1823. Mrs. Krein. Cr. i s. d. 

June By Cash 2 (l s 


Sept. Cash Rec d. and expended as follo\\ - : 

By J.C.C. for 10 Ibs. Nails, @ 8d 68 

Paid Carter l 1 7 


June Paid for Glass l 

Nov. Paid for 200 Brick & 3 Ib. Nails 8 . 

Paid for 385 feet of Boards, @ 35. 6d. per Hundred.. . . 13 5 

Ernest Town, Jan y. ist, 1823. 

Rec d. of John C. Clark the Sum of two Pounds two Shillings Cr. for 
\Y< >rk done at the School House, and also in full of all demands for that 
and all other debts and accounts to this date, as Witness my hand and 
year above Written. 

William Carter. 

Among the valuable documents in the possession of the County His 
torical Society is the oldest known school register in the province of 
Ontario, kept by John Clark, evidently the same John C. Clark before 
referred to, and covering the period from March 26th, 1810, to July 2ist 
of the same year. It is a small book containing sixteen pages, the leaves 
being fastened together by a hand-made pin. The pages are about six by 
three and one-half inches and ruled so as to afford space for keeping a 
record of one week on each page ; but for the first four weeks, there being 
only eleven pupils in attendance, the list of names extended only half 
way down the page; so that by writing the names over again on the 
same page the lower half was found sufficient for recording the attend 
ance for the second week, and in like manner the teacher was able to 
economize space and record the next two weeks on the second page. 
Beginning with the week of April 23rd the attendance had so increased 
that a full page was devoted to that week s record, and so on through 




the book. The following is a copy of the register for the week begin 
ning April 3Oth : 

May begins on Tuesday. 







Jacob Pruyn 







Margaret Pruyn 







Henry Simmons 







Polly Simmons - 







Henry Guinn 







Pester Guinn. 







Polly Jacoby .- 







Polly Bennett 







Anna Pults. . . . . 







John Storms 







Eve Wolfram 







Morriah Wolfram 







Alpha Fisk 







James Fisk 







Betsy Jenkins 







Wm. Jenkins 







Guy Pollock 







James Storms. 







John Vosburg k 







Leany Vosburg 







Tinny Vosbure . 







These family names point to the neighbourhood of Wilton and 
Odessa as the territory from which these pupils were drawn and the 
school-house was doubtless somewhere in that vicinity. With the excep 
tion of the Vosburgs this record would reflect credit upon a modern 
school where we have good roads and short distances to travel. As a 
rule the teacher had every alternate Saturday to himself, but occasion 
ally we find Mr. Clark teaching six days in the week for two and three 
weeks in succession. The only holiday during that period covered by 
the register apart from the Sundays and a few Saturdays is June 4th, 
and in the column set apart for that day is printed in large letters : 
"TRAINING DAY, JUNK 4TH, 1810. ABSEN-/ In printing these words 
in the book the penman misjudged the space at his disposal and found 
himself at the bottom of the page before he had completed the last word, 
which is accordingly short of one letter. Training Day was the anni 
versary of the birth of King George and was celebrated by all able- 
bodied men joining in an annual drill under the superintendence of an 
officer appointed for the purpose. 



The only qualification of a teacher demanded by the Act of 1816 
was that the moral character and capacity of the applicant for the posi 
tion should be satisfactory to the trustees. The lot of the teacher was 
not an enviable one. Money was scarce, and the maximum grant from 
the government was 25 a year to any one school, and in many cases 
this was the principal available means to meet the salary of the teacher. 
If he were a single man, as was generally the case, he "boarded round," 
making his home first with one family, then with another, carrying his 
carpet-bag of personal effects with him as he moved from house to 
house. The fuel for the school was contributed by the different sup 
porters and, strange to say, at this time when wood could be had 
for the cutting, the teacher frequently dismissed school from want of 
wood. In the register of attendance kept by a teacher in the front 
of Ernesttown in 1832 I find the following record for the week begin 
ning Monday, January 2nd:. 












Mr. George Smith 







Mr. J. Lamkin 











Mr. \Vm. Garbutt 








Mr. Henry Baker 













Mrs. Walker 








Mr. Rankin 







Mr. James McAuley 




n3 - 


Mr. Samuel Purdy 



Mr. Joseph Purdy. 



Mr. John Hough. 




The teacher of this particular school commenced his register of the 
pupils by entering P or A after their respective names, but after the 
first five weeks he abandoned this method and thereafter entered the 
names of the subscribers or proprietors as he sometimes styled them, 
and after the name of each he made an entry of the number of pupils 
present from that family. The same register shows that school was 
closed for four other days during that winter from want of wood. As a 
rule every alternate Saturday was a holiday, but either the conscientious 
teacher or exacting trustees thought the time lost during the first week 



in the year should be made good, and for the next five weeks the school 
was kept open every Saturday. From October 3ist to May I2th the 
teacher lost one day through sickness, one half day "writing deeds and 
memorials," six days attending court, and one day surveying a road, 
At a time when text-books were so scarce this school appears to have 
been overstocked with arithmetics, as the teacher, with apparent pride, 
records no less than seven, as follows : 

"Arithmetics used in this School. 
Gough, an Irish work. 
Ingram, a Scotch author. 
Gray, a Scotch author. 
Willets, an American Author. 
Pikes, an American Author. 
Dilworth, an English Author. 
Tutor s Assistant, an English Author." 

There is no name in this book to indicate who the teacher is; but 
the handwriting appears to be the same as that in the other small books 
which are known to have been kept by John C. Clark, and the family 
names indicate that the school was near Millhaven, in the vicinity of the 
original Clark homestead, although there are only three names in this 
register that appeared among the list of contributors towards the school- 
house built by John C. Clark only ten years before. If he be the same 
teacher who kept the register of 1810 his popularity must have been on 
the wane or the pupils at Millhaven were not as alive to their oppor 
tunities as the boys and girls of Wilton, as will appear from a glance 
at the register for the week beginning Nov. 28th, 1831 : 







Elizabeth Smith , 







Ira Smith 







Eliza. Smith 







David Smith 







Mary Eliza Garbutt. 







Nancy Garbutt , 













Arch. Garbutt 







Henry Walker 







Anthony Rankin 







Mary McAuley 







James McAuley , 















George Baker 







James Baker. ... 







Richard Baker 







William Baker 






Martha Purdv 







Charlotte Odle 







Jacob Holmes 








Ann Swan 







Jacob Helmer 







At the foot of each page the teacher kept a record of the weather, 
interspersed with what he evidently considered the important events of 
the neighbourhood. Occasionally he ventured to prophesy and hi- 
forecasts were not very reliable. The following are extracts from his 
weather record and news items : 

"Jan. 5th, 1832. 8 A.M. wind south, cloudy weather, milder, i P.M. 
wind S. \V. snowing, moist, thawing a little. 4 P.M. W. S. \V., cloudy, 
mild, appearance of a thaw. 

"6th. 5 o c. A.M. wind N.W. brisk and snowing. The anticipated 
thaw has shifted to cold. I o clock P.M. calm cloudy but mild. A 
wood Bee. 

"i2th. 4 P.M. Wind E. snowing moderate. James Losee & Han 
nah Grass married. 

- I4th. i P.M. Fair. Wind S. thawing. Henry Grass shop burned 
last night. 

"2 1 st. i P.M. Wind N.W. fair & cool. Donald Ross living at 
Major Kreims broke his legs near Wm. A. Ameys. 

"Feb. ist. i P.M. Cloudy and not very cold. Sylvester Lamkin & 
Miss Hough married. 

"2nd. 8 A.M. Cloudy and raining heavy. Mr. Edward Walker shot 
himself this morning at W. Kent s barn. 

"Mar. 5. i P.M. Wind N.E. cloudy and raining a little. Betsy 
Vanwinkle married to Samuel Badgley. T. Borland, Esq., died. 

"8th. 8 A.M. Wind N.. cloudy and chilly. This morning Charles 
Blanchard, a carpenter, hanged himself in his barn." 

Thus he continues through the book with his tale of the weather, 
woes, and weddings. 

The writer has been unable to secure any original contracts to 
teach in this county; but the following agreements with Mr. Robert 
Laing, who taught in the fourth concession of Fredericksburgh for a 


portion of the year 1817, will serve to illustrate the usual terms of 
engagement : 

"We, the subscribers, promise, according- to the number of scholars 
subscribed for by us, severally to pay Robert Laing ten dollars when 
due for keeping school in Mr. Peter Cole s house for one month, com 
mencing April 28th, 1817, each day, Sundays and every other Saturday 
excepted, and also to contribute according to our several proportions to 
furnish him with board, lodging, and washing during the same. He is to 
make up after the end of the month any loss of time that he may not 
attend duty during the same, and agreeing to quit when a majority of 
the subscribers shall desire it on being paid for the time he has 

"Big Island, April 28th, 1817." 

This agreement was signed by seven subscribers, after whose names 
were set the number of pupils to be sent by them respectively, making 
a total of twelve. As no school-house was provided and they did not 
engage to furnish twenty scholars, this school would not fall within the 
provisions of the Act of 1816 and would not therefore be entitled to 
receive any portion of the Government Grant. 

In 1818 the same teacher entered into the following agreement: 
"This agreement made this ninth day of May, one thousand eight 
hundred and eighteen, between Robert Laing, teacher, of the first part 
and the other subscribers hereunto, Inhabitants of Hallowell of the 
second part witnesseth: That the said party of the first part engages 
to keep a good school according to his ability, and to teach Reading, 
Writing and Arithmetic, if required for one Quarter, to commence on 

next at the School-house nearest Daniel Leavens and William 

Clark, in the Second concession of the second township. That he is 
to keep school from eight o clock till twelve and from half after one 
till four o clock each school day; the remainder of the time and every 
second Saturday to be at his own disposal, but he is to be allowed the 
liberty used by other teachers of being absent at other times, if he 
should require it, and make up for the same. That in a general way 
he is to cause the school to say six lessons each day besides Tasks, if 
practicable, but is nevertheless subject to reasonable directions respecting 
the School from the said Daniel Leavens and William Clark, who are 
hereby acknowledged trustees thereof. And the said party of the second 
part doth promise according to the number of scholars subscribed for 
by each to pay the said Robert Laing at the rate of twelve dollars and 
a half per month, whereof one half in Cash at the end of the Quarter 
and the other in orders or other value monthly, if required, and to 


furnish him with board, lodging, and washing as aforesaid during the 
said term and if the said trustees for good cause should desire him to 
retire before the term above appointed he is to be paid for the days he 
has kept at the rate of twenty-four to the month. 

"In witness whereof we have hereunto severally and respectively 
subscribed our names the day and year first herein written. 

(sgd) Robert Laing, Teacher." 

Number Subscribed for 

Subscribers for Scholars. by each. 

(sgd) Daniel Leavens 2 

(sgd) William Clark 3 

(sgd) John Huff y 2 

(sgd) David Clark y 2 

(sgd) Eli McConnell y 2 

(sgd) Norman L. Harvey i 

(sgd) James Gerow y 2 

(sgd) Abraham Gerow y 2 

(sgd) Reuben Burlingham y 2 

(sgd) Peter Leavens y 2 

Three other agreements somewhat similar in terms with the fore 
going are upon file among the records of the local Historical Society, 
two for schools in the township of Hallowell, and one in the township 
of Ameliasburgh. In the latter township each subscriber, in addition to 
promising to pay seven shillings and sixpence per quarter for scholars 
subscribed for, also undertakes "to furnish one cord of wood made 
sufficiently small by chopping or splitting" and the teacher, perhaps 
benefiting by his experiences in other schools, inserted a clause in the 
agreement to the effect that he was not bound to keep school when 
there was not a proper supply of firewood. 

The last chapter in the pathetic history of this unfortunate peda 
gogue is told by the Coroner of the Midland District in the following 
announcement : 

"At Public Auction" 

"Will be sold on Thursday October 23rd, 1823. at the house of 
John Taylor, Inn-Keeper in the township of Thurlow, at the hour of 
ten o clock in the forenoon the following wearing apparel and books, 
the Property of the late Robert Laing, Deceased, viz.: i Xew Blue 
Coat, i Drab Surtout Coat. 3 Satton Waistcoats. 3 Woollen Waist 
coats. 4 Cotton Waistcoats, i Silk Handkerchief, i pair of Shoes, 
i Razor & Comb. 9 pairs of Stockings, i Cotton Night cap. i Back of 
an old Waistcoat. About y 2 lb. of Thread. 6 fine linnen Shirts. I 


old Shirt. I Diaper Towell. 2, Cotton Handkerchiefs. 2. dozen and 8 
Buttons, i Gilt Bible, i Laten Bible, i old Lexican. i Shorter Cate 
chism, i Laten Grammar, i Lattin & Greek Book, i Hymn Book. 
I Lattin Virgil, i Greek Grammar, i Lattin Dictionary and one Book. 
The whole of the above Property is to be sold to the Highest Bidders 
in order to defray the Funeral Expenses of the said Robert Laing, and 
if any money should Remain after the Funeral Expenses are paid the 
same to be Equally Divided amongst the Creditors, Provided they bring 
just accounts Duly authenticated on the Day of Sale to be delivered to 
William Bell, Esq., Coroner for the Midland District. This notice of 
sale is in the same handwriting as the old account book of William Bell, 
the merchant referred to in another chapter. Judging from a letter 
written to Laing in 1795 by his mother while he was visiting in London 
he must have been at least fifty years of age. Some of his correspon 
dence is in French, with which language he was evidently familiar. 
His only worldly possessions outside of his scanty wardrobe were the 
few books offered for sale by the coroner, and these point to the trend 
of his mind. 

"In his Pioneer Life in Zorra Township, the Rev. W. A. McKay. 
D.D. has in general terms so aptly described the pioneer school that his 
remarks may be applied to the early schools in this county. 

"The pioneer school-house was a very humble affair: a log shanty 
thirty feet by twenty-two, cornered but not hewed, with chinks between 
the logs filled with moss, all plastered over with clay. The roof con 
sisted of rafters with poles laid across, and for shingles pieces of elm 
bark, three feet by four. The chimney was made of lath covered with 
plaster, and served for heating, ventilating, and lighting the little school- 
house. Of course it frequently caught fire in the winter, but the boys, 
by the free use of snow, were equal to the occasion. There was but 
one small window on each side. The furniture was in keeping with the 
rest of the building. About four feet above the floor, holes were bored 
into the logs of the wall and pieces driven in. Upon these were laid 
rough bass-wood planks; three inches thick, and so the desk was made 
complete. The teacher s desk was a little more pretentious, being built 
on four upright wooden pillars and furnished with a small drawer, in 
which the dominie kept his taws, his switch, his ruler, and other official 

"The grey goose furnished the pens, and the ink was made from 
a solution of maple bark diluted with copperas. Sometimes the ink 
would freeze, resulting in bursted bottles. To prevent this it was not 
unusual to mix a little whiskey with the ink, for the whiskey of Zorra in 


those days, though cheap, would not freeze like that alleged to have 
been used by some politicians in Muskoka a few winters ago. 

"The paper used was coarse foolscap, unruled. Each pupil had 
to do his own ruling; and for this purpose took with him to school a 
ruler and a piece of lead hammered out into the shape of a pencil. Our 
first attempt at writing was making pot-hooks and trammels which 
mean the up and down strokes of the pen. After practising this for 
several weeks, we began to write from copy set by the teacher. 

"The sentiment of the copy was always some counsel, warning, or 
moral precept for the young: and, as we had to write it carefully and 
in every line of the page, it could not fail to impress itself upon the 
memory, and to influence the life. I ascribe no little importance to this 
factor in early education. The duty of being on guard against evil 
companionship and making the most of life by every day diligence was 
constantly inculcated by these head-lines set by the teacher. Here are 
a few illustrations I will give them alphabetically, as they used to be 
given to us as copy lines : 

Avoid bad company or you will learn their ways. 

Be careful in the choice of Companions. 

Choose your friends from among the wise and good. 

Do not tell a lie to hide a Fault/ 

Emulate the Good and Virtuous. 

Fame may be too dearly bought. 

Honour your Father and Mother. 

Let all your amusement be innocent. 

Omit no Opportunity of acquiring Knowledge. 

Perseverance overcomes Difficulties/ 

Truth is Mighty and will prevail/ 

"Wisdom is more to be desired than Riches/ 

"Being thus early taught by our teachers, we naturally took to the 
scribbling of rhymes in our books. Here are two of them as samples : 

Steal not this Book, for fear of shame, 

For here you see the owner s name, 

And God will say on that great day: 

This is the Book you stole away/ 
and another version was this : 

Steal not this book, my honest friend, 

For fear the Gallows will be your end/ 

Here is very wise advice from an old school song: 

Work while you work, play \vhile you play, 
That is the way to be happy and gay/ 


"The Usual Programme of Common School Teaching in those 
days : 

1. Opening prayer by the teacher. 

2. Reading the Bible. 

3. Shorter Catechism questions. 

4. The teacher making and mending quill pens, while the scholars 

were busily occupied with their lessons, most of them 

5. The Junior Class reading and spelling. 

6. Reading the New Testament. 

7. Class in English Reader. 

8. Class in English Grammar; the text-books being Lennie or 


9. Mayor s Spelling Book. 

-10. Arithmetic, the text-books being Daboll or Gray. 

"The method of teaching in pioneer days was exceedingly mechani 
cal. The pupil was taught to parse a word, not by studying its relation 
to other words, but simply by committing to memory a list of preposi 
tions, adverbs, interjections, etcetera. He knew that a certain 
word was a preposition, because he had committed to memory a list of 
prepositions, in which that word occurred; and so on with the other 
parts of speech. The list of prepositions was of course very long, and 
was a terror to young Grammarians. It was arranged alphabetically: 
first the prepositions beginning with A : about, above, according to, 
across, after, against, along, amidst, among, amongst, around, at, 
athwart. Then came the B words: bating, before, behind, below, 
beneath, between, betwixt, beyond, by, and so on with the C s. 

"The list of adverbs was not arranged alphabetically, but proceeded 
in this fashion: so, no, not, yea, yes, too, well, up, very, forth, how, 
why, for, now, etcetera. 

"After this the interjections claimed their right to be memorized; 
but oh! oh! I forbear. We used to think the long dagger-like mark 
after each one of them was put there to indicate some murderous 

"The tawse was a great institution in those days. It was thought 
that the knowledge that could not be crammed into the memory or rea 
soned into the head could be whipped into the fingers or the backbone. 
Pupils, girls as well as boys, were flogged for being late, although some 
of them came two miles through the woods, climbing over logs, and 
often wading through streams, to get to school. They were flogged 
for whispering in school, or for making pictures on the slate, or not 


being able to recite correctly such barbarous lists of parts of speech as 
above indicated. And worse than all, they were flogged if they failed 
to recite correctly the Shorter Catechism. Oh ! how the Presbyterians 
envied the other religious denominations for their privilege of Exemp 
tion from the Catechism ! 

"In preserving order, the teacher watched all the scholars with the 
eye of a detective and soon found out any scholar or scholars guilty of 
the crime of whispering. Instead of coming down and remonstrating 
with the offender, as the teacher of the present day would do, he 
doubled up the tawse into a ball and sent it flying with unerring aim, 
carrying consternation to the delinquents ; those to whom this fiery 
cross came, had immediately to come up to the master s desk, each of 
them holding on to some portion of the detested tawse, and there 
receive castigation due to their fault." 

I might explain to my young readers who have never come into 
contact with that most effective instrument of torture that the taws 
or tawse is the Scotch name for a leather strap cut into strings at one 
end and commonly known as a cat-o -nine-tails. It was originally 
brought into use on board ships for punishing mutinous sailors and was 
made from nine knotted cords attached to a piece of rope for a handle. 

The following experience of an old-time teacher in a neighbouring 
countv well illustrates some of the difficulties the teacher had to con- 


tend with and the method employed to overcome them : 

"The discipline in those times, as practised by what people called 
a good teacher, was really severe. After I took the school I heard 
that the big boys hurled a former teacher through the window when 
he attempted to bring them under subjection to his rule. I was warned 
by the trustees that I might possibly have difficulty with some of the 
young men, two especially being named. One I convinced of my 
superior agility, in an encounter which he sought, by giving him a 
good ducking in a snow-drift, after which lesson he proved to be one 
of my best friends. The other young fellow was not so easily managed. 
He was twenty-one years of age, and in his a b c s, as it was then 
called. Having persisted in committing a glaring offence, I told him 
that if he did not behave, he would be punished. He paid no attention 
to the warning. I therefore took a large birch rod behind me, and was 
upon him before he could rise from his seat, and gave him a complete 

thrashing I had no more trouble with him or this school." 

The School Act of 1841 was a crude attempt at school legislation 
as compared with our complicated system of to-day, yet the principles 
were sound, and paved the way for the measures which followed. The 


leading features of the Act were (a) the establishment of a permanent 
fund for common schools to be created and maintained by the 
sale and rent of lands granted by the legislature for that purpose, (&) 
the appointment of a Superintendent of Education with power to 
enforce uniformity in the conduct of the schools, (c) the creation of 
a board of education in each district whose duty it was to divide the 
territory into school districts (sections), apportion the school fund 
among them and, where necessary, assess the inhabitants of each sec 
tion in a sum not exceeding 50 for the erection of school-houses, (d) 
instead of electing trustees for each section, as is now done, these duties 
were to be performed by "Common School Commissioners" five or 
seven in number, elected in the same manner as the township officers. 
This Act was passed after the union of Upper and Lower Canada, was 
applicable to the entire Province of Canada, and was found by experi 
ence to be adapted to the wants of neither section of the province. 

In 1843 another Act was passed, applicable only to Upper Canada, 
embodying the general principles of the Act of 1841 but introducing 
more details calculated to meet the requirements of the English-speak 
ing section. One of the most radical changes in the new Act was a 
provision for township superintendents, answerable to county superin 
tendents, who in turn reported to an assistant superintendent for Upper 
Canada, who was under the direction of the chief superintendent. The 
Secretary of the Province of Canada was ex-officio the chief superin 

Prior to the passing of the Acts of 1841 and 1843 there was 
absolutely no system. When the people felt the need of a school they 
simply put their heads together and made the best arrangements they 
could, independent of what might be going on in an adjoining town 
ship, where the people adopted that plan best suited to their conven 
ience and ideas of how a school should be conducted. This lack of 
system and uniformity the Legislature sought to overcome by causing 
all the schools to be placed under supervision and, as frequently 
occurs in attempts to overcome one evil the pendulum swings just as 
far in the other direction, thereby introducing another evil, the gov 
ernment overstepped the boundary by providing for a series of super 
intendents, each reporting to the one next above him in the scale. 

The only direct personal supervision exercised, beyond that of the 
trustees and visitors, was that of the township superintendents ap 
pointed by the local councils, and there was no guarantee that they had 
any qualification for the important duties they were called upon to per 
form. By intrusting to such men the regulating of the conduct of the 


schools, the Legislature defeated the end they sought to attain. Experi 
ence disclosed other defects. The trustees not only hired the teacher 
but selected the text-books to be used; and the central authority had 
no power to enforce its recommendations. The government fully 
realized the defects in the old method, of every neighbourhood shifting 
for itself according to its idea; but did not appear to possess the ability 
to produce a workable Act. The Act of 1843 was based upon the 
School Act of the State of New York, and that in itself was sufficient 
to condemn it in the minds of many who were very much averse to 
anything "tainted with Yankee notions." 

The one thing needful was a master mind, capable of measuring 
carefully the needs of a young country and of evolving a system that 
could be enforced. Happily the choice fell upon a man deeply inter 
ested in educational matters, who for years had made his influence 
felt through the medium of the press, the pulpit, and the public plat 
form. To the Rev. Egerton Ryerson, a prominent Methodist, was 
committed the task of investigating the whole subject and reporting 
to the government such suggestions as he deemed expedient to over 
come the defects in the Act of 1843. He spent some fifteen months 
in visiting the United States and Europe where he diligently inquired 
into the various systems in force and, upon his return in the early 
part of 1846, made a comprehensive report, accompanying it with a 
draft bill, which was passed by the Legislature on May 23rd in sub 
stantially the form in which it had been prepared by its author. 

This Act forms the basis of our Public Schools Act of to-day. 
Many amendments have been made to suit the requirements of our 
increasing population ; but so thoroughly did Dr. Ryerson perform the 
duty assigned him that his fundamental principles have undergone no 
change. To secure the best possible results from the new Act, Doctor 
Ryerson was, by Royal Commission bearing date June I2th, 1846, 
appointed Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, and from 
that date, chiefly owing to his exertions, our schools have continued to 

The new Act was very unpopular at first, but the Superintendent 
successfully combatted the storm of opposition that was raised against 
it. The Newcastle District was the most persistent in its efforts to 
secure an abolition of the Act. They caused a circular letter to be 
forwarded to the councils of the other Districts, asking their co-opera 
tion in petitioning the Legislature for the repeal of the Act, calling 
their attention to the following, among other objections : 

I. The machinery was too complicated, and too large a proportion 
of the public funds was apportioned for the pay of the Superintendent. 


2. The duties of the trustees were of too troublesome a character 
and intricate a nature to be performed by the class of persons available 
for that position. 

3. All Superintendents, both provincial and district, should be 
abolished, leaving it to the district clerks to make out such returns as 
might be required by the government. 

To the credit of the Midland District the standing committee 
reported to the Council : 

"Your committee cannot recommend the Council to take any action 
(at present) with regard to the suggestions contained in that communi 
cation, believing that after a longer acquaintance with the operation of 
the present School Act, interested parties will eventually be better satis 
fied with the school system, although we are ready to admit that the 
school law is susceptible of improvement in its details." 

This report was adopted by the Council in October, 1847, an d the 
county fell into line with the progressive spirit of the time, and has 
ever since kept pace with the advances made in all matters appertaining 
to the training of our youth for the duties of citizenship. 

Dr. Ryerson was untiring in his efforts to put the system upon a 
sound basis, no stone was left unturned by him in order that he might 
obtain the opinions of all classes in the country as to its defects ; and he 
was ready at all times to receive suggestions as to the best method of 
remedying these defects. With this object in view a school convention 
was called in Napanee for February 25th, 1860, which was largely 
attended by representatives from all parts of Lennox and Addington. 

The leading feature of the meeting was the Chief Superintendent s 
address, which was very fully reported in the local press. After com 
menting upon other matters touched upon by the Doctor the Standard 
said: "The learned and eloquent Superintendent then entered upon that: 
which was more particularly the object of his visitation, namely, to 
consult with and elicit the views of the people in reference to future 
legislation on the subject of education in order to the further improve 
ment and efficiency of the noble department at the head of which he is 
so wisely placed. This is a peculiar feature in the Doctor s procedure 
and not unworthy our commendation, to have the people with him in 
his administration and suggested improvements, a principle which he 
has maintained since his incumbency; for no important feature in the 
School Law has he introduced without first appealing to the people and 
getting their assent thereto. The improvements suggested will be found 
embodied in the resolutions contained in the proceedings given of the 
meeting and published in this paper." At the conclusion of his address 


it was moved by John Stevenson, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Lauder, and 
carried, "that this meeting approves of the grammar schools becoming 
county schools, the county council appointing half the trustees and pro 
viding funds for their support and equal to the government grant, and 
that the schools be free." 

It will be pertinent at this stage of our inquiry into the early his 
tory of our schools to introduce some reminiscences of those who took 


part in the proceedings of those days. 

Robert Phillips, an old teacher of seventy years ago, thus relates 
two experiences: "I began to teach at Asselstine Factory near Bath, in 
October, 1842. The school-house \vas a frame building about twenty- 
four feet square. The fittings of the school were a desk and bench on 
each side, with some additional forms for pupils who did not write. 
At the end opposite the door was a desk which was used as a pulpit on 
Sundays and by the teacher on week days. Opposite the pulpit, or desk, 
was a large box for holding fire-wood. Every second Saturday was a 
holiday. The teacher usually received fifty cents a month for each 
pupil, as salary; and got his board by staying with the patrons of the 
school as many days in proportion to the number of pupils sent. This 
was called boarding round. 

"There were no apparatus, maps, or black-board when I began to 
teach. After a while a black-board was got, which cost one dollar. At 
first there were no geographies or grammars used. I drew a map of 
the world on the black-board and gave the pupils a general idea of the 
principal countries and their peculiarities. This mode of instruction 
was very popular in the school section. I think the only reading books 
used were Mayor s Spelling Book and the English Reader. The first 
geography was Olney s. and the first grammar was Lennie s. 

"The school was visited every quarter by a Township School Com 
missioner, who made a note of the number of pupils in attendance and 
on the roll, which served as a basis for distributing the government 
grant among the schools. These commissioners were chosen at the town 
meeting about the beginning of the year. The chairman of these com 
missioners examined applicants for teachers certificates." 

The following letter from the late W. R. Bigg, ex-Inspector of 
Public Common Schools in the County of Leeds, is one of the most 
interesting documents written upon the subject of our early schools: 

"Midland District. My first experience dates from Adolphustown, 
1843, m what was then termed the Midland District. Being- desirous 
of trying my hand at teaching I applied to the trustees of a certain 
school section where a vacancy existed, as to the usual method of pro 
cedure and for general information, being then a perfect novice. 


"From the trustees I learned that my first step would be to procure 
a certificate of qualification from one of the Township School Commis 
sioners, and was referred to Squire Casey/ the chairman of the School 
Commissioners of Adolphustown, who lived near at hand. Then, sup 
posing I obtained the desired certificate, my next step would be to draw 
up an agreement to the effect that I would teach the school of the sec 
tion for twelve dollars a month, and board round free, for the winter 
term of six months, 1843-44. 

"I may here remark that it was then customary to engage men 
for teachers for the winter half of the year, and school marms for 
the summer half, although a few school sections were found to be suffi 
ciently large to enable the inhabitants to keep a male teacher all the 
year round. 

"Accordingly I waited upon Squire Casey to undergo the dreaded 
ordeal of examination. This, however, was very brief and entirely 
oral, and consisted in being simply asked to spell Summons. The 
Squire, you must know was, as his title implied, a magistrate, and in 
his official capacity often issued a summons, and well knew that the 
general Canadian orthography was sumons. Upon my spelling it in 
the orthodox fashion he wrote me out a certificate, authorizing me to 
teach any school in the township of Adolphustown. 

"Being thus armed in mail of proof back again I went to the trus 
tees of the vacant school section, and was requested to draw up an 
agreement and canvas the section for signers, which I accordingly did, 
and succeeded in obtaining the requisite number of twenty-six names, 
some signing for three scholars, others for two, but more for one, and 
a few for half a scholar. I may here remark that very few actually 
signed their names ; the bulk of those in the section couldn t write very 
good, but told me to put their names down. The object in getting 
signers was this: The salary for six months at twelve dollars a month 
would be seventy-two dollars, for which the estimated amount of gov 
ernment grant, twenty dollars, being deducted, left fifty-two dollars 
for the section to make up. This averaged two dollars per scholar for 
the twenty-six signed for, and was deemed quite a large bill. 

"It may interest some persons to know the meaning of half a 
scholar, the explanation is that the signer became bound to pay the 
teacher one dollar at the rate of two dollars per scholar, whether he 
sent any pupils to the school or none, though he generally contrived to 
send one or two for an occasional few days, and then omitted sending 
any for a month, to make up, taking especial pains that his average 
attendance should not exceed one scholar for half the term, or half a 
scholar for the whole. 




"The teacher had to collect his pay at the expiration of the term, 
and often had to take notes or to trade out the bill at some store, rarely 
getting over half in cash, and invariably sustaining a loss. 

"Equipments. I : nrnitnre, Apparatus. Playground 

"The majority of the school-houses in Upper Canada in the early 
forties were built of logs, though frame ones were coming into fashion 
and, in towns and cities, brick and stone structures made their appear 
ance. The rural school-houses were generally small, few exceeding- 
twenty by twenty-four feet, and all alike destitute of maps and black 
boards. The building consisted of one room only, with an old wood 
stove in the centre; the seats and desks were placed all round two or 
three sides of the building and directly facing the windows, consisting 
of twelve lights in each window, -even by nine inches or eight by ten. 
There were no playgrounds nor closets, the highway was occupied for 
the former and the adjoining woods for the latter. 

"School Studies and Attendance 

"The studies of the school were chiefly limited to spelling, writing, 
reading, and arithmetic, with geography and grammar in a few of the 
better class of schools. The text-books in use were Mayor and Cobb s 
Spelling Books, the English Reader, and the New Testament, Daboll 
and Walkingham s Arithmetics, Olney and Morse s Geographies, and 
Kirkham and Lennie s Grammars. There were no authorised versions 
in those days. The attendance was irregular then as now, the elder 
boys and girls going to school during the winter and the younger 
ones during the summer months. Few attended throughout the year. 
In fact the chief educational improvements have been limited to our 
town and city schools, and even these have shown no advancement dur 
ing the last two decades. 

"Boarding Round 

"The length of the stay that the teacher made with each of those 
who signed was proportional to the number of scholars each had signed 
for. Thus, if twenty-six had been obtained for a six months term the 
average stay with each signer would be one week per scholar. Accord 
ingly the teacher boarded with the farmer, or patron, one, two, or three 
weeks, as per number of scholars signed for; and when the time was 
up he moved on to the next signer, having to go back again during the 


week to get his underclothing, which had been washed during the 
interim. (Boarding round included washing.) 

"Teachers Certificates 

"My next certificate, in 1844, was from the school superintendent of 
the Midland District, and covered his School Circuit, and was obtained 
without any examination whatever. I was teaching in Fredericksburgh, 
without any license beyond the request of the trustees to await the 
advent of the school superintendent who was shortly expected, and then 
he would examine me. After visiting my school and inspecting the 
state of the different classes, the superintendent decided that it was 
unnecessary to examine me, ^remarking that the status of the pupils, 
coupled with the very favourable report which he had received from 
the trustees, was sufficient evidence of my qualification ; and he handed 
me the usual legal certificate. Subsequent experience has proved to me 
that the superintendent, Mr. John Strachan, was right. Poeta natus est 
non factus. So it is with the teacher. The educational machinery of 
the present day turns out the raw material, ad libitum, but as to his 
teaching capacity or qualifications, the less said the better. During my 
experience of half a century, I never met but one teacher, that is, one 
possessing not only high scholastic attainments, but the faculty of 
imparting that knowledge, governing by love, and yet excelling as a 
disciplinarian. That teacher was a Mrs. Arthurs. 

"Licking the Teacher 

"It was not an uncommon occurrence in old times, during the win 
ter term, when the young men and women of the school section went 
to school for a few months, for a few of the roughs and bullies to con 
spire to lick the teacher, not because of any disagreement with him or 
personal dislike, but rather to perpetuate an old custom, such as we read 
of in reminiscences of the lawless regions of the Great Republic. 

"In the early forties when teaching on the High Shores of Sophias- 
burgh in the district of Prince Edward, one fine winter s morning on 
my way to the school-house, as I was passing the residence of Peter 
Wood, one of the trustees, he opened the door and hailed me, and 
warned me to look out for myself on that particular day as a plot had 
been laid to give me a licking before four o clock. I simply smiled 
incredulously; but on his reiterating the statement and assuring me that 
it was true, I told him that he must be misinformed, as perfect harmony 


prevailed in the school, and that I had not had any trouble with any of 
the scholars. I then asked by whom I was to be attacked; but, like a 
true Canadian, he declined to give the names. Finally, however, to put 
me on my guard, and having pledged myself not to peach or to split 
on him, he gave me the name of one of the conspirators, Read, a 
thickset, lubberly, clumsy, good-natured boy about eighteen years of 
age; the name of the other conspirator was not disclosed. Having 
thus gathered all the information that Pete Wood was disposed to give 
me, I proceeded on my way to the school-house, musing, as I went, on 
the incredibility of the whole story. 

"On arriving at the sacred shades of Academus at about half-past 
eight o clock, (in those days doors in the country were seldom fur 
nished with locks), I was rather surprised to find two boys, Read and 
Hazard, sitting by the stove and pretending to be studying their lessons, 
an unusual proceeding before nine o clock, when school was called in. 

I went to my desk and occupied the intervening time with pre 
paratory work. At nine as usual I went out to ring the scholars in, 
who immediately came flocking in from the grove adjoining the school, 
and proceeded to their seats, but Hazard and Read suddenly jumped 
up, put down their books, and each pulling out a jack-knife and a large 
apple from their pockets began predatory operations. 

"I instantly asked the two boys if they were aware that school was 
in, at the same time ordering them to put away their knives and 
apples, and go to their desks. Hazard flunked at once and obeyed, 
not so Read, who shouted out: I didn t take the knife out for you and 
I shan t put it away for you. I was young then, twenty-two years of 
age, supple and fiery, and having no whip in the school-room (as I 
always governed by moral suasion ) I rushed to the door, with the inten 
tion of exploring the aforesaid grove for a suitable sapling wherewith to 
comply with Solomon s injunctions. Quick as I was, Read, being nearer 
the door, sprang to it before me, and facing about, presented his open 
jack-knife, effectually debarred my egress for a moment, and but for a 

moment. Keeping my eye well on his (I gave him a right good 

thrashing) and finished by putting him out of the door 

and throwing his slate and books out after him ; and that was the last 
I ever saw of Read. The whole section laughed heartily over the result 
of licking the teacher and the universal judgment was serve him 

"Examinations for Teachers Certificates 

"Later when I engaged as teacher in the Prince Edward District I 
found that the Common School Act had been amended. Township and 


county boards of ^examiners had superseded the Township Commission 
ers, and examinations were held periodically. The place of examina 
tions selected for Sophiasburgh was Demorestville On the 

appointed day teachers requiring certificates of qualification met the 
board, and after two hours oral wrestling with reading, writing, arith 
metic, and geography, all succeeded in passing. It is perhaps needless to 
add that the examinations were a mere farce, neither the examiners nor 
the examined were qualified. Still the material and the machinery 
employed were the best procurable, and fully equalled the remunera 

"County councils had also been empowered to appoint county super 
intendents of schools, who were generally paid four hundred dollars 
($400) a year, and had to pay their own travelling expenses, and to 
visit each school in the county at least once a year. They were also 
empowered to grant certificates of qualification to teachers. Township 
superintendents were also appointed; but no qualifications were then 
required from either class of officers. 

"My next examination was before the school superintendent for the 
county of Hastings, who was also Warden of the county, Mr. William 

Hutton. I found him ploughing on his farm On stating my 

errand, that I had taken a school in Thurlow near a farm which I had 
bought, and that I desired a certificate, he proposed to examine me en 
route to the house, ploughing as he went. He gave me for spelling One 
fox s head, two foxes heads one lady s bonnet, two ladies bonnets. 
But his grand attack was in grammar, and he asked me to state what 
kind of speech were each of the nine thats which were in the follow 
ing sentence : The lady said in speaking of the word that, that that that, 
that that gentleman parsed was not that that, that she requested him to 
analyse. Having gone through this satisfactorily, I was complimented 
by the superintendent and informed that I was the first teacher he had 

examined who had parsed all the thats correctly ; and at the 

house he wrote me out the required certificate of qualification. I never 
was before any board of examiners or county superintendent again, but 
went to the Toronto Normal School and obtained a First Class Provin 
cial Certificate, Grade A, in 1856, subsequently finishing my scholastic 
career as an Inspector. 

"To Egerton Ryerson and to him alone, is due the astonishing im 
provements effected in common school education from 1846 to 1876. It 
is hardly possible for the present generation to conceive of the state of 
our public common schools, or the qualifications of the teachers a half 
century ago prior to the Ryersonian era. The one great mistake of his 


life was the ambition to be the only Chief Superintendent, and using 
his great powers and influence to arrange to be succeeded by a Cabinet 
Minister, thus throwing our educational system into the domain of 

politics The abolition of the depository was also a mistake; but 

that mistake was not his." 

(Sgd.) "W, R. I .igg." 
"Brockville, 1896." 

In 1871 was passed an Act providing for the appointment of County 
Inspectors of Schools who were to -npersede the Local Superintendents. 
This important piece of legislation ( .id more to improve the common 
schools than any other one measure. Under the old system some mem 
ber of the community, supposed to be well educated, was generally 
chosen for the position of superintendent ; and not unfrequently a resi 
dent clergyman for the time being was honoured with the appointment. 
He might be a most exemplary gentleman in many respects, yet possess 
no qualifications for the duties of his office. Under the new Act only 
such candidates for the position could be appointed as had passed the 
necessary examination and obtained certificates of qualification from the 
Council of Public Instruction. The new system not only provided that 
competent men should have the general supervision of the schools ; but 
extensive powers in respect to school sites, buildings, equipment, and 
the settlement of disputes between sections, or factions of one section, 
were vested in the inspectors, who were to devote themselves exclusively 
to the duties of their office. 

In this county Mr. Frederick Burrows was appointed under the 
Act ; and to him is largely due the present efficiency of our schools. For 
thirty-five years he travelled from the shores of the Bay of Quinte to 
the sparsely settled mountainous region one hundred miles north of the 
frontier townships. The cheerless and unsightly old school-houses 
have, under his direction, been replaced in many sections by more artis 
tic buildings designed in many instances by himself. The teachers have 
been encouraged, he trustees enlightened, and the pupils delighted by 
his semi-annual visits. He has had to beat down many deep-rooted pre 
judices ; but by his pleasing manner and indefatigable energy he brought 
about a wonderful improvement in every part of the county. 

Upon his retirement, in 1907, the northern townships of Lennox 
and Addington and Frontenac were formed into a new school division 
and placed under the inspection of Mr. M. R. Reid, a former teacher 
in the Xapanee Collegiate Institute : Mr. D. A. Xesbit, headmaster of 
the Newburgh school, was appointed Inspector of the remaining town- 


ships of Lennox and Addington. By thus reducing the area under one 
inspector more time is now devoted to the individual schools ; and the 
good work begun by Mr. Burrows is being enthusiastically carried on by 
his successor. Much still remains to be done in the matter of planting 
trees and otherwise adorning the school grounds and buildings. It is 
to be hoped that this will be speedily accomplished by the early intro 
duction of school gardens and instruction in agriculture in every part 
of the county. 




Although the first settlement of the other front townships, Ernest- 
town and Fredericksburgh was contemporary with that of Adolphus 
town, yet, at the very mention of pioneers, it is to the latter that our 
minds naturally revert. We have become so accustomed to looking upon 
this little township, the smallest in the province, as the stage upon which 
so many eventful scenes have been enacted, that we involuntarily asso 
ciate it, one way or another, with nearly all the great events of our 
early history. 

If we attempt to picture to ourselves some episode in the daily life 
of our forefathers, we naturally turn to Adolphustown to seek some 
local colouring for our picture. From an historical point of view it has 
always been, is now, and is likely to maintain its place as the banner 
township of the province. Many, and among them the writer, would be 
only too pleased to disprove this statement and award the honour to 
some other locality, the mere mention of which awakens in our hearts 
the hallowed memories of early associations. But the task is too great, 
and we will not attempt it. 

No ramparts have there been raised to resist an invading foe, and 
the clash of arms has never resounded within its peaceful precincts ; yet 
every acre of clearing is a battlefield upon which momentous issues were 
determined. Not alone in wielding the axe or breaking the soil did the 
pioneers of Adolphustown excel ; but, with the same sturdy resolution, 
they faced the serious and difficult task of evolving a system of self- 
government, and blazed the trail, followed in after years by other muni 
cipalities, by the introduction and encouragement of social, religious, 
and educational institutions which alone can rescue a community from 
degeneration. I do not mean to belittle the importance of the achieve 
ments of the settlers of other parts of the province; but upon taking a 
general survey of the entire field and bearing in mind the size of the 
township and the fact that its inhabitants were engaged exclusively in 
agricultural pursuits, we cannot in fairness give to Adolphustown a 
place second to any other municipality in the work of laying the founda 
tion of our present greatness, as we are pleased to style it. 

So accustomed are we to trace the beginning of many great move 
ments to some incident in the history of this township that there is a 


danger of investing the pioneers with too dazzling a halo. They were 
but human and subject to the same infirmities that beset us; but they 
had received a lesson in the rough school of experience and emerged 
from that ordeal nobler and better men. The suffering and persecution 
which they had endured left them better equipped for the trials of the 
new life in the wilderness. The weeding-out process had taken place 
before they left their homes on the other side of the line, and few, if 
any, enlisted under the Loyalist banner and remained steadfast in their 
ranks but the strong in heart, men not easily carried away by a new 
cry or passing fancy, men capable of independent thought, and prepared 
to sacrifice all their possessions in defence of their honour. Such were 
the first settlers of Adolphustown who landed on Hagerman s Point on 
June 1 6th, 1784. To the same class belonged the pioneers of Fredericks- 
burgh and Ernesttown, and to a certain extent those of Richmond and 
Carnden ; and much of the history of Adolphustown will find its parallel 
m the other townships of this county settled during the same period. 

Owing to its isolated position the family names in Adolphustown 
have undergone fewer changes during the past century than any of these 
four other townships. This circumstance, and a certain amount of 
commendable pride in the achievements of their forefathers, have 
developed a personality about the inhabitants of Adolphustown quite 
distinct from that of the residents of other parts of the county. From 
like causes the Amherst Islanders can be distinguished ; and the writer 
is not alone in his belief that it is possible to detect, in each of these 
townships, a slight accent or inflection of speech differing not only from 
each other but from that of every other part of the county. 

Mr. Thomas W. Casey in his Old Time Records relates an amus 
ing incident illustrating the resentment of the inhabitants of Marysburgh 
towards their neighbours across the Bay for asserting their superiority 
over them. "The Fourth-towners , as the residents of Adolphustown 
were then called, had the credit of being a good deal stuck up, con 
sidering themselves a good deal ahead of their neighbours. The Fifth- 
towners, who lived across the Bay in Marysburgh, were inclined to 
resent this and assert their own equality for smartness. One day, 
when the court was in session, a challenge was sent to the Fourth-town 
ers to test their smartness. They were invited to pick out their three 
best wrestlers and have it out with the Fifth-towners. Of course they 
took that stump. Samuel Borland, Samuel Casey, and Paul Trumpour 
were chosen to hold up the reputation of Adolphustown. Who were 
their opponents is not known. 


"The hour was fixed, and a near-by field was selected where hun 
dreds were on hand to see fair play and help decide which township 
had the best men. These were all noted athletes, and they were then 
young and in their prime. Samuel Borland, afterwards a Colonel in 
the militia and a leading official in the Methodist Church, was an expert 
wrestler, and used to boast, even in his old days, that he seldom if ever 
met a man who could lay him on his back. He soon had his man down. 
Samuel Casey, who afterwards became a leading military officer and a 
prominent justice of the peace, was one of the strongest men in the 
township, bet not an expert wrestler. He was so powerful in the legs, 
that his opponent, with all his skill, could not trip him up, and at last got 
thrown down himself. Paul Trumpour, who was the head of what is 
now the largest family in the township, was not so skilled in athletics : 
but he was a man of immense strength. He got his arms well fixed 
around his man and gave him such terrible bear-hugs that the poor 
fellow soon cried out enough, to save his ribs from getting crushed in, 
and that settled it. The Fourth-town championship was not again dis 

The causes which led to the migration of the Loyalists and their 
arrival in Upper Canada have already been dealt with in the introduc 
tory chapters. 

The first survey of the township was made under the direction of 
Major Samuel Holland, Surveyor-General ; but the actual work was 
performed by J. Collins, Deputy Surveyor-General, assisted by Captain 
Sherwood and Lieutenant Katte, during the fall of 1783; but it was not 
subdivided into lots until the following year. It was named after 
Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, tenth son of George III. On the early 
maps the village was described as Hollandville, so named after the 
Surveyor-General, but the name did not find favour with the inhabitants 
and was dropped. 

The townships along the front were surveyed from east to west 
and numbered accordingly, Kingston, First Town ; Ernesttown, Second 
Town ; Fredericksburgh, Third Town ; Adolphustown, Fourth Town ; 
then crossing to Prince Edward the numbers continued, Marysburgh. 
Fifth Town; Sophiasburgh, Sixth Town; Ameliasburgh, Seventh Town; 
then recrossing the Bay and numbering from west to east, Sidney, 
Eighth Town ; Thurlow, Ninth Town ; Richmond, Tenth Town. In the 
first three townships the lots are numbered from west to east, from 
which it is quite properly inferred that first having determined the 
breadth of the township, the surveying party returned along the same 
route, marking and numbering the lots ; and this is borne out by the 


fact that the Surveyor-General upon reaching the Fourth Town pitched 
his tent there and made his headquarters near the present village of 
Adolphustown, (hence the name Hollandville) and from this point 
directed the survey and received the reports of the several men operat 
ing under him. These townships continued to be known as First Town, 
Second Town, etc., for many years; in fact at the present time it is not 
unusual for the inhabitants of Prince Edward to designate these original 
townships of that county as Fifth Town, Sixth Town, and Seventh 

From a map now in the Bureau of Archives, and prepared by Col 
lins pursuant to an Order-in-Council of 1790, we learn the original 
names of the several bodies of water about the township. What we now 
call the Bay of Quinte, extending from Trenton to Amherst Island, is 
set down under different names ; the name Quinte being applied only to 
that portion extending easterly from Young s Point. The trangular 
body of water between Glenora and the High Shore is described by Col 
lins in his report of the survey as Savannah Bay, but is not designated 
by any name upon the map. The small bay between Young s Point and 
Ruttan s Point is marked as Perch Cove, and that between Ruttan s 
Point and Bygott s farm is called Bass Cove. The indentation between 
Bygott s Point and Thompson s Point is Little Cove, and the southern 
portion of the reach opposite Thompson s Point is called The Forks, 
while the northern part from Casey s Point to Mohawk Bay is described 
as the North Channel. Hay Bay is also subdivided, the easterly divi 
sion being known by its present name, Hay Bay, and the westerly part 
being called East Bay. 

Major Vanalstine was the recognized head of the band of Loyalists 
who first settled in Adolphustown, and was appointed to the command of 
the company before they sailed from New York. He was a typical 
Dutchman, rotund in form, with a swarthy complexion, and spoke the 
English language very indifferently. He brought with him many negro 
slaves and, having suffered many privations himself, he entertained a 
kindly feeling towards the individual members of his company, and was 
always ready to extend relief to the needy. There was no system of 
municipal government, in fact, no means of administering the affairs 
of the community during the first few years of the settlement, and the 
good-natured Major exercised a fatherly supervision over the entire 
township, and many a dispute terminated in a friendly compromise 
through his timely mediation. He was placed in charge of the govern 
ment stores and provisions, and in distributing them among the inhabi 
tants was kept in close touch with every family. 



Up to 1788, when the Court of Common Pleas was established, all 
Upper Canada was governed by martial law ; not indeed by drum-head 
tribunal with its summary procedure and ever-ready executioners, but, 
owing to the absence of any regularly established court and officers for 
the administration of justice, the captains in command in each locality 
was requested to enforce the English laws, and the means of carrying 
out these instructions were, to a great extent, left to their own wisdom 
and ingenuity. They do not appear to have abused the authority con 
ferred upon them, but on the whole to have exercised it impartially. 
From the very day they left New York, they had been accustomed to 
look upon themselves as the natural guardians of the companies placed 
under their command and the arbitrators of any disputes that might 

Prominent among the older settlers of Adolphustown were Captain 
Peter Ruttan, Michael Sloat, Nicholas Hagerman, and Philip and 
Thomas Borland. One or more of these were frequently called upon 
to assist in determining some of the vexed questions that arose between 
neighbours and to share with Yanalstine the responsibility of settling the 
disputes and, to the credit of the contestants and the arbitrators, it is 
said that their awards were accepted without cavil and regarded as pre 
cedents for the guidance of others. To Major Peter, however, was. 
largely due the peace and harmony that appears to have prevailed before 
there was an organized effort to regulate their affairs by the appointment 
of public officers. 

The Loyalists had not abandoned their temporary canvas dwellings, 
before a serious dispute arose over the eastern boundary of the town 
ship. The battalion settling in Fredericksburgh had been promised lots, 
in the same township ; but it was found that a sufficient number had not 
been laid out to accommodate them all and, but for the intervention of 
the Surveyor-General who supported Vanalstine and his company, Col 
lins would have extended the limits of Fredericksburgh westerly so as 
to absorb the whole township of Adolphustown. The Major stoutly 
maintained the rights of his company and demanded that they should not 
be disturbed in the territory that had been assigned to them nor annexed 
to the neighbouring township where they would lose their identity as a 
separate community, as they would be greatly outnumbered by Colonel 
Roger s corps, for whom provision was being made in Fredericksburgh. 
A compromise was effected, but not until the Surveyor-General and his 
Deputy had nearly come to blows over the matter, by cutting off twelve 
lots from the easterly side of Adolphustown and giving them to Roger s 
men. This tract has ever since been known as Fredericksburgh Addi- 


tional" and is so described in the official maps of the township of Fred- 
ericksburgh to-day. Adolphustown was a small township in the first 
place, and the loss of this territory so reduced it that it became, and is 
still, the smallest township in the Province of Ontario. 

It would be remarkable if so many people could live side by side 
and be brought into daily contact with each other without manifesting 
some desire for a form of local government in which they themselves 
might participate. No matter how wise, just, and impartial a despot 
may be, the Anglo-Saxon cannot forget the privileges which were won 
by his ancestors at Runnymede ; and while we would not characterize 
as tyrannical the leadership of the commanders of the various corps of 
Loyalists, yet it could hardly be expected that the settlers, for any length 
of time, would be content to have their affairs administered by any one 
man or set of men in whose appointment they had no voice. 

As the clearings grew in size, and live stock was introduced, and 
cattle and other animals wandered away through the forest to a neigh 
bouring clearing and mingled with their kind, frequent differences arose, 
not only as to the ownership of stray animals, but also respecting the 
damage done to the growing crops, and the necessity for devising some 
uniform regulations to govern such matters. In their former homes they 
had been accustomed to their town meetings which, then as now, 
afforded an opportunity to the disgruntled to air their grievances. It 
frequently makes little difference whether or not any active steps are 
taken to remedy the real or imaginary complaints of certain members 
of the community, who for weeks go about the streets or among their 
neighbours picturing in glowing colours some impending calamity that 
is about to overtake them. The public meeting is the cure for all such. 
Having once for all delivered themselves of their burden, and dis 
charged what they conceived to be their duty towards the public, they 
resign themselves to their fate if the public conscience does not appear 
to be aroused by their warning, until some new phantom arises to dis 
turb their equanimity. Such nervous, often well-meaning, individuals 
exist in every municipality to-day ; and they serve a useful purpose, not 
so much by the wisdom of their suggestions, as by awakening the more 
staid and philosophic citizens to a sense of their individual responsibility. 

It was thus that the citizens of Adolphustown were convened to dis 
cuss public questions at a town meeting held on March 6th, 1792, and a 
similar meeting was held on March 5th, 1793, although the Act legalizing 
such meetings was not passed until July, 1793. The meetings held after 
the passing of the Act did not differ materially from those held prior 
to its enactment, which points conclusively to the fact that the Statute 


was framed for the purpose of giving to the other municipalities of the 
province that same limited measure of self-government which the 
citizens of Adolphustown had devised for themselves before the matter 
had beeii taken up by the Legislative Assembly. The Legislature fol 
lowed the precedent of Adolphustown, even to the date of the meetings, 
In decreeing that all town meetings should be held annually on the 
first Monday of March. 

It is true that most of the actual business of the township was car 
ried on by the justices of the peace, but the very fact that once a year 
the ratepayers were summoned together to discuss all questions of a 
local character and to appoint their own officers to administer the Pru 
dential Laws and to perform the other statutory duties devolving upon 
them, operated as a safety-valve and satisfied in a measure that natural 
longing for self-government. 

In the old minute-book, which is probably the most unique of its 
kind in the province to-day, was kept a record of the different earmarks 
adopted for distinguishing the cattle, sheep, and pigs, under the some 
what misleading heading "Record of Marks for the Inhabitants of 
Adolphustown." The following are a few of the marks selected at 
random from the old record which commenced with the year 1793: 
"George Ruttan a hole in the right ear." 
"Peter Vanalstine a slit in the end of the left ear and a slit in the 

under side of both ears." 
"Alexander Fisher a half-penny under the right ear." 

This mark was afterwards taken over by Robert McAfee, which 
transfer was indicated in the record by a cross placed over the name of 
the first owner of the mark and the name of the second owner inter 

"David Barker a swallow fork in the right ear." 
Paul Trumpour a crop off the right ear with a slit on each side of 

the same." 

"Thos. J. Borland a crop off the right ear and a hole in the same." 
"Samuel Casey a crop off the right ear and a swallow fork in the left." 

In recognition of his ability and services Major Vanalstine was the 
first justice of the peace in the township to receive his commission ; and 
ui due course a similar honour was conferred upon Thomas Borland, 
Nicholas Hagerman, Peter Ruttan, Michael Sloat, and Alexander Fisher. 
The last named afterwards became the first judge of the Midland Bis- 

Ruttan had been a captain in the regular army and was somewhat 
proud of that distinction, and with the newly acquired title of "Esquire," 


which was not used indiscriminately as it is to-day, he felt himself to be 
a man of considerable importance and was not disposed to yield first 
place to any man in the township. He was particularly envious of the 
old leader, Major Vanalstine. It frequently transpired that the har 
mony of the meetings was disturbed by the reluctance of Squire Ruttan 
to concur in the opinions expressed by Squire Vanalstine. On one occa 
sion Ruttan appeared at a meeting clothed in full regimentals and de 
manded that proper respect be paid to that uniform, which had seen 
active service in His Majesty s army. Vanalstine tactfully declined to 
be drawn into an altercation with the old soldier, who for once carried 
the day and scored a victory over his rival. The old Major retained 
the respect of those among whom he lived and was buried with military 
honours in the north-west corner of the burying-ground. 

During the last decade of the eighteenth century Adolphustown was 
recognized as the most important settlement in the Midland District. It 
numbered among its inhabitants many leading men in almost every walk 
of life. Kingston, from its strategic position, had long before been 
selected as the military and naval centre, and much of the glory of the 
Limestone City was due, not so much to the enterprise of the ordinary 
citizen, as to the fact that it was the seat of many government and other 
public institutions maintained and supported, not by the municipality, 
but by the public at large. Notwithstanding this disparity of fortuitous 
circumstances, when the Courts of the General Quarter Sessions were 
established in 1793, the little township, which could not boast of even 
a village of any dimensions, was placed on an even footing with its 
more pretentious urban rival. 

The first regular court was held the first Tuesday in July, 1794, in 
Paul Huff s barn on Hay Bay, as there was no public building in the 
township at the disposal of the justices. 

The next session was held in January of the following year; and 
as there were no means of heating the barn, which had served the pur 
pose very well in the summer season, application was made to the 
Methodist body for the use of the new church which had been recently 
erected upon the same lot. Objection was taken by some to making the 
"house of prayer" a "den of thieves," with a timely explanation that the 
reference was not made to the lawyers and court officials, but to the 
criminals ; but the scruples of the congregation were overcome, and 
justice was dispensed from the pulpit of the Rev. Wm. Losee s Chapel. 

The citizens of the township then took the matter in hand and in 
1796 built a court-house by voluntary subscription near the site of the 
present town-hall. The erection of the building gave the locality some 


prominence and may be regarded as the beginning of the village of 
Adolphustown. Previous to the building of the court-house, there were 
a few scattered residences in the vicinity, among them being that of 
Nicholas Hagerman, which was situated on the Bay shore almost in 
front of the U. E. L. burying-ground and only a few rods from the U. E. 
L. landing-place. 

That point of land lying between the creek and the Bay was known 
as Hagerman s Point. Shortly after the landing of the Loyalists, a 
little child, worn out with fatigue and exposure, died, and was the first 
refugee to be buried in this county. In the neighbouring woods they 
digged a grave and, as they laid the tiny form to rest, many a sunburnt 
pioneer tried in vain to conceal his emotion. A few months later, one 
Casper Hover, a relative of Barbara Heck, was killed by a falling tree, 
while engaged in clearing his land. His body was laid beside that of 
the little child; and the spot was for years recognized as the general 
burial-place ; and here the ashes of many of Adolphustown s illustrious 
dead now lie mouldering. Tombstones they had not, and slabs of wood, 
long since decayed, were the only markers for the graves until in later 
years stone monuments were introduced ; but they, too, have crumbled 
away or the inscriptions have become so obliterated that few can now be 

On June i6th, 1884, the corner-stone of the monument now stand 
ing at the edge of the old burial-ground was laid with Masonic Honours 
by R. \V. Bro. Arthur McGuinness, D.D.G.M. of Belleville, before a 
great concourse of people assembled from all parts of Canada to com 
memorate the centennial celebration of the landing of the Loyalists. 
Patriotic addresses were delivered by L. L. Bogart, then over eighty 
years of age, and the oldest living male representative of the U. E. 
Loyalist band, A. L. Morden, Dr. Canniff, D. W. Allison, Sir Richard 
Cartwright, and Rev. D. V. Lucas. In due time the monument was 
completed and upon its face was inscribed : 

"In Memory of the U. E. Loyalists who 
through loyalty to British 


Left the U. S. and landed on these 

Shores on the i6th of 

June, 1784." 

A more enduring monument to the noble band of pioneers is the sweet 
memory of their loyalty and sacrifice embalmed in the hearts of the pre 
sent generation of their descendants, who with a commendable zeal are 


taking active measures to preserve all the old landmarks in the town 
ship connected with its early history. 

We have seen how the Courts of General Sessions were established 
in 1793; but a new difficulty arose at this point as there were no lawyers 
duly authorized to practise ; and it was felt that the dignity of the bench 
could not be maintained without some restrictions being placed upon the 
advocates who were to appear before the courts. To overcome this 
difficulty an Act was passed in 1794 empowering the Governor, Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, or person administering "the government of the province, 
to authorize by license under his hand and seal, such and so many of 
His Majesty s liege subjects, not exceeding sixteen in numbers, as he 
shall deem, from their probity, education, and condition in life, best 
qualified to act as advocates and attorneys in the conduct of all legal 
proceedings in this province." 

Three years later all persons then admitted to practise iti the law 
in this province, derisively styled "heaven-born lawyers," were, by an 
Act of the Legislative Assembly, incorporated as the "Law Society of 
Upper Canada" upon practically the same basis as that Society to-day 

Nicholas Hagerman was one of the favoured few of "sufficient pro 
bity, education, and condition in life" and was the first lawyer admitted 
to the bar in the county of Lennox and Addington. He was a man of 
refinement and education who had studied law before he left New York ; 
and the honour conferred upon him was not unworthily besto\ved. He 
continued to practise until the time of his death, and for a long time 
enjoyed the monopoly of being the only practitioner in the county. He 
had no regular office hours, but went about his daily occupation and, 
when waited upon by a client, he would shoulder his axe or scythe and 
repair to his dwelling to turn over his musty volumes, or render such 
other professional service as the circumstances warranted. The founda 
tions of his home built upon the shore have long since been washed 
away by the encroaching waters of the bay. 

He was buried on the east side of the old burying-ground just north 
of an old oak tree, but no stone to-day marks his last resting-place. 

He had two sons, Christopher and Daniel, both of whom were 
elected to parliament in 1821, Christopher for the electoral district of 
Frontenac, and Daniel for Addington. Daniel died before the House 
assembled ; but Christopher took his seat, and in time became one of 
the most illustrious men of his day. He studied law with his father 
and afterwards with Allen McLean of Kingston, and it not unfrequently 
happened that father and son were opposed to each other on the same 





case. On one such occasion Christopher scored a signal victory over 
his father, at which the father exclaimed: "Have I raised a son to put 
out my eyes" ; whereupon Christopher quickly retorted : "No, father, 
but to open them." In 1815 this same son was appointed a King s 
Counsel, and afterwards became Solicitor-General, and finally Chief- 
justice of the Province of Ontario. 

A fair estimate may be formed of the recognized ability of the 
early inhabitants of Adolphustown by scanning the list of members of 
the Legislative Assembly chosen from the men living in or brought up 
in this township. In the first legislature Philip Borland was elected : 
but being a Quaker he refused to take the oath and his election was 
annulled, and Major Peter Vanalstine was elected in his stead. To the 
next seven parliaments Adolphustown contributed the following mem 
bers: Thomas Borland, John Roblin. \Yillet Ca-ev, Samuel Casey, 
Baniel Hagerman, and Christopher Hagerman. 

The inhabitants of Adolphustown are a peace-loving people but, in 
time of need, never fail to respond to their country s call. Buring the 
war of 1812 Captain Thomas Borland was the first commissioned officer 
in the township and was placed in command of a company at Kingston: 
Captain Trnmpour commanded a company of horse during the same 
campaign ; and Christopher Hagerman was appointed aide-de-camp to 
the Lieutenant-General commanding, with the rank of Lieutenant-Col 
onel. The young men of the township have at all times regularly en 
listed in both the infantry and cavalry branches of the volunteer ser 
vice; and a brass tablet in the Anglican Memorial Church in the village 
Commemorates the heroic death of Captain Thomas Wellington Chal 
mers who fell on the battlefield in South Africa in his valiant attempt 
to rescue a wounded comrade. 

This county always has been and is likely to remain a stronghold of 
Methodism. As early as 1788 a young man by the name of Lyons came 
to Adolphustown and engaged in teaching school; and on the Sabbath 
he would collect the people together in the house of one of his employers 
and conduct religious services after the order of the Methodist Epis 
copal Church. Methodism was not popular among many of the Loyal 
ists, who had been brought up to believe that any other doctrine than 
that contained in the thirty-nine Articles of the Established Church was 
not only rank heresy, but its exponents were little short of traitors to 
the throne of Great Britain. Lyons preaching was bitterly opposed by 
certain extremists; but as there was no law to cover the alleged offence 
of exhorting the inhabitants to accept the faith as he explained 
it, his opponents contented themselves by holding him up to ridicule, 


boycotting his school, and rendering his residence among them 
as unpleasant as they could. Such territory did not appear to be a very 
promising field for the Methodists; but first impressions are not always 
reliable, and so it proved in this case. In 1790 William Losee paid a 
visit to this part of the country and preached the tenets of Methodism 
along the Bay of Quinte, and among other places in the tavern of Con- 
rade Van Dusen at Adolphustown. 

There has been considerable misapprehension as to the locality of 
the VanDusen tavern; and most writers have taken it for granted that 
it stood in the village just east of the court-house. The writer has 
before him a conveyance of lot number sixteen in the first concession 
of Adolphustown from Conrade VanDusen to Richard Davern, dated 
October 2nd, 1815, in which the expressed consideration is seven hun 
dred pounds. It was upon this lot that the tavern was built, and the 
consideration would indicate that the buildings must have been of more 
than ordinary value. Daniel Davern, a grandson of the grantee, still 
residing upon this lot, helped to remove the stone foundation of an old 
building which his father assured him was the same upon which stood 
the old VanDusen tavern. After selling the farm he moved to the vil 
lage and lived just east of the court-house, a fact which accounts for the 
error. In the body of the document the name of the grantor is spelled 
"Conradt Van Duzen ;" but his own signature, which appears in a plain 
round hand, is "Conrade VanDusen," which should dispose of the ques 
tion of the spelling of his name. In those days the wife could only 
bar her dower by appearing before the proper official to be examined, in 
order that he might certify that her consent was given "freely and volun 
tary, without coercion or fear of coercion on the part of her husband or 
any other person." Such a certificate signed by John Ferguson, District 
Judge, is attached to this interesting old document. 

Losee was a nervous, intensely energetic man, and had the use of 
only one arm, the other being withered. Above all he was a Loyalist 
and had known many of the residents before he emigrated from the 
United States. A Loyalist and a Methodist preacher! Such a paro- 
doxical combination had never been conceived and, out of mere cur 
iosity, many who had scoffed at Lyons and McCarty went to hear the 
one-armed Loyal Methodist, who by his piety and earnestness won the 
hearts of his listeners. So popular was he that a petition was presented 
to his conference to have him sent to this county; and in the following 
year he returned, the first regularly- appointed Methodist minister in 
Upper Canada. 



Among Losee s most devoted supporters was Paul Huff, who lived 
on the south shore of Hay Bay on lot eighteen in the third concession, 
and it was at his house that the congregation from that part of the town 
ship used to meet for divine worship, and at which was established on 
February 2Oth, 1792, the first regular class meeting in Upper Canada. 
The attendance at the meeting increased so rapidly that the living room 
at Huffs would no longer accommodate them, and it was determined t<> 
erect a meeting-house. Paul Huff donated the land, and twenty sub 
scribers undertook to pay 108 towards the building fund. The build 
ing was to be erected under the direction of Losee, and was to be thirty- 
six feet by thirty, two stories high, with a gallery. The most liberal 
subscriber towards its erection was none other than the same Conrade 
VanDusen at whose tavern a few year- before McCarty had been 
arraigned as a vagabond. The foundations were laid: and soon there 
arose an imposing structure still standing to-day as a monument to that 
good man who well and truly laid the corner-stone of Methodism in 
I pper Canada. 

Overjoyed with the success of his first effort at church building 
Losee set about with renewed energy to improve the accommodation in 
the other townships; but he was permitted to foster the advance of his 
holy cause for only two years, as that bright intellect, overburdened with 
the work of his ministry, was shattered by a blow it had not the strength 
to withstand. 

His pathetic collapse is thus described by Playter in his History of 
Methodism: "He was the subject of that soft, yet jx>werful passion of 
our nature, which some account our weakness and others our greatest 
happiness. Piety and beauty were seen connected in female form then 
as well as now, in this land of woods and water, snows and "burning 
heat. In the family of one of his hearers, and in the vicinity of Xapanee 
River, was a maid of no little moral and personal attraction. Soon his 
attention was attracted, soon the seed of love was planted in his bosom, 
and soon it germinated and bore outward fruit. In the interim of sus 
pense as to whether he should gain the person, another preacher came 
on the circuit, visits the same dwelling, is attracted by the same fair 
object, and finds in his heart the same passion. The two seek the same 
person. One is absent on the St. Lawrence, the other frequents the 
blest habitation, never out of mind. One, too, is deformed, the other a 
person of desirable appearance. Jealousy crept in with love. But at 
last the preference was made, and disappointment like a thunderbolt 
overset the mental balance of the first itinerant minister in Canada." 
His historian tells us that he returned to Kingston in 1816 to dispose of 


some property he had acquired while here ; and that he was upon this 
visit completely restored to his former mental health and visited the old 
Adolphustown charge, where he preached to his old parishioners, and 
then returned to New York. 

In 1805, near the old chapel on Hay Bay, was conducted the first 
camp-meeting- ever held in Canada. Prom far and near the adherents 
of the Methodist Church came in their bateaux, filled to the gunwale 
with tents, bedding, and provisions, or in lumber waggons hauled by 
the slow-moving oxen, which with swinging gait wended through the 
forest to the meeting place. Never had the woods of Adolphustown 
echoed such shouts of praise and song as went up from the hundreds 
of earnest worshippers under the guidance of such saintly leaders as 
Case, Ryan, Pickett, Keeler, Madden, and Bangs. 

In the same neighbourhood, in 1819, occurred the saddest event 
that ever befell that part of the county. All nature seemed to smile on 
that brig-lit Sabbath morning of August 2Oth, as eighteen young people, 
jubilant with the spirit of the season, seated themselves in a flat-bot 
tomed boat at Casey s Point, and the young men plied the oars as they 
turned the prow towards the opposite shore to attend quarterly meeting 
in the Losee chapel. With innocent jests and snatches of sacred songs 
they moved merrily over the surface of the bay until, as they neared the 
landing-place, the boat began to leak and, in the confusion which fol 
lowed, capsized, plunging all the passengers into the water. The service 
was in progress, and the officiating clergyman had just given utterance 
to the prayer that "it might be a day long to be remembered" when the 
congregation was startled by screams of terror, and rushing from the 
church saw the unfortunate victims struggling for their lives. Every 
effort was made to save them from their perilous position, but of the 
eighteen, who a few minutes before were overflowing with the happi 
ness of youth, only nine were saved. 

On the following day nine coffins were ranged side by side in front 
of the chapel, and the Reverend Mr. Puffer, taking as his text "I know 
that my Redeemer liveth," endeavoured to preach a funeral sermon; 
but was so overcome with emotion in the presence of a large congrega 
tion, who could not restrain their tears, that he was unable to finish his 
discourse. In the old grave-yard near by may still be seen the last rest 
ing-place of the drowned. It is needless to say that the disaster was 
long remembered; and the sympathy of the district went out to the 
stricken families, among them being some of the best known in the 
county. Of the dead there were two Germans, two Detlors, one Bogart, 
one Roblin, one Clark, one Madden, and one Cole. 





Without commenting upon its literary merits I reproduce a poem 
published in a Napanee paper thirty-six years after the sad occurrence: 

Come all ye young people of every degree, 
Read o er these lines which are penned down by me ; 
And while you are reading these lines which are true, 
Remember this warning is also for you. 

In the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and nineteen, 
On the twentieth of August on Sunday I mean, 
The place where it happened I also wrote down 
The loss may be told of in Adolphustoun. 

These people were in health and all in their prime, 
All modestly clothed in apparel so fine, 
To Church they were going their God to adore, 
They to t reach the said place, had a Bay to cross o er. 

The boat being small and their number eighteen, 

To go o er together they all ventured in, 

They launched away, singing a sweet exercise, 

The moments near by them were hid from their eyes. 

The voice of Jehovah speaks unto us all, 

To always be ready and come at His call, 

And while you are reading these mournful lines o er. 

Death may be sent for you and enter your door. 

The boat being leaky the water came in, 
To bail with their hats they too late did begin, 
They looked at each other, beginning to weep, 
The boat filled with water and sunk in the deep. 

Their friends on the shore, to help flew with speed, 
And eight of the number from the water was freed, 
There were brothers and sisters, and parents also 
Soon heard the sad story which filled them with woe. 

A seine w r as prepared to draw them to land, 

Their friends with loud weeping all round them did stand, 

Such scenes of lamenting I ne er saw before; 

The loss was so fatal that none could restore. 


There was John and Jane German, Peter Bogart also, 
There was Mary and Jane Detlor in the water below, 
There was Matilda Roblin and Betsy McCoy, 
Betsy Clark, Huldah Madden and the late Mary Cole. 

To unchangeable regions their spirits had fled, 
And left their poor bodies inactive and dead, 
They solemnly were borne into the Church yard 
Their graves in rotation for them were prepared. 

On the Monday following their coffins were made 
And into the same their dead bodies were laid. 
Their friends with loud weeping on the shore did stand, 
Their bodies preparing to enter the sand. 

The sermon delivered on that mournful scene 
By one, Isaac Puffer from Job, the nineteenth, 
Although these dead bodies the worms may destroy, 
They will see God in glory and fullness of joy. 

The sermon being o er and brought to a close 
With a few words of comfort addressed unto those, 
Whose hearts were quite broken and filled with grief, 
And in a few moments those bodies must leave. 

And now we must leave them beneath the cold ground, 
Till Gabriel s trumpet shall give the last sound, 
Arise ye that sleepeth, arise from the tomb, 
And come forth to judgment to hear thy just doom. 

It may not be generally known that the Canadian Society of 
Friends also had its origin in the township of Adolphustown. As early 
as 1790 two Quaker preachers came to the township by appointment, 
and held services there; and the Society was first organized in Upper 
Canada by James Noxon, who lived in Adolphustown. We find his 
name among the list of inhabitants as late as 1814, at which time he is 
said to have moved to the township of Sophiasburgh, which is probably 
correct, as his name does not appear upon the records after that date. 
He was pathmaster in 1797 and 1798 and clerk of the township in 1799. 
It is not improbable that one of his chief reasons for removing was that 
he might be in closer touch with the Friends of that township where the 



seed had taken deeper root. Just how Brother Xoxon overcame his 
scruples about taking the oath prescribed by the Statute to be taken by 
every officer of the township the records do not inform us. 

Among the prominent men hailing from this old township some 
mention should be made of David Roblin. He was born in 1812 and 
in 1832 moved to Napanee where he engaged in business, lie was a 
Reformer of the Baldwin school, and first entered public life as repre 
sentative of the township of Richmond in the District and County Coun 
cils, which position he held for eighteen years, and rendered such good 
service to the municipality electing him and the united counties at large 
that he achieved the unique distinction of filling the warden s chair for 
seven consecutive years. In 1854 he was elected to Parliament over the 
Honourable Benjamin Seymour, and continued to represent this county 
until 1861, when he was defeated by Mr. Augustus Hooper. Upon the 
occasion of his death in 1863 the Napanee Standard, which had always 
opposed him in politics, paid the following tribute to his memory: "In 
all his business transactions he had the reputation of being an honest 
man and an upright dealer. He was of a disposition to secure many 
friends and in business this often cost him too much. He was too gen 
erous to secure and lay up much wealth, although at various times he 
possessed a large amount of property. He was highly respected and 
esteemed by all who knew him ; even by his strongest political opponents. 
A most obliging friend and neighbour he had many warm friends." 




The Township of Ernesttown, the second township laid out in this 
part of Upper Canada and hence known as Second Town, was named 
after Prince Ernest, the eighth chilci of King George III. It is described 
by Deputy Surveyor-General Collins, whose report of the survey bears 
date November 7th, 1783, as "a tract of land six miles square situate 
on the north side of Lake Ontario, bounded in front by the said lake, 
and in depth by the ungranted lands belonging to the King ; .on the east 
by the ungranted lands as aforesaid, and on the west by a township 
marked on the plan No. 3 (Fredericksburgh)." He pays it the compli 
ment of having "twenty- three thousand and forty acres of land, which 
appear to be equal in quality to the best lands in America." 

This township was first settled in 1784 by members of the Second 
Battalion of Sir John Johnson s regiment, the King s New York Royal 
Rangers. The Report of the Ontario Bureau of Archives, 1905, thus 
epitomizes the career of this illustrious soldier: "The name of Sir John 
Johnson is overshadowed by the greater name of Sir William Johnson, 
his father. Yet his own services were many and important. He joined 
the army as a volunteer in the Revolutionary War and operated largely 
among the Mohawk Indians. He raised and commanded a regiment 
of two battalions in Canada, named the Royal Greens. He defeated 
Herkimer in 1777 at Fort Stanwix and suffered defeat in 1780 at Fox s 
Mill. He was knighted by the King at London in 1765. After the war 
he was appointed Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs in British 
North America, Colonel-in-Chief of the six battalions of the militia of 
the Eastern Townships, and a member of the Legislative Council. He 
resided in Montreal. He married Mary, daughter of John Watts, Presi 
dent of the Council, New York, and had one son William, a colonel in 
the British army, killed at Waterloo. Sir John died at Montreal in 

It will be remembered that in the allotment of the townships Cap 
tain Grass was given his choice and selected the first township, King 
ston, the main consideration which moved him being its proximity to 
Cataraqui ; but the followers of Johnson, and their descendants, have 
had no cause to regret the choice made by their leader, as the Deputy 


Surveyor-General was not amiss in his description of the soil, although 
far astray as to the present dimensions and acreage of the township. 
As a matter of fact Ernesttown contains 68,644 acres, and the inhabi 
tants still maintain that it is "equal in quality to the best lands in 

If we could have passed along the bay in the early spring of 1784 
from the site of the present village of Bath to that of Millhaven we 
would have witnessed a remarkable scene. There, scattered among the 
openings in the dense forest, were pitched scores of military tents, 
which had seen years of service in the Revolutionary War. Wandering 
along the beach, or fishing from the sides of the largo bateaux anchored 
a short distance from shore, were the sunburned veterans from the 
Mohawk Valley and the Upper Hudson. Hovering over the camp-fires, 
preparing the rations that had been doled out by the officers in charge, 
were the housewives, attired in their quaint costumes, while the restles^ 
children chased the curious squirrels through the wood or amused them 
selves with casting pebbles in the water. 

To the number of four hundred, the largest company assembled in 
any township, they thus waited for weeks, until the surveys were 
completed and the lots ready for the drawing. Among them were many 
men who had left, or been driven from, comfortable homesteads in the 
State of New York, for no other offence than loyalty to the throne 
which they had been taught to respect. If we could have mingled among 
them we would have heard the familiar names, Miller, Fairfield, Fraser, 
Booth, Baker, Mabee, Rose, Finkle, Pruyn, Brisco, Snider, Amey, and 
scores of others which have from that day to this been associated with 
the steady march of progress of this grand old township. 

Finally the survey was completed, the drawings took place, and as 
the head of each family received his location ticket he pulled his stakes, 
shouldered his tent, and the little procession, father, mother, and children, 
moved away towards their new home. Their belongings were few, a 
bundle of clothes, some bedding, and cooking utensils, so few indeed, 
that in most instances they could all be carried upon their backs. Hav 
ing arrived at the destined spot they laid down their burdens and gazed 
about them. They were all impressed with the loneliness of the dense 
forest, which only here and there admitted a ray of sunshine, yet this 
was to be their home. That word, with all its tender associations of the 
past, how empty it sounded! Before the night set in they had barely 
time to pitch the tent and prepare a hasty meal. Exhausted with the 
labours of the day and overcome with emotions to which none dared 
give expression, they laid themselves down upon a mattress made from 
a few hemlock boughs cut from a neighbouring tree. 


What dreams disturbed those slumbers in the stillness of the for 
est night, broken only by the hooting of an owl, or the howling of some 
wild beast startled by the unexpected presence of the strange intruders 
in their familiar haunts? Could their wildest nightmare picture the 
obliteration of the forest, and see rising in its stead grassy slopes over 
which wandered herds of well-kept stock, and stately homes from the 
open windows of which came the notes of a piano accompanied with 
songs of merriment from well-dressed lads and maidens? Or, most 
marvellous of all, a well-groomed husbandman and his modest spouse 
speeding in a horseless carriage along a level highway, past spacious 
barns and neat cottages connected by telephones, and before each of 
which the empty mail box "awaited the postman s delivery of the daily 
mail? We are safe in assuming that no such visions arose before the 
tired sleepers. 

How stupendous must the task before them have appeared, as on 
the morrow they wandered over their domain to select a site for the log 
cabin ! On every side stood the tall timbers like stalwart giants raising 
their proud crests one hundred feet about the ground, a silent challenge 
to this puny creature, man, to dispute with them the mastery of the soil 
over which they had held sway for a thousand years. There was no 
time to moralize ; a cabin must be built, and the stubborn forest sub 
dued. How well their work was done is attested by the comfortable 
homesteads throughout the township to-day. The officers were favoured 
by receiving lots upon the front, while the privates were located in the 
rear concessions ; and as the children matured they settled upon the 
lots back farther still. 

The early history of Ernesttown does not differ materially from 
that of Adolphustown in respect to the trials and privations of the pion 
eers. As Adolphustown village was the legal centre of the Midland Dis 
trict outside of Kingston, so Ernesttown village, afterwards Bath, so 
named after the famous English health resort, was the commercial and 
educational rival of Kingston, and promised, in its early days, to become 
a town of importance. The township filled up so rapidly that in 1811 
it had a population of 2,300, the largest of any township in the province. 

It was about the time of the war of 1812 that the leading village of 
the township was given its present name and, by 1816, notwithstanding 
the depression that had followed the war, it had made such progress 
that Samuel Purdy felt justified in establishing a stage line between the 
village and Kingston. This first venture in the stage business proved 
so profitable to the proprietor that in the following year he inaugurated 
a line between Kingston and York, leaving Kingston every Monday 


morning at six o clock and York every Thursday morning at the same 
hour. This new enterprise was announced by the following advertise 
ment: "Persons wishing for a passage will call at Mr. David Brown s 
Inn, Kingston, where the stage books will be kept. From twenty to 
twenty-eight pounds of baggage will be allowed to each passenger, over 
this they must be charged for. All baggage sent by the stage will be 
forwarded with care, and delivered with punctuality, and all favours 
acknowledged by the public s humble servant. (Signed) Samuel Purdy, 
Kingston, January 23rd, 1817. N.B. stage fare eighteen dollars." 

Before the introduction of this stage line to York the ordinary 
means of travelling between Kingston and "Muddy York" was by the 
large flat-bottomed boat propelled by oars. Once a week this awkward 
craft could be seen going up the bay to the Carrying Place where it was 
hauled out of the water and turned over to Asa Weller, a tavern-keeper. 
He had a low-wheeled truck waggon built for the purpose, upon which 
the boat was placed and hauled across the isthmus by a yoke of oxen. 
where it was again consigned to the water, and the oarsmen continued 
their voyage along the shore to the capital. 

The only alternative was by horseback, which served the purpose 
very well if the traveller was not encumbered with much baggage. The 
usual starting point was from Finkle s tavern at Bath, from which place 
a white guide conducted him to the Trent, where the Indian agent fur 
nished him with a native guide, who accompanied him along the Indian 
trail through the forest to his destination. 

\Yhile Adolphustown village was the legal centre of the Midland 
District after the establishing of the General Sessions, Bath may claim 
the distinction of being the seat of the first court held in Mecklenburgh 
(the name was changed in 1/92) by Judge Cartwright, and as this was 
before any court-houses were built, Finkle s tavern was used for the 

The old village also has the distinction, we will not say honour, of 
being the scene of the first execution by hanging in Canada, and the 
saddest part of the story is that the victim, who thus paid the death 
penalty by being swung from the limb of a tree near the old tavern, was 
innocent of the crime of which he was convicted. He was charged with 
stealing a watch, circumstantial evidence pointed to him as the thief ; 
but he protested his innocence, claiming that he had purchased it from a 
pedlar. The evidence could not have been conclusive and consisted 
mainly of the finding of the stolen article in his possession ; but this, in 
the opinion of the judge, cast upon the accused the onus of proving 
how he came by it. The pedlar belonged to the itinerant class, and had 


passed on to some other section of the country, where he could not be 
reached. The prisoner could not, under the law as it then stood, give 
evidence on his own behalf, so, by reason of his failure to establish his 
innocence, the general rule of law was inverted and he died upon the 
gallows. While the judge was pronouncing sentence a spectator in the 
court interrupted the proceedings by protesting against the conviction; 
but the audience was in sympathy with the finding of the court and 
hissed him clown. A few months later a pedlar repassing through the 
neighbourhood confirmed the words of the unfortunate man by stating 
that the watch in question had been sold by him under the circumstances 
alleged by the prisoner at the time of his trial. The date of this trial is 
unknown, but it must have been some time between 1787, when the first 
criminal court was held at Bath, and 1793, after which the courts were 
held alternately at Adolphustown and Kingston. 

At this first criminal court a negro was convicted of stealing a loaf 
of bread and was sentenced to receive twenty-nine lashes. No interval 
of time passed between the sentence and the execution in the early 
days, otherwise the first hanging might not have taken place. There 
was no whipping-post ready to receive the convict, so he was lashed to 
a bass-wood tree but a few yards from the hotel; and the court ad 
journed for a few minutes to allow the spectators an opportunity to 
witness the whipping. The bass-wood tree served its purpose so admir 
ably that it was adopted as a part of the equipment of the court; and 
for many years after it ceased to hold its victims in position to receive 
the lash it was pointed out to travellers as one of the objects of interest 
in the village. 

The road between Bath and Kingston was one of the first, if not 
the first, road of any importance built in the province and, when the 
original mail road from Kingston to York was first laid out Bath was 
considered too important a place to be ignored; and the road followed 
the shore from Kingston to Bath, continuing through Adolphustown to 
Young s Point, then known as Borland s Point. Here a ferry carried 
the travellers across to Lake-on-the-Mountain, whence the road con 
tinued to the head of Picton Bay and through Prince Edward County, 
passing Bloomfield, Wellington, and Consecon to the Carrying Place, 
thence along the lake front to York. This road, as finally completed, 
was known as the Danforth Road, having been built under government 
contract by one Asa Danforth, who commenced operations in 1798, and 
completed his contract in 1801. Danforth had his headquarters at Bath, 
where he lived^with Henry Finkle. 




General Simcoe conceived the idea of a grand military highway 
extending from one end of the province to the other, to which he gave 
the name of Dundas Street, but his term of office was terminated shortly 
after its construction was begun, and it was many years before it wa- 

The first macadamized road built in the province of Ontario was 
that portion of Dundas Street lying between Kingston and Xapanee. 
This once magnificent highway was commenced in 1837 and completed 
in 1839. It was due to the enterprise of John Solomon Cartwright, then 
judge of the Midland District Court and member of the Legislative 
Assembly, that the plan of Governor Simcoe was revived, and the pro 
vincial government was induced to set apart $120,000 for the undertak 
ing, which sum it was expected would be repaid from the tolls collected 
at the gates placed upon the road every five miles. The engineer in 
charge of its construction was James Cull, grandfather of Mr-. H. T. 
Forward and Mrs. Peter Bristol of Napanee. The work was well done, 
but the cost exceeded the estimate, so that it was necessary to obtain a 
further grant of $12,000 from the government in order to complete it. 

In 1859 the united counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington 
purchased the road from the government for $49,200 to be paid in 
twenty equal annual instalments of $2,460 each, without interest. When 
the united counties were divided in 1864 and Lennox and Addington 
became a separate municipality, the county of Frontenac assumed the 
obligation to the government, and the two counties adjusted the liability 
by Lennox and Addington undertaking to pay to Frontenac the sum of 
$20,000 in equal instalments, extending over the same period as the 
original debt to the government. 

Regarding the negotiations for the purchase of the road which were 
first commenced in 1850, the Napanee Bee of July i6th. 1852, says edi 
torially: "We are gratified to learn that the Counties Warden. D. Rob- 
lin, Esq., our thoroughly enterprising townsman, has effected a reduc 
tion in the price of the Kingston and Napanee Macadamized road. It 
will be remembered that the road was struck off to the Warden on 
behalf of the Counties Council for 15,400. It will also be remembered 
that the county objected to the legality of all the bids over 12,300, and 
they claimed that they were entitled to the road at that price, that hav 
ing been the Warden s bid. 

"On October 28th, 1850, the Warden laid the matter before the 
government, asking a reduction. The claim of the council has been 
finally acceded to, and the road now stands at 12,300 against the 
counties; only $2,300 above the upset price and more than 3,000 less 


than private parties would have gladly paid. We trust that this fact 
will have the effect to enable the people of these counties to determine 
as to who is the most deserving their gratitude and confidence, the man 
who prates about government abuses, and which, peradventure, have 
only an ideal existence, and who labours not assiduously for the good 
of the counties ; or him who exerts his abilities untiringly and efficiently 
in their behalf." 

Frontenac kept up the payments to the government, and collected 
annually from this county the amount agreed upon until a few years 
after Confederation, when through some means, which perhaps it might 
be well not to inquire into too carefully, Frontenac discontinued the 
payments, and Lennox and Addington took advantage of the situation 
and made no further contributions to the coffers of the sister county on 
account of the purchase price of the road. For many years after this 
new route for the government road had been adopted the line of travel 
still continued along the shore from Kingston to Bath and thence to 

In turning over the old Statutes of 1828 the writer ran across an 
Act, from the preamble of which, if he did not observe the date, one 
might infer that it was of quite recent origin. It reads as follows: 
"Whereas in consequence of a dispute having arisen between the justices 
of the peace of Ernesttown and the justices of the peace of Fredericks- 
burgh, in the Midland District, respecting the right of either party of 
such justices to take charge of a public road running from front to 
rear between the aforesaid townships of Ernesttown and the gore of 
Fredericksburgh, or to which party of right the making and repairing 
of such road belongs; in consequence of which dispute, the aforesaid 
road, though much travelled from necessity, is dangerous and difficult 
to travel on account of being left, in a great measure for a long time 
past, without being mended and improved." Although there is excel 
lent material for making good roads in every part of this county the 
civic authorities are for the most part pursuing the same policy that 
was introduced by the Act respecting "Statute duties on Highways and 
Roads" passed in 1798, with the result that our highways may be classed 
among the worst in the province ; and it is not to our credit that that 
part of the first macadamized road in the province lying within the 
limits of this county has by neglect lost all resemblance to what it was 
eighty years ago. 

In the chapter upon schools I have dealt at some length upon the 
deep interest the first settlers of Ernesttown took in the matter of edu 
cating their youth. 


A century ago liath was the military centre of the county where 
the volunteers from the other townships used to meet for training; and 
during the war of 1812 the township contributed the following officers 
for the defence of our county: Lieutenant-Colonel James Parrott, Cap 
tains Joshua Booth, C. Fralick, Norris Brisco, Peter Daly, Robert Clark, 
and Sheldon Hawley ; Lieutenants Davis Hamhly. I lenry Day, John 
Richard-, Daniel Fraser, Robert \Yorlet ; and Knsi^ns Isaac Fraser, 
David Lockwood, Daniel Simmons, Abraham Amey, Solomon John, and 
John Thorp, Senior. 

While the present inhabitants of this township are largely prohibi 
tionists their forefathers were evidently not so inclined, as the first 
brewery and distillery in Upper Canada was built by John Finkle not 
far from Bath ; and to afford the public an opportunity of sampling his 
products his brother Henry kept for many years the only tavern between 
Kingston and York. 

The Kingston Gazette of April iQth, 1817, announced "A Pearl and 
Pot Barley Factory is to be established in Ernesttown. It is >aid this 
is the first establishment of the kind we recollect to have heard of in 
Upper Canada. We have seen some of the barley and think it equal to 
that imported. Such domestic manufactories ought to be encouraged 
by the community." As Gourlay writing of the same year states that 
there was a barley hulling mill in Ernesttown we conjecture that both 
writers referred to the same establishment. 

During the first twenty years of the settlement of this county nearly 
all of the buildings were constructed of squared logs, which could be 
shaped for the walls quite easily by the aid of the cross-cut saw and the 
adze. They were substantial and durable, cool in summer, and warm in 
winter. Lumber was not used for the simple reason that there were no 
means of producing it except with the whip-saw, to operate which 
required such exertion that lumber was used only for the manufacture 
of furniture, vehicles, doors, and other articles where it was impractic 
able to use the heavier material. With the introduction of saw-mills 
towards the close of the eighteenth century lumber became more com 
mon ; but the log-house still found favour with the inhabitants. The 
saw-mills, as a rule, were furnished with a vertical saw, and the power 
was obtained from the old-fashioned undershot wheel, although in some 
instances that were favourable for its erection the overshot wheel was 

One of the most widely known men in the county was Henry Finkle 
of Bath. He was a son of Dr. George Finkle (or Finckel), a Prussian 
by birth, who came to America between 1740 and 1750, and engaged in 


the fur trade with the Indians. At the breaking out of the Revolution 
ary War he sided with the King and met the fate of most of the Loyal 
ists by having his property confiscated, and was compelled to seek safety 
in flight. Accompanied by his three sons he came to Quebec, where he 
lived until his death about 1783. 

His son, Henry, when only sixteen years of age enlisted in the 
Engineer Department of the British army, where he became familiar 
with the use of tools, which knowledge proved to be of great service to 
him in after life. Upon receiving his discharge from the Engineer 
Department he joined Major Jessup s Battalion in the regiment under 
the command of Sir John Johnson. At the conclusion of hostilities he 
found himself among the refugees destined for the shores of the Bay 
of Quinte and was alloted lot number six in the first concession of 
Ernesttown. He built the first frame house in the township about the 
year 1800 and, although there was a saw-mill at Napanee at the time, 
he cut all the lumber entering into its construction with the cross-cut 
and whip-saw upon his own premises. He led the way along many lines 
and is credited with having built the first wharf upon the Bay of Quinte, 
the first brewery, distillery, and Masonic Hall in the county.* He also 
erected upon his own farm a school-house and teacher s residence which 
he donated to the community, and the Masonic Hall he gave to his 
brethren of the order. He kept for many years the only tavern between 
Kingston and York, and owned and operated several sailing vessels 
upon the lake and bay. He is said to have been the first man in Upper 
Canada to emancipate his slaves. He died in 1808 and was buried in 
Cataraqui cemetery. 

After his death his widow retained for many years an interest in 
his vessels and was part owner of the first steam-boat that plied upon 
the waters of Lake Ontario. The first timbers were laid in October, 
1815, and she was launched and christened the Frontenac on Septem 
ber 7th, 1816. The length of her keel was 150 feet, her deck 170; and 
she cost about 20,000. Just before the launching- of the Frontenac 
there came to Canada a young man named Henry Gildersleeve, a native 
of New Haven, Connecticut, where his father owned extensive ship 
building yards. He was naturally attracted to the Finkle shipyard, and 
upon paying it a visit he met a greater attraction in the person of Lucre- 
tia, the handsome daughter of Widow Finkle. He found congenial 
employment in assisting to complete the Frontenac, married Lucretia. 

* His biographer Anderson Chenault Quisinberry claims that the frame dwelling 
the brewery, distillery, and Masonic Hail were the first buildings of their kind in Upper 
Canada. See Genealogical Memoranda of the Quisinberry family and other families 
page 143. 


and in 1817 superintended in the same yard the construction of the 
steamer Queen Charlotte, the first steam-boat upon the Bay of Quinte 
route. This was the beginning of the shipbuilding industry of the 
Gildersleeve family, who for nearly a century have taken a prominent 
part in the navigation of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. The 
Queen Charlotte was launched in the spring of 1818 and made semi- 
weekly trips from the Carrying Place to Prescott, calling only upon the 
bay at Trenton, Hallowell (Picton), Adolphustown, and Bath. Belle 
ville, then known as Meyer s Creek, had not yet attained sufficient im 
portance to be included in the stopping places, and Deseronto was not 
upon the map of the bay or yet given any name. R. R. Finkle. for 
many years the jovial wharfinger at Bath, was a grandson of Henry, as 
was also Henry Finkle who for many years carried on a carriage fac 
tory at Newburgh and operated a line of stage coaches between Kingston 
and Napanee, one of which may be seen in our illustration of the 
Dominion Hotel, Odessa. 

I have referred elsew r here to the unpleasant experience of Mr. 
Lyons in Adolphustown by reason of his having conducted religious ser 
vices not in accordance with the teaching of the Established Church. 
More drastic measures appear to have been adopted in the case of Mr. 
McCarty. The following is copied from a history of the Methodist 
Church published in Hallowell (Picton) in 1832: 

"In the course of the same year (1788) Mr. James McCarty 
repaired to Canada and settled in Ernesttown. He was formerly from 
Ireland ; but remaining some time in the United States, and having fre 
quent opportunities of hearing the celebrated Whitfield when on his 
last mission to America, he became a convert to the Whitfieldian cause, 
and a zealous promoter of experimental religion. He made no preten- 
tion of any union with the Methodist connection, either in Europe or 
the United States ; but professedly avowed himself one of Whitfield s 

"Soon after his arrival he began to warn sinners to flee from the 
wrath to come and to encourage such as had tasted the comforts of reli 
gion in former days. He preached Christ to the people of the various 
neighbourhoods, who generally attended his meetings in large numbers. 
Being accustomed to the manners of the Church of England, he read his 
sermons, but with that deep feeling and engagedness that they produced 
a happy and lasting effect on the minds of his hearers. Convictions 
were multiplied, which were succeeded by conversions; and numbers of 
Methodists that were in the country before him, joining heart and hand 
with him in the work of the Lord, a jealousy was soon excited among 


those who were advocates for the lifeless forms of the Church of Eng 
land. Fearing that Methodism might become established they soon 
raised a persecution against Mr. McCarty, in order to extinguish the 
flame of pure religion which had already begun to spread. There were 
three individuals who ranked among the officials, and leading characters, 
that were by far the most active in that infamous and wicked scheme. 

Of these were the Sheriff, Mr. L , a militia captain, Mr. C- , 

and the chief engineer. Mr. L , the sheriff often declared boldly 

that there should be 110 religion established but that of the Church of 
England. But yet the people would assemble in private houses, and Mr. 
McCarty, true to his Master s work, would meet with them and preach. 
Greatly enraged at this, his enemies could fix no other alternative for its 
abolition than that of banishing Mr. McCarty to the United States. 

"An edict had been issued by the government, that all vagabond 
characters should be banished from the country. They therefore seized 
upon this advantage to effect the seclusion of Mr. McCarty with that 
groundless pretext. 

"As he was preaching one Sunday therefore at the house of Mr. 
Robert Perry, Senior, four men armed with muskets came to apprehend 
him and take him to the jail at Kingston. Being conscience-smitten, 
doubtless for their atrocious design upon the Sabbath Day, they, how 
ever, left their arms at the house of Mr. Perry, a short distance from 
the place of worship. Upon the bail of Mr. Perry for Mr. McCarty s 
appearance in Kingston on the following day, the men left him and 
returned. On their arrival at Kingston the next day, Mr. Perry pre 
sented Mr. McCarty to the sheriff and demanded his bond given the 
day before. But the sheriff refused absolutely to take any charges con 
cerning him. They therefore bid him good-bye, and retired. The 
enemies of Mr. McCarty however, rallied the same day and thrust him 
into prison, but he was again liberated by Mr. Perry s bail. When the 
time had expired for which he had been bailed, he with Mr. Perry 
repaired again to Kingston to receive his destiny, where by the orders 
of the chief engineer, he was put on board of a boat managed by four 
Frenchmen, who were directed to leave him on a desolate island in the 
St. Lawrence. This they attempted to do, but through Mr. McCarty s 
resistance, they were induced to land him on the main shore, from 
whence he returned home to his family and friends." 

The writer further states that McCarty, while on his way to Mon 
treal to institute proceedings against his persecutors, mysteriously dis 
appeared and was never heard of again. He concludes his account of 
McCarty s fate with the following suggestion of speedy retribution upon 



the heads of the principal offenders: "Captain C- - afterwards fell 

into a state of insanity, which continued many years and finally closed 
with his death. The engineer who ordered McCarty to be left on the 
deflate isle closed his career in eight or ten days afterwards, and Mr. 
L also died suddenly in the course of two or three week-." 

A great deal has been written about this celebrated case ; and while 
it is true that a man named McCarty was banished from the district as 
a vagabond, it is not improbable that the facts have been distorted to 
suit the views of each particular writer. The foregoing is inaccurate in 
irany details even as to the name of the alleged vagabond. The only 
authentic account of the prosecution is presented in the official record 
of the Court of Quarter Sessions held at Kingston on April I3th and 
1 4th, 1790, at which the presiding justices were Richard Cartwrigfat, 
Neil McLean, and Archibald McDowall. From this it appears that only 
one witness was called for the prosecution and seven for the defence; 
yet the court, after hearing the evidence and conferring with the grand 
jury, directed the accused to leave the district. The record reads as 
follows : 

"Wednesday, April I4th. 1790, Charles Justin McCarty appears 
upon his recognizance taken upon information that he is a vagabond, 
imposter, and disturber of the peace. Witness for pro. sworn Benj. 
Clapp. For defendant, John Ratton, Win. Williams, Emanuel Elder- 
beck, Alex. Laughlin, David Lent, Eliz. VanSickler, Florence Donovan. 
The court having heard the evidence for the prosecution, likewise the 
evidence for the defendant, will deliberate on the merits of the informa 
tion against the defendant. The court having, consulted with the Grand 
Jury, do order that the said Charles Justin McCarty shall, within the 
space of one month, leave this district and not return, and that the 
Sheriff of this district shall see this order duly executed." 

At the sessions held on Tuesday, July i3th, 1790, the following 
entry is made : 

"Charles Justin McCarty having been apprehended and committed 
by the Sheriff for having returned to this district after having left it, 
in consequence of an order of the last Court of Quarter Sessions held 
April 1 3th last, the court do order that the said Charles Justin McCarty 
shall remain in gaol until the Sheriff shall find a proper conveyance for 
sending him to Oswego." 

Historians have differed as to which township shall claim the dis 
tinction of having the first Methodist chapel in Upper Canada, Adol- 
phustown or Ernesttown. Both were built after the same pattern, of 
the same size, under the direction of the same preacher, and in the same 


year, and at the best the little township can claim but a few weeks 
advantage over the larger, yet we rarely hear any mention of the Losee 
chapel in Ernesttown. James Parrott took charge of the financial end 
and received the subscriptions; while Robert Clark, besides subscribing 
ten pounds towards the building, superintended its erection, working up 
on it himself at five shillings and sixpence per day and, as it neared 
completion and the funds were getting low, he reduced his own wages 
to two shillings and ninepence per day. John Lake and Jacob Miller 
also took an active part in raising funds and procuring material for its 
construction. It was located about three and one-half miles east of 
Bath on the bay shore on lot number twenty-seven. Many of the adher 
ents afterwards moved to the fourth concession and tore down the 
church, took it with them, and re-erected it on the York Road near the 
village of Odessa, where it stood for many years until replaced by the 
brick church which is still standing. While the old church on the front 
was being built the first Quarterly Meeting in Canada was held in Mr. 
Parrott s barn in the first concession on September i5th, 1792. 

After the war of 1812 there was a very strong prejudice among 
the Methodists of Upper Canada against the loyal Canadian adherents 
of that denomination remaining under the jurisdiction of the Methodist 
conference of the United States. The agitation continued until the year 

1827, when the first Canada conference was held at the village of Hallo- 
well (Picton), to which was presented a memorial that the Canadian 
Church should become an independent body not later than the year 1828. 
This memorial came before the general conference at Pittsburgh in May, 

1828, and a resolution was passed granting the prayer of the Canada 
Methodists. The second Canada conference was held in the Switzer 
chapel in Ernesttown in October of the same year, and was presided 
over by Bishop Hedding and, in accordance with the resolution of the 
general conference, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada was 
organized, and Rev. William Case was appointed the first General Super 

The first Church of England clergyman to visit Upper Canada, in 
fact the only refugee clergyman, was the Rev. John Stuart, frequently 
styled the father of the Upper Canada Church. He was born at Harris- 
burgh in 1730, received Holy Orders in 1770, and was appointed mis 
sionary to the Mohawks at Fort Hunter. He remained in charge of 
this mission after war had been declared, but suffered so many indig 
nities at the hands of the revolutionists that he emigrated to St. John 
in 1781. He taught school for some time in Montreal until he was 
promised in the autumn of 1783 the chaplaincy to the garrison at Catara- 


qui. He visited the settlements along the bay, ;it Niagara, and the Grand 
River in the summer of 17^4, and finally settled at Cataraqui in August, 
1785. where he continued to live until his death in 1811. He was held 
in such high esteem that he was appointed Chaplain to the Upper House 
of Assembly at its first session in 1792, and was tendered, but declined, 
the commission of the first judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the 
Midland District. In 1799 he received the degree of D. 1). from the 
University of Pennsylvania and was the first Canadian to be thus hon 
oured by any educational institution. 

From the second year of the settlement of Ernesttown the adherents 
of the Church of England were accustomed to assemble on the Lord s 
Day at the residence of Jeptha Hawley, in the neighbourhood which 
still bears his name, and join in the service of the Church under his 

The first Church of England clergyman to reside in this county 
and the second to be stationed in this part of Upper Canada was the 
Rev. John Langhorn, who came to Bath in the year 1790, and for many 
years was the only representative of his Church over the territory 
between Kingston and the Carrying Place. He was a pious but very 
eccentric man, and could be seen going about his extensive parish 
mounted on his pony, with a bag over his back, a broad-brimmed hat 
tied up at the sides, and his stockingless feet encased in low shoes 
resplendent with large silver buckles. He was an expert swimmer, fond 
of his plunge in the bay, and frequently swam from the mainland to 
Amherst Island. He did not forego his outdoor bath even in the cold 
est weather, and in the winter season would dive through one hole in 
the ice and come up at another. For some time he was the only clergy 
man in the district outside of Kingston authorized to solemnize mar 
riages, and made it a rule never to perform the ceremony after eleven 
o clock in the morning and, being remarkably punctual himself in all 
his appointments, he turned the key in the door of the church at eleven 
if the prospective bride and groom were not on time, and refused to 
open it again that day. 

In 1791 the Rev. Mr. Langhorn built St. Paul s Church at Sand 
hurst, the first church erected in this county. It was constructed of 
logs. \\as opened on Christmas Day of the same year and, by a strange 
coincidence, was burned to the ground twenty-five years later on Christ 
mas Day. Three years later he built St. John s Church at Bath, which 
is still standing, but has been repaired so often that little more than the 
original foundation now remains. 


At the outbreak of the war of 1812, he seems to have feared that 
our country would be subdued by the republic to the south, and deter 
mined to return to England. In March, 1813, he inserted in the Kingston 
Gazette a notice of his intention to quit the country and requested 
all who had any objections to his going to acquaint him with them. If 
any such were received they did not prevail upon him to alter his plans, 
as he sailed in the following summer. Before leaving he presented his 
books to the Social Library of Kingston, which gift was suitably 
acknowledged in the Gazette as follows : "The Rev. Mr. Langhorn, of 
Ernesttown, who is about returning to England, his native country, has 
presented his valuable collection of books to the Social Library, estab 
lished in this village. The directors have expressed to him the thanks 
of the proprietors for his liberal donation. Many of the volumes are 
very elegant, and it is to be hoped, will, for many years, remain a mem 
orial of his liberality and disposition to promote the diffusion of useful 
knowledge among the people with whom he has lived as an Episcopal 
Missionary more than twenty years. During that period his acts of 
charity have been frequent and numerous, and not confined to members 
of his own Church ; but extended to indigent and meritorious persons of 
all denominations. Many who have shared in his bounty will have rea 
son to recollect him with gratitude and to regret his removal from the 

Fifty-seven years ago a keen observer and cautious writer said of 
Bath : "This quaint-looking Dutch town has long been a standard stop 
ping place on the Bay of Quinte, and is much better known than many 
villages of four times its size. Its population exceeds 400 souls, it has 
a good many merchants stores, twice as many machine shops, several 
factories, a shipyard, wharves, and warehouses, a custom-house, good 
inns, two churches, an academy or grammar school, a post-office, and a 
hundred other village adjuncts. Its distance from Kingston is seventeen 
miles, and there is almost hourly communication with that city by steam. 
Bath does a much larger mercantile business than its size would imply, 
being a place for storing and shipping grain."* 

This was Bath at the time of the building of the Grand Trunk 
Railway ; but in vain to-day would we look for the machine shops and 
factories. If that railway had entered Bath and crossed the Napanee 
River four or five miles from the town, Bath to-day would have been a 
thriving place, the county seat of Lennox and Addington, the centre of 
the municipal, legal, and commercial life of the county, built upon a site 

* Dr. E. J. Barker in the "Transactions of the Board of Agriculture of Upper 
Canada. 1855 " 



unrivalled for the beauty of its location by any town in the province, or 
if the railway had even touched at Bath it would have retained much of 
its former importance. 

An apparently trifling circumstance will often make or unmake an 
individual or a locality ; so it was in the case of Bath. The cupidity of 
one man changed the destiny of this once beautiful and promising 1 vil 
lage and destroyed the future, not only of the avaricious author of the 
wrong, but of the entire community. It was the intention of the Grand 
Trunk to run the line through Bath, but a certain land owner, whose 
property w r ould be crossed by the railway, made such exorbitant demands 
upon the company for the right of way and caused the directors so 
much annoyance and vexation in his determination to sell his land for 
many times its real value, that, to escape further trouble, the plans were 
altered, and the line avoided the village, which has ever since paid a 
heavy penalty for the rapacity of this short-sighted individual. 

There may also be some force in the following comments upon 
Millhaven by the same author: This is the site upon which Bath should 
have been built, being two miles nearer Kingston, and being the mouth 
of Mill Creek, the only stream that empties itself within the boundaries 
of this county (Addington). Here is sufficient water-power to turn 
many mills, though only one large grist-mill is erected, and this serves 
Amherst Island and a great part of the neighbouring country. At Mill- 
haven resides I. Fraser, Esq., the county registrar, the only county 
officer except the warden who resides out of Kingston. The village has 
a population of 150 souls, and contains a post-office, inn, merchants and 
mechanics shops." While it is quite true that Millhaven possesses the 
natural advantage of a fair water-power, time has not demonstrated 
that that alone can preserve a village from decay. 

Bath possesses a style of architecture all its own, the old frame 
buildings, with the covered balconies. There are several of these old 
mercantile houses providing for a store or place of business in the lower 
story and a dwelling-house in the upper. They seem to belong to an 
other age and carry us back to the days of our grandfathers. It requires 
but little effort upon our part to re-people them as they were eighty 
years ago. Standing in the doonvay is the master of the house, clad in 
knee-breeches and cut-away coat with high rolling collar, and a black 
scarf about his neck. As he gazes out upon the lake he takes a pinch of 
snuff from a silver box which he closes with a snap and tucks away in 
the pocket of his silk \vaistcoat. Upon the balcony above his spouse is 
sitting upon a straight-backed chair to relieve the pressure of the tight- 
fitting bodice, the lower part of which terminates in a V-shaped point 


and makes the huge crinoline look twice as big as it really is. The next 
moment we are aroused from our reverie and brought back to the twen 
tieth century by the appearance of a modern residence sandwiched in 
between these relics of "ye olden time." 

Bath is a strange admixture of the past and present, but so pro 
nounced are the evidences of its former busy life in an age that knew 
not cement walks and plate-glass windows, that we almost regret that 
these modern innovations were ever introduced. Above it all there is 
an atmosphere of refinement, a certain something that recalls the 
Frasers, Clarks, Fairfields, Shibleys, and others whose names we rever 
ence, men who rise far above our estimate of the present generation, for 
they began with nothing but their strong right arms and hearts of steel ; 
they worked upon the raw material, and left us the fruits of their 
labours. When we are brought face to face with these quaint reminders 
of the sturdy pioneers, and look upon the old firesides, before which they 
sat planning for the uplifting and comfort of their posterity, we are pay 
ing but a small portion of the debt we owe if we pause to give expres 
sion to our veneration for the builders of the oldest village in the pro 
vince of Ontario. 

Some of the historic old landmarks in and about Bath are still 
standing. In driving along the bay shore a little less than one mile 
west of the outskirts of the village there may still be seen on the farm 
now owned by Mr. Isaac Brisco, an old one-story frame dwelling that 
differs little from many other old houses in the county, except that it 
bears the unquestionable marks of antiquity. That was the old Finkle 
tavern, the first public-house between Kingston and York. About twenty 
yards west of it stood the old bass-wood tree, the first whipping-post in 
Upper Canada. From the highway we can command a view of the bay 
shore, and jutting out into the water is a gravelly point now overgrown 
with scrubby cedars and showing not a trace of the industry that was 
carried on there a century ago, the shipyard from which was launched 
the first steamer built in Upper Canada. 

As we near the village, just before crossing the bridge our atten 
tion will be attracted by another quaint old residence on the bay shore, 
a frame building with a stone addition built on the west end of it. Here 
lived the Rev. John Langhorn ; the stone addition was built by him for 
a study, and in it was stored his famous collection of books. 

As we enter the village we pass the town-hall, not nearly so old as 
the style of its architecture would suggest. This may be said to have 
been built under compulsion in 1866. The courts used to be held in the 
lower story of the school building, and besides being cold and uncom- 


fortable, the noise from the exercises in the room above interrupted the 
proceedings, and His Honour Judge Burrows objected to delivering his 
judgments to the accompaniment of the multiplication table recited in 
unison by the junior class in the upper story. He lectured the council 
of the village upon the poor accommodation provided, and removed the 
court to Millhaven, promising to return when a suitable court-room was 
placed at his disposal. This had the desired effect, the council took 
prompt action, and the present town-hall was erected. 

Several destructive fires have wiped out many of the old buildings, 
and among them the old tavern, where now stands the modern Bay 
View Hotel. Over the way is an old stone building, the original store of 
B. F. Davy & Co. There were few industries in Bath sixty years ago 
in which the Davys did not have an interest. The old frame tavern 
now replaced by the brick one was kept by Peter Davy, and under its 
roof was born and brought up Benjamin C. Davy, the first lawyer of 
prominence and the first Mayor of Napanee. General merchants, liquor 
dealers, tavern-keepers, grain buyers, farmers, and ship-builders, the 
Davys were a busy family. 

The old frame building west of the Bay View Hotel and occupied 
for many years as a store by Mr. E. McKenty was many years ago the 
old YanClake hotel. Going down the east side of Church Street there 
will be found standing at the water s edge a comfortable looking old 
rough-cast house in an excellent state of preservation, in which lived a 
century "ago Mr. Benjamin Fairfield, a representative of Lennox and 
Addington in the sixth Parliament of Upper Canada. 

When visiting the village it might be well to continue the journey 
two miles farther east to Millhaven. Just after crossing Mill Creek we 
will come to an old rough-cast house on our left, the home of Isaac 
Fraser, representative of our county in the Legislative Assembly from 
1817 to 1820; and a few feet east of the house will be seen a small stone 
building, the first registry office in the county of Lennox and Addington. 
Passing on through the village there are few relics of the olden days 
until we reach the home of Mr. Frederick Wemp, who will show us the 
taproom in which the Widow Losee, generations ago, served liquid 
refreshments to the gentry from Kingston, when exercising their spirited 
horses along the first well constructed road in this part of Upper Can 

The following is a list of the business men of Bath during the past 
sixty-five years : 

Merchants: B. F. Davy & Co., James Donnolly, John Lasher, 
John Xugent, Samuel Rogers, Rogers & Wright, W. H. Davy & Co., J. 


& S. Lasher, Daniel McBride, F. & M. McMullen, Richard Olds, E. 
D. Priest, S. & M. T. Rogers, John S. Rowse, Edw. Wright, D. T. For 
ward, Balfour & Armstrong, Chas. Cummings, Mrs. Chas. Fairneld, 
Gautier Ferrin, Mrs. Nancy Grant, P. B. Hogle, Edmund McKenty, D. 
J. Campbell, Frank H. Priest, Hudson Rogers, D. T. Rowse, Joseph 
Trimlet, Mrs. E. B. Wright, Thomas E. Howard, Wm. Johnston, Over- 
ton Ball, Charles Burley, J. M. Wemp & Co., W. H. Hall, R. Mott, E. 
H. Wemp, Robinson Bros. 

Wharfingers and Ship-owners, Grain and Coal: W. H. Davy, Allen 
Dame, R. R. Finkle, G. A. Wartman. 

Carriage Makers and Blacksmiths: Balfour and Armstrong, Wm. 
Cardwell, John Williams, E. D. Priest, Samuel Rogers, Billings Laird, 
Charles Lewis, Charles Campion, Webster Middleton, Fairneld & Boyes, 
Chas. Collins, Allen Lewis, Jedediah Fry, Charles Lewis, George Moran, 
Maxwell Robinson, Armstrong Bros., W. J. Calver, Samuel Jaynes. 

Tailors: William Blair, James Harris, Matthew Sharp, Andrew 
Blair, J. Covert, Jos. Trimlet, Peter Pappa. 

Carpenters and Builders : Abraham Harris, Davis Asselstine, Lyons 
& Richards, Richard Ruttan, John Shepherd, A. W. Davy, J. H. Mur 

Hatter: Wm. Burley. 

Saddlers and Harness Makers: S. B. Hart, Reuben Greaves, R. R. 
Finkle, James Johnston, Thos. C. Johnston, Robert Mott, Thos. Sea 
ward, J. J. Johnston, Wm. Shibley, E. P. Shepherd. 

Shoemakers: F. Prest, W r m. Buzby, Daniel Hickey, Patrick 
McQuirk, W. & E. Reeves, Thos. Bain, Robert Kittson, Wm. Topliff, 
Lemuel Irons. 

Cabinet-Makers : D. T. Forward, Elias Price, Thos. Gardner, 
Hiram A. Hoselton. 

Ship-Builders: P. R. Beaupre, W. H. Davy & Co., Luke Cun 

Iron-Founders : Charles Tripp, D. T. Forward. 

Tinsmiths: Harry Boyle, W. H. Hall. 

One of the chief if not indeed the main industry, in this as well as 
all other townships in this section to-day, is the manufacture of cheese. 
We take it as a matter of course that every farmer shall have a certain 
number of milch cows and that in the neighbourhood there shall be a 
cheese factory. It was not so fifty years ago, and the following letter 
written by Dr. Depew from Odessa on July 6th, 1866, shows how the 
innovation was viewed at that time : "A few mornings ago I was pass 
ing through the north-western part of the township along by Neville 


Switzer s. the Switzer Chapel, and so on up what is called the Seventh 
Concession Road, and truly to any person who can enjoy the beauties of 
country scenery, no finer ride than this may be sought for, early on a 
summer s morning. 

"Marks of industry and thrift are abundant everywhere; beautiful 
fields of waving grain advancing to the harvest, good fences, commodious 
outbuildings, and tasteful and convenient dwellings embellish the pic 

"Free from the noise, and smoke, and bustle, and anxiety of the 
crowded city, truly no man in this country at least is as happy as the 
honest independent farmer. 

"As I passed the various farmyards, contemplating the beautiful 
prospect around me, my attention was suddenly arrested by a sight 
rather new to me. Sitting on elevated platforms near almost every resi 
dence and glittering in the rays of the morning sun, were large tinned 
cans, into which I espied the fair milkmaids straining the early products 
of the lowing kine. Ah! thought I at first, are our Canadians imitating 
the Hollanders, and preparing curd for winter use, by curdling milk 
and separating the whey through barrels with perforated bottoms? Nof 
I answered to myself, the Dutch thus prepare their curdled buttermilk, 
but this milk is sweet and new. The idea of a cheese factory then 
occurred to my mind ; and soon after I met a boy with a horse and wag 
gon gathering up the milk cans, who confirmed my supposition by in 
forming me that there were two in the neighbourhood. 

"On my return from Napanee, I availed myself of the opportunity 
and visited these two novel institutions. The first is situated about five 
miles east of Napanee, is the elder of the two, and was first put in oper 
ation by Yankee enterprise, some time last year. In this one I received 
every information respecting the process of cheese manufacturing and 
was shown a beautiful display of cheeses they had made this year, all 
through the kindness and attention of a very intelligent, good-looking, 
and attractive lady, who was busy in the establishment. One very fine- 
looking cheese I observed was marked July 4th in honour of the day 
(although a very rainy day). She seemed a little annoyed by the opposi 
tion factory in the neighbourhood and thought it hardly fair, when they 
had made the attempt first and gone to considerable expense in import 
ing apparatus, after they thought it would be a paying concern. 

The next factory, about a mile further east and situated by a 
little brook, is the property of a company in the neighbourhood. It 
was put in operation this year under the management of a Mr. Chat- 


man and seems to be doing a good business. In both factories the vats 
for curdling the milk are capable of containing about 500 gallons. Mr. 
Chatman told me that he found the vat in his factory too small, and 
that another was in process of construction. He said that they had 
worked up 450 gallons of milk that morning and that their daily re 
ceipts were constantly increasing. He estimates ten pounds of milk to 
one pound of cheese, consequently in round numbers they must be turn 
ing out over 400 pounds of cheese per day. 

"The cheese which are already manufactured have a very excellent 
appearance, and considering the utility of cheese as an article of diet its 
manufacture should be encouraged. Our country is not as well fitted 
perhaps for the production of large quantities of dairy products as some 
which have shorter and less severe winters ; still it pays those engaged in 
this business sufficiently to encourage others to engage in it also. 

"There is undoubtedly a great saving effected both in labour and 
material by the intervention of those factories, and we trust they will 
meet with the patronage they deserve, and that they will endeavour to 
manufacture cheese which will be -a credit to the country that produced 
them, and make the name of Ernesttown famous for Good Cheese in 
places near and far." 

The writer has driven scores of times down the York Road from 
Napanee to Odessa and was aware that in so doing he passed through 
Morven ; yet at no stage of the journey was he quite able to satisfy him 
self just where that interesting place was, where it began, or where it 
ended, and it is only quite recently upon inquiring from the old residents 
that he has learned that it begins somewhere on the west side of the 
town line, loses itself somewhere on the other side of Storms Corners, 
and takes in considerable territory lying both north and south of the 
York Road between these two indefinite points. 

In the olden days Morven was noted for its taverns and politics, 
which were closely associated, especially about election time, for the 
only polling-place in the county for many years was at Morven ; and as 
the poll was held in one of the several wayside inns and the election 
lasted several days, and treating was considered quite the proper thing, 
and whiskey was cheap, it is very easy to conclude that it was to the 
interest of the tavern-keeper to remain on favourable terms with the 
party in power. 

The old Fralick tavern stood on the north side of the road just east 
of the town line, in fact the building is still standing, but has been 
remodelled into the farmhouse of Mr. B. B. Vanslyck. In the east end 


was the bar. The building across the way now used as a drive house 
was the old tavern barn. The old Gordanier tavern stood just east of 
the intersection of the Violet Road with the York Road. This was one 
of the best equipped public-houses between Kingston and Little York 
and was the headquarters for the travelling public and the stage-coaches. 
It has been torn down and no trace of it now remains. The rivalry 
between these two hostelries was very keen, and during a hotly contested 
election there was more politics to the square acre in this neighbourhood 
than in any other place in the county. 

Under the new order of things, with the introduction of the rail 
way, the disappearance of the stage-coach, and the opening of polls in 
various parts of the county, Morven has ceased to cut a figure in elec 
tions, and the seat of war has been transferred to Odessa. It is said 
that one candidate, after returning from a canvas of that village, re 
ported to his committee that the two polls at Odessa after a careful 
revision of the lists showed twenty-one votes for himself, nineteen for 
his opponent, and two hundred and sixty doubtful. There must have 
been something in the Morven atmosphere that created a thirst, as there 
was still another tavern at Storms Corners kept by Jeremiah Storms. 
It, too, has disappeared, and the Corners can boast of nothing at the 
present time more exciting than a farmhouse. 

Upon the second farm on the road to Violet there lived some eighty 
years ago Dr. Samuel Neilson, who combined the practice of medicine 
with farming. His territory joined that of the famous Dr. Chamberlain, 
who lived on the Hamburgh road in the stately old frame house still 
standing on the banks of the creek. Dr. Neilson had a son Joseph, a 
bright, intelligent young man of no mean literary ability, who in 1837 
won a gold medal in a keenly contested competition for the best essay 
upon Emigration to Upper Canada. He taught school for a time at 
Morven and afterwards kept a store there ; but all the while was discon 
tented with his surroundings, longed for a wider sphere of activity, and 
finally cut away from his early associations and went to Xew York. He 
studied law, in the course of time became a noted practitioner, and was 
elevated to the bench. He was the presiding judge at the Beecher- 
Tilden trial, which lasted over four months and was watched from day 
to day by a score or more of critical reporters representing the secular 
and religious press of the English-speaking world. In the maze of con 
flicting testimony and hair-splitting technicalities he maintained through 
out a patient, dignified composure, and by his fair and impartial rulings 
evoked the praise of all who followed the case. His remains now lie 
beside those of his father in the grave-yard of the White Church. 


Lake s carriage factory was at one time the leading industry of 
Morven, which also had two general stores and a drug store. Frederick 
Kellar had a tannery fifty years ago over on Big Creek, and midway 
between it and the York Road on the town line Daniel Perry had an 
other. The stores, taverns, tanneries, and all other evidences of the 
attempts to make Morven a commercial centre have passed away, and 
nothing remains to-day to distinguish it from any other ordinary coun 
try road. 

While Wilton is to-day a tidy little hamlet, surrounded by an excel 
lent agricultural country, in the hands of a prosperous and contented 
population ; yet it is not the Wilton it was fifty years ago. Perhaps the 
hundred or more who live within a radius of half a mile of the corner 
which used to be called Simmons Mills are not prepared to admit that 
Wilton has retrograded during the past two generations ; but the fact 
remains that it has shared the fate of every small country village not 
possessing some special privileges which enable it to compete with the 
larger centres. In 1856 the Board of Agriculture of Upper Canada 
offered a prize of 15 for the best essay upon the county of Addington, 
which was awarded to Dr. E. J. Barker of Kingston, who thus summed 
up all that was to be said about Wilton: 

"This is an old place of business, but is not a large village, its popu 
lation straggling and scarcely amounting to 150 souls, all told. Big 
Creek, which empties into Hay Bay, takes its rise a few miles to the 
eastward and passes through the village, turning a couple of mills in its 
progress. But Wilton owes its importance and standing to being the 
residence of Sidney Warner, Esq., a leading merchant of the county, 
and who for many years has been the reeve of Ernesttown. Here he 
does a very extensive business, having large mills at a short distance, 
and being known far and near as a man of trust and probity. Besides 
Mr. Warner s there are several other establishments in Wilton, and one 
good, well kept, clean inn, that of Mr. Simmons. Wilton is sixteen 
miles from Kingston and four miles from Mill Creek, turning off to 
the north at the latter place, with a good road all the way. The coun 
try round about the village is excellent." Mr. Warner died in 1886 at 
the ripe old age of seventy-nine, loved and respected by all who knew 
him; and with him departed the life of the neat little village he had 
created. The excellent country still remains ; upon the rural mail boxes 
appear the same family names that are to be found upon the monuments 
in the old cemetery, the same old golden rule is observed ; but Wilton 
is not the same, Sidney Warner, the spirit of the place, is not there. 



A perusal of the following business directory of Wilton of sixty 
years ago will give the reader a fair idea of the place it then held among 
the smaller villages of the county: 

Hartram. Joseph, Shoemaker. 
P.eatty, Dawson, Cabinet-maker. 
Beesley. Xathaniel, Blacksmith. 
Davy, John. Saddler. 
Hill, John, Carriage Maker. 
Ovens, William, Carriage Maker. 
Perrault, Nicholas, Mason. 
Phillips, William, Tailor. 
Pultz, Henry, Merchant. 
Pomeroy, Dr. T., Physician. 
Reed, Joseph, Blacksmith. 

Simmons, P>enj., Grist and saw 

Simmons, Henry, Inn-keeper. 
Smith, John, Blacksmith. 
Sole, Dubois, Shoemaker. 
Taylor, Dr. H., Physician. 
Thompson. Wm., Carpenter. 
Thompson, James, Carpenter. 
Thompson, Wm.. Cabinet-maker. 
Tomkins, Ed\v.. Tailor. 
Warner, Sidney, General Merchant. 

Upon my visit to Odessa hi search of information I was fortunate 
in securing as guides two old village boys, Messrs. Albert and Charles 
Timmerman, who entered into the spirit of my mission and conducted 
me down back alleys, and side streets and lanes, directing my atten 
tion here and there to points of interest, which awakened past mem 
ories when they were barefooted boys playing upon the banks of the 
creek. We visited two octogenarians, Wesley Babcock and John Bab- 
cock, and concluded our investigation with a call upon William Henzy, 
who informed us that he had, upon the previous day, eaten his ninety- 
second Christmas dinner. He came with his father and settled upon 
lot thirty-seven in 1830 and has lived there ever since. 

The place had no name at the time for the very good reason that 
there was nothing upon which to bestow it. John Link lived in a newly 
built log cabin down where the saw-mill now stands and had just 
raised the frame of the grist-mill which is still standing, but has since 
been enlarged by having some twelve feet added to the eastern end. 
After the mill was completed the locality was known as Mill Creek, a 
name which it retained until 1855. when Parker S. Timmerman, who 
was following closely the progress of the Crimean War, renamed it 
Odessa to commemorate the successful investment of that city by the 
British fleet in 1854. 

The next house to make its appearance in the neighbourhood was 
built by John Snider just west of the drill shed site. John Aylesworth 
settled about the same time a short distance west of Snider. Next in 
order came the tavern of Jacob Comber built on the corner of the Wil 
ton road and Main Street. The York Road had not been built, and 


there was no bridge over the creek, but the road, such as it was, crossed 
the stream up above the rapids. 

John Blake was the first keeper of the Comber inn, which was 
locally known as the Red Tavern, but afterwards was decorated with an 
imposing sign upon which was painted in bold letters: "The Lambton 
Tavern." "Talk about taverns," said the old gentleman, "if it s taverns 
you want I ll give you lots of them! Why there were five in a row 
right over there," and he pointed towards the rear of the lot. "There 
was lots of whiskey then and good whiskey too. The stuff you get now 
is pizen." He then enumerated the five taverns on the old road that 
crossed at the rapids, each within gun-shot of the next one. He could 
not restrain his laughter when he told about the little shack kept by 
Stephen Redden among the bushes on the bank of the creek, near where 
the bridge now stands. Stephen mended shoes, when he felt disposed 
to do anything, but always kept a keg of whiskey in the corner of the 
shanty, and was ever ready to exchange a mug of the precious liquor for 
a sucker. One evening, while he was frying a fish in a pan over the 
coals, Pete Clark, a pal of Henzy s climbed upon the roof, thrust a 
spear through a hole which served as a chimney, and thus relieved Steve 
of his sucker. This operation was repeated several times, to the great 
amusement of the neighbourhood, before Redden was able to account 
for the mysterious disappearance of his half-cooked supper. The old 
gentleman grew quite enthusiastic in describing the nightly revelries 
over at Skibereen. This was an Irish settlement in the vicinity of the 
Woollen Mills, where seventy years ago, there were some dozen or 
fifteen shanties inhabited by a boisterous lot of emigrants from the 
Emerald Isle. They gained an unenviable reputation for drinking and 
fighting, which was partly redeemed when Mr. John Booth took up his 
residence among them and within the bacchanalian precincts built a 
respectable dwelling, thereafter known as Skibereen Castle, and now 
owned by Mr. B. G. Ham. 

John Link continued for a time to run the mills, and built the first 
house, in what is now the heart of the village, just opposite the grist 
mill, upon the site now occupied by the handsome cottage of Mr. B. 
Toomey. He thought he saw an opportunity to better himself by 
exchanging his Mill Creek property for a water-power owned by Ben 
jamin Booth about four miles down stream. The trade was finally con 
summated, but not until both parties had worn themselves out in a law 
suit over the terms of the exchange. Link took over his newly acquired 
property, established himself in business there, and founded Link s Mills. 
Booth assumed control of the mills at Mill Creek and for three quarters 


of a century the family was closely identified with the manufacturing 
industries of the village. In every public movement they were to be 
found on the side of progress and advancement. Every church in the 
village is built upon land donated by them. The last link in this long 
family chain binding the Booths to the business interests of Odessa was 
severed a few months ago when B. A. Booth sold out his woollen-mills 
and removed to Gananoque. \ 

The first school-house in the village was built seventy-five years ago 
upon the ground now occupied by the drill shed. \\m. Henzy went to 
school there to Wm. Carleton, whom he has not yet quite forgiven for 
attempting to punish him for an offence which he did not commit. The 
teacher used to make the ink for the neighbourhood and kept a large 
jug of it in the school-house. In a scuffle during the noon hour the ink 
was upset and spilled upon the floor, and some one informed the teacher 
that Henzy was the guilty individual. Carleton came back to the school- 
house in a fury and summoned Henzy to the front. Up he went, de 
clared his innocence, and called his accuser s attention to the fact that 
his 4 left arm was broken and in a sling at the time, and that he was not 
likely to be engaged in any scuffling. The teacher produced his tawse 
and ordered him to hold out his hand. The pupil at the time weighed 
180 pounds and was not disposed to be bullied too far. He released 
the fractured arm from the sling and extended it towards the tawse, at 
the same time clenching his right fist and drawing back his arm in a 
position ready to deliver a blow if the teacher attempted to inflict the 
threatened punishment. Carleton took in the situation and, believing 
discretion to be the better part of valour, directed the pupil to take his 
seat. All the schooling Henzy received was one month s tuition under 
this teacher. 

John Babcock, now in his eighty-ninth year, took a keen delight in 
telling about the pranks the boys played in the old red school-house 
seventy years ago, and indulged in a hearty chuckle as he explained in 
detail how a flock of geese welcomed the old teacher Kineberry as he 
unlocked the door one ir.orning. This notorious old pedagogue used 
to pay too frequent visits to the numerous taverns in the neighbourhood ; 
and it was while he was recovering from one of his periodic "sprees" 
that Frank Mancur installed the feathered class. 

The old school-house did service as such until 1860, when a brick 
one was built upon the present school lot. In 1885 it was replaced by 
the well-equipped two-story building which still ranks among- the best 
in the country. One of the teachers who is still remembered by the old 
residents was Daniel McRae, an old discharged soldier of the British 


army. He had served as trumpeter in his time, and organized the first 
Odessa band. While upon active service a bullet had grazed an upper 
eye-lid which in healing left a tiny aperture, but quite large enough to 
serve as a peep-hole, through which he could spy out the mischievous 
boys, who never felt secure from detection, when to all appearances the 
teacher was asleep. 

A change came over the village upon the completion of the maca 
damized road. Before that time there was very little business carried 
on outside of the mills. Now and then a small store would be opened 
up ; but the stock was small and the customers few. Bath had good 
stores and commanded the best of the trade from nearly all parts of the 
township. By means of the new road goods could be easily transported 
by the merchants from Kingston or Napanee; and the farmers in the 
neighbourhood found it to their advantage to deal in their own village 
where credit could be easily obtained, and there was a considerable sav 
ing in the matter of tolls. The first tradesman of any consequence was 
Parker S. Timmerman, who opened up a general store on the north 
side of Main Street one block from the bridge. He was the first regular 
postmaster and entered upon his duties as such in 1840, although his 
commission was not issued until 1841. Before his appointment Timothy 
Fraser had been in charge of the mail for a short time. Mr. Timmer 
man continued in office until his death in 1897, thus establishing a record 
for long service in Canada. The office is now in charge of his son, John 
A. Timmerman. In 1859 he built the stone building on the south side of 
the street, and to it removed his store and the post-office ; and there the 
office has remained ever since, except for a short period. 

In the old coaching days, when a load of mail, under the protection 
of two armed guards, was hauled day and night over the new highway, 
it arrived at Mill Creek about four o clock in the morning. By the 
dim light of a tallow candle the contents of the bags would be emptied 
upon the floor, and the postmaster and his assistants would sort out all 
that was intended for his office, and re-deposit the remainder in the 
bags, together with such outgoing mail as had accumulated since the 
last load passed through. The guards superintended this process and, 
as soon as it was concluded and the mail again placed upon the vehicle, 
they mounted up behind, the driver took his place at the reins and, with 
a crack of his whip, the horses dashed away towards the next stopping 
place, where the operation was repeated. To Mr. Timmerman this 
method of distributing the mail appeared to call for a great deal of 
unnecessary work, as each postmaster between Kingston and Toronto 
was obliged to handle all the matter destined for those offices w r hich had 

KRNT.srrmvN AND I-.ATII 179 

noi yet been reached by the carrier. "Why not," he asked himself, "have 
a small separate bag for each distributing point along the line, and avoid 
the superfluous work of handling a large quantity of mail matter intended 
for other offices ?" He communicated his idea to the inspector at King 
ston, who approved the suggestion; and in a few months the small bags 
were provided, and the plan of the Mill Creek postmaster was put into 

A -a H. Hough was a contemporary of Mr. Timmerman but engaged 
in many more lines. He began with a foundry for the manufacture of 
ploughs, to which was afterwards added a blacksmith shop, then a gen 
eral store, and finally a bakery. For many years these two men controlled 
the trade of the village. 

The following is a list of the principal tradesmen and manufacturers 
who for the past seventy years have solicited the patronage and. so far 
as they were permitted to do so, supplied the wants of the village and 
surrounding country : 

Carriage Makers: John Babcock, Benjamin Maybee, A. Leonard, 
Andrew Wycott, Watts & Jones, Stewart Babcock, Billings Hartman, 
and Robert H. Baker. 

General Stores: Asa H. Hough, Parker S. Timmerman, Benjamin 
Clark. Marcus M. Parrott, Donald B. Booth, Wm. H. G. Savage, Francis 
Wycott, Alex. McDonald, Lewis Allen, James McKeown, X. F. Snider, 
Charles Albert \Yalker, Anderson Ventou, Sidney J. Walker. Solomon 
Camp, S. D. Clark, James Day, Byron Derbyshire, John Shields, P. A. 
Maybee, Noble & Sherman Band, Francis Mancur, Mrs. M. E. Breden. 
Mrs. Jane Woodruff, and Mrs. Peter Graham. 

Tanneries: Alex. Gordon and William Gordon. 

Marble Cutters : Calvin Beatty and W. R. & G. Moore. 

Cloth Factories : Joshua Booth, Michael Asselstine, and B. A. Booth. 

Sash and Blind Factory: Anson Storms. 

Saw-mills: John K. Booth, Richard Smith. 

Cabinet-Makers : L. Dow, Thos. G. Darley, and Franklin Hibbard. 

Pump Manufacturers: Stephen Moore and Abner Silver. 

Saddlers and Harness Makers: Henry Fox, Reuben Graves, King 
James Strong-, and Nicholas Baker. 

Perhaps the most eccentric business man of the place was Daniel 
David, a cooper, who prepared his own coffin and headstone and kept 
them stored in a loft over his workship for twenty years before he 
required them. 

The old road that crossed at the rapids was abandoned by the 
travelling public when Jacob Comber in 1838 spanned the creek by a 


bridge and connected the two sections of the new road. The old taverns 
on the back street closed their doors, but plenty of new ones sprang vip, 
so that in a short time no less than seven were in operation in what 
might be termed the new village, for, until the building of the road, 
nearly all of the business was transacted on the west side of the creek. 
To provide against any possible shortage in the supply of intoxicants, a 
wholesale liquor store was also opened. The advocates of temperance 
may well rejoice at the progress they have made, when they consider 
that seventy years ago there were over twenty-five bar-rooms in the 
township of Ernesttown, including Bath. 

The two public-houses that have survived the temperance legisla 
tion were both built about fifty-five years ago. The brick one was first 
opened by Johnston Walker, who moved into it from the old Red 
Tavern. He was succeeded by his widow, who sold out to Joseph 
Sproule. The frame hotel opposite the post-office was first kept by 
Robert Wycott and passed from him into the hands of James Watts, 
then to John McKay, and finally to Joseph Sproule, whose son still con 
ducts a temperance house in the stand where his father acquired the 
reputation of setting the best table in the county. 

As we enter the village from the west the first building to attract 
our attention is the drill shed standing just inside the twelfth milestone 
marking the distance from Napanee. It was built in 1870 to provide a 
home for Colonel Anson Lee s volunteer company. The old frame build 
ing opposite was the dwelling-house and surgery of Dr. Clare. Behind 
it stood the first Methodist Episcopal church in the village, an old frame 
building which was torn down in 1870, when a new stone one was built 
on the south side of Main Street. When the Methodist churches united 
it was sold to the Church of England. 

The first Wesleyan Methodist Church was built about seventy years 
ago. It was a frame building and was in time replaced by the brick one 
built upon the same site. Two years ago that was burned ; but the con 
gregation promptly responded to the call for help and erected the sub 
stantial edifice in which they now meet for worship. Upon the lot now 
occupied by the Roman Catholics there formerly stood among the tombs 
of its builders a frame church built in 1837. In 1898 the old building 
was- torn down, the cemetery was removed, and the present church 

Like most of the other villages of the frontier townships Odessa as 
a business centre appears to have seen its best days. It entered upon 
its era of greatest prosperity with the building of the York Road ; but 
the building of the Grand Trunk Railway marked the beginning of a 


slow but sure decline. Some optimists argue that the decline has not 
yet set in and that the village was never more prosperous than it is to 
day. In support of this contention we are confronted with the argument 
that to-day there are more comfortable homes, more gentlemen of 
leisure, and more money in the bank than there were sixty years ago. 
These are not necessarily evidences of general prosperity, but are more 
frequently associated with stagnation. 

By the early forties all the land in the township was taken up and 
every one was busy in clearing it and, where practicable, converting the 
timber into lumber. The farmers wants were simple and the village 
stores, mills, and factories were able to supply them all. The railway 
brought them in closer touch with the cities and towns of the other parts 
of the province and greatly reduced the cost of transporting heavy wares 
and merchandise. As the woods disappeared the saw-mills found less 
to do. 

The greatest change has been in the last thirty years. The farmer 
receives more money from the cheese factory than from any other 
source, and this is done without leaving home. The milk is taken from 
the platform on the roadside and his cheque is delivered at his door. 
The rural postman brings him the catalogues from the large depart 
mental stores, from which he fills out his order, and a few days later 
his purchases arrive by express or parcel post. A clever innovation has 
been lately introduced, whereby he ships his produce, generally cream, 
to the city store, and the temptation to expend a portion of the amount 
standing to his credit upon the attractive bargains offered him is too 
strong to be resisted. The large factories have crowded the small ones 
out of business and, where a few years ago several workmen were 
engaged in manufacturing carriages, sleighs, and farm implements, we 
now have an agency of one of the larger concerns. It may be that the 
goods thus obtained are better and cheaper, but it is at the expense of the 
country village; and Odessa, like the rest of them, has been 
obliged to accept the inevitable with the best grace it could. 




The township of Fredericksburgh was named after Frederick, Duke 
of Sussex, the ninth child of King George III and, being the third town 
ship laid out on the water-front, was for years known as Third Town. 
The first general survey was completed in November I2th, 1783; but, 
like the other townships along the bay, the lots were not marked and 
numbered until the following year. The surveyors endeavoured to have 
the lots run at right angles to the shore line, with the result that the 
eastern boundary of Fredericksburgh formed an acute angle with the 
western boundary of Ernesttown with the apex at the front on the bay 
shore, thereby producing a gore between the two townships, which was 
annexed to Fredericksburgh. The original township, still designated in 
the Registry Office as Fredericksburgh Original, was twenty-five lots in 
width numbered from the west, but being found insufficient to accom 
modate all of Colonel Rogers corps who, to the number of 299, had 
been promised a settlement by themselves, twelve lots were taken from 
the western side of Adolphustown, which lots are still designated in the 
Registry Office as Fredericksburgh Additional. In the centre of the 
township on the water-front there were laid out a number of village lots, 
marked on the plan as the village of Fredericksburgh ; but the expected 
village has not yet materialized. 

The hurried manner in which the survey of the township was con 
ducted has given rise to a good deal of confusion and has more than 
once been the subject of legislation. Finally, in 1826, confusion was 
worse confounded by the passing of an Act whereby the justices of the 
peace in the township were authorized to re-survey any concession or 
number of lots and to cause monuments to be erected to establish the 
true boundaries. One has but to glance at a modern map, especially of 
North Fredericksburgh, to see what a bewildering chaos was made of 
the concession lines; and the conveyancer has to be constantly upon his 
guard when attempting to define the metes and bounds of certain tracts 
of land which fell under the operation of this Act. 

The original settlers of the township belonged to the same type as 
the pioneers of the Second and Fourth Towns; and what has, in a 
general way, been already written concerning the noble qualities and the 



experiences of our forefathers in the two latter townships is equally 
applicable to those of Fredericksburgh. There was no rallying point 
within its hounds, such as Hath in Second Town and Adolphustown vil 
lage in the Fourth, and unfortunately the minutes of its town meetings 
have not been preserved, or if preserved have not yet been located. 
Strictly speaking the history of Clarkville should be embodied in the 
comments upon Fredericksburgh ; but I have found it more convenient to 
group it with Napanee, of which municipality it now forms a part. 

In the early settlement of this township there were a number of 
adherents of the Lutheran Church who organized themselves into a 
regular congregation about the same time that the Methodists and Angli 
cans began building churches for their respective followers. For ten 
years or thereabouts they held services in the houses of the prominent 
members; and about the year 1803 the first church, known as St. 
Ebenezer, was erected in the vicinity of Close s Mill on Big Creek. This 
name is still preserved as a Christian name in some of the families who, 
at that time, were enrolled among its members. The Fretz, Smiths, 
Fralicks, Sickers, Alkenbracks, and Bristols appear to have been among 
the most influential families who, for forty or fifty years, endeavoured 
to maintain in their new home the church of their forefathers, but were 
singularly unfortunate in having as their first clergymen men who were 
addicted to the intemperate use of intoxicants, a habit which was far 
more prevalent among all classes one hundred years ago than it is to-day. 
It is reported that one of these shepherds of the Lutheran flock died 
from injuries received from a fall while under the influence of liquor. 
Such a circumstance could not fail to produce a disastrous effect upon 
the congregation, especially at a time when the Methodists in the same 
and neighbouring townships were organizing temperance societies and 
using every effort to wipe out the evil of strong drink. 

Although the congregation was a small one and, even with the aid 
received from other parts of the county, could not afford to maintain a 
pastor in as comfortable circumstances as the other denominations, they 
clung together until the middle of the nineteenth century. One by one 
the families drifted away to the Methodists, until but a faithful few 
remained under the pastorate of the last minister, the Rev. Mr. Plato 
who, unable any longer to stem the tide, followed the example of his 
parishioners and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church himself, and 
for many years was a much respected itinerant preacher of that faith in 

Eastern Ontario. 

The Lutheran Church in this county, while appearing to have been 
organized in Fredericksburgh, had appointments also in Ernesttown, 


Camden, and Richmond, making up one circuit, all in charge of the same 
minister. For many years the parsonage was on the York Road on the 
farm owned by Mr. Edward Kaylor. The Ernesttown congregation 
was a weak one, and joined with the Methodists and Presbyterians in 
the use of the same church, built on the old Amey farm on lot sixteen 
in the second concession. The joint use of this meeting-house rendered 
their absorption by the Methodists an easy matter, and many of the 
members of the latter body now worshipping in this same old church on 
the Odessa circuit will find upon an examination of the records that 
their forefathers were baptized, married, and buried by a Lutheran 

"There was a small class near Switzerville, but no regular .meeting 
house; and the members soon joined hands with their neighbours the 
Methodists shortly after the building of the Switzer Chapel, which, so 
far as can be ascertained, must have been erected shortly prior to 1822. 
There were Lutheran classes also at Camden East. 

"Upon the farm of John Bower, at the site of the present village of 
Strathcona, there was a stone Lutheran church which was torn down 
some years ago and the present Methodist church erected in its place. 
There were a number of Lutherans scattered along the river front in 
the township of Richmond, prominent among them being the Kimmerlys, 
Browns, Olivers, Bowens, and Sagars. In 1828 David Kimmerly offered 
to donate the land upon which to build a church, and a meeting was 
called to consider the proposition; but the church was never built. All 
the Lutheran congregations dispersed with the breaking up of the parent 
body in Fredericksburgh and, so far as this county is concerned, the 
Lutherans as a separate denomination ceased to exist about the year 

"The following reminiscences of Mr. Peter Bristol of Napanee, now 
in his ninety-third year, but who still styles himself a Fredericksburgh 
boy, were furnished by him to the writer in an interview: 

"I was born on lot twenty-three in the Second Concession of Fred 
ericksburgh on December 2/th, A.D. 1820. I remember distinctly the 
incidents of my boyhood days, even the funeral of my grandmother, 
which occurred in my third year. She was a dear old lady, and the 
ceremony took place at my grandfather s house, to which a number of 
planks had been brought to form seats to accommodate the neighbours. 
I was crawling about the floor, childlike, under one of these benches, 
when one of the assembled friends stepped upon my fingers, at which I 
howled lustily and disturbed the solemnity of the ceremony. The corpse 
was lying at the time on a plank in a corner of the room, for, although 



the funeral was in progros. the coffin, which was being made by a car 
penter in the door-yard outside, was not yet ready for the remains. 
There was no elaborate expense in connection with the burial of the 
dead, a plain pine box, unpainted and uncovered, was considered all 
that was necessary. She was buried at the old Lutheran church at Big 

"My father lived in a log house of one room until I was ten years of 
age. It was two stories, and in order to reach the upper story we 
mounted a ladder in a corner of the lower part of the dwelling. The 
furniture was of the simplest character, and little of it. My father was 
considered an average prosperous farmer, fully up to the times, and had 
one hundred acres of land, of which only five acres were cleared at my 
earliest remembrance ; yet he managed to raise and educate, so far as 
there was opportunity, a family of thirteen of which I was the second. 
He had one horse and but one yoke of oxen up to the time he built a 
small frame house when I was ten years old. There were wild aninicils 
about at the time ; and when I used to go to bring the cows home to be 
milked I have seen as many as five deer at a time. Wolves were very 
common, and we had to gather our sheep in every night and shut them 
in a closed pen to protect them from the marauding intruders. 

"My first school days were spent under the care of Miss Margaret 
Perry, who afterwards married David Williams of Ernesttown. The 
school-house stood just over the town line in Ernesttow T n, on the farm 
of Davis Hawley, grandfather of Sheriff G. D. Hawley. It was a small 
frame building about a mile from my father s house, with very few 
pupils in attendance, among" them being the sisters of the late Zina Ham. 
I had no books except a spelling book, and the only subject to which I 
devoted myself the first summer was the mastering of the alphabet. 

"A few" years after this an Irishman called Paul Shirley, came to the 
neighbourhood and offered his services as teacher for the winter in a 
log school-house situated in the front of the third concession of Fred- 
ericksburgh, near or upon the land of Jacob Detlor. My father, John 
Ham, Jacob Detlor, and Henry Ham took the matter in hand, and made 
a bargain with Shirley, and I went to that school that fall and winter. 
I walked through the bush about a mile and a quarter with my sister to 
school, stopping on the way to pick up the Ham children \vho accompan 
ied us through the woods over two streams which in the autumn we 
crossed on fallen timbers. I then took up the study of geography and 
grammar. I also attended school on the farm of the father of the late 
Sheriff Pruyn and had to travel two miles and a half. This was the last 
I attended in this county. The reason I was shifted about from one 


school to another was that the district was not divided into sections, 
and the schools were not kept open with any regularity, and my father 
would send me wherever he thought I could receive the best training. 

"My people were Methodists, and attended service first in one 
school-house and then another, whichever was most convenient. Most 
of our clergymen were local preachers, farmers who went out on the 
Sabbath day and conducted divine service. I remember seeing in the 
pulpit, or rather behind the teacher s desk in the school-house, the fol 
lowing gentlemen expounding the gospel : Rufus Shorey, Davis Hawley, 
John Ham, and George Sills. The service consisted of singing, con 
ducted by two or three old men and women, prayer, generally a very 
long one, and an exhortation without selecting any text from which to 
speak. The first regular preacher I ever heard was when Elder William 
Case came to our neighbourhood. 

"The crops consisted of wheat and corn principally; I was twenty 
years old before I saw any barley or knew what it was. Every farmer 
made maple sugar, raised his own potatoes, wheat, pork, poultry, beef, 
and mutton, but pork was the chief article of diet in the way of flesh. 
I have known my father to pack at one time three large barrels of pork 
for the family use. Tea was a luxury and cost one dollar to one dollar 
and a half per pound. 

"The clothing was made principally of linen for summer, and full- 
cloth and flannel for the winter, all of which were woven at home. We 
grew our own flax, and after pulling, (it was never cut), we spread it 
out on the sod, turned it over weekly with a wooden fork, and when 
sufficiently rotten it was dried and gathered up and bound into bundles, 
and was next put through a process called crackling. This consisted in 
putting it through a machine which broke it up so that the fibres were 
loosened and could be separated into strings. It was then drawn over a 
board with hundreds of nails projecting two or more inches through it 
so that it presented a surface of small spikes; and by drawing the flax 
over it the nails acted as a comb and removed the woody substance from 
the fibres. The fibres were then spun into thread by the women, and 
wound into balls as large as a man s head. After this it was leached by 
immersing the balls in a weak solution of lye, and put in the loom for 
weaving. Two thirds of the children s clothing, both boys and girls, 
consisted of this gray linen, which was not dyed but retained its natural 

"I remember the first time I saw the village of Napanee. I was 
about five years old and went with my father and mother in a lumber 
waggon, the only wheeled conveyance we had, to visit Henry Kimmerly 



who had married my irother s sister and lived on what is now known as 
the Daly farm on the Deseronto Road. We crossed the river on a float 
ing bridge near where the new iron bridge now stands. Roblin s Hill 
was then very rough and steep. There were a number of dwellings at 
Clarkville at that time ; but the village on the north side of the river alt 
lay east of the present John Street, except a few scattered houses on 
the knolls in the western part of the present site of the town. The old 
McXeil house then stood where it- ruins stand to-day and was the finest 
residence I had ever seen. In coming from my father - house to 
Xapanee we passed two or three frame houses; all the rest were built 
of logs. Where the Campbell house now stands there was a -mall grove 
of second growth pine and other scrub trees. As I grew older I used 
to accompany my parents upon this trip about once a year. 

"We did not deal in the -tores at Napanee when I wa> a boy, as 
there was no market, and there was one in Kin- -ton ; and my father took 
his produce either to Kingston or to Bath, which latter place we con 
sidered the business centre of the county. Henry Lasher conducted what 
was called a farmers store in Bath. It was managed by him for the 
farmers, who formed themselves into an organization and saved for 
themselves the profits which usually went to the middleman ; but Lasher 
bought them all out one after another. Later on the Davys grew up 
there, Peter and Benjamin, and became influential men, and monopolized 
the business, but not until Lasher had made a fortune. 

"As time passed on we got more in touch with Napanee; but did 
not visit it often or trade much there until it became the county town 
and I had grown into manhood and was shifting for myself. My old 
friend Henry Forward was one of the principal merchants, and con 
ducted a general store on the south side of Dundas Street just east of 
the Harshaw Block. Old Dan Pringle, as everybody called him, kept 
hotel on the corner where Smith s jewellery store is, and that was head 
quarters for the farmers from our neighbourhood ; although the Brisco 
House afterwards became the popular resort for the Ernesttown, Fred- 
ericksburgh, and Adolphustown people. When I first became at all 
familiar with Xapanee or, as it was very commonly called, The Appanee, 
Clarkville was of much more importance relatively than it is to-day, 
and the greater part of the village was on that side of the river. 

The first brick building I ever saw was the little house east of 
Madden s store on Dundas Street ; and so far as I know it was the first 
one built in Napanee. 

"I remember the first election I ever witnessed. It was over seven 
ty-five years ago, about the year 1836. John Solomon Cartwright and 


George H. Detlor, the Tory candidates, were running against Peter 
Perry and Marshall Spring Bidwell. They ran in pairs; Perry and 
Bidwell were called the rebels by the other side. There was only one 
polling-place in the county and that was at Bath. It was a little booth 
on the edge of the village. I was quite a young man at the time and 
didn t know much about the issues; but I could understand that the 
people were greatly excited. The taverns of Bath were crowded with 
men wrangling about the votes. Whisky was flowing freely, and there 
were plenty of drunken men and brawls in the streets. There were lots 
of taverns all over the country. There was Charter s tavern near the 
head of Hay Bay, John Davy s over near Sandhurst, and Griffiths in 
the second concession about four miles west of Charter s. Ernesttown 
must have had a dozen at least. 

"There was quite an excitement in the county over the Mormon 
missionaries who went about the different townships preaching and bap 
tizing the converts. Quite a number were baptized in Big Creek. Brig- 
ham Young was here himself, and, if I remember aright, he preached 
at Bath. That must have been nearly eighty years ago. The headquar 
ters of the Mormons was not in Utah then, but somewhere in Ohio. 
Joseph File and his family, John Detlor, Junior, and two Lloyds went 
away with the missionaries to their Promised Land ; but they all came 
back but one of the Lloyds who died out there." 




If the writer were disposed to give a free rein to his imagination 
what a tempting field for romance lies before him in the island town 
ship! In the first chapter I have pointed out how it formed a portion 
of the seigniory of La Salle. No doubt he asked to have it included in 
the grant of Fort Frontenac owing to its strategic position, commanding, 
as it does, the entrance to the Bay of Quinte. That he attached some 
importance to the insular part of his possessions is apparent from the 
fact that he bestowed upon it the name of his faithful lieutenant Tonti. 
Before that it was known by the Indian name Ka<>uenc-go. It is the 
only portion of our county that was included in this the first patent of 
land issued by the Crown in the Province of Ontario. 

The next white owner of whom we have any record was Sir John 
Johnson. Just how Sir John became the possessor is not known : but in 
the absence of another account we cannot do better than relate the story 
as it has been so often told. His father, Sir William, was held in hi.^li 
esteem by the Mohawks, and one day as he was parading before them 
in full regimentals, an old chief named Hendrick, who envied him his 
gold braid and shining epaulets, accosted him mst gravely and said: 
"Sir William, me dream a dream last night." The great white chieftain 
asked him the nature of his dream, and he solemnly replied : "Me dream 
Sir William that you made me present of your coat." Sir W illiam was 
so amused by the ingenious method adopted by his friend to obtain a 
gay uniform that he stripped off his tunic and handed it to the delighted 
Chief. A few days later when he met him arrayed in the military uni 
form, he said: Good-morning, Chief." The old warrior saluted him in 
true soldierly fashion ; whereupon his white companion continued : "I 
had a strange dream last night. I dreamed that you had given me that 
island in the blue water over there," referring to Amherst Island. The 
tables were turned upon the red man, but, not to be outdone, he replied : 
Ho! Ho! Sir William! you dream big dream! I give you the island; 
but we won t dream any more. In any event, about the time the Loyal 
ists were settling upon the mainland. Sir John Johnson was recognized 
as the owner of this heavily timbered island across the bay. In due time 
it was inherited by his daughter Maria Bowes, who, in 1835, sold it to the 


Earl of Mount Cashel, and in 1857 it became the property of Major R. 
P. Maxwell of County Down, Ireland. 

Another story is told of the remarkable manner in which it once 
changed hands ; but in repeating it here there is no intention to associate 
the transaction with any of the names here mentioned, if, indeed, the 
occurrence ever took place. The story runs that a game of cards was 
in progress at the home of a wealthy lady in Ireland; the stakes were 
high, the lady was a steady loser, and in desperation put up her Can 
adian estate and lost it. The title deeds were made out in the name of 
the winner, who thus became the ow r ner of Amherst Island. 

Major Maxwell s brother managed the estate until 1871, since 
which date Mr. W. H. Moutray has been the resident agent. About 
two thirds of it is at present owned by resident farmers ; the remainder, 
about 5,000 acres, being held under lease from Mr. Henry Percival- 
Maxwell the owner. 

At the time the settlers began to take up the land it was densely 
wooded with oak, ash, hickory, maple, beech, and elm, and a few clumps 
of pine, cedar, and spruce. The pioneers were U. E. Loyalists, who 
crossed over from the main shore, principally from Ernesttown, and 
purchased farms on the east end, or head of the island, as it is called. 
Among the first to settle were the Howards, Wemps, Richards, McGin- 
nesses, McDonalds, McMullens, Hitchins, Instants, and McKentys. The 
first transfer of title to an actual settler of which we have any record 
took place in 1803. 

Soon after this emigrants from Ireland began to settle on the west 
ern end, among them being the Pattersons, Prestons, Gibsons, Girvins, 
Cochranes, Cousins, Kerrs, Aliens, Spiers, Polleys, McQuoids, Glens, 
Burleighs, and Saunders. They had very little, if any, capital; but 
what was more to the purpose they brought with them strong sound 
bodies, good moral characters, habits of thrift and industry, loyalty to 
the British Empire, and a reverence for things sacred. These sterling 
qualities have been transmitted to their descendants, than whom there 
are no better citizens in Ontario to-day. 

By a proclamation of Governor Simcoe bearing date July i6th, 
1792, the province was divided into counties for the purpose of parlia 
mentary representation. Among the nineteen original counties was the 
county of Ontario composed of "Isle Tonti" or Amherst Island; "Isle 
au Foret," now Simcoe Island, Grand or Wolfe Island, and "Isle Cau- 
chois" or Howe Island. In 1798, when a general rearrangement of the 
counties took place, the island county was broken up into its several 
component parts, and the islands were attached to the mainland opposite 


I .y this nc\v >ubdivision Amherst Island became and has ever since 
remained a part of the county of Lennox and Addington ; but the attach 
ment has at no time been very strong. Its insular position accounts in 
some measure for the lack of interest shown by the inhabitants towards 
the other parts of the county. There have been no town lines to quarrel 
over, no drainage system extending into a neighbouring municipality, and 
no union schools maintained in part by another township. Several miles 
of deep blue water separate them from the mainland and they are just 
as near to Prince Edward or Frontenac as to the remainder of the county 
of which they form a part. The daily boats, during the season of navi 
gation, are timed with a view of carrying the passengers from the island 
to Kingston and returning them to their homes the same day, while there 
is no communication between the island and Xapanee. 

It is quite natural that the inhabitants should follow that course 
offering the least resistance and should do their marketing and trading in 
Kingston instead of Napanee. Had they been consulted at the time of 
the separation of the counties they would have been attached to Fron 
tenac. In fact they presented a petition to the government praying that 
this be done. It was a reasonable request and one that in all fairno- 
might have been granted, as it is far more convenient for them to have 
their legal and municipal centre in the city where they transact nearly 
all of their other business. They have become reconciled to the present 
awkward arrangement, and so long as they make no complaint the rest 
of the county will be very glad to maintain the alliance which has given 
to our county council some of the best men who have sat in that body. 

It is a regrettable fact that there is so little communication between 
the islanders and the citizens of the mainland ; but there appears to be no 
remedy in sight at the present time. If the Grand Trunk Railway had 
touched at Bath, as was the original intention, it might have been other 
wise. As has been remarked in the chapter upon Adolphustown there is 
an individuality about the islanders that distinguishes them from the 
people of all other parts of the county. It is difficult to define this 
characteristic; but there is a whole-souled honest frankness that draws 
one to them and creates a desire to know them better. Perhaps it is 
the Irish blood. 

The first religious services upon the island were conducted by that 
worthy pioneer missionary of the Anglican Church, the Rev. John Lang- 
horn, who was succeeded by the Rev. \Y. Agar Adamson. Chaplain to 
His Majesty s forces at Kingston and also Chaplain to the Legislative 
Council of Upper Canada. 


The old frame church, which stood on a commanding site a mile 
west of Stella village, together with a glebe of one hundred acres, was 
a gift to the congregation by Lord Mount Cashel. It was built about 
1836. The Rev. John Rothwell of Ireland was incumbent from 1845 
to 1865. He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Smart, who continued as 
rector until 1869, when the Rev. Conway E. Cartwright, M.A., T. C. D., 
took over the charge, and so ingratiated himself with his parishioners and 
those of all denominations that his removal in 1874 was deeply regretted 
by all who knew him. 

The R4v. J. J. Christie, a native of Scotland, officiated from 1875 
until 1877, when the Rev. Canon Roberts, Mus. B., was appointed rector 
and ministered to the parish until 1891. He devoted himself faithfully 
to his parochial work; and during his term the present St. Alban s 
Church was built upon the bay shore. From 1891 to 1896 the Rev. 
Sterne Tighe M.A., T. C. D., was the resident clergyman, and upon his 
resignation his place was filled by students and others until the appoint 
ment of the Rev. R. S. Wilkinson in 1903. A few years before the lat 
ter clergyman s arrival the rectory had been burned; and it was during 
his incumbency, which terminated in 1906, that the present one was built. 
The Rev. J. E. Lindsay, B.A., B.D., was rector from 1906 to 1909, when 
the Rev. J. E. Dixon was inducted, and has continued up to the present 
to minister to the spiritual wants of some sixty families, adherents of 
the Church of England. 

As might be expected a large number of the inhabitants are Presby 
terians ; but no regular services for those of that faith were conducted 
upon the island until 1849. Were it not for this neglect to supply them 
with a regular minister no doubt the adherents of this church would be 
more numerous than they are to-day. Although they were almost over 
looked for more than a generation there are still some fifty-five families 
supporting the church that most naturally appeals to the descendants of 
the north of Ireland Protestants. 

The Rev. Mr. McLeise, an Ulster missionary, cared for the fold of 
his countrymen for a short time, holding the services during fair weather 
in the open air where Glenwood Cemetery is now. A member of his 
congregation thus writes of those services: "From this primitive place 
of worship, beneath the spreading branches of the trees, with the green 
grass for a seat and the firmament for a covering, there ascended as 
fervent prayers and praise as from the most stylish cathedral." On 
March 6th, 1852, the congregation was for the first time duly organized, 
with the Rev. Daniel McCurdy, uncle of Professor McCurdy of Toronto 
University, as minister, and James Strain, William Patterson, and James 





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Girvin as ruling elders. No less than seventy-four members were en 
rolled upon the first list of communicants. A substantial frame build 
ing was soon erected near the road upon the lot where the church now 
stands. Mr. McCurdy remained but a short time and demitted his 
charge in 1853. 

After a vacancy of two years the Rev. James Mclntosh was in 
ducted, and for twenty years remained the esteemed and faithful minis 
ter of a devoted and appreciative congregation, who to this day love to 
recall the good results of his ministrations. He died in 1875, and over 
his grave in Pentland Cemetery a suitable monument was erected by his 
loving friends, among whom he had laboured until death summoned him 
to his reward. The Rev. Howard Steele assumed the charge in 1876, 
and was followed by the Rev. Alex. Macl.ennan who died in i8S. >. 

In the month of February, 1881. the present incumbent, the Rev. 
James Cumberland, M.A., was inducted, and has the distinction of hav 
ing served his congregation longer than any other clergyman in the 
county, and the esteem in which he is held, not only by the adherents of 
his own church, but by all denominations upon the island, speaks vol 
umes for his ability as a minister, a kind-hearted gentleman, and a pub 
lic-spirited citizen. As soon as he was fairly settled among his parish 
ioners he looked about for the means of providing a more suitable place 
of worship. A site was donated by Mr. William Allen, and under the 
management of Elders William McMaster, William Fleming, and Henry 
Filson, all of whom have since passed away, the present church was 
commenced in 1883 and completed in 1884 a * a cost of $8,000. Robert 
Kilpatrick, Alexander McKee, David Reid, Wm. McQuain, Robert Fil 
son, and Robert Patterson were also active members of the building com 
mittee. Near by stands the manse built fifty years ago upon a site don 
ated by Major Maxwell. Mr. Cumberland has taken a deep interest in 
the early history of the island, and to him I am indebted for the greater 
part of the material upon which this chapter is based. 

In no part of the county, unless it be at Erinsville, have the Method 
ists such a small percentage of the population as on Amherst Island. 
Eight or ten families, at the most, profess adherence to that body; but 
what they lack in numbers is fully compensated for by the zeal displayed 
in loyalty to their church. Prior to 1874 they worshipped in the Orange 
Hall at Stella; but in that year, through the efforts of the Rev. Mr. 
Ferguson, backed up by his small but enthusiastic congregation, the pre 
sent church was erected, and the neat little parsonage was soon added, 
to provide a home for the resident clergyman. Among the reverend 
gentlemen who have from time to time been stationed there, especial men- 


tion might be made of the Reverend Messrs. Pyke, Brown, White, 
Orser, Lidstone, and Pearce, but none more distinguished than the pre 
sent scholarly pastor the Rev. G. Haughton Porter, M.A., S.T.D., author 
of the Reality of the Divine Movement in Israel, which work has given 
him a place among the theological writers of the day. 

The earliest records we have of the island having ministrations by 
the Roman Catholic clergy date beyond the middle of the last century, 
when the Rev. Father McMahon came from Kingston and held ser 
vices at the homes of the members of his church. He was succeeded by 
the Rev. Father Donoghue, during whose term his handful of follow 
ers, numbering about ten families, built in 1860 the church in which they 
still meet for worship. The land upon which it was built was the gift 
of the late John McCormack. He was followed by the Rev. Father 
McWilliams who lived at Railton, but for over twenty years was the 
regular priest of the parish. He took an active interest in all matters 
affecting the welfare of the islanders and was one of the promoters of 
the cable line connecting the island with the mainland. 

The first schools upon the island were established about eighty years 
ago. They were of that primitive type which have been fully described 
in the chapter upon the early schools of the county. That satisfactory 
results were attained in the old log school-houses has been attested by 
the intelligence of the generation that has just passed away. The stan 
dard has steadily improved ; and at the present time illiteracy among 
the islanders is very exceptional. Among the teachers of the early clays 
Robert Burleigh, George Wright, John Robb, and Miss Moffat are still 
remembered and frequently referred to as having done excellent service 
in the education of the youths of the township. The island now has 
five public schools and a continuation school, all of which are efficiently 
maintained and are doing satisfactory work. Not content with the aid 
given to their local schools the islanders have led the way in higher 
education by a voluntary contribtion of $500 towards the endowment of 
Queen s University, in return for which that institution awards free tui 
tion to one student, to be nominated annually by the municipal council. 

In the early days of the settlement the ordinary farm consisted of 
fifty acres, upon which was built a log cabin near the shore. The 
greater part of the inhabitants were sailors, who followed their calling 
during the summer, and cut cord-wood and thus cleared the land dur 
ing the winter months. The greater portion of this wood found its way 
to the Kingston markets ; and large quantities were piled upon the shore 
near the wharf to furnish fuel for the steamers plying on the Bay of 

AMlir.KST I SI. A NO 195 

A- the clearings enlarged and the population increased, they turned 
their attention to tilling the land, and the rich soil generally yielded a 
bountiful harvest. The main crop was barley, and that grown upon 
the island held fir-t place and commanded the highest price upon the 
Oswego market. So great was the demand for this superior article that 
for many years the farmers sowed little else, with the result that the 
land was becoming exhausted. A hostile tariff against Canadian barley 
destroyed that industry; and the farmers viewed with alarm the loss of 
their market, and had visions of their broad acres lying idle and the 
bailiff taking possession of their chattel property. Their worst fears 
proved groundless, and the check to the rich harvest of barley, rich at 
the expense of the soil devoted to it> cultivation, proved a blessing in 

They turned their attention to dairying with most gratifying results. 
There are two well-managed cheese factories upon the island, one at 
Stella and another at Emerald, both possessing excellent shipping facil 
ities and turning out a good quality of cheese and butter that yield pro 
fitable returns to their patrons. Well-bred herds of milch cattle now 
roam over the fields that were being rapidly impoverished by the barley, 
the phantom of the bailiff has melted away, and the yeomen of the 
island were never so happy and prosperous as at the present time. As 
in other parts of the county, the development of the cheese industry 
brought with it a remarkable improvement in the raising of pigs and, as 
ha> been humorously remarked, the farmer has found it greatly to his 
advantage to market his grain upon the hoof. 

The shoals off the shores on both sides of the island are famous fish 
ing grounds, where salmon trout and white-fish abound in great num 
bers. Until a few years ago there was a small fleet of fishing smacks, 
which might be seen putting off in the early morning to lift the nets, 
returning later in the day laden with the choicest specimens of the finny 
tribe that our great inland lakes can furnish. Now the more prosaic 
motor boats have crowded the picturesque sailing vessels off the waters. 
There are few sportsmen on the bay, or either side of the eastern end 
of Lake Ontario, who have not spent a pleasant day at "The Brothers," 
trying to tempt the black bass to take their bait or rise to the fly, and if 
sufficiently skilled in the art of "The Compleat Angler" they can depend 
upon returning with well-filled baskets. 

About 1832 David Tait, a master shipwright from Scotland, landed 
at the foot of the island. The best of oak and pine timber grew near 
the shore in large quantities ; and the enterprising Scot saw, no doubt, 
a reasonable possibility of establishing a useful industry. He built his 


first schooner, the David Tait, near the east end. After being success 
fully launched, a cable was attached to her bow and a score or more of 
row-boats manned by twice as many sturdy fishermen towed her around 
to the north shore, where she was fitted out and put into commission 
for the grain and lumber trade. Mr. Tait built and repaired vessels at 
different places on the north shore until 1847, when he established a 
shipyard near the upper end of Stella Bay, where he pursued his calling 
for eleven years, during which time he employed a staff of sixty or 
seventy men and built over fifty sailing vessels. They were of the 
schooner type with centre-board. Only one was for a resident of the 
island and that was the good ship The Bachelor, built for William 
Scott, a general merchant at Stella. 

The modern ship-builder would make little headway with the equip 
ment of the Tait shipyard. The oaks and pines, after being stripped of 
their branches, were hauled to the shore by oxen, just as they fell from 
the stumps. With adze and whip-saw his expert workmen hewed and 
sawed them into shape and fitted them together. His terms of contract 
were simple and easily understood, one dollar for each bushel of capa 
city. By 1858 the timber suitable for ships was so depleted that the 
yard was closed and the owner removed to Picton. 

The islander who could not handle a boat would be very much out 
of place, and there are few, if any, of the inhabitants who are not as 
much at home upon the water as upon the land. Their forefathers from 
the counties of Down and Antrim were well skilled in manipulating a 
sail, and their own insular position has kept the succeeding generations 
in practice, with the -result that the crews of the lake-going vessels are 
yearly recruited from the seafaring mariners from Amherst Island, 
many of whom own and sail their own vessels, carrying coal, grain, and 
lumber to the bay and lake ports. The training in endurance and the 
handling of a boat is well illustrated by the experience of the late Sam 
uel Glen, who seventy years ago, killed and dressed two pigs, took- them 
one and one-half miles to Stella, placed them in a skiff, rowed them to 
Kingston a distance of ten miles, disposed of the carcasses, made his 
purchases, and rowed back again in one day. Many of the best known 
mariners upon the lakes served their apprenticeship in the island fishing- 
boats or took their first stand before the mast under such well known 
masters as Captains Thomas Policy, Nathaniel Allen, Hugh Glen, 
Joseph and Henry Saunders. Captain T. Saunders, who as a lad took, 
his first lessons in navigation upon the waters washing the shore of 
Amherst Island, now commands the largest ship sailing upon the Upper 
Lakes. The picturesque sailing vessels of fifty years ago are being 


crowded off our inland waters by the \vhalebacks and steam barges, and 
the Jack Tar of the Great Lakes will soon be forgotten or remembered 
only in song and story. 

The following article was contributed to the Napanee Beaver three 
years ago by the Rev. Mr. Cumberland of Stella: 

"There is a short chapter of Canadian History which you will not 
find in any of the school histories. It may be classed with the Battle of 
the Windmill at Prescott, as one of the closing scenes of the Mackenzie 
Rebellion of 1837-8, although not so serious in its results. 

"Having met with no better success on the Niagara frontier than at 
Montgomery s tavern, it seems that Mackenzie turned his steps eastward 
and planned a night attack on Kingston over the frozen river in the win 
ter of 1838. For some reason the attack was not made, although the 
soldiers and citizens of the Limestone City were quite prepared to 
receive him and any who might choose to accompany him. 

"Two filibusters, Bill Johnston, a Canadian, and Van Rensselaer, an 
American, did, however, get a large number of patriots collected at 
Hickory Island, below Gananoque, but these nearly all dispersed when 
they heard that the volunteer militia were ready to march against 

"Bill Johnston and a few kindred spirits, however, remained in their 
hiding-places among the Thousand Islands, eluding the vigilance of the 
authorities of the law, and living the lives of pirates and outlaws for a 
time. They took possession of the steamer Sir Robert Peel, and after 
robbing the passengers and plundering the ship, set fire to her. 

"They also came in boats to the north shore of Amherst Island, and 
in the dead hours of the night made an attack on the house of Mr. Pres 
ton. They placed guards at the entrance and then proceeded to attack 
and plunder the inmates. Mrs. Preston managed, however, to elude 
the guards and proceeded to give the alarm. Bill and his gang of ruffians 
met with a warm reception from Mr. Preston and his brave sons, one 
of whom was slightly wounded by a pistol shot. The pirates beat a 
hasty retreat when the alarm was given. This wanton attack naturally 
alarmed the citizens of good Isle Tonti, as it was then called ; for what 
safety could they have in their homes with such a gang of lawless des 
perados hovering about. A company of volunteers was soon enrolled, 
armed, and placed under command of Captain John S. Gumming. A 
stone house had just been built by William Gelson, on his farm, opposite 
The Brothers (islands). Within its strong walls the company was sta 
tioned for a time until a suitable barracks was built on the Patterson 
farm at a point in full view of the Lower Gaps. Here the men were 


quartered until peace was restored and they were disbanded, each man 
being allowed to take his flint-lock home with him. In this age of long 
range rifles the old flint-locks would be considered out of date. Yet in 
the hands of these hardy pioneers they would no doubt have rendered 
effective service. The great victory of Waterloo had been won twenty- 
three years before with exactly the same kind of \veapons. But the 
enemy, no doubt considering that discretion is the better part of val 
our/ kept away from our shores. 

"These men, who in troublesome times, stood ready to defend their 
country and their homes, have all answered the last roll call, but their 
names and their memories will long be remembered with respect on 
Amherst Island. 

"The barracks in which they were quartered have long since disap 
peared, and the stone house above referred to, situated near the North 
Shore on the farm since owned by Captain Henry Sauiiders, is now an 
uninhabited ruin ; sic tempora mutantur." 

The following is a list of names enrolled in the Amherst Island 
Volunteer Company, organized upon the occasion above referred to, 
and fairly represents all of the pioneer families upon the island, at that 
time : 

John S. Cummings, Captain; William Dundas Hale, First Lieuten 
ant; John Kitchens, Second Lieutenant; Robert Burleigh, Pay 
master-Sergeant; James Preston, Sergeant; Hugh Spring, Sergeant; 
Joseph Gonue, Henry Davy, Thomas Treleven, John Trelevan, Samuel 
McMath, Hugh McMath, Thomas Cousins, Anthony Iverso, William 
Cousins, James McMath, Thomas Woodside, William Patterson, Hugh 
McMullen, Aeneas McMullen, William Craig, John Gibson, William Gib 
son, William Gelson, Archibald Hutton, James Annet, William Clark, 
John McQuoid, James McQuoid, John Pentland, Hugh Patterson, David 
H. Preston, Alexander Spiers, Hugh Higgins, James Castello, John Mc- 
Clintoc, Edward Allen, William Irvine, Frances McMaster, Samuel 
McWaters, Samuel Smith, John Tindall, John McKenty, John McCabe, 
Thomas Murray, James Scott, Samuel Barry, Francis Cantell. John 
Dusenbery, John Weller, Stephen Tugwell, James Finigan, Jacob Baker, 
Philip Baker, Joseph Welsh, John McVeen, Samuel Glen, James Strain, 
James McFadden, John Larck, Antoine Lavernia, Dennis Lavinac, 
Andrew Finlay, William Kinsley, Joseph Boyd, James Brownlee, John 
Glidden, James Finnic, John Brookmire, Augustus Haighter, James 

The mercantile business of the island has been in the hands of very 
few men. Win. Scott, Captain Policy, George Wright, and J. S. Neil- 


i have hem general merchants at Stella, the last named having been 
continuously in business for forty year-. At Emerald Messrs. Fowler 
& Mc( .inncss catered to the wants of that end of the island which is 
now <erved by Mr. Reginald Instant. 

The county has produced many good and great men, but none have 
been held in higher esteem and veneration by his friend-, neighbour-, 
and fellow citizens than the late Daniel Fowler, R.C.A. He wa- born 
in county Kent, England, in 1810, the eldest son of a large family, lie 
was a school- fellow of the late Lord Beaconsfield, and left school at 
nineteen years of age. From his boyhood he showed a strong predilec 
tion for drawing, a taste that was not encouraged by his parent-, who 
intended him for the profession of the law. In due time he was articled 
in Doctors Commons and entered upon a course of study for which he 
had no liking. 

After his father s death he forsook the grave precincts of the law 
courts to commence the study of art and entered the studio of J. D. 
Harding, of whom Ruskin makes favourable mention. At the age of 
twenty- four he went to the continent, and spent a year in Switzerland. 
Italy, and the cities of the Rhine and Moselle. During this sojourn he 
made many sketches which furnished subjects for some of his best paint 
ings in after years. 

Returning to London he married and settled down to an artist s 
life, but his health failing him, his physician advised a change to sur 
roundings that would expose him more to the open air. He emigrated to 
Canada in 1843 wrtn his wife and family and settled upon Amherst 
Island. He bought the farm west of Barry s Point, a secluded and 
beautifully situated spot, with a grove of tall cedars extending to the 
shore. It was an ideal home for the artist who, through a small opening 
in the trees, commanded a view of the blue waters of the bay, with the 
picturesque shore line of the mainland in the distance. Here in his 
quiet retreat, which he appropriately named "The Cedars," he spent 
over half a century and witnessed the tender saplings planted by him and 
his faithful wife grow into large and stately shade trees. For fourteen 
years he devoted himself to the cultivation and improvement of his 
farm, and during this period never touched a brush. 

He then paid a visit to England and renewed his old associations, 
which revived his passion for art with a force not to be resisted. Upon 
his return to Canada he resumed the practice of his profession and con 
tinued it with faithful and devoted industry for thirty-five years. The 
history of his career during this period is coexistent with that of Can 
adian art. His pictures were awarded many prizes at the Provincial 


exhibitions between 1863 and 1875 and he materially assisted in improv 
ing their art department. In 1876 he carried away from the Centennial 
Exhibition at Philadelphia the only medal awarded in America for water- 
colour painting. In 1886 he received the diploma and medal at the Col 
onial and Indian Exhibition in London. He was one of the founders of 
the Royal Canadian Academy, and, to the regret of many, declined to 
allow his name to be placed in nomination as the first president. 

He lived a secluded life, and for years at a time was not off the 
island ; yet he was so fully engrossed in his paintings, his garden, books, 
and family circle that he reckoned those years among the happiest he 
spent. Nature has been most bountiful towards Amherst Island in fur 
nishing it with many beautiful and picturesque little coves, nooks, and 
points, which have been sketched by Mr. Fowler and rendered classic by 
his artistic genius. He had a style peculiarly his own, and his strong 
broad touch and daring colours can be easily discerned. As a painter 
of still life and flowers he had perhaps no equal among his contempor 
aries. Although he mingled very little with the outer world, he kept in 
close touch with the leading questions of the day and particularly with 
the political changes in England. 

He designed the little Anglican Church at Emerald and was a liberal 
contributor to the building fund. The desk, altar, and windows also bear 
testimony to his artistic taste. He took a deep interest in the island 
volunteer company and gave some of his little master-pieces as prizes 
for marksmanship. Altogether he was a fine type of the English gentle 
man ; and his good wife fully sustained the best traditions of the truly 
refined and cultured English lady. She came, on her mother s side, 
from the well-known English family of Leake, which has furnished to 
the British navy and army some of its most daring commanders. Mr. 
Fowler died September I4th, 1894, in his eighty-fifth year. His widow 
survived him by nine years, dying in August, 1903, aged ninety-two 

During the war of 1812 a few men of the Royal Artillery are said 
to have been stationed on the cliff overlooking the Upper Gaps. Two 
guns, a six and twelve-pounder, stood ready to send their greetings to 
the enemy, should any of them chance to pass that way. Having waited 
in vain for an opportunity to test their marksmanship upon the expected 
invaders, the officer in command felt that he and his men could render 
better service elsewhere ; but they had no means of transporting their 
guns to the mainland. The legend informs us that the guns were buried 
upon the cliff which has since been known as "The Battery," and the 
artillery-men rowed across the bay and found their way back to the 


barracks; but the buried field-pieces were never disturbed. It is a 
. romantic spot, commanding a view that naturally appeals to the imagina 
tion of the painter or poet, and a chorus of dissent would be raised if 
any antiquarian, with pick and shovel, attempted to verify the legend 
which for a century has passed current among the youth of the island. 
It was sacred ground to Mr. Fowler, and to his children rendered more 
sacred still by the father s brush. His daughter, Mrs. Annie Christie, 
seated upon the cliff, composed the following beautiful lines : 


\\ here the waters of Quinte surge and sigh 

With a sweet, mysterious minstrelsy, 

O er silver shingle, through whispering sedge, 

And murmurous spaces of cave and ledge, 

Where the blue-bells nod from each mossy edge ; 

\Yhere over Ontario s field of blue 

Lies such calm as reigned when the earth was new ; 

Where on lovely Quinte s breast impearled 

The passing stain of a smoke-wreath curled 

Is all that tells of the living world; 

Where the cliff hangs over the flood below, 

A sombre shadow above the glow, 

I, with my face to the shining west. 

In a restful mood in a world at rest. 

Lie at my length on the grassy cre>t. 

Back from the edge a fathom s space, 

Clasping the cliff in a close embrace, 

Binding the curve, like a fillet found 

On a maiden s tresses, a grass-grown mound 

Guards from the verge s utmost bound. 

What is it? A midnight haunt of elves 

Who make their home in the rocky shelves? 

A witch s circle? Or Nature s way 

To keep from danger her lambs that stray 

On the slippery slope in the summer day? 

Far other. Here, so the legend runs, 

Lie buried two of old England s guns ; 

And the circlet that crowns the lifted crest, 

In its emerald bravery softly dressed, 

Was a rampart once for her soldier s breast. 


The zephyrs wander, the blue-bells blow 

O er the muzzled watch-dogs that sleep below. 

In the years gone by did they show their teeth? 

Belched they their fiery, sulphurous breath 

With a blast of flame and a bolt of death ? 

Was there a day when the silence broke, 

And the echoes of headland and inlet woke, 

Not to the nesting wood-bird s note, 

Or the dipping oars of a fisher s boat, 

But the hoarse, harsh bay of an iron throat? 

Story tells not. Their work was done 

When the peace that wraps us was earned and won ; 

All but forgotten they quiet lie; 

But from under the sod, as the years go by, 

They send us a message that may not die. 

Oh! land of promise, that front st the sun! 

With untried feet set to a course unrun, 

Out to the future thy fair hands reach, 

But bend thine ear to the silent speech 

And heed the lesson the guns would teach. 

The strength and the spirit that forged those guns 

Live and burn anew in the souls of thy sons. 

Keep them, Canadians ! deep, though dumb, 

In prairie, and valley, and city s hum, 

For a need that God grant it ! may never come. 

But as blossoms whiten and grasses wave 

From the cannon s scarce-remembered grave, 

So from your buried strifes must rise 

Love s infinite possibilities, 

And the flower of the nation s destinies. 




The name Richmond is taken from the >ame source a> Lennox, 
the latter being derived from the family name Lennox, and the former 
from the town of Richmond from which the family receives its ducal 

The story of the front of Richmond differs little from that of the 
townships south of the river, except that it wa> a few years behind them, 
and the first settlers came, not in large companies but in small groups, 
and in many instances single families. The one centre of attraction 
was the south-east corner of the township at The Appanee Falls, and 
the greater portions of the chapters dealing with that village belong to 
the history of the township of which it formed a part. The busiiu-- 
the front of the township was not all created in the village at the falls; 
stores of no mean importance carried on a brisk trade at other points on 
what we now call the Deseronto Road. As recently as seventy-five years 
ago David Roblin had a general store about a mile east of Deseronto, 
and many years prior to that a store had been conducted in the same 
locality by Mr. Kimmerly. 

A more pretentious rival to Xapanee was at her very doors, at the 
corner where the Deseronto Road branches off near the residence of Mr. 
M. C. Bogart. From the time the first saw-mill was set up in Napanee 
tons of saw-dust were dumped into the river with an utter disregard of 
the damage it might eventually do to the shipping interests. Whether or 
not the business men about this corner expected that in time the river 
above the bend would become impassable and that their location would 
mark the head of navigation and become a famous port the writer has 
been unable to ascertain. They must have had great expectations in that 
direction when they bestowed upon their little hamlet the imposing name 
of Liverpool. 

Of course there had to be a tavern. No matter how small the 
place of business, a public-house appeared to be indispensable. There 
were 110 high licenses in those days, and it did not require much capital 
to set up in the business. A taproom, with a bar across one end, served 
as a sitting-room as well ; and when it was time to close the bar it was 
not necessary to clear the room ; but a latticed frame hung from the 


ceiling by hinges, was lowered so that the bottom of the frame was flush 
with the outer edge of the top of the bar, and this made, with the front 
of the counter, a partition shutting off that part of the room containing 
the liquors from that in which the guests were assembled. With such 
a room, stocked with a few barrels of whiskey and beer, and an extra 
bed-room or two, an ordinary dwelling could very easily be converted 
into a tavern. 

In the days of the stage-coach, before the railways were constructed, 
the wayside inn was a greater necessity than to-day. The weary tra 
veller stopped where night overtook him ; and if the inn was crowded it 
was only a matter of a mile or two before he could reach another. 
Thus there was the John Fralick Tavern at Morven, the old Quacken- 
bush Tavern in Clarkville, the Red Tavern in Napanee, the Gunn Host- 
lery at Liverpool, and another on the Deseronto Road next door to 
the old Kimmerly store. The old red frame building on the north-wesf: 
angle formed by the intersection of the Slash Road with the Front Road 
is the tavern in which, long ago, John Gunn stood ever ready to furnish 
refreshments to whomsoever honoured him with a call. On the op 
posite corner, in the white frame house, was the general store of George 
H. Detlor. On the south side of the main road near the water s edge 
was a brewery and distillery operated at one time by Charles and James 
Cull, behind which was a wharf extending far out into the river. 

The farm to the east, one of the first to be taken up on this side of 
the river, was owned by Elias Huffman, in whose family it has remained 
for over a century. He formerly settled upon what is now known as 
the Campbell place on the south side of the river ; but being disappointed 
in the character of the soil, he moved across to the north side and 
brought up his family in a large log house, which was superseded by the 
frame dwelling still standing on the south side of the road. It is 
reported that some membeos of the family, rather than go around by the 
floating bridge to visit the new Richmond place when the log house was 
building, used to ford the river across a bar near what is now known as 
Campbell s Rocks. It was from this log house that the two sons, Jacob 
and Elijah Huffman set out on foot, with a few days rations in bags 
over their shoulders, to seek their fortunes in the wilds of the northern 
part of the county, and became the founders of the Huffman settlement 
at Moscow. Another son, Isaiah, remained on the old homestead, out 
lived the commercial enterprises of the neighbourhood, and built the 
handsome brick residence on the north side of the road where he died 
in 1890, highly respected as one of the few remaining pioneers of the 
early days of Richmond. 



One of the early residents of Selby was Edward Storr, who was 
born at Selby, Yorkshire, England, and who, when a post-office was first 
established, bestowed upon it the name of his birthplace. Before that 
it was known as Gallagher s Corners, taking the name from the pro 
prietor of a tavern about one fourth of a mile east of the present vil 
lage. Like the rest of the county there was no shortage of taverns in 
this neighbourhood; Selby was favoured at one time with no less than 
three. Gallagher s was the popular inn for a time, and all the traffic 
from the northern country passed his door, as the Richmond Road had 
not been built. 

Among the first families in the vicinity were the Roses, MVKims 
r.eemans, Donovans, Holcombs. and McNeils, names that have no fam 
iliar sound to the present generation, so great have been the changes in 
the ownership of property. This is in striking contrast with the town 
ship of Adolphustown where the roll-call, except for the Christian 
names, differs little from what it was a century ago. 

The first school-house, built over seventy years a^<. was about one- 
f -urth of a mile west of the village. This in time gave way to the Union 
School-house, which was originally constructed as a place of public wor 
ship as well, was provided with a pulpit and seating capacity for over 
one hundred persons, and was used by the two Methodist bodies and the 
Anglicans. The pupils came from boundary to boundary, the section 
being- six miles in length. One of the ablest teachers sixty years ago was 
\Vm. McMullen, who afterwards moved to Napanee and took a posi 
tion upon the staff of teachers of that town. 

Selby had its full quota of general merchants, among the first 
being Patrick Phelan. David and John Wartman, and Thomas and John 
\Yesley Sexsmith ; it also boasted a drug store kept by C. D. Sweet. 
\Yhen the creek had a larger and swifter current than it has at pre 
sent Thomas Sexsmith built and for a number of years operated a saw 
mill, which proved a source of profit to himself and a convenience to the 
neighbourhood. Napanee was brought nearer by the building of the 
Richmond Road ; and the better facilities for reaching the merchants of 
the town had a depressing effect upon the local trade of the village. The 
stores gradually dwindled away, in time the taverns closed their doors, 
and Selby shrank to its present proportions. 

The first white man to settle north of the Salmon River was Joseph 
Pringle, who with his wife Barbara took up land on the north bank 
about midway between the present village of Roblin and Forest Mills. 
They were monarchs of all they surveyed, both in fact and name, for 
the old gentleman and his comely spouse, an aunt of Mr. Allan Oliver 
on the Deseronto Road, were styled respectively, "King" and "Queen," 


by all the later settlers, who paid homage to them as the pioneers of the 
north of Richmond. Their son, Joseph Pringle, was the first white child 
born north of the Salmon River. 

This river took its name from the great number of salmon which 
used to come up the stream. They managed to leap all the falls and 
rapids until they reached those at the site of Forest Mills, which were 
too high and swift. Great quantities of them would at certain seasons 
congregate at the foot of the falls, and it was an easy matter to scoop 
out a cart-load in a few minutes. This barrier they could not overcome, 

and none were to be had above this point. This fact distinguished these 
falls from all others upon the river, and before any mills were upon its 
banks they were designated as The Falls. 

The second man to move into the northern wilderness was John 
Windover, who was married to a sister of Joseph Pringle. He settled 
upon a lot about one mile north of The Falls and built a log house there 
about eighty-five years ago. James Davis, the third settler in this part of 
the county, took up land in the vicinity of Westplain. The only bridge 
over the river for years was at The Falls; and all the traffic from the 
northern part of the county had to cross at that point. As the settle 
ment increased, a road was cut through the bush along the north bank 
to the site of the present village of Roblin ; and a small hamlet sprang 
up there in the vicinity of The Falls. The first house was built by 
Chauncey Windover about seventy-five years ago. There soon followed 
the McConnels John, James, and William Calvin Dafoe, Aaron Oliver, 
and Peter Bumhour. 

Ezra A. Spencer saw an opportunity to serve his neighbours and 
earn an honest penny out of a saw-mill ; so he built a dam across the 
stream, erected a mill, and set up in business in opposition to Archie 
McNeil, who had established mills at The Falls, which lost their old 
name and were known as McNeil s Mills, a name which was retained 
until a post-office was established, when it was changed to Forest Mills. 
Spencer s venture proved so profitable that he built a grist-mill a few 
years later ; and a village sprang up about the two mills, known as 
Spencer s Mills. This village, now called the old village, was on the 
road running east and west, in fact the only road through that part of 
the county, for the Richmond Road had not yet been constructed. Spen 
cer s Mills had its full quota of taverns kept, in the early days, by 
Christopher Huyck, Orin Pringle, and Bernard and Lambert Vanalstine. 
There were three or four stores. Among the early merchants might be 
mentioned Robert Martin, Wm. Paul, and George Parrott. The place 
also boasted of a last factory, a broom-handle factory, and a tannery 
owned by William Vandusen. 

kit; ii MO.M) 


In iS;j the Richmond Road was built, and all the northern traffic 
that used to follow the north bank of the river and cross it by the bridge 
at McNeil s Mills was diverted from that route, crossed the river at 
Roblin. and came straight south by the new road to Napanee, with the 
result that the old village of Roblin was side-tracked, and the traffic 
that formerly passed the doors of its hotels and merchants no longer had 
occasion to do so. The route proposed by the road company was east of 
the present line, and would have passed north and south through the 
centre of the old village, but Spencer protested against his property being 
cut up. This diversion of the proposed line was the beginning of the 
end of the old village of Spencer s Mills. \\\- degrees many of the old 
stores and dwellings were abandoned or moved over to the main thor 
oughfare, and a new village was formed. 

In 1856 the government granted the prayer of the inhabitants for a 
post-office, and it was proposed to call it Spencerville after Ezra A. 
Spencer, who was still the leading man of the place ; but that name had 
already been appropriated in another part of the province ; so it was 
named after the most popular man in the county. Mr. David Roblin, the 
sitting member for this riding in the old Parliament of Canada. 

In 1860 a correspondent of the Standard drove through the county 
in the month of August and summed up his observations concerning his 
trip through Richmond as follows : "Rye, hay, and barley are being cut, 
winter wheat is ripening, the spring crops are the best I ever saw. The 
orchards are loaded with fruit, and we have prospects of an abundant 
harvest. Our grain buyers may as well begin to fill up their coffers, and 
we may all look out for a better time coming. 

"In our drive we passed through Selby. a smart little village four 
miles north of this place. It has a population of some three hundred, 
four stores, two churches, town-hall, two inns, and one carriage shop. A 
new school-house is being erected. There are several mechanics shops ; 
and a large amount of business is done in the sale of dry goods, grocer 
ies, and provisions ; and great quantities of produce, potash, shingles, 
and lumber are purchased here. This is the seat of the township of 
Richmond, and has a fine settlement surrounding it. 

"Roblin village lies five miles north of Selby and has some two hun 
dred population. There is a good water privilege here on the Salmon 
River with a saw-mill and machine shops, also several stores, tavern, 

"Two miles below this place lies Yader s Mills, another good privi 
lege with saw-mill and machinery. Two miles lower down is McNeil s 
Mills ( Forest Mills ) with saw and grist-mill and factory." 





Napanee takes its name from Appanea, the Indian appellation of 
the falls before the white man took up any land in the vicinity. The 
signification of the word is unknown. We have no reason for believing 
that the place had attracted any one, either red or white, to settle at this 
particular point before the building of the first mill in 1786, although 
it has been suggested that it was the site of Ganneious, one of the out 
posts of the Kente mission established about the year 1669. There is 
no direct evidence that this post was seven miles up the Napanee River, 
and there appears to be no particular reason why it should have been so 
located as the river was not recognized as a link in any of the great trade 
routes across the country. 

Doubtless the Indians, who were ardent lovers of nature, had, when 
passing this way on their hunting expeditions, paused to admire the 
foaming waters, as they tumbled noisily over the limestone ledges, and 
had deemed the place of sufficient importance to assign to it the euphon 
ious name which happily has been retained. The white man, with a 
view of utilizing the power, built his little hamlet in the vicinity of 
nearly every waterfall in the older parts of the province, and these have 
grown into villages, towns, and cities ; but the Indian was not influenced 
by any such utilitarian motive. At certain seasons the fish might gather 
in great numbers at the foot of the falls; but fish were so plentiful in 
all the lakes and rivers that that alone would not be a very strong induce 
ment for founding a village at the place. No one has ever found relics 
to indicate that an Indian village ever existed here; and no mention has 
been made of the place by any of the earlier travellers. 

For the same reason, that it is not to-day in the direct line of any 
of the great water routes, the river could not have been used to advantage 
for that purpose two or three hundred years ago. No stream in the pro 
vince is more difficult to navigate, owing to the great number of falls 
and rapids which render a portage necessary every few miles. Although 
the town has easy communication with the bay and lake at the present 
time and is on the main line of our oldest railway we must confess that 
in early days, when the red man held sway, Napanee, or the site upon 
which Napanee now stands, was of little consequence. The most thickly 






settled part to-day was, in its primitive state, a swamp over-grown with 
reeds and scrubby bushes, a breeding-ground for mosquitoes, where the 
frogs all summer long nightly answered the croaks of their brothers in 
the marsh under the hill. 

The inhabitants of Napanee were a long time in determining what 
part of the land upon which the town is now built should become the 
business centre of the place, and what should eventually be set apart as 
the choicest residential quarters. Roblin s Hill was not considered 
suitable for dwellings, owing to the shallow soil, the supposed difficulty 
in obtaining- drinking water, and the steep climb that was necessary in 
order to gain the summit; yet Mr. David Roblin, in his day the most 
influential man in the county, chose it as a site for his house. Clarkville 
was limited to a narrow strip along the base of the hill ; but Mr. Archie 
McNeil, a shrewd and calculating business man, had such confidence in 
its ultimate destiny that he built a store there, and erected a substantial 
house, surrounded by beautiful grounds decorated with shrubbery and 

Although no one at the present time would seriously contemplate 
putting his money into a dwelling east of the Newburgh Road, the 
"King of Napanee," Allan Macpherson, did not hesitate to build on the 
bank of the river the handsomest house in the county at the time of its 
erection. The popular and prosperous Alexander Campbell \vent to the 
other extreme and selected a site for his magnificent residence on the 
other side of the river beyond the limits of the corporation. In fact the 
primitive condition of the land upon which Napanee now stands was 
such that, but for the presence of the water-power, no one would have 
selected it as a site for a town ; and it has been only through the energy 
and enterprise of its citizens that the natural difficulties in the way of 
the settler have been successfully overcome and transformed it into one 
of the prettiest sites in the province. The question of drainage, which 
should be one of the first considerations, but is too frequently overlooked, 
has baffled generations of town councils ; and it is only in recent years 
that the difficulty has been faced and a system inaugurated at a very 
large expenditure of money. 

The records inform us that at the building of the first log flour-mill 
on the south side of the river in 1786 a clearing was made of one and 
three-quarter acres ; but the writer has yet to learn from any acknow 
ledged authority the exact position of that clearing. The first mill was 
built on the south side of the river because it afforded the most con 
venient location ; that side of the river bank sloped gently to the water s 
edge at the foot of the fall, while the other side was rough and steep. 


A sluice-way could be constructed on the Fredericksburgh side along an 
easy grade ; whereas the Richmond side presented no such facilities ; and 
the canal constructed about the year 1840 was the only final solution of 
the difficulty encountered in conducting the water from above the falls 
to the mills below. There doubtless were some residences for those in 
charge of the mills : for while we are accustomed to speak of the first 
mill at Napanee, meaning the grist-mill, there were in fact two, a saw 
mill and a grist-mill, and the former was, as a matter of convenience, 
built first in order that it might be used in shaping the material for the 

We find in the account-book of Robert Clark several items of 
expenditure in connection with the building of the grist-mill, and among 
them the following": "To clearing one acre and three-quarters of Land 
for a mill, at seven dollars per acre 3." It would not be necessary to 
clear this quantity of land for a mill alone, and, as the entry is among 
others for expenditures incurred just as the mill was approaching com 
pletion, it is probable that the greater portion of this clearing was for 
residences and gardens for those connected with the mill, unless we 
assume that Mr. Clark omitted to make the charge when the work was 
actually done, an omission he was not likely to make when we consider 
that the other entries all appear to be in their proper sequence. The land 
lying along the bank of the river from the foot of the falls to the agri 
cultural grounds, containing not quite two acres, would be very well 
adapted for the purpose, and was probably the first clearing in Napanee. 
Allan Macpherson himself first lived within this area before he 
built on the other side of the river; and old residents state that there 
were several small houses in that vicinity occupied by employees of the 
mills. Near the edge of the sand pit may still be seen a part of the 
foundation of the Macpherson house, and the land south of it in the 
centre of which is a clump of bushes, was his garden. Across the road, 
in the Agricultural Society grounds and about three rods east of the 
main entrance, was Macpherson s barn. Some of the stones which 
formed its foundation are still cropping out of the ground. The village 
needed room for expansion, so it leaped across the shallow strip of soil 
where the race track is to the more suitable locality above the bend in the 
river. There several streets were laid out, many of which have since 
been closed, residences, taverns, and other buildings were erected, and 
a busy village soon followed and took its name from James Clark, upon 
whose land it was built. 

In the early part of the last century the Cartwrights built a grist 
mill on the Richmond side of the river near the present site of the old 



Herring foundry. This new mill gave an impetus to the village that had 
already begun to spring up on the north side; but it was not until about 
the year 1840 that there was any serious thought of extending the limit 
of the corporation west of East Street and then only when, by a process 
of elimination, expansion in every other direction was considered out of 
the question. The old Macpherson residence, the old English Church 
which stood on the corner of Thomas Street and the Newburgh Road 
and the building up of Salem (Vine s Corner), all bear testimony to the 
confidence the first residents had in East \Yard as the real centre of the 
town. For many years nearly all the business of the village was trans 
acted in this district, which contained the first store, tavern, church, and 
school-house on the north side of the river. There is still standing on 
the north side of Dundas Street, on a high foundation, with the end of 
the building next the street, one of the old relics of the glory of the east 
end. This was the famous Red Tavern, the scene of many a lively 
scrimmage when whisky was cheap, and it was not considered the duty 
of the town constable to interfere when the country boys saw fit to settle 
their little differences by a rough and tumble contest in the tavern yard. 

At that time Piety Hill was separated from West Bridge Street by 
a low, wet ravine, and the high ground in the west end of the town was 
covered with pine trees, a few of which, having escaped the axe of the 
woodman, are still standing in the grounds of the Travers residence, 
originally built and occupied by the Honourable John Stevenson. That 
part of the town just west of Robert Street, which contains so many 
handsome dwellings, \vas almost inaccessible, and could be reached only 
by crossing a creek beyond which was a swamp in which the water was 
several feet deep even in the time of some of the present inhabitants. 

The river was first spanned by a floating bridge, replaced from time 
to time by wooden ones, which were frequently damaged by ice-jams in 
the spring, until a substantial covered wooden bridge was constructed in 
1840. This proved to be one of the most remarkable bridges in the 
province; indeed it is doubtful if any other structure of its kind ever 
stood so long and carried such an enormous amount of traffic with so 
little repairs. It was torn down in 1909, and the planks forming the 
lattice-work were, after sixty-nine years of constant service, found to be 
still so sound that they were utilized in street crossings in the outlying 
portions of the town, and bid fair to out-live some of the new material 
laid down at the same time. The present iron bridge is built on the site 
of the old covered one ; and there may be seen on the south bank of the 
river a few yards from the highway, a portion of the grading which 
formed the approach to one of the wooden bridges that did service prior 
to 1840. 


There still stands in the grounds of the Agricultural Society a little 
building in which many of the old residents of the town received their 
first and only education. For many years in the second quarter of the 
last century a school was conducted in the basement of the building now 
occupied by Mr. Samuel McCoy. So far as known this was the first 
building devoted to school purposes in Clarkville, and the first teacher 
of whom we have any record was a Mrs. Dier, supposed to be the widow 
of the first doctor of Napanee. Later on the school was moved to an 
old two-story building at the base of the hill, and there it remained until 
about the year 1846, when John Solomon Cartwright donated the strip 
of land off the north side of the field, afterwards purchased by the Agri 
cultural Society, and upon it was built the cottage school-house. The 
first trustees of that school were James Henry, John W. Perry, and 
Robert Lowry. The old two-story house in use before it was built was 
torn down about forty-five years ago ; and there was found in the 
chimney by Mr. Thos. S. Henry, a rapier, which he presented to the 
masonic lodge of the town, and which is still among the properties of 
that society. 

At the time of the building of the Clarkville school there was on 
the other side of the river, near the big elm tree at the railway bridge, a 
school-house one and a half stories high, said to have been built by Allan 
Macpherson at his own expense. The lower story was devoted to the 
school and to public meetings of almost every character, and for some 
time it was the only public hall in the village. In the upper story lived 
the teacher. This was the first school-house built in Napanee but, before 
it was erected, a school was for some time conducted in an old building 
on the river s bank near the falls. We have been unable to fix the date 
of its erection, but it must have been ten or fifteen years earlier than the 
old one standing in the Agricultural Grounds. 

As the land upon which it stood was expropriated by the Grand 
Trunk Railway the old building was torn down and rebuilt on Piety Hill, 
where for many years it was used as a dwelling-house. In 1892 it was 
called upon to make way for the handsome residence of Mr. H. B. Sher 
wood. This time it was moved to Roblin s Hill as a Church of England 
Mission ; and in 1900 it made its last journey and suffered the humilia 
tion of being transported to the country, where it now serves as an 
addition to a cheese factory on the Palace Road. 

The question naturally suggests itself, why didn t the people of 
Clarkville patronize the school on the other side of the river? That was 
the one thing the residents on the Fredericksburgh side would not do, 
for by so doing they would be admitting the superiority of the Richmond 


side, and the rivalry between the two sides was too keen for that. Clark- 
ville had its own tavern kept by Andrew Quackenbush, who afterwards 
retired and moved out to his farm, its own store kept by Archie McNeil, 
and the McNeil residence with its beautiful grounds, and its own doctor, 
in fact the only one in the vicinity. It was with grave apprehension that 
the residents at the foot of the hill witnessed the growth of the village 
on the other side of the stream, and it was to check the expansion in that 
direction and to maintain their own identity that the cottage school-house 
was built. 

The first mill had been built on that side of the river, the township 
of Fredericksburgh had taken its place among the important settlements 
of the county when Richmond was regarded as in the backwoods, the 
first school in the province had been opened within its boundaries two 
years after the landing of the Loyalists; and it would be a serious blow 
to the pride of the inhabitants of that township to have to send their 
children to be educated in another and, to them, inferior township. So 
for a time the two schools were maintained within sight of each other; 
and many a battle royal was fought on the banks of the stream between 
the pupils of the rival institutions. 

It was not without a struggle that the residents of Clarkville saw 
their glory departing; but an inexorable fate had decreed that the town 
should be built up on the Richmond side of the river. Few of the old 
landmarks of its former greatness now remain. The old McNeil house is 
still standing; and any one interested in the old village will be repaid by a 
visit before it at last tumbles down. It is not on the Clarkville Road, but 
on the short street south of it, and is well situated on a rising piece of 
ground overlooking a bend in the river, an ideal spot for a house. The 
front is almost concealed by a wilderness of plum trees and lilacs, and 
the yard is overgrown with weeds; but inside will be seen evidences of 
comfortable arrangements which few modern houses possess. Two 
spacious fireplaces on the ground floor have their counterparts in the 
rooms above ; and the huge chimney in the rear is all that is left of the 
old kitchen. It was built before stoves were in general use and when 
wood was the only fuel ; and the yawning cavity under the old chimney 
across which was swung the iron crane, supporting the kettles of savoury 
stews, has in its day supplied many a banquet to the guests of the old 
mansion. From the position of the rooms on the ground floor it is appar 
ent that the dining-room was in the addition to the rear of the main 
building. In the vacant lot in front of the house stands an old pine tree, 
from the branches of which McNeil used to suspend the carcasses of the 
beeves slaughtered by his workmen. The base of the tree served as a 


hitching-post towards which the butcher s victims were hauled by a rope 
about the horns. 

A street used to run behind the house; and on this street, nearly 
opposite the dwelling, stood the tannery of William Templeton, grand 
father of the present bearer of the same name, the editor of the Napanee 
Beaver. It was a two-story building, the lower part and a basement on 
the slope of the bank being used as the tannery, and the upper story as 
a dwelling for the proprietor. During a dry season chips of the tan bark 
may still be seen on the edge of the bank. East of the tannery was the 
carding-mill of Andrew Quackenbush, who obtained the power to propel 
his machinery from an old-fashioned horse tread-mill. A part of the 
old Quackenbush tavern is still standing east of the McNeil house, and 1 
is at present occupied by Mr. George Grass. It formerly had an addition 
to it, which has been removed. In the addition was the court-room in 
which the Court of Requests was held and the Fredericksburgh magis 
trates sat for the trial of petty offences. 

The Henry house, built by Dr. Brewster over eighty years ago and 
afterwards purchased by the late James Henry, is still in the family, 
and in a good state of preservation. On the opposite corner stood the 
McNeil store, and near by was the Ramsay store in which the late Sir 
John A. Macdonald is said to have had an office for a short time before 
he began to practise law in Kingston. His biographer makes no mention 
of his ever having resided in Napanee, but the writer has interviewed 
many old residents who positively assert that he did; but they differ as 
to his having practised law in the village. There appears to be no room 
for doubt that young Macdonald was for a short time in Ramsay s 
employ; and it is not improbable that while so engaged he displayed his 
aptitude for unravelling knotty problems, and was intrusted with some 
of the legal business of his employer; thus giving rise to the belief that 
he actually practised law in Napanee. 

An anonymous correspondent of the Beaver forty years ago referred 
to Sir John A. as a regular attendant at divine service in the old school- 
house in East Ward, and speaks of his taking a prominent part in pitch 
ing the tunes, an accomplishment which his biographer has also over 
looked. The Methodists and Anglicans used to hold their services in 
this building before any churches were erected in Napanee. The mis 
sionary in charge of the Napanee parish at the time was the late Rev. 
Saltern Givens, who in the course of an address delivered by him 
at the laying of the foundation-stone of the present St. Mary Magdalene 
Church, stated that John A. Macdonald was one of a number of young 
men who used to meet on week evenings in the school-house and prac 
tise the hymns and psalms for the Sunday following. 


About twenty-five years ago. when paying a flying visit to the town 
during a general election, and engrossed a> he must have been with so 
many calls upon his time, with that characteristic thought fulness which 
he possessed in such a remarkable degree. Sir John did not forget his 
old Clarkville friends; but found time to call upon the Widow Henry, 
whose dwelling was only a few rods from the store in which he had 
served fifty years before. Upon that occasion he remarked that he was 
familiar with every stone in the foundation of the old building which is 
still standing and is the first house on the north side of the street east of 
the Agricultural Grounds. The ordinary citizen of Napanee would 
indignantly scoff at the idea of there being a log house in. our town, yet 
if he would strip the clap-boards off the house just across from the old) 
Ramsay store he would find that there is at least one, and this one built 
only sixty years ago. 

Mr. Thomas S. Henry was among the first pupils of the new Clark 
ville school. About the same time John Xewton taught in the school on 
the other side of the river ; later he was succeeded by the late Dr. Grange. 
As a lad Mr. Henry went to a circus, the tent of which was pitched on 
the west side of East street near where the residence of Mr. F. W. Smith 
now stands, and remembers seeing the elephants led away to the woods, 
the present site of the court-house and jail. 

The first Academy in Napanee was built in 1846 on the lot north 
of the Western Methodist Church, and the first head-master was the 
Rev. J. A. Devine, M.A. One of the most popular masters of the Aca 
demy was Robert Phillips, who began his career as a school teacher at 
Asselstine s Factory, Eniesttown, in 1842, and afterwards taught in the 
Public School and High School at Bath until 1855, when he accepted the 
head-mastership of the Academy. The trustees at that time were Dr. 
Carey, father of the Venerable Archdeacon Carey of Kingston, John 
Benson, John Stevenson, James Blakeley, John Gibbard, and Allan 
Templeton. The Academy was then used both as a High School and 
Public School, there being twenty pupils in the former department and 
forty in the latter. There were several private schools in the town 
which also accommodated a large number of pupils. Under the new 
head-master the school improved ; and the attendance increased to such 
an extent that it was found necessary to provide more accommodation. 
Another building was erected south of the Academy, and for a time it 
was used exclusively for the High School pupils and the other building 
was given over for the use of the Public School. 

This arrangement did not prove very satisfactory; so in 1864 the 
Board decided to erect a brick building on Bridge Street to accommodate 


all the classes of both schools. The contract was awarded to John 
Herring at $7,950, work was commenced at once, and the new Academy, 
the present West Ward ochool, was opened in 1865 with Mr. Phillips 
as its first head-master. Napanee, with a population of 1,400, was justly 
proud of the new building, which was by far the handsomest school 
structure in the county. At the time it was deemed sufficient for the 
entire school population of the town. The Clarkville school had been 
closed, and the old building near the railway bridge had been removed. 

The splendid reputation for good schools which for sixty years our 
town has boasted of began with Mr. Phillips. He was thorough and 
painstaking, and was loved by his pupils and highly esteemed by the 
citizens; and when he resigned his position in 1867 he was presented 
with many testimonials of the affectionate regard of all classes of the 

Only a few years had passed after the erection of the Academy, as 
the West Ward School was called, when the residents of the East Ward 
were again heard from. The one building in which the Grammar and 
Public Schools were housed was found to be inadequate for the purpose. 
More school room was needed, and the East Enders saw an opportunity 
of regaining some of their lost prestige. The English Church was being 
torn down and removed to West Ward, the trade of the town had nearly 
all passed beyond East Street, the greater portion of the Fredericksburgh 
traffic now reached the town by way of the bridge on Centre Street, the 
Richmond Road had diverted all the northern travel down Centre Street 
that used to reach Napanee by way of Selby and Vine s Corner; in fact 
every public improvement for years, except the building of the Court 
house and jail, had deprived the east end of the town of some of its 
former advantages. 

A new school was needed ; and it was high time that that part of the 
town, which eighty years before had been the centre of the life and trade 
of Napanee, should receive some recognition from the other wards. It 
was unfair that the young children of the East Ward should be called 
upon to walk from one end of the town to the other to reach the school. 
These and other arguments were pressed upon the trustees, who com 
mitted the serious mistake of deciding upon the erection of a second 
Public School. At that time no one foresaw the rapid strides that would 
be made in the next twenty years in our educational institutions. It was 
intended that the new building should furnish accommodation both for 
the Grammar School and for the Public School pupils residing in that 
part of the town. On April 3oth, 1872, Mr. George Cliff presented the 
plans and specifications of the school-house, which were accepted by the 


Board; and building operations were well under way in a few weeks 
time. In less than a year the building was ready for occupation and on 
April 1 6th, it was opened without any ceremony except a few impromptu 
remarks from one or two trustees and the architect. During the first 
term no less than one hundred and eighty pupils were enrolled, and these 
were formed into three classes, which were so congested that it became 
necessary to engage a fourth teacher at the beginning of the second 

By 1882 more room was required for the accommodation of the 
classes of the High School, which met in the Academy. The only avail 
able building in any way suitable for the purpose was the Roblin resi 
dence on Roblin s Hill, and the School Board concluded to secure it. A 
new difficulty arose as this house was not within the limits of the cor 
poration; and as it was impracticable to move the large building down 
the hill so as to comply with the requirements of the School Act the 
only alternative was adopted by extending the boundaries of the town 
to include this property. This was accordingly done, and this building 
was the home of the High School for several years. It was an ideal 
location in some respects, but very inconvenient, especially during the 
winter season. The ceilings were low, the ventilation none too good, and 
it was not long before parents complained about the long walk and the 
crowded rooms. If Napanee were to maintain its reputation for afford 
ing educational facilities to its population it became apparent that the day 
for erecting a suitable building for the High School could not be much 
longer deferred. A most competent staff of teachers under Mr. Cortez 
Fessenden was giving excellent satisfaction; but they could not do jus 
tice to themselves or the ever increasing number of pupils in their 
cramped quarters. 

A new building was an imperative necessity and, in the face of a 
strong opposition from some ratepayers, the Board wisely determined 
that one should be erected in keeping with the needs of the town and 
county. The present Collegiate Institute, although built over twenty 
years ago, is in every respect an up-to-date building, owing to the care 
bestowed upon the plans by the building committee in investigating all 
the latest improvements in school architecture and equipment, and select 
ing what they believed to be the best ; and the thorough test it has since 
undergone has amply proven that they erred little, if at all, in their 
judgment. Many objections were raised at the time to the site and, 
while it is to be regretted that a more central location could not be 
obtained, it will be found upon taking a survey of the town that suitable 
grounds nearer the centre could not be secured. The building was 



erected in the years 1889-1890, and the committee was composed of A. 
L. Morden, Chairman, W. F. Hall, D. H. Preston, W. Coxall, T. S. 
Henry, A. Henry, W. Templeton, and H. V. Fralick. 

Mr. Fred Bartlett was the superintending Architect; and the con 
tracts for the work were distributed as follows: 

Win. and Hugh Saul, Camden East, stone-work and excavating 

Win. Evans, brick-work 

George A. Cliff, carpenter-work 

Mr. Lang, Belleville, slating 

Boyle & Son, galvanized iron-work, plumbing, etc. 

John Wallace, plastering, and 

D. Ash, painting. 

If the roll of any class of public servants in Napanee should have 
been more carefully preserved than any other it is the list of teachers 
who have from time to time taught in our High School and Public 
Schools ; but, unfortunately, no such record is in existence to-day, or, if 
it be, its whereabouts is unknown. In referring to the two grades of 
schools one naturally places the higher in rank first; but, in the hearts 
of most people the teachers of the Public Schools hold a place so dear 
that no associations in after life, apart from the family ties, can ever 
dislodge them. It may be that other towns have been blessed with the 
same patient, faithful class of Public School teachers as Napanee ; but it 
would be difficult to conceive how any could have better. In our rural 
schools the teachers too frequently make use of the profession as a 
stepping-stone to some other calling, and, although they may possess 
ability and apply themselves faithfully to their work, they cannot enter 
into it with the same spirit as the teacher who has dedicated her life 
to the training of the little ones and feels the awful responsibility that 
rests upon her shoulders. I purposely refer to the female teachers ; for, 
with the exception of Mr. James Bowerman, who rendered excellent 
service in our Public School for twenty-two years, the teachers who have 
for more than a generation devoted all their energies towards the educa 
tion of the children of Napanee have all been women. Hundreds of 
grown-up men and women in Napanee to-day, and as many more dis 
persed over the continent, when all other faculties have grown dim, will 
cherish with loving memory the happy days spent in the class-rooms of 
Miss C. H. Ballantyne, Miss Jennie F. Walsh, Miss Lucinda Aylesworth, 
and Miss Mary E. Fraser. 

The head-masters and assistants of the High School and Collegiate 
Institute have, for the most part, been men of the highest standing in 

Till! liKulNMNG OF NAI .\N1-;K 

their profession ; and many of them are to-day filling some of the most 
important positions in the educational work of our province. 

The following is a complete li>t of the teachers who have been 
engaged in the >cln><>ls of Xapanee so far as the writer, from the source.-. 
at his disposal, has been able to a>certain them. 

Head-masters of Grammar School and Collccjiate Institute 

Messrs. Thos. Xcwton, J. A. Devine, James Grange. John Thomp 
son. R. Phillips. E. B. Harper. II. M. IVnu-he. John Campbell. R. Mnthe- 
son, C. Fessenden, T. M. Henry, U. J. Flach. 

Head-masters of Public School 

Messrs. Thos. Newton. J. A. Devine. James Grange, John Thomp 
son, A. Russell, Alex. Martin, Peter Nelson. H. V. Fralick. A. C. 
Osborne, J. Bowerman, J. R. Brown, C. H. Edwards, J. C. Tier. 

Assistant Teachers in the Grammar School and Collegiate Institute 

Miss E. J. Yeomans, Me->r>. Geo. Shuntcliff, D. C. McHenry. Staf 
ford Lightburn, D. F. Bogart. Win. Tilley, S. J. Shorey, C. F. Russel, 
J. J. Magee, W. Chipman, X. Wagar, G. Kimmerly, C. C. James, R. F. 
Rattan, G. A. Chase, J. H. Hough, M. F. Libby, W. R. Sills, Miss C. 
L. Roe, Messrs. A. Martin, G. H. Reid, A. E. Lang, L. Bowerman, G. 
W. Morden, J. Colling, Win. Lochead, F. W. French, A. G. Wilson, 
Misses Margaret Nicol, Margaret Smith, Messrs. J. F. VanEvery, F. S. 
Selwood, Miss E. A. Deroche, Messrs. M. R. Reid, R. A. Croskery, A. 
M. Burnham. Miss E. M. Henry, Messrs. T. C. Smith, H. E. Collins, 
Misses Jessie Mitchell, J. L. Galloway, Mr. E. A. Miller. Misses C. 
Saunders, Isabella Moir, Helen Grange, Messrs. H. J. Haviland, J. M. 
Hutchinson, Lewis Might, Miss A. M. Dickey, Messrs. J. E. Benson, 
R. S. Jenkins, W. B. Taylor, W. B. Brown, E. J. Corkill. 

Assistant Teachers of the Public School 

Mrs. Dier, Messrs. Faulkner, Tripp, Corey, O Connor, Jas. McCann, 
Michael Dolan, Richard Corbett, John Burnip, Kelly, Fisher, Misses 
Nelson, Quair, Mrs. Chas. Chamberlain, Miss Schemehorn, Alfred 
Morgan, Miss Amanda Fralick, Messrs. J. W. Bell, J. Fox, Stafford 
Lightburn, Robert Williamson, William McMullen, Misses Mary Wright, 
Charlotte Fralick, Margaret Butterfield, Messrs. Wallace Blakeley, Ori- 



son D. Sweet, Thos. Laduc, Misses Mary C. Rerinie, Sarah Chamber 
lain, Mr. Wm. Bryers, Miss H. Davy, Mrs. G. Robson, Misses E. Brown, 

A. Hosey, L. Vandyck, J. F. Walsh, A. Yourex, L. Aylesworth, M. 
Phelan, Mary E. Fraser, C. H. Ballantyne, Mr. A. M. Anderson, Miss 

B. Phelan, Mr. R. R. Lennox, Misses E. Gillen, Lydia Caton, T. Mc- 
Creight, Ella James, Mr. W. J. Black, Misses F. Sawyer, W. B. Kaylor, 
G. L. Wagar, Eunice A. Shipman, Mr. M. R. Reid, Misses A. Tutle, A. 
M. Detlor, B. Lafferty, S. McLaurin, L. McLaurin, N. L. Grange, Mr. 
J. D. Henry, Misses E. B. Vrooman, Catherine A. Grange, Minnie 
Grange, S. H. Mills, Misses Mary Lamey, Margaret O Brien, Mrs. Eva 
Toby, Miss Dora Casey, Mr. Wm. R. Sills, Misses Emma Allen, L. 
Wallace, Mr. Frank Anderson, Misses Edith Harris, H. Ethel Mair, 
Jessie E. Mair, Etta Harrison, Jessie Crysler, Etna R. Baker, Florence 
G. Hall, Mata Wales, Elsie A. Parks, Mabel Caton, Lillian Caton, Emma 
E. Vanluven, Blanche Hawley, Norma Shannon. 




As Napanee owed its origin to the grist-mill erected hi [786, it was 
quite natural that the mill should play an important part in the history 
of the village. For years it was the leading feature of the place, and 
many of the most prominent families of Napanee were, in one way or 
another, interested in its operation. After it had passed into the hands 
of Mr. Cartwright he began to look about for a capable mill-wright to 
make some needed improvements and superintend the operation of the 
new mill. Such a man he found in young John Grange, who had 
emigrated from Scotland in 1794 and settled in or near Syra 
cuse in the State of New York. After some correspondence Grange 
entered into an agreement with Mr. Cartwright to come to Napanee and 
take charge of the mills. He was the progenitor of the many branches 
of the Grange family who for over a century have been intimately asso 
ciated with the development of the town. The birth of his son William, 
in 1800, was an event of some importance, as it is claimed that he was 
the first white child born in Napanee; though the same distinction is 
claimed for James I. Vanalstine said to have been born in the same 

After concluding his engagement with Mr. Cartwright, Grange pur 
chased from him a large tract of land, which became the Grange home 
stead. At the time of the purchase he believed that he was getting the 
land upon which the town now stands, and claimed that that was the 
understanding between them; but upon examining his title he found 
that a substantial reservation had been made of all the land bordering 
upon the river, so he was forced to build his dwelling about a mile north 
of the town. 

Disappointed in not securing a portion at least of the water privilege 
at the falls, he developed a power and built a saw-mill upon the stream 
crossing his farm. This was used to advantage for two generations for 
the benefit of himself and neighbours ; but as the land lying along the 
banks of the stream was cleared the flow of water was so reduced that 
it could not produce sufficient power to turn the wheel except during the 
spring freshets. Eventually it was abandoned, the dam was washed 
away, and little, if any, trace now remains to point out the location of 


the first power developed in the county other than that at the falls in 

About the year 1812 the mill was rented to Allan Macpherson, who 
in his day was the most prominent and influential man in the village. 
He kept a general store at the foot of Adelphi Street near where the 
office of the Gibbard Company now stands ; and in the store he kept the 
first post-office opened in Napanee. He owned and operated a distillery 
and a saw-mill near the base of the falls on the opposite side of the 
river, and was extensively engaged in the lumber business. He was mar 
ried to a daughter of Judge Fisher of Adolphustown, and was himself a 
Justice of the Peace and a member of the Court of Requests for the 
seventh division of the District, w r hich comprised the township of Rich 
mond and a part of Hungerford. Altogether "Mac," as he was fam 
iliarly called, had very good reasons for posing as the Laird of Napanee; 
for no one man either before or since his time has wielded a greater influ 
ence in the community than he. He was conscious of his own import 
ance, and by some was regarded as overbearing ; but we can readily con 
ceive that a man with so many business enterprises upon his hands 
would find it necessary to assert and stand by his rights. He built the 
old Macpherson residence, which is still standing on the bank of the 
river in East Ward, and was in its day the most imposing building of its 
kind in the county. 

He took a lively interest in all matters affecting the public welfare, 
and built the first school-house in Napanee. While he scrupulously 
insisted that every man he dealt with should live up to his obligations 
he was kind to the poor, and always ready to extend a helping hand to 
his friends. Among the clerks employed by him in his store was an old 
bachelor, Frederick Hesford, who owned a hundred acres or more in 
that part of the town now known as Upper Napanee and through which 
runs a street named after him. Upon his death he willed this land to 
different members of the family of his employer. Allan Macpherson, 
upon being appointed Crown Lands Agent, removed to Kingston, and 
was succeeded in business by his son Donald, who for many years was 
reckoned among the prominent men of the village. 

There was no surveyor s subdivision of the village into lots when 
the first buildings were erected; and it was not until the year 1831 that 
n regular plan of the site of the town proper was prepared by Samuel 
Benson, P.L.S. This plan shews a pot-ashery, a grist-mill, and a saw 
mill on the north side of the river. Napanee proper, as originally laid 
out, extended only from the river to Thomas Street and from East Street 
to West Street, thus excluding the limits of the first village, all of which 


lay east of East Street. In the subdivision of what is now known as 
East \Yarcl that triangular portion bounded by I .ridge, Dundas. and 
Adelphi Streets has not to this day been laid out into lots. This omission 
i> explained by the fact that it was built up before the arrival of the 
surveyor, and any attempt upon his part to lay it out into regular 1< 
not corresponding with the land occupied by the several owners would 
have led only to confusion. This also accounts for the irregularity of 
many of the holdings in East \Yard which are not uniform in size or 

Until recent years Xapanoc had more places where intoxicating 
liquor was sold than were necessary for the good of the inhabitants. In 
the local press of 1855 a correspondent complains about there being n. 
less than seventeen licensed drinking places in the village. Such appears 
to have been the condition of affairs from the beginning, and two of the 
first buildings to be erected on Main Street after the survey by Benson 
were taverns, both built by the same man, Daniel Tringle. The fir>t 
was built near the site of the, present Royal Hotel; and shortly after ii- 
completion he sold out to Miles Shorey and immediately proceeded to 
erect the Tichborne House on the corner now occupied by the Smith 

Among the first buildings erected on Main Street between East and 
John Streets was the frame building still standing on the corner opposite 
the Rennie Block, which was built and for many years occupied as a 
general store by John Benson, who lived on the corner of Bridge and 
East Streets now owned by Mr. John Thompson. Mr. Augustus Hooper, 
who afterwards represented this county in the Legislative Assembly. 
received his start in life in this store as managing clerk for Mr. Benson. 
About the same time the first building erected on the comer at the other 
end of the same block, where now stands the Albert Block, was built 
by John V. Detlor ; here for many years he also carried on business as a 
general merchant. 

The trade of the town gradually extended westward along Main 
Street, and about the year 1840 the Merchants Bank corner for the first 
time was occupied as a place of business. It was here that David Roblin, 
afterwards one of the leading men of the county and for many years its 
representative in Parliament, began his career as a Xapanee merchant, 
having come to the village from the front of Richmond, where he had 
kept a store for three years. He carried on an extensive and profitable 
business; and for a long time this was regarded as one of the most 
popular sites in the village and town, a reputation which it failed to 
maintain after the erection of the Leonard Block, as the present build- 


ing was first called. Year after year witnessed the erection of more 
stores along Main Street until Centre Street was reached ; and about the 
middle of the last century Campbell s corner opposite the Campbell 
house came into favour with the country folk and received a very large 
share of their patronage. Beyond this point on Main Street all efforts 
to establish a profitable business house of any kind have, with very few 
exceptions, invariably failed. 

This westward trend of trade between the years 1820 and 1855 had 
a depressing effect upon the merchants of the east end, where Wm. 
Miller, A. C. Davis, and a few others succeeded in keeping pace with 
their rivals west of East Street. Clarkville struggled hard to hold its 
grip upon its customers; but the once thriving suburb was doomed, 
although at one time during this period there were no less than four 
stores across the river kept respectively by B. Hane, Archie McNeil, 
Donald McHenry, and Thomas Ramsay. 

At the present time our county cheese board meets every Friday 
during the factory season. We have our "Hog Days" for the shipment 
of pigs, and our "Turkey Days" when car-loads of fowls are purchased 
for the Christmas trade in our large cities. Our surplus horses, cattle, 
and sheep are now purchased by buyers going through the country at 
irregular intervals to suit their own convenience; but about seventy-five 
years ago there came into existence what was known as the "Fair 
Days," when a general mart for the disposal of all such produce was 
held on the first Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the months of 
March, June, September, and December. These Fairs were established 
by Royal Proclamation, and were looked forward to by both the country 
and townspeople as very important events. The streets were thronged 
upon these days with thousands of people from all parts of the county, 
who exchanged their stock and other produce for the ready cash of the 
drovers and buyers from different parts of the province. Refreshment 
booths, hucksters, and even Punch and Judy Shows were much in evi 
dence, and the hotels and merchants reaped a rich harvest from the 

When first inaugurated they were semi-annual, being held in March 
and September, but met with such favour, both from the farmers and 
the villagers, that later on they were held every three months. For 
weeks before the appointed time hand-bills were scattered throughout 
the county. One of these notices, about fifteen inches square printed in 
heavy type and bearing date February I5th, 1841, now lying before the 
writer, reads as follows : "The Napanee half-yearly Mart or Fair will be 
holden at said place on the first Tuesday in March next (being the 2nd 

chifc^ U m 






of the month) and two following days, when every description of cattle 
will be offered for sale; and when cash will be paid for all sorts of grain. 
Farmers and others will find it to their interest to support an establish 
ment which has already proved so beneficial to the country at large and 
to the District in particular." With the advent of the railways, the gen 
eral improvement in shipping facilities, and the changes in the methods 
of dealing in these commodities, the "Fair" has long since become a 
thing of the past. 

In 1852 Napanee was made a police village, whereby three trustees 
were permitted to spend, for purely local purposes, a certain portion of 
the taxes levied upon the property within its limits ; but in other respects 
it remained a part of the township of Richmond and was under the jur- 
i-diction of the township council. In 1855 it rose to the dignity of an 
incorporated village and the first council was constituted as follow 
John Benson, reeve ; Geo. H. Davy, Donald Macpherson, Robert Esson, 
and Abraham Fraser, councillors. 

On July iSth, 1855, at a public meeting called for the purpose of 
considering the propriety of building a market house and town-hall, a 
series of resolutions were carried favouring- the project. The question 
of purchasing a fire-engine was also discussed, and a resolution recom 
mending the council to take immediate steps to secure one was carried, 
he council promptly submitted a by-law for raising- 1,200 upon the 
debentures of the village, 1,000 for the market house and 200 for the 
fire-engine. The by-law was carried, the engine purchased, and the con 
tract let for the building now standing in the market square ; but not 
without a spirited correspondence in the local press as to the propriety 
of expending so much money upon what was styled by one correspondent 
a useless ornament. One of the leading business men went so far in his 
criticism of the faulty construction of the roof as to prophesy that it 
would collapse within five years time. The original resolution of the 
ratepayers meeting called for a stone building; but the village fathers 
in their wisdom chose brick instead. The lower story was given over to 
butchers stalls and accommodation for the country folk bringing their 
products to market, and the upper story for a public hall, as at present 

The fire-engine created quite a sensation in the village as one might 
infer from the following editorial which appeared in the Reformer of 
January 23 rd, 1856: "On Thursday last our village, or at least the boys 
of our village, were quite elated by the arrival of our long expected fire- 
engine purchased from Messrs. Perry and Co., Montreal. It is quite a 
small affair indeed, but perhaps will serve us for some time to come 


"About four o clock p.m. she was brought out for the purpose of 
testing her merits and halted in front of Mr. Shaw s Hotel, where the 
water flew briskly, to the great amusement of many who for the first 
time beheld a fire-engine in operation. A few hip, hip, hurras, and pro 
bably a few toasts drank, and a march up street ended the afternoon s 
amusement, when she was laid up for a further test at some future 
period when necessity called. 

"Perhaps the purchasers are well pleased with their bargain and do 
not consider they have paid too much for the whistle! But let us ask a 
few questions. Considering the size of the engine does not $700 look 
large for it? The hose is a separate thing, we understand, for which is 
paid only four shillings a foot, two hundred feet then, the quantity 
required, would be worth $160. Besides a hose-cart, the price of which 
cannot be less than $40, so that with other appurtenances, hooks, ladders, 
etc., our engine will cost considerable money, probably upwards of a 
thousand dollars, does this not look large? Perhaps not, we do not wish 
to be the first to complain." 

The event of the year, however, was the laying the corner-stone of 
the town-hall, which took place on June nth, 1856. Programmes of the 
procession and order of proceedings were scattered broadcast through 
out the county, announcing most elaborate preparations for the "auspi 
cious occasion." At the appointed hour the various bodies and indivi 
duals to take part in the event were marshalled in order, two and two, 
on Dundas Street. First in order was the Napanee Sax-horn Band, fol 
lowed by "a body of constables with their batons," then came the dif 
ferent organizations of the county: municipal officers, professional gen 
tlemen, school children, and citizens generally. So complete were the 
arrangements for the grand parade that no one appears to have been 
omitted ; and if all who were invited to take part responded to the call 
of the grand marshal!, there would have been no one left but the women 
and babies to line the streets as the procession marched to the market 
square, where the officers and members of Union Lodge with their visit 
ing brethren, who brought up the rear, were to perform the solemn cere 
mony of laying well and truly the huge block of limestone which still 
supports the south-east corner of the building. Then followed the 
speeches of the orators of the day; after which the procession was re 
formed and marched along Bridge and Dundas Streets to Shaw s Hotel, 
where they dispersed. 

As we have already said, the question of the separation of the coun 
ties was agitated for years before it was brought about, and quite natur 
ally there arose out of it the question of the location of the county 


t\vn. Xewbur^h. I .ath, and Xapanee all aspired to the honour, and 
each presented many good and sufficient reasons for its claim. The 
Index espoused the cause of Xewlmr^h. while the Standard and Re 
former scoffed at the pretensions of both the other villages. Bath had no 
champion in the press and did not long- continue in the race. 

The strife between the other two contestants was prolonged and 
acrimonious ; and an estimate of the spirit in which the warfare of words 
was waged may be formed from the following editorial which appeared 
in the Reformer of February 271!), 1X50 : "The Index is somewhat sur 
prised to see the apathy of the Napanee journals on the question of the 
late meeting of the reeves and deputy-reeves of Lennox and Addington 
to decide on the propriety of a separation of the above named counties 
from Frontenac. After quoting the notice of the meeting from the 
Standard the editor remarks that the Reformer was judiciously silent, 
which is very true as regards our silence, but to the word judiciously we 
beg to ask an exception. 

The drive of business at that time was such as to prevent out- 
being in attendance at the meeting, consequently no notice was taken of 
it; but should we have noticed it, the purport of our remarks would 
not have varied materially from that of our cotemporary. The meeting 
was held in the presence of the authorities, the motion was put and 
unanimously carried. The Index a^ks why were not the yeas and nays on 
the question given simply because there was no negation offered a 
very plausible reason, in our humble opinion. He further informs us 
that Theologians say that hope is made up of expectation and desire 
and that our cotemporary hopes for a separation of the counties/ and so 
do we hope for it in the fullest acceptation of the term, and our next 
February meeting we trust, will grant us the decision in the right way. 
Hear what he says again: Tf Addington consents to the separation she 
will see to it that she has the county town situated within her own limits, 
or words to that effect. 

"\Ye would ask in the name of wonder, providing the separation be 
ratified, where would the county town be situated ? Certainly our cotem 
porary cannot imagine for a moment, that the inhabitants of these 
counties would consent that Rogue s Hollow should be thus honoured! 
And yet from his language that would be inferred. Mighty Moses! 
How some folks aspire! It reminds us of a fable. How preposterous 
the idea. 

"In way of consolation to our friend of Newburgh, we cannot blame 
him in striving to uphold the interests of his darling village, for it is 
natural so to do; but that must be considered a very poor pretext indeed 


for asserting it to be the proper place for the county town. Perhaps 
there is not an individual residing three miles on this side of that place 
who has an occasion to visit the ambitious village twice a year, and 
probably very many who live in the western part of Camden much 
oftener visit Napanee than they do Newburgh doing so with much 
greater ease. Newburgh s advantage as a market is very inferior, which 
fact is easily substantiated. On the contrary our advantages are, or soon 
will be, in that respect all that can be desired, showing superabundant, 
advantages over our aspiring neighbours. This fact is so well estab 
lished that it needs no controversy, and all that may be said by our 
cotemporary hereafter cannot, in any way, affect these verities. A 
thing once substantiated by self-evident truths cannot be refuted. Our 
neighbour, therefore, may as well rest content with his present position, 
for we predict he will never see the day when Newburgh will be honoured 
as a county town." 

The solution of the vexed question has been described in another 

There was something incongruous in the village of Napanee having 
been proclaimed a county town, and the only remedy was to have the 
corporation raised one step higher in the municipal scale. It had passed 
from a hamlet to a police village, from a police village to an incorporated 
village, and on June 3Oth, 1864, an Act of the Legislative Council and 
Assembly of Canada received the royal assent, whereby the village 
became an incorporated town from December ist of the same year. At 
the ensuing election B. C. Davy was elected its first mayor, John 
Stevenson, reeve, William McGillivray, deputy-reeve, and Wm. Miller, 
John T. Grange, S. McL. Detlor, M. T. Rogers, John Gibbard, John 
Herring, and H. T. Forward, councillors. The following is a list of 
Mayors from the date of incorporation to the present time: 

Mayors of Napanee 

1865-6-7 Benjamin C. Davy 1886 Uriah Wilson 
1868-9 1870-1 James C. Huffman 1887-8 Dr. H. L. Cook 

1872-3-4 Amzi L. Morden 1889-90 Thomas G. Carscallen 

1875-6-7 Walter S. Williams 1891 Jehial Aylesworth 

1878 Archibald McNeil 1892 Edward S. Lapum 

1879 Charles James 1893 Raymond A. Leonard 
18801 Alexander Henry 1 894-5 Charles Stevens 
1882-3 Charles James 1896 John Carsom 
1884-5 Wilder Joy 1897 Dr. G. C. T. Ward 






iS,S Thomas Jamieson 1905-6 John Lowry 

1*99 Thomas D. Pruyn 1907-8 i lerman Ming 

1900-1 Thomas G. Carscallen 1909-10 T. \Y. Simpson, M.I). 

1902 George F. Ruttan 1911 Amos S. Kimmerly 

1903 John P. Yrooman 191 _> \\ ni . T. Waller 

1904 Marshall S. Madole 1913 W. A. Steacy 

For many years. especially since the opening of the driving park- 
just west of the town, Xapanee has been the centre of attraction on 
Dominion Day; and the leading feature of these celebrations has been 
the testing of the speed of each and every horse in the county and of 
some from a distance that had any pretensions as racers. 

July ist, 1867, the natal day <>f Confederation, was advertised to lie 
a gala day m our county town, to which the country people came in 
crowds to hear the Royal Proclamation and witness a grand military dis 
play. A platform was erected on the north side of the town-hall where 
the ceremony was to take place. The Forty-Eighth Battalion was repre 
sented by two companies from the town, one from Odessa, one from 
Ernesttown, and another from Amherst Island, and the Xapanee Artil 
lery Company turned out to swell the numbers of the soldiery. The 
merchants were , supposed to observe the holiday; but most of them 
remained behind their counters to take full advantage of the crowd of 
customers passing their doors, and evidently felt that they had answered 
all the claims upon their loyalty by displaying before their places of 
business all the faded flags and bunting they could muster. 

At eleven o clock, the appointed hour, the Mayor, Mr. B. C. Davy, 
read the Proclamation before the assembled crowd and the militia, who 
had been commanded to stand at ease but appeared to be very uncom 
fortable in executing the order. Upon the platform were the municipal 
officers of the county, several clergymen, and no less than five prospec 
tive candidates for the coming election. These aspirants for parlia 
mentary honours took advantage of the occasion and, after a few well 
chosen remarks as to the future of our great Dominion, each occupant of 
the rostrum in turn advanced many cogent reasons why the free and inde 
pendent electors of Lennox and Addington should commit to him the 
welfare of the riding. The crowd good-naturedly endured the speeches 
thus inflicted upon them and, after giving three cheers for Her Majesty 
and the new Confederation, dispersed to the several hotels and restaur 
ants to indulge in what was to most of them a more pleasing pastime. 
After dinner the volunteers re-formed on the market square and went 
through some evolutions in what was said to be very good style. 



The present Napanee Band had not been organized, and such 
attempts at entertainment as were furnished by the few instruments col 
lected for the day did not render the occasion more enjoyable to those 
who were musically inclined. Napanee has made a decided advance 
since that day in the entertainment provided for its visitors on July ist. 
The tame and tiresome proceedings of this the first day of Confederation 
would appear more ludicrous still if compared with Dominion Day, 1912, 
when no less than 10,000 visitors poured into Napanee to witness an 
aeroplane flight, horse races, and baseball matches in our beautiful park, 
to say nothing of the circus which also pitched its tents within the gates. 

Mr. Benjamin C. Davy, the first Mayor of Napanee, was born at 
Bath in 1829. He was educated at the Bath Academy and after studying 
law with Sir John A. Macdonald was called to the bar in 1850. He 
began the practice of his profession in his native village, where he 
remained but a few months, and then opened an office in Kingston, 
which he gave up in a short time, and came to Napanee, where he con 
tinued to practise his profession until 1872. His office was in the frame 
building west of the Campbell house, and was the favourite rendezvous 
of a group of congenial townsmen among whom Napanee s first lawyer 
was a leader in all matters affecting the welfare of the municipality. 

When Manitoba was attracting the attention of the eastern provinces 
in 1872, he went west with a view of settling there, but ill health com 
pelled him to return. He died in February, 1874, from an attack of 
pneumonia contracted through exposure in the election campaign of Sir 
John A. Macdonald, for whom he entertained such respect that he 
neglected his own comfort and health in his efforts to secure his return. 
He was popular among all classes, and was regarded by the profession 
as one of the leading lawyers of this District. 

Mr. Davy enjoyed a monopoly of his profession until 1856, when 
Mr. John MacMillan opened an office, but did not continue long in prac 
tice in Napanee. George A. Hine s name appears among the legal cards 
in 1861, and Wm. H. Wilkison was called to the bar in the same year 
and gave the first serious opposition Mr. Davy had to encounter. After 
the separation of the counties and the establishment of the courts in the 
new county there was an influx of the gentlemen of the robe, and by 
1866 there were no less than six law offices in the town: Thomas Scott, 
E. J. Hooper, W. S. Williams, W. H. Wilkison, O Reilly & Macnamara, 
and Davy & Holmsted. Mr. Holmsted, Senior Registrar of the High 
Court of Justice at Osgoode Hall, is the author of several standard 
works upon Ontario practice. 


James O Reilly, Q.C., of Kingston, was a celebrated lawyer and 
obtained much of his business from this county. The opening of so many 
offices in Xapanee had a marked effect upon his retainers from this 
section. To retain his connection with his old clients he opened an office 
in the county town and placed bis junior partner. M. J. Maenamara in 
charge. During the next ten years another group of legal gentlemen 
were soliciting the patronage of a suffering public. Among the number 
were W. A. Reeve, F. McKenzie, W. R. Chamberlain, Stephen Gibson, 
D. H. Preston, A. L. Morden, Fred W. Campbell, Thos. J. Robertson, 
W. E. Lees, H. M. Deroche, and Cartwright & Cartwright. The last 
mentioned firm was composed of John R. Cartwright, at present Deputy 
Attorney-General of Ontario, and James S. Cartwright, Master in 
Chambers at Osgoode Hall. 

To treat of the doctors of Napanee in a fitting manner and give to 
each a space commensurate with the place he filled in the lives of the old 
families would require many chapter-. \\V have but to mention such 
names as Chamberlain, Ash, Alien. Trousdale. Carey, Grange, Clare, 
Bristol, and Ruttan to the old residents to awaken tender memories of 
the past and bring forth scores of interesting experiences well worth 
recording. The physician is so closely indentified with the inner life of 
his patients and is the chief actor in so many critical events fraught with 
joy and sorrow upon which hang the very life and death of those who 
place themselves in his hands, that he is more than a professional atten 
dant. His duties do not end with the treatment of ailments but, apart 
from his strictly professional services, he has frequently thrust uixjn him 
the awful responsibility of confidential adviser upon the most delicate 
questions affecting the family relationship, and, when the angel of death 
is hovering- near, a more sacred duty still. He must be patient, alert, 
tender, and courageous, qualities that do not always go hand in hand. 
Napanee has been highly favoured in this respect; and in the long role 
of skilled physicians who have practised in the town and surrounding 
country few indeed have not reached this high standard. Even at the 
risk of resting under the charge of an unjust discrimination I will single 
out for comment only three, as representative types, knowing full well 
that I am doing an injustice to many others. 

Dr. James Allen was a graduate of Edinburgh University, came to 
Canada shortly after graduation, and settled first, about 1839, a t Conway, 
where he practised his profession for two years. He then moved to 
Napanee and lived on the corner of Bridge and East Streets, where now 
stands the brick residence of Mr. F. \Y. Smith. He had an office and 
drug store on the south side of Dundas Street near the site of Waller s 


store. He was ranked as a skilful doctor, but the life of the pioneer 
possessed a charm for him ; and about the year 1844 he purchased a farm 
near Lime Lake, sold out his store and practice to Dr. Shirley, and 
retired to his estate to do battle with the forest. He there became the 
leading man of the settlement and raised a large family of eight boys 
and five girls. He abandoned his profession as a calling, but went to the 
relief of his scattered neighbours when urged to do so, and invariably 
declined to accept a fee for the services rendered. Nearly all the Aliens, 
and there are many of them in the northern part of Hungerford and 
Richmond, are his descendants. At a birthday party given in his honour 
nearly fifty years ago no less than sixty of his grandchildren assembled 
under one roof to pay their respects to the old gentleman. 

Dr. Oronhyateka never acquired fame in his profession ; but no 
Canadian physician ever acquired greater international notoriety than 
he. He was a bright young Indian fifty-three years ago ; and upon the 
occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860 he was 
chosen as the representative of the Mohawk band to present an address 
to His Royal Highness, who was so impressed with his intelligence and 
manly bearing that he persuaded him to accept a royal bounty, a course 
in medicine at Oxford. In due course he returned to Canada and in 
August, 1866, began his professional career in Napanee. He had an 
office in the Cartwright Block and built the red brick residence on the 
crest of Roblin s Hill. He could not entirely free himself from his 
natural adherence to the cures of the red man and in his professional 
card announced his faith in the herbs prescribed by his forefathers. He 
remained but a few years in Napanee, when he removed to Western 
Ontario, and finally settled in London, where he became indemnified with 
the Independent Order of Foresters, of which Society he became the 
High Chief Ranger, and as such acquired a world-wide reputation. 

The typical family doctor of the old school was the late Dr. Allan 
Ruttan. He was a son of Peter W. Ruttan who claimed to be the first 
white child born in the township of Adolphustown. His grandfather, 
William Ruttan, (spelled Rattan in the original records) was enrolled 
in the old U. E. L. list still preserved in the Crown Lands Department at 
Toronto, and was assigned lot number eighteen in the first concession of 

The story is told of William Ruttan that he was very fond of music 
and dearly loved, after a hard day s work, to take down his old violin 
and entertain the family with a few selections. This same instrument 
had helped to shorten many a tiresome day in the voyage around the 
Gulf and during the winter s sojourn of the Loyalists at Sorel. He was 


a follower of Rev. William Losee, in fact one of the largest contributors 
to the building fund of the old Methodist chapel on Hay Bay. Losee 
could not tolerate a violin, and remonstrated with Brother William upon 
his woridMncss in being so familiar with one of Satan s contrivances for 
luring the faithful from the fold. Ruttan could not see eye to eye with 
his spiritual adviser upon this point; but the preacher was firm, so he 
finally yielded, and proposed to give it away t> a negro who had long 
desired to possess one. This was also objected to upon high moral 
grounds, so to appease the missionary the dear old fiddle was thrust into 
the fireplace and consumed to ashes. 

Dr. Ruttan was born in Adolphustown in 1826, and after passing 
through the common school of the township took a preparatory course 
of instruction at the Picton Grammar School, and graduated from 
McGill University in 1852. Immediately after graduation he commenced 
to practise in Newburgh and in a short time acquired an enviable reputa 
tion. When the final vote was taken fixing Xapanee as the county town 
he evidently felt that the chances of Newburgh growing into a populous 
centre were not very encouraging, so he removed to Picton, -ready to 
the regret of the citizens of the village and surrounding country, who, 
upon his departure, presented him with a silver service and an address- 
testifying the esteem in which he was held by all classes in the com 

He remained in Picton less than two years, when he returned to 
Napanee and purchased the only three-story residence in the town, 
the old brick dwelling-house on the market square, where he lived until 
a few years before his death, when he removed to the dwelling on 
Bridge Street now occupied by his son, Mr. G. F. Ruttan, K.C. He died 
in 1898, universally respected by all who knew him. He was a tall, power 
ful man with a strong face indicating great force of character, yet in 
sick room he was gentle, and had a great affection for his patients, 
lie was often heard to remark that he would be unable to operate upon 
a child if he allowed himself to pause and think of the appealing cries of 
the little sufferer. He possessed great originality, and in treating many 
of his difficult surgical cases devised and made his own mechanical appli"- 
In his conversation he was plain and blunt, with a touch of 
humour that removed the sting of his sometimes caustic comments ; and 
between him and his patients there was a bond of sympathy stronger than 
that arising simply from the confidence in his medical skill. For many 
years he was the representative of this District on the Ontario Medical 
Council, and by this connection acquired more than a local reputation 
as one of the leading physicians of the province. 




The late Mr. Thomas H. Waller, until a few months ago one of the 
oldest business men of the town and gifted with a remarkable memory 
for details of places, names, and events, a few weeks before his death 
furnished the writer with the following information regarding the 
business section of Napanee as it appeared sixty years ago. In 1848 
Mr. Waller, then a lad of fourteen years, was apprenticed to one Wm. 
Parish with whom he learned the tin-smith trade. This he followed 
successfully until his death, gradually enlarging his business by the addi 
tion of a plumbing and steam-fitting plant and a hardware store carried 
on by himself and his son, William T. Waller. 

The present generation would not recognize the main street of 
Napanee of sixty years ago as described by this old resident. Most of 
the buildings were frame, one and one-half or two stories high and, as 
a general rule, the upper portion was used as the residence of the pro 
prietor of the business carried on on the ground floor. One of the most 
prominent men of the town was Squire Alexander Campbell, who con 
ducted a general store on the south-west corner of Dundas and Centre 
Streets, in a two-story frame building with a verandah extending along 
the entire frontage on both streets. This served as a shelter for some 
of the coarser wares exposed for sale and as an excellent loafing place, 
where the idle used to congregate to gossip or wile away the hours of 
waiting for the stage-coach with the mail, as the post-office was kept in 
the rear of the building, and could be reached either by going through 
the store or by a rear entrance from the verandah on Centre Street. The 
Squire prided himself on a well kept garden, which extended from the 
rear of the store to Mill Street. On the erection of the present brick 
building, known as the McMullen Block, the frame store was moved to 
the middle of the block, where it still remains. 

Just across the street on the north side stood an old frame tavern 
which Mr. Campbell purchased, tore down, and built the Campbell House 
upon the site. He also built the handsome stone residence across the 
river, and in front of it a substantial stone wall above what is still known 
as Campbell s Rocks. Here, in a high fenced inclosure, he kept for years 
a* herd of deer captured in the northern part of the county. He was the 


])o.-tinaster of Xapanee, following Allan Macpherson, and \\ , 
-ucceeded by the late Gilbert Bogart, who in turn was followed by the 
present pttinastcr. Dr. K. A. Leonard. 

West of the old Campbell store was a frame building in which for 
a time was published the Napanee Standard; next to it was another two- 
-tory frame building, part of which was recently replaced by the brick 
store of Mr. John Ellison. For some time the upper story of this build 
ing was used as a school-room and the lower part as a tin-shop and ware- 
room by the late John Herring, who made a specialty of stoves and 
ploughs and had his workshop and foundry on Mill Street in the old 
building afterwards used as a soap factory and later still as an eva 
porator. He afterwards \va- extensively engaged in the manufacture of 
agricultural implements and employed a large number of workmen in 
the factory built by him next door to the Gibbard factory in East Ward. 
He re-organized the Xapanee (ias Company, which in other hands had 
proved a failure, and for many year- enjoyed the monopoly of -apply 
ing the municipality and its citizens with gas from his plant. Mr. Herr 
ing was a man of great originality, enterprise, and perseverance. He 
amassed a small fortune in the paper business at Xapanee Mills I Strath- 
cona) and sold out for a good round sum when the industry was upon 
a good paying basis, but, unfortunately, embarked in a losing- venture 
which swallowed up nearly all the savings of a lifetime. He built a glass 
factory nearly opposite the Grand Trunk Depot, equipped it with all the 
modern appliances, and imported German glass-blowers and workmen 
from the United States; but conditions were not favourable for its suc 
cessful operation and its founder sustained a loss which would have 
crushed a man of ordinary energy and resource. 

West of the Campbell House, where F. W. Yandusen s harness shop 
now is, Mr. Benjamin C. Davy had his law office, and the rest of the 
block through to Robert Street was occupied by a number of low, ram 
bling, frame houses. In the rear of one was a bowling-alley, in another 
was McBean s cabinet shop, in which a member of the family still resides, 
and in a third one Tom Hussy, the hatter, manufactured plug hats 
adapted to all degrees and stations in life. 

On the north-east corner of Centre and Dundas Streets, now r occu 
pied by the Robinson Company, there stood a small frame building where 
the father of the late George Mills had a harness shop. Just east of it 
in another frame building the old gentleman lived. The next building 
was also a frame one in which a cobbler named Lamphier lived, and 
made, and mended boots ; next to him was Conger s dry goods store. 
About the middle of the block was Robert Esson s general store, and 


adjoining him was a carriage factory and blacksmith shop. Every block 
in what is now the business part of the town appears to have had its 
tavern or drinking place and this one was no exception, as next door 
east of the carriage shop was Andrew Stevenson s saloon. Next door 
east was Gleeson s saloon, and near the corner, where Chinneck s jewel 
lery store now is, was a drug store kept by J. C. Huffman and Dr. David 
Ash. On the corner, where Wallace s drug store is now, a man named 
Morris had a tailor shop; and when Grange was burned out in 1857 on 
the other side of the street he moved across to the premises occupied by 
the tailor, and in 1860 built the brick building on the corner which has 
ever since been occupied as a drug store and by some one or more mem 
bers of the Grange family until Mr. T. B. Wallace took possession ten 
years ago. 

On the south-east corner of Centre and Dundas Streets, now occu 
pied by Mr. Fred L. Hooper, the druggist, stood a low frame building, 
the \vest part of which was a shoemaker s shop conducted by Benoni 
Briggs, and the eastern part a grocery kept by a man named Embury. 
A little later George Sexsmith had a tailor shop on the corner, and east 
of the store occupied by Embury was another building which had many 
short term tenants, but eventually was used as a grocery and dry goods 
store by George Quackenbush, who, in order to assure his doubting 
friends that he w^as in business in earnest, painted a huge sign across the 
front of the premises which read, "An Established Fact, George A. 

The stone bakery was turning out bread, buns, and sweetmeats from 
the ovens of Edward H. Dickens ; and in the next store, occupied by Mr. 
Waller, the late Thomas H. Waller was serving his apprenticeship under 
William Parish. All the other buildings in the block through to John 
Street were frame; and among the various occupants during the decade 
following 1850 Thomas Trimble had a butcher shop in partnership with 
a man named Watts, Mrs. Scales, mother-in-law of J. T. Grange, had a 
small grocery, and Mrs. Millburn created dreams in the millinery line. 
Wm. McMullen dealt in dry goods and groceries, and next door was 
Grange s drug store. Over the drug store was the home of the Napanee 
Standard which was burned out at the same time as the drug store. On 
the Merchants Bank corner James Blewett had a store, over which was 
a barber shop conducted by a coloured man named Huffman. 

Crossing John Street to the site of the Albert Block we would have 
seen a rickety old frame building tenanted by Wm. Fell, a baker, and 
Davis Fraser, a tailor. To maintain the average of drinking places there 
were two in the centre of the block, one a saloon managed by Lafayette 
Davy, adjoining which was Joseph Halfpenny s shoe shop. Next door 






was Shorey s hotel, and over the sheds of the hotel was a hall used as a 
court room before the division of the counties. On the other side of the 
hotel Heiiry Douglas, who had learned his trade with John Herring, had 
a tin-shop. The general store of H. T. Forward was near the corner, 
where John Benson, one of the most public-spirited men of his day, also 
kept a store in the building now standing upon that lot. 

The other side of the street would have presented as .^reat a con 
trast. Old Dan Pringle, as every one called him, catered to the wants of 
man and beast at one end of the block win-re the Smith building now is, 
and at the other end, upon the site of the Rennie Block, George Davy 
had a store. Davy bought the Prhigle corner, the old Tichborne House, 
and managed it himself for many years. East of it was one of the few 
brick buildings on the street, in which John S. Edgar had a drug store. 
It was about this time that Henry Douglas gave up the tin-shop across 
the street and commenced business as a general store-keeper in the old 
frame building which he continued to occupy to the time of his death. 
The old stone building is an ancient landmark. In one part John Blew- 
ett had a general store, over which he lived; in the other half was Joseph 
Gunsolus saloon. Between the saloon and the corner the mother of Mr. 
Uriah Wilson had a small grocery, and later on William Lamphier had a 
shoe store. The Brisco House was then a small two-story brick build 
ing which has since been enlarged; and the opposite side of the street 
presented a very sorry appearance with a row of tumble-down build 
ings and lumber yards. 

A\ hile East Ward was losing its grip upon the business of the town 
there were still some substantial firms in the old ward with a large annual 
turnover. The two-story brick building on the east side of East Street 
was not a part of the Brisco House property until recent years : but was 
known as the Warner Block and extended through to Dundas Street, the 
lower story on the corner being a part of the Warner property. In this 
corner was situated the store of Marshall Roblin. In a frame building 
east of the present alley way was Meagher s flour and feed store. Next 
door east was William Miller s store, and adjoining this was John Ste 
venson s store. On the same side of the street was a grocery kept by a 
man named Foster, and Wales corner was occupied by a bowling- 
alley. On the corner of Adelphi and Dundas Streets was the general 
store of Alexander Davis. He afterwards built and moved into the 
brick building east of the Henry Block, now used as an auditorium for 
a moving picture theatre. 

Two frame buildings occupied a part of the corner where the Cart- 
wright block is ; and when the Granges rebuilt the corner of Dundas and 


John Streets J. C. Huffman moved down to the corner of East Street 
where the Daly Tea Company s offices are now. He controlled a goodly 
portion of the drug trade, and in his palmy days built the large brick 
dwelling- now owned by H. M. Deroche. When the Cartwright Block was 
built these two frame buildings were moved eastward and are still stand 
ing at the foot of Adelphi Street, but their order is reversed. One was 
for many years used by the late James Perry as a woollen-mills office; 
but upon the west side of it can still be deciphered the Huffman drug 
store sign, painted there fifty years ago. The other frame building next 
door to the Gibbard Company s finishing room stood near the present site 
of Boyle & Son s store and was the first store occupied by Boyle & 
Wright as a hardware store. In the same locality Rennie made a spe 
cialty of penitentiary boots, and further east in the same block were the 
dry goods stores of W. H. Fralick and Wm. V. Detlor. R. V. Powell 
had a tin-shop where Normile s warerooms are ; and where now stands 
the small brick blacksmith shop was one of the busiest hives in the vil 
lage, in fact the most historic store of Napanee, that of Allan Macpher- 
son. There can still be seen beneath the floor of the shop the old cellar 
in which was stored the surplus stock of whisky. This was once the 
hub of Napanee, for Macpherson s industries were all directed from his 
store, in which was also kept the first post-office. 

Perhaps no part of the town has undergone a greater change than 
the river front. From the bend in the river just above Light s dock, 
extending all along the northern bank up to the falls, there stood piles 
of lumber to the height of fifteen feet or more. This lumber was the 
product of the mills farther up and was hauled to the river s bank by 
the teams, summer and winter, to be shipped to its destination. It was 
a common occurrence to see four or five schooners loading at a time ; 
and the merry call of the workmen and deck-hands could be heard from 
sunrise to evening, above the clatter of the boards and planks, where 
now a deathlike stillness reigns, broken only by the occasional put-put of 
the motor boats. 

Where Mr. Waller s residence now stands on Bridge Street there 
was a clearing; but the rest of that part of the town was covered with 
trees from which the choicest timber had been cut. All that area south 
of the park and north of the Deseronto Road found its natural drainage 
outlet through the depression between Dundas and Bridge Streets, and 
far into the summer a pond of stagnant water was found at the lowest 
point in the vicinity of the residence of Mr. T. G. Carscallen. Unsuited 
as it was for the purpose, it was a favourite bathing-place for the youth 
of the town; and many a time did young Waller and his companions, 
after a hard day s work, meet at this pond for their evening swim. 


The woods about the site of West Ward School were a famous 
pigeon rookery, where the wild birds came in flocks towards evening and 
roosted in such numbers in the trees that frequently the branches gave 
way under their weight. Mr. Waller recalls having frequently gone in 
the night, with an old musket, and in a few minutes secured as many as 
he could carry home in a bag slung over his shoulder. Another method 
in common practice for capturing the pigeons in the open was by means 
of a net forty or fifty feet long by twenty or more in width. The net 
would be held in place about three or four feet above the ground by 
means of small posts placed at regular intervals and controlled by the 
operator by a series of cords. A small quantity of grain would be scat 
tered upon the ground under the net. As a flock of wild pigeons ap 
proached, a tame decoy, a stool pigeon, trained to lure them to their fate, 
would fly upwards and conduct them to the tempting grain ; and as they 
began to feed under the net the operator in ambush would pull the cords. 
the posts would tumble over, and the net drop upon the unsuspecting 
birds, who thrust their heads through the meshes where they were 
securely held until their necks were wrung by the heartless hunter. Mr. 
Waller remembered an occasion when the late O. T. Pruyn, former sher 
iff of this county, captured two hundred and fifty pigeons in this manner 
at one haul. 

Thus to reconstruct from one s memory the entire business portion 
of a town as it appeared sixty years ago is no slight task, as will be 
apparent to any one attempting to recall the various occupants of a rou 
of buildings ten or twenty years ago. The foregoing statement, based 
upon the information furnished by Mr. Waller, has been submitted to 
other old residents, who made but few alterations in the original. These 
slight changes have been adopted after being verified from other sources. 

That part of Dundas Street near the foot of Adelphi has never lost 
its standing as an important business and manufacturing centre, for 
when the Macpherson interests began to decline the Gibbard industry 
began to take root. It was a lucky accident that gave the Gibbards to 
Napanee. John Gibbard, who at the time of his death was justly entitled 
to be styled "Napanee s Grand Old Man," was born near \Vilton in 1812. 
His father, William Gibbard, was a carpenter and mill-wright who 
erected more mills in this and the adjoining county of Prince Edward 
than any other one man. Among others he built a saw-mill and a grist 
mill near Thompsonville at the first water-power that was used on the 
river north of Napanee. John learned his trade with his father and 
worked with him until he was twenty-four years of age, when he shoul 
dered his basket of tools and set out for Oswego. He walked to Cul- 


bertson s Wharf (Deseronto) where he expected to catch a boat to carry 
him across the lake, but waited in vain for hours for the vessel to arrive. 
Night was coming on and no boat was in sight, so he gathered up his 
tools, returned to Napanee, secured a situation, and spent the rest of his 
days in the town, which probably he would never have seen again but for 
the belated vessel, which did not arrive in time to pick up the passenger 
waiting impatiently upon the wharf. 

He continued to work at his trade for many years, and assisted in 
the erection of the Macpherson house east of the Newburgh Road and 
the grist-mill on the other side of the river near the falls. Later on he 
devoted himself to the manufacture of fanning-mills, and in 1860 leased 
a mill on the canal, in which he turned out sashes, doors, and a few lines 
of furniture. This factory was burned in 1864 but was rebuilt in 1868, 
when his son, W. T. Gibbard, was taken into the business and the firm 
of J. Gibbard & Son appeared. 

In 1871 they abandoned all other lines and devoted themselves ex 
clusively to the manufacture of furniture; but just as the business had 
become nicely established another destructive fire, in 1874, again reduced 
factory, plant, and stock to ashes. Again it was rebuilt on a larger scale, 
and for eighteen years the firm prospered and proved a boon to the town, 
affording employment to a large number of workmen ; but was once more 
wiped out by fire in 1892. After this fire the Gibbard Furniture Com 
pany was organized, a new factory was built, the most modern machinery 
installed, and business resumed with greatly increased facilities for meet 
ing the demands of the trade. Mr. W. T. Gibbard, the manager and 
leading stockholder, relieved his aged father of his former responsibility 
and proved a worthy successor. A few months ago the reins were handed 
over to the sole male representative of the third generation of this branch 
of the family, Mr. George Gibbard, who, following in the footsteps of 
his ancestors, continues as manager of the leading industry of Napanee. 
John Gibbard died in 1907 in the ninety-fifth year of his age, universally 
respected by all who knew him and especially by the employees of the 
industry he had established. 

The following list of professional and business men of Napanee is 
copied from the Canada Directory of 1851 : 

Allan, David, chemist and druggist Black, Rev. J., Wesleyan 

Bartels, James F., conveyancer Blewett, John, grocer 

Bartels, George, carriage maker Briggs, Noel, shoemaker 

Beeman, T., saddler Brown, Rev. M., Epis. Methodist 

Benn, James, blacksmith Bruton, Charles, grocer 



Back row Left to right. James T. Log-gie. Thomas Trimble. William C. Smith. George Napier. 
John Roblin. W. A. Doxsee. Frank Jemmett. Dr. Harry Wray. C. Z. Perry. 

Fred Blewett. Albert Empey. 

Front row Left to right. William Shannon. John W. Robinson. William Trimble. 

Joseph Kirby. Joseph McAlister. 



Campbell, Alex., postmaster 
Carey, Dr. Francis V. 
Chamberlain, Dr. Thomas 
Chatterson, John, grocer 
Chrysdall, John, lath factory 
Clapp, G. S., land surveyor 
Clark, Leonard, blacksmith 
Clark, Andrew L., saw-mill 
Close, Thos., carriage maker 
Cooper, John, tailor 
Cornell, George, innkeeper 
Davey, Geo. H., general store 
Detlor & Perry, general store 
Dickens, Edmund, baker 
Doney, Solomon, shoemaker 
Easton, Robert, general store 
Edgar. John, carriage maker 
Fink, Hiram, blacksmith 
Foot, Benjamin, tailor 
Forward, H. T., general store 
Fraser, Davis, tailor 
George. F. J., general store 
Georgen, T. W., general store 
Greenleaf, G. D., printing-office 
Gunn, William, general store 
Half penny, Joseph, shoemaker 
Hamilton. A., carriage maker 
Hill, lath factory 

Herring, John, foundry and tin- 

Huff, Thos., blacksmith 
Huff. Eliakim, cooper 
Huff, William, cooper 
James Peterson, general store 

King, John, innkeeper 
Lamb, Thos., general store 
Lamphier, Win., shoemaker 
Lamphier, John, shoemaker 
Lauder, Rev. W. B., Anglican 
Macpherson, Donald, general store 
McCulloch, James, tailor 
McLaughlin, James, tailor 
Mackay, A. B., Clerk Division 

Madden, S. S., tanner and shoe 


Martin, James, general store 
Miller, George, saddler 
Moray, Joseph, blacksmith 
X apaiice Bcc, The, weekly paper 
Parish. Win., tin-smith 
Perry. John W. Smith, cloth fac 

Pringle. Daniel, hotel keeper 
Rust, carding-mill 
Reynolds, Rev. Mr., Wesleyan 
Schermerhorn, Asa, grocer 
Shirley. Dr. Thomas 
Shorey, Miles, hotel keeper 
Stevenson, Andrew, grocer and 


Storr, Edward, shoemaker 
Templeton, Wm.. tanner 
Trom, James, saddler 
Vine, David, grocer 
Wilson & Co., general store 
Wright. Wm., general store 

An anonymous contributor to the Standard gave the following pen 

:ture of Napanee in 1861 : "Take your stand on Roblin s Height and 

look down upon Napanee, and even though you hail from the would-be 

ambitious Newburgh. you will be forced to admit that its appearance is 

really imposing. On its south-eastern side the waters of the Napanee 

River, having cleared the rapids, flow softly around a semicircular bend 



evidently intended by nature for the site of a large city ; and as far as 
the eye can reach a fine country for settlement stretches away back from 
the town in every direction. 

"The town itself presents the appearance of a circle of houses with 
the Town-hall as a centre. It is a British town, being a beautiful mix 
ture of red brick blocks, whitewashed cottages, and blue-stone buildings, 
with a few dirty, dingy, rickety structures which in the olden time went 
by the name of houses, but ought now to be numbered amongst the 
things that were. Near to the Town-hall you observe by far the most 
conspicuous object in Napanee, a spire that might do credit to any city, 
and at sight of which the shade of John Wesley would rejoice, could it 
only be conjured up to behold it, for upon inquiry you discover that it 
is another monument to his name, and to the name of a greater than 
Wesley. Posterity will never blush at this deed of their fathers. 

"A magnificent block next arrests the eye. It is the Campbell 
House, to all appearance little inferior to the Astor House of New York. 
But no Yankee lives there, for British colours float proudly over it. An 
other building south-east of the town-hall attracts the gaze. It is the 
justly celebrated Grange s Block, a beautiful ornament to our town, and 
where business is piled en masse. A person may there have anything he 
wishes for, cheap coffee and tea, cups and saucers to drink them out of ; 
clothes of all sorts, and soap to wash them with; furs to keep out the 
cold, and physic to cure it; drabs and drugs for all weathers and dis 
eases ; a tooth extracted ; a limb set ; a lawsuit settled ; or a book or news 
paper printed. 

"Away on the western side of the town, on the rising ground, amid 
dark pines, you behold the elegant mansion of the town reeve, John 
Stevenson, Esq., one of the wealthiest of our citizens, and at our last 
election no mean candidate for a seat in Parliament. The Canada Pres 
byterian Manse, a neat building of brick, stands close by. Had you a 
glass in your hand, you might discover on the top of that stone struc 
ture on the north-west of the town a cross, for it is a Church which 
belongs to Rome. The Church of England with its tower and turrets, 
on the east side of the town, next catches the eye. Apart from the 
business and bustle of our streets, it occupies the centre of God s acre, 
the sleeping ground of the dead, in venerable silence and solemnity a 
house of the living God. A few lingering trees fringing the suburbs, 
now contending alone with the breezes and the beasts, sing and sigh of 
the waving forests passed away. 

"But why tarry so long viewing Napanee from a distance when you 
might, by leaping into one of the numerous conveyances continually 



passing towmvard, soon be in its centre. \Ve would ask the reader to do 
so were it not that we wish to walk with him into town and view it 
somewhat at leisure. Crossing the river by a wooden bridge with tim 
bers .still sound although bearing the date of 1840, the stupendous arches 
of the Grand Trunk Railway bridge excite your admiration ; and as. you 
stand gazing at its workmanship, a train of thirty cars shoots overhead, 
proving that it is a structure of strength as well as of beauty. 

"The bridges passed, the town at first sight presents no very inviting- 
aspect. Old dwarfish houses meet the eye, but they are not to be 
despised ; for as many a one does a large business in a little house, so 
it is in some of these. Let us go along Dundas Street, taking a few 
notes of anything noticeable by the way. The first building is the carriage 
and sleigh factory of J. Rooney. who has a good display of cutters of 
the newest styles. Passing what seems to be a watering-place for horses, 
T. Close s carriage factory stands surrounded with dismembered bodies 
of carriages and sleighs scattered in sad confusion, after the rough and 
tumble fashion of Bull s Run. The means of repair, however, Mr. 
Close says are close at hand. T. Mooney shoes horses and repairs guns 
amid a range of dismal shanty-like things which the past age forgot to 
take with it. Davis stands high as a haberdasher under a low veran 
dah. O Byrne s big blue boot tells that its master has a good footing 

"At A. B. Dunning s door winter clothing is piled up, with a red or 
green sash waving overhead. Allingham s Cabinet and Furniture store 
supplies the town with sideboards and sofas on the shortest notice; and 
near by the village artist challenges competition in the art of realizing 
the poet s wish, enabling people from the country to see themselves 
as others see them. With the sun for his senior partner, he has, gen 
erally speaking, bright prospects. Foster s window displays hoops and 
skirts, hats and feathers. Miller, his neighbour, sells candlesticks, ropes, 
and carpets : and Rogers disposes of a considerable quantity of hardware, 
and boots, and shoes to those who put up at Fletcher s Hotel. Huffman 
disposes of drugs, Rennie of penitentiary boots and shoes, and H. Doug 
las of stove pipes, pails, and brooms. At Harrington s new store you 
may have cheap sugar, at L. Doney s smoked hams, and you may fill your 
self drunk at Davy s or the Lennox Hotel, places of great resort on Fair 
days, and in the neighbourhood of which fights and other convivial 
sports are often exhibited. 

"The Phelan lump sugar, suspended in the street, and the Parish 
kettle of uncommon size, speak as eloquently for their possessors as the 
wooden bust decked with artificial flowers in the window of Miss Lowry. 


J. C. Huffman and John Grange give cash for rye smut, William McMul- 
len tables it down for pot ashes, and T. Beeman is prepared to pay for 
10,000 hides. Abel Yates will keep a man for a dollar a day; S. T. 
Clements will take out his teeth or put them in, at a moderate charge; 
Wilkison, Hine, or Davy will mete out the law to him or sell him land ; 
Waddel will make him a saddle or harness for his horse; Lewis, the 
coloured. barber, will shave him; Blair will make him a good coat; and 
Lamphier or Briggs a good pair of boots; Clarke or Carnal will mend 
his watch ; and George Wilson will fit him out for the winter ; Robt. 
Easton will insure his house or his life ; and any one may have a night s 
lodging under the Town-hall free of charge. In a new shop Charles 
McBean sells new goods at new prices, and has a regiment of Lilliputian 
soldiers guarding his window ; Rennie & Co. guarantee that their goods 
will neither fall short in weight nor in measure, and yet it pays them 
to sell sixpenny cotton for fourpence a yard. Such is a short, but by no 
means exhaustive outline of the business of our streets. 

"The different trades and professions of Napanee rank as follows : 
The town keeps thirteen sons of Crispin making its boots, and eight 
tailors cutting out and patching up its garments ; nine men making har 
ness for its horses; three butchers killing its oxen and sheep; two watch 
makers regulating its time ; four houses licensed by law to sell that which 
sows the seeds of disease, and creates quarrels ; seven ministers proclaim 
ing the gospel ; three lawyers laying down the law ; two hundred and 
fifty scholars attending its schools, and five teachers teaching them ; four 
bakers baking its bread, and two thousand people consuming it. 

"In the centre of the village in an open square stands the universal 
town-hall, a useful but by no means ornamental brick building. Town- 
halls, all the world over, are at best a nondescript class of buildings, and 
appear to us to defy the genius of architects, whose maxim is that a 
building should always convey to the public some definite idea of the pur 
pose for which it was designed. The failure, no doubt, is attributable to 
the fact that the town-hall is intended to serve no purpose in particular, 
but is meant to be available for every purpose under the sun. Viewed in 
this light that of Napanee nobly fulfils its mission. Once within its 
walls you can buy and sell beef, listen to revival sermons and theatrical 
entertainments, sit and stare with amazement at a continent, an island, 
or the whole Arctic regions passing through the building upon canvas, 
get yourself or others entangled in the meshes of the law, choose one 
man to represent you and another man to misrepresent you in Parlia 
ment, be bought by ladies at bazaars, or sold by gentlemen at an auc 
tion, be humbugged or enlightened by a public lecturer, attend a school 


exhibition, or take lessons in dancing. In short, in Napauee, as in every 
other town-hall, idle persons often spend idle hours and throw away idle 

"The Campbell House also deserves special notice. Its handsome and 
cheerful appearance from without, and ample accommodation within are 
sufficient to account for the rapidity with which its fame has spread, 
and its popularity increased. Guests, we believe, not only receive a kind 
and warm reception at the hands of its able proprietor, but they are also 
attended to by men and women of their own colour and country, and 
not, as in most American hotels, by the sons and daughters of Ham, who 
ever bring to mind the accursed institution of the South, that bone of 
American contention. Our large and stately grist and saw-mills rattling 
away by the river s side, urged on by a never failing water-power, and 
our thriving stores and woollen factories are exactly what our Campbell 
House would lead us to expect. The very fact that 9,000,000 feet of 
lumber are annually exported from Napanee is a giant truth which speaks 
volumes for its flourishing trade. 

"The different religious denominations in Napanee are the Roman 
Catholic Church, the Church of England, the Presbyterian, and the Epis 
copal and Wesleyan Methodist Churches, the services in which are con 
ducted by seven clergymen. This sounds well for the morality of the 
town ; but when you set alongside of it the fact that there are four tav 
erns and a great many more low unlicensed ^ro^ erie-, you will be apt 
to suspect the population are not all saints. Each sect advocates from 
the pulpit and the platform unity and harmony amongst Christians, and 
apparently in earnest! But at the same time the acts of the one body 
towards the other seem to say: Stand by thyself, come not near to me, 
for I am holier than thou. Public meetings for the advocacy of meas 
ures affecting the good of the community, instead of being protracted 
meetings, as might be expected where so many gentlemen of the cloth 
are on hand, often turn out distracted meetings, or what are called fail 
ures ; simply because the clergy do not stand shoulder to shoulder in the 

"Theatres, Panoramas, Dioramas. Cycloramas, Tom Thumb gather 
ings (and scarcely a week passes without something of the kind), are 
generally well attended ; and when an instructive lecture on history or 
science is announced it is no strange occurrence in Napanee to see the 
speaker of world-wide celebrity draw a crowd of no more than twenty to 
hear him! The political assemblies of Napanee, as in every town in 
America from the Straits of Belle Isle to the Straits of Florida, draw out 


those whom even the camp-meeting horn cannot bring within the sound 
of a sermon. Representation by Population is the only article in some 
men s creeds; and they are eager to embrace the glorious opportunity of 
bearing witness to it before the world when an election day comes round. 

"There are two temperance societies in town ; one in connection with 
the Good Templars and the other known by the name of The Napanee 
Teetotal Society. The former has seen better days than the present; 
but its star is again in the ascendant. Although its members are few we 
believe that some of them are enthusiastic in the cause; and this is one 
of the elements of prosperity in any enterprise, either for the aggrandize 
ment or amelioration of man ; for no great undertaking ever yet succeeded 
without having an enthusiast at its head. But it strikes us that the object 
of this Society is to form a little social gathering of Good Templars, and 
not to reform or cure the town of Napanee, or any other town, of drunk 
enness; and a little more exertion put forth outside their division might 
tend both to strengthen their body, and advance the cause it seeks to 
promote. The other Society is of recent origin, and is intended for those 
who wish merely to pledge themselves to abstain from the use of intoxi 
cating liquors as a beverage, without joining a Society where badges, 
pass-words, and an outlay of cash are required. We trust the two 
Societies will, by a friendly co-operation, do much in reclaiming the 
drunkard and preventing the sober man from being led captive to 
destruction by a stronger than himself, strong drink. True prosperity 
can never attend a town while drunkenness stalks rampant in its streets ; 
and Napanee is so stained with this and other vices, that our river, black 
though it be itself, makes a tremendous leap to get past it as soon as 

"Another evil requiring remedy is that of children strolling, or loung 
ing idly, (yea, worse than idly) at street corners after sundown. The 
education that is acquired there is not of the best kind. It is easily 
learned, but not so easily forgotten. It is there that superfluous Eng 
lish words are picked up, unnecessary habits formed, and rowdyism, 
which sometimes shows itself in Town-hall meetings, fostered. Tom 
would be far better at home than abroad of an evening. 

"Napanee is not deficient in musical talent ; on the contrary, it may 
be justly said to be passionately fond of it. It signifies not what street 
you pass through at the close of the day, you are certain to hear sweet 
music sounding forth from a piano or a melodeon that is being touched 
by some gentle hand. It can also bear a favourable comparison with 
other towns for female beauty and accomplishments. One has only to 


attend a school exhibition or a bazaar to be convinced of this ; and young 
men from the country desirous of settling in life would do well to attend 
on such occasions. Our town may lack beautiful trees to shade and 
shelter its streets, but it is not lacking in young and beautiful belles. 
Children, and dogs too, are very numerous ; and it is no unusual occur 
rence to be awakened at midnight by a barking quarrel which the latter 
have engendered. Let war come, Xapanee is garrisoned with more than 
a volunteer regiment." 




During the winter of 1865-6 there were many vague rumours afloat 
that Canada was to be invaded by the Fenians, whose programme was to 
subdue our country as the first step towards the liberation of Ireland. 
.Little attention was paid by the authorities to this war scare until the 
beginning of March, when the Government thought the situation was 
serious enough to warrant the calling out of ten thousand volunteers in 
order to be in a position to resist the proposed invasion. 

Lennox and Addington shared in the general excitement; and a 
public meeting was called in the town-hall at Napanee for March I3th, 
to take into consideration the necessity of raising volunteer companies to 
aid in the defence of our country. Patriotic addresses were delivered 
by Mr. George Wilson, Thomas Flynn, Dr. Bristol, F. W. Campbell, 
Geo. A. Fraser, and John T. Grange ; and resolutions were unanimously 
carried requesting Messrs. Campbell and Fraser, who had acquired some 
military training, to raise two companies in Napanee. There was not 
at the time any military organization in the county except in the old 
township of Adolphustown, where Captain Sweatman had maintained 
a company. St. Patrick s Day came ; but the Fenians did not put in an 
appearance. The two companies were enrolled in Napanee and their 
services tendered to the government ; but the Militia Department in 
formed the gentlemen who had completed the organization that their 
services were not deemed necessary ; but that arms would be sent to 
them as soon as the necessary arrangements could be completed. The 
young warriors of this promising town were not content with being thus 
neglected ; another public meeting was called, at which the military 
authorities were roundly criticised ; and a Home Guard was enrolled to 
patrol our streets and keep a sharp look-out that no conspiracies against 
Her Majesty were hatched in our midst. Two companies were formed 
at Tamworth, one at Bath, and one at Enterprise. An Artillery Com 
pany was also formed in Napanee, and during the early summer months 
met three times a week for drill in the town-hall. 

The Adolphustown boys, who in time of peace, had prepared for 
war, were at the front covering themselves with glory; while the other 
newly enrolled companies were at home clamouring for clothing and 


arms, and indulging in all sorts of misgivings as to the probable over 
throw of the empire unless these accoutrements were promptly supplied 
them. It never occurred to them, until the visit of Brigade-Major Shaw 
to this district in July, that the Commander-in-chief and his sulx>rdinate-> 
had been too busy in mustering and pushing to the front the fully-equip 
ped and well-drilled companies from other parts of the country to devote 
any attention to the wants of the fresh recruits of Lennox and Adding- 

On the evening of July i;th the Major, arrayed in feathers and gold 
braid, with a sword dangling at his side, created quite a sensation in 
Tamworth by summoning Captains Douglas and Brown to a conference. 
The Captains signified their willingness to produce their volunteers for 
inspection ; and on the following morning, although the day was wet 
and disagreeable, messengers were despatched through the concession 
and side lines; and by one o clock in the afternoon Captain Douglas st<>d 
at the head of fifty-four burly yeoman at one end of Front street, and 
fifty-two answered to the roll-call of Captain Brown at the other end. 
The Major was astounded at the promptness of the response, con 
gratulated the Sheffield men upon their soldierly appearance, and 
promised to return a favourable report to the Adjutant-general and to 
see that they were speedily equipped with all the necessaries to place 
them in a position to participate in the defence of their country. 

The Company at Bath was also accepted, and Xapanee s hour of 
trial arrived on the evening of the iQth. The Artillery Company was 
put through the various military evolutions in which they had been 
instructed and acquitted themselves creditably. In the course of his 
address the Major referred to the unenviable notoriety Xapanee had 
gained during the Fenian excitement, at the Adjutant-general s office 
and throughout the district, and hoped that the reputation of the town 
would be retrieved by displaying more of a patriotic and military spirit 
in the future. During the following week he inspected the Infantry Com 
panies under Captains Campbell and Fraser and. while he promised to 
make a favourable report, he again took occasion to lecture the good 
people of Napanee and explain to them that if they wished to shew their 
loyalty to the Queen they should not wait until the foe was actually 
upon our soil before making a move. Our citizens accepted the rebuke 
and. although the war scare was over, for a time the military spirit was 
rampant ; and public meetings were called to discuss ways and means of 
defraying the expense of our volunteers at a military camp, which it was 
proposed should be held in this county in the autumn. The infection 
spread to Ernesttown ; and in August another company of Infantry 


under Captain Anson Lee was formed at Odessa. The town council 
appropriated $500 for the erection of a drill shed, petitioned the county 
council to supplement this sum by $1,000, and the government was 
expected to contribute as much more. R. J. Cartwright (the late Sir 
Richard) signified his willingness to donate a site. 

Rumours of another contemplated invasion were current in Septem 
ber ; and the local force scented a bloody engagement when a Fredericks- 
burgh farmer laid intormatioii before the Mayor that suspicious looking 
craft were from time to time discharging in the night at McDonald Cove 
cargoes which were suspected to be Fenian arms. His Worship, Mayor 
Davy, instructed the Chief of Police to investigate the matter; and 
three waggon loads of patriots "armed to the teeth" drove to the spot, 
determined to sell their lives dearly or return with the munitions of war 
of The Irish Republic." This land force was to co-operate with the 
local navy, which consisted of the old steamer John Grecnway, which 
was lying at the dock at the time. The town council, which happened to 
be in session, embarked upon the steamer and proceeded down the river 
to the appointed rendezvous. Early the next morning both parties 
returned to town, having done no more serious damage to the supposed 
invaders than to frighten away a small boat alleged to have been engaged 
in smuggling liquor to the other side of the line. 

The county council met in September and declined to entertain the 
request of the town for a grant for the erection of a drill shed, so the 
plan fell through ; but the county military organization was completed ; 
and the December number of the Canada Gazette announced the forma 
tion of the 48th Battalion with Captain Anson Lee of Odessa raised to 
the rank of Lieutenant-colonel. The same number proclaimed Lieuten 
ant Edward Stevenson, Adjutant of the Napanee Battery Garrison Artil 
lery. The Fenians had abandoned their designs upon Canada and, save 
the few who were languishing in our prisons, were said to be directing 
their steps towards Mexico, with the avowed intention of settling things 
down there, expelling the French, and sending the Emperor Maximilian 
about his business. The cold weather and the municipal elections were 
coming on ; and the citizens of the county soon forgot the stirring events 
of the year then closing and again settled down to their ordinary pur 

At no time have the young men of Napanee taken very kindly to 
soldiering; the two Infantry Companies organized in the town made a 
poor shewing at the annual inspections, and more than once the com 
ments of the Inspector were not at all complimentary. The reasons 
assigned at the time were the lack of interest shewn by the town council, 


and the want of a drill shed or other suitable quarters for the accom 
modation of the volunteers. For a time the annual camp was held in 
the fair grounds ; the "palace" being set apart as quarters for the men, 
while the tents of the officers, hospital tent, and officers mess tent occu 
pied positions facing- the east entrance. As some four hundred men 
used to assemble at these annual drills the town, for a while, wore quite 
a military air. 

Napanee has always been ambitious in the matter of sports. At the 
present time the Curling Club, although labouring under a great disad 
vantage in having a very inferior rink, has more than held its own against 
Belleville, Brockville, and Kingston, and has to its credit more trophies 
than any other club in the Eastern League. It was organized about 
twenty years ago by Dr. Bissonnette and the late W. A. Bellhouse. For 
many years the Napanee Hockey Club scored many brilliant victories 
against the neighbouring towns and cities, but has been unable to main 
tain its record through the want of a rink. The Collegiate Institute 
football teams have captured all the cups that have come within their 
reach, and baseball has had its intermittent periods of popularity, and 
whenever a team has been put in the field it has made a fair showing. 
For over twenty years the ancient game of golf has had a few ardent 
votaries, whose annual defeats have not quenched their love for the 

Fifty years ago there were two or three bowling-alleys in the town, 
while to-day there is none, nor has there been for thirty years. The time 
is ripe for the revival of this excellent game and the introduction of 
bowling on the green. 

\Yickets, stumps, bails, and cricket bats are terms unfamiliar to the 
rising generation and this, too, in a town which twenty-seven years ago 
held the championship of the province. Captain F. S. Richardson has 
found no successor to fill his place upon the green ; but it is to be hoped 
that the young men now coming to the front in the sporting world will 
regain for Napanee the good reputation it once had of being the best 
cricket town in the province. The "gentleman s game" took the lead in 
manly sports before Napanee assumed the dignity of a town, and the 
matches with the neighbouring villages were among the leading events of 
the season. 

The following report of a contest between Napanee and Bath played 
on the Bath cricket ground on July 28th, 1860, will be of interest to the 
"old boys :" 

"Bath winning the toss sent Napanee to the bat at 11.30 a.m. 


Napanee First Innings Bath First Innings 

Charles Ham, b Wilmer 3 Wilmer, st Ham 18 

A. Campbell, run out 9 R. B. Price, b Ham 5 

G. Taylor, b Wilmer I R. R. Finkle, leg b.w o 

W. Casey, run out 52 I. Cameron, b Ham, c Steven- 

Jno. Taylor, b Cameron .... 4 son I 

C. Jenkins, b Wilmer, c Ash- C. Ashton, b Ham 10 

ton 17 Hay wood, b Carey, c Steven- 

Jno. Stevenson, b Cameron . . 5 son i 

Jno. Wilson, b and c Wilmer. 12 I. Price, b Carey o 

W. Blewett, b Cameron o Dr. Ashton, b Carey, c Wilson o 

Thos. Crampton, b and c Cam- R- Stinson, b Carey, c Camp- 

eron 2 bell o 

C. Donoghue, not out 4 I. Johnston, not out 5 

H. Rogers, b Carey 2 


Byes 16 44 

Wides 7 Byes 4 

Total 132 Total 48 

Bath Second Innings 

Haywood, b Carey I H. Rogers, run out 3 

Finkle, run out 10 

Wilmer, not out 20 47 

Dr. Ashton, b Carey i Byes 4 

R. Stinson, b Carey o 

R. B. Price, st. Carey 5 51 

I. Johnston, b Carey 3 First Innings 48 

I. Cameron, b Carey o 

C. Ashton, run out o 99 

I. Price, st Ham 4 Napanee First Innings 132 

"The play. on both sides was good. Carey s score of 52, and his 
bowling in the second innings showed him to possess no common skill as 
a cricketer, while Wilmer displayed great judgment and a clear know 
ledge of the game by his steady scoring and the manner in which he 
carried out his bat in the second innings against Carey s and Ham s 
bowling. C. Ashton made a fine score of ten. The fielding on both 
sides was good, and some splendid catches were made. After the game 
all adjourned to Stinson s Hotel where a capital dinner was prepared, to 
which ample justice was done in that hearty style in which cricketers 
so excel, when Mr. Stinson, the president of the Bath Club, with some 



very appropriate remarks, presented a very fine ball, with three cheers, 
to the Napanee Clul>. which was responded to by Mr. J. Taylor the presi 
dent of the club in a very nice manner, and dun s returned. Cheers to 
the ladies whose presence graced the field, responded to by Mr. H. 
Rogers in an eloquent speech, and cheers for the Umpires and Scorers 
when the clubs bid each other adieu, soon to meet again and renew the 

On June Qth. 1873, a match was played between Kingston and 
Napanee on the grounds of the Kingston Club with the following score : 

Napanee First Innings 

Farmer, J., b Galloway i 

Hawley, c Corbett 1 1 

Mumford, b Ormiston o 

Geddes, b Galloway 8 

Farmer, R., b Galloway o 

Chinneck, b Ormiston o 

Stevenson, b Ormiston 13 

Pruyn, c Galloway 3 

Webster, b Galloway I 

Abrams, not out I 

Waddell, b Galloway i 

Byes, leg byes and wides .... 28 

Kingston First Innings 

Fuller, b Pruyn 

Gliddeii, b Pruyn 

Ormiston, c Abrams 

Jones, b Pruyn 

Dickson, c Abrams 

Corbett, b Pruyn 

Galloway, b Abrams 

Alexander, b Pruyn 

Murkett, b Pruyn 

Hendry. not out 

Carruthers, c Hawley 

ilyes, Ics^ byes, and wides . . 









Total 68 

Second Innings 

Farmer, J., run out 8 

Hawley, b Galloway 3 

Mumford, b Galloway o 

Geddes, c Carruthers 8 

Farmer, R., b Ormiston 3 

Chinneck, b Ormiston 5 

Stevenson, run out 3 

Pruyn, b Galloway o 

Webster, not out o 

Abrams, b Ormiston o 

Waddell, b Galloway o 

Byes, leg byes and wides .... 23 

Total 50 


Second Innings 

Dickson, c Chinneck 6 

Corbett, b Pruyn 5 

Jones, b Pruyn 2 

Galloway, b Abrams o 

Hendry, c Chinneck 9 

Alexander, b Pruyn 4 

Glidden, b Pruyn 5 

Carruthers, b Pruyn o 

Ormiston, not out 3 

Byes and wides 3 


Aapanee, ist and 2nd innings. 118 

Kingston, ist and 2nd innings. 120 

Majority for Kingston 2 

With two wickets to spare. 


Few towns possess better natural advantages for obtaining beautiful 
recreation grounds than Napanee ; but in its early years no effort appears 
to have been made to secure a proper place for field sports or to set aside 
any of the vacant lands for a park. The cricket club used a pasture 
field or commons, and the school children were confined to the narrow 
limits of the land attached to the school buildings. The first step towards 
providing a park was taken about twenty-five years ago by a few lead 
ing citizens, among them being- His Honour Judge Wilkison, Wm. Miller, 
Nelson Doller, Stephen Gibson, and several other public-spirited men. 
The beautiful driving park to the west of the town is the result of their 

To the generosity of Mr. Harvey Warner the town is indebted for 
the more central square that bears his name. The trees, shrubs, and flow 
ers were donated by the Horticultural Society, which is largely responsi 
ble for the marked improvement in the cultivation of flowers in all parts 
of the town. Our river front is and has for years been an eyesore to 
every one ; and it is to be hoped that some united effort will, in the near 
future, be made to render it more presentable. A stranger approaching 
our town by water receives a first impression that is not easily shaken 
off. A municipal wharf, at which steamers, and visiting and local motor 
boats could discharge their passengers, is badly needed and could be 
provided at a very small cost. 

The grounds of the Agricultural Society are used for public pur 
poses one day out of three hundred and sixty-five. In commenting 
upon this beautiful spot forty-five years ago, when the "Palace" was 
first used, the editor of the Weekly Express said : "The grounds so beauti 
ful by nature now requires a touch of art. It would cost twenty-five 
cents a piece or less to plant elms or maples around the whole plot, and 
in a few years the place would become a public park, a greater ornament 
to the place than it now is, and a resort for pleasure seekers who most 
delight to bask in ambrosial groves." Forty-five springs have come and 
gone, and those longed-for elms and maples are still unplanted. If the 
very sensible advice of the editor had been acted upon, Napanee would 
have had in the east end of the town, at a trifling expense an ornamental 
pleasure-ground that other towns, less favourably situated, would be 
glad to spend thousands to duplicate. No doubt the Society would have 
been only too glad to see its pasture field turned to such good account. 

It is only in recent years that the citizens have begun to appreciate 
the facilities for boating which they possess, and many have yet to 
learn the beauties of that part of the Napanee River above the falls. A 
more ideal stream for the canoeist it would be difficult to find, parti 
cularly that tortuous part of it meandering through the overhanging trees 
and along sloping meadows between the town and Mink s bridge. 




As the settlements advanced and transportation facilities improved, 
money began to circulate, and it was not long before the thrifty farmers 
and merchants of Lennox and Addington began to accumulate savings. 
Many of these were invested in the stock of the early banking institu 
tions of the province, especially the so-called Bank of Upper Canada, 
and the Commercial Bank of the Midland District, both of which had 
their headquarters at Kingston. Early in 1837 a bold attempt, the honour 
of which belongs to Bath, was made to found a bank of our own. 

The previous years had been a period of feverish prosperity in 
Upper Canada and in the United States ; and in the latter country many 
schemes of wild-cat banking had been floated. In Upper Canada the 
restrictions imposed by the official class upon the incorporation of banks 
had been very severe; and although in some cases dictated by a real 
desire for sound money" they had also tended to the profit of their 
authors. This had aroused much discontent ; and a movement had been 
begun in favour of "joint-stock banking, without incorporation, after the 
English model."* 

Under deeds of settlement, a number of small banking institutions 
thus came into existence without need of legislative formalities, and by 
a deed of settlement signed at Bath and bearing date February nth, 
1837, tne several parties thereto agreed to become partners in a company 
to be known as the Freeholders Bank of the Midland District. Sixty- 
three subscribers were obtained, arrjong them being such representative 
men from the county as Benjamin Ham, William Sills, Peter Davy, 
Samuel Clark, John Hawley, Hammel Madden, John V. Detlor, Phillip 
J. Roblin, Joshua B. Lockwood, and Elijah Huffman. The articles of 
partnership, containing about 8.000 words, were, for the convenience of 
the subscribers, printed in pamphlet form, and provided for every pos 
sible contingency that could reasonably be expected to arise. The first 
six articles of this legal masterpiece read as follows : 

"i. That they, the said several persons, parties to these presents, 
shall and will become Partners together in a Company, or Society, to be 

* Breckenridg-e, "History of Banking- in Canada." (Washington Government Print 
ing- Office, 1910) 


TRICT, and from time to time, and at all times, so long as they shall 
continue Partners therein, promote and advance the interest and advan 
tage of the Company, to the utmost of their power. 

"2. That the Company shall consist of 300 Shareholders, each of 
whom may subscribe and hold any number of Shares not exceeding ten 
Shares, and that each Share will be one hundred pounds of lawful money, 
of the Province of Upper Canada: Provided always, and it is the intent 
and meaning of this clause that each person subscribing these presents 
as a Shareholder, must have good title in fee simple to and be in posses 
sion of real and unencumbered property of the full value of the number 
of Shares and amount so subscribed by such Shareholder. 

"3. That no person shall, in his or her own right, be allowed pre 
viously to the opening of the Bank, or at any subsequent period, to sub 
scribe for or possess more than ten Shares of the said Company, save 
and except such Shares as shall come to any person or persons by bequest 
of any previous Shareholder, or as his, or her, or their next of kin. 

"4. That it shall not be lawful or competent for two or more in 
dividuals to subscribe for or hold jointly (except as trustees, executors, 
or administrators) any Share or Shares, and in no case shall any Share 
or Shares be divided into fractional parts. 

"5. That no benefit of survivorship shall take place between the 
Shareholders; and each of the Shareholders, as between one another, 
shall be entitled to and interested in the profits, and liable and subject to 
the losses of the Company in proportion to his or her Share or Shares, in 
the said Capital, Fund, or Joint Stock. 

"6. That the business of the Company shall commence when three 
hundred persons shall have subscribed these presents as Shareholders, 
and shall be conducted on the following principles : 

"That the Company shall issue their notes payable twelve months 
after the date thereof ; the said notes bearing date from the day or time 
when the same shall be issued, and shall lend money in the Bank-notes 
of the Company, clue at twelve months, as aforesaid, to such persons as 
may apply for the same, and shall convey to the President and Cashier 
of the said Company for the time being and their successors in office in 
trust for the said Company, their right, title, and interest, in, to, or out 
of, freehold property being intrusted to the Directors for the time being. 
The person receiving the said loan or advance shall also give a Promis 
sory Note as maker thereof, payable to Cashier of the said Company 
for the time being, or his order, and due nine months after the date 
thereof for the amount so lent or advanced. The Company will renew 
the said Promissory Note as long as may be required by the borrower 

^r- *-v*i i. 




upon the security of the real property so conveyed as in this clause before 
mentioned, and upon the following conditions, that the said person bor 
rowing shall bring to the Office or Banking house of the Company, spe 
cie, the notes of other banks made payable on demand, or the notes 
issued by the said Company, which shall become due according to their 
tenor in six months after the date of the said renewal, equal to the 
amount of the note or obligation so required to be renewed. These con 
ditions being first performed by the person so borrowing, the Company 
will immediately re-discount upon the renewed note, and the real pro 
perty and security as aforesaid, to the amount of the former note given 
by the borrower, by giving him the said amount (less discount) in the 
notes of the Company, payable twelve months after the date of the said 
renewal, and the Company will accelerate the effecting Exchange by 
every means consistent with the safety of the Institution that can be 
adopted, for the purpose of enabling the person borrowing, as aforesaid, 
to renew his note as aforesaid. The Company will also discount Promis 
sory Notes, as in the present Bank Companies in the said Province with 
approved endorsers. But for or in no other business, adventure, trade 
or merchandise whatsoever, than that of Banking, according to the 
description and system in this clause before mentioned." 

Promissory notes of five and twenty-five shillings respectively, beau 
tifully engraved and printed by a New York firm, were ready for issue. 
It is doubtful, however, whether any of them were issued, for just at 
this moment the boom burst. Through the reckless system of discount 
ing practised in the United States, the credit system of that country had 
been strained till it snapped, and a financial panic ensued. In England, 
too, there was distress , and taking warning from the losses of their 
neighbours, on March 4th, 1837, the Provincial Legislature struck a fatal 
blow at the Freeholders Bank by passing an Act "to protect the public 
against injury from private banking," which forbade under heavy penalty 
any bank bill or note to be issued by any body, "associated without legis 
lative authority." Four institutions, which had actually begun operations, 
were exempted from its provisions, but of these the infant bank of 
Bath was not one. In vain Mr. Peter Davy and 386 other freeholders 
of the Midland District petitioned the Legislative Assembly that the 
Bank "may be allowed to continue its operations." A Bill was brought 
in, and after some amendments by the Legislative Council, which were 
accepted by the Assembly, passed on July nth, 1837, "to afford relief to 
certain banking institutions heretofore carrying on business in this pro 
vince, by enabling them more conveniently to settle their affairs, and 
for protecting the interests of persons holding their notes." This Act 


allowed the shareholders of such institutions to appoint commissioners 
for settling their affairs ; and under it the shareholders of the Freehold 
ers Bank appointed James Fraser, William Sills, and Benjamin Ham 
commissioners for the purpose. It is significant of the looseness with 
which affairs were at this time transacted in the province that the Bill 
was brought in on the motion of Mr. John Solomon Cartwright, Member 
for the county, and that on August 7th, 1837, the appointment of the 
commissioners was confirmed by the same John Solomon Cartwright in 
his capacity of Judge of the District Court of the Midland District. 

The work of the commissioners took some time, and on February 
I4th, 1838, a petition, apparently praying for certain further powers, was 
presented by them to the Legislative Assembly, and referred to a special 
committee. The original powers eventually proved to be sufficient, the 
affairs of the Company were wound up without the need of a report from 
the committee, and early in 1838 the dream of the would-be financiers of 
Lennox and Addington had vanished. 

The first Savings Bank opened in Napanee was purely of local 
origin and was known as the Napanee Savings Bank Society. The Com 
mittee of Management consisted of R. J. Cartwright, J. Stevenson, J. 
Grange, J. F. Bartels, W. McGillivray, and Alex. Campbell, with the 
Rev. Dr. Lauder as Treasurer, and Robert Phillips, head-master of the 
Grammar School, Book-keeper. On Friday, October 5th, 1860, the 
books were opened for depositors, and the following rules were pub 
lished : 

i st. The Society will receive any sum not under 25 cents. 

2nd. Will allow interest upon each pound remaining in their hands 
for a period not less than two months at the rate of 5% per annum, but 
will not on broken parts of a pound or for broken parts of a month. 

3rd. Will not receive more than two hundred dollars from any one 

4th. The Treasurer and Book-keeper will receive and pay out 
moneys at the Town-hall between the hours of 7 and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays 
and Fridays of each week. 

5th. Any sum not exceeding $5 may be drawn out on demand, and 
any over $5 upon giving a week s notice. 

6th. All sums paid into the hands of the Treasurer will be forth 
with placed on deposit in the Commercial Bank of Canada at Kingston. 

7th. No money will be loaned or otherwise invested on any pretence 

8th. Each depositor will be provided with a small book, wherein 
deposits and sums paid out are to be entered. No money will be received 


or money returned unless this book be produced to have the proper 
entries made therein. 

9th. No money is to be received or paid out except in the joint 
presence of the Book-keeper and Treasurer, or if the latter be unavoid 
ably absent, of some member of the Committee. And each deposit or 
repayment must be initialled in the depositor s book by both of the above 

Sir Richard Cartwright was the founder of this very laudable institu 
tion ; he and two other members of the Board, Messrs. McGillivray and 
Bartels, gave their personal bond guaranteeing the investors against loss, 
and advanced the very excellent reasons for all persons of small means 
patronizing the bank that the money "thus placed out of their immediate 
control, will prevent their indulging many an extravagant desire, will 
teach them careful and provident habits, and in addition will be improv 
ing 1 in amount to be ready for them at any moment when really re 
quired." Fifty years later we see the same man, then Minister of Trade 
and Commerce, placing upon the Statute Hooks of Canada a similar pro 
vision to encourage thrift among the poorer classes throughout the entire 

The first chartered bank to open a branch in Napanee was the now 
defunct Commercial Bank which on June 4th, 1864, opened its books for 
business in the small frame store on John Street between the Paisley 
House and the stone building used for many years as a butcher shop. 
The manager was the late Alexander Smith, who lived in the latter 
building and, from want of a better place, kept the bank books and cash 
in a safe. in his dining-room. Over the dining-room the manager slept; 
and a hole through the floor commanded a view of the front of the safe 
and afforded an opportunity, if the occasion demanded it, to discharge 
into any would-be robbers the contents of a brace of pistols which were 
always ready at hand. The Commercial Bank continued in business for 
four years, when a panic was caused in the town by the announcement 
of its failure ; but the Merchants Bank came to its rescue, took over its 
premises, business, and staff, and remained in the old frame building 
until 1870, when J. J. Watson of Adolphustown erected on Bridge 
Street the building designed especially as a bank and dwelling 
and now occupied by Dr. Simpson. The lower story of the western end 
of the building was devoted to the bank, and the door now used as the 
office door of the surgery was the bank entrance. Behind the office to 
which this door gave admittance was the vault and private office of the 
manager. For ten years this was the headquarters of the bank in 
Napanee, when it was felt that a location on Main Street would be more 


desirable and the building opposite the Campbell House was secured. Mr. 
Smith continued as manager until 1893, when Mr. T. E. Merrett assumed 
control. The latter gentleman s promotion was rapid, but not undeserved, 
as he remained but two years in Napanee as manager, when, after a few 
brief changes, he was placed in charge of the New York branch and 
now fills the important position of Branch Superintendent and Chief 
Inspector of this, one of the largest financial institutions in Canada. He 
was succeeded in 1895 by the late W. A. Bellhouse, who gained great 
popularity in the town as an able and obliging bank er, and a most 
enthusiastic golfer and curler. The present manager, Mr. E. R. Checkley, 
who had spent several years in the Napanee branch under different 
managers, relieved Mr. Bellhouse during his illness in 1909, and upon 
the death of the latter was appointed to his present position. In June, 
1911, the bank moved into its pleasant and commodious quarters on the 
corner of John and Dundas Streets, where the genial manager and his 
obliging staff are still dealing in the coveted dollaf s and cents. 

The next bank to open a branch in Napanee was the Bank of 
British North America which carried on business for two or three years 
in the Miller Block on John Street, one door south of the front entrance 
to the Paisley House dining-room. A most singular fatality pursued the 
chief members of the staff; and the head office, apparently discouraged 
in the attempt to man an office in Napanee, concluded to withdraw from 
the town. 

The Dominion Bank took over the business of the Bank of British 
North America in January, 1878, and continued for a time in the same 
premises until accommodation was provided in the Blewett Block on the 
Market Square corner. There has been a succession of able and popular 
managers in charge of the branch, who, together with the embryo bank 
ers from time to time under them, have been a decided acquisition to the 
social life of the town. The business of the bank has steadily increased 
under their fostering care until now it is regarded as one of the most 
prosperous branches of the institution. The General Manager of the 
bank, Mr. Clarence Bogert, is an old Napanee boy ; and two of the man 
agers, Mr. Baines and Mr. Pepler, now holding responsible positions in 
the Toronto offices, each secured their fair partners in life in Napanee, 
while in charge of the local branch. 

Following is a list of the managers from the opening of branch to 
the present time, with the respective dates of service : 

R. A. Halliwell from 1878 to 1883 

R. D. Gamble from 1883 to 1885 

Walter Darling from 1885 to 1888 





E. H. Bainos from 1888 to 1897 

Arthur Pepler from 1897 to 1898 

T. S. Hill from 1898 to 1904 

D. L. Hill from 1904 to 191 1 

G. P. Reiffenstein from 1911 to the present time. 

The last to enter the field in Napanee was the Crown Bank of Can 
ada, which, in 1906, opened a branch on the south side of Dundas Street 
in the Albert Block, where it has remained ever since; but upon amal 
gamating with the Northern Bank in 1908 the name was changed to The 
Northern Crown Bank. Up to the present it has undergone few changes ; 
but it is rapidly making history under its energetic manager, Mr. R. G. 
H. T ravers, who has been in charge of the branch since a few months 
after its opening. 

Prior to the coming of this bank to Napanee there were only two 
banks in the county, the Merchants and Dominion, but now there are 
ten, of which number three are in Napanee and a branch of the Northern 
Crown in each of the following villages, Bath, Odessa, and Enterprise, 
a branch of the Sterling in Tamworth, the Merchants in Yarker, and the 
Standard in Camden East and Newburgh. 




Prior to 1835 there was no church in Napanee of any denomina 
tion, and religious services were conducted in private houses or any room 
that could be found suitable for the purpose. We gather from the Lang- 
horn records that there was a congregation of the English Church in 
Napanee as early as 1809 and probably much earlier. The village was 
at that time annexed to Bath ecclesiastically ; but was not much credit to 
the mother church of the county. Of so little consequence was it that 
no wardens were chosen for three successive years, and even the rector 
of Bath was not greatly worried over the neglect. In 1835 the Cart- 
wrights donated the lot on the north-west corner of Thomas Street and 
the Newburgh Road, upon which was built a plain stone structure, St. 
Mary Magdalene Church. It was about forty feet long by thirty wide, 
and above the roof there rose a tower in which was hung a bell, the first 
to summon the good people of Napanee to worship. Not a trace of the 
old church now remains, as it was torn down and the material used in the 
erection of the new St. Mary Magdalene which has recently been im 
proved and is now one of the handsomest churches in the diocese. 

Even after the congregation had provided a place of worship, no 
resident rector was appointed, but the Rev. Saltern Givens, missionary to 
the Mohawks in the Tyendenaga Reserve, took the parish in charge and 
conducted services every Sabbath until 1849, when the Rev. Wm. 
L,auder was appointed the first rector of the parish of Napanee. He was 
succeeded in 1862 by the Rev. J. J. Bogert, M.A., who removed to Ottawa 
in 1881, and was followed by the Rev. Archdeacon T. Bedford- Jones, 
UL.D. The present rector, Rev. Arthur Jarvis, assumed charge upon 
the removal of the Archdeacon to Brockville in 1890, and retired from 
active supervision of the parish in 1908, since which date the church has 
had two Vicars, the late lamented Rev. F. T. Dibb, and the present incum 
bent, the Rev. W. E. Kidd. 

The Wesleyan Methodists were but five years behind the Anglicans, 
and in 1840 built a brick church forty by sixty feet on the site of the 
present Trinity Church, the land being also donated by the Cartwright 
estate; in fact the site of every church in the town was a gift from this 
family. It was dedicated by the Rev. Gilbert Miller, who was stationed 


in Xapanee at the time; and the pulpit was a!~terwunl> tilled by many 
prominent preachers, among whom were the Reverends Robert Corson, 
D. 15. .Madden. Mm Mlack. William Haw, and I ,. Slight. In 1800, while 
the Rev. F. Berry was in charge of the church, step- were taken to build 
a new stone church which was intended to outstrip in si/.e and grandeur 
every other place of worship in the District. The congregation responded 
to the call of the pastor, subscriptions came pouring in, the noble edifice. 
as it was at that time considered, was begun, and the last touch on the 
exterior was the erection of the weather-vane which took place on ( )cto 
ber 2/th, 1861, and was an event of such importance that the whole town 
turned out to witness the performance. A local reporter thus described 

"The finale was placed upon the spire of the new Stone Church in 
our village on Monday p.m. It was quite exciting to witness the opera 
tion. To see men. and these our own citizens, busily engaged with pole, 
rope, and tackle at the dizzy height of one hundred and fifty feet from 
terra firma, to see them handle an object some four feet long by two 
feet in thickness was a sight worth seeing. And none witnessed it with 
greater pleasure than the children of our Grammar and Common Schools, 
who were allowed by the kindness of Mr. Phillips, the principal, to wit 
ness the sight. 

"It is pleasing to know that from the beginning of the erection of 
this very beautiful and large edifice, no serious accident has occurred. It 

speaks well for the care and management of the contractors The 

edifice thus far is certainly a credit to the church, and an ornament to 
the village, and tells favourably for the energy of the Building Com 
mittee under whose direction it has been erected." 

The dedication of the basement took place on Sunday, November 
23rd, 1861. Appropriate sermons were preached morning and evening 
by Rev. George Young of Kingston, and in the afternoon by John Black 
of Belleville. This was followed by a Bazaar on Monday evening, at 
which addresses were delivered by the Reverends Dr. Stinson, John 
Black, George Young, H. Lanton, and J. C. Ash. The singing was said 
to have been of "rare excellence and reflected much credit upon the 
young people." 

Even this once grand edifice was in time felt to be inadequate for 
the needs of the large congregation ; and to the Rev. W. H. Emsley may 
be given no small part of the credit for the erection of "the handsome 
cement church so perfectly equipped and beautifully decorated. It was 
built in 1906 on the site of its two predecessors ; and the citizens of 
Napanee, and especially the loyal congregation that contributed the funds 
for its erection have just cause to be proud of the magnificent structure. 


About the year 1840 the Napanee circuit extended all the way from 
Gosport on the south to Wheeler s Mills on the north, covering a terri 
tory over which there are now stationed at least ten clergymen. The 
roads in the northern part of the county were mere trails through the 
forest, from which the underbush had been cut; and the circuit rider s 
only practical means of travelling from one appointment to another was 
on horseback. Two ministers were in charge of this circuit, and it can 
be readily understood that they spent a very large portion of their time 
in the saddle. 

In 1842 Father Corson was returning one day from a visit to 
Wheeler s Mills, and his course lay through the northern part of Rich 
mond, as the Salmon River could be crossed only at a point now known 
as Forest Mills. As he was jogging along the lonely path, with his 
saddle-bags dangling behind him, he met a solitary traveller who be 
sought him to come over to Lime Lake, where there were a few scattered 
log huts, without either preacher or regular service. The appeal was 
too strong for the good old man to resist, so Lime Lake was added to 
the Napanee circuit. The stranger who made this appeal was the late 
Elijah Storr, who afterwards became one of the prominent men of the 
county, and occupied the warden s chair. 

As the population increased in numbers and wealth, one by one the 
appointments were lopped off and the circuit reduced. Thus in 1850 
Newburgh was set apart, in 1866 Selby was removed, in 1872 Morven 
and Gosport were severed, and for the first time Napanee became a cir 
cuit of one appointment only. The term "circuit," implying the riding 
about from one appointment to another, is scarcely applicable to a single 
church which received exclusively the services of its pastor; but the 
nomenclature of the good old days is still retained, and perhaps it is for 
the best if for no other purpose than to carry us back to the time of our 
fathers who 

"Cheerful bore the hard 

"Coarse fare and russet garb of pioneers 

"In these great woods, content to build a home 

"And commonwealth, where they could live secure, 

"A life of honour, loyalty, and peace." 

Following is a list of the ministers stationed on the Napanee circuit 
from 1840 to the present day: 

1840 Revs. Cyrus R. Allison, William Haw 

1841 Revs. Robert Corson, Gilbert Miller 


1842 Revs. Robert Corson, Gilbert Miller 

1843 Revs. William Haw, Samuel P. LaDcnv 

1844 Revs. Asahel Hurlburt, Samuel P. LaDow 

1845 Revs. Asahel Hurlburt, John Sanderson 

1846 Revs. George Goodson, John Sanderson 

1847 Revs. George Goodson, John A. Williams 

1848 Revs. William McFadden, John A. Williams 

1849 Revs. William McFadden, Thomas Cleghorn 

1850 Revs. John Black, Joseph Reynolds 

1851 Revs. John Black, John W. German 

1852 Revs. D. B. Madden, Robert Brewster 

1853 Revs. D. B. Madden, John D. Ptigh 

1854 Rev. George F. Playter 

1855 Rev. George F. Playter 

1856 Revs. Benjamin Slight, M.A., John Slight 

1857 Rev. Benjamin, Slight, M.A. 

1857 Revs. William English, Samuel Wil^m 

1858 Revs. William English, John Thompson 

1859 Revs. William English, William W. Ross 

1860 Revs. Francis Berry, James Ash, Richard Pretty 

1861 Revs. Francis Merry, Davidson McDonald, George Robson 

1862 Revs. Francis Berry, T. W. Jeffrey, George Robson 

1863 Revs. Wm. McCullough, T. W. Jeffrey, David Brethour 

1864 Revs. Wm. McCullough, David Brethour. John F. German 

1865 Revs. John S. Clarke, D. Kennedy, B.A., G. H. Squire, B.A. 

1866 Revs. John S. Clarke, Alexander Campbell 

1867 Revs. John S. Clarke, Alexander Campbell 

1868 Revs. Wm. Scott, Thomas Kelley 

1869 Revs. Wm. Scott, William Shaw 

1870 Revs. Wm. Scott, John Ridley 

1871 Revs. George M. Meachem, M.A., Thomas Cardus 

1872 Rev. George M. Meachem, M.A. 

1873 Rev. George M. Meachem, M.A. 
1874-5-6 Rev. W. S. Black-stock 
1877-8-9 Rev. A. B. Chambers, B.C.L. 
1 880- 1 Rev. Wm. Hansford 
1882-3-4 Rev. M. L. Pearson 
1885-6-7 Rev. W. H. Emsley 
1888-9-90 Rev. A. B. Chambers, D.D. 
1891-2-3 Rev. S. J. Shorey 

1894-5-6 Rev. N. A. McDiarmid, S.T.D. 



1897-8-9 Rev. W. J. Crothers, M.A. 
1900-1-2-3 Rev. C. E. Mclntyre, M.A. 
1904-5-6-7 Rev. W. H. Emsley 
1908-9-11-12 Rev. G. W. McCall, B.A., B.D. 
1912 Rev. S. Sellery, M.A., B.D. 

About the year 1842 the first Methodist Episcopal church, known 
for a long time as the White Church, was commenced on the site of 
the Western Methodist Church, and was completed in 1844, with the Rev. 
John Bailey as Presiding Elder, and the Rev. H. H. Johnston as the 
Minister in charge. In 1871 the Rev. S. G. Stone was appointed to 
Napanee, and he felt the need of a new church. The late John Gibbard 
was the most prominent man in the congregation and, up to the time of 
his death, was a generous contributor to the funds of the church. It 
was a large undertaking for a small congregation, but the enthusiasm 
of the pastor and the liberality of Mr. Gibbard became infectious, the 
work was begun, and the present church completed in October, 1873, at 
a cost of $17,000. It has recently been renovated and improved, and 
is well suited to serve the needs of the congregation for many years to 
come. The needs of the pastor are not overlooked, as he is housed in 
a handsome and well furnished parsonage next door to the church. 

This church has been singularly fortunate in securing some of the 
most prominent men in the conference to officiate as pastor. Following 
is a complete list of the clergymen stationed at this appointment during 
the past fifty years : 

1861-63 Rev. J. C. Burnell 

1864-67 Rev. David Wilson 

1867-69 Rev. I. B. Aylsworth, D.D. 

1869-71 Rev. J. D. Bell 

1871-74 Rev. S. G. Stone, D.D. 

1874-77 Rev. Bidwell Lane, D.D. 

1877-79 R CV - C. S. Eastman 

1879-81 Rev. George Hartley, D.D. 

1881-84 Rev. Stephen Card 

1884-87 Rev. J. P. Wilson, B.A. 

1887-89 Rev. E. N. Baker, B.D. 

1889 Rev. J. B. Clarkson, resigned through illness 

1889-1892 Rev. C. O. Johnson 

1892-94 Rev. J. J. Rae 

1894-97 Rev. D. O. Crossley 

1897-1900 Rev. Caleb Parker 


1900-04 Rev. S. T. Bartlett 

1904-08 Rev. J. R. Real 

1908-11 Rev. W. H. Emsley 

1911 to the present, Rev. J. P. Wilson, B.A. 

Xapanee was originally hut one of several posts of a Roman 
Catholic mission comprising Adolphustown. Fredcricksburgh, Xapanee, 
Richmond, and Deseronto. From the year 1845 to l8 5 6 mass was occa 
sionally celebrated in the homes of John \Val>h and Richard U i .rien, 
who, with James Gleeson, undertook the building of the present stone 
church in 1856; and although the congregation was small this faithful 
trio persevered in the good work till they had erected the substantial 
edifice which is a lasting memorial to their exertions. 

From 1856 to 1860 Father Michael MacKay and Father McMehan 
attended to the spiritual wants of the congregation, and were followed 
by Father Brophy, who remained in charge until 1864. From 1864 to 
1869 Father Browne was the first resident pastor, and during his short 
incumbency many substantial improvements were made, notably the 
finishing of the interior, the installation of new pews, the erection of an 
altar, and the purchase of the present presbytery. The Rev. Father 
Leonard, one of the most learned priests of the diocese, was appointed 
in 1869, but owing to ill-health was forced to retire after a stay of five 
years. Father McDonough came to Napanee in 1874, and won such love 
by his unfaltering adherence to the duties of his sacred office and his uni 
form courtesy to all that it was to the deepest regret o f all denominations 
that he was transferred to Picton in 1889. His place was taken by Rev. 
Father Hogan, who proved a worthy successor to Father McDonough, 
and for fifteen years upheld the dignity of his profession, and at the 
same time ingratiated himself into the hearts of all classes in the com 
munity. The Rev. P. J. Hartigan took charge of the parish in 1904, fol 
lowing in the steps of his predecessors by ministering to the congrega 
tions of both Xapanee and Deseronto. 

In 1906 Archbishop Gauthier visited Xapanee, with a view of car 
rying out the long contemplated division of the parish, which was hap 
pily effected by each congregation undertaking to support a pastor of its 
own. Father Hartigan was left in charge of Deseronto, and Father T. 
P. O Connor was appointed to the new parish of Xapanee. The congre 
gation has more than fulfilled the expectations of the Archbishop and, 
besides maintaining their own pastor, have beautified and improved their 
church under the guidance of the present pastor, who has proven him 
self to be a devout and scholarly gentleman, amiable and energetic. Dur 
ing bis pastorate he has installed a set of beautifully executed Stations 


of the Cross, enlarged the auditorium of the church, erected a new 
vestry complete in its appointments and a chancel adorned by artistic 
memorial windows donated by Mr. John F. Walsh, and the estates of 
Mrs. Ellen McNeil and Miss M. A. Blewett. A new altar of chaste 
design and perfect workmanship completes the interior of this beautiful 
church, in the decoration of which no expense has been spared. 

Major Vanalstine of Adolphustown was a Presbyterian and was 
responsible for sending for the first minister of that faith who came to 
this district. This was the Rev. Mr. McDowell, who came to Canada 
in 1800 and settled in the township of Ernesttown; but preached at dif 
ferent points upon a circuit extending from Brockville to the head of the 
Bay of Quinte. Of him Dr. Canniff wrote : "No man contributed more 
than he to fulfil the divine mission go preach and at a time when great 
spiritual want was felt he came to the hardy settlers. The spirit of 
Christianity was by him aroused to no little extent, especially among those 
who in the early days had been accustomed to sit under the teachings of 
Presbyterians. He travelled far and near, in all kinds of weather, and 
at all seasons, sometimes in a canoe or bateau, and sometimes on foot. 
On one occasion he walked all the way from the Bay of Quinte to York, 
following the lake shore, and swimming the rivers that could not other 
wise be forded." 

The Presbyterians were loyal to their church, and there were a 
great many throughout the county: but they were scattered over the 
whole territory, and not strong enough to build churches for the several 
congregations; so, as a rule, they held their services in private houses, 
school-houses, or any public hall that could be secured for the purpose. 
Napanee was no exception to the rule, and this denomination was the 
last in town to provide for themselves a place of worship. 

The Presbyterian Church, a substantial stone structure forty-four 
feet by sixty-five feet, was commenced on July ist, 1864, and by the fol 
lowing spring the lower portion was ready for use by the congregation. 
The dedicatory services of the basement took place on Sunday, March 
I2th, 1865. The Rev. John B. Mowat of Queen s College preached in 
the morning, the Rev. W. McLaren in the afternoon, and the Rev. Pat 
rick Gray in the evening. On Monday evening following the ladies held 
their first tea-meeting, which was the forerunner of the regular annual 
gatherings for which that congregation has become famous. The clergy 
man in charge at the time was the Rev. John Scott, who had come to 
Napanee some two years before, and before the building of the church 
conducted services in the old Academy and afterwards in the town- 
hall He was highly esteemed by all denominations ; and the commodious 






building provided for the Presbyterians is due to his energy and persever 
ance. There was a halt in the building operations some time after the 
dedication of the basement, and the main audience room was not com 
pleted until 1869, when it was opened for public worship by the Rev. 
Dr. McVicar of Montreal. The following clergymen have in turn offi 
ciated in this church: Reverends John Scott, Alexander Young, Duncan 
McEachern, W. W. Peck, J. R. Conn, and Dr. Howard. 




The first newspaper published in this county was a five-column sheet 
issued on November 2nd, 1850, by the Rev. G. D. Greenleaf. It was 
called the Napanee Bee and, according to the announcement at the top 
of the first page, it was "Devoted to the cause of Civil and Religious 
Liberty, and to the promotion of Agriculture, Education, and Morality." 
The title extended across the top in a ribbon scroll, over a wood-cut of 
the village which is probably the oldest picture of Napanee in existence, 
and has been identified by many old residents as a remarkably accurate 
representation. On the south side of the river are two large buildings, 
a grist-mill and a brewery, and along the river front are six other build 
ings scattered along the bank from the falls to West Street. On the 
site of the big mill is a three-story building with a wharf extending from 
it half-way across the river. There are three churches ; the English on 
Thomas Street near the Newburgh Road, the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church on the site of Trinity Church, and the old White Church where 
the Western Methodist Church now stands. There were onlv two build- 

ings on Bridge Street west of West Street, one near the site of the 
Methodist parsonage and the other across the street. There were three 
small houses in the vicinity of Madden s corner; but west of that not 
a single house appears in the picture. 

The third issue published on November i6th, is confined to two 
pages ; and the editor apologetically craves the indulgence of his readers 
for the appearance of the paper and by way of explanation states that 
one of his printers had taken "French leave" and had stolen a watch 
from another member of the staff, so that the paper had perforce been 
neglected while the proprietor had been engaged in bringing the thief to 
justice. There are two numbers of the Bee among the archives of the 
Historical Society, and they compare very favourably with the ordinary 
country newspaper of to-day both in subject-matter and appearance. 
The Bee was printed from a press constructed by its portly editor, who, 
in addition to printing the newspaper, conducted a cabinet shop, and 
offered for sale all classes of furniture for cash or in exchange for lum 
ber or merchantable country produce. 

The editor waged a relentless war against the liquor traffic, and the 
greater part of his editorials and communications were devoted to this 


subject. The Sons of Temperance were strongly organized throughout 
the province, and the proceedings of the various lodges were given a 
prominent place in the Bcc. Mr. Greenleaf had the courage of his con 
victions and did not hesitate to express his views in good strong Eng 
lish when he thought the occasion warranted it, as will be seen from 
the following editorial, which appeared in the issue of July i6th, 1852: 

Hath, though not large, is, nevertheless, a place of considerable com 
mercial interest and importance. Situated on the margin of the Bay of 
Quinte, at or near its junction with the lake, eighteen miles above Kings 
ton and about two from Amherst Island, it becomes the central depot and 
mart for the peninsular part of Adolphustown and Fredericksburgh, the 
front of Ernesttown, and the alx>ve named Island. I laving no water- 
power for mechanical purposes much of the business which would other 
wise centre here is drawn to other points. Still, Hath has its advantages, 
and will steadily but slowly progress. 

"At present it is suffering materially from a moral plague spot in its 
very midst and which greatly cripples nearly every enterprise in the vil 
lage ; and, to an extent, in the surrounding country. \Ye speak of a 
miserable, unlicensed groggery kept by one S , himself a filthy drunk 
ard. On a recent visit to Bath the writer drove up to the house, sup 
posing it to be an inn. The first salute w r as a bacchanalian song by a 
gang of drunken rowdies in the bar-room. Next appeared at the front 
door a bloated, red-faced, red-eyed hiccoughing specimen of Rum s work 
with a Will ye hie will you ha hie have your horse put ou put 
out? Sorry that he had stopped there the writer began to wish for 
better quarters ; but being uncertain that his condition could be bettered 
for the time being by removing, he thought to make a virtue of necessity 
and so stopped. Going soon afterwards to look after his horse, he found 
him hitched, with a lock of miserable hay so placed that the horse could 
not reach it by three feet. A retreat was at once decided upon, and 
another trial was made across the street at Hollisters. Here the horse 
fared better. By the way, we believe that Mr. Nelson Hollister is the 
most worthy of the patronage of the travelling public of any landlord 
in Bath. He has recently opened, is young, and appears to have some 
conscience in respect to the rum part of his business ; and in all but this 
we can wish him success. Notwithstanding his knowledge of the Bee s 
opposition to the liquor traffic he gave his name as a subscriber. 

"As for S , it is certainly a matter of surprise that the good 
people of Bath will suffer him, in open violation of law and order, to 
continue his moral and social nuisance in their very midst. Is there no 
remedy? Is the stranger to be decoyed into this unauthorized house 


where his beast will be defrauded and his own quiet disturbed? And 
will the people in whose faces this wrong is perpetrated quietly or pas 
sively give indemnity for the act? It is said that Mrs. S is an excel 
lent woman, and we believe it; but we cannot see as this should be a 
sufficient excuse for his going un whipped of justice. But enough of 

The most extensive advertiser in the Bee was James Grange "at 
the sign of the Bottle and Mortar" ; and accompanying his advertise 
ment were crudely executed wood-cuts, one of which pictured suffering 
humanity in distressing attitudes, with outstretched arms pointing hope 
fully to the familiar sign of the fat, round bottje with the words 
"Grange, Druggist" upon the side, surrounding a representation of a 
mortar in the centre, with the wholesome motto of "Live and let live." 

E. A. Dunham announced to the public that he had a newly opened 
assortment of fresh goods of almost every description that he was pre 
pared to dispose of in exchange for cash or wool. Robert Easton, "be 
tween the sign of the Blue Bottle and T. Kettle" solicited an early call 
from his patrons, friends, and customers in need of bonnets, ribbons, 
and muslin-de-laine, and intimated that wool, grain, butter, and farm 
produce generally would be taken in exchange. Charles James was "pre 
pared to offer such as favour him with a call the best bargains ever 
received in the way of broad-cloths, cassimeres, tweeds, plain and fancy 
Orleans" and other goods, including prunella boots, teas, and tobacco ; 
and would accept in exchange "Rye, Oats, Peas, Corn, and Shingles." 
Almost the only advertiser who did not express his desire to accept 
produce in exchange for his stock-in-trade was Mr. B. C. Davy, barris 
ter and attorney-at-law. This is probably explained by the fact that he 
enjoyed a monopoly in his particular line. 

The patent medicines and proprietary remedies proclaimed their 
wonderful cures through the columns of the Bee and the "Great Vege 
table Magic Pain Destroyer," "The East India Hair Dye" and other nos 
trums occupied fully one half of the advertising space. 

According to a census return published in the Bee in January, 1852, 
the population of Lennox was 7,955, made up as follows : Adolphus- 
town, 718, Fredericksburgh, 3,166, Richmond including Napanee, 4,071. 
Napanee village contained at that time 1,020 souls. 

Although the little paper persistently announced week after week 
that it was "pledged to no party either political or religious," and that 
it intended ever to seek fearlessly to maintain an independent course 
"unaw d by influence and unbrib d by gain" yet, when election time came, 
it could buzz as loudly and sting as severely as the most partisan journal. 



\nvKUTisiv; .MI i 



A ,T^ N , i- .\nvor. 




Its appeal to the electors who were about to assemble in a few days at 
Gordanier s Inn in Ernesttown to nominate a candidate would hardly be 
considered moderate even in our day : 

"Up, then, ye electors! Ye real friends of our Canada and true 
conservators of religious equality and rational equal civil rights! Ye 
supporters of Progress and Reform : up, up, and at your post ! ! ! The 
contest is not to be, we trust, as it should not, one of partisan and 
favouritism, but of purely patriotic against selfish, of Christian againM 
sectarian principles. On the one hand will be arrayed the advocates of 
religious preferences and exclusive rights ; the supporters of a stand-still- 
and-do-nothing policy in relation to national improvements, and the 
friends of sectarian multiplication, ad infimtitm. with the attendant nea 
sary consequences of all such measures; and who thus labour to entail 
upon this infant country all the curses of such anti-liberal and anti- 
Reform principles." 

For nearly two years the reverend gentleman continued to preach 
temperance through the columns of the Bcc and periodically to apologize 
to his readers for issuing a half sheet owing to the scarcity of paper, 
until he finally suspended publication owing to the "very discouraging 
and disadvantageous circumstances" under which he laboured. 

A few weeks later, over the names of G. D. Greenleaf and C. Lowry, 
appeared the prospectus of the Napanee Emporium, a seven-column 
paper, which was in reality a revival of the Bee; but the proprietor 
decided upon dropping that name and adopting the new one, "believing 
it to be better adapted to the contemplated character of the paper." The 
change of the name and size of the paper were not accompanied by any 
radical change in the tone and character of its reading matter. The 
editor could not get away from his text ; and even the strong temper 
ance element in the county looked for something more in a newspaper 
than temperance lectures and the records of the doings of the various 
temperance organizations, so it was not long before the Emporium was 
laid to rest beside its elder brother, the Bee. 

In the year 1854 the leading men of Napanee felt that the time had 

arrived when the town and the surrounding country should no longer be 

dependent for the news of the world upon the Kingston press, whose 

columns were filled with attractive advertisements of the merchants of 

that place seeking to divert the trade from Napanee. The first press 

was purchased by Allan Macpherson. Robert Esson, B. C. Davy, and 

a number of prominent men were induced to take stock in the venture ; 

the Napanee Standard was first published at the office of Alexander 

Campbell over Macpherson s store at the east end of Dundas Street It 



was not long before Mr. Campbell relieved the other stockholders of 
their shares and became the sole proprietor, with Mr. B. C. Davy as 
editor. The latter gentleman wielded a versatile pen and never hesitated, 
when it suited his purpose, to express his likes and dislikes. After Mr. 
Campbell had opened his store opposite the Campbell House the print 
ing plant was moved into an old frame building next door where its pro 
prietor could conveniently exercise an oversight over the management. 

When Mr. Davy assumed the editorship, at the princely salary of 
$4.00 a week, he entered into an agreement with his employer to protect 
him against libel actions. He had not filled the editor s chair many 
months before both himself and Mr. Campbell were defendants in a 
libel suit brought against them by one Rombough, for some offensive 
language which had appeared in the columns of the Standard from the 
pen of the lawyer-editor. Before the trial took place Mr. O Reilly, 
counsel for the plaintiff, offered to withdraw the action if the defendants 
would undertake not to publish anything further about Rombough. Davy 
favoured a settlement upon these terms, and Solicitor-General Smith, 
counsel for the defendants, also recommended it; but Campbell refused 
to give the undertaking, with the result that the trial went on and the 
defendants were mulcted in the sum of $50 and costs. Needless to say 
the business relations between the proprietor of the Standard and its 
editor were promptly terminated ; instead of the friendship \vhich pre 
viously existed there arose a bitter enmity, and the angry lawyer vented 
his feelings through the columns of the Reformer, in which his former 
employer was styled a "petty tyrant" and the journal he himself had 
once edited "a miserable rag." 

Mr. Campbell, however, continued its publication as the local organ 
of the Conservative party, and never lost an opportunity to strike back 
at his former editor, whose office was just across the street. These little 
pleasantries did not tend to increase the popularity of the Standard, 
which was sold in 1858 to Mr. Alexander Henry and Mr. Clinton A. 
Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins retired from the partnership in the following year 
in favour of Mr. T. S. Henry. The plant was removed to the upper 
stories of the Henry Block on the north side of Dundas Street, where 
Henry Brothers continued as sole proprietors until the suspension of 
publication in 1885 > at which time Mr. Alexander Henry was profitably 
engaged in the paper business at Napanee Mills, and Mr. T. S. Henry 
conducted the book store which he has continued to manage to the pre 
sent day. 

Among the journeymen who served their apprenticeship in the press 
room of the Standard were the late William Templeton and G. M. 


Beeman, the founders of the Napunee Beaver. The Standard was well 
named; and it is quite refreshing, even at this late day, to peruse its 
editorials, which deal not only with issues of local interest but with the 
greater questions affecting the whole country. Among the editors who 
framed its policy was Mr. F. R. Yokome, the present managing editor 
of the Peterboro Examiner. 

Encouraged by the proprietor. \\ho not only invited but sought the 
views of prominent citizens upon all matters worthy of discussion in the 
press, the correspondence column was one of its leading features. 
Through this medium the opinions of the ablest men of the community 
were presented to the public, evils needing correction were fearlessly 
exposed, and a check was placed upon hasty municipal legislation. \Vhat 
was deemed worthy of approval in the individual or body corporate wa- 
highly commended, the public benefactor received his full share ,.{ 
praise, and what is just as important, the evil-doer, no matter what his 
station in life, was as unscathingly denounced. While this policy com 
manded the respect of the general public, it at times rendered the editor s 
chair not quite as comfortable as might have been desired. 

The Re-former was first published in the month of August, 1854. 
by Messrs. E. A. Dunham and J. W. Carman. In a well written pros 
pectus, printed in the first few issues, the publishers announced that they 
chose the Liberal policy, "because of its peculiar adaptation to the con 
stitution of our nature, and as best calculated to give operation and 
effect to those progressive measures which originate in minds not meas 
ured and bounded by personal and selfish interests." As its title indi 
cated and its prospectus declared it was the local organ of the Reform 
party, and threw down the gauntlet to the Standard, which was already 
in the field as the champion of the rights of the Conservatives. 

The Reformer contained some excellent editorials during the first 
year, written by Mr. Dunham, who sold out in 1855 to a brother of his 
junior partner; after which Carman & Brother were announced as pro 
prietors and J. W. Carman as editor and publisher. The new editor 
proved himself as capable as his predecessor, and paid his respects to the 
Index with such marked attention that the Xewburgh journal charged 
Mr. David Roblin with being the author of the castigations so freely 
bestowed upon it. Those were the good old days, when the editors, 
lacking other matter, devoted a column or two to holding their contem 
poraries up to ridicule; and as both the Standard and Index were pour 
ing hot shot into the office of the Reformer the latter was kept pretty 
busy in repelling their attacks. 


In glancing over an issue of July 25th, 1855, the conviction is forced 
upon the reader that the same old wail has been going up from the over 
burdened ratepayers for sixty years. A correspondent writes: "Main 
Street needs some six inches of fine broken gravel from one end to the 
other, say ten feet wide, rounded up in the centre so as to turn off the 
water, and then a nice covering of sand to make it passable at once ; and 
this should be done now, and not wait till all the money is expended on 
the back streets where it is not half so much required." 

The Reformer was doomed to meet the fate of its predecessors; 
and after a few eventful years its career was ended, the plant was 
removed to Kingston, and the Standard had the field again to itself. 

The Bantling was a small four-page three-column sheet which does 
not appear to have been taken very seriously by the people of Napanee. 
It made its first bow to the public as a regular newspaper on January 
1st, 1859; although a specimen copy was issued on Christmas Day of 
the preceding week, in which it was announced that "The Bantling is 
printed by the editor, edited by the publisher, published by the proprietor, 
and proprieted by the Devil." 

In the prospectus which appeared in the free specimen issue over the 
signature of Mr. T. M. Blakely, an agreeable literary melange was 
promised, out of all keeping with the size of the sheet, which, however, 
he led his readers to believe would be doubled if he received proper sup 
port and encouragement. The editor could not be congratulated upon the 
selection of a title for a paper which professed to serve the subscribers 
weekly with the cream of domestic and foreign news. Although the 
Bantling did not profess to espouse the cause of either political party, 
one does not need to peruse very far the few paragraphs devoted to local 
news before he can make a comparatively safe guess that the editor was 
not in full sympathy with the Conservatives, who swept everything 
before them at the municipal elections which were reported in the second 
issue. There was a rhymster who contributed to its columns; and in 
the number containing the election returns each successful candidate s 
alleged speech is reported in rhyme. The council consisted of five mem 
bers, Messrs. MacPherson, Bartles, Grange, McGillivray, and Davy. Mr. 
MacPherson s speech is said to have been as follows: 

"My heartfelt thanks to all this crew, 
"Who have elected me is due ; 
"Although I ve bought you cheap enough, 
"With whisky, money, and such stuff, 
"I give you notice, one and all, 
"I ve whisky now for sale on call." 

.\.\rA.\i:i; Ni:wsr.\ri:k> 277 

Judging from the criticisms in the Bantling the Napanee Fire 
Brigade could not have captured many trophies in 1859. Commenting 
upon a fire which was described as calamitous, it said in its third issue : 
"The Fire-engine and Hook and Ladder were on hand, but were in very 
poor working order the engine not having been worked since the fire 
on the corner of Dundas and Centre Streets, which is about 18 months 
ago, and the hooks having no ropes attached to them." 

The paper was not conducted upon lines calculated to win the sup 
port of the average reader; and it would have been a serious reflection 
upon the intelligence of the citizens of Napanee if it has received their 
approval. During its short career not a single merchant availed himself 
of the advertising space placed at his disposal. It contained very little 
news, and the articles professing to deal with local topics were crude 
attempts at humour, such as parodies on the Holy Scriptures and letti 
from alleged correspondents supjx>sed to be caricature, upon the lan 
guage and spelling of the loquacious countryman. 

Nothing in its life became it like the leaving it"; as its obituary 
notice, which appeared in the twenty-eighth number, was the best article 
published in its columns : 

"It is our painful duty to record the last week of a Mr. Bantling, 
who breathed its last on July i6th. 1*59; after a lingering sickness of 
six months and twenty-one days. The remains of Mr. Bantling will be 
removed from the office followed by its numerous mourners, to its final 
rest. It is to be hoped that the shops will be closed when the proces 
sion is moving and a general mourning will be observed by all the citizens. 
It is lamentable that one so young, just blooming into life, should be cut 
off from the world; but disease seized him with an iron grasp and held 
on till the last breath of wind reluctantly departed from his body." 

In the general election of 1863, in which Sir Richard Cartwright was 
opposed by Mr. Augustus Hooper, all other issues gave way to the ques 
tion of the separation of the counties and the choice of a county town. 
Mr. Hooper favoured Newburgh, and Sir Richard championed the 
claims of Napanee. The Standard was placed in an awkward posi 
tion and was forced to oppose the candidacy of the man, who, but for 
the local issue, would have received its support. Mr. T. S. Carman had 
anticipated the situation, and thinking the time opportune for the intro 
duction of a Reform newspaper, he accordingly established the 
U eekly Express. It was a large ten-column four-page sheet, well 
printed and edited, and received the liberal patronage of the business 
men of the town. The first issue, which was published in 1862, made it 
clear that its avowed purpose was to oppose the policy of the Conserva- 


live party, a course which it has followed with more or less success ever 

About ten years later Mr. Carman sought pastures new in a wider 
field and sold out to Mr. T. W. Casey, who reduced the size to six 
columns, increased the pages to eight, and changed the name to the 
Napanee Express, with the motto "The greatest good to the greatest 
number." Mr. Casey understood thoroughly the newspaper business, 
was an eloquent speaker and an easy writer, but above everything else, 
was a most ardent supporter of the cause of temperance and lost no 
opportunity to give his support to every measure and organization which 
had as its purpose the suppression of the liquor traffic. The columns of 
his paper afforded an excellent opportunity to lay before the public his 
views upon a subject which was so near his heart, and every issue was 
devoted more or less to the progress of the temperance cause. Such a 
policy, however commendable, did not appeal to a large number of his 
readers who did not share his views. After a few years he sold out to 
Mr. John Benson, who discovered that the management of a newspaper 
was a much more difficult task than he had bargained for ; and it was not 
long before Mr. Casey s name again appeared on the front page as 

In 1880 Mr. William O Bierne purchased the plant and infused new 
life into the paper, which had lost some of its former prestige. At no 
time in its history has the Express so well fulfilled its purpose as a 
moulder of public opinion as under the management of Mr. O Bierne. 
He fearlessly attacked what he believed to be detrimental to the interests 
of the town and county, and just as fearlessly supported every movement 
which, in his opinion, was for the public good. The same policy pur 
sued by him in Western Ontario has made his paper, the Stratford Bea 
con, one of the brightest dailies in the province. 

In 1886 Mr. J. C. Drewry assumed the editorship and became pro 
prietor, and, while he gathered many items of personal news from the 
outlying districts in the county and condensed the general news of tho 
week, there was a falling off in the editorial column, which more than 
anything else can give character to a newspaper. In 1890 he sold out to 
John Pollard and E. Mclaughlin, who conducted it in partnership for 
four years, when the latter retired and Mr. Pollard became sole pro 
prietor. He died in 1904, leaving the business to his son Mr. E. J. Pol- 
yard, who has recently installed new presses with electric motor power 
from which he issues weekly an eight-page sheet containing much inter 
esting reading matter of a varied character. 


In the month of May, iSiq. Messrs. Dickens and Lamphicr "having 
been assured," as they announced in their prospectus "of the support 
of a large number both of the inhabitants of the town and surrounding 
country" and feeling that the increasing busines> of the place would war 
rant the establishment of another paper, began the publication of the 
Lennox and sideline/ton Ledger. It was an eight-column paper, the larg 
est published in the county up to that date, and professed allegiance to 
neither political party, its proprietors declaring that they would "at all 
times be found doing battle on the side of whatever is for the welfare 
and advancement of the province and more particularly of these coun 
ties." Judging from the few i>Mies which the writer has been privileged 
to examine the Ledger was far superior to the ordinary country news 
paper of to-day. At the time of its publication the American War was 
being bitterly waged ; and the editorials dealing with the great issues 
between the North and South reflect great credit upon the ability of the 
editor who penned them. 

All the editors of the local press of fifty years ago appear to have 
felt the responsibility cast upon them as purveyors of news and moulders 
of public opinion. They excluded from their columns the petty personal 
items so common in the country press of to-day, and of no possible inter 
est to any one except the friends of the correspondents who have a 
mania for seeing their names in print. The news of the day was pub 
lished in a concise form, all questions of public interest were intelligently 
discussed, and the editors, striving to keep abreast of the times, gave 
their readers the benefit of their views and awakened an interest in all 
matters affecting the public welfare. 

The Ledger merited a better fate than it met at the hands of the 
business men of the town and the electors of the county generally. The 
cleavage between the political parties, the Grits and Tories, was very 
pronounced in those days. The Reformer had very little use for any 
thing of Tory origin, and the Standard could see very little virtue, if 
any, in any policy advocated by the Grits. Both papers were well edited, 
each hammered away at the other, and each had the support of the party 
it represented. The ordinary subscriber was satisfied with one local 
paper, and the paper receiving his exclusive patronage was the one whose 
political views were agreeable to his taste. Little room was left for the 
independent journal ; and the enterprising young men who sought to 
establish a foothold for the Ledger and to teach the free and independent 
electors to think for themselves, found that they had undertaken a hope 
less task, and from want of support were forced to retire from the field 


after a short but most respectable career as proprietors of one of the best 
newspapers ever published in our county. 

From the time the Rev. G. D. Greenleaf first appeared in the journal 
istic field as the uncompromising foe of the liquor traffic some section of 
the press of Napanee had kept up the fight, but no writer in the pro 
vince devoted himself quite so assiduously to the cause as the late Thos. 
W. Casey. For many years he was Grand Secretary of the Independent 
Order of Good Templars ; and it was quite natural, when that Order con 
cluded to publish an official organ, that Napanee should be its home 
and that he should be selected as the Editor-in-chief. 

In 1869 the Casket was first issued from the press of Henry & Bro. 
It was an eight-page, five-column weekly journal with an artistic heading 
and, to help out the subscription list, it took under its wing the Inde 
pendent Order of Foresters and the Sons of Temperance, each of which 
organizations was allotted a certain amount of space under the control 
of its own editor. The presence of so much ready matter in the press 
room of the Standard accounts in some measure for the frequency of 
the stirring articles in support of temperance, which, week after week, 
appeared for years in the columns of that paper. For fourteen years the 
Casket waged a relentless war against the traffic; and it would be diffi 
cult to estimate the important part it played in moulding public opinion 
and bringing about the temperance legislation of the past forty years. 

In the month of January, 1870, Cephas I. Beeman published the 
first issue of the Addmgton Beaver, a four-page six-column weekly paper, 
the first and fourth pages of which were printed upon the presses of the 
Pembroke Observer by George M. Beeman. The two inner pages, which 
were devoted to advertisements and local news, were printed by the pro 
prietor at Newburgh. The paper was so well received by the public 
that, after it had passed the experimental stage, Mr. George M. Beeman 
and William Templeton purchased the plant, enlarged the paper to 
seven columns, and moved it to Napanee, where the publication was con 
tinued under the name of the Ontario Beaver. Later on the name was 
again changed to the Napanee Beaver and the paper further enlarged by 
the addition of four more pages. In 1892 Mr. Beeman sold out to his 
partner, who continued as editor and proprietor until his death in 1908. 
since which date it has been published by his son. 

The Beaver has the unique record of being the only newspaper 
organized in this county which, at some period in its history, has not 
been obliged through financial distress, either to suspend publication or 
pass into the hands of its creditors. It has now a circulation of nearly 
four thousand, and is to be found in nearly every home in the county. 

NAPANEE M:\vsi .\i i:u- 281 

Its popularity in recent years is in no small degree due to the space that 
for many years has been devoted to the early history of this comity. 
The "Old Time Records" from the pen of the late Thomas W. Casey 
have not only been read with the deepest interest by those whose ances 
tors figured in the events so faithfully recorded, but have been eagerly 
sought after and preserved by historians and archivists in all parts of 
the province. It has a larq-e staff of correspondents whose contributions 
till many columns; and while the items thus supplied may not always 
possess much literary merit or be of interest to the ordinary reader they 
have the desired effect of increasing the circulation. 

On the eve of the general election of 1896 the journalistic firmament 
of Ontario was enriched by a new luminary, the Napancc Star. The 
Salutatory" which appeared in the first issue announced as follows: 
"The Napanec Star makes its first how to the good people of the town 
and county. It has come to stay. Its desire is to become a welcome 
guest in every available household, bearing such reliable and impartial 
news, and views of methods and things as may best instruct and interest 
all with whom it may come into contact. 

"The Publisher believes that there is room for an independent and 
impartial journal, anxious and willing at all times to tell the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth regarding public affairs, no mat 
ter what party or clique may be harmed or helped by the fullest possible 
information thus given. Mere party organs are prone to tell such things 
as help their party, and carefully conceal such as may tend to injure. 
From such, very one-sided and distorted views are obtained. The pur 
pose is to open the Star to a full, free, and fair discussion of what may 
come within its range; giving both sides a fair opportunity, so far as its 
limits will permit." 

The new competitor for the patronage of the public was owned and 
published by Mr. Charles Stevens, who adopted as the motto of his 
promising offspring "Equal Rights to all Special Privileges to none." 
The raison d etre for the sudden appearance of the Star could easily be 
gathered from an address which appeared in the same issue over the 
name of the proprietor, in which he announced to the free and inde 
pendent electors of the riding of Lennox that, upon the solicitation of 
a large number of friends, he had consented to allow his name to be 
placed in nomination as an Independent candidate at the coming election. 
In a three-cornered fight between Mr. Uriah Wilson, Conservative, Mr. 
Edmund Switzer, Patron-Liberal, and Mr. Stevens, Independent, Mr. 
Wilson headed the poll ; but the Star, although it had failed in its pur 
pose to secure for the publisher a seat in Parliament, contrary to the 


expectations of many, remained in the field as an independent journal. 
It was a spicy five-column little sheet which catered to no particular 
party or class; and as was the desire of the publisher as announced in 
his "Salutatory" it was a welcome guest in many households in the 
county. From the same cause that produced the premature demise of 
the Ledger, the Napanee Star, after a brief and almost brilliant career, 
suffered a total eclipse and ceased to twinkle in 1900. 




In the Proclamation of King George III bearing date July -?4tli, 
1788, by which the first four Districts of Upper Canada were defined, 
Camden was named as the last of the townships making up the District 
of Mecklenburgh, and was the only township in the District not fronting 
upon a body of water. This circumstance largely cut it off from com 
munication with the other townships and was a serious drawback to its 
settlement; for even in the townships upon the bay and river the rear 
concessions were avoided and considered undesirable. But as room had 
to be found for the newcomers they kept gradually moving northward, 
and this, one of the best agricultural townships in the province, soon 
came in for its share of the increasing population. It was named after 
Charles Pratt, Earl Camden, Viscount Bayham, Attorney-General under 
Lord Chatham in 1/57, raised to the peerage in 1765, and afterwards 
Lord Chancellor of England. 

By the statute of 17* >S. dividing the province into counties it was 
designated as one of the original townships of the counties of Lennox 
and Addington and was called Camden East, to distinguish it from a 
township of the same name in the county of Kent. 

While the early settlers of Camden were sturdy men and true who 
merited all the praise that has been bestowed upon them by their 
descendants and the local historians, yet they did not undergo the same 
hardships that the pioneers of the front townships were called upon to 
suffer. They probably toiled just as hard in clearing their farms and 
building their log cabins ; but they were provided with better appliances 
and could obtain supplies of a better quality and with less inconvenience 
than the U. E. Loyalists. The older townships were well organized, 
courts of justice were established, schools and churches were built, and 
communication with other parts of Canada was comparatively easy 
before the settler began to take up land in Camden. They were for the 
most part the sons and daughters of the pioneers of the front townships, 
who moved farther back when there were no more lands to be had in the 

It is said by one authority, the Rev. W. Bowman Tucker: "David 
Perry was the first white man to build a house in Camden, and this 


became the beginning of Newburgh. His location was on the hillside in 
the north end of the village on the west side of the present Main Street 
and opposite the present Aylesworth homestead." This David Perry was 
a son of Robert Perry, one of the first U. E. Loyalists of Ernesttown. 
The date of this old building is inferentially fixed about the year 1820; 
but this cannot be correct, as John Gibbard s mill was built six or seven 
years earlier than this and a dwelling probably accompanied it, and 
Albert Williams settled at Camden East as early as 1804. 

As we go north, or more properly speaking north-east up the 
Napanee River the first falls we meet after leaving the town are at 
Strathcona. This hamlet has had a chequered career and has changed 
its fortunes oftener even than it has changed its name. In the early 
twenties of the nineteenth century Adam Bowers built a mill at the foot 
of the rapids, and the place was for many years known as Bowers Mills. 
Adam was a Lutheran and brought his children up in the same faith ; 
and his son John built a stone church upon his farm at the Mills. The 
deacons of this church, according to the only record of it preserved, 
were Samuel Taylor, John Bowers, and Jehiel Brisco, and the member 
ship consisted of the deacons and Charles K. Cook, Joseph Lockwood, 
James Lockwood, Harriet Bowers, Joshua Kay, James Leroy, Martha 
Brisco, Andrew I. Johnson and wife, Mrs. Rachael Lott, Widow Lott, 
Sr., Mrs. Elias Huffman, Artemas Grange, Fallura Granger, and Widow 
Granger. The tombstone of Adam Bowers in the old Lutheran burying- 
ground has escaped the general desecration which has wiped out nearly 
all the old landmarks, and may be seen to-day with its simple epitaph : 

"In memory of Adam Bowers 

who departed this life, Nov. 16, 1830. 

Aged 69 years." 

To this an admiring friend, Abraham Lott, an uncle of the late 
George Lott, added the following inscription: 

"An honest man here lies at rest 
"As e er God with his image blest, 
"The friend of man, the friend of truth, 
"The friend of age, and guide of youth. 
"Few hearts like his with virtue warmed, 
"Few heads with knowledge so informed. 
"If there is another world, he lives in bliss, 
"If there is none, he made the best of this. 
"Here beneath these earthly towers 
"Lie the remains of Adam Bowers. 

A. Lott." 


The place was of very little consequence under the Bowers and did 
not begin to assume any importance until about sixty years ago, when 
A. D. W. Garrett & Co. purchased the water-power and began lumber 
ing operations on a large scale. The firm was composed of A. D. W. 
Garrett, Samuel H. Cook, and Arnold Harris. They were all Ameri 
cans from Ballston Spa, near Saratoga Springs, New York. They 
exported the product of the mill to the United States and paid their 
workmen in Yankee money. Everything about the place seemed to have 
a Yankee flavour, and the village which sprang up about the falls was 
popularly known as Yankee Mills. Cook and Harris had no personal 
supervision over the industry, which was managed by the senior part 
ner Garrett, who had an office in Napanee in the east end of the build 
ing occupied by A. C. Davis in East Ward as a general store. About 
the year 1855 his body was found at the foot of the falls nearly opposite 
his office, and the manner of his death was an inexplicable mystery 
which was never cleared up. He was known to have had large sums of 
money about him and, as none was found upon his person, it was gen 
erally supposed that he had met with foul play ; but there was no clue to 
indicate how or at whose hands he had met his untimely death. 

The friends of Garrett looked about for a suitable person to look 
after their interests in the partnership, and the remaining partners were 
as deeply interested in securing a competent person to manage the mill. 
Mr. Reuben Wright of Ballston Spa was sent over to investigate and 
protect the estate of his unfortunate nephew. He took up his residence 
at the Mills and displayed such aptitude that, with the consent of all 
parties interested, he was appointed manager. He exercised a general 
oversight over the timber limits, the getting out of the logs, and the mar 
keting of the products, and gave his son, Hiram M. Wright, the contract 
of sawing the lumber. Another son, now our esteemed townsman, Reu 
ben G. Wright, was book-keeper from 1862 to 1867. A few years after 
the new order of things was established, Harris died and a brother-in- 
law of Cook, by the name of Cochran, took his place in the firm, which 
was thereafter known as Cook and Cochran. In 1861 a post-office was 
established, and a new name, Napanee Mills, was selected, one that from 
its very inception gave rise to confusion. 

In the early seventies the only survivor of the original partners died, 
and Cochran sold out the mill to H. M. Wright & Co. and the timber 
limits to the Rathbun Co. H. M. Wright & Co. organized the Napanee 
Paper Company, composed principally of Napanee gentlemen, conspicu 
ous among the number being Mr. W. F. Hall, the first Secretary, John 
R. Scott, and Alex. Henry. The Paper Company tore down the saw- 


mill and erected on its site a paper-mill, which for many years proved a 
very profitable investment. After the Paper Company was fairly 
launched the Wrights turned their attention to a new industry, the raw 
material for which was found upon the old Bowers farm which they 
had purchased. Extensive strata of water limestone well suited for the 
manufacture of water-lime were discovered in the ridges a few yards 
from the river. Quarries were opened up, and the stone was hauled to 
Napanee to the old Lane Mill at the foot of Robert Street, where it was 
converted into water-lime. 

The business was carried on for some ten years, when the Rathbun 
Company purchased the Bowers farm, which was also found to have 
large deposits of clay peculiarly adapted to the manufacture of Portland 
Cement when combined with marl, which had been discovered in unlim 
ited quantities near Marlbank. A cement plant was erected, and enlarged 
from time to time, dwellings for the workmen were built and a large 
number were removed from Napanee, where they were no longer 
required for the forgotten employees of the defunct glass factory. The 
marl was hauled in from the north by the train-load ; and the Star Brand 
of Portland Cement manufactured on the old Bowers farm acquired 
reputation for excellence second to none on the continent. These were 
the days of prosperity for Napanee Mills, whose weekly wage bill 
exceeded that of any village upon the river. The place wore an air of 
contentment, every house was tenanted, the large boarding-houses were 
filled to their utmost capacity, the corner store did a thriving business, 
and the Newburgh merchants threw out tempting baits to secure a por 
tion of the trade of this busy village two miles down the river. 

In the course of a few years the local supply of raw material for 
the paper-mill became exhausted, other mills with unlimited capital and 
more favourably situated entered the field, dividends were reduced, and 
the Company was wound up. The Cement Company was taken over by a 
larger concern which transferred the business to Marlbank, the plant 
was dismantled, the workmen s houses became untenanted, many were 
sold and removed, and but few of those that remain are now occupied. 
The store has been burned to the ground ; and the once promising village 
has a most cheerless prospect before it. After the South African war 
the name was again changed to Strathcona, in honour of Canada s High 
Commissioner to London, who gave $1,000 to a public library for the 

No one is better qualified to speak of the past and present of New- 
burgh than Mr. George Anson Aylesworth, who was born in the village, 
has studied carefully its history, and followed closely its progress. In 



the second volume of Papers and Records of the Lennox and Additujton 
Historical Society appeared a well written article from his pen upon his 
native village, which with his kind permission is herewith reproduced: 

"It is not quite the same with Newburgh as with that English vil 
lage celebrated in the Cornhill Magazine: 

Our Village is unhonoured yet in story. 
The present residents its only glory 

for former residents constitute mainly such fame and .^l<>rv as render 
the annals of Newburgh interesting. 

To begin with, it has the distinction of being the largest incorpor 
ated village in ( )ntario, its area being five and one-half square miles. 
Camden township bounds it on the east, north, and west, Ernesttown on 
the south. It is twelve miles northward from the shore of the Bay of 
Quinte at Bath; seven miles up-stream north-easterly from where the 
Xapanee River sinks to the navigable level of the Mohawk branch of 
that same Bay of Quinte. 

"The valley of the Napanee River from Yarker to the Bay. fourteen 
miles, is very picturesque as well as fertile. The late Dr. Grant, who 
had seen the sights of that half of the world that lies between Cali 
fornia and the Danube, used to declare that he knew of no drive of 
more varied beauty than the vale of the Napanee from Colebrook or 
Yarker, down. 

"The village proper is in the centre of the large area above men 
tioned, that i>. at the intersection of the King s highway from Bath to 
Tamworth. (Main Street), with the concession line between the first 
and second concessions of Camden township. 

"The Napanee River, about one quarter of a mile east of Main 
Street, divides into two branches, which re-unite about an equal dis 
tance west of Main Street, thus inclosing an island of about seven acres 
in area. Near the centre of this island is a cave, in former times occa 
sionally explored by over-bold school boys, who, each with a piece of 
candle and matches in plenty, used to descend into and crawl through 
this hole in the ground. 

"They brought back tales of inscriptions and mysterious wonders in 
underground compartments, that excited much envy and enlargement of 
eye among the more timorous who dared not squeeze in, for fear they 
should be unable ever to squeeze out again. Of late years the entrance 
to this cave has become stopped up, and few village mothers are anxious 
for its re-opening. 

"This double river affords no less than thirteen good water privileges 
within less than one third of a mile. These have been valued and 


made of great utility in times past; in these later electric days the time 
of their appreciation is again dawning. 

"Tradition preserves the names of the first settlers: William Van 
Pelt Detlor and Benjamin Files, two sturdy cousins, who took up land 
in 1822, south of the river. David Perry, in 1824, built the first saw 
mill here, and John Madden, in 1825, another. Of course, in those 
remote well wooded times, a saw-mill was the first thing the settlers 
most urgently needed, after a tavern. 

"About a mile and a half south of the border of Newburgh stood 
Switzer s Chapel, older than which was but one other Methodist meet 
ing-house in Upper Canada. It was erected about 1826, and I have 
heard the late Mr. Mitchel Neville say that at its erection, he, being a 
boy of eleven years, was given charge of the grog-jug to carry it about 
among the good old Methodists of that neighbourhood who were there 
at the raising teetotalism not yet having been invented. With pro 
priety may Switzer s Chapel be mentioned herein; for the skilfully 
framed timbers, and some of the old windows, themselves of the genu 
ine original building thereof, stand now in Newburgh village, a new 
brick church having been built on the Switzer site some years since. 

"In 1825, my grandfather with one of his brothers, paying a visit to 
their uncle, David Perry, who lived north of the river, had to ride their 
saddle horses from their home near Bath around by way of Napanee, 
and so on up the river, there being then no bridge at Newburgh. 

"In 1826, this Mr. Perry built a grist-mill, which two years later he 
sold to Samuel Shaw, who was the village s first merchant. 

"1831 saw Madden s grist-mill established; it served the public till 
destroyed by fire in 1902. 

"John Black started a tannery in 1832. 

"And so the village grew; stores, axe factories, carding-mills, car 
riage, and agricultural implement works. 

"The first name of the place was The Hollow, there being hills 
on every side. Soon, in compliment to the business abilities and enter 
prise of its inhabitants, some genius dubbed it Rogues Hollow. Pub 
lic appreciation of the fitness of things fastened the name. The grow 
ing town at last grew restive under such a title, and it became time for 
a change. 

"Of the village in that clay one of the men of learning was the doc 
tor. Isaac Brock Aylesworth was born near Bath, December 4th, 1812. 
At the request of his mother s father, Robert Perry, he was named after 
General Sir Isaac Brock, who, in October of 1812, had fallen in battle 
at Niagara. Educated at Bath Academy, and at New York, he moved 






CAMDEN AND N l-WlU Ri; 1 1 289 

into The Hollow in 1836. During the troubled years, 1837 and 1838, 
he was living at Xapanee, but appears to have returned to Newburgh 
early in 183.). When going to and from New York he had seen New- 
burgh on the Hudson river. Like The Hollow/ it lies under and upon 
the terraced sides of hills, and so it came about that the doctor gave its 
present name to Newbnrgh. 

"With the late Robert F. Hope and George Eakins. the doctor had 
much to do with the establishment of Newburgh Academy, the exact 
date of whose opening seems shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Dr. 
Hodgins, the historiographer of the Department of Education in Ontario, 
once told me: Your relative (the doctor) was active in the founding of 
Newburgh Academy." 

"In the first volume of Documentary History of Education in 
Upper Canada, by J. George Hodgins. M.A., published in 1894, pre 
fatory remarks, (pages III-IV), we find: The celebrity of the Ernest- 
town or Bath Academy may have been increased from the fact that at it 
was chiefly educated by his father.- its master, a man so eminent in his 
profession and so distinguished in the history of l/pper Canada as v. 
Marshall Spring Bidwell, a gifted member of the House of Assembly in 
it- early days, and its Speaker for some time. . . 

Then the success of the Xewburgh Academy was noted in our 
own times, and in it, as one of its latest Principals, the Rev. Dr. Nelles 
first learned those lessons in the art of teaching and government which 
he afterwards turned to such excellent account, as the gifted President 
for so many years of Victoria University . . . (page V) Anim 
ated by the same spirit as possessed these early colonists, the U. E. L. s 
established schools of a superior class early in the century in the chief 
centres of their settlements, such as Kingston, Cornwall, Rath, York, 
St. Catharines, and afterwards at Newburgh. Soon a Grammar School 
was established in every district .... (Vol. V, p. 128) In a 
further report to the Midland District Council the Education Committee 
recommended that a Model School be established in the Vil 
lage of Newburgh, styled a Township Model School, and that the Super 
intendent of that Township be recommended to establish the same. 
Kingston, May i8th, 1844. (Sig.) Anthony Denike, Chairman. 

"Dr. Nelles was Principal of Newburgh Academy in 1846. In the 
foregoing extract he is spoken of as one of its latest Principals/ which 
would seem to indicate that this school was not a very new or recently 
established institution in 1846. Also, be it observed, that Newburgh 
Academy has mention among the first six Grammar Schools to be estab 
lished in Upper Canada. 


"My father says he saw Newburgh first in 1843, ar) d the Academy 
was then an establishment not regarded as a novelty. On the other 
hand, it seems unlikely that a village that consisted mostly of saw-mills 
in 1825, and was as yet without a bridge, whose first merchant began 
business in it in 1828, it would be doing well for those pre-railroad days, 
if at the end of a decade it had established a school, let alone an Aca 
demy. 1839 seems, on the whole, the most probable date. Although 
those were the days when lickin and larnin went hand in hand, still 
it is hard to believe that there is any hidden allusion to the Academy in 
the statement that John Black started a tannery in 1832. 

"Searching the old files of the Christian Guardian, (first published 
in 1828 at Kingston, and soon removed to muddy Little York), if haply 
therein I might find some advertisement or other mention of the begin 
ning of Newburgh Academy, it happened to me, although unsuccessful 
in my researches, yet, like as Abraham Cowley expresses it: 

The search itself rewards the pains ; 

. . . things well worth his toil he gains ; 
And does his charge and labour pay 
With good, unsought experiments by the way. 

"These informing glimpses were vouchsafed to me : 

Napanee, January 26th, 1841. 
To the Editor of the Christian Guardian, 

In my last communication I made mention of a meeting at New 
burgh. I do consider this to have been one of the most important meet 
ings of the kind I ever attended. The heathen name of this place was 
Rogue s Hollow, the Christian name is Newburgh. It is new in many 
respects. It was once drunken, it is now sober, it was once wicked, it is 
now to a very great degree reformed. This change commenced some 
eighteen months ago, in the formation of a Society on the Total Abstin 
ence principle. 

(Sgd.) C. R. ALLISON. 

April /th, 1841. 

Rev. John Ryerson s Journal : On Wednesday at six o clock, we 
held a meeting in what is called the Switzer neighbourhood, a place 
twenty miles distant from Aclolphustown. This is a neighbourhood in 
the back part of Ernesttown, embracing the most numerous and wealthy 
bodv of Methodists of any country place I know of within the bounds of 
the Province, . . . the inhabitants generally are a most sober, 


industrious and respectable people. The missionary meeting which was 
very numerously attended, was a very i>oor one. made up of long dry 
-peeches, and a thin collection, subscriptions and all only amounted to 
some 14, whereas they were well able to have given 40 .... 
The evening after we were at Switzer s, we held a meeting in the Vil 
lage of Newburgh. and a most interesting and profitable festival it was. 
Xewburgh, which lies on the Napanee River, about six miles above the 
village of Napanee, is a very thriving business place, of a population of 
200 souls. The Village is surrounded by a wealthy, flourishing coun 
try. Our church is the only place of public worship in it; indeed the 
inhabitants are mostly Methodists, or Methodistical in their sentiments. 
The cause of temperance here seems to triumph over everything, the 
great body of the people are teetotalers, and you may suppose that with 
such a society of Methodists and class of citizens, and on the eve of a 
powerful and extensive revival of religion, we could not but have a 
noble Missionary meeting, and so it was, the church was literally cram 
med with respectable people. Dr. Aylesworth took the chair and opened 
the meeting by a very suitable address, and after the speaking was 
through, he introduced the subscription by signing 2. His liberal 
example was soon followed with several subscriptions of a like sum, 
and then for less sums, until the whole amounted to the handsome sum 
of 34 35. 3d. 

"In July, 1908. just behind the Library Rotunda on Parliament Hill, 
Ottawa, I heard my father say, When I first saw this spot it was all 
covered with pine stubs. That was in the year 1855, and I was sent 
here to By-town, as it was called then, to attend Grand Lodge, as dele 
gate from Newburgh Division, Sons of Temperance. 

"But Xewburgh had an organized Society of Teetotalers much 
earlier in the century, for in the autumn of 1839, at the teetotaler s din 
ner held in the tavern, when the plum pudding with plenty of appro 
priate sauce was served, a wag of a brother arose, and begged leave to 
move that no brother having any regard for the pledge be served with 
more than one swill pail full of this brandy sauce! 

Passages from the Christian Guardian already quoted, indicate 
how strong in the early days was Methodism in Newburgh. In 1856 
was begun, and in October, 1858, was dedicated a most commodious 
stone church, by the Wesleyan branch of that body. In 1862 the 
Methodist Episcopal congregation built a frame church in the northern 
part of the village. A few years later it was burned to the ground, and 
a little afterward was erected the stone church now owned by the Pres 
byterians. The Anglican church, also of stone, was dedicated in 1881. 


From an interesting account of the dedication of the new Wesleyan 
edifice, and a description of the building published in the Christian 
Guardian of November 3rd, 1858, and subscribed G. Dorey, the two 
following sentences are taken: Though but a small community, our 
Newburgh friends have erected a House of Worship unequalled by any 
village of equal size and resources in the Province, and which would not 
disgrace any of its cities .... The building is heated by two hot 
air furnaces, and lighted by the coal-oil lamp, which for cheapness, 
cleanliness, and brilliancy seems likely to supersede the present modes of 
illumination, gas excepted. We catch here a vivid glimpse of the old 
burgh by candle-light. 

"In 1858-9, the village achieved municipal incorporation, Augustus 
Hooper being the first Reeve. He, in the County Council of Frontenac, 
Lennox and Addington, assisted in the passing of the By-law No. 99 
for erecting the Village of Bath and neighbourhood into an incorporated 
village, by the same name, (Passed, 23rd Sept., 1859). Bath is more 
ancient than Newburgh in some respects, but it doth not appear that it 
is entitled to be any bigger-feeling. 

"In the minutes of the County Council of Frontenac, Lennox and 
Addington, under date of January 27th, 1857, we find the following per 
sons were appointed Grammar School trustees: For Newburgh, C. H. 
Miller, Esq., reappointed, and R. F. Hope, Esq., in place of Dr. Ruttan ; 
and Allen Caton in place of the Rev. P. Shirley, deceased. 

"Under date of April 8th, 1857, At 2 p.m., the Council resumed 
and proceeded to the appointment of local superintendents of schools, 
as follows, viz. : Upon motion of S. Warner, seconded by Mr. Perry, 
Joseph Parker for Camden. This is none other than the father of Sir 
Gilbert Parker. At that time Mr. Parker, Sr., resided at Camden East, 
where Sir Gilbert was born. The father of Sir Gilbert s mother was 
the late George Simmons, Esq., who for a long time was a citizen of 
Newburgh. At that same session of the County Council Mr. Whelan 
brought up the memorial and report of the Trustees of the Newburgh 
Model School. Finally we find in the Report of the Committee on Fin 
ance this clause, Your committee having examined the report of the 
Newburgh Model School would recommend that the usual annual grant 
of 50 be continued to that institution for the present year. 

"The main line of the Grand Trunk Railway was at first surveyed 
and located up the valley of the Napanee River as far as Yarker, and 
thence towards Kingston. But from this path of rectitude the railway 
was deflected by graft and influence. 


"\Ve have seen that the late Dr. Nelles was at one time Principal 
of Newburgh Academy. Newlmrgh was the first Methodist circuit 
travelled by the Rev. Chancellor Burwash, A.D. 1861. 

"Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 146, G.R.C., A. F. & A. M., was 
organized at Newburgh in March, 1861 ; and its first Junior Warden 
was William Van Pelt Detlor, who was one of the two Primitive great 
grandsires of the ancient burgh. 

"A County Agricultural Exhibition building was erected in 1864, 
upon the south hill of Newburgh. Therein annually a good show was 
held, till Harrowsmith in 1892, snatched the exhibition from the village 
unawares, and left its Palace desolate, an unneighbourly act, which 
Tamworth a few years later avenged by swooping down upon the annual 
meeting at Harrowsmith and returning to her northern fastness trium 
phant with the spoil! 

"In those bygone days, 1856-66, the great American Travelling 
Circus frequently pitched its temporary tent upon Newburgh s vacant 

"One of the first cheese factories in Canada was opened in New 
burgh in 1864. It is still doing business upon the old stand, and its 
monthly dividends are much admired and appreciated. 

"In 1865, Newburgh became the place of holding the Fourth Divi 
sion Court in Lennox and Addington, Isaac J. Lockwood being Clerk, 
Homer Spencer, Bailiff, and the first suitor, Robert Forsythe Hope. 

"It may be that matches matrimonial are made in heaven, but in 
the early sixties, when I was a small boy, going home from school, I 
have lingered many a time to watch the process of manufacture of the 
hand-made lucifer matches, carried on by a company of men, women, 
and boys in the Irish-town suburb of Newburgh. 

"From Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to Newburgh, in 1870, came the 

Thomson family, and established paper-mills. Later, a short distance 

down the river from Newburgh another large paper-mill was erected, 

and still later, at a less distance up the river from the village, a third 

group of paper-mills was established by the same people. 

"In 1876, the bridge carrying Main Street, Newburgh over the 
larger branch of the Napanee River, was swept away. The village 
replaced it with a new wooden structure which lasted till in 1908, the 
County Council of Lennox and Addington at the suggestion of the High 
Court of Justice obligingly built a new village bridge of iron and con 

"1884 made Newburgh happy with a real railway. 


"Sept. 7th, 1887, a Trojan conflagration swept through and across 
the village, and without doubt, would have effaced it utterly, but for the 
arrival (thanks to the railway) of Napanee s fire-engine and brigade. 
Eighty-four buildings were burned to the ground, comprising every shop 
or store of any sort, and many dwellings. Twice before and twice since 
has Newburgh suffered grievously from fire, but 1887 was by far the 
worst. In 1864 Lake s carriage shops and the surrounding buildings 
went up in flames in the night time. In January, 1872, the Academy 
building was gutted by fire. While the new building was being built 
the Grammar School found a habitation in the basement of the Method 
ist church, and the public school in the hall of the Division Sons of Tem 
perance. In 1902, the Madden grist-mill and Stickney s foundry and 
agricultural implement works were burned, and finally, it is to be 
hoped finally, in 1908, there was a more than sufficiently destructive 
blaze, for the second time checked and extinguished, not a moment too 
soon, by the -Napanee Fire Brigade. 

"In the latter years of the decade between 1890 and 1900, Newburgh 
became celebrated among villages for electric lights, profusion of 
patriotic flags, and high taxes. 

"The Methodist church built in 1856-8, was planned large in order 
to accommodate the expansion, at that time not unreasonably expected. 
But in common with nearly all other Ontario villages and smaller towns, 
growth has been slow, chiefly owing to the opening of the vast last, 
best West/ This needlessly large church was adorned with a large pipe 
organ in 1899, the S 1 ^ f tne ^te John Shibley, to honour the memory 
of his parents. 

"The twentieth century has brought to the village long stretches of 
cement pavement, also a fire-engine and volunteer company ; but as yet 
we worry along without any lock-up, stocks, pillory, or policeman. 

"Travellers note the uncommon tone of the town, traceable directly 
to the Academy, to which the brightest young folk from the surround 
ing townships flock like doves to the windows. Newburgh is not large 
enough to afford to these boarders much distraction, and on the other 
hand there is little opportunity for any boy or girl to go far wrong in so 
small a community, without being both noticed and checked in time. 

"The Academy is the ancient glory and the present pride of the com 
munity. Established when the community was very young, we find it 
flourishing under the governance of a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. 
Mr. Wightman, in the years immediately following the subsidence of 
the Rebellion (1837-8). The words of Dr. Hodgins have been quoted 
already concerning the Rev. Dr. Nelles and Newburgh Academy. As 


early as 1844 the Academy became a Mi-del School. After Dr. Nelles 
promotion, Mr. David Beach was Head-master. In his day the annual 
examination and exhibition of Xewbur^h Academy was looked forward 
to by the whole country side as almost a local Olympic. Partitions so 
built as to make the operation ea-y were entirely removed, and the 
whole upper flat of the large new building (whose first occupation the 
fndc.r dates at 1853), was thus thrown into one huge hall. The hall 
would be filled to its capacity for three successive days with the rela 
tives and friends of the scholars delighted to attend the public examin 
ations, dialogues, essays, orations, spelling matches, addresses, and dis 
tribution of prizes. 

"After Mr. Beach came the Rev. William Lewin, B.A., as Principal. 
In 1906 I saw the FTev. gentleman at Xapanee. The hale old man, 
upwards of eighty-two years of age, wa> laughingly recalling how he 
resigned the Head-mastership of Xewburgh Academy in 1863, because 
of broken health. 

"John Campbell, M.A., from Victoria University, followed Mr. 
Lewin, teaching till 1871. It was in his day that, in all, between a dozen 
and a score of youths from the Bahama Islands came to be educated at 
Xewburgh Academy. The Rev. Mr. Cheesbrough wrote from Nassau, 
Xew Providence, Bahama Isles, to the Rev. E. Ryerson, Chief Super 
intendent of Education, asking him to recommend a good school, in a 
suitable locality, etc., whereto boys might be sent for education. Mr. 
Cheesbrough stated that as suitable schools in the West Indies were not 
to be had, and as sending their sons to England was more costly than 
satisfactory, and sending them to the United States would be exposing 
them to learn too much, several white gentlemen of Nassau had in view 
the education of their sons in Upper Canada. Chief Superintendent 
Ryerson recommended Newburgh Academy and John Campbell, M.A. 
The Southern youths came, and they revolutionized young Newburgh. 

"After Mr. Campbell, other distinguished Principals of Newburgh 
Academy have been: A. McClatchie, AT. A., Mr. Carlyle, (nephew of 
Thomas Carlyle, the prober of shams), P. L. Dorland, Chas. Wynn- 
Williams, H. L. Wilson, now of John Hopkins University, and D. A. 
Nesbitt, since Inspector of Public Schools. 

Mitchell s Directory, published in Toronto 1865, affords us this 
glimpse: Newburgh possesses a large and elegant academy, where the 
higher branches of an English and Classical education are taught. The 
Common school is in the same building, under the charge of H. M 


"One of the earlier Inspectors of Grammar Schools, in his report 
to the Chief Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada, discusses 
the advisability of extending degree-conferring powers to Newburgh 
Academy and to some other early schools of equal efficiency. 

"The High School Act of 1891, by providing that County Councils 
should contribute proportionately to the support of High Schools where 
county pupils receive education, worked a great benefit to Newburgh 
Academy, relieving a small and unfortunate village community of a 
portion of the heavy and long and patiently borne financial burden of 
its maintenance. 

"Newburgh deserves well of this country for its Academy s sake. 
It has given to the churches a great host of eminent and distinguished 
reverend gentlemen, of school teachers beyond computation, and of 
physicians far too many to be named. Upon each of the three con 
tiguous counties composing the old Midland District, Frontenac, Len 
nox and Addington, and Hastings, Newburgh Academy has conferred 
its Judge upon the bench. Of other learned lawyers and able statesmen, 
orators and politicians a multitude, who shall number them? And of 
these last, every man a patriot. 

"In all seriousness, the Village of Newburgh, in its sequestered 
vale, merits an ample wreath of praise, for it is the essence of justice 
to render to every one that which is due. ! 

Among the learned lawyers who claim Newburgh as their birth 
place, Mr. Aylesworth, if his modesty had not stood in his way, might 
have made especial mention of one who not only attained the well- 
merited reputation of being the leader of the Ontario Bar, but won the 
esteem and gratitude of all his countrymen by his courageous attitude 
on the Alaska boundary question and his administration of the Depart 
ment of Justice in the late Liberal administration. Newburgh is justly 
proud of the Honourable Sir Allan Aylesworth, K.C.M.G., "brother of 
the author of the foregoing article, and son of one of Lennox and Add- 
ingtoii s grandest old men. the venerable John B. Aylesworth. 

Newburgh, at different periods in the history of the village, has 
supported no less than four weekly newspapers, or to be more accurate, 
has failed to support them ; as each in turn expired at an early age after 
a lingering illness except the Beaver, which moved to Napanee for a 
change of atmosphere and seems to have been so benefited by the change 
that it increased to double its former size. 

The Index was the first to make the venture in 1853, just about 
one year before the Standard was first issued from the little room over 
Macpherson s store in Napanee. The first editor, publisher, and pro- 


prietor was Mr. I. 1 ,. Aylesworth, son of the late Robert Aylesworth of- 
Odessa, for many years clerk of the township of Ernesttown. The 
heading alleged that it was devoted to agriculture, commerce, science, 
and morality, and it adopted the wholesome motto: "Open to all partie-. 
led by none." Mr. Aylesworth left the editor s chair for the pulpit, and 
afterwards became the Rev. Dr. A\ low. nth. at one time president of 
the London Methodist Conference. 

He was succeeded by Messrs. D. Beach and A. Caton, the former 
announcing himself as the editor and the latter as the financial manager. 
The only local opposition to these pioneers in journalism was the Green- 
leaf sheet of Napanee ; and they had a fair opportunity of establishing 
themselves in the good-will of the public, which appears to have been 
liberal in its patronage, as twelve of the twenty-eight columns were filled 
with advertisements, which must have yielded a respectable revenue if 
they adhered to the published tariff of rates. There was, however, a 
woeful want of original matter and local news; and when the editor did 
take up his pen he dipped it in gall and proceeded to enlighten his readers 
upon the wickedness of that village seven miles down the river. This 
may have tickled the two rows of villagers who, during the summer 
evenings, perched upon the railings of the old bridge and speculated upon 
the best site for the county buildings when Newburgh would become the 
county seat; for even at this early date the separation of the counties 
was a live issue. 

If the editor had taken a broader view of his duty and responsibil 
ity he could have made his paper more popular throughout the county, 
and advocated and advanced the interests of his own village to better 
advantage. It would have required very little to convince him that the 
engineers and promoters of the Grand Trunk Railway had been per 
suaded to overlook such a business centre as Newburgh through a con 
spiracy between Kingston and Napanee. In commenting upon this unholy 
alliance against his village he says: "Some of our Napanee friends have 
been accused, with what justice we will not pretend to say, of concert 
ing with the Kingstonians to prevent the Grand Trunk Railway from 
passing through these parts of the United Counties." While he declines 
to vouch for the accusation he proceeds to argue the question as if the 
culprits had confessed their guilt, and concludes his tirade with a 
sentence which shows the wholesome dread which possessed his soul 
that Napanee might possibly derive some material advantage from the 
construction of the line under consideration : "It would really be a matter 
of astonishment if the citizens of Kingston be so indifferent as quietly 


to allow the business of these parts, which must be of no small import 
ance to them, to be permanently concentrated in Napanee." 

When the Index did assay to comment upon the public questions of 
the day, other than those of purely local interest, its editorials, written 
in excellent English, displayed good judgment and marked the author as 
a man of no mean ability. It is, therefore, but fair to conclude that, in 
his zeal for his native village, he willingly sacrificed his personal inter 
ests ; for there can be little doubt that his failure to obtain the support 
necessary to maintain his paper was in no small measure due to his 
strong advocacy of the claims of Newburgh and his persistent attacks 
upon all other villages in the county, and particularly Napanee. It is 
difficult to say at this distant date who is responsible for the outbreak of 
bad feeling between these two villages ; for it cannot be denied that the 
controversy over the location of the county town was waged with much 
bitterness, and the newspapers of Napanee were not guiltless in foment 
ing the strife. Newburgh was a pretty and thriving village meriting a 
better nickname than that of "Rogues Hollow," and the attacks of the 
newspapers of Newburgh upon Napanee and the other villages were not 
without provocation. 

Mr. Beach retired from the partnership about the year 1858; and 
his pen was taken up by a young man who had graduated from a Cam- 
den farm and the Newburgh Academy and was at the time a clerk in 
Mr. Caton s drug store, in the rear of which the Index was published. 
For two years this young man, who had also purchased an interest in 
the concern, continued to edit the paper with no small degree of credit 
to himself. But, like the first editor, he felt that he was destined for 
another field of usefulness and quitted Newburgh to enter a law office 
in Kingston. That he soon attained eminence in his chosen profession 
is attested by the fact that for thirty-four years he has been and still is 
the Judge of the County Court of the County of Frontenac, His Honour 
C. V. Price. Mr. Caton for a time endeavoured to continue the publica 
tion ; but the burden was greater than he could carry, so he sold the 
plant to a gentleman in Gananoque ; and Newburgh for a time was with 
out a mouthpiece to laud its merits and berate the press of Napanee. 

The British North American entered the arena with a great flour 
ish of trumpets on the eve of the decisive battle for the separation of 
the counties ; and the name alone was sufficient to strike terror into the 
hearts of its contemporaries in Napanee. They, however, do not appear 
to have retreated one step from the position taken by them in the fight 
ing- line; but turned their weapons upon this new exponent of New- 
burgh s claims, and in a few short months silenced its guns. So brief 


was the career of the paper that little can now be learned about it. It 
was owned and edited by Mr. George \Y. McMullen about the year 
1863, and met with such scant encouragement that the proprietor wi-ely 
concluded that he could never achieve fame or wealth through that 
medium : so he folded his tents and removed first to Picton and after 
wards to Chicago. The fame that was denied him at Xewburgh was 
afterwards thrust upon him through the investigations of the Pacific 

In the month of June, 1X75, the \whnr</h Kcpurtcr was first pub 
lished by two Xewburgh boys, I. F. and \Y. J. I appa, sons of an old 
resident, Daniel Pappa. a tailor and general clothier. J. F. had served 
his first apprenticeship as a printer under Cephas I. Beeman in the 
Beaver office in his native village and had gone to \Yaterto\vn to pur>uc 
his calling and, having mastered the art, returned to his old home to 
see what he could do in the way of running a paper himself. The 
brothers produced a very respectable seven-column paper, superior to the 
others that had tried the experiment, as it devoted more space to local 
news, which was gleaned by the reporter and several regular corre 
spondents from the other villages in the county. At the end of two 
years W. J. sold out his interest to his brother, who continued the pub 
lication until 1880, when he leased it to A. M. Dickinson, who had been 
for some time an employee in the office. The latter soon followed in 
the footsteps of his employer by going to the United States, where both 
have since been engaged in the newspaper business. Mr. Pappa is at 
present associated with the U- atcrtou n Dail\ Times and Mr. Dickinson 
is the managing editor of the Utica Saturday Globe. The Reporter, 
like two of its predecessors, was allowed to die a natural death and no 
effort has since been made to revive it. 

The Napanee Bearer, which is dealt with in another chapter, was 
first published in Newburgh as the Ontario Beaver, but while yet in its 
swaddling clothes was transferred to Napanee. 

The following is a list of the merchants and manufacturers of New- 
burgh during- the past sixty years : 

Merchants: Stevenson & Ham, Florence McEgan, A. D. Hooper, 
Caton & Miller. John Dowling, John D. Ham, D. Hooper, Richard 
Osborn, Miles Caton, Nathan Empey, Henry Paul. W . A. Hope & Co., 
John Shorey. Homer H. S. Spencer. Wm. Beckett, D. P. Clute, Chas! 
Wellbanks, John Rook. C. W. Thomson. L. E. Percy. M. Ryan. Mrs. H. 
Stone, George M. Walker. Edgar Knight. 

Blacksmiths: John Creighton, John Farley, John Percy, Thomas 
Scott, Henry Dunn, Philip Phalen, John Dunn, C. D. Shorts. 


Carriage Makers : Henry Finkle, William Hookaway, Samuel Lake, 
D. A. Burdette, Scott & Jennings, George M. Baker, John Baughan, 
John Farley & Son, C. H. Finkle, Gandier & Dunwoody. 

Coopers : Jere Remo, Joseph Miller, Francois Miller. 

Tanneries: John Black, D. & A. Burdette, Wm. Clark, Joseph W. 
Courtney, Daniel Day. 

Druggists: Allen Caton, Miller & Aylesworth, Duff & Co., M. I. 
Beeman & Co., H. B. Collier, J. W. Yeomans, T. I. Winter, James 
McCammon, M.D. 

Paper Manufacturers : James Thomson, Thomson Bros., Thomson 
Paper Co. 

Shoemakers : James Davy, Wm. Detlor, Wm. Irons, Jacob Detlor, 
W. P. V. Detlor, James G. Davidson, George Detlor, Walter Brisco, 
Wm. Mulholland. 

Saddlers and Harness Makers : O. S. Roblin, Homer Spencer, Wells 
& Brother, John C. Wells, H. J. Wood, James Johnson. 

Watchmaker and Jeweller: Richard Rook. 

Tinsmiths: John Rook, Charles Wellbanks. 

Grist-Mill: George Madden, Michael Davern, Robert Gibson, J. F. 
Burgoyne, John Drewry, W. D. Drewry. 

Cabinet-Makers : George Eakins, Joseph Fullerton, W. H. Eakins, 
Eakins & Co. 

Carding-Mills : Sylvester Madden. 

Carpenters: Wm.. Brown, Wm. Howell, Edw. Jones, Howelt & 
Clark, Edward Huyck, Elias Clark. 

Saw-Mills : George Madden, C. H. Miller, John Pomeroy, David Y. 
Pringle, Richard Madden, Robert Paul. 

Axe Factory: Thos. Armstrong, Simon Hanes, Joseph Taylor, R. 
B. Hope. 

Tailors: Paschal Deroche, Ezekiel McConnell, Andrew Russell. 
Daniel Pappa, W. W. Adams, George Rowlinson, Alex. Dick. 

Foundry: C. H. Miller, D. B. Stickney, Edwin W r . Stickney. 

Mill- Wrights : Nelson Shorey, Gideon Scott. 

Builders and Contractors : Edward Jones, Robert Dougan. 

Cheese Manufacturers : James Haworth, Nelson McKim, E. J. Mad 
den, Hugh Howey, George Cleall. 

As its name indicates, the village of Centreville owes its very 
existence to the fact that it is situated near the centre of the township. 
Camden East formerly had the honour of being the municipal capital 
of Camden; but objections were taken to its location on the very border 
line of the township, and in the contest that followed Centreville came 


out victorious. The following article on the village, written by Mr. j. 
S. Lochhead, has been kindly placed at my disposal: 

"The Village of Centreville is situated almost in the centre of the 
township of Camden. and from this fact it derives its name. 

"It lies between lots 24 and _>;. in the front of the 6th concession. 
The surrounding country is comparatively level, and an excellent farm 
ing district. The nearest body of water is Mud Lake, which lies about 
two miles east of the village, and is important chiefly for duck shooting. 
The lack of water-power is a great hindrance to the growth of the vil 
lage. Its area at present is about fifteen acres, and the population 
approximately one hundred. To-day the village comprises two stores, 
the Methodist Church, the Town-hall, the Orange Hall, one hotel, a 
cheese factory, and two blacksmith shops, besides the residences. 

"About a mile south of the village is the Roman Catholic Church, 
and nearly a mile east is the Public School, both of which were probably 
built with the idea that some day they \\<>uld be within the corporation, 
but, alas ! no such expansion lay in the future for Centreville. Although 
Centreville reminds one of a little village that has climbed half-way up 
the hill, and then sat down to rest, it has a past worthy of note, for 
forty years ago it held quite an important place in the township. The 
population was more than double what it is now, and quite a business 
stir was evident. The surrounding country consisted of homesteads, 
owned by well-to-do farmers with large families, who were not afraid 
to work, and since have gone out and made their mark far away, in 
many cases, from their old home. Some old homesteads which we can 
recall at present are the Shorey, the Miller, the Vrooman, the Lochhead, 
the Switzer, the Whelan, the Hawley, the Wagar, the Milligan, and the 

"The village was formerly known as Whelan s Corners, and this 
name reveals its real origin, for the first building was a large frame 
hotel, erected on the south-\ve<t corner by John Whelan, seventy years 
ago. About this time a Wesleyan Methodist Church was built, and two 
years later a Methodist Episcopal Church, both frame buildings, besides 
a Roman Catholic Church, not the large stone edifice of to-day, but 
a small frame building. The next addition was a blacksmith shop, and 
soon afterwards a wagon shop. 

"In 1842 Mr. James N. Lapum opened the first store, carrying his 
goods over the corduroy roads all the way from Kingston. 

"Up to this time there was no post-office in the place, and the near 
est office was at Camden East, then known as Clark s Mills. This same 


year a post-office was opened. Mr. Lapum was made post-master, and 
the name of the village was changed to Centreville. 

"The next year the old log school-house was torn down and a large 
stone one was built in its place. Then a shoemaker shop was opened, 
the town-hall was erected by the township, and a few years after 
another shoemaker came to the village, besides several additional fam 
ilies. Later on, Mr. Lapum, who had in the meantime made consider 
able money in his store and potash works, was in a position to buy a 
better site for a new store and residence, and so opened up on a larger 
scale. He also built a large stone tenement house near his store. 

"About this time another hotel was erected, and the next year Mr. 
C. S. McKim opened up another store. This was afterwards converted 
into a third hotel. In 1851 Dr. Ash came to the village, two more 
blacksmith shops were started, a cooper shop, a harness shop, a grocery, 
and two tailoring establishments. Mr. J. S. Lochhead at this time kept 
store in the village. 

"In 1867, when Canada came under Confederation, Mr. Lapum was 
the first member of the House of Commons, representing Addington, 
which was and is still, a Conservative constituency. 

f; In 1870, a cheese factory was started by Mr. Lapum and Mr. John 
S. Miller, ex-M.P.P. This was afterwards bought by Squire Whelan, 
on whose property the building was erected, and who managed it most 
successfully until his death six years ago. The latter, we might men 
tion also, was for forty years Clerk of the Fifth Division Court, which 
always meets at Centreville. It is also worthy of note that Sir Gilbert 
Parker s father often appeared here as magistrate. 

"Shortly after Confederation, Dr. Switzer came to the village, and 
eight years later Dr. M. I. Beeman arrived, making in all three doctors 
in the village at this time. Before long Dr. Ash, who by this time had 
a large practice, entered into partnership with Dr. Beeman, and Dr. 
Switzer left the village. Soon after this Mr. John Hinch opened up a 
general store, and finally bought a corner lot and built a fine brick store 
and residence on his new premises= 

"And now there was a turn in Centreville s prosperity. Several 
fires destroyed three of the hotels, as well as many of the other build 
ings. The Bay of Quinte Railway was built about this time, and not 
being on the line, Centreville s trade and business began to decline. 
Gradually people began to move away. The Presbyterian manse and 
the Methodist parsonage were both vacated, and the ministers removed 
to Tamworth and Enterprise respectively, as both these villages were 
on the railwav. Several years later, Dr. Beeman bought out Dr. Duff in 

CAMDKX AND N K WI .l Kr, 1 1 803 

Xewburgh, and moved away. Several doctors succeeded him in turn, 
until gradually the practice was so divided that to-day Centreville has 
no doctor at all. 

"One bright spot in the history of the village during all these years 
was the erection of a fine stone town-hall to take the place of the old 
frame building. 

"The last blow was the big fire which destroyed Mr. Hindi s build 
ing, the finest in the village, so to-day to the casual observer, Centre 
ville presents rather a sad spectacle of its former self. But who know? 
its future? The main line of the Canadian Northern is registered to 
pass through Centreville. and in that case business may boom again in 
these prosperous years in Canada. To-day the township council still 
meets in the village and the oldest resident, Mr. J. S. Lochhead, is town 
ship treasurer, which position he has held for the last twenty years. 

"In closing, all we can say is that we hope there are better days in 
the future for Centreville, and that her sons and daughters may yet have 
further reason to feel proud of her." 

Camden East \vas originally located some distance farther up stream 
than where the village is at present. It had its beginning, as had all 
the villages on the river, by the building of a saw-mill. Abel Scott, the 
progenitor of the Scott family at Mink s Bridge, built the first saw-mill 
about the year 1818; but its dam caused so much damage by flooding 
the adjacent lands that it was afterwards moved down stream to its 
present location. He sold out in 1821 to Samuel Clark, grandson of 
Robert Clark, the mill-wright who built the first mills at Kingston and 
Napanee. He was a prominent man in his day, carried on an extensive 
lumber business, was a justice of the peace, and for some time was one 
of the representatives of Camden in the district council. A small vil 
lage, principally for the accommodation of his employees, sprang up, 
and was known as Clark s Mills, by which name it is still called by many 
of the old residents. Clark was a prominent member of the Church of 
England, donated the land upon which St. Luke s church stands, was 
a liberal contributor towards the building fund, and personally superin 
tended its erection. This first Church of England in Camden township 
cost about $1,500, to which the Governor-General, Lord Sydenham, con 
tributed 25. It was opened for divine service on March 29th, 1844, by 
the Rev. Paul Shirley, the missionary in charge of all the northern part 
of Addington, assisted by the Rev. Saltern Givens of Napanee. 

Dr. E. J. Barker of Kingston, in his report on the county of Add 
ington in 1856, thus writes of Camden East: "This is a settlement of 
Samuel Clark, Esq., son of a U.E.L., who some thirty years ago left his 


father s home in Eniesttown and built a grist-mill here. It is now quite 
a village with every requisite of such. Good roads to Kingston and to 
the rear of the township, a tri-weekly mail, capital inns, some half dozen 
merchants stores and twice that number of tradesmen s stores, cloth 
factory, tannery, distillery, brewery, grist-mills, and saw-mills in abund 
ance. An Episcopal church, Methodist chapel, good school-house and 
court-room. The population is between 500 and 1,000 souls. The 
immense quantities of lumber piled along the banks of the river, by 
which the public road runs, show the vast amount of lumber sawed, 
dried, and prepared for the American market, to which it mostly finds 
its way."* 

The doctor was writing for a prize when he penned the foregoing 
paragraph ; and I fear that in his zeal to paint a fair picture of the vil 
lage he took some liberties with the facts when giving his estimate of 
the population and enumerating the various industries of the place. 
The present public-house in Camden East was built over eighty years 
ago by a man named Sewell and was conducted as a tavern until the 
passing of a local option by-law a short time ago. Just across the street 
diagonally, was another tavern, which ninety years ago was kept by 
Joshua B. Lockwood. It was known as the Farmers Hotel, and under 
its roof was born Isaac J. Lockwood, for many years a bookseller in 
Napanee and now living in retirement on John Street, hale and hearty, 
although in his eighty-first year. To him the writer is indebted for 
most of the following information, for, fearing that the older generation 
would all pass away before some one had gathered and put in suitable 
form the history of his native village, the old gentleman had some twelve 
or thirteen years ago written a very full account of all the facts he could 
gather about his birthplace, which he has kindly placed at my disposal. 

Before Samuel Clark moved to Camden East, he owned a farm and 
kept a small store on lot number twenty in the sixth concession of 
Ernesttown. His first act was to change the site of the dam, and he laid 
the foundations of the village by building three mills, a saw-mill, a grist 
mill, and a carding and fulling-mill, none of which are standing to-day 
as they w r ere all burned at the same time. The old Squire met with a 
series of misfortunes. He rebuilt his grist-mill of stone, and this again 
was burned. In the early forties his woollen factory was again burned, 
and his saw-mill met a similar fate in 1865. The water had its freaks 
which also caused him trouble time and again. Once a wing of his dam 
was carried away, at another time a portion of the mill yard was swept 
away, taking with it a large quantity of lumber, and still again the boom 
* Transactions of the Board of Agriculture of Upper Canada. 


timbers, stretched from bank to bank, gave way, and down the stream 
rushed his logs in a mad race. Other minor casualties happened from 
time to time, but with it all, the old gentleman preserved his equanimity. 
About 1832 he sold out to George Sinclair Gordon, a gentleman with 
more money than business ability; but in the end he was not over 
burdened with either, as after two years experience, he was unable to 
meet his obligations and the property reverted to the Squire. Camden 
East had one of the first post-offices in the county ; and as in later years 
Colebrook and Yarker had a contest over the post-office question in 
which the now lesser village came out victorious, so a similar con 
troversy arose over the first post-office in the township, the claimants 
being Newburgh and Clark s Mills. The Inspector came from Kingston 
and called first at Camden East, when the residents, and particularly tin- 
hostess at the Farmers Hotel, endeavoured to persuade him to make the 
appointment at once and not bother going to Rogues Hollow. That 
official, however, felt that he had a duty to perform, and proceeded in 
state to Newburgh, where a coloured servant so offended his highness 
by neglecting to show the deference that was due to a man of his 
exalted degree, that he promptly summoned his orderly, mounted his 
horse, returned to Clark s Mills, established a post-office there, and 
appointed Samuel Clark the first postmaster, a position which he held 
until his death. The name of the place was then changed to Camden 
East. Although Samuel was postmaster, the office was in charge of his 
brother William, who kept the first store of any consequence in the 
village. This store was built where the residence of Lewis Stover now 
stands. When Samuel died, in 1866 he was succeeded by his brother 
Benjamin, who held the appointment until he was superannuated; and 
Mr. James S. Haydon became postmaster upon condition that he pay an 
annuity of one hundred dollars to his predecessor during the rest of his 
natural life, an obligation which was cheerfully and faithfully dis 

Although the first industry was established at this place by Abel 
Scott, and the village began with the advent of Samuel Clark, the his 
tory of Camden East may be traced back much further. Isaac Cote, a 
trapper, is said to have been the first white man to occupy any portion 
of the land upon which the village now stands. In the latter part of the 
eighteenth century he built a log cabin, the ruins of which Mr. Lock- 
wood remembers having pointed out to him over seventy years ago. It 
is quite evident that there were settlers in the township at that time as 
the Langhorn register contains the record of the baptism of Sewantha 
Rush at Camden on June 29th, 1791. 


The first actual settler at Camden East of whom there is still pre 
served a complete record, was Albert Williams, who, between 1800 and 
1804, moved from the township of Fredericksburgh and settled on lot 
twenty-five in the first concession and the lot abutting on it in the second 
concession. The date is approximately fixed, as he had a large family 
of children, one of which was baptised at his old home in Fredericks- 
burgh in 1800, while the next baptism in the same family describes him 
as of Camden East and the ceremony as having been performed in 1804. 
He built his house on the south bank of the river for the very good rea 
son that there was no bridge across the stream at the time. Later on he 
built an old-fashioned Dutch house, so called, on the north bank, which 
in time gave place to another frame dwelling built by his son James, 
who succeeded to his estate. It was left to Lorenzo Dow Williams, the 
son of James, to erect upon the same property the most imposing farm 
residence in the county. 

The first school-house in the village was built on the bank of the 
river in 1833. It is still standing, but has lost its dignity, as it is now 
used as an adjunct to a carriage factory. There were no churches at the 
time, and such religious services as were held were conducted in the old 
stone school-house. With no churches and no regular services the 
inhabitants appreciated the visits of the clergymen, and turned out more 
faithfully perhaps than does the present generation in the age of good 
roads, easy riding conveyances, and comfortable pews. It mattered not 
the denomination of the bearer of the Gospel message or the condition 
of the weather, the people all turned out and gave him a warm welcome. 
The announcement of the services was made at the school and it was 
invariably timed for early candle-light. A few minutes before the 
appointed time the residents of the village and surrounding country 
would be seen wending their way towards the bank of the river, the 
head of each family carrying a candlestick in which was a tallow candle. 

For many years, Clark s Mills was the "Capital" of the township, 
and the town meetings, courts, and elections for the whole township 
were held there. As the township became more populous a movement 
was set on foot to reorganize municipal affairs, objections were raised 
against the business of the municipality being transacted at a village 
situated on the very boundary of the township, and a more central loca 
tion was demanded, which resulted in the selection of a central village, 
thereafter known as Centreville, after which, one F. McEgan, a wag 
of Newburgh, in one of his humorous speeches re-christened Camden 
East the "Ancient Capital." 


There is little left of Caniden East to-day to recall the stirring times 
described by Dr. Barker fifty-<ix years ago. The days of its glory are 
a memory now; and many of the old residents complain that in a mod 
ern survey of the village, even the old street names have been arbitrarily 
wiped out and new one< substituted for them. The Williams, Hughe-. 
Finlays, Clarks, Sproules, and Lock\vo.d<. who laid out the streets and 
gave them the names of the old pioneers, have all passed away, and if 
these links connecting the past with the present have been thus destroyed 
the citizens of Camden East have a just cause of complaint and should 
demand that the former names be restored. 

The villagers now love to recall the names of their talented sons 
who have distinguished themselves in different walks of life. In the 
heart of the village is still standing an old house in which there was 
born about fifty year- ago. a lad who differed little from the other boys 
of the neighbourhood. He went to the same school, played in the same 
muddy street, and learned to swim in the same pool behind the cedar 
bush. His father kept store and wa- also a ju>tice of the peace, and it 
was said of him that his court never adjourned, but justice was dis 
pensed in a summary manner wherever a case overtook him. The boy s 
grandfather was a Methodist exhorter, a man of little education ; but 
there was one book which he had well digested and that was the Book 
of books ; and in an argument upon the Scriptures, he was never known 
to come out second. He was a fluent speaker, and this particular grand 
son inherited the oratory of the grandfather, and at an early age 
acquired a local reputation as a speaker and reciter. For a time he was 
clerk in the store of Mr. James S. Haydon and did not impress his 
employer as possessing any extraordinary qualifications for the position. 
Later on he inclined towards the pulpit, moved to Belleville with his 
father, and became lay-reader and deacon in St. Thomas Church under 
Rev. Canon Burke. He afterwards undertook a journey to Australia, 
and his letters to a London newspaper marked him as a man of letters. 
His progress thereafter was rapid and to-day he is the author of many 
well-known novels, a member of the British House of Commons, and 
subscribes or may subscribe himself Sir Gilbert Parker. 

The following is a comparatively complete list of merchants, trades 
men, and others who have been engaged in business in Camden East 
since its earliest days : 

Merchants: R. D. Finlay, Joshua B. Lockwood, William H. Clark, 
Peter H. Clark, James Haydon, Felix Hooper, Henry Martin, Edmund 
Hooper, Joseph Parker, Benjamin Clark. Hugh Duncan & Co., James S. 
Haydon, Edward Hindi, Henry Hooper, Michael Temple, Haydon & 


Ryan, Wm. Sherlock, Mrs. S. Lew, Stover & Bicknell, T. B. Wood, L. 
H. Stover, Wm. Bicknell, Leroy & Dickson, J. W. Patterson, N. Stead- 
man, Dickson & Son. 

Carriage makers and blacksmiths: Isaac Huff, R. W. Caswell, 
Joseph Darling, John Harrigan, J. Lockwood, John Skinner, Charles 
Benn, Richard Brown, Joseph Robinson, J. L. Skinner & Son, R. P. 
Coulter, S. W. Hamilton, Jonas Lockwood & Son. 

Carpenters and builders : Peter Hume, Charles Wellington, Henry 
Close, James Hawse, Alex. McCormack, John Graham, Jacob Huffman, 
James Hume, James Lew, Alex. Duncan, N. Terrill, Charles Wilson, 
Daniel Lew, George Wilson, Silas Edgar, Robert Lovelace, Cyrus Edgar, 
Columbus Edgar. 

Cabinet-makers : Thomas Andrews, Samuel Andrews. 

Saddlers and Harness makers : Thomas Bamford, Joseph Lewis. 

Tanner: William Bush. 

Shoemakers: William Bush, Nicholas Bense, Hugh Duncan, John 
Gilbreth, Clark Hamilton, Alex. Summerville, Charles Riley, Wm. 

Tailors: Reuben Schryver, William Harrison, Pierre Papin, Robert 
Johnston, Charles F. Benton, Terence McNulty, William Calder, Aaron 
Cranis, Charles Henry Bookes, Robert Guy. 

Bakers: George Clark, Samuel Lew. 

Physicians : Dr. Francis Purcell, Dr. Crow, Dr. Shirley, Dr. Nathan 
Bicknell, Dr. McDonnell. 

Mill-wrights : Malcolm McPherson, Joseph Burgoyne, David J. 

Saw-mills and grist-mills: Samuel Clark, George S. Gordon, Peter 
H. Clark, William Woodruff, N. Clark, John Grouse, George Empey, 
Augustus Hooper, Joseph Burgoyne, Jr., Archibald McCabe, James 
Nimmo, James Parrott, E. Compton, Beagle Parrott, Thos. Wilson, R. 
F. Bicknell, J. R. Scott. 

Distillers : John Rennie, Haydon & Sproule, John Johnston. 

Brewers: Thomas and Samuel Andrews. 

Hotel keepers : Joshua B. Lockwood, - - Sewell, John W. Perry, 
George Clark, R. W. Caswell, Augustus Hooper, Edw. Carscallen. 
Robert Sproule, Robert Collins, William Warner, Peter Wier, Michael 
Temple, Joseph Sproule, Michael McConnell, D. P. Clute, Sam Jack 
son, Robert Orr, Mrs. McCarthy, McConnell & Collins, Samuel O Brien. 

Fanning-mill maker : James McTaggart. 

Tinsmiths : Alex. Sallans, James T. Page, Samuel Greenaway. 





CA.MDKN AND N 1- WlIl Ki , 1 1 . 309 

Varker is the railway and manufacturing centre of the township. 
There was a time in its early history when, as Vader s Mills, it haJ all 
it could do to hold its own with its rivals, Colebrook and Camden East ; 
in fact on more than one occasion, as in the contest for the location of 
the post-office, Yader s Mills was quietly but firmly requested to stand 
aside for the more deserving villages to the north and south. Time has, 
however, brought its soothing balm : and Yarker to-day somewhat 
haughtily smiles upon its poor but pretentious neighbours. Mr. E. R. 
Checkley, for some time manager of the branch of the Merchants Bank 
at the village, has diligently inquired into its early history and has laid 
before the public the result of his investigations in a paper read before 
the Historical Society in 1910. With the permission of the Society and 
the author I publish it in full : 

"A little over one hundred years ago, when L ppcr Canada was 
young, when Governor Simcoe held his court at muddy Little York, the 
land whereon Yarker now stands belonged to the Crown. By a patent 
dated January I3th, 1796. Lots No. 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43, in the first 
Concession of Camden were conveyed to Governor Simcoe himself, and 
this property, comprising one thousand acres, was for many years 
known as the Simcoe tract. The present village of Yarker stands on 
Lots 41 and 42 . 

"At that time the Simcoe tract was covered by the primeval fore-t. 
and the land was not only well wooded but well watered, for the Napanee 
River ran through it, and on this river was a beautiful fall 26 feet high. 
For some reason the Governor kept this property intact for many years. 
\Yhat that reason was we can only conjecture ; but it is probable that he 
was not above receiving the unearned increment, due to the labours of 
other men on the lands that bounded his, or in other words, he had a 
good speculation, and he was going to hang on to it. To the north of 
the Simcoe tract was a hamlet called Peters Mills, now the Village of 
Colebrook, and four miles to the south was the Milage of Wilton. The 
speculation does not appear to have turned out very well, for in the end 
his heir. Henry A. Simcoe, sold the whole property including the 
beautiful Simcoe Falls, which was a valuable water-power, to Sidney 
Warner of Wilton, for the sum of $3,000, after holding it for forty 

"I have mentioned that the Simcoe Falls was 26 feet high. To-day 
it is only about 12 feet high. Owing to the country being covered by 
the forest, a much greater quantity of water came down the river then 
than now; and old residents state that in the spring-time the roar of 
water over the falls could be distinctly heard for five miles. But the 


cause of the decrease in the height of the falls was the lumbering on the 
river. Long ago they did not bring down round logs as in recent years ; 
but they were first squared in the woods and the square timber then 
floated down the stream. The bed of the river is limestone rock, and 
when the timber went over the fall it would dislodge pieces of the rock 
and carry them over also. This gradual wearing process went on year 
after year, so in course of time the height of the falls was reduced, and 
a sloping rapid produced above the falls extending back for 50 feet or 
so. At the head of this rapid there is now a dam which throws the 
water into the flumes on either side of the river. A very large number 
of arrow-heads and spear-heads made of flint have been found, around 
this falls and on the banks of the river below it ; and also on the shores 
of Varty Lake, about two miles away. It is an interesting question 
where the Indians obtained their flint, as there is none in this part of 
the country, so far as I am aware. 

"In these early days the making of potash was one of the principal 
industries, and it was a great industry. Wood was the only fuel, and 
that was plentiful, and the long logs blazed on the cheery fireplace, and 
the ashes were carefully saved. When the ground was cleared and the 
roots of the trees taken out, they were piled up and burned in order to 
obtain the ashes. Much valuable timber appears to have been burned 
simply for the ashes. 

"One of the principal makers of potash was Mr. Sidney Warner, 
of Wilton. He also had a large general store; and the settlers could 
obtain whatever they might need in exchange for ashes. Mr. Warner 
converted the ashes into potash, and sent it down the St. Lawrence to 
Montreal, where he, in turn, could obtain all the supplies he wanted from 
the wholesale houses. The potash was then shipped to England, where 
it was used in the bleaching of cotton. But other methods of bleach 
ing cotton have long since prevailed, and potash is no longer used; but 
it was a great industry while it lasted. 

"The deed by which the Simcoe tract was transferred by Henry A. 
Simcoe, the heir, and I presume the son of Governor Simcoe, to Sidney 
Warner, is dated July ist, 1840. Soon after acquiring it, Mr. Warner 
opened it up by selling that portion of lots 41 and 42, north of the 
river, to the late George Miller; and the piece adjoining the river on the 
south side he sold to David Vader, who built a saw-mill upon it. Mr. 
Alpheus VanLuven, who still lives in Yarker and is a nephew of David 
Vader, tells me that when he came here as a mere boy in the early 
forties to visit his uncle, the place consisted then of two log houses, and 
a log bla cksmith shop and the saw-mill that his uncle owned, which was 



built of boards. George Miller, late in the forties built a grist-mill and 
a cardiug-mill upon the land that he had bought upon the north side of 
the river. Under this carding-mill the late John A. Shibley established, 
in 1851, the first -tore in what was then the Village of Simcoe Falls. 
He afterwards moved to the site of the present hotel, and later to the 
stone building that he had built across the street, in which Mr. John 
Ewart now conducts a general store and the post-office. I cannot be 
sure of the exact date of this stone building, but it is certainly over 50 
years old. In 1852 David Yader sold a portion of the land and water- 
power that he owned, to the late Joseph Connoly, who built thereon a 
foundry and plough works. This business is still carried on by his son, 
A. A. Connoly, who enjoys a considerable local trade. The grist and 
carding-mill that George Miller had built was soon afterwards burned. 
It was rebuilt by him and subsequently sold to Alexander McYean. A 
part of the land adjoining the mill site was sold by George Miller to 
Garrett and Anthony Miller, who built a tannery, of considerable size 
upon it, which was afterwards turned into a pail and fork factory. This 
building and McVean s mill were both burned on January i^th, 1863. 
The grist-mill was rebuilt by McVean, and was subsequently sold by 
him to Messrs. Connoly and Benjamin, who in turn sold it to George 
McDonald. He sold it to Jas. Richardson & Son, of Kingston, who 
sold it to James H. West, who sold it to James Freeman, the present 
owner. When George McDonald owned it, he introduced the roller pro 
cess of making flour into the mill. David Yader, after selling part of 
his property to Joseph Connoly, sold the balance of his entire holdings 
to the late Samuel Scott, who had a plan made of that part of the pro 
posed village to be on the south side of the river. The saw-mill origin 
ally built by Mr. Yader was burned, and the mill site and water-power 
were subsequently sold by Samuel Scott to Messrs. Booth, of Odessa, 
who built a woollen factory upon it, and sold it to Messrs. Lott and 
Stevenson, who, in turn, sold it to the late Peter Ewart, during whose 
ownership it burned. The mill site and water-power were then sold to 
E. W. Benjamin, who built upon it the existing power house of the 
Benjamin Mfg. Co., Limited. 

"About 1850 George Miller, in a suburb of Yarker, known as 
Woodmucket, erected a saw-mill. This mill was bought in 1856 by E. 
\Y. Benjamin, who moved here from Odessa. About 1857 the mill was 
burned, and was rebuilt by E. W. Benjamin, who also built a hub fac 
tory on the same water-power and made, beside hubs, grain measures. 
It was in this factory that the business of the well known firm of Con 
noly and Benjamin was first started, which had assumed considerable 


proportions before the death of the late Joseph Connoly. This saw-mill 
is now owned by Peter VanLuven, and operated by Bostwick Babcock, 
who does a purely local trade. Connoly and Benjamin bought the ruins 
of the old tannery and rebuilt it as a hub and spoke factory, and then 
afterwards turned it into a wheel factory. It was sold by them to Ben 
jamin Bros. & West, who sold to Freeman & West. 

"The Benjamin Manufacturing Company Limited was incorpor 
ated in 1895 and erected their present commodious premises. They after 
wards purchased Freeman & West s building, and it is now used by them 
as a power house for their electric light plant, and for storage. The 
Benjamin Mfg. Company Limited have a very extensive plant, employ 
ing a considerable number of men, and the very latest machinery, and is 
one of the largest manufacturers of carriage wheels in Canada. 

"Until 1859 the village was known as Simcoe Falls, but there was 
no post-office here, all the mail coming to Peters Mills a mile distant. 
An effort was made in the early part of that year to have a post-office 
established here; but the Government objected to the name of Simcoe 
Falls, on the ground that there was already a Simcoe in the County of 
Norfolk, and told the people they would have to choose another name. 
A meeting was held in the store of John A. Shibley, and a list of names 
made out to be sent to the Government, the -names being placed in the 
order of preference. Mr. McVean proposed the name of Yarker after 
Mr. George W. Yarker, of Kingston, who owned all the mills at Syden- 
ham, which were operated by Wm. Vance. Mr. Vance purchased the 
property later from Mr. Yarker. Mr. Yarker belonged to an old Eng 
lish family, which for over four hundred years has held lands in York 
shire, the family seat being Leyburn Hall, Leyburn, parish of Wensley, 
Yorkshire. Mr. Yarker s father, Robert Yarker, came to Canada during 
the War of 1812-14, as Deputy Paymaster-General of the forces, and 
was stationed at Montreal, where he died in 1835. He himself became 
a resident of Kingston, where he was a well known leader in society and 
patron of the turf. Here he died in 1847. He had two sons, George W. 
Yarker and James S. Yarker. The latter went into business as a hard 
ware merchant, and the former entered the Bank of Montreal, where he 
got on well, being manager at London, England, and also at Toronto, 
for many years. He afterwards became the General Manager of the 
Federal Bank of Canada, and is at present Manager of the Clearing 
House in Toronto. Mr. James S. Yarker died many years ago. The 
name of Yarker was the seventh or eighth on the list, and it was hardly 
likely that that name would be chosen, as the Government would surely 
be satisfied with some name before they got so far down on the list. It 


was jocularly remarked that if it were chosen possibly Geo. W. and 
James S. Yarker would give something to the village. I have been told 
that the first name on the list was Pekin. In view of the fact that we 
have a Moscow and Odessa close by, it would appear as if the people 
in this vicinity had a strange liking for the names of prominent places 
in foreign countries. Mr. Alpheus VanLuven suggested Rockburg 
from the quantity of rock around here. But the unlikely often happens, 
and it did so in this case, as the Government passed over all the other 
names and selected that of Yarker. Shortly afterwards a dance \\ 
held in the village at which George VV. and James S. Yarker were pre 
sent, and, as had been surmised, they promised to present the village 
school with a bell. In the course of the summer Messrs. Yarker brought 
out the bell, they were met by the villagers with a brass band, and all 
repaired to the woods close by, where a picnic was held, speeches were 
made, and there was general feasting and merry-making. This bell still 
hangs in the village school and bears the following inscription: Pre 
sented to George Miller, Esq., and the inhabitants of Yarker by George 
\V. and James S. Yarker, 1859. 

A school was established here in the early part of the forties. The 
old school building still exists on the south side of the river. It is built 
of stone, is of one story, and is now used as a dwelling. It is said that 
there was a school building before this one, but if so, no trace of it 
remains. The present building was built about 1872. It was then a one- 
story building; but another story was added in 1896. 

"Religious services were held in Yarker for many years in the old 
school-house, before any church building was erected by the Methodists 
and the Church of England. About 1853, Yarker formed part of the 
Methodist Wilton circuit, and continued to do so until the Yarker Cir 
cuit was formed about 20 years ago, taking in Yarker, Colebrook, and 
The congregation continued to worship in the school-house 
until 1868, when the present large stone church was erected. The 
church is now well filled with a good congregation, and is at present in 
charge of the Rev. Enos Farnsworth. 

"Rev. Paul Shirley, Church of England missionary in Camden 
made frequent visits early in the fifties, but the first resident clergyman 
m the parish to hold regular service was the Rev. W. J. Muckleston now 
Perth. This was early in the sixties. After the Methodists built 
eir church, the Church of England congregation bought the old school 
that they had jointly occupied; and about 1878 they built a church on 
the hill, which was subsequently burned. The present church of St 
Anthony was erected in 1895 by the O Loughlin family as a memorial 


to the late Rev. Anthony J. O Loughlin. This was erected during the 
incumbency of the Rev. F. D. Woodcock, who was succeeded in 1902 by 
Rev. C. E. S. Radcliffe. This Church of St. Anthony is one of the 
prettiest churches I have ever seen, perfect in all its appointments. 
There is a surpliced choir and a fine service. 

"The Merchants Bank of Canada established a branch here in Sep 
tember, 1905, and is now about to enter into its new and commodious 
premises erected by Mr. E. W. Benjamin. This building is a credit to 
the village, and one of which the people are justly proud. It is built of 
red brick, two stories in height, the banking room being on the ground 
floor, and upstairs there are two bedrooms, a sitting-room and a bath 
room for the staff. It is heated by hot air, lighted by electricity, is 
finished down-stairs in oak, upstairs in Georgia pine, and has hardwood 
floors throughout. The banking room is well lighted and altogether is 
far superior to any bank building in Napanee. 

"No account of Yarker would be complete without mentioning the 
building of the Railway. The first meeting to form a company was 
held in 1880 in Napanee. The party from Yarker comprised Joseph 
Connoly, E. W. Benjamin, Peter Ewart and J. V. Burn. The meeting 
was held in the town-hall at Napanee, but so little interest was taken 
in the matter that there was hardly any one else present and the meeting 
was adjourned for a week. At the adjourned meeting Alex. Roe, of 
the firm of Hooper & Roe, took the chair, and W. S. Williams was 
secretary of the meeting. He was appointed secretary of the company, 
and remained so during the construction. It is to the foresight and 
determination of the above men that the community is indebted for the 
present railway facilities. The first directors of the company were 
James Haydon, Joseph Connoly, Peter VanLuven, Alex. Roe, W. F. 
Hall, John R. Scott, E. W. Benjamin, and H. S. W T alker of Enterprise. 
The president was Alex. Henry, of Napanee. The railway was called 
the Napanee, Tamworth, and Quebec Railway, and extended from 
Napanee to Tamworth. It was opened in August, 1884. In 1886 the 
line was sold to E. W. Rathbun, who extended it to Tweed on the north, 
Sydenham in the east, and to Deseronto in the south, and secured run 
ning powers over the Kingston & Pembroke Railway from Harrowsmith 
to Kingston. Mr. Rathbun had the name changed to Napanee & West 
ern Railway, and subsequently to Bay of Quinte Railway. The present 
efficiency of the road is largely due to Mr. H. B. Sherwood, who has 
been a very capable superintendent. 

"The village has two electric light plants, one operated by A. A. 
Connoly, and the other by The Benjamin Manufacturing Company. 


There is also a good hotel, fitted up \vith all modern conveniences, 
owned and managed by John Watt. Among the principal business men 
not already referred to, I may mention Mr. 1 .. S. < n.oughlin and Mr. J. 
C. Connoly. The village contains two general Stores and two grocery 
-(ores, a furniture store, a jewellery store, a hardware and tin shop, a 
barber shop, two blacksmith shops, and a livery. There is aU> a club 
supplied with billiard and pool tables, which is an advantage that many 
a larger place cannot boast of. We have two resident physician- in the 
village, Dr. J. H. Oldham and Dr. M. A. McQuade. 

"Perhaps some one who is familiar with the falls at Varker may 
be inclined to ask why I have spoken of them as the beautiful Simcoe 
Falls ? If they are not as beautiful as they were half a century ago, 
it is simply because they have been marred by the hand of man. Any 
one examining the rocks can see that the falls was at one time very much 
higher and somewhat wider than at present, and the volume of water 
was much greater. There was no rapid above the falls then, and there 
was a sheer descent from the level of the river above. The rocks were 
covered with pine trees, and buildings did not encroach upon the falls as 
at the present time. It must certainly have been at that time a beauti 
ful falls. But if the falls have not improved with time, the village to-day 
is very different from the log houses of the early forties Xestling in 
the valley, it makes no difference from what direction you approach, 
you cannot see it until you are upon it. But it is in the summer time 
that you see it in its beauty. With its streets well lined with trees, and 
with good side-walks, of which a fair amount is of granolithic pavement 
which is being extended each year ; with its fine residences and well kept 
lawns, one can see at a glance that the moribund state, which is the usual 
condition of the average village, does not exist here. Among the principal 
residences may be mentioned those of E. W. Benjamin, A. W. Ben 
jamin, F. E. Benjamin, J. C. Connoly, and B. S. O Loughlin. The 
hotel and the new bank building and all the principal residences are pro 
vided with private water-works of their own and fitted with all modern 

"The electric light plants supply excellent light which is very 
largely used. We have a good hall owned by Mr. John Ewart, in which 
concerts and meetings of all kinds can be held. Manly sports of all 
kinds receive hearty support; but the river running through the village 
is swift and seldom freezes over, so we get but little skating unless we 
go some distance away. We pride ourselves on having a model village, 
and if the opinions expressed by outsiders may be taken as a fair 
criterion, our boasting is not without reason." 


The following is a list of the merchants, manufacturers, and others 
who have carried on business in Yarker since 1850: 

Woollen Mills: George Miller, Wm. Danvers, Arnold Booth, Peter 
Ewart, Peter Ewart & Son. 

Carriage Makers and Blacksmiths: Samuel Lockwood, John R. 
Steele, John Whalen, Hugh Rankin, Amey & Huffman, Stanley Amey, 
Isman Silver, Isaac Benjamin, Adolphus Kennedy, Andrew Russell, 
Johial Snider, Wm. Skinner, D. H. Smith, Wm. Connoly, Frank Davey, 
Wellington Babcock. 

Tanners: Anthony Miller, Garrett Miller, John Stewart, Wm. J. 

Factories : George Miller, James Scott, Hazelston & Wood, Stillman 
Hazelston, E. W. Benjamin, Connoly and Benjamin, Connoly Benjamin 
& Co., Benjamin West & Co., Benjamin Bros. & West, Freeman Bros. 
& Walker, Benjamin Manufacturing Co. 

Foundries : Connoly & Ault, Jos. Connoly, Jos. Connoly & Son, Con 
noly Bros., A. A. Connoly. 

Tailors: Hugh Cambridge, Frederick Boyd, Angus Johnston. 

Merchants: Matthew Holms, Joseph Fox, Martha Brisco, Wm. 
Scott, John A. Shibley, G. W. Green, W. Abrams, Robt. Irvine, Thos. 
Empey, Owen Aldred, John A. Shibley & Son, J. P. Lacy, Jos. Green 
field, J. V. Burn, S. I. Winter, Wm. Barton, T. E. McDonough, Wm. 
Drewy, C. F. Noles, J. C. Connoly, Ewart & VanLuven, John Ewart, 
B. W. Holden, J. A. Vandewater, George Deare, P. W. Thornton, Chas. 

Saw-Mills : Paul Vader, Samuel Scott, S. & T. Scott, George Miller, 
E. W. Benjamin, Peter Wartman, Bostwick Babcock. 

Grist-Mills : George Miller, Timothy Chambers, Wm. Muntz, Alex. 
McVean, Connoly & Benjamin, George McDonald, E. A. Banyard, Jas. 
H. West, Jas. Freeman. 

Cabinet-Makers : Michael O Loughlin, James Scott, William Long, 
J. M. Wright. 

Saddlers: Alpheus VanLuven, Michael VanLuven, John Van 
Luven, Byron Estes, C. H. Barton. 

Builders : Amos Ansley, John Ansley, Henry Ansley, Stephen Simp- 
kins, Johial Snider, Hiram Vanest, Cyrus Edgar, Isman Silver. 

Shoemakers: Thos. Carroll, Abraham Philips, Robert Graham, W. 
J. Silver. 

The village of Colebrook is built upon parts of Lots number forty- 
four and forty-five in the second concession of the township of Camden, 
the former being originally owned by John Gordon and the latter by Eli 





CAM DEN AND Nt)WBUKG 1 1 . 317 

Peters. Peters built a saw-mill on the river s bank ; and for years this 
place was known as Peters Mills, simply because there was nothing there 
but the mill. Peters first mill had only one saw, an upright one, called a 
jig saw, and as business increased a second one was added. This mill was 
burned and replaced by a more substantial one. 

In 1842 Charles Warner, brother of the late Sidney Warner and 
father of A. C. Warner of Colebrook, purchased the Gordon lot and 
part of Peters farm bordering upon the river. He built a store, the 
first one in the place, installed a circular saw in the Peters mill, laid out 
the land about the falls in village lots, and began business on a nio-t 
extensive scale, sawing as much as 750,000 feet of lumber in one year. 
The timber for this mill was obtained from the limits about Rock Lake, 
Long Lake, and Thirteen and Thirty Island Lakes and floated down to 
the mill in the spring. When the logs began to arrive two shifts of 
men were employed and the mill kept running night and day. Little 
care was taken either to preserve or properly dispose of the refuse 
material; the saw-dust was allowed to drift away as best it could, and 
the slabs were dumped out of the end of the mill into the water. There 
was a strong eddy at the foot of the rapids where the slabs were whirled 
about until caught in a projecting ledge where slabs and saw-dust 
mingled together in an inextricable mass, and so completely filled the 
bed of the river from bank to bank that the eddy disappeared. The pre 
sent generation is pulling out of the stream the slabs that accumulated 
there sixty years ago. The first grist-mill, which also passed into the 
hands of Mr. Warner, was built over seventy years ago by an English 
man, John Rouse. 

In 1851 Mr. Warner petitioned the government for a post-office; 
and the inhabitants about Vader s Mills did likewise, and a long and 
spirited struggle ensued between the two hamlets for the coveted prize. 
Sidney Warner was a very influential man at the time and he naturally 
u<ed his influence in favour of his brother Charles, who was lord of 
Colebrook. David Roblin, the member for the county, was besieged 
with calls, letters, and petitions. Compliments were exchanged between 
the two sets of petitioners; and the inhabitants of one place could see 
no good reason why those residing in the other should have the presump 
tion to ask for a post-office. The Warners were victorious; and the 
people down stream were forced to swallow their pride and go to Cole- 
brook for their mail. This meant more customers from the rear conces 
sions for the Warner store; business was brisk, and in 1855 the hand 
some stone residence was built. 


The business relations between the merchant and the farmer were 
carried on upon the very same plan as was adopted in the frontier town 
ships fifty years before. The farmer, in clearing the land, would pile 
into huge heaps the inferior timber, which to-day would grade better 
than most of the logs drawn to our local mills, and burn it to ashes. 
Some would leach the ashes themselves and convert them into potash, 
others would draw their ashes to the store and sell them at sixpence a 
bushel, to be taken out in trade, and the merchant would make the 
potash. The arrival of the ox-carts laden with ashes or potash was a 
daily occurrence at the Warner store ; and a man familiar with the pro 
cess found constant employment in looking after this branch of the 
business. Modern scales were unknown at the time. The weighing was 
done by an evenly balanced scale, consisting of a platform at one end 
of a beam, upon which the ashes were heaped, and large weights of 
fifty-six pounds each were placed upon a smaller platform at the other 
end of the beam. Two of the weights made the hundredweight of one 
hundred and twelve pounds, which was the standard in those days. After 
the ashes were leached the lye was boiled down and placed in large iron 
coolers, and when sufficiently cool was packed into barrels of approxi 
mately five hundred pounds each. These were hauled to Kingston, a dis 
tance of twenty-two miles, two barrels to a load ; there they were shipped 
to Montreal and placed on board the sea-going vessels for the English 

The first school-house for the accommodation of the inhabitants 
about Colebrook was built of logs about sixty years ago, on the conces 
sion line between the first and second concessions, about half a mile 
from the river. This was subsequently removed to the west side of the 
village and about the same distance from the river. About fifty years 
ago the bridge was carried away by the spring floods ; and many of the 
old residents still relate their experience in being ferried across the 
river all summer to enable them to reach the school-house. The old log 
school-house was for many years the only place of worship for the 
Methodists until a church was built at the old burying ground between 
Colebrook and Moscow, then known as Huffman s Corners. This 
church was not proof against the autumn winds, and the heating 
appointments were not of the best. Every old settler carried in the tail 
of his Sunday coat a red bandana handkerchief, and when the draughts 
began to play havoc with the locks of the male members of the congre 
gation the bandanas were whisked out, placed over the heads, and tied 
under the chins, to the great amusement of the youngsters present. 


Warner s first store was built near the bridge, but as business 
improved a more pretentious one \vas built farther from the river. This 
is still ^tanding and is used as a private residence. Colebrook possessed 
advantages at that time that it has not to-day. There was no road along 
the west side of the river, so that all travel from the back country for 
ten or fifteen miles around passed down the east side of the river past 
Warners door. The first church in the village, which is still standing, 
was built in 1874; the stone-work being done by William and Hugh Saul, 
junior, and the wood- work by Miles Storms of Moscow. 

In May, 1877, the village was swept by a disastrous fire, wiping 
out the saw-mill on the west side of the river, three stores, two hotel >, 
and five dwellings. 

Moscow is not, never has been, and probably never will be a village, 
yet it has for nearly ninety years been an important centre still known 
to many as the Huffman Settlement. It marked for many years the 
farthest point north to which the farmer had penetrated. There was no 
water-power in the vicinity to attract the lumberman such as was pos 
sessed by the other small settlements in the north of the county. The 
excellence of the soil in the neighbourhood was its only recommenda 
tion. The land was well timbered ; but that alone was rather a hindrance 
than an advantage in the absence of a convenient mill to convert it into 

Jacob Huffman, who formerly resided in the front of Richmond, 
was the first man to take up land in this part of Camden. In 1825, in 
company with his brother Elijah, he started north with a bag over his 
shoulder, in one end of which was his axe without a handle, and in the 
other a few rations of flour. It was a simple matter to make Bowers 
Mills, where they crossed the river by a bridge; but from that point the 
way lay through a dense forest and along an unfrequented trail between 
\ arty and Mud Lakes. The tired brothers reached a point about one 
mile and a quarter east of the corners now known as Moscow; but at 
the time the surveyor s post was the only indication that a white man 
had ever passed that way. Jacob s first task was to whittle for himself 
an axe-helve, which he fitted to that all important weapon of the pioneer 
which had done more than any other implement to subdue the forest 
and convert the wilderness into fertile farms. Two years later his 
brother Elijah took up the next lot west of his, and from that day to 
this the Huffmans have played no unimportant part in the settlement 
which they founded. 

Many anecdotes of their experiences are still current in the family. 
Elijah Huffman was a justice of the peace, and did not stand upon 


ceremony when he felt that his services were required in the administra 
tion of justice. It is related of him that upon one occasion he was 
informed that a discharged soldier named Rudolph, had been shot by a 
reckless character, William Kain, who was making his escape through 
the forest. The magistrate promptly put his hounds upon the track of 
the fugitive murderer, ran him down, conveyed him to Kingston, and 
delivered him into the hands of the sheriff. The prisoner was tried, 
convicted and executed. Elijah was a famous hunter, but took little 
credit for the bags he secured; as deer were so plentiful that he could 
easily obtain one any time he felt so disposed. He kept a record of the 
number of bears he shot until he passed the century mark, when he gave 
up the count. Any one travelling to-day from Colebrook to Moscow 
will observe a particularly well built road near what is known as the 
Moscow Cemetery. That part of the highway was originally built by 
Elijah Huffman from the bounty received from the government upon 
the heads of wolves shot by himself and his neighbours upon Training 

Among the early settlers who bore the burden of clearing that part 
of the township was Joseph Foster, a farmer and miller at Petworth. He 
was a strong temperance advocate, and when business was slack he used 
to visit the other settlements and lecture upon his favourite theme. 
Among other pioneers were three Amey brothers from Bath, Joseph, 
Lyman, and John. For many years they lived together keeping 
bachelor s hall, each taking his turn at the domestic duties about the 

About the middle of the last century, when the clearings had 
assumed proportions not much short of what they are to-day and a 
school had been established, the choice of a teacher fell upon a bright 
young man named Zara VanLuven. He conducted the school for three 
years and otherwise made such good use of his time that he married a 
daughter of one of the farmers of the neighbourhood, bought a little 
store at the corner that had been run by a man named Cromer, and set 
up in business for himself. In the natural course of events the Van 
Luven house was blessed by the arrival of a pair of twin boys said to 
have been "as like as two peas" ; and the proud parents bestowed upon 
them the respective names of Everton L. and Egerton L. VanLuven, 
which did not tend to reduce the difficulty in distinguishing the mis 
chievous pair of lads, who for years were among the chief attractions of 
the country store. A post-office had been established in the time of 
Cromer, who was the first postmaster. The name Springfield had been 
assigned to the place, which name was not pleasing either to the new 






store-keeper or the neighbourhood in general, as there were several 
other post-offices bearing the same name ; and it was not an unusual 
occurrence for the mail intended for the Huffman Settlement to travel 
about the country fur weeks before it reached its proper destination. 
Several meetings were held in the YanLuven home and several naires 
were suggested. The stirring events of the Crimean War had made the 
history of Russia familiar to the minds of all, and the name of Moscow 
was chosen, to commemorate the retreat of the great Napoleon from 
the gates of that city. 

For over fifty years the YanLuvens, father and sons, continued in 
business at the Corners. A brick store and dwelling-house were built ; 
and the country people for miles around bartered their produce for the 
merchandise of the general merchant. As in other parts of the country, 
potash was one of the staples exchanged by the merchant for the com 
modities he required in his trade. Mr. VanLuven purchased all the 
wood ashes that were brought to him, and besides kept several teams 
upon the road hauling- ashes to the Corners, conveying the manufactured 
product to Kingston, and returning laden with goods for the store. X<> 
less than six Y-shaped leaches were in constant operation producing lye 
which was boiled down in large kettles, each with a capacity of several 
barrels. When it had reached the proper consistency the thick fluid was 
poured into the iron coolers and allowed to congeal, when it was turned 
out a solid mass of potash. These huge cakes of .about two hundred 
and fifty pounds each were of such a size and shape that two filled a 
barrel in which they were placed, and upon being headed up were ready 
for the market. 

The village of Enterprise has fully justified the expectations of its 
godfather by growing into a neat well kept business centre, not boasting 
of any extensive manufactory, but well equipped with a number of stores 
of every description calculated to provide for all the wants of the thrifty 
farming community in the centre of which it is located. Fifty-seven years 
ago it was known as Thompson s Corners, so named after Robert 
Thompson, the first merchant to open up a general store at this place. 
This store was located on the north-west corner of Concession and 
Main Streets opposite the store now occupied by Dr. Carscallen. One 
Adam Scott, a cobbler, had a bench in the same building, and mended 
the soles and patched the boots of such of the inhabitants who were not 
able to perform this service for themselves. Thompson sold out to one 
Joseph Campbell, who for some time continued to carry on business at 
the corner. 



The leading inhabitants had for years been agitating for a post- 
office, as the nearest one was at Camden East and, when the petition 
was granted the question arose as to the name, as it was felt that Thomp 
son s Corners, while it had served the purpose as indicating the location 
of Thompson s store, was not at all suited as the name of an important 
distributing point of Her Majesty s mail. Thompson, who was looked 
upon as the sage of the neighbourhood, took the matter in hand and 
called upon his friend Mrs. Edward Cox, mother of Colonel Robert Cox, 
to discuss the question. They had both been school teachers in the 
Emerald Isle and therefore were qualified to dispose of it, and after a 
consultation they agreed upon the name Enterprise," and Enterprise it 
thereafter became and probably will remain, as the inhabitants are 
rather proud of the appellation and are doing their best to fulfil the 
prophesies of those who bestowed it. At first the post-office depart 
ment provided only a weekly service; and the first mail carrier was a 
one-legged man, who, mounted on a shambling nag, with a mail-bag 
over his shoulder, fully realized the confidence placed in him by Her 
Majesty and announced his approach to the village by several loud 
blasts on a tin horn which he carried slung over the pommel of his 
saddle. This custom evoked from the village sage the following: 

"Blow ye the trumpet blow, 
The gladly welcome sound, 
The mail of Enterprise has come 
So get your news and start you home," 

which the urchins shouted after the postman as he passed along the 

Campbell thought that Croydon was a more promising field for an 
enterprising merchant who was beginning to feel the effects of competi 
tion, so he moved to Croydon, and the old Thompson store was closed 
up. James Sherman had for some time been teaching school about half 
a mile south of the Corners in an old log school-house, where most of the 
older generation of that part of the township received their education, 
and at the same time he lived and conducted a general store about three 
fourths of a mile west of the Corners. Believing there was more money 
to be made in business than in training the young idea how to shoot, 
Sherman built a frame store, where Alonzo Walker now carries on 
business, and moved into the old Thompson stand, which he used as a 
residence. Here he continued until his death, and was succeeded by 
Robert Graham, in his day one of the most prominent men of the town 
ship. He was a justice of the peace, for several years sat at the council 


board of the township, and was Camden s representative for more than 
one term in the county council. About thirty-five years ago he sold out 
to Harvey S. Walker, who died in the year 1882, since then the business 
has been carried on by his son Alonzo, upon the same lot, but in an 
enlarged and greatly improved building. 

The first hotel in the village was a frame one kept by EH Hawley 
on the corner now occupied by the \Yhelan House. Hawley had up to 
that time, about fifty-five years ago, been an ardent advocate of temper 
ance and took a prominent part in the Sons of Temperance Lodge, 
which met in a hall built for the purpose by Mr. Thomas Clancy, where 
the Methodist church now stands; and his former temperance friends 
expressed their indignation by composing the following: 

"He left the Sons of Temperance 
And a tavern now does keep. 
He likes to see the drunken men 
Go staggering down the street." 

The writer called upon a bedridden couple, Jethro Card and his 
wife Amarilla, still living in the village, both of whom have seen their 
four-score years and ten ; and the old gentleman, not yet quite recovered 
from the humiliation he felt over the offence, stated that he brought to 
Eli Hawley s tavern the first barrel of whiskey that ever came to Enter 
prise. He said he obtained it at Jack Raney s, about midway between 
Newburgh and Camden East, where the Thompson Paper-mill is now, 
and paid for it the fabulous sum of tenpence per gallon. Hawley sold 
out to Charles Paisley of Napanee, who was followed by Peter Wager 
and Hugh Rankin, who tore down the old building and in 1879 built the 
present frame one still used as a public-house. It has, since its erection, 
passed successively through the hands of Michael O Dea, John Whelan, 
his widow Catharine Whelan, to the present occupant, their son Michael 

When Hawley sold out his tavern he built the store now occupied 
by Dr. Carscallen, where for a number of years he carried on a general 
store ; and when Graham sold out to Walker he moved into the Hawley 
store, where he dealt in drugs and stationery and kept the post-office, 
and was succeeded, except for a short interval, by the present occupant, 
Dr. A. B. Carscallen. The first church in Enterprise was built by the 
Wesleyan Methodists where the Church of England now stands. The 
Episcopal Methodists for a long time met in the Sons of Temperance 
Hall opposite the cheese factory; and after the two bodies united, they 
sold the former building to the Church of England, and built the hand- 


some brick church on the site of the Temperance Hall. The cheese fac 
tory across the way was built by Thomas Clancy in 1871 and was then 
and still is one of the best conducted factories in the county. 

The old Hamilton House was built, about the year 1859, by Chris 
topher Grass, who ran it for a number of years and then sold out to 
Samuel Hamilton. 

Mrs. Jethro Card remembers when nearly all of the township of 
Camden was a dense forest with large areas of impassable swamps. She 
was questioned as to the place of her birth and replied, "At the Falls," 
and when asked "What Falls?" she replied, "The Napanee," a form of 
expression in common use eighty years ago. She apologized for her 
lack of learning saying, "You know we were poor and the -nearest school 
was four or five miles away, too far away for me to go in the winter; 
and in the summer the girls worked in the field and bush the same as 
the boys." Her husband remembers when the wolves and deer were 
"thick as bees" about Mud Lake. "I could go out and get a dozen deer 
at a time if I had cared to," remarked the old gentleman. His elderly 
spouse was asked if she ever wore a deer-skin dress and she, evidently 
regarding that uniform as the mark of a squaw, promptly replied, "No, 
I never came down to that. We had good linen dresses. We raised, 
heckled, spun, and wove the flax ourselves, and made our own flannel 
and full-cloth. No, we were poor, but we had lots of warm clothes." 

In the early part of the nineteenth century George Wagar moved 
from Fredericksburgh and took up land two miles east of Centreville ; 
but at that time neither Centreville nor Enterprise was in existence. A 
trail through the forest and an occasional log cabin in a small clearing, 
and very few of them, were the only signs of human habitation in that 
part of Camden. Bath was the only place where supplies could be 
obtained to advantage, and many a time did he send his son, John V. 
Wagar, on horseback through the woods to the stores in the old village 
on the bay shore. If this old pioneer could return to the old homestead 
to-day, which is still in the family, and observe the change which has 
come over the territory he used to frequent, he would find a village 
greater than Bath almost at his very door, one railway running north 
and south, another east and west in the course of construction, and his 
grandson the proud proprietor of one of the most up-to-date general 
stores in the county. The merchantile houses of Walker and Wagar 
have been the mainstays of the village for over a quarter of a century. 
In 1876 Joel Damon Wagar first left the farm for what he believed 
would be an easier life, and opened a small store in the east end of the 
village in partnership with R. L. Henry of Napanee. At the end of two 



years he bought out his partner and for a short time occupied the Walker 
corner, as it is now called. He then moved across the street to a large 
frame store, where he remained until a few years ago, when he built 
the imposing brick one in which he is still seeking for that easier life. 

The following are the men who have conducted most of the busi 
ness of Enterprise during the past fifty years: 

Store-keepers: Robert. Thompson, James Campbell, James Sher 
man, Graham & Woolfe, James Pike, Harvey S. Walker, R. H. Peters, 
Robert H. Wickham. J. D. Wagar, A. B. Carscallen, Robert Cox, 
Edmund Fenwick, S. B. Merrill, R. S. Milligan. R. J. Leroy, Walker & 
Davy. T. Kenny, E. J. Wagar, Alonzo Walker, Caton Bros., P. Martin 
& Co., S. Wagar. 

Carriage makers and blacksmiths: Orrin Card, Eli Hawley, Wm. 
Stafford, Thomas Babcock, Wm. Jackson, Charles Lockwood, Jeremiah 
Lockwood, James Vanalstine, Dorland Wagar, Leonard Wagar, Well 
ington Wagar, W. L. Peters, Edwin Lockwood, W. J. Millow, David 
Mouck, A. E. Smith, W. E. Lobb, M. King. 

Shoemakers : Sylvanus Cronk, Robert N. Clark, James Pyke, 
George G. Wagar, Christ. Lyman. 

Cabinet-makers: Eugene Cox, George Files. 

Harness makers: George Dick, Wiley Keach, Reuben Card, C. 
Keach, J. W. Brown, Asa Harten. 

Mill Managers: Wm. Fenwick, J. Lockwood, Enterprise Milling 
Co.. W. S. Fenwick & Sons. 




The Township of Sheffield was named after John Baker Holroyd, 
Lord Sheffield (1734-1821), an Irish peer, greatly interested in the North 
American trade and in the Colonial Empire of Great Britain. 

Accompanied by Mr. P. F. Carscallen, one of the veterans of the 
township of Sheffield, the writer strolled through the streets of Tarn- 
worth loitering here and there at a corner, and from his guide gathered 
the following information concerning that interesting village. 

Calvin Wheeler was the first white man of any consequence to settle 
in the township of Sheffield. He owned four hundred acres of land 
lying east of Main Street. If we cross the river over the wooden bridge 
we find to our left a knoll, and over the top of it we observe a depres 
sion that depression was a continuation of the road along the east bank 
of the river which no longer goes over the knoll but turns at right 
angles and proceeds eastwards. Taking our stand upon this knoll we 
command a view of several points of interest. Looking northerly 
between the banks of the stream about a quarter of a mile distant, 
standing in the hollow is the residence of Mr. James Donovan. Upon 
that spot stood the first house built in the township of Sheffield, a log 
cabin, the forest home of Calvin Wheeler. At the edge of the bank 
near by he built a saw-mill and threw a small dam across the river and, 
on a small scale for a few years carried on a lumbering business, until 
he conceived the idea of moving farther down stream. He next con 
structed a dam just below and a little to the right of the knoll, about 
forty feet north of the cement dam recently built by Mr. A. B. Cars 
callen. At the western end of the dam he erected a saw-mill, and on the 
eastern bank about a hundred feet farther down stream a grist-mill. 
We can see where the knoll has been pared away to make room for the 
foundation of the shed that stood in front of the grist-mill. 

The old road that passed over the knoll and along the eastern bank 
of the river to the first mill was abandoned, the old bridge up near the 
site of the Donovan homestead was neglected and subsequently washed 
away, and a new bridge built where the wooden one now stands. In 
the olden days the only public highway leading to the front by the west 
ern route was out by the road now passing the Presbyterian manse, on 


through the south-east corner of Hungerford to Westplain, then called 
Sedore s Corners, and then to Forest Mills, known at that time as 
McNeil s Mills, as this was one of the points where Archie McNeil of 
Xapanee carried on his lumbering operations. The road then continued 
southward to Selby, on past Gallagher s Corners a little east of that vil 
lage, and the traveller reached his destination by way of Vine s Corners. 
\Yhen the new bridge was built just south of the grist-mill the road 
leading from it out over the hill was followed instead of the one past 
the Presbyterian manse, but in other respects the same circuitous route 
to Napanee was the only passable road to that village west of the Salmon 

It will be observed that there is a bend in the road around the dwell 
ing-house of Mr. James Wheeler which stands on the road allowance. 
That house was the first one built in Tamworth and was the home of 
his grandfather, Calvin \\lieeler, who owned all the land in that vicinity 
and, regardless of the road allowance, chose that spot as the site for his 
dwelling. Later on, when he deemed it prudent to lay out a street with 
denned boundaries whereby to reach the bridge, he conducted it around 
his house, and in so doing had to cut down and cart away a small sugar- 
loaf knoll which obstructed the passage in front of where the Orange 
Hall now stands. Nearly opposite his residence and east of the Orange 
Hall he built a frame store, where he carried on a thriving business for 
years, until he moved into more commodious quarters, the old building 
still standing opposite the sheds of the Wheeler House. 

In 1848 Wheeler s Mills, as the village was then called, began to 
assume some importance; and the few scattered inhabitants petitioned 
the government for a post-office, as the nearest point from which they 
could obtain their mail was Camden East. The prayer was granted, 
and Wheeler was asked to select a name for the office. He had always 
been an ardent admirer of the eminent English statesman, Sir Robert 
Peel, member of Parliament for Tamworth, and he thought he could 
choose no more fitting name for the new post-office than the constitu 
ency represented by his favourite prime minister of England. It was 
an eventful day in midwinter when Sam Hicks appeared at the top of 
the hill plying the whip to his steaming nag, which, with a mad rush, 
galloped down the decline and came to a sudden halt in front of 
Wheeler s store. Sam dropped his reins and hauled from beneath the 
seat and delivered into the hands of James Wheeler the first bag of Her 
Majesty s mail to arrive in the village, while the bystanders tossed their 
caps into the air and cheered lustily for the first Sheffield mail carrier. 


The old grist-mill near the bridge was torn down years ago, and on 
its site was built a carding-mill, which in turn was pulled down and the 
material used in the small building standing a few yards north of Mr. 
Carscallen s new one. The products of the Wheeler saw-mill were 
squared timbers, deals, and staves, the latter being used in the West 
Indian trade for the manufacture of molasses casks. The timbers were 
floated down the river to Shannonville during the spring freshets, and 
the deals and staves followed by the same route later in the season. At 
Shannonville the timbers were constructed into rafts and on them were 
piled the deals and staves ; and when all were fastened they were towed 
away on their long voyage down the St. Lawrence. 

Facing southward from our point of vantage on the knoll we notice 
an old frame building, now known as "the cottage" standing not far 
from the eastern end of the bridge. This was also built by Calvin 
Wheeler and in its day was regarded as a very handsome house, second 
only to W T heeler s. To the south of the cottage stood a tannery, long 
since crumbled away, and to the north on the corner was Jackson s dis 
tillery, where whiskey could be purchased at two shillings a gallon. 

Between 1850 and 1860 the small patches in the forest began to 
assume respectable proportions. Northward from the knoll lies a tract 
of good farm land which was settled principally by Irishmen, while 
southward on the same side of the river opposite the present railway 
station was another small colony from the Emerald Isle. At this time 
the Crimean war was being fiercely waged, and every ship from the 
old land brought news of the latest battles, in which the Irish regi 
ments were achieving distinction. Their fellow-countrymen in the two 
settlements above referred to used to gather about the huge fireplace in 
the old Wheeler House, which also owed its origin to the enterprising 
Calvin Wheeler, and before the blazing hearth-logs discussed with no 
small degree of pride the deeds of valour of their fellow-countrymen at 
Sebastopol and Balaklava. So common were these gatherings and so 
frequent the references to these two celebrated battles that the Irish set 
tlement up stream was christened Balaklava and the smaller one down 
stream Sebastopol, which names they retain to the present day; but the 
former name did not fit well the Irish tongue and has become corrupted 
into Ballyhack. The road running past the cottage and on down 
through Sebastopol formerly followed the devious course of the river s 
bank, but in time was straightened and laid out as it now is, and the 
roadway was converted into gardens and sites for the residences now 
along the eastern side of the stream. 


Main Street was laid out by Calvin \Yheeler and Champ Smith, and 
that part of it now lying between Rose s corner and the iron bridge \va- 
sixty years ago a swamp in which one was in danger of being mired, 
especially during the spring months. The first building erected in this 
part of the village was the Douglas tavern, built by the late Robert 
Lockridsje. Shortly afterwards Wheeler built a town-hall on the site 
of the present brick one. Prior to the building of the old hall the court- 
and public meetings were held in the upper story of Wheeler s drive 
house, which was reached by an outside stairway, and before this provi 
sion was made a room in the tavern was set apart for the purpose. 

The first church in the village was the old Wesleyan Methodist, 
which stood between the Douglas tavern and the town-hall ; and the first 
man to minister to the spiritual needs of that congregation was a local 
preacher named Christopher Thompson. He was a whole-souled, devout 
old gentleman, who formerly lived near the head of Hay Bay on Big 
Creek, but moved north to a farm on Beaver Lake. He had a large 
family and kept open house to all who passed his way, with the result 
that he lived and died a poor man. He was loved and respected by all, 
and in his declining years, when his earning powers were sensibly 
reduced, all denominations turned out to the Methodist tea meetings and 
contributed liberally to this means of replenishing his slender purse. 
The first circuit rider to establish an appointment at Wheeler s Mills 
was the Rev. Robert Corson, who with the Rev. Gilbert Miller were the 
ministers in charge of the Napanee circuit which, at the time, about the 
year 1842, extended from Hay Bay to Lime Lake. 

If the little old blacksmith shop on the hill were capable of feeling 
and had a tongue to give expression to it. it would exclaim in the words 
of Hamlet "to what base uses we may return"; for where now is heard 
the creaking of the bellows and the anvil s shrill song there resounded 
sixty years ago the piping voices of the first school children of Sheffield ; 
and until a few years ago there could be deciphered on the window-sill 
the scribbling of one of those self-same children, now an old man who 
has passed the allotted span. Like all school-houses of that day there 
was a shelf fixed to the wall, which served as a desk, and before it was 
a rough bench with no back to it, so that when the pupils were at work 
they sat with their faces to the wall. The first teacher was Mr. Charles 
:hadwick, a young man, who, before engaging in the profession, had 
served as a clerk in Mr. Charles Warner s store at Colebrook. He was 
a bright young fellow with a good word for every one he met, and had 
none of those disagreeable experiences which too frequently befell the 
lot of the pedagogue of long ago. 


Before the first Methodist Church was built on Main Street that 
denomination held their services in the old school-house. The Epis 
copalians used to meet in Wheeler s residence, where the Rev. "Daddy" 
Shirley, as he was affectionately called, used to come periodically to 
minister to the faithful few who were not content with the homespun 
service of the farmer preacher from Beaver Lake. Father Pendergrass 
of Centreville came regularly through the woods to the home of Bartley 
McMullen to care for the somewhat larger flock of Roman Catholics. 
Tamworth now has three Churches, the Methodist, originally the 
Methodist Episcopal, built in 1868, the Church of England, 1865, and 
the Presbyterian in 1889. On the east side of the river, commanding 
a view of the surrounding country for miles, there was erected, in 1912, 
through the enterprise of the leading men of the village and adjacent 
territory, a handsome Continuation School, equipped in the most mod 
ern style and in every way a credit to the community. 

About fifty or sixty years ago John and Robert Grange built the 
saw-mill down stream below the railway bridge and later on built on the 
other side of the stream the grist-mill, which was destroyed by fire. 
Tamworth has during the past twenty years been visited by two destruc 
tive fires which wiped out nearly all the buildings on Main Street; but 
their places were soon filled by better and more handsome ones of brick, 
so that at the present time the business section of the village has a thor 
oughly up-to-date appearance. The residential sections have kept pace 
with the improvements on Main Street; and the citizens may justly be 
proud of their tidy little village. 

The reader may readily gather from the foregoing that Sheffield and 
its principal village owe much to the energy and enterprise of Calvin 
Wheeler, who, full of confidence in the future of the township, took up* 
his residence there at a time when the forest had scarcely been touched. 
There were no roads nor bridges, and he led the life of a pioneer, under 
going many trials and hardships; but lived to see his forecasts verified. 
He was born in Vermont about the time of the War of Independence; 
but his parents did not join the Loyalists, although they sympathized 
with them, and young Calvin was taught to respect the British flag. 

During the war of 1812 the lessons of his early childhood again 
manifested their power in the breast of the full-grown man ; he felt that 
the British cause was just, and broke away from his uncongenial envir 
onment, came to Canada, and settled on the Napanee River near the site 
of the village of Strathcona. While there he was engaged for many 
years in the lumber business, when he concluded that it could be carried 
on to better advantage in one of the northern townships, so he accord- 



ingly commenced operations on the Salmon River. His influence was 
not limited to the village he built up : but was felt throughout the entire 
district. He was a justice of the peace, a commissioner in the Courts of 
Requests, and for many years a representative of the northern town 
ships in the Midland District council. He took an active interest in all 
public matters and attained the rank of major in the Militia. He kept 
in touch with the leading questions of the day, was kind-hearted and 
generous, and more than once when the township was short of funds he 
opened his own wallet and met the expense of some needed improve 
ment. It is said that the first town-hall and school-house were both 
built by him and donated to the municipality. 

Tamworth, like Newburgh, ha? passed its newspaper era. In Sep- 
.tember, 1879, ^ r - Asa Cronk made the venture. He came originally 
from the township of Ameliasburgh in Prince Edward County and had 
been experimenting in journalism for a time at Mill Point. The lumber 
village had for nearly two years given him sparingly of its patronage, 
and in the summer and autumn of 1879 had been too busy righting an 
epidemic of small-pox to pay much attention to the appeal for support 
from the Mill Point Echo; so Cronk concluded that he had no further 
use for Mill Point, and pulled up his stakes, moved to Tamworth, and 
set up his press in the shop now occupied by Mr. John O Brien. 

The villagers were rather proud of the idea of a local paper and 
did all they could to encourage the proprietor of the Echo. Cronk was 
a pleasant fellow to meet and formed marry friends in the village ; but 
the novelty of the personal column soon wore off and, when an election 
came on, the editor, although he had announced in the first number that 
he would take an independent course in politics, buckled on his political 
armour and proved himself to be a splendid fighter in the eyes of one 
party and an objectionable antagonist from the standpoint of the other 
side. His editorials were few and weak, and in a few months he had 
exhausted his stock-in-trade of jokes upon the local questions. The 
news he furnished to his readers was just such as might be expected 
from a newspaper with a small circulation published in a country village. 
It was correctly named the Echo and presented in a condensed form 
such news as could be gathered from the Toronto dailies, and. his 
exchanges. For three years it continued to make its weekly appearance, 
until in 1882 the proprietor thought he saw less worry and perhaps bet 
ter wages in the custom-house at Wallaceburgh. In a neat little speech 
the editor thanked the good people of Sheffield and the north country 
for their support, regretted parting from so many friends, tenderly com 
mitted the Echo to its grave, folded his tents, and moved to Wallace- 


The Sheffield elections were looked forward to fifty years ago as 
one of the occasions of the year, when one might expect something 
exciting. There was little privacy about the polls, and the open vote 
left no opportunity for concealing how the electors had voted. The 
excitement did not always end on election day, as is evidenced from the 
following extract from the minutes of the council of 1855 : 

Pursuant to law I have this I5th day of January, 1855, met at the 
inn of Mr. William Hayes for the purpose of organizing the newly 
elected councillors for the present year, but from the appearance of a 
riotous mob who surrounded me and the many threats circulated by them 
that they would take the life of myself if I would not agree to their 
request, therefore, in order to preserve the peace I deemed it necessary 
to withdraw and notify the members returned to me to attend on another 

(Signed) "Patrick Gafney 


The following is a list of the leading business firms in Tamworth 
since the first saw-mill was established there: 

Merchants : C. & J. Wheeler, Alonzo Wheeler, Robert Helms, R. & 
J. Herchimer, Loyst & Keller, George Miller, Franklin Seldon, Henry 
Douglas, Richard Douglas, Robert Downey & Bro., Forshee & Cham 
berlain, Hooper & Oliver, Hinch & Thornton, John Sherman, Charles 
Shields, John W. Shorey, Robert McD. Smith, Robert McMullen, Mun- 
roe Bros.. Robt. Paul, John Reid, Jr., Hawley Thornton, Reuben W. 
Vandewater, C. G. Coxall, A. C. Douglass, J. R. Fraser, J. A. Fraser, 
Alex. Hassard, Lawrence Way, G. S. Hinch, Jas. E. Perry & Co., L. 
Way & Co., John W. Fuller, David Philips, T. M. Barry, W. E. Wilson, 
W. H. Millburn, J. M. Starring, Carscallen & Wagar, Thornton & 
Weighill, W. A. Fuller, A. B. Carscallen, C. A. Jones & Son. 

Blacksmiths: Robert Helms, James Kirk, Matthew Wormworth, 
Robert Paul, W. J. & J. Shields, John Copeland. Elias McKim, E. & A. 
McKim, Robt. Perry, G. M. Richardson, Edw. Dawson, Jas. Shields, 
VVm. Garrett, J. C. Mouck, H. Richardson, J. A. Hunter. 

Cheese Box Manufacturers : John Fraser, George Woods. 
^Shoemakers : Nicholas Bence, John Starring, George Bolger, George 
Detlor, D. Williamson, Wm. Hardy, John Reed, G. P. York, John 
O Brien. 

Carriage Makers: John Thompson, Wm. Parks, James Shields, J. 
A. Hunter, Newton Carscallen, Sherman Martin. 

Undertakers: Knight & Busby, E. M. McKim, Taylor & Co. 

Wheel-wrights : David Ring, John Thompson, A. N. Carscallen. 


Saddlers and Harness Makers: George Davids, George Goodwin, 
George 1 ruton, George Corran, L. P. Wells. 

Cabinet-makers: J. Thtirston. B. F. Smith, Knight & Busby. 

Tanners: George Miller. Nicholas Baker. John Rain, George C. 
Miller. Andrew E. Markland. Jas. Elliott. 

Cardi-ng-Mill: Richard Jones. D. Mitchell & Son, C. A. Jones. 

Coopers: Samuel Robertson, Edward Ring, John Drader, M. S tor- 

Druggists : Aylesworth & Huffman, Jas. Aylesworth, Rose & Rose, 

C. R. Jones, D. E. Rose, C. H. Rose. 

Tailors: Henry Hooper, Patrick Harvey, John Floyd, \Vm. Covert, 
John Floyd & Son. 

Millers : John Jackson, John & Robert Grange, Gideon Joyner, 
Hiram Keach, A. S. Blight, Keach & Vanne-t. R. Richard*. n. \V. D. 
Mace, A. B. Carscallen. 

Sawyers : C. Wheeler, John Jackson, Grange Bros., H. & G. Joyner, 
Albert Milligan, W. D. Mace, J. E. Woodcock & Sons. 

Any one visiting Erinsville need not seek far to ascertain the origin 
of its name. It would be disclosed in the features and dialect of the 
first person he met ; and enter any house he chose he would be received 
with a right whole-souled Hibernian welcome. Nearly all the Irish that 
came to this county seventy years ago seemed to gravitate towards that 
part of Sheffield, and the same nationality has maintained the ascendency 
ever since. The little hamlet began with a blacksmith shop sixty years 
ago; and the inevitable tavern was opened by Pat Gafney a few years 
later, and with all its changes of fortune there has been no period in its 
history from that day to this, that the tavern has not been very much in 
evidence. Patrick met with the misfortune of being burned out ; but his 
custom soon passed over to Richard Mahoney, the oldest hotel keeper 
in the county, who for forty-five years has met his guests with the same 
ruddy countenance and beaming smile. Mahoney was called upon to 
share the honours with ^Nicholas Phelan, and afterwards with Phelan s 
son William. The Phelans began business in a rather unpretentious 
frame building, which was followed by a more commodious brick one, 
which survived its landlord by two years, when it was burned. 

Napanee has its annual bachelors ball, and the different villages in 
the county have their parties, hops, and various species of terpsichorean 
entertainments ; but for downright unrestrained mirth, all of these have 
yielded first place to the famous Erinsville dance organized by Nicholas 
Phelan so long ago that it is recognized, especially by the young people 
of Sheffield, as the one great event of the year. Held at the festive sea- 


son of the New Year, when troubles are forgotten, it is the one occasion 
above all others that brings out the best there is in the light-hearted Irish 
lads and lassies of all the surrounding country. It is none of your slow, 
dreamy, new-fangled glides, where the pale-faced young man, in swal 
low-tailed coat, apologetically attempts to direct the movements of the 
sylph-like form whose favour he has craved by a delicate touch of the 
tips of his white gloved fingers. No ! it is the good old-fashioned dance 
with some life and action in it! 

To secure uniformity ot time the fiddler does the " calling off" and 
when he announces "swing your partner" there is no uncertainty about 
the execution of the order; and "balance all" gives each performer an 
opportunity to display his and her latest achievement in mastering a 
difficult and soul-stirring jig. Refreshments follow, and plenty of them: 
none of your dainty trifles, lady s fingers and bon-bons ! but good, 
wholesome, substantial food that satisfies the inward craving for nour 
ishment and fortifies the recipients and prepares them for another bout 
upon the floor. 

The fiddler, too, takes a well earned "spell," tucks away a few pounds 
of roast turkey, mince-pie and pound-cake, after which he is ready to 
officiate a few hours more at the bow. He is a man of some import 
ance, and his stentorian voice may be heard above the uproar and laugh 
ter summoning the young men to secure their partners for the next 
dance, while his fiddle wails and screeches undergoing the tuning pro 
cess. He is the privileged character of the occasion and does not hesitate 
to comment upon the awkward performance of some bashful debutant 
or join in familiar badinage with any of the guests who give him an 
opportunity to display his wit. No one thinks of leaving before five 
o clock in the morning, when all join in some familiar reel, after which 
the sleighs and cutters are brought over from the church sheds, neigh 
bouring barns and stables and, amid peals of laughter and the jingling 
of bells, the merry guests disperse for their respective homes. 

The stores of Erinsville have never carried large stocks nor done 
an extensive business, but merely catered to the simpler wants of the 
immediate neighbourhood. Tamworth has from its commencement 
secured the greater portion of the trade of the township. Erinsville has 
the largest Roman Catholic church in the county ; and rain or shine, 
good roads or bad, the congregation will be found in their pews at every 
regular service. The Sheffield Irishmen are blunt and outspoken and 
sometimes more demonstrative than is necessary; but for fair and 
honest dealing and a general observance of law and order they cannot 
be excelled by any community in the county. 


Herbert F. Gardiner in Nothing but Names suggests several pos 
sible derivations of the name Kaladar, but is rather inclined to favour 
the theory that it is derived from an East Indian word "Killidar," mean 
ing "a governor of a fort." It is difficult to conceive the connection 
between the two or to understand why the individual selecting the name 
should go to India to secure one. Another suggestion is that it is 
derived from Kildare, the name of a county in Ireland, and a third, 
which is not seriously put forward, is that it is a corruption of "Kill a 
deer," and so named owing to the abundance of that game in that part 
of the county. The old residents pronounce the name "Killdare" which 
might point to the second theory; but the incredulous will ask if it be 
named after Kildare the Irish county, why spell the word Kaladar? 

Anglesea is named after Henry William Paget, Earl of Uxbridge 
and Marquis of Anglesea. who was born in 1768 and died in 1854. He 
was a famous soldier, winning distinction at the battle of Waterloo, 
where as second in command to the Duke of Wellington, he commanded 
the allied cavalry. He was created a Marquis and had conferred upon 
him the order of the Bath and Garter, and in 1828 was created Lord- 
Lieutenant and Governor-General of Ireland, where he won the esteem 
and good-will of the Irish people. Anglesea, from which he takes his 
title, is the name of an Island and County in Wales. 

Abinger is named after Sir James Scarlett, Baron Abinger, of 
Abinger, Surrey, who in 1827 was Attorney-General of Great Britain, 
and in 1834 was Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. 

EffinghaYn takes its name from Henry Howard, Earl of Effingham. 

Denbigh was called after Denbighshire in Wales, which is famous, 
for its mines of lead, iron, and coal. 

There are no less than fifteen villages in England named Ashby. 
besides the market town of Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, which 
has a ruined castle, once the prison of Mary, Queen of Scots. From 
some one or more of these the township of Ashby derives its name. 

In taking the census in 1851-2 the enumerator took no notice of 
the townships north of Sheffield. At that time the Addington Road 
had not been built ; and the only human beings in that extensive territory 
were such as might be found in the lumber camps, and especially in the 
vicinity of Flinton, which was known as Flint s Mills. In 1855, when 
the new road was nearing completion, Kaladar and Anglesea, which for 
municipal purposes were joined to Sheffield, appeared from the assess 
ment roll of that year to have forty-six ratepayers and sixty-eight actual 
occupiers of the land. Thirteen hundred and sixty acres were returned 
as under cultivation; and this estimate was probably far in excess of 


the crop bearing acreage, and included all the cleared land in the two 

No mention whatever was made of Abinger and Denbigh which 
formed a part of that great northern wild, scarcely touched yet even by 
the lumberman. The one man familiar with every phase of that section 
of the country was Ebenezer Perry ; and to him the government intrusted 
the supervision of the construction of the Addington Road, sometimes 
called the Perry Road ; and after it was built he was appointed land 
agent, with headquarters at Flinton. This road, according to the official 
documents published at the time, "commencing in the township of 
Anglesea, in the northern part of the county of Addington, near the 
village of Flint s Mills in Kaladar, runs almost due north to the River 
Madawaska, a distance of 35 miles, and is to be continued thence for the 
distance of 25 miles till it intersects the Ottawa and Opeongo Road." 

The purpose of this road was to open for settlement the townships 
of Abinger, Denbigh, Ashby, Effingham, and Barrie ; and it was the duty 
of Mr. Perry to locate the settlers and see that the homestead duties 
were performed. He was authorized to allot to every bona fide settler 
who had attained eighteen years of age one hundred acres, upon condi 
tion that certain duties were to be performed before he could obtain a 
title to his land. He was to take possession within one month of the 
date of allotment, and put in a state of cultivation at least twelve acres 
of the land in the course of four years, build a house, (at least 20 by 
18 feet) and reside on the lot until the conditions of settlement were 
duly performed. Mr. Perry was very enthusiastic over the north coun 
try and devoted himself most assiduously to the task assigned him. 
Five questions dealing with the nature of the country and its probable 
future were submitted to him in 1856, and in preparing his answers 
thereto he went into the matter so exhaustively and covered the ground 
so intelligently and thoroughly that they form the best treatise ever pub 
lished concerning that part of this county. The questions and answers 
as published in 1858 in the Journal and Transactions of the Board of 
Agriculture of Upper Canada are here reproduced at length: 

"Are the lands in the back country of a quality to reward the agri 
culturist for his labours?" "I would beg leave to say that in my opinion 
they are. The soil is a sandy loam, more or less coloured with a vege 
table mould. It is made up of the decomposed granite hills that crop 
out at stated intervals all over the back regions. The silica, of which 
those rocks partake in abundance, is crumbled to atoms by the agency 
of the acids contained in rain and snow \vater, by the dissolvents in 
atmospheric air, and by the aid of a little unobtrusive plant, called 






lichen, which thrives in our driest weather on the bare granite, and 
without seeming effort, by the action of its roots, daily detaches small 
particles and deposits them at the base of the rocks hi debris. Thus in 
my opinion the soil is made up of the silica or sand of the surrounding 

"There is a feature in the growth of the timber on the lands in ques 
tion, in connection with the fertility of the soil, that I do not under 
stand. Where hardwood predominates, the soil is a dark loamy sand ; 
where pine takes the lead, a pale yellow sand is found. The whole drift 
h;is one common origin. The yellow sand bears by far the most lofty 
gigantic trees ; some having yielded to the lumbermen seven thirteen- 
feet logs, the lumber of which was fit for the American market ; and 
one stump which I measured I found it to be five feet two inches across, 
not including the bark; and yet the yellow sand gives a much less yield 
of grain to the farmer. Where the dark loams have had a fair trial, the 
yield has been equal to the most favoured soils of the frontier townships, 
wheat, rye, oats, peas, barley, and Indian corn all flourish; potatoes and 
other bulbous roots exceed the growth in older townships. I have in no 
instance seen clover tried, but am of opinion that at no distant day. if 
attention is turned towards it, that clover seed will be one of the staples 
of this section of the country." 

"Is not the land so broken by the granite hills as to isolate the set 
tlers, and thus mar the social interchanges of life?" "I think that if I 
say no to this question I shall be fully borne out by facts; the granite 
ranges run nearly east and west, and consequently the valleys and tuffs 
must have a corresponding course. Now the Addington Road ranges to 
a north course, and consequently crosses the valleys that lie between 
here and the Madawaska ; the first and largest valley is found just 
beyond the rocky range, or fourteen miles north of the River Clare. 
This range of rocks, over which the Addington Road runs, by winding 
through its gulches, is nearly a barren waste ; then you come on land that 
is fit for settlement; it is about five miles from w^here the rocky range 
loses itself to the rear of Kaladar ; and about six miles of the road-lots 
are entered for settlement, making a distance of eleven miles across the 
valley, that in all probability will be settled. 

"Nor is this all; many lots beyond those taken afford a sufficient 
amount of plough land to insure their settlement before you come to the 
next broken range, which occurs at the head of Massenoga Lake; and 
even there some redeeming qualities are found." You remember that I 
said that the valleys run east and west, so a large settlement will find its 
way in there ere long. I do not wish to be understood to say that all the 


area here spoken of is fit for cultivation there is too much broken land 
abounding through this district to suit me but I wish to say that the 
township of Kaladar has a fair portion of excellent land ; that of Barrie, 
Denbigh, and Ashby will be, when cleared and tilled, equal in quality of 
soil and quantity of plough land in proportion to their area, after deduct 
ing the water, to either Camden or Ernesttown. 

"Anglesea, Abinger, and Effingham are more broken. After you 
leave the head of the-Massenoga Lake, the road passes over a rough 
range of rocky ground, covered with fine groves of pine, interspersed 
with patches of hardwood land. Those patches of hardwood land are 
sufficiently numerous to induce settlers to occupy probably the road line 
through this range; but as you approach the Madawaska River, a river 
as large in appearance as the Trent, you pass a rich rolling country, 
watered with the purest springs, \vhose tiny brooks are filled with 
speckled trout, and whose hills are clothed with the red beech that have 
innumerable marks of bears claws, that ascend and descend them 
annually for the mast. If you would ascend a high hill that skirts this 
valley, at whose base the road runs, you would see down on both sides 
of the river the pale green foliage of the hardwood in strong contrast 
with the deeper tints of the evergreens. The hardwood land on this side 
occupies seven or eight miles in width, and to all appearance is as wide 
as the other side of the river. * 

"What chance has the settlement in getting in supplies, and w r hich 
is the best road to the land?" "There are two ways for settlers to 
approach the lands, and supplies can be got by either. First up the 
Madawaska, from Bytown and Perth this is but a winter road, and can 
not be travelled until frost sets in and bridges the lakes and rivers; by 
this route, up to this time, all the provision and provender has been sent 
to supply the lumbering districts on the Madawaska; and the supplies 
have to be got in one year before they are used ; this route is expensive 
and unsafe, as an open winter or a general thaw closes the road ; the 
other is the Addington Road itself ; this is much the safest, cheapest, 
and shortest route it being about forty miles nigher the bridge over 
the Madawaska from Kingston than from the City of Ottawa, and the 
whole of the Addington Road is securely bridged; so that when the 
snow sets in the road is available and ere long it will be a summer road 
as well ; the main obstruction at the present time is the first sixteen 
miles from Clare, on which some forty or fifty men are engaged with 
bars, picks, barrows, carts, etc., and with the aid of fire and sledges, are 
battering off the high points of the granite rocks, and filling up the low 


places, so that in a few weeks both settlers and lumber merchants can 
receive supplies any day in the year." 

"The best way at present for people at a distance to approach the 
land is to take Hayes stage, which starts on the east side of the market 
house m Kingston every Tuesday and Friday, and it will set them down 
within five miles of the commencement of the Addington Road; but as 
soon as the cars start, Mr. Hayes intends to run his stage to Napanee, 
which then will be the shortest and cheapest route to the lands on the 
Addington Road, Tamworth, Centreville, Newburgh, and Napanee. All 
villages through which the stage will pass afford facilities to obtain sup 
plies for the settlement or shanties." 

"How and where will they dispose of their surplus if they have 
any?" "Every intelligent man knows that if there be no avenues to 
dispose of the surplus produce when raised, that it will destroy the 
energies of any man however industrious he may be; he will not put 
forth his physical strength merely to raise grain to rot in the stacks or 
perish in his granary. I assure you that this alternative will never take 
place in my opinion; and if it do, the time is so remote that this genera 
tion need not entertain any fear about the matter not that there is to 
be no surplus raised, for if settlers use but common industrious habits, 
in the space of three or four years a large surplus must be the conse 
quence, for the rich loams of that region will pay the farmer with no 
niggardly hand; but the demand will for years overreach the supply 
new settlers will be consumers before they are producers, and the vast 
amount of lumbering all along the Madawaska and its tributaries will 
require more than the settlement can yield for years. Last winter a 
score of sleighs passed daily at the end of the bridge I was helping to 
build over the Madawaska, loaded with pork, flour, oats, hay, and gro 
ceries, and I was informed by some of the lumber merchants, that the 
supplies had hardly commenced going up. There are forty miles of a 
pine growing country between here and the Madawaska not cut off; 
and if two miles per year should be taken, it will last for twenty years 
yet ; and if the supply shall exceed the wants of the lumberers and set 
tlers, the excess can be converted into beef, mutton, and pork, and 
driven to the railroad, and pass to the frontier markets." 

"The probable future of the settlement?" "The answer to this in 
some measure must be like a fancy sketch the imagination must stretch 
forward, and predict the future it must unfold the leaf of fate, and 
read events that are locked up in the escritoire of time. Sages tell us 
that we may judge the future by the past ; if so, I look forward at no 
distant day for an industrious, intelligent, and rich population to be 


spread over the lands of our interior. The first half of the nineteenth 
century has changed the destiny of the human race, and in no place has 
its effects been more visibly portrayed than in our province. We are 
just emerging into manhood, untramelled by customs or manners made 
venerable by their antiquity ; there is no arena here that the prejudices 
and usages of a sturdy race of men could not combat inch by inch the 
ground sought to be occupied by the improvers of our age; we have 
nought to do but adopt the new fashion and we are as much at home in 
it as our grandsires were in theirs." 

"The first settlers in our country had to contend with many obstacles 
that have no existence now they had no roads, nor mills, nor mechan 
ics nor had they any place to apply to for bread for their famishing 
children, or seed grain, if a crop failed them nor had they teams to 
assist them to move the ponderous logs from their new chopped fallows. 
Yet by incessant toil, perseverance, and economy, they prevailed and 
made homes worthy of themselves. And shall we, the sons of such 
sires, hesitate to leave the refuse shallow soils that overlay the limestone 
beds of the frontier townships, and go on the rich loams of the interior, 
where (thanks to the men who control the destinies of our province at 
the present time) government is constructing a good summer road, over 
a barrier that would have eternally shut out private enterprise?" 

"Our fathers plunged into the forest with a scanty stock of provi 
sions on their backs, followed by our mothers with the wardrobe and 
cooking utensils, threading their way by untrodden paths to the place 
where they intended to plant their vineyard. Contrast the event of 
their settlement with the facilities that we enjoy we now jog along by 
steam we converse by lightning; and think you that our new settle 
ment will be debarred the privilege of partaking of the recently 
developed impetus that impels forward the destinies of the human race? 
I tell you no! A decade will suffice to perform what formerly con 
sumed a century in ten years the rich valley of the Madawaska, and 
the no less rich tuffs or valleys that lie scattered among the granite 
range between here and there, will teem with life and the bustle of com 
merce. The stroke of the axe, the noise of the shuttle, and the ring of 
the anvil, will commingle with the bellowing of the herds and bleating of 
the flocks villages will rise, having churches whose tinned steeples 
reflect the rays of the morning sun ; and as each succeeding Sabbath 
appears, call forth, by the reverberating sounds of their bells amongst 
the valleys and hills, well dressed youths, the children of the present 
race, to worship the God of their fathers." 


"Some of you think this is but the view of a dreamer know ye not 
that the collective wisdom of our province have decided to make a ship 
canal up the Ottawa to Georgian Bay, and that 4,000,000 acres of land 
are set apart to aid in constructing a railroad from (Juebec to said bay. 
Think you that both conveyances will run side by side ; will not the rail 
road seek another route, so as to have no competitor, and open up a 
greater breadth of country? If so, no way offers so great facilities of 
construction, nor a larger amount of traffic, than the valley of the 
Madawaska. If this should take place, we will have cities where I only 
anticipated villages, and towns instead of hamlets." 

The following letter written in 1861 and now among the archives 
of the local Historical Society, throws some light upon the inner work 
ing of the office of the Land Agent : 

"Dear Sir, I was over the Addington Road with A. B. Perry and 
we concluded that it would take on an average at least 62 IDS. per 
mile to make a good summer road after we have finished up the first 
16 miles. I wrote my brother to see you before he reported. I will 
write Mr. Hatton soon concerning the matter in question. 

"It appears to me that we are to have a great flow of emigrants 
next spring on our road and means should be taken to have a stage run 
ning from Napanee to Tamworth at least and a mail through the settle 
ment. Richard Bishop is qualified for a Post-master, he is on No. 6 in 
Barrie, which is nearly 30 miles from here. "When you are at Toronto 
ask how the gift land comes on over the 16 miles. It is time that we had 
as many settlers on that desolate range as possible to make things look 
less lonesome. And the Bureau of Agriculture should take steps immedi 
ately concerning the erection of mills at suitable places to aid settlers. 
I will see you soon and then we can arrange the matter. I do not know 
what to do about running for councillor again. I would by far rather 

Your friend, 

"Sig. E. Perry." 

"D. Roblin, Esq., M.P.P." 

To what extent the prophesies of Mr.- Perry were realized may be 
gathered from the excellent article contributed by Mr. Paul Stein to 
the publications of the Historical Society. Mr. Stein was a pioneer in 
the north country, induced to settle there by the circulation in his native 
land of the government literature prepared from the reports of Mr. 
Perry and other land agents. If more men of the type of Mr. Stein had 
been attracted by the emigration pamphlets, the older townships, even 


with the superior advantages they possess, would need to look to their 
laurels. There is a clear and intelligent ring about the following essay 
which discloses the character of the writer : 

"Up to about the year 1855 nearly all the lands in the rear of Add- 
ington county from Cloyne northward were covered with primeval for 
ests, which had never been injured by fire, and only in some places had 
the lumbermen commenced to cut and remove the best of pine timber 
for export. 

"The timber consisted, and what is left of it still consists of pine, 
spruce, tamarac, balsam, basswood, maple, beech, birch, ash, elm, cedar, 

"The character of the soil is variable, but consists chiefly of sandy 
loam ; in some places very light, or shallow and stony, and when cleared 
only suitable for pasture. Some tracts of considerable extent are 
entirely unfit for cultivation, being either too rocky and mountainous, or 
consisting of swamps and marshes, part of which could be reclaimed by 
underdraining. The country is exceptionally well watered with lakes, 
creeks, and springs, which contain pure and clear water, and the lakes 
are stocked with fish of various kinds. Deer and fur bearing animals 
were very plentiful when the first settlers arrived here, but of late game 
of all kinds is getting rather scarce. 

"In or about the year 1856, the Addington Colonization road was 
constructed by the Government of Upper Canada, under the supervision 
of Mr. Ebenezer Perry, of Tamworth, with a view to open the northern 
part of Addington county for settlement, and to encourage settlers to 
locate there. Crown lands in the townships thus opened were offered 
for sale at one dollar per acre, with the exception of those lots immedi 
ately adjoining the Addington road, which were given as free grants to 
actual settlers. 

"The first settlers who located in the township of Abinger came 
from Leeds county in 1856-7. Among them were Chas. M. Kenyon, A. 
P. and Wm. Wickware, David and Elisha Mallory and their sons, Hugh 
Grant, David Levingston, Wm. Levingston, etc. 

"The first settlers who took up homesteads in the township of Den 
bigh arrived shortly after and were chiefly from the county of Prince 
Edward. They were Isaac Cranshaw, Robert Conner, George W. Sweet- 
nam, A. Cruickshank, David Switzer, John Burns, J. Reid, J. Peck, and 
probably a few others. 

"In order to attract German immigrants to Upper Canada the Gov 
ernment had issued some German literature, which was distributed by 
Immigration Agents in Germany, in which the newly opened districts 


adjoining the Frontenac, Addington and Hastings Colonization roads 
were very favourably described and recommended for settlers with 
limited means. 

"One of those pamphlets fell into the hands of two neighbours in 
the Prussian Province of Silesia, who were at once very favourably im 
pressed with the statement that they could get each one hundred acres 
of good land, which, when cleared, would grow every kind of farm 
produce that was raised in their own native province, for nothing, and 
though they were not practical farmers, for one of them, Charles New 
man, was a distiller, and was foreman in a distillery, and the other, 
August John, was a miller who had only a small grist-mill rented, they 
decided to try their luck in Canada. Crossing the Atlantic in the 50*5 
in the steerage of an immigrant sailing vessel, in which they had to 
furnish their own provisions, bedding, etc., for a trip lasting from seven 
to ten weeks, and in one case with small-pox, and no physician on 
board ship thirteen weeks, was no trifle, but they landed safely in Que 
bec, reached Napanee, where they with the assistance of a countryman, 
who acted as their interpreter, purchased the necessary supplies and 
engaged a couple of teams which brought them to their destination in 
Denbigh township in the summer of 1858. They took possession of 
and located on adjoining lots on the Addington road, built, with the 
help of a few neighbours, a log shanty large enough to hold both fam 
ilies and all their possessions, and went to work with a will to clear yet 
a little land for a late crop of turnips and some other roots. They were 
the first pioneers of what was for years afterwards known as the Ger 
man or Dutch Settlement. But they were destined to meet with a 
very serious mis fortunate. Intending to acquire a cow, they all, men, 
women, and children, left their shanty one morning in the early fall to 
cut some hay in Beaver meadow, quite a distance from it. While thus 
engaged, they happened to look towards their habitation and noticed a 
heavy column of smoke rising in that direction. Hurrying home they 
found their dwelling with all contents a mass of flames, out of which 
they were not able to save a particle, and had nothing left but their 
poorest clothes they had dressed themselves with in the morning. A 
pitiful situation for any one, but how much more so for those two fam 
ilies with a couple of little children each, in a strange country, in a forest 
away fro n all civilization! After consulting what to do next, Mr. New- decided to remain, and to try his luck in trapping and hunting, 
while Mr. John preferred to move with his family to Bridgewater, 
where both he and his wife found employment. In the following spring 
they returned to their homestead and built a small log cabin for them- 


selves. In 1860 and 1861 several other German families joined them, 
and they began to feel more at home. They laboured, however, under 
many serious disadvantages. Their nearest post-office for instance was 
at Perry s Mills, and afterwards at Hardinge, in the township of Barrie, 
a distance of over twenty miles. In 1863 Denbigh post-office was estab 
lished, w r ith David Hughs as postmaster, and Gotthard Radel as the 
first mail carrier, who had to carry H. M. mail on foot, there being as 
yet no horses in the settlement. Another great disadvantage was the 
want of a grist-mill, the nearest one then being at Bridgewater. Later 
on another one was built at Rockingham, in Renfrew county, and an 
other one in Plevna, in the county of Frontenac ; but either of them 
was over twenty-five miles from the settlement, and as teams of any 
kind were scarce, it was no uncommon occurrence that the happy pos 
sessor of a horse or of a yoke of oxen would demand from his neigh 
bour who was not so fortunate, one bushel of wheat for taking another 
bushel to the mill for him to get it ground. 

"Another drawback for the settlers was the difficulty of obtaining 
supplies. There were no stores in the vicinity, and no road as yet to 
Renfrew, and nearly all the trading for a number of years was done in 
Napanee. The first small store was started by Chas. M. Kenyon, near 
the head of Massanoga Lake, but his stock was very limited at first. 

"About the year 1859 Washington Mallory built a small saw-mill in 
Abinger township, and a few years later EHsha Mallory purchased lot 
No. 20, in the 8th con. of the township of Denbigh, on which another 
mill site was situate, which Mr. Mallory improved, and on which he 
erected another saw-mill, so that the settlers were able to obtain all the 
lumber they required for their building operations. 

"Several other settlers had squatted on adjoining lots of Govern 
ment land near Cedar Lake, and a small frame church had been built 
for Protestant worshippers on an acre of land donated by E. Mallory. 
The little settlement was first known as the Cedar Lake Settlement. In 
1867 Messrs. Charles Stein and Paul Stein, then residing on a farm in 
the township of Richmond, bought from E. Mallory the land contain 
ing the saw-mill and mill site, and in the following year built a grist-mill 
on it, which had only one run of Buhr stones and the necessary bolting 
and cleaning machinery, but was well patronized and appreciated by all 
settlers in the vicinity. A few years afterwards the little saw-mill was 
torn down and a larger one built by Paul Stein, with better machinery 
and a greater capacity. Mr. John Mallory opened a little general store 
near by, which soon after passed over to Mr. Samuel Lane, who was 
appointed postmaster. Another store, a blacksmith shop, and a public- 


house were built, and Cedar Lake Settlement gradually ceased to exi-t 
and Denbigh village took its place. 

"In 1882 the grist-mill was found to be inadequate to the require 
ments of the surrounding farming population, and P. Stein bought out 
his father s interest in it, tore it down, and replaced it by a larger one, 
containing two run of stones and more improved machinery. In 1884 
the German Lutheran congregation, though only consisting of about 
twenty families, built a parsonage, and in 1886 a frame church. Since 
j. they have always had a resident minister, who has to belong to 
the Lutheran Synod of Canada, which pays part of his salary, for beside 
his Denbigh congregation, he has to attend to the spiritual needs of a 
small congregation in Plevna, Frontenac county, and two larger con 
gregations in Raglan, Renfrew county, and Maynooth, Hastings county. 

"In 1901 P. Stein sold the grist-mill to E. Petzold, who soon after 
enlarged it by adding to it a first-class roller plant of thirty barrels 
capacity per day, with all other necessary machinery, which, makes it 
now one of the best equipped little roller mills in this part of the pro 
vince, with, however, one serious disadvantage : It is run by water-power 
and in dry seasons the water sometimes fails, causing considerable loss 
to its owner and inconvenience to the patrons. 

"In 1902, J. S. Lane bought some land adjoining the village and 
erected on it a steam saw-mill, which also contains shingle and lath 
machinery, a planer and matcher, etc. A couple more general stores 
and some other business establishments had been added, and the village 
now contains one roller mill, one steam saw-mill, three general stores, 
two public or boarding-houses, two churches, one public school, two 
blacksmith shops, one wood-working shop, two agencies for agricultural 
implements, one physician, one Crown Land agency, one post-office, one 
Orange hall and two public halls belonging to private owners. A new 
cheese factory has also been built not far from the village, which will be 
put in operation next spring. 

"Vennachar is a little hamlet in Abinger township, seven miles 
southeast of Denbigh village. It was almost entirely swept out of 
existence by a bush fire in the spring of 1903, and some of the buildings 
then destroyed have never been rebuilt. It comprises now one general 
store with post-office, one public school, one Methodist church, and about 
a mile from it a Free Methodist church. There are also two cheese fac 
tories at no great distance from it. 

"No reference has, as yet, been made to municipal matters, which, 
perhaps, deserve to be mentioned. The municipality of Denbigh, 
Abinger, and Ashby was organized in 1866. The first municipal council 


was composed of James Lane, reeve ; and E. C. Bebee, Isaac Cranshaw, 
Chas. M. Kenyon, and Chas. Newman, councillors, who voted them 
selves for their services a salary of 2$c. per session. David Hughs was 
appointed township clerk at ten dollars per annum ; John Lane, town 
ship treasurer, at the same salary; Robert Conner, assessor, at eight 
dollars, and William Wickware, collector, at fifteen dollars salary. The 
following year the members of the council raised their own remuner 
ation to one dollar per session, and the clerk s salary to twenty dollars 
per annum, at which rate it remained for many years. 

"In 1866 two public school sections were established. No. i in the 
German Settlement, and No. 2 at Vennachar. Now there are seven 
schools in operation. The following gentlemen have served the munici 
pality as reeves since its organization: James Lane for 1866, Chas. M. 
Kenyon from 1867 to 1870, Samuel Lane from 1871 to 1880, William 
Haines for iSSi, James Lane from 1882 to 1884, George W. Sweetnam 
from 1885 to 1891, William Lane for 1892 and 1893, George W. Sweet 
nam for 1894, William Lane from 1895 to 1898, James Lane from 1899 
to 1901, John S. Lane from 1902 to 1909. The township clerk s office 
has been filled by David Hughs during 1866, by William Lane from 
1867 to 1883, by Edwin Weiisley during 1884 and 1885, and by Paul 
Stein from 1886 until now. The township treasury was held by John 
Lane from 1866 until 1907, by Herman Glaeser during 1908, and by 
Eathel C. Bebee up to the present. 

"There are now five post-offices within the municipality: Denbigh, 
Vennachar, Slate Falls, Glenfield, and Wensley, and the mail service is 
satisfactory. Denbigh has a tri-weekly mail to Plevna, via Vennachar 
and Wensley, and a bi-weekly one to Griffith and to Slate Falls. Several 
efforts have been made to get the abandoned Denbigh-Cloyne mail route 
established, in order to get direct connection and communication with 
Kaladar Station and Napanee, but so far they have been unsuccessful. 

"The market facilities for farm products, cattle, etc., are now not as 
good as they were when lumbering operations were carried on more 
extensively. Formerly the lumbermen needed all the hay and grain the 
farmers could spare, and had to import large quantities. Now, how 
ever, nearly all the floatable timber has been cut and removed, or has 
been destroyed by bush fires, and the farmers will have to pay more 
attention to dairying or the raising of beef cattle. 

"A very serious disadvantage is the absence of any nearer railway 
or other shipping facilities. The municipality forms the centre of a dis 
trict which has railways on all sides and around it, but no railway sta 
tion nearer than from 35 to 40 miles from Denbigh village. As the 


public roads leading to any of the railroad stations are also seldom in 
very good condition, the shipping problem of farmers products is a ser 
ious one. Other industries, however, are also retarded thereby. 

"It is generally believed that valuable minerals in paying quantities 
exist in the hills and valleys of the municipality, and gold, mica, and 
graphite mines have been worked, but they were always closed again 
because the transportation of the products to the nearest railway station 
made their operation unprofitable. Only a few weeks ago a discovery 
of ruby-corundum in the township of Ashby was sold to Mr. J. H. 
Jewel, of Toronto, for a very fair amount. Mr. Jewel has since pur 
chased one thousand acres, on part of which this discovery is situated, 
from the Government, and has had one half of that area resurveyed and 
laid out in smaller parcels. A gang of mechanics and other labourers are 
now engaged building a boarding-house 30 x 60 feet, near the mine, 
and a considerable amount of lumber and other building material is said 
to have already been ordered for further building operations in the com 
ing spring. If this venture should prove a success it will encourage fur 
ther prospecting and lead to further discoveries. 

"In conclusion it mignt be mentioned that there has not been any 
liquor sold or a tavern or hotel license issued in the municipality for 
upwards of twenty years, nor has there ever been an inhabitant of the 
municipality imprisoned or otherwise punished for criminal offences. 
The worst transgressions against the laws of the country have been 
trifling" civil cases of little importance." 




The writer was tempted to single out for comment the names of 
scores of individuals now living or who lived in years gone by in this 
county, and did so intend, when this work was first considered ; but upon 
looking over the ground it soon became apparent that such an undertak 
ing would be entirely beyond the scope of the present volume. I have 
therefore concluded to content myself by devoting this chapter to brief 
biographical sketches of those men who have filled the important public 
offices in the gift of the people of Lennox and Addington, limiting them 
to the wardens of the county and the representatives from this county 
to the various legislative bodies of the country. The latter fall under 
four different heads : ( i ) members of the Legislative Assembly of Upper 
Canada from 1792 to 1841 when the union of Upper and Lower Canada 
took place; (2) members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of 
Canada composed of the former two provinces of Upper Canada and 
Lower Canada from 1841 to 1867; (3) members of the House of Com 
mons, which came into being under the British North America Act of 
1867, which is our constitution of to-day; and (4) members of the Legis 
lative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, which body also owes its 
existence to the same Act. 

I am aware that, in thus restricting myself, many worthy names will 
be omitted, names of men whose acts might well be placed upon record 
in some permanent form; but as this purports to be a history of the 
county rather than a treatise upon the lives of all its celebrated citizens 
I feel justified in adopting this course; although I have frequently, in 
the general narrative, departed from the text to give a brief review of 
the life of some individual when I felt that the subject under discussion 
warranted the digression. For the sake of convenience I have arranged 
in alphabetical order the notices of such as fell within the classes above 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1881, 
Member of the House of Commons 1883 and 1891. 

D. W. Allison was familiarly known as the "old war-horse" of the 
Liberal party in Lennox and Addington. He was descended from 


Joseph Allison, U. E. L., who at the time of the Revolution was engaged 
in the navy yard at New York. His house was pilfered by the rebels 
and, after securing everything of value that could be carried away, they 
applied the torch to the rest and burned the dwelling and its contents. 
He had the satisfaction of stealthily entering the rebel camp and under 
cover of darkness, carried off five of the best horses they had. At the 
battle of White Plains he had several narrow escapes, and on one occa 
sion his comrade was shot by his side, and the belt supporting his can 
teen was severed by a bullet. He was one of the first contingent to land 
in Adolphustown and a few hundred feet from that landing place his 
grandson, D. W. Allison, built the handsome brick residence where he 
spent the last years of his life. 

D. W. was a genial man, who always looked upon the bright side 
of life and endeavoured to find some good qualities in every one he met. 
Although primarily a farmer he sought to better his fortune by engag 
ing in many other lines of business, among which were shipping, min 
ing, and lumbering, and he was never staggered by the magnitude of any 
speculative transaction. No man in his native township was more highly 
respected, as he was kind and generous to the poor and a friend and 
neighbour to all who knew him. 

He passed through all the stages of municipal politics from coun 
cillor of Adolphustown to warden of the county. Few men would 
have had the courage to engage in a political contest with Sir John A. 
Macdonald; but Mr. Allison buckled on his armour, in 1882, and went 
forth to battle against the greatest statesman of his day. Sir John was 
elected; but some of his over-zealous workers had overstepped the 
limits and he was unseated through acts of bribery committed by his 
agents. In 1883 the same contestants again entered the field, and Mr. 
Allison was victorious ; but held his seat for only one session, as he was 
called upon to pay the same penalty for the folly of his friends as his 
redoubtable opponent had paM the year before. In the bye-election 
which followed Mr. Allison was again defeated by Mr. M. W. Pruyn 
of Napanee. In 1887 Mr - Uriah Wilson was returned to parliament for 
the first time, defeating Mr. Allison by twenty votes; and the same can 
didates again entered the arena in 1891, when Mr. Allison secured a 
majority of sixty-one votes over his opponent. This election was again 
protested and the seat once more declared vacant; but not until the 
member-elect had completed one session in parliament. Once again he 
measured swords with Mr. Wilson, but failed to secure the requisite 
number of votes. From the foregoing it will easily be seen that he 


earned the title which was applied to him by his friends. He died at his 
home in Adolphustown in 1909. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington 1899. 

Cyrus R. Allison is a brother of the late D. W. Allison, of whom 
a brief sketch has just been given. He spent nearly all his days upon 
his farm in the township of South Fredericksburgh. A few years ago 
he retired to the village of Adolphustown, where he lives a quiet life, 
yet more active than most men of fourscore years. His views upon the 
political issues which have stirred the souls of the electors of Lennox 
have been as strong perhaps as those of his elder brother; but he chose 
the privacy of his own home in which to ponder over them, and rarely 
if ever entered the firing line during the many contests which divided 
the riding into hostile camps. Although living in a municipality where 
party lines are tightly drawn and a party vote would have excluded him 
from office ; he was repeatedly elected reeve ; and was pressed to con 
tinue in office when he would have retired had he followed his own 
inclination. His affable manner, good judgment, and unblemished char 
acter were fully recognized and appreciated by his neighbours, who 
wisely declined to be swayed by party feeling when selecting a man to 
conduct their municipal affairs. 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1897. 
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1898-1902. 

The name of Aylesworth carries with it in the county of Lennox 
and Addington a certain amount of prestige; no further certificate of 
character is necessary, and Mr. Bowen E. Aylesworth is no exception to 
the rule. 

In 1788 Job Aylesworth, a well-to-do New England farmer, came 
to Canada with his three sons and settled in the township of Ernesttown. 
One of these sons, Bowen, when twenty years of age, married Hannah, 
a maid of sweet sixteen, daughter of Robert Perry, U. E. L. This 
young couple settled on a farm north of Bath, and in the course of time 
were blessed with no less than fifteen children, of which number nine 
sons and four daughters lived to be grandparents. This will account for 
the many branches of the family scattered over all parts of the county. 
It will be observed in examining the history of this county, and parti- 


cularly the township of Ernesttown, that wherever there has been a 
movement on foot for the betterment of the condition of the people the 
records will disclose the presence of one or more Aylesworths behind 
that movement. We find them in the pulpit and other professions, in 
mercantile life, and on the farm, taking no mean position wherever 

One of the fifteen children rocked in the sap-trough by the young 
mother was the father of Bowen E. Ayles worth who now owns and 
resides upon the farm where his grandfather Bowen lived eighty years 
ago. He has passed through all the stages of advancement from coun 
cillor to member of the Legislative Assembly, back again to the farm ; 
and is such a firm believer in the simple life and the dignity of the call 
ing of the tiller of the soil that he doubtless derives more solid comfort 
in watching the growth of the crops in his well-tilled fields than he did 
in listening to the debates upon the budget. Mr. Aylesworth is a pro 
gressive farmer who has studied the art of making two blades of grass 
grow where ordinarily there would be but one, and has been eminently 
successful in putting into practice the useful lessons learned from a care 
ful study of the science of agriculture. The Government bulletins which 
are issued regularly for the benefit of the farmer are not tossed by him 
into the waste basket. In his public life he pursued the same course of 
action by carefully weighing the probable result of every proposed meas 
ure. He does not profess to be a public speaker which, in these days of 
long and tiresome speeches to the reporters of Hansard, is coming more 
and more to be regarded as a virtue. He is a Liberal in politics. 

\Yarden of Lennox and Addington, 1904. 

Henry Allen Baker is descended from the U. E. L. Bakers who 
originally settled in the first concession of Ernesttown. He has, with 
the exception of a few years, resided all his life upon the farm formerly 
owned by his father, John Baker, upon which he was born in the year 
1842. He belongs to the superior type of yeomanry who are the back 
bone of our county, the thinking, intelligent, progressive type, who are 
proud to be tillers of the soil. In 1883 Mr. Baker was first elected a 
member of the Camden council, which position he was content to 
occupy for three years, until he had familiarized himself with the work 
ing of that body, when he advanced a step, and for six years was first 
deputy reeve; and then, fully qualified with his nine years experience, 
he tendered his services as reeve, which the electors promptly accepted, 
and returned him as head of the council for four years. For two years 


he was commissioner from Camden division, and in 1904 he was chosen 
warden of the county, in which position his experience in municipal 
matters in his own township was a great aid to him in his general super 
intendence of the county s business. For ten years he has been a director 
of the Lennox and Addington Fire Insurance Company, which, by its 
careful management under men like Mr. Baker provides a satisfactory 
form of insurance for the farmers of the county at actual cost. Mr> 
Baker has been for forty years an enthusiastic member of the Masonic 
Order, was Master of his mother Lodge at Centreville for three years, 
and upon his affiliating with Albion Lodge at Harrowsmith was twice 
elected to the same position in that Lodge. 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1879. 
Member of the House of Commons for Addington, 1882-91, 1896-1900. 

Mr. Bell was a born leader of men. His fine physique, command 
ing appearance, and intelligent face were valuable assets which marked 
him as a man capable of taking his position in almost any sphere of life. 
He was born in 1836, received a good education at the Newburgh Aca 
demy, taught school for a time at Strathcona, then known as Bower s 
Mills and was afterwards engaged in the school at Napanee. He was 
sought out for municipal honours, passed rapidly from councillor to 
warden of the county, and in 1882 was elected to the Dominion House 
and sat as a member of that body for three parliaments. He was very 
prominent in the Orange Order; and in 1889, when the famous Jesuit 
Estates Act was before the House he proved his metal by refusing to 
be led or driven, and was one of the famous thirteen who stood firmly 
against the passing of the bill. Whether he was right or wrong in the 
vote recorded matters little ; but the fact that he was able to break away 
from party affiliations and resist the influences that were brought to 
bear upon him, marked him as a man of strong character, fearless, and 
conscientious. He was a pleasant companion, a forceful speaker, and a 
true patriot of whom the old county may justly be proud. He died in 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1878. 

If William A. Bell had been spared to live out what we are pleased 
to term the allotted span of life, he would in all probability have become 
one of the best men our county ever produced. He was the only son of 






Major James Bell of Newburgh, and was on the high road to fame 
when he was stricken down, in 1882, at the early age of forty-two years. 
He was content to follow the most honourable of all occupations, and 
was never ashamed to earn his bread as a farmer by the sweat of his 
brow. He passed creditable examinations at Newburgh Academy, 
which, thanks to the men who have supported and managed that institu 
tion, has the enviable reputation of turning out more good and noble 
men than any other school of its proportions in the province. He after 
wards served upon the board of education, in the municipal council and 
as warden of the county. He was successful in whatever he undertook, 
and entered into the work he set about to perform with a cheerful deter 
mination to do it well. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1821. 

Fate and the Family Compact appear to have conspired to deprive 
Lennox and Addington of its full measure of representation in the eighth 
parliament of Upper Canada. Daniel Hagerman, at that time practis 
ing law in Bath, was returned at the general election in 1821, but he died 
before the House assembled; and at the bye-election which followed 
Barnabas Bidwell was declared member-elect for the county. Both 
Hagerman and Bidwell were men far above the ordinary type; the 
former being a brother of Christopher Hagerman, who afterwards 
became Chief Justice, and the latter the first teacher in the Bath Aca 
demy, which had been established in 1811. He had formerly practised 
law in the State of Massachusetts, and rose to such prominence in the 
profession that he became Attorney-General of the State and was after 
wards returned to Congress, where he served at least one session. Later 
on, he became treasurer of Berkshire county ; and some of his detractors 
alleged that he had emigrated to Canada to escape the penalty due to 
embezzlement while filling that position, but there is no reason to 
believe that he was guilty of any greater crime than that of having lost 
all his property in some unprofitable investments. 

There was no end to the slanders circulated concerning him during 
the campaign; and, as they failed in their object of defeating him at the 
polls, a determined effort was made to expel him from the House after 
he had taken his seat. During the first week of the session the agents of 
the Family Compact presented a petition to Parliament praying that the 
seat be declared vacant upon the ground that the occupant was an alien. 
In this they were more successful than in their appeal to the electors 



who had returned him, and, though he had years before taken the oath 
of allegiance, he was declared not to be a fit and proper person to be a 
member of the House, from which he was expelled on January 5th, 
1822, twelve days before Parliament prorogued. Although his parlia 
mentary career extended over only a few weeks he made his influence 
felt and was a thorn in the flesh of the government, which felt much 
relieved at his expulsion. In 1824 was passed an Act respecting the 
qualifications of candidates for election to the House of Assembly, and 
although seven years residence in the province and the taking of the 
oath of allegiance were declared to be sufficient qualifications in the case 
of an alien, especial care was taken to for ever bar the eloquent and 
formidable Bidwell from again taking any part in the deliberations of 
Parliament, by adding a rider to the effect that no person who had held 
office hi any of the executive departments of State in the United States 
would be capable of serving as a Member in the House. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1824-1836. 

Politics in Lennox and Addington was at a white heat when a writ 
was issued for the election of a member to represent the riding during 
the last session of the eighth Parliament. The county was entitled to two 
members, and two had been elected at the general election, Samuel Casey 
and Daniel Hagerman. Casey held his seat throughout the full term, 
but Hagerman died before the House met; and Barnabas Bidwell, who 
was elected to fill the vacancy, was unseated before he had completed 
his first session. His successor, Matthew Clark, met with a similar fate, 
and Marshall Spring Bidwell, a brilliant young barrister of Kingston, 
son of Barnabas, was placed in nomination by the Reformers. 

The contest was one of the most bitter ever waged in the county. 
This was the time of open voting, when the state of the poll was known 
to every one from minute to minute. The election was held in John 
Fralick s tavern at Morven, which was the only polling-place in the 
county; and to give every elector a fair opportunity to exercise his 
franchise the poll was kept open for four days. In one room the whis 
key was flowing freely for all who saw fit to partake of it ; and in those 
days drinking was much more general than it is to-day. One can easily 
picture the exciting scenes attending an event where all the elements 
necessary to arouse the passions of the two contending factions were 
present. It was the beginning of that prolonged struggle which culmin 
ated in the rebellion of 1837; an d, while the leading men of our county 


did not encourage armed resistance, they had just cause to complain 
against the tyranny of the Family Compact, whose oppressive course of 
action bore heavily upon the long-suffering Loyalists of this district. 

I .idwell was elected, and proved to be a prominent member, 
although only twenty-five years of age when he first entered Parliament. 
Shoulder to shoulder with Peter Perry, he fought valiantly for the 
cause of the people against the ring of politicians who controlled the 
government, and made themselves obnoxious by turning a deaf ear to 
the rights of the majority and limiting their patronage and favours to 
their own exclusive circle. He is credited with being the first member 
of Parliament in Canada to introduce a measure abolishing the law of 
primogeniture. He fought strenuously to secure the passing of such an 
Act, and more than once it secured the endorsement of the Legislative 
Assembly but, like many other im|xrtant measures of his day, was 
thrown out by the Upper House. I .idwell established a record by hold 
ing his seat for thirteen consecutive sessions, during four of which he 
was Speaker of the House. He and Perry both suffered defeat in the 
general election of 1836, just prior to the insurrection; but both should 
be held in grateful remembrance by the people of Lennox and Adding- 
ton as the staunch champions of the cause of responsible government. 

In suppressing the insurrection of iS;^- which followed their defeat 
at the polls, several banners were captured ; among them being one bear 
ing the inscription "Bidwell and the Glorious Minority." This was an 
old political banner which had done service in former election campaigns 
and had, without the concurrence of Bidwell, been appropriated by the 
insurgents. He had never counselled violence, and was guiltless of any 
offence against the laws of the land; but the Governor, Sir Francis 
Bond Head, seized upon the circumstance and warned Bidwell that mar 
tial law was about to be proclaimed, that he was likely to be arrested 
and prosecuted for high treason, and that, as he would be unable to pro 
tect him, the only safe course for him to pursue was to flee from the 
country. The general attitude of the Governor towards Bidwell and 
particularly his remonstrances to the Colonial Secretary when instructed 
to place his name on the list of judges of the Court of Queen s Bench 
cost Sir Francis his position. 

Bidwell left Canada and went to New York, where he was admit 
ted to the bar and in a short time attained the distinction of being one 
of the most astute, scholarly, and refined members of the profession, a 
reputation which he retained until his death, which occurred on October 
24th, 1872. In such esteem was he held by his brethren that a meeting 
of the New York Bar, presided over by Judge Daniel P. Ingraham, was 


convened a few days after his burial. Among other resolutions passed 
at this meeting was the following: 

"Resolved that the Bar of the City of New York is deeply sensible 
of the loss it has sustained in the death of Marshall S. Bidwell. Sud 
denly called from the midst of us in the full possession, of his mature d 
intellect and after a long career of distinguished usefulness in his pro 
fession he will be remembered by his brethren as an able and learned 
lawyer, a courteous gentleman, and an earnest Christian." In moving- 
this resolution the speaker, another leader of the Bar, said : "I have 
known him through a long career and I presume I simply speak the 
sentiments of every one nere when I say that a more learned lawyer 
never practised in our courts." 

Judge Neilson, formerly of Morven, spoke feelingly of the well 
developed mind and fine Christian character of Mr. Bidwell, and Chief 
Justice Church in granting the application to have the resolution recorded 
in the minutes of the Court of Appeal said: "His great learning and 
ability, not less than the purity of his private character, and kindness of 
heart, endeared him to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance 
during his life, and will embalm his memory in grateful remembrance, 
now that he has departed from among us." Such was the character of 
the man our province lost through the action of Governor Head and his 
coterie of friends in the Executive Council. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1911, to the present 


Mr. Black was born in the township of Finch in the county of 
Stormont in 1867. His father came to Canada from Scotland fifty-eight 
years ago, and for the first ten years of his residence in the new world 
taught school near Morrisburgh, and then engaged in farming. In 1875 
he moved to the township of Hinchinbrooke, where he still resides at 
the ripe old age of eighty-two years. The son, W. D., remained upon 
the farm with his father until he reached his seventeenth year, when he 
started out for himself as trackman on the C.P.R. He applied himself 
so diligently to his work that at the end of three years he was made 
foreman, a position which he held until his resignation seven years 
later, when he settled in the village of Parham, built a store, and set up 
in business as a general merchant. He continued in this business for 
fourteen years, and to add a little variety to the work behind the counter 
he acquired a saw-mill at Parham and another five miles west of that 
village at Wagarville, and operated them both to advantage. 


He crowded so much in these fourteen years, with apparently such 
profitable returns, that in 1905, at an age when most men are settling 
down in earnest for good hard work Mr. Black retired from mercantile 
life for one of ease in the village where he had taken up his home. 
Although he now leads what is generally recognized as a life of ease it 
is by no means one of idleness. He has acquired considerable real 
estate about the county, is interested in some lumbering concerns in New 
Ontario, and has other business investments requiring his attention. 

Politically Mr. Black s experience has been a most remarkable one. 
He has not encountered the usual difficulties that beset the candidate for 
public office. He was a member of the township council for several 
years, was two years commissioner to the county council and is now 
a member of the Legislature, a consistent follower of the Conservative 
administration, yet his name has never appeared upon a ballot. Surely 
his lines have fallen in pleasant places. He has been before the public 
m other capacities which meant a good deal of work and little pay; 
fifteen years secretary-treasurer of the Agricultural Society, two years 
director of the Canadian Fair Association, five years secretary of the 
Farmers Institute and fourteen years auditor of the School Board; 
and the people of Addington rewarded him for his faithful service in 
these several offices by electing him by acclamation every time his name 
was put in nomination. While a good many would welcome the good 
luck of Mr. Black there appear to be few, if any, who do not agree that 
he merits all the prizes that are coming his way. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1906. 

In the last year of that experimental period when the county coun 
cil was composed of ten commissioners elected in pairs, two from each 
of the five divisions in which the county was then divided, Mr. Bogart 
was one of the representatives for the division composed of the town 
ship of Richmond and the town of Napanee and was chosen warden in 
fie had not taken a very active interest in municipal matters up 
to that time, and on many occasions declined to accept the nominations 
tendered him; but all the while he had been an intelligent observer of 
what had been taking place. The system of electing commissioners to 
the county council instead of having that body made up of reeves and 
deputy-reeves from the various municipalities possessed one advantage 
as illustrated in the case of Mr. Bogart. Good men could be induced to 
accept the position of commissioner to the county council who perhaps 


would not feel justified in accepting the position of reeve or deputy- 
reeve, which entails much more loss of time. 

Mr. Bogart s proudest boast is that he is a farmer, and so he is, 
if owning and living upon an excellent farm is the only requisite for 
admission to the ranks of that honoured calling. For many years he 
has had an office in the town, where he has quite an extensive connec 
tion in the insurance and real estate business; and he may be found at 
his desk between the hours of nine and four if business or pleasure does 
not call him elsewhere, in which event an obliging assistant will respond 
to any emergency calls. He is a firm believer in securing a reasonable 
amount of comfort and pleasure in life while in a position to enjoy it, 
and accordingly has travelled extensively over this continent and the 
European as well, in company with his good wife. Mr. Bogart is a 
good business man and goes about to enjoy life in a good business-like 
manner; and if at any time he felt disposed again to enter public life 
his short terms of service in the town and county councils are a suffi 
cient guarantee that he would look well after the interests of his constitu 

He is descended from Gilbert Bogart, a Loyalist of Dutch origin, 
who was among the first refugees to sail from New York around through 
the Gulf and up the St. Lawrence to winter at Sorel and land the fol 
lowing spring at Adolphustown. Other conditions being favourable, we 
may safely predict for ex-warden Bogart a ripe and happy old age ; as 
Gilbert, the head of the family, died at seventy-eight, and his wife at 
ninety-five ; Gilbert s son, Abraham, lived to be eighty-two, and his wife 
Maria attained the remarkable age of one hundred and two. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1792-6. 

Addington and the islands along the lake front were united as one 
electoral district at the time of Mr. Booth s election in 1792. He had 
served as a sergeant during the Revolutionary War, and was among the 
first refugees to settle in Ernesttown. He followed the occupation of a 
farmer and miller, and is credited with having built the first grist-mill 
erected in the township of Ernesttown. He lived and died on lot num 
ber forty in the first concession, and the mill was erected on the creek 
not far from Millhaven. He became a large landowner and built several 
other mills ; and it was from the mills built by his son, Benjamin, at 
Odessa that that village derived its first name of Mill Creek. He was 
regarded as one of the most prominent and prosperous men in the 
comity; and the many families of Booths that have lived in different 


parts of this county and have generally been engaged in the milling 
business are all descendants of this, the first member for the district of 
Addington and Ontario. He was a justice of the peace and a member 
of the court of requests for the Ernesttown Division. He died very 
suddenly in 1813, at the age of fifty-four, leaving a widow and ten 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1869. 

It was quite natural that Phillip D. Booth should have political 
aspirations, as both his grandfathers were elected in this county at the 
first election held in Upper Canada. He was the eldest son of Ben 
jamin Booth, a volunteer in the rebellion of 1837, who was son of 
Joshua Booth, the representative of Addington in the first Legislative 
Assembly of Upper Canada. His mother \vas a daughter of Phillip 
Borland, the quaker member-elect from Adolphustown and Prince 
Edward to the same Parliament, who from conscientious scruples 
refused to take the oath and was accordingly denied his seat in the 
House. Parker S. Timmerman, the first postmaster of Odessa, married 
Phillip D. Booth s sister, who transmitted to her children the same loyal 
spirit that animated her father and grandfather; for, when the call to 
arms was sounded in 1870, five of her sons shouldered their muskets and 
marched to the front. 

Phillip D. was born in Ernesttown, at Millhaven, but afterwards 
moved to Odessa, where he engaged in the lumber business on a large 
scale. The greater portion of the lumber sawed in the township of 
Ernesttown during the first half of the nineteenth century passed 
through the mills of some member of the Booth family. He also oper 
ated a grist-mill. He was a member of the first council of the township, 
in 1850, which was made up as follows: Robert Ayles worth, reeve, 
Sidney Warner, deputy-reeve. Phillip D. Booth, John Asselstine, and 
Ezra D. Priest, councillors. He was elected no less than fourteen times 
at the municipal elections, and once allowed his name to be placed in 
nomination at a general election for representative to the Legislative 
Assembly. There were two other candidates in the field; and in the 
three-cornered fight he suffered defeat. He died on October i8th 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1898. 

Mr. Bryden was the first, and up to the present time, the only repre 
sentative from the northern townships to be raised to the dignity of 


warden of the county. He was a sawyer and farmer and resided in the 
vicinity of the village of Flinton. The experiment was not altogether a 
successful one. The warden is not only the presiding officer over the 
body which chooses him, but is ex-officio a member of every committee 
of the council, and as such should be in close touch with all the business 
transacted during his term of office. He cannot serve the county unless 
he is within easy reach of the chairmen of the various committees. The 
work of the council cannot be performed during the sessions which, at 
their best, are simply meetings of the general body for outlining the work 
to be done and sanctioning the performance of it when completed. The 
actual work is done between the sessions ; and a warden living fifty or 
sixty miles from the county seat cannot, no matter what his qualifica 
tions may be, render as good service to the county as one within easy 
call, without making greater sacrifices than the electors can expect or he. 
as a rule, can afford to undergo. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1894. 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1888, 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1900, until the present 


"Luke Carscallen was an Irishman by birth, had served in the 
British army and retired and emigrated to the American colonies prior 
to the rebellion. He desired to remain neutral and take no part in the 
contest. The rebels, however, said to him that inasmuch as he was 
acquainted with military tactics he must come and assist them, or be 
regarded as a King s man. His reply was that he had fought for the 
King and he would do it again, consequently an order was issued to 
arrest him; but when they came to take him he had secreted himself. 
His escape was a hurried one, and all his possessions, including a large 
estate to the extent of 12,000 acres, were at the mercy of the rebels. 
They, disappointed in not catching him, took his young and tender son, 
and threatened to hang him if he would not reveal his father s place of 
concealment. The brave little fellow replied, hang away! and the 
cruel men, under the name of liberty, carried out their threat ; and three 
times was he suspended until almost dead, yet he would not tell, and 
then, when taken down, one of the monsters actually kicked him." 


Thus wrote Dr. Canniff of the grandfather of Thomas G. and John 
C. Carscallen, who settled on lot number twelve in the fourth conces 
sion of Fredericksburgh. This property has ever since remained in the 
family, and is occupied to-day by Mr. Fred B. Carscallen. The farm 
descended from Luke, the pioneer, to his third son Isaac, the father of 
Thomas and John, both of whom were born and brought up on the old 
homestead. John followed in the footsteps of his father and engaged in 
farming until 1888, when he and his brother embarked in business in 
Napanee as undertakers and house decorators; but John did not move 
to town until 1901. In a township where political feeling runs pretty 
high and the parties were evenly balanced John C. was elected twenty- 
six times. For eighteen years he sat at the head of the council board, 
and to him, the late Irvine Parks, and \V. N. Doller, the township of 
North Fredericksburgh owes a debt of gratitude for the able manage 
ment of the affairs of the municipality during their administration. 

Life upon the farm did not appeal to the younger brother, Thomas 
G., who at seventeen years of age set out to learn the trade of painter 
and paper-hanger; and the tasteful decorations of scores of houses in 
Napanee, Belleville, and Deseronto bear testimony to the fact that he 
became master of his trade, which he followed until he entered into 
partnership with his brother. Thomas G. Carscallen s municipal honours 
were won in Napanee, where he has resided ever since his marriage in 
1873. For seventeen years he sat in the council, and four out of the 
seventeen he presided over that august body. His popularity is attested 
by the fact that he was returned seven times by acclamation, four 
times as reeve, twice as mayor, and once as councillor. Receiving his 
nomination from the Conservative party he has represented Lennox in 
the Local Legislature since 1902, thus completing the unique record of 
having passed through twenty-one elections without sustaining, a single 
defeat. In the Legislature he has been very attentive to the interests 
of his native riding, and is always ready to render any assistance to his 
constituents irrespective of their politics. 

Both brothers were honoured by being chosen to occupy the high 
est municipal office in the gift of the people of Lennox and Addington, 
and the experience of their long years of service in their respective local 
councils served them in good stead when called upon to preside over 
the county council. If the old pioneer, whose ashes rest in the old 
cemetery in Fredericksburgh at the first bend in the river below the 
town, could rise from his grave to-day, he would heartily approve the 
records of these two grandchildren. 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1895. 

John Carson was born in Inniskillen, Ireland, in 1840; and to escape 
the terrors of the famine of 1847 n ^ s father sailed from Belfast with his 
wife and three children and came to Kingston. He shortly after settled 
in the front of Ernesttown where John, the only son, remained with the 
family until he had grown to be a strong lad, when he was apprenticed 
to a Mr. Kaylor who operated a tannery on the York Road. While so 
engaged he was brought frequently in contact with the late John Coates, 
a harness maker in Napanee, who used to get his supplies of leather 
from Kaylor. A friendship sprang up between the two which was 
strengthened by the marriage of Carson s sister to Coates ; and it was 
not long before the young Irishman occupied a bench in the workshop 
of his brother-in-law. He mastered the trade in all its branches and set 
up for himself on the north side of Dundas street in 1878. In the year 
1883, when Culhane s Hotel was burned, Thos. Symington, Fred. Chin- 
neck and John Carson purchased the site and built the substantial brick 
block just east of the Royal Hotel, and here Mr. Carson moved his busi 
ness from across the street and continued to serve his customers until 
his death in 1903. 

He was a man of few words and never gave expression to an opinion 
until he had viewed the matter from every stand-point, with the result 
that he never found himself entangled in any hasty conclusions. For 
sixteen years he sat around the council board of Napanee and his well- 
known habit of careful and impartial consideration of all municipal 
affairs won for him the sobriquet of "Honest John." He served the town 
as councillor, reeve, and mayor, and, while the blood of his ancestors 
which flowed in his veins might rise to fever heat during an election 
campaign, all was forgotten when the ballots were counted; and Honest 
John settled down to business and could always be found supporting 
every measure calculated to advance the interests of the corporation. 
As warden of Lennox and Addington he pursued the same careful 
course: and when he laid down the gavel he was heartily congratulated 
upon his satisfactory work as the presiding officer of the council. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1836-1841, 
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Canada, 1841-1845. 

It might be said in Napanee of John Solomon Cartwright as was 
inscribed on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul s Cathedral : 


"If you would see his monument, look around," for every church, school 
and public building in the town erected during his lifetime or for many 
years after his death stands upon ground donated by him or his e>t;ite. 
He was the twin brother of Robert Cartwright, son of the Honourable 
Richard Cartwright, and was born at Kingston, September i^th. 1805. 
He was educated at Kingston Grammar School, admitted to the bar in 
1827, and entered on the practice of his profession in his native town. 
His father owned the land upon which the greater part of the town is 
built; and the Cartwright family have always taken the deepest interest 
in everything affecting the public welfare of Napanee and have contri 
buted liberally to every worthy object brought to their attention by the 
citizens or any organization in the town. 

In 1842 he was tendered the office of Solicitor-General, rendered 
vacant by the resignation of Mr. Baldwin. In a letter to the Governor 
declining the honour he wrote as follows : "On the question of responsi 
ble government I have already explained to your Excellency my views of 
its dangerous tendency: and the more I reflect upon it the more I feel 
convinced of its incompatibility with our position as a colony parti 
cularly in a country where almost universal suffrage prevails ; where the 
great mass of the people are uneducated ; and where there is little of 
that salutary influence which hereditary rqnk and great wealth exercise 
in Great Britain. I view responsible government as a system based upon 
principles so dangerous that the most virtuous and sensible act of a 
man s public life may deprive him and his family of their bread, by plac 
ing him in a minority in an Assembly where faction and not reason is 
likely to prevail." 

The first survey of the town was made under his direction, in 1831,, 
by John Benson. He followed closely in the footsteps of his father and 
was the largest real estate owner in the county, judge of the district 
court of the Midland District, and member of the Legislative Assembly 
of Upper Canada. He first entered Parliament in the ante-rebellion 
period of 1836, and was selected as candidate by the ultra-Conservatives 
to contest the riding with George H. Detlor against the invincible 
Reformers, Bidwell and Perry. The prestige of the family name and 
the position he held at the time upon the bench were stronger factors 
in securing his return than the popularity of the cause he represented. 
He was thoroughly conscientious in his views upon responsible govern 
ment, and never hesitated to give expression to them in language that 
could not be misinterpreted. Being a prominent member of the militia 
he was raised to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was very instru 
mental in organizing the volunteers for the defence of the province. 


One of his first acts in Parliament was to secure a grant for the con 
struction of the macadamized road from Kingston to Napanee. His 
views upon the political situation after the Union of 1841 are clearly 
set forth in a letter written April 3rd, 1841, from which the following 
extracts are taken : 

"I have been looking over the list of Members of the United House. 
I find few that I know and still fewer of congenial mind and feeling. I 
almost wish I was not a member. As far as I am capable of forming an 
opinion I should divide them as follows : 40 determined supporters of the 
Gov.-Gen., 30 Republicans at whose head I place the Solr.-Gen., 8 Con 
servatives and 5 doubtful, in all 84. If the Conservatives will act to 
gether they can form a band that may turn many a question in favour 
of right and justice, but it can only be done by a manly and upright 
course, by demonstrating on all occasions that they have the good of the 
province, British supremacy, and monarchial principles in view in all 
they do. They must be governed by great moderation and sound dis 
cretion, otherwise they will be without influence 

"The Union must now be supported and made to work if possible ; 
but I look forward to a stormy session and the political horizon offers no 
cheering prospect. I may in truth say I dread the trial. My mind is 
made up to expect attacks on every good man and principle and I con 
ceive it will be unprofitable for Ld. S. to remain neutral. He must 
come out one way or other before the Legislature has been many weeks 

in session. " 

In February, 1844, he went to England to obtain, if possible, for the 
people of Kingston some compensation from the^ Imperial Government 
for the injuries supposed to have been sustained by the removal of the 
seat of government to Montreal. In this he was unsuccessful. He died 
on January I5th, 1845, an< ^ was buried in St. Paul s Churchyard, Kings 
ton. An address signed by some sixty members of the House, among- 
them being Sir John A. Macdonald, John Sandfield Macdonald, Robert 
Baldwin, Papineau, La Fontaine, and others was forwarded to his widow 
two weeks after his death. It in part read as follows : 

"We, the undersigned, Members of the Provincial Parliament, beg 
leave to express our most heartfelt and sincere condolence with you 
upon the irreparable bereavement with which it has pleased the Almighty 
Disposer of events in His inscrutable wisdom to visit upon you and your 
infant family. 

"When we say that we knew your late husband it is unnecessary to 
add that we loved and esteemed him. We esteemed him in his public 
capacity for his great talents, his extended patriotism, and his unbending 


integrity. We honoured and loved him as an individual for the good 
ness, the kindness, and the charity with which he fulfilled all the obliga 
tions of a friend, a neighbour, and a subject. 

"We further lament that the last member of a family, distinguished 
for its eminent virtues and love of country, has passed hence and in this 
world we shall see his face no more." 

The memorial windows in the chancel of St. Mary Magdalene 
Church and the beautiful baptismal font were erected to his memory by 
members of his family. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, 1861-67. 
Member of the House of Commons, 1873-8. 

No county in Canada has been more honoured in the matter of 
illustrious representatives in parliament than Lennox and Addington, 
for among the number who have at different times appealed to the elec 
tors and sat in the House as their representative were the Right Honour 
able Sir John A. Macdonald and the Honourable Sir Richard Cart- 

Sir Richard s history is too well known to require any comments 
upon his life in these pages. The following tribute to his memory 
appeared in the Toronto World, a leading Conservative paper: 

"It can be said of Sir Richard Cartwright that he was the greatest 
parliamentarian, as such, that ever sat in the Canadian Commons, and 
he was a member of it for the most of the time since Confederation. He 
had parliamentary style, he was deeply read in parliamentary lore, and 
his mind was stored with information : so that he went into parliamentary 
action with the armour and fighting skill of Achilles and the craft of 
Odysseus. And he could sort out in a flash those of his fellows who had 
parliamentary class or the promise of it. 

"In the private associations of the House he had the politest of 
manners and in debate the most virile invective. His words were winged 
and they were barbed; so that on the whole he had a longer and more 
unbroken record as a debater than any other member of the Canadian 

During the last few years of his life he was severely crippled with 
rheumatism ; but his debating power suffered nothing from his physical 
infirmity. His death, following an operation from which he was 
believed to be recovering, occurred on October 23rd, 1912, a few days 
before his Reminiscences, a valuable contribution to the political history 
of Canada, issued from the press. 



Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1811-12, and 


When John Roblin s seat was declared vacant in 1810 because he 
was a local preacher of the Methodist Church, a reason that would not 
commend itself to many thinking minds in our day and generation, 
Willet Casey of Adolphustown was elected for the balance of the term 
of the fifth Parliament, and was again elected in 1817, and sat as mem 
ber of the seventh Parliament until 1820. He was a Reformer, and his 
mate from this county was Isaac Fraser, a Tory, so the honours were 
fairly divided in Lennox and Addington. Fraser s election was not due 
to his political views but to his being universally esteemed as an upright 
and conscientious man. The terms "Tory" and "Reformer," as used 
one hundred years ago, should not be confused with the same terms as 
sometimes applied to the two great political parties of to-day, as the 
politics of Canada have undergone so many radical changes during the 
last century that there is no connection between the political parties of 
that day and this. 

Willet Casey and his brother William were among the first U. E. L. 
settlers in Adolphustown and bore their full share of the burden of 
transforming it from a wilderness to the most advanced township in the 
province in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. 

Willet Casey was born in Rhode Island and, his father having been 
killed during the war, he, after its close, settled near Lake Champlain 
thinking it was British territory, but upon discovering his mistake 
removed to Adolphustow r n, where he found shelter in a blacksmith shop 
until he built for himself a log house. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1821-24. 

Samuel Casey was a son of Willet who was twice elected as mem 
ber for this county on the Reform ticket: but his son did not follow in 
his footsteps, but joined the Tory party, and contested the riding at a 
time when the war against the Family Compact was growing very bitter. 
There was not much fellow-feeling between the two representatives 
from Lennox and Addington, as the Government had set its heart upon 
redeeming the county ; and four elections were held before a member 
was procured who could hold his seat against the machinations of 
the Compact. The first colleague of Casey died before taking his seat, 


the next two were unseated, and Marshall Spring Bidwell represented 
the county for the balance of the term; and so mutual was the feeling 
towards each other that he and the Tory member, Casey, would not ride 
together in the same coach. History does not enlighten us as to the 
cause of Samuel s defection from the ranks of the Reformers. l\\< 
own father and his uncle William both voted against Bidwell and Perry ; 
but the electors of the county were deeply incensed by this time, and the 
latter two were returned and successfully carried all the elections which 
followd in quick succession until the famous ante-rebellion contest of 
1836, when the Tory candidates, John Solomon Cartwright and George 
Hill Detlor were victorious. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1823, 

After the expulsion of Barnabas Bidwell from the House, in iS_>_>. 
it can readily be conceived that the free and independent electors of 
Lennox and Addington were not in very good humour over the action 
of the government in defeating their will by unseating the candidate 
whom they had chosen to represent them in parliament. Matthew Clark, 
a farmer residing in the front of Ernesttown east of Millhaven. was 
next chosen as the standard-bearer of the Reform party, lie was a U. 
E. Loyalist himself, and son of Robert Clark who built the first grist 
mill in Napanee. He was duly elected ; but the same forces that deprived 
Bidwell of his seat took action against Clark, he in turn was unseated 
upon a technicality, and another appeal to the electors was necessary. 
During his short career in the House he was too busy defending himself 
to acquire a reputation as a parliamentarian. 


Member of the House of Commons for Addington, 1891-6. 

Mr. Dawson has all the good, and none of the bad, characteristics 
of an Irishman. He is genial, quick in retort, eloquent, and shrewd. He 
was born in Sligo, Connaught, on St. Valentine s Day in 1858 and arrived 
in Canada with his father in 1864. He was educated at Kingston and 
Belleville and settled down to business as a general merchant and lum 
berman at Plevna in 1875, and two years later was appointed postmaster, 
a position which he retained until 1891. He was elected reeve of Clar 
endon and Miller in 1880-1-2. In 1891 he was returned to the House of 
Commons for the electoral district of Addington, and was looked upon 


as one of the brightest young men in the Liberal party. He was a vor 
acious reader, was well posted upon the public questions of the day, and 
had few equals as a debater. In 1901 he was appointed Inspector of 
Penitentiaries of Canada, and has given the question of prisons and 
prisoners a great deal of careful study; and many of the improvements 
adopted, in our penal institutions are based upon suggestions made by 
him. In 1910 he was the official delegate of the Government of Can 
ada to the International Prison Congress held at Washington, and took 
a prominent part m the proceedings. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1874. 

Robert Denison was born in the third concession of the township of 
Richmond in 1820, and spent his boyhood days at the forest home of his 
father, which afforded few advantages in the way of education. He 
grew up with the township, and witnessed it pass through the various 
stages of development from a wilderness, void of roads, to the advanced 
and prosperous municipality it is to-day. He not only witnessed the 
improvements going on but actively participated in them. He was 
manager of the Richmond Road Company almost from the time it was 
built, until it was taken over by the county. He was returned time and 
again to the township council, and in 1874 was chosen warden of the 
county, and devoted himself particularly to the improvement of the 
county roads, in the construction and maintenance of which his experi 
ence in maintaining the Company Road through his township enabled 
him to introduce some much needed reforms. In 1875 he moved to 
Napanee and opened a wood yard, by means of which he found a ready 
and profitable market for the product of a tract of timber land held by 
him in Richmond. He afterwards opened a grocery on Centre Street 
which was largely patronized not only by the townspeople in the north 
ern part of the town, but by his large circle of friends and acquaintances 
from his native township who passed his door in coming to town. He 
was a man of few words, who lived the simple life, and in all his deal 
ings endeavoured to be governed by the Golden Rule. He died on Sep 
tember 22nd, 1906. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1884-8. 

Mr. Denison was the first non-resident ever elected to the Provin 
cial House as representative for the riding of Addington, which is 




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explained by the fact that at the time he was returned county boundaries 
were not observed in laying out the ridings, and Portland was in the rid 
ing of Addington. He was born in the west of Ireland ; but lived only 
six months in his native land, when his parents emigrated to Canada, 
settled near Collins I .ay where they remained eight years, and then 
moved to the township of Portland where the boy George grew up and 
spent all his days. He was educated at the public school and early in 
life manifested a deep interest in everything affecting the welfare of the 
community and particularly the farming industry. He was a prosperous 
farmer himself and lost no opportunity to promote any measure cal 
culated to improve the condition of the agriculturalists of Ontario. He 
was held in high esteem by all classes in Portland and served many 
years as deputy-reeve and reeve of that township. He died a bachelor 
in 1902 in his eighty-fourth year, and was buried at Sydenham. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1871-83 

Mr. Deroche was born at Xewburgh in 1840, and received his early 
education in the schools of that village. He graduated from Toronto 
University with first class honours in 1868. While a student he enli>tr< 
in the Queen s Own Rifles and saw active service in the defence of his 
country at the battle of Ridgeway. He began the study of law with 
Mr. D. II. Preston now the oldest practitioner in Xapanee, completed 
his course with Mr. James Bethune of Toronto, and was called to the 
bar in 1874, since which time he has practised his profession in Xapanee, 
being associated for many years with His Honour Judge Madden in the 
well-known firm of Deroche & Madden. He taught school for four 
years in the Newburgh High School and for two years in the Napanee 
Academy. Mr. Deroche represented his native county in the Local 
Legislature for three successive terms, being elected for Addington by 
the Liberal party in 1871, 1875, an d 1879. He was appointed county 
crown attorney in 1899, and has fairly and fearlessly discharged the 
duties of that office to the present time. As a student Mr. Deroche 
developed into an eloquent and forceful speaker and maintained his 
reputation as such throughout his parliamentary and professional career. 
His popularity Is due to his genial disposition and scholarly attainments. 
He possesses the faculty of intelligently discussing any subject that may 
be introduced, and enlivens his discourse with happy illustrations from 
an inexhaustible supply of entertaining narratives drawn from his own 
experiences and from a wide range of reading. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1841-6 

Concerning his ancestors George H. Detlor said: "My grandfather, 
John V. Detlor, emigrated with my grandmother from Ireland to New 
York. Directly after his marriage in the City of New York they 
removed to the town of Camden, where they resided with their family, 
and at the close of the rebellion (having joined the Royal Standard) 
he, with tw r o or three of his sons and sons-in-law, came to Canada, and 
finally settled on lands in the township of Fredericksburgh, lot number 
twenty-one in the sixth concession, where he and his sons lived and died. 
My father moved to the Town of York (now City of Toronto) in 1802; 
and at the invasion of that place by the Americans, in April, 1813, my 
father lost his life in defence of the place, ihere is now but one of my 
grandfather s children living; an aunt of mine, Mrs. Anne Dulmage, 
resides in the village of Sydenham, township of Loughboro, county of 
Frontenac." These words were uttered over forty years ago. In 1836, 
at the last general election before the union of Upper and Lower Can 
ada, George H. Detlor and John S. Cartwright were returned in Len 
nox and Addington, and held their seats during the troublesome period 
that followed. Mr. Detlor, at the time, was a merchant in Napanee. 
After retiring from politics he was for a time clerk of the united counties 
of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, and later on was appointed Col 
lector of Customs for the port of Kingston. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1877 

W. N. Doller, born in 1823 in the township of Ernesttown, was 
the son of Charles Doller who fought against the British in the Pen 
insular war and, being taken prisoner, had such respect for his captors 
that he joined the army of Great Britain and came to America just in 
time to take part in the battles of Queenston Heights and Lundy s Lane, 
and to be present at the capture of Oswego. 

His son William was, however, a man of peace and never engaged 
in any more serious conflicts than the municipal elections of North 
Fredericksburgh. For thirteen consecutive years he was elected reeve, 
and his administration of the affairs of the township was marked by that 
good judgment and probity which characterized all his business dealings. 
He was of a retiring disposition, and declined the nomination by the 
Conservative party as candidate for both the Local Legislature and the 


House of Commons. He and the late Judge Wilkison were largely 
responsible for securing and laying out the beautiful driving park which 
is one of the attractions of Napanee and should, before it is tooi late, be 
purchased by the corporation as a pleasure resort for all time to come. 
He had received no education but such as the common schools of his day 
afforded ; yet he took the keenest interest in securing for others 
advantages which had been denied him. For many years he was a mem 
ber of the board of Albert College, and for two years as president of 
the public library he devoted himself to the task of rendering it more 
serviceable to the public. He was a faithful and consistent member of 
the Methodist Church, and was an ardent supporter of the union of the 
various bodies which culminated hi the formation of the Canada 
Methodist Church. He lost no opportunity to advance the interests of 
the farmer and devoted much of his time to the various details of the 
agricultural societies of the county. As warden of the county, in 1877, 
he proved himself to be thoroughly conversant with the duties of his 
office ; and not content with acting as presiding officer he initiated and 
a- -umed the burden of working out for himself the details of most of 
the business coming before the council. He died in October, 1911, at 
the advanced age of eighty-eight years. 

Elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1792 

Adolphustown, which justly prided itself in being the most advanced 
township in the province in the old pioneer days, was for a time unre 
presented in the first Parliament. Phillip Dorland was duly returned, 
at the first election held in the province, as member-elect for Adolphus 
town and Prince Edward county. The Legislature met at Niagara on 
September i/th, 1792; and Dorland was among the number who had 
travelled for days through the forest following the old Indian trails, 
for there were no roads worthy of the name. Each member, before tak 
ing his seat, was required to subscribe to an oath, and there was no 
escape from it. The member-elect from Adolphustown was a Quaker 
long before he ever sought parliamentary honours, and nothing stood 
between him and the vacant seat but the oath. It was a simple oath of 
allegiance accompanied with a declaration that the affiant would faith 
fully discharge his duties as a member of the august body which was to 
govern the destinies of Upper Canada for the next four years. Brother 
Phillip had no objections to the purpose of the oath, for he had demon 
strated his allegiance by joining the Loyalists and coming to Canada in 


1784; and he had travelled all the way from Adolphustown with no 
other object in view than that of faithfully serving his King and coun 
try;, but he had instilled in him the Quaker doctrine Swear not at all," 
and swear he would not. 

There was no provision at that time for receiving a declaration from 
those who had conscientious scruples against taking an oath ; so the seat 
was declared vacant, and Borland mounted his pony and returned to 
his home. He was the first choice of his native township, and although 
he cannot be said to have represented them in Parliament, yet the honour 
conferred upon him entitles him to be enrolled among the first repre 

Warden of Lennox and Acldington, 1909 

Mr. Edgar is justly proud of his ancestors, who were Loyalists on 
both sides of the house. His grandfather, William Edgar, w r as a native 
of Richmond, Virginia, who, rather than deny his allegiance to his King, 
after the Revolutionary War forsook everything, came to Canada, and 
settled in Fredericksburgh. His great-grandmother was a daughter of 
Michael McCabe, another Fredericksburgh pioneer, who was allotted the 
farm on Hay Bay which is still in the possession of his descendants. 

Cyrus Edgar was born in the township of his forefathers in 1861, 
and in 1880 moved to the township of Camden and learned the carpen 
ter s trade, which he has followed ever since. He probably superin 
tended the erection of more buildings in this county than any other single 
individual, among them being some of the finest residences, churches, 
schools, and farm buildings. He has led a busy life, and appears to 
thrive upon hard work ; for with his thirty years wrestling with heavy 
timbers and plying the hammer and saw he is but yet in the prime of 
manhood. He has, however, found some time to devote to public mat 
ters and has demonstrated that he can work with his head as well as. his 
hands. For six years he was a member of the public school board in 
section number three of Camden, and was first elected a member of the 
council in 1903. After four years experience at the council board he 
was returned as reeve, which position he held for three consecutive 
years, reaching the warden s chair in 1909, where he displayed that same 
capacity for faithful work that he did before the bench. He is at pre 
sent employed at the Ontario Prison farm at Guelph ; and the good 
people of this province may rest assured that the carpenter work under 
his supervision will not be neglected. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1799-1800 

William Fair-field was one of the fifteen children of William Fair- 

d, Senior, who settled on lot thirty-seven in the first concession of 

ownship of Ernesttown. He was returned to the Legislature at a 

bye-election m 1798 as representative for Addington and Ontario coun 

ts, and sat during the two remaining sessions, after winch Addington 

mited with Lennox as an electoral district. The Kingston Gazette 

I the following obituary notice at the time of his death : 
Died- At his home in Ernesttown. on February 7th 1816 

m the 47th year of his age, W. Fairfield. The funeral was attended by 
numerous circle of relatives, friends, and neighbours. He left a widow 
and seven children. The first link that was broken in a family chain of 
twelve brothers and three sisters, all married at years of maturity, his 
death was a loss to the District as well as to his family. I [ e was one of 
5 commissioners for expending the public money on the roads Form- 
-ly a member of the Provincial Parliament, many years in the Com- 
i.ssion of the Peace. As a magistrate and a man he was characterized 
**?"** illde P e ^ence of mind, and liberality of 

bay " 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, 1817-20 
Benjamin Fairfield, a younger brother of William, was elected to 

, , Lennox and 

owned a farm at Bath, and was one of the prominent 
men of that thriving village in the early part of the last century AmT 
hfa other enterprises he was extensively engaged in the shipping ind u : 
try. and during the war of 1812 one of his vessels was destroyed bv an 
American gun-boat. He was a regular member of the Court of Quarter 
Sessions of the Peace and as such wielded a good deal of influence W 

o nuence 

r,/ , i r many yCarS a P rominent merchant of Bath, and judge 
Fairfield of Picton were sons of Benjamin. 

\\"arden of Lennox and Addington, 1889 

Robert Filson was a typical, whole-souled Irishman, born in Countv 
Down m 1844. He came to Canada in 1858 and made his home on 


Amherst Island, where he lived the rest of his days. As a young man 
he spent many years sailing upon the great lakes, and in 1870 married, 
and settled down to the more prosaic life of a farmer, on the south 
shore. When twenty-one years of age he enlisted in number Four Com 
pany of the 48th Battalion, and during the rest of his life was connected 
with the militia, being at the time of his death quarter-master of the 
47th with the rank of captain. His son, Edward, enlisted in the Royal 
Canadian Dragoons during the South African war, and so distinguished 
himself that he rose to the rank of corporal, but was shortly afterwards 
killed in action at Lilliefontein. 

Mr. Filson did nothing by halves ; but threw all his energy into any 
matter he had in hand, and made his influence felt. He first entered the 
island council in 1878 and was elected reeve five times prior to his 
elevation to the wardenship ; and in the wider sphere of the county 
council he was outspoken in his views, and unsparingly criticised any 
measures that did not commend themselves to his judgment. He took 
a leading part in securing for the island telegraphic communication with 
the mainland, and was one of the chief promoters in organizing the 
Amherst Island Mutual Insurance Company. As warden of the county 
he gave his support to the establishing of the School of Mining in con 
nection with Queen s University. At the time of his death, in 1895, ne 
was a member of the county council, which attended his funeral in a 
body to pay their last tribute of respect to his memory. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1903 

Mr. Fowler is a son of Daniel Fowler, the artist, was born at "The 
Cedars" on Amherst Island in July, 1845, and educated at the public 
schools of the island and at the private academy of the Rev. John May 
of Kingston. Though the most retiring of men one would meet in a 
day s travel Mr. Fowler was ready for action when the -peace of his 
native land was threatened. He was a volunteer in the 48th Battalion, 
which was organized at the time of the Fenian scare in 1866, and was 
speedily promoted from the ranks to a lieutenancy. In 1870 he was 
sergeant in Company No. 5 of the Ontario Rifles, joined the Red River 
Expedition under General Wolseley, and to-day wears a medal for his 
participation in the quelling of that outbreak. 

He has always taken a deep interest in whatever tends to promote 
the welfare of the community ; and the islanders have not been slow to 
avail themselves of his good judgment and business ability, electing or 


appointing him to serve in different eapaeities, in the Township Council, 
on the Hoard of Health, and as a director of the Agricultural Society. He 
first entered the island council in 1875, and served in the county council 
in 1895-6, and again in 1901-2-3-4. In 1903 he was chosen warden, and 
as such commanded the respect of all the members and looked carefully 
after the interests of the county as a whole. \Yhile Mr. Fowler is a 
strong party man he is liheral in his views, and is prepared to concede 
to his neighbour who differs from him in politics the same honest 
motives that prompt him in forming his opinion upon the public ques 
tions of the clay. 

Member of Parliament of Upper Canada, iSi7-iS_><> 

Isaac Fraser was a hard-headed Scotchman who took his time in 
arriving at a conclusion, and when once he had passed judgment upon 
any set of facts submitted to him there was no appeal from that deci 
sion so far as he was concerned. He belonged to the old Tory party 
of a hundred years ago, was regarded as one of the most upright men 
in the township of Ernesttown, and wielded a great influence among his 
friends and neighbours. He was loyal to his King and loyal to his 
church; in fact he was too loyal to believe that a Governor could do any 
wrong. He no doubt was influenced in his political adherence to the 
Tory party by the public utterances and contributions to the press of the 
Presbyterian clergy of his day, who, while not going as far as the Angli 
cans in supporting the Family Compact, favoured the idea of the Gover 
nor and his advisers ruling the country, even to the extent of disregard 
ing the will of the people as expressed in the measures passed by their 
representatives in Parliament. Isaac Fraser was, upon his retirement 
from politics, appointed the first registrar of Lennox and Addington, 
with his office at Millhaven. He was also a justice of the peace, as 
was his father before him. For many years he was connected with 
Asselstine s woollen factory in Ernesttown, which was one of the princi 
pal industries of the township. He died in 1858, in his seventy-ninth 

\Yarden of Lennox and Addington, 1907 

Mr. Gallagher is a native of the county of Leeds, where he was 
born in 1860. As his name would indicate he is of Irish descent, his 
father having come to Canada in 1836, just in time to demonstrate his 


national characteristic by joining- the militia and taking a hand in the 
defence of his newly adopted country. The subject of this sketch was 
one of thirteen children, ten of whom grew into manhood and woman 
hood; and despite the superstitious prejudice against the number 
thirteen father and mother both lived to the age of seventy-nine years, 
and the children, like their parents, have thrived and prospered. In 1885 
Mr. Gallagher purchased the stock and store of Mr. D. S. Warner of 
Wilton ; in the following year he purchased the homestead of the late 
Sidney Warner, and is to-day one of the most up-to-date and enter 
prising general merchants in the county. He has lost no opportunity 
to boom the cheese industry, believing that our county is well adapted to 
dairying and that a well-conducted cheese factory brings prosperity to 
its patrons. For thirteen years he owned and operated two factories, 
during which. period his knowledge of the business was so well recog 
nized that for eight years he was secretary-treasurer of the Frontenac 
Cheese Board and for two years its president. He was also, for ten 
years, respectively third, second, and first vice-president of the Eastern 
Dairyman s Association. 

He served as school trustee for three years in the Wilton section, 
sat for three years as a member of the Ernesttown council, and for two 
more took his position at the head of the table. In 1907 he attained 
the highest municipal office in the county, and proved an energetic and 
busy warden who inquired into the details of all matters coming before 
the county council. Mr. Gallagher is still a young man with, let us hope, 
many years of usefulness before him ; and while he has been resting for 
the past few years upon the public honours already acquired, and has* 
been devoting himself strictly to business, there is every probability that 
later on he will make his influence felt in a higher sphere of politics. 



Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1910 

Smith Giimour was a farmer in the township of Sheffield, and 
belonged to that type of manhood which is a credit to any community. 
He strove in his own honest way to do w r hat he conceived to be right, 
with the result that he was highly esteemed by all. He was a member of 
the Masonic Order, having served in all the important offices in his 
mother Lodge at Tamworth. He was a devoted member of the Pres 
byterian Church, yet broad enough in his views to recognize and encour 
age all denominations in the noble work of reclaiming fallen humanity. 
He died in January, 1912, at the age of fifty-nine years. 


Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1871-5 

John T. Grange is a grandson of the Scotch mill-wright John 
Grange who came to Napanee one hundred and twenty years ago to 
overhaul the mill for Richard Cart \v right, and a son of William Grange, 
alleged to have been the first white child born in Napanee. William 
Grange was born, lived, and died on the old Grange farm directly north 
of the town. In his day there was a saw-mill on the creek on this farm: 
but it was torn down fifty years ago and it now is one of the last places 
in the county to be selected as a site for a mill. John T. was born in 
1837, went first to a country school, then to the old East Ward school, 
and finished his education in the old frame grammar school on West 
Street where his cousin, James Grange, was head-master. 

James, William, and Thomas Grange were engaged in the dru^ IHIM- 
ness, although the names of the latter two did not appear as members of 
the firm. When he had reached fourteen years of age, John T. entered 
the drug store as a clerk. There were several changes in the personnel 
of the firm; James sold out his interest to his brother John, who, after 
the fire of 1857, sold out to William and Thomas; but the same firm 
name of John Grange & Co. was retained until iSf, 4 . when William 
Grange died, and it became Grange & Bros., the partners being the three 
brothers, John T., Alex. W., George S., and their cousin, William 
Grange. This combination lasted until 1879, when the partnership was 
wound up, and Alex, and George started afresh under the name of A. 
W. Grange & Bro. and John T. formed a new partnership known as 
Daly, Grange & Co. 

John T. lias continued to live in Napanee ever since he first entered 
business, and is to-day one of the oldest residents. Not only has he 
watched its upward progress for the past sixty years ; but has, in one 
way and another, participated in the building up and improvement of the 
For ten years he was a member of the town council, and sat for 
one year at the school board; but his greatest achievement was his elec 
tion to the Local Legislature over the Honourable John Stevenson who 
was considered a most formidable candidate. He was returned a second 
time in a three-cornered fight, in which he was opposed by the late 
Thomas W. Casey and Phillip Booth. Mr. Grange has for many years 
been one of the auditors of the county treasurer s books, but the posi 
tion which is unanimously conceded to him is that of chiirman at the 
nomination meetings in Napanee. Just when, how. or why Mr. Grange 
was chosen for this position for so many years neither he nor any one 


else appears to know ; but the fact remains that he was elected year 
after year until the custom became a fixed rule, and if any one pre 
sumed to bring forward any other name it would be resented as an 
uncalled-for innovation. 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1873 

John Ham, the ancestor from whom all the Hams of Lennox and 
Addington are descended, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and 
took part in several important engagements. It is related of him that 
at one time when in the firing line of the British forces he was struck 
by a bullet from the rebel army, which lodged in the calf of his leg. He 
limped away to the improvised field hospital and assisted the surgeon to 
remove it, and picking up the blood-stained missile he wiped it dry, and 
as a special favour requested a comrade to return it to the enemy in 
the same manner in which it had been forwarded to him. He settled in 
the township of Ernesttown, where he raised a family of ten children, 
eight of whom were sons, all of whom lived and died in Canada. 

Such was the U. E. L. grandfather of Ira Ham, a farmer in the 
township of Fredericksburgh, who inherited some of the characteristics 
of his grandfather, especially that of saying precisely what he meant. 
He was a "plain, blunt man" accustomed to speak his mind freely upon 
all subjects; but fortunately he was optimistic in his views and of a jolly 
disposition, and rarely felt disposed to make any disagreeable or of 
fensive remarks. If he had occasion to comment severely upon any 
event or concerning any individual, he never sought a dark corner in 
which to express his views nor waited until the back of the individual 
he was about to criticise was turned, but spoke it frankly and freely in 
broad daylight to his face. He rather enjoyed a scramble in municipal 
politics, took a defeat with as good grace as he accepted a victory, and 
was never known to grieve over the result of an election. In his native 
township he was respected as a kindly neighbour and a man of many 
good parts, not anxious to thrust himself forward, but prepared to 
accept his share of the burden of public service. He was warden in 
the year 1873, and ten years later died at his home in his native town 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1866 and 1886 

John D. Ham was a grandson of the U. E. L. pioneer John Ham, 
and a cousin of Ira Ham, the subject of the previous notice. Mr. Ham 


was one of the most remarkable men of his day, of unusual ability, and a 
philosopher with a natural instinct for business. He started out in life 
a poor boy, who. for a few shillings a week, served as midshipman 
before the mast in our bay and lake navigation, and then took a position 
as clerk in the store of John Stevenson at Newburgh. The employer 
quickly recognized in the young lad that high capacity for business 
which in a few years gave him a standing among the leading merchants 
of the county. He was promoted from clerk to partner ; and in a short 
time bought out Mr. Stevenson and continued in business until 1868, 
when the death of his only child, a bright young man of twenty years 
blasted all his plans for the future. 

Bv strict attention to his own affairs and honourable treatment of 


all his customers he had at this time amazed a fortune which enabled 
him to retire from mercantile pur-nit?. He sold out his store, made an 
extensive tour of the continent, and settled down to a life of ease and 
comfort. In the disastrous Xewbur^h fire of 1887 his home wa> 
destroyed, when he purchased the \V. S. Williams residence on Thomas 
Street in Napanee and lived there until his death in 1803. 

He was one of the only three wardens who have been returned a 
second time to preside over the council ; and that body might have 
received the commendation of the electors of the county if he had been 
retained in office a few r years longer, instead of following the puerile 
policy of changing wardens every year. It is quite true that they all 
may be good men, but no good man can accomplish much in one short 
term. He no sooner gets comfortably seated in the warden s chair and 
maps out for himself a policy than he is called upon to retire in favour 
of some new blood, and thus the honours are passed around at the great 
risk of the business standing still. County councils as a rule are not 
very public-spirited. The representatives are so intent upon obtaining 
some special grant or privilege for their respective municipalities that 
often what affects the general welfare of the county is overlooked. 

The public roads of this county are, and have for years been a dis 
grace to a wealthy community having abundance of excellent road 
material in every township, and it has been largely due to the utter lack 
of any well defined policy under the general supervision of competent 
men. Each successive warden has some new ideas of his own, which, 
in the matter of roads, are pretty sure to be centred upon the supposed 
needs of his own township; so, instead of having one or two up-to-date 
highways in the county, we have half-a-dozen apologies for roads upon 
which a large proportion of the labour and material has been wasted. 
Such a condition of affairs would hardly prevail if a good level-headed 


business man were retained in the warden s chair for a number of 
years, or a thoroughly competent road engineer were given a free hand 
to execute a systematic plan for improvement of the roads. 

Our county councillors in general are good men, but they are human 
and cannot shake off the frailties of the race. 

I cannot refrain from giving expression to an opinion long enter 
tained, that the business affairs of a county could be much more satis 
factorily conducted by a commission of three or four capable men, such 
as was John D. Ham, elected or appointed for a term of years, than by 
a dozen elected indiscriminately from all parts of the county. The sys 
tem is at fault, not the men \vho try to operate it. 

John D. Ham was one of the leaders in the prolonged struggle over 
the separation of the county from Frontenac. He set his heart upon 
winning for his own village the coveted prize of the county seat and, 
although there was not much to commend his cause, especially after the 
course of the Grand Trunk Railway had been finally determined, he 
succeeded for many years in defeating the main question of separation 
by creating a dead-lock upon the minor question of the selection of a 
county town. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1908 

Mr. Hambly s father and grandfather came to Canada from Eng 
land seventy-five years ago, and settled in the township of Fredericks- 
burgh opposite Deseronto. One son, William Hambly,, worked out by 
the month for some time in Prince Edward, receiving for his labour the 
princely sum of tour dollars a month ; and his brother, Samuel Hambly, 
now living a retired life in Napanee, had the same experience. They 
despised not the small wage, which was the best to be obtained at the 
time, and, by pursuing the same policy of thrift and industry, they met 
with that material prosperity which falls to the lot of most men in this 
young and growing country who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves 
and go to work where and when the opportunity presents itself. 

Charles W r . was born in the township of Fredericksburgh and has 
continued to reside there up to the present time. He owns and operates 
a good farm near the town, admires and always has one or more good 
driving horses, and enjoys the free and independent life which the 
farmer and the farmer alone is privileged to lead. 

In 1905 he first tendered his services to the electors of his native 
township, and they appear to be satisfied with the attention he has given 


to the business matters intrusted to him, as he has been in the council 
ever since. This township has never acted upon the foolish policy of 
pa -sing the honours around, but when they get a good man in the coun 
cil and he has made himself familiar with the work in hand they keep 
him at it. An examination of the records will probably disclose the fact 
that North Fredericksburgh has had fewer reeves than any other town 
ship in the county, and it will also be found that no township has been 
managed more economically. In 1908 C. \V. Hambly was elected reeve 
and made his debut in the county council; but instead of taking a corner 
seat and waiting to see what the others do, he took his position upon the 
dais as warden of the county. In the county council the policy of pass 
ing the honours around does prevail, so at the end of a year he retired 
to the side benches. His promotion has been so rapid that people now 
inquire "what next?" 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1880-3, J 886 

Mr. Hawley was born about sixty years ago on the old Hawley 
homestead in the township of Fredericksburgh. He is a son of the late 
Joseph Case Hawley and grandson of the old U. E. L. soldier, Davis 
Hawley, who first settled in Ernesttown, but afterwards moved over to 
and died on the Fredericksburgh farm which Mr. George D. Hawley still 
owns. Mr. Hawley is a mild mannered gentleman who is said to have 
spent more sleepless nights over the death sentence of a convict in the 
Napanee jail which was subsequently commuted, than did the prisoner 
himself, and would not be taken for an aggressive man ; yet he achieved 
the distinction of fighting no less than five election campaigns within the 
short period of seven years. It might be added that all of these were 
not of his own choosing. In 18/9 he contested the riding of Lennox as 
the nominee of the Liberal party against Mr. A. H. Roe, Conservative, 
and was elected by a majority which, upon a recount, was narrowed 
down to seven. The same contestants again entered the field in the gen 
eral election of 1883 when Mr. Roe was elected, but died before the end 
of his term. At a bye-election Mr. Hawley defeated Mr. George T. 
Blackstock, was unseated, and defeated him again, and for all his 
trouble sat as member for Lennox for the one remaining session of the 
unexpired term. In the general election \vhich followed Mr. Hawley 
buckled on his armour for the fifth time and was defeated by Dr. 

In 1887 he was appointed clerk of the First Division Court at 
Napanee, a position which he held until 1895, when he was appointed 


successor to the late O. T. Pruyn, sheriff of the county of Lennox and 
Addington. Mr. Hawley is a well-read man and a pleasing speaker, 
although in recent years he has very rarely appeared upon any public 
platform. He devotes himself to the duties of his office and the manage 
ment of his farm, and occasionally takes a little recreation in a hunting 
expedition, but has never been charged with securing more game than 
the hunter s license permits. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1876 

Bostian Hogle was one of the original party of Loyalists who set 
tled in the township of Ernesttown. His father, John Hogle, was a 
captain in the British army and met his death at the battle of Benning- 
ton. Of such stock was descended John Hogle who was born near 
Ernesttown Station in 1826. He owned a small farm near Link s Mills 
and at one time owned and operated a woollen-mill and plaster-mills on 
Mill -Creek. He also claimed the distinction of having built and man 
aged the first cheese factory in the township. 

While he had no opportunity to distinguish himself in military ser 
vice as did his great-grandparent whose name he bore, he was not averse 
to a battle in the field of municipal politics, and was successful in seven 
contests for the deputy-reeveship of his native township. While still in 
the warden s chair he was appointed Collector of Customs at the port of 
Bath. He moved to the village and occupied, until his death in 1898, 
the old homestead of the late William Davy. The duties of his office 
were not very onerous, but such as they were, he executed them with a 
scrupulous regard for the preservation of the revenue, and was kind and 
courteous to all who had business relations with him in his official capa 


Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1866 
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Canada, 1861 to 1863 

Augustus Hooper was born in Devonshire, England, in 1815, and 
came to Canada in 1819 with his parents, who remained in the City of 
Quebec. He was educated at the public school and seminary of the 
Old Capital and, when he grew up, was engaged for a number of years 
in a lumbering firm. In 1843 he set out for Canada West and estab 
lished himself in mercantile business at the village of Newburgh in part 
nership with his brother Douglas, under the firm name of A. & D. 


About the year 1850 he built the old stone Hooper residence at 
Camden East and branched out in the lumbering business, which he fol 
lowed until his death. He was for several years reeve of the township 
of Camden, was the second warden of the county of Lennox and Add- 
ington, and died on December 3Oth, 1866, one day before his term of 
office expired He successfully contested the riding in 1861 for the old 
Parliament of Canada, and was in turn defeated by Sir Richard Cart- 
wright in 1863. Being an Addington man and closely associated with 
the business interests of Newburgh, he quite naturally upheld the claims 
of that village for the county seat, while Sir Richard, who was deeply 
interested in Xapanee, supported the latter village. The local question 
of the separation of the counties and the choice of the county town over 
shadowed all other issues and turned the scale in Sir Richard s favour. 
Augustus Hooper had one son, the late K. J. Hooper, for whom he built 
on Piety Hill in Napanee the substantial brick residence in which the 
late Mrs. David Andrews lived for so many years. His widow, a sister 
of the late David Andrews, survived her husband by forty-two years. 

Member of the House of Commons, 1878-1882 

Edmund Hooper, a brother of Augustus, was born in Cornwall, 
England, in 1817, and two years later came to Canada with his parents 
and lived in Quebec until 1843, when he moved to Upper Canada, and 
was for some years associated with his brother Augustus in the lumber 
business on the Napanee River. He afterwards operated a saw-mill on 
Fifth Depot Lake, and was meeting with success in his new venture 
when a disastrous fire, in 1855. wiped out his mill and a large quantity 
of lumber. He next set up as a general merchant at Camden East and 
remained there until 1863, when he removed to Napanee and opened a 
store on the north side of Dundas Street near the centre of the block 
between John and Centre Streets, and aftenvards moved over to the 
other side of the street east of the Royal Hotel. 

He was the first treasurer of the county, which office he held until 
1880. He ran against Sir Richard Cartwright in 1873, an ^ was defeated; 
but met with better success against the same opponent in 1878, and repre 
sented Lennox in the House of Commons until 1882, when he gave way 
in favour of Sir John A. Macdonald. Mr., or more properly speaking, 
Captain Hooper was in command of the Napanee Battery of Garrison 
Artillery, and during the Fenian scare was in charge of the gun-boat 
"Rescue" \vith a detachment of the Napanee Battery, and patrolled the 


St. Lawrence from Kingston to Prescott. He was also engaged in the 
suppression of the rebellion of 1837 as lieutenant, and afterwards cap 
tain of the Royal Artillery. Upon his return from the patrol service 
in 1866 he was presented with a sword of honour by the Battery he 
commanded. He built the brick dwelling on John Street, Napanee now 
owned by Mr. J. J. Johnston. He died at Napanee in October, 1889. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 1867-71 

Edmund J. Hooper, son of Augustus, was born at Camden East in 
the stone house where his father lived and died. He practised law in 
Napanee, and for a time lived in the Andrew s house on Piety Hill. Mr. 
Hooper had a keen sense of humour and always relished a good joke, 
even at his own expense. He died at Napanee in the spring of 1892, 
and was buried in the family plot at St. Luke s Church, Camden East. 

As a lawyer and politician he never went to extremes, was faithful 
to his friends, and fair and courteous to his opponents. He was a Con 
servative in politics and the first representative of Addington in the 
Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario. 

Warden of Lennox and Addington, 1902 

Hiram Keach was born near Centreville on May 26th, 1851, was 
educated at the common school in Camden, and afterwards took a com 
mercial course at the Ontario Business College at Belleville. After thus 
equipping himself for a commercial life he entered the employ of Steven 
son & Lott as book-keeper in their lumber office. In 1876 he went into 
partnership with L. Way, purchased the branch store of R. Downey & 
Bros, in the village of Tamworth, and carried on that business until 
1880, when he and Mr. Vannest purchased the old Grange flour-mills 
at Tamworth and continued to operate them until 1905. For the past 
six years Mr. Keach has been accountant and store-keeper at the Mani 
toba Penitentiary at Stony Mountain. 

He was first elected to the township council as deputy-reeve in 1892 
and afterwards as reeve in 1896. When the new County Council Act 
came in force he was elected one of the commissioners from the High 
land Division and continued for eight years as the representative of the 
northern townships in that body. From 1898 to 1906 he was treasurer 
of Sheffield and was warden of the county in 1902. As a Liberal can- 






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Back row Left to right. Charles Baker. Charles Mills. Win. Ross. John P. Davis. 

Jas. E. Herring. Charles Schryver. 
Front row. Left to right. Charles Mair. " Dod " Boyes. Frank Blair. John Phelan. 


didate in 1904 he contested unsuccessfully the riding of Addington at 
the general election for member of the House of Commons and met a 
similar fate at the provincial general election in the following year. Mr. 
Reach is very retiring, not over modest nor bashful ; but a simple, quiet 
reserve possesses him that did not serve his purpose as a politician 
among those who did not know him well. He is, however, cool and cal 
culating, a man of few words but good judgment, all of which are excel 
lent qualities for a councillor or member of Parliament but not very tell 
ing upon the hustings. 

Member of the House of Commons, 1867-1872 

Mr. Lapum was a lifelong Conservative and the first representative 
of Addington in the Dominion House; and the handsome Confedera 
tion medal awarded to each member of the first Parliament of the 
Dominion is now preserved as a precious heirloom by his daughter, Mrs. 
Thomas S. Johnston of Napanee. He shared the honours of the old 
county with Sir Richard Cartwright, whose desk-mate he was during his 
parliamentary term. He was born on the farm of his father near Wil 
ton, and at the age of seventeen was a