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History of the County of Bruce, Ontario, Canada
Wiarton


"Wiarton" received its name, presumably, from the birthplace of Sir Edmund Walker Head. Governor-General at the time of its survey, who was born (see Ency. Brit.) at Wiarton Place, near Maidstone, Kent.

Extract from the Report of County Valuators, 1901.

"We found the greatest increase here of any town or village in the county. A hum of industry, with their many large saw-mills, furniture, table and many other factories, being pushed to their utmost limit. Their beautiful harbor, the best on Lake Huron or Georgian Bay, affords admirable shipping facilities, and stimulated by the large tract of timber lands on the north, causes a hum of industry along the waterfront and is a general benefit to the town.''

The beauty of the site on which Wiarton is built places it in a unique position among the towns in the county of Bruce, none other of which can compare with it in picturesqueness. The view from the hill at the south of Wiarton charms every visitor. At one's feet lies the busy town, with its numerous factories and mills; further on, at the docks, are to be seen crafts of all descriptions. Beyond, the view extends for miles down Colpoy's Bay, with White Cloud and Hay Islands in the distance. The cultivated fields on the Keppel side of the bay seem to set off the bold limestone cliffs, commencing almost at the spectator's left hand and extending as far as the eye can reach along the west shore. Beauty of scenery is, however, only one of the natural advantages possessed by Wiarton. Its position at the south end of the peninsula resulted in its being for years the sole market town for all that stretch of country, and, dating from the entrance of the railway, the shipping point as well for all the peninsula could produce from its forests and fields. Large and predominating are now the interests of Wiarton on Colpoy's Bay, but at first no evidence was given that such was to be the case. Oxenden claims to have been the first place on the bay to receive settlers. Shortly afterwards another group of settlers took up land at or near where the post-office is which now bears the name of "Colpoy's Bay." These settlements date back to 1856, whereas Wiarton town lots [The original price of these lots was $6, subsequently raised to $10, and again to $40.] were not offered for sale until 1868. In evidence of the total absence of settlement at Wiarton as late as 1866, the author gives an experience of Mr. B. B. Miller [2] as related by him. In company with William McLaughlan, at that time tax collector in Amabel, Mr. Miller started on foot from "Colpoy's," going southward. When in the town-plot of Wiarton they missed the trail, owing to its being covered with fallen leaves, and were compelled to spend the night in the bush.

[2 B. B. Miller is a man who has been identified with Wiarton from its inception until the present day. During these forty years of residence Mr. Miller has ever held a leading position. He was Wiarton's first postmaster, the first Division Court clerk, the first Indian lands agent, the first police magistrate, the first mayor, and also was reeve when the municipality was a village.

Kircudbrightshire, Scotland, is Mr. Miller's birthplace. There he was born, January 25th, 1836. When he was ten years of age his family emigrated to Canada and settled at first in Toronto Township, and later in Bentinck. After finishing his course at school, Mr. Miller served as a clerk in a store at Durham. Being desirous of seeing more of the world, he visited and spent a short time in the States. Returning to Canada, he qualified himself as a schoolteacher, and subsequently taught for four years in Arran and Elderslie. His next venture was that of storekeeping at Paisley. This business he sold out in July, 1866, and opened a store at Oxenden. In 1867 he moved to Wiarton, and has been closely associated in every movement for the welfare and development of the town since then.]

The claim of James- Lennox [3] to be first settler at Wiarton is undisputed. The date of his arrival was November 16th, 1866. His first work was to build a log shanty, this being the first building erected for permanent habitation at Wiarton.

[3 "On Friday, November 16th, 1902, the grim reaper claimed Wiarton's oldest resident, in the person of Mr. James Lennox, at the age of 87 years. Mr. Lennox was born in Ireland in 1815, and came to America in 1822 with Ms parents, who settled in New Jersey. The political troubles of the day soon induced the subject of this sketch to again seek the protection of the British flag, and he emigrated to Canada, settling at Guelph for a time, then removing to Mount Forest, and finally, on November 16th 1866, to Wiarton—just thirty-six years previous to the day of his death. Wiarton was practically a wilderness when Mr. Lennox arrived; all was bush or scrub, and he built the first house in the place, and founded what is to-day the most thriving town in the whole county. He was a staunch Conservative all his life, and espoused the Loyalist cause in the troubles of '37 and '38. He was a quiet, highly-respected and law-loving citizen, and his demise is generally regretted. He leaves an aged widow and two sons in Wiarton, in comfortable circumstances." —Extract from the Wiarton Canadian.]

The absence of anything in the way of a wharf or facilities for shipping in the early days, resulted in the nucleus of the town being established on top of the hill, the business centre being at the corner where Gould Street is crossed by Division Street. There, in 1868, B. B. Miller built an hotel and opened the post-office, just established. There also John Hodgins and, some months later, David Dinsmore started storekeeping. After the wharves were constructed and mills had been erected below the hill, the places of business moved to Berford Street, and by 1879 Gould Street became what it is now, largely a residential street.

The first start Wiarton received was derived from a grant of $300, made by the Indian Department towards the building of a wharf. In 1868 a steamer owned at Collingwood, named the Hero, called once or twice a week. This service was improved upon in 1869, when the steamer Champion, Captain Monk, owned by John Hodgins, above mentioned, made daily trips to Owen Sound, thus connecting the little settlement with the world at large. It was not long after the dock was built that a storehouse followed close at hand, the owner being B. C. Jones: this gave the neighboring farmers an opportunity to market their grain without travelling a long distance. Among the business men of Wiarton in the sixties, besides those already mentioned, should be named R. Greenlees, merchant, and J. Paterson, druggist; also Thomas Gilpin and Dr. A. Williams, who erected the first saw-mill. In a Directory of Ontario, that claimed to be revised to January, 1870, is to be found a description of Wiarton, somewhat as follows: "Population about 200, grain and lumber form the principal trade here. It has a mail four times a week" (brought from Owen Sound via Presqu' Isle, Big Bay and Oxenden). Other names of residents to be found in this Directory besides those previously mentioned in this chapter are, Miss Martha Gilpin, school-teacher, Rev. J. C. Collins and Rev. Geo. Smith, ministers, both of the Bible Christian denomination. There were two hotels, kept by Joseph Crandon and Mrs. Currie.

A Directory of a later date, published in April, 1876, has the following items regarding Wiarton: "Population about 400. A steamboat makes daily trips to Owen Sound. A tri-weekly stage runs to Owen Sound carrying the mails, but after May 1st there is to be a daily stage. There is an office of the telegraph company and a grist mill lately been opened and run by W. H. Heberden." From the same authority we learn that there were two steam saw-mills, owned by John Ashcroft and A. Jones, respectively, also a planing mill run by F. Lickman and a tannery by D. G. Millar. There were four churches, of which the oldest was that of the Church of England, erected in 1871. This building was seated for 160, and cost about $600. Rev. T. S. Campbell was the minister in charge. The Bible Christians had a larger church, a frame building that cost about $1,400. The Congregationalists had a church erected in 1875, costing $900. The fourth church was a frame building erected by the Methodists in 1876, seated for 200, and costing $600.

The prospect of a railway reaching Wiarton caused the population to increase rapidly. An increase of population called for an increase of school accommodation. With commendable enterprise, a commodious stone school-house was built in 1877 at a cost of $2,200. In the same year church buildings were erected by the Presbyterians and the Disciples; the latter edifice was of brick, the other was frame. These two buildings gave a total of six churches in a village which two years later, in 1879, only claimed to have a population of 752. Denominationalism was certainly a feature in Wiarton at that time. Before passing to another topic, it might be as well to state that in 1891 the two congregations, Presbyterians and Congregationalists, united and so formed a large body. Up to 1883 the Wiarton Presbyterians were included in the home mission work of the Presbyterian Church, but when the Rev. E. B. Millard was inducted as minister, June 25th of that year, the charge was erected to the status of a self-sustained congregation.

Wiarton became an incorporated village by special Act of Parliament, [43 Vic. Chap. 46.] assented to 5th March, 1880. The reason a special Act of incorporation was necessary arose from the fact that there was not in the original town plot of Wiarton a population sufficient in number to comply with the requirements of the Municipal Act, [A Population of over 750, within 500 acres, was what the ''Municipal Act," R. S. O., 1877, gave as the requirements for the incorporation of a village.] but the number could be made up by taking in that part of the village lying in the county of Grey. So the Act omitted from the area of the village Ranges 3, 4, 5 and 6 of park lots to the west of the town in the original survey, while it added thereto all now in the town plot east of the county line (Berford street), most of which was in the original survey of the township of Keppel. The population at the time of incorporation was given as 752.

["To secure the special Act to incorporate the village, it was necessary that $125 should be deposited with the Government, $100 of which the Legislature held and $25 of which went to draw up the bill of incorporation. The settlers never at any time had too much money, so in order to raise the amount twenty-five persons went on a joint note for $5 each— Messrs. Adam Doupe, J. W. Jermyn, J. J. Jermyn, James McNeill, Henry Trout, Neil Langford, John Ashcroft, G. Bingham, and others whose names have not been learned. Messrs. Doupe and Jermyn were instructed to negotiate the loan, which necessitated their travelling on foot to Owen Sound as no conveyance was available. They secured the money. Shortly after this some farmers in the vicinity of the contemplated village opposed the proposed incorporation and a public meeting was called, the hat was passed around and $12 collected to support the opposition movement, which failed to have any effect. Messrs. Bingham, Ashcroft and J. W. Jermyn were appointed a deputation to proceed to Toronto to lobby the bill through. They went via Own Sound, on the old narrow-gauge railway. The trip took one whole day. The bill was given in charge of Donald Sinclair, the then member of this riding for the local Legislature.

''When Wiarton threw off its swaddling clothes there was not a cent in the treasury. The minutes of the first council meeting were written on paper and with pen and ink purchased by Messrs. Millar and Jermyn, each giving five cents! That's the way the village of Wiarton was started off."—Extract from Wiarton Canadian Souvenir.]

James Grier was appointed by the Act of incorporation to be the returning officer to hold the first nomination and election of a reeve and four councillors. The Agricultural Hall was where the nomination was held, and there, too, the village council held its first meeting on March 22nd, 1880. The members of the first Council were: David Dinsmore, reeve; Hiram Brown, James McKim, D. G. Miller and J. W. Jermyn, councillors; Thomas D. Galloway, clerk; Neil McMillan, treasurer. In the following December the wardens of Bruce and Grey met with the village reeve, and it was decided that the county of Bruce should assume the proportion of indebtedness that the Keppel part of Wiarton owed the county of Grey. The amount was fixed at $400. The County Council of Bruce in the following January confirmed this by by-law (No. 173), and the money was promptly paid over to the county of Grey. On becoming a separate municipality the financial claims of the two townships, in which the village had developed, for debts incurred had to be provided for. In settling with the township of Keppel, Wiarton assumed one-eleventh of the $30,000 bonus to the railway, and $1,410 of the $2,000 subsequent bonus, and $399 of Keppel's county rates; total about $4,500. The basis of settlement with the township of Amabel was one-tenth of the railway bonus of $40,000 and two-thirds of the similar bonus of $3,000, making a total of $6,000. In addition to the amounts so assumed from Keppel and Amabel, Wiarton had an indebtedness of over $2,000 for the new school-house, so that Wiarton on entering into existence as a separate municipality, did so with a debt of $13,000, a large financial burden for an infant municipality. But the inhabitants of Wiarton have never been backward in assuming such burdens if there was a prospect of the betterment of the town thereby. This optimistic spirit has induced what many of Wiarton's people think the assuming of a burden of debt too large, considering the size of the place. Certainly it resulted in the town having to ask the Legislative Assembly in 1894 to pass an Act to consolidate the debt of the town and extend the payment over thirty years. This relief, so asked for, was obtained. [67 Vic. Chap. 86.] The preamble of the Act passed states the debenture debt to be, at that date, $43,199, with no sinking fund, and also a floating debt of $5,149. The lesson of the past was not taken to heart by the sanguine-spirited people of Wiarton, and long ere the next decade had passed the debenture debt of Wiarton had passed into six figures. [On December 31st, 1905, the debenture indebtedness was $147 735.16.] The chief cause of this increase of indebtedness was the financial assistance given by the town to the beet sugar refinery, of which more will be said later on.

The prospect of the railway reaching the village was one long kept dangling before the eyes of its inhabitants. The Stratford and Lake Huron Railway (originally chartered in 1855) lacked capital from the very first; then, after the construction of the railway began, for some reason the government withheld the bonus which was expected and calculated upon to help to build the road. Some townships, Carrick for instance, refused to grant a bonus. So the company had to ask those municipalities that had manifested a willingness to grant financial assistance for an additional bonus. It was not until the Grand Trunk Railway leased the road, May, 1880, that it seemed assured that the railway would be completed. To comply with the time limit, and so obtain the promised bonuses, the track layers pushed on their work and reached Wiarton November 29th, 1881. Without loss of time a locomotive and some flat cars entered the village, crossing Frank street about 6 p.m. of that day, having on board J. C. Boyd, of Simcoe, Superintendent of Construction. The conductor was William Cook and the engineer Joshua Wilson. After success to the enterprise had been drunk in lager beer, the train departed south, and work on the line ceased for the season. At this time, and for a number of months, Chesley was the northern terminus of the line, the road not being opened for traffic to Wiarton until August 1st, 1882. This line of railway has proved one of the most profitable branches in the Grand Trunk Railway System. It has also done much to make Wiarton what it is, the commercial entrepot for the peninsula.

That the newly opened railway might obtain its share of the lake traffic enlarged wharfage accommodation was needed. Pressure was brought to bear on the Dominion Government, with the result that a grant of $35,000 was made. This the village supplemented with $7,500 from the sale of debentures. Work on the new wharf was commenced in 1882, and completed in August of the following year. The new wharf had a frontage of 1,040 feet, a breadth of 18 to 25 feet, and extended into the water so as to give 18 to 25 feet depth of water along the front. It is said that the total cost was upward of $60,000. By how much the government supplemented its original grant the author cannot say. The increase of wharfage accommodation resulted in an increase of shipping, followed by Wiarton being erected into an Out-post of Customs, under the survey of the Collector at Stratford. This was done September 26th, 1882.

With such a large number of frame buildings it is surprising that Wiarton has not suffered severely from fires. Possibly the narrowest escape it had was on August 31st, 1881. The preceding summer had been very dry. The smoke of destructive bush fires was to be seen in every direction. "Urged on by a strong wind the fires approached the village. The air was filled with smoke so dense as to be almost suffocating. Nearer and nearer the flames came, until the villagers in self-preservation had to turn out and fight them. In this they were partially successful, but one house, that of E. C. Jones, was burned down. Fortunately the wind blew in . such a direction that the saw and grist mills were not seriously imperilled, but much of the beautiful growth of timber below and on top of the cliff was burnt, a loss that will take many years to repair, as over considerable areas nearly all the soil was also burned away, and for lack of it the trees and verdure can never be the same.

As a measure conducive to the public health, as well as for fire protection, it was decided in 1887 to construct a system of waterworks for the town. The system was installed shortly afterwards, and has been largely extended as the town enlarged and the need for pure water and adequate fire protection became more generally recognized. The plan decided upon provided for water being pumped direct from the bay into the mains, the engine automatically maintaining the requisite pressure. In 1904 further improvements were made in the system by the construction of a reservoir and by placing the pumps further down the bay, so as to be certain of obtaining pure water. The cost had been heavy, but the citizens have acted wisely in inaugurating a system which gives them abundance of that necessity of life, good water.

Wiarton's first newspaper was The Echo, published by George Bingham and Colin P. Campbell. Its initial number bears date of 4th July, 1879. The ownership of The Echo has changed hands several times during the vicissitudes and struggles a local newspaper encounters in its limited field. In 1885 S. W. Cross became the sole proprietor and successfully conducted the paper for ten years. At present The Echo is edited and published by A. Logan. The Encore was the name of the next journal published at Wiarton. It had an existence of about three years, but failing to attain the success of The Echo, it ceased publication in October, 1892. About the same time as The Encore was issued a paper called The News was published by H. T. Butler; this journal also failed to obtain patronage sufficient to warrant the publication of it being continued. The Wiarton Canadian dates back to 1893. Its founder was A. Megraw, who for a number of years previous had met with good success as the publisher of the Paisley Advocate. The north riding of Bruce being largely Conservative in politics, and as the new paper advocated in an able manner Conservative principles, it met with success, and continues to flourish, W. J. Whitlock being the publisher at present.

For many years the sole banking business of Wiarton was con-ducted by G. W. Ames & Co., private bankers, first established in June, 1880. The need of a chartered bank being much felt, application was made to several of the large banking institutions of the country to establish a branch at Wiarton, but with no success until 1892, when the Union Bank opened a branch with E. W. Burinot as manager. Ten years later the Canadian Bank of Commerce also decided to open a branch and at the same time to advertise itself by erecting a handsome building. A central position on Berford Street was obtained, and a building erected that is an ornament to the town.

Owing to the continued growth of population an enlarged accommodation for the pupils attending the school was necessary, and the School Board in 1885 asked the village Council to raise $2,000 for this purpose. This the Council of that year refused to do. The clash of these representative bodies created quite a little excitement at the time. The Council of the following year was more amenable to the educational interests of the town than its predecessor, and raised the necessary amount. The public school building of Wiarton to-day, one of eight rooms, is certainly a very handsome structure, and a credit to the town. In 1891 Wiarton was set apart by the County Council as a high school district; this was after a very close contest with Paisley. The old public school building, an excellent stone structure and much enlarged, is now occupied as the high school. The following gentlemen composed the first Board of High School Trustees: D. G. Millar, R. M. Fisher, M.D., Rev. T. S. Campbell, J. Paterson, J. Walmsley and A. M. Tyson. The first head master of the high school was T. H. Farrell, succeeded October 1st, 1892, by Henry De La Mater.

In 1893 the inhabitants of Wiarton found they were numerous enough to take unto themselves the privileges and honor of a town. The preliminary proceedings were taken that year, [The Lieutenant-Governor's proclamation of incorporation bears date 14th December, 1893. It came into effect on 1st January, 1894.] with the result that since the 1st January, 1894, Wiarton has been numbered among the towns of the province. In a footnote [2] are to be found the names of the heads of the municipality, whether as reeve or as mayor, from its first incorporation as a municipality to 1906.

[2 Reeves—David Dinsmore, 1880, '81, '82; Hiram Brown, 1883; A. M. Tyson, 1884, '85; C. V. Parke, 1886, '87; Hiram Wigle, 1888, '89; B. B. Millar, 1890; D. M. Jermyn, 1891, '92; James Hunter, 1893, '94, '95; James Symon, 1896.
Mayors—B .B. Millar, 1894; D. M. Jermyn, 1895, '96; James Hunter, 1897 and 1905; Charles Reckin, 1898; 8. A. Perry, 1899; James Symon, 1900; G. Kastner, 1901; William Bernie, 1902; G. S. Sinclair, 1903, '04; S. J. Cameron, 1906.]

At the time of the opening of the railway an issue of The Echo gives a paragraph of Wiarton's wants. Among them are the following: a village hall, a town bell, and mails to be carried by the railway. These have all been supplied. In December, 1888, the municipality bought the back part of lot 13, west of Berford and south of Division Streets, on which they erected a building to contain the fire-fighting apparatus, a tower for a bell, and a hall in which the village Council could meet. This building did service for the above purposes for a number of years. In 1899 the front part of the same lot, on which stood a building known as "The Robinson Hall," was thrown on the market. The opportunity offered was seized, and for a very moderate sum the town bought the building, which is one exceedingly well suited for a town hall. An addition was built in which there is a handsome council chamber on the second storey, while underneath is a lock-up and fire hall. The present town bell was put into position in August, 1900. It cost something like $412, weighs 832 pounds, and hangs in a tower 75 feet high, adjoining the hall.

Among the important industries of Wiarton is that of the manufacture of furniture, several large factories being in constant operation. We have to look back to 1879 to find the pioneer firm of this industry, Messrs. Falk, Morlock & Wegenert, who in that year started Wiarton's first furniture factory. Another industry was started the same year, namely the "Wiarton Woollen Mill," William Turner being the owner of the same. In 1880 or 1881 the Vulcan Foundry, owned by George S. Sinclair, added another to the successful industries of the town.

The Dominion Fish Co. has its central packing plant located at Wiarton. Here are frozen and packed all the fish taken at some ten stations operated by the company, scattered around the Georgian Bay and the Manitoulin Island. As the stations have from two to three tugs each, engaged in setting and lifting nets, it can easily be credited that about 120,000 pounds of fish per week are received at Wiarton. A visit to this large establishment is most interesting.

"The Wiarton Beet Sugar Manufacturing Company, Limited" [The original charter was in the name of "The Owen Sound Sugar Manufacturing Company.''] was incorporated 21st October, 1896, with a capital of $150,000, increased to $500,000 by letters patent on 10th October, 1901. After the obtaining of a charter it took several years to thoroughly convince the public of the feasibility of the undertaking, to show that beets grown in the vicinity gave an exceptionally high percentage of sugar; that owing to the facilities for shipping by water the area from which beets could be shipped, with profit to the grower, was of great extent. These advantages decided many to take stock in the company. Of these a large number were farmers, who were asked to pay only 5 per cent. of amount of stock subscribed for in cash, the balance to be paid in beets. The Colonial Construction Company of Detroit undertook to erect and equip the factory. Ground for building operations was broken in October, 1901, and in the following spring the walls were being built. On June 5th, 1902, the cornerstone was laid by James Mills, President of the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph. The principal buildings erected are of stone, the main building being four stories in height, two hundred and forty feet long, and one hundred and twenty feet wide, sixty-six of this being four stories in height, and fifty-four being of one and two stories. To the north of the main building is the sugar storage warehouse, also of stone, one storey high, two hundred feet long by seventy-five feet wide. On the south side of the main building are located the beet store-houses, having a capacity of six thousand tons. Besides these huge structures, there is a cooper-house, an office, and other necessary buildings. There is also a wharf and a railway switch, so that everything was provided for the economical handling and receiving of supplies, and for the shipping of the finished product. The factory was also fitted throughout with the best machinery known to the trade. A large acreage of beets was secured in 1902, and great were the hopes for the success of the enterprise. Unfortunately, the contract with the Colonial Construction Co. called upon them to run the factory for the first season. What was the result? Because of the improper installing of the machinery, and because of the manager not understanding the business, less than half of the quantity of sugar was obtained from the beets that might have been secured if he had been competent. It is said that fully $50,000 worth of juice and beets was carried by the sewers into the bay. At the end of the first season the board of directors faced a loss of over $63,000. What was to be done? The town, which had given at the outset of the undertaking a bonus of $25,000, was now asked to grant a loan of $25,000, which it did. To supply needed capital, private individuals entered into bonds for $110,000 in addition. A new superintendent was secured, and the season of 1903 was entered upon with the hope that at last success was in sight, but alas! the enterprise seemed to have some fatality attached to it, and the season ended as unfortunately as the previous one. The bondmen were called upon to make good the bonds entered upon. January 12th, 1904, was the date fixed by the Union Bank to pay up. To the credit of these gentlemen, it is to be recorded that not one of them failed to respond, although the amounts were large, $4,000, $9,000, $10,000 and $12,000 being paid by different individuals, the smallest amount being $750. It is questionable if any town of its size in the province has ever received such a financial blow. The loss amounted to about $200,000, made up as follows: The town bonus $25,000, the town loan, $25,000, the bondsmen $110,000, and the balance in stock subscribed. The courts decided in 1905 that the farmers who had taken stock, 95 per cent. of which was to be paid in beets, must make up in cash what had not already been covered by cash and beets. This seems hard, as it was not their fault that they could not, owing to the closing of the factory, pay up according to the original agreement.

Unlike most localities in the county of Bruce, Wiarton has connected with it an Indian legend entitled "The Spirit Rock." An excellent recital of the old legend is to be found in the Wiarton Canadian Souvenir, which the author takes the liberty of transposing to these pages. It is as follows:

"Situated between Wiarton and Whicher's Point, the Spirit Rock can be seen quite distinctly from the bay. On the face of the cliff, standing out in bold relief, the crevices and stains have depicted a woman's face, above which there is a blasted pine. There is a tradition in connection with the rock. A squaw, the daughter of a chief of one of the tribes whose hunting ground was in the immediate vicinity of Colpoy's Bay, of whom now only a few relics remain, was carried off by an Eastern tribe, who bore her miles away and condemned to a life of drudgery this daughter of a hated foe. The Eastern chieftain passed one day while she was singing a sad, plaintive song. The song, the youthfulness and attractiveness of the maiden, wakened in the chieftain's breast feelings of admiration and love. He released her from her bondage, and with simple rites the chief and maid were wed. The warriors of the tribe were angered at this union and plotted so effectively that dire disaster met the bride and her consort. Her warrior chief was stricken from her side, but she escaped and wandered back to her tribe, arriving weary and footsore, but only to be refused admittance into the band, as she by becoming the willing bride of their deadly foe had brought dishonor on herself.

"For hours she stood upon that rocky height,
Till night's dark curtain had shut out the light
And hid the cruel rocks from sight.
Then, with a cry like a lost soul in woe,
She sprang to her death and her grave below,
While moaning winds murmured a funeral strain,
And sighing waves echoed a sad refrain."

Colpoy's Bay has had its share of marine casualties. Probably the one best remembered and spoken of is that of the loss of the Jane Miller, which occurred November 25th, 1881. The propeller Jane Miller (built in 1879, classed A 2 1-2 of 150 tons burden) was a Wiarton boat, owned by Captain A. Port. She left Big Bay for Wiarton at 8.30 p.m. on the above date, a heavy gale blowing at the time. Her cargo was a large one, and was stowed principally on the main deck, making her top-heavy. Her lights were seen when she was in the vicinity of Cameron's dock, but that was the last known of her. All on board perished, twenty-eight souls in all. Hardly any traces of her have been picked up and the spot where she foundered is unknown.

Another well-remembered fatality on the bay occurred 27th July, 1892. It was associated with a tornado that struck the town and bay on the evening of that day. The town suffered severely, every smoke stack but two being blown down. William Young's saw-mill was unroofed, the skating rink and some stables were demolished, and the large public bath and boat house, owned by Ralph Eby, with its contents, were destroyed. The loss of property would be as nothing if no lives had been lost. Just before the storm broke a sail-boat was seen a short distance down the bay. In the boat were George Stevens, of Chesley, his wife and two sisters, Mrs. L. Currie and daughter, of Wiarton, John Savage, of Chesley, a man named J. Lembke and an Indian. Seeing the storm coming the sail was lowered and the boat headed to the wind, but the instant the tornado struck it everyone on board found themselves in the water. The six whose names are first given in the above list were carried away and drowned; the other three clung on to the bow-sprit until gallantly rescued by John and Henry Dance and a young man named Wyburn, who put out in a small, leaky skiff. Braving the storm and the heavy sea, they reached the shipwrecked men in time to rescue them. The boat was too small to take any on board, but by holding on to the gunwale they were towed to shore, reaching it in a much exhausted condition.

It is said that the gentlemen who surveyed the town plot of Wiarton named many of the streets after themselves and their wives. Certainly the names of Frank Berford and George Gould, who were in the surveying party, are to be found in four of the streets of the town. Brown Street bears the name of a man who worked in the surveying party, and who subsequently settled a short distance south of the town on the county line. Gleason Street preserves the name of one of the first settlers on Colpoy's Bay. Beyond these six names the author cannot venture a suggestion.

Wiarton has made more rapid progress than any other village or town in the county of Bruce. True, it has had its setbacks, such as occurred when the Grand Trunk Railway opened the Owen Sound branch and made that point its principal northern terminus, and again when the sugar refinery failed. Still, it is the busiest town in the county, and the townspeople are hopeful and confident of continued and prolonged prosperity. We trust that these fond hopes may be fully realized.


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