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History of the County of Bruce, Ontario, Canada
The Settlement of the County, 1850-1856

The most marked characteristic of the settlement of the county of Bruce was the rapidity with which it was accomplished, combined with the vigorous life of its development, which were phenomenal in the history of this province. The short space of thirty years, commencing with 1850, wrought changes that were marvellous. During that period the vast primeval forest that spread over the county largely disappeared before the axe of the settler; instead of "Nature's solitude" were to be found cultivated farms, active centres of commerce and manufacturing industries. The trackless bush vanished as the county became covered with a network of gravel roads. To these avenues of traffic were added four lines of railway that entered the county during those years of pronounced development, thus bringing the markets of the world to the doors of its farmers and manufacturers. To have emerged from nature's wilderness and to have attained a population of 65,000 and an assessed value of over $25,000,000 in the space of but three decades, is the proud boast of the county of Bruce, evidencing abundantly the richness of its natural resources, as well as the energetic type of its early settlers.

Prior to 1850 not a township within the county had been surveyed into farm lots. What had been done by the Crown in the way of preparing for the inflow of settlers that subsequently poured into the county, is related in Chapter II. of this history.

The enterprising men who had settled at Penetangore and vicinity early perceived the advantages, as well as the necessity, of having the rich lands in the township of Kincardine surveyed for settlement, for only the Lake Shore and Durham Road Ranges were at the time we speak of laid out into farm lots. They therefore raised by subscription, limited as their means were, an amount sufficient to send Allan Cameron as their representative to urge upon the government an immediate survey of the block of land comprised in concessions four to twelve of that township. The representations made were well received, and in July, 1850, J. W. Bridgland, P.L.S., with a staff of assistants, landed at Penetangore and completed the required surveys during the course of that summer.

While J. W. Bridgland was at work in Kincardine Township, A. P. Brough, having completed the survey of the "free grants," commenced the survey of the township of Brant, north of the Durham Road Ranges. These two surveyors were the only ones at work in Bruce during 1850. In the fall of that year Mr. Brough, having completed the survey of Brant, proceeded, as already mentioned, to lay out the Elora Road from Greenock town-plot as far as the township of Maryborough, thus preparing another route whereby the county could be entered and by which its inhabitants could take their produce to market.

The number of settlers that came into the county in 1850 was largely in excess of the preceding year. As these settled principally on "free grant" lands, it is but fair to assume that the advantageous character of the offer made by the Crown was becoming widely known and realized. The greater portion of these settlers found farms to their satisfaction in either Brant or Kincardine, while a few passed into Kinloss, which in 1850 received its first inhabitants, who settled in the vicinity of "the Black Horse," among them being Joel Eli Stauffer, Thomas Hodgins, Thomas Smith, John and William Shel-ton and others. A fair number of settlers located on the Lake Ranges in Huron and Kincardine, largely attracted by the advantage offered of water communication, which gave ready access from the first. Arran received its first settler in this year in the person of Henry Boyle, a squatter who located on his lot in advance of the survey of the township.

The reader may have noticed that to Greenock Township (in which a portion of the free grant lands lay) a quota of settlers has not been assigned. An explanation of this is made clear by the following extract from a letter received by Mr. George Jackson, C. L. Agent, from the Department: "August 15th, 1850. Re Tp. Greenock. As the survey is not fully completed, and as there is no intention of opening the road through the township at present, it is desirable that no locations should be made this season." These instructions were not countermanded until the following April.

Action was taken by the government early in the summer of 1850 to fulfil the promise made to open the Durham Road. Under instructions received from the Department, Mr. Jackson, on June 28th, 1850, issued notices asking for tenders for the making of the road through the township of Brant, the work to be commenced on or before July 10th and to be completed by the 1st October following. That the reader may have an idea of what was considered the requisites of an ordinary bush-road, and what was called for in the specifications, a copy of the same is given in a foot-note. [1] This piece of work was let in eleven sections. The names of the respective contractors are as follows, commencing at lot 1 and thence eastward to Bentinck: Wm. Johnston, Richard Guinn, Johnston Smith, Jos. Walker, Ed. Bolton, Wm. Bottrel, Thos. Todd, Adam Clement, Ephm. Fursman, Jas. McCartney and Jas. Gaffney. The prices paid under the different contracts varied from £23 to £25 per mile for chopping and logging, and for causewaying, 7s. 6d. to 10s. per rod. The contract for the two bridges over the Saugeen was let for £277 10s. to Joseph Walker, who had assisting him in the construction thereof John McLean, Wm. Mcintosh, Archd. Fraser and ("Big") Sam Colwell, of Kincardine Township. The total cost to the government of opening the road through Brant was £665 4s. 9d. The contractors were all paid during the month of November, evidencing that the time limit in the contracts must have been fairly adhered to. The details here given may seem somewhat too minute, the excuse therefor being that these were the first road contracts let in the county of Bruce.

That the reader may have an idea of what travelling meant in the county of Bruce in the year 1850, in a footnote [2] is given the reminiscences of a tramp made in that year from Hanover to Kincardine, thence to Southampton and Owen Sound, by M. C. Schofield, P.L.S.

[Footnote 1. The contracts called for the performance of the following work: "The whole extent (of the road) to be chopped a width of 66 feet. All trees 8 inches and under in diameter to be cut close to the ground. The whole of the timber on the allowance for road to be cut into logging lengths, these together with all the brushwood and rubbish found thereon to be piled on each side of the road, so as, that the same shall be fit for burning, and so that a clear space of 45 feet shall be left in the centre of the allowance for the road. Timber may be felled into the woods on each side, but not into the clearings. In swamps and other places where causewaying is required the whole of the timber to be cut close to the ground a width of 20 feet in the centre of the road allowance. The causewaying to be made of sound, straight logs laid even, close together, and at right angles to said road, and each log to be 16 feet in length. All bridges of 15 feet span and under to be included under the head of causewaying, and without extra charge."]

[Footnote 2.  Notes of Tramp Made in 1850, by M. C. Schofield, P.L.S.
"Desirous to see the beautiful country being surveyed in Bruce, as also to descend the highly applauded Saugeen River, I accompanied men of A. P. Brough's surveying party to what was then called the "First Crossing," now the town of Hanover. Here Jos. Walker, with a party, were throwing the first bridge across the river. There I embarked with the men, carrying supplies to their camp, at the present town of Walkerton, on a raft. The anticipated pleasure of a sail down the river, in many places wide and deep, was greatly marred or lessened by a continuous heavy rain, causing us to appreciate a warm, dry camp and a hearty supper.

"Early next morning I started for Penetangore, 27 miles distant, reaching it that evening rather fatigued. With the exception of five miles of dense forest, where I had blazed trees for my guide, the road was being cleared by various contractors.

"At Mud River I became impatient, waiting for the Frenchwoman to come and ferry me across—in response to my repeated shouts—which was her custom. I therefore disrobed and was fording the river when she came to the bank where her boat was.

"After remaining a couple of days at the real comfortable hotel, kept by the late Allan Cameron, I started to walk to the present village of Southampton. There were two houses there then. Owing to a severe storm the previous day (which completely closed the outlet of the river at Kincardine) the sandy beach was in fine condition for pedestrianism. But there were miles of various sized boulders upon which it was most difficult to walk, or step from one to the next ; still worse, I found miles of pebbles or gravel, about as laborious to walk on as hard peas.

"At Baie De Dore was an Indian in camp whom I could not persuade, for money or brandy, to ferry me to the opposite point, thus saving me four miles travel around through water a foot or more deep. Further on were three or four more Indian families, camped for fishing. In one of the wigwams I took a short refreshing sleep, and finally reached my destination after the most fatiguing day's labor of my life.

"The following morning, with a young Scotch lass from my own neighborhood for a pilot, we started on the Indian trail for Owen Sound, about twenty-five miles, arriving quite early in the day, tired out."]

Early in 1851 the government, realizing the necessity of taking steps to prepare for the large number of would-be settlers who desired to buy bush farms and make a home for themselves in the new county of Bruce, issued instructions for the survey into farm lots of the townships of Arran, Elderslie, Saugeen and the residue of the townships of Bruce and Huron that lay back of the Lake Ranges. Arran was so surveyed by Mr. George Gould for Charles Rankin, P.L.S., Elderslie by G. McPhilips, P.L.S., Saugeen by Alex. Vidal, P.L.S., [The late Hon. Senator Vidal.] Huron by E. B. Jones, P.L.S., and Bruce by A. P. Brough, P.L.S. These surveys were all completed during the summer of 1851, except that of Bruce, the survey of which was brought to an abrupt termination owing to Mr. Brough having contracted a fatal illness during its progress, causing the work to be stopped at the sideline between lots 10 and 11. [When the serious nature of Mr. Brough's illness became apparent his assistant, Latham B. Hamlin, started for the clearings to obtain help to take the sick man to where he could obtain medical treatment. At Stoney Island he met Capt. Murdoch McLeod, who informed him that there was not a sailing vessel in the vicinity, but offered the use of a small row-boat he had. In this the Captain rowed to Inverhuron (known at that time as the Little Sauble River), reaching there just as the men of the party arrived from camp, carrying the invalid on a stretcher. Without loss of time he was placed in the boat and taken to Penetangore. Medical assistance not being available, once more the sick man was placed in the boat. Captain McLeod and another, taking turn about, rowed the long distance to Goderich, where, at Rattenbury's Hotel, this veteran surveyor of Bruce died a day or so afterward.]

In addition to the township surveys, a survey of the town-plot of Southampton was also ordered, and was carried out by E. F. Lynn, P.L.S. Judging from the large area he laid out into town lots, this officer must have had an exaggerated idea regarding the possibilities of what was then expected to be the county town of the new county.

Besides ordering the surveys of these five townships the government decided to establish an agency for the sale of Crown lands within the county (see Appendix G for copy of Order-in-Council relating to this), and on the 19th May, 1851, Mr. Alexander McNabb was gazetted as Crown Lands Agent for Bruce, with Southampton designated as his place of residence. This position Mr. McNabb held until his death, which occurred May 1st, 1882. [Mr. Alexander McNabb was born in Lower Canada at The Cedars, Soulanges County, October 7th, 1809. In his early life he was employed by Colonel By, during the construction of the Rideau Canal. At the time of his appointment to be Crown Lands Agent for Bruce, he held the position of bookkeeper for the Crown Lands Department. The thirty-one years of his connection with the county of Bruce were marked by a conscientious attention to the duties of his office. Many difficult disputes regarding squatters' rights came before him, as well as attempts made by speculators to avoid the "actual settlement" required by statute, which Mr. McNabb settled strictly on their merits. His son, John M. McNabb, now residing in the old homestead at Southampton, is the possessor of a wonderful fund of reminiscences of the early days of the county of Bruce.] The above appointment was followed by a notice in the Gazette, June 27th, 1851 (see Appendices G and H), offering for sale lands in the townships of Brant and Kincardine and the villages of Penetangore and Southampton, "on and after the 5th August next," on application to Mr. McNabb. These were the first lands offered for sale in the county of Bruce. All of them were known as "school lands," the price of which at first was 12s. 6d. per acre. [See Appendix O.] Arriving at Southampton in August, Mr. McNabb opened his office for the sale of the lands so offered by the Crown. He also, shortly afterward visited Penetangore for the convenience of would-be purchasers there.

The summer and fall of 1851 witnessed a busy scene along the western end of the Durham Road, arising from the carrying out of the contracts [The following are the names of the various contractors, commencing at Lot 1, Kincardine, thence eastward: Wm. Sutton, Robert Stewart, Wm. Millar, Robert Brown, Andrew Horn, Francis Walker, Wm. Armstrong, John Moffatt, James Thorn and Samuel Colwell in Kincardine. In Kinloss : Samuel Colwell, J. Eli Stauffer, John Smith and Martin Meredith. In Greenock: John Sherridan, David Smith, Luke Chatreau, John McLean. For the bridge at Riversdale: Arch. Stewart and William Mcintosh, and Hans Hawthorne for causewaying and culverts east of Riversdale.] let by the Government to chop and log the road from the lake eastward as far as Riversdale; from that point to the Greenock town-plot the contracts let were only for bridging and causewaying. Those whose contract was located at a distance from the lake had special obstacles to overcome, arising from the difficulty of obtaining necessary supplies. It is related regarding one of the contractor's camps, situated near a small clearing planted with potatoes, but left by the owner to take care of itself during his absence at the settlements, that on his return, instead of finding his expected winter's supply of potatoes ready to be gathered, found instead his field stripped. The necessities of the men in camp having led them to appropriate and consume his total crop, for which lawless action amends were made by paying the settler a fair price for what had been taken. Meat for the men reached the camps in rather a novel way. "Paddy" Walker, who had a camp of his own to provide for, would drive a beast out to one of the camps in Greenock, there slaughter it, and divide up the meat with the other camps as he returned to his own in Kincardine, receiving remuneration enough to recoup him for his trouble. The various contracts above referred to were completed before winter set in, the total cost to the government for the same being £1,004, exclusive of what was paid toward opening a road through the town-plot of Penetan-gore, which, however, was not completed until 1856.

To enable settlers to reach the township of Elderslie, the survey of which was in progress that summer (1851), Mr. Jackson asked for tenders (July 14th, 1851) for the opening of what he termed the "Durham and Southampton Road," through the township of Brant. This line of road commenced at "Rosewell's Corners," on the north side of the Durham Road, between lots 15 and 16, thence along the side-line to the concession line between the fourth and fifth concessions, thence west to the front of concession "B," and along that, the present Elora Road, to the town-line of Elderslie. The work of chopping, logging and opening up was completed that same season. [The following are the names of those who had contracts for opening up this road. Commencing at the Durham Road: Joseph Bacon, George Briggs, Arch. Stewart, James Wilson, James Bacon, Hugh Young, Samuel T. Rowe and Simon Orchard. An explanation for the detour this road made in its way from the Durham to the Elora Roads is given in the chapter on "The Township of Brant."]

The work done in the way of opening up roads up to the end of 1851 throughout the county may be summed up by stating, that the Durham Road was cleared from the county-line, west to the lake, excepting a break extending from lot 1, Brant, to the Teeswater River, causewayed in all swampy places, and all streams spanned by substantial bridges, with similar work done on the road through Brant from the Durham Line to the boundary of Elderslie.

Prior to the opening of the above-mentioned roads all settlements made in the county were at points situated on its borders (excepting the case of Messrs. Orchard and Rowe, presently to be related) that were fairly accessible, as well as comparatively convenient to places from which supplies could be procured, such as Goderich and Durham, water carriage being obtained from the former by the lake, and from the latter by the Saugeen, which was utilized to float rafts bearing settlers and their effects as far as where Walkerton now stands.

[Regarding the navigation of the Saugeen, the following incidents may be noted : One adventuresome Irishman, named McMullen, who had resided on the Garafraxa Road, being desirous of living near Lake Huron, built at Durham, in October, 1849, a small scow, in which, with his wife, two small children and their few effects, he sailed down the river in safety to Southampton, and thence to the vicinity of Penetangore, where he settled. In 1851, a man living near Hanover, named Shupe, built a scow, and with the assistance of William Summers, sailed down the Saugeen to its mouth, and thence by lake to Goderich, where he purchased six or eight barrels of flour, with which he loaded his craft, and returned by the same route. Coming up the river was a laborious work, the rapids having to be surmounted by towing and poling; one man wading in the water with a rope over his shoulders, while the other assisted by pushing with a long pole.

The following item appeared in the columns of the Paisley Advocate, in its issue of April 28th, 1876, and vividly refers to this subject of the navigation of the Saugeen: "When the first steam sawmill, built in this county, was to be erected at Southampton, about twenty-five years ago, it became a question how the large boiler could be brought to its destination, as there was no road through the county. The boiler was conveyed to Hanover, if we remember rightly, and there left by the side of the Saugeen to wait the turning up of some genius who would invent some method of taking it further. It was at last decided to make an ironclad of it and float it down the river. All the openings were tightly plugged, and with levers and handspikes the huge boiler was started, rolling at a rapid rate down the steep bank into the deep river at the foot. The boiler, being very heavy, and going down with great force, it at once disappeared with a tremendous splash. The experiment was voted a failure at the very commencement, and the costly concern was supposed to be lost, but while the disappointed navigators looked on with blank faces where their craft had disappeared, it came slowly to the surface, raising its black shape high above the water. The boiler, which had started on its way north without waiting for any one to take command, was at once captured, and a dry cedar log lashed to each side, oars were rigged, and away went the strangest craft that ever navigated the Saugeen. The boiler was safely taken to Southampton, passing Paisley on the way down with a flag flying, and the heads of the great rivets showing like the scales of some huge sea monster. It was not unusual in those days for settlers to come down on rafts from far up the river, sometimes bringing their whole outfit on one crib. On one occasion, early in the morning, a commodious raft passed where this village now is. On one end was a cow with her calf ; on the other, along with considerable baggage, was a cooking stove, in which was a good fire, and while the enterprising settler was attending to the navigation of his vessel, the good wife was busy at the stove getting breakfast ready. The smoke, which streamed from the elevated pipe, gave the moving raft the appearance of a rustic steamer in motion."]

A notable extension of this means of travel occurred in April, 1851, when a settlement was made in the very heart of the county by Simon Orchard and his family. Arriving at Walkerton by way of the Durham Road, Mr. Orchard constructed a raft on which he placed his family and belongings. Shoving off, the raft, with its venturesome passengers, floated down the rapid stream, whose banks at that time were covered by a dense, unbroken forest. Night found them at the junction of the Saugeen and Teeswater Rivers. Here Mr. Orchard pitched his camp for the night. On examining the locality in the morning he was so well satisfied with it that he determined to locate there. Using the boards of his raft for building material he soon erected a temporary shanty. Mr. Vidal and his party of surveyors made their appearance on the spot a day or so afterwards, and with their kindly assistance a log building was put up. On May 9th, three weeks after Mr. Orchard's arrival, he was joined by his friend, S. T. Rowe. These two families formed the embryo settlement which later developed into the village of Paisley. This settlement in the centre of the county was not long without neighbors. David Lyons and Thomas Hembroff in the fall of 1851 took up lands at what afterward was known as Lockerby, some two miles distant from Paisley. They were not joined by their families, however, until the following spring.

On the withdrawal of the restriction regarding settlement on the "free grants" in Greenock in April, 1851, a number of settlers poured into that township, and speedily the last of the "free grants" that were at all desirable to settle upon were taken up. Among those who settled in Greenock at this time were: Adam Ritchie, sen., and his sons, John B., Sterling and William D., also Hans, Thomas and Samuel Hawthorne, Alexander, Samuel and William Cunningham, Henry, James, Robert, William and George Pinkerton. Settlers also located in Arran about the same time, the most prominent of whom was George Gould and Richard Berford, who took up farm lots afterwards surveyed into the villages of Invermay and Tara. About the same time several settlers squatted upon the unsurveyed lands in Carrick, near the boundary of Brant, The names of these were John Hogg, Andrew Hutton, Louis Fournier and Oliver Toronjeau.

When the determination of some would-be settler became fixed to go into the backwoods and take up a bush-farm in the county of Bruce, the question how to reach the eligible lands there opened for settlement was a most serious one. The completion of the two roads mentioned in a preceding paragraph, supplemented by similar work to be referred to hereafter, performed in 1852 and subsequently, solved the problem in a measure. The difficulties and hardships that individual settlers surmounted prior to the opening of these roads, have been outlined in various parts of this history. Those who settled in Kincardine and Huron Townships made use of the lake; in winter they entered the county by driving along its shore on the ice, or if they came during the season of navigation, they did so by sailing vessel. The two first settlers, Allan Cameron and William Withers, entered the county in this way, having been brought to the mouth of the Penetangore River by Capt. Murray MacGregor on his schooner, The Fly. Capt. MacGregor about this time was engaged largely in sailing to and from the Bruce Mines, but as opportunity offered carried many a settler and his belongings to Penetangore or Southampton. The first vessels to engage regularly in sailing from Goderich to county of Bruce ports date back to 1849, and were limited in that year to two small craft, one of which was a dug-out canoe, of unusual dimensions for that description of craft, commanded by Abraham Holmes (referred to in the chapter on the township of Huron). The other was a two-masted open sailboat, called the Wing and Wing, sailed by Capt. Soper. These two vessels were sufficient for all the traffic of that year. Many a settler in Bruce has kindly recollections of Capt. Duncan Rowan and of his estimable wife, who frequently sailed with him during his long career as a lake captain. In Chapter III. Capt. Rowan's early advent into Bruce is related. In 1850 he laid aside the woodman's axe to navigate the waters of Lake Huron. In that and the following year he had command of a small schooner called the Mary Ann. In the years 1852 to 1855 he sailed the Emily, leaving that vessel in 1856 to take charge of the Ploughboy, the first steamer to sail regularly on the route from Detroit and Windsor to Southampton. Another lake captain who as a man and as a sailor has the esteem of all who know him, is Capt. Murdoch McLeod. He commenced to engage in the trade along the lake about the same time as Capt. Rowan. Capt. McLeod's first vessel on this route was the Highlander, which he sailed in the years 1850-51. In 1852-53 he commanded the Waterwitch, and in 1854, and for several years after, the Mountaineer. William Rastall had a vessel built in the winter of 1851-52, at Kincardine, which bore the name of the Forest; Capt. John Murray was in charge of her until sold to Capt. John Spence in 1854, who during the two previous seasons had sailed the Sea Gull. Another vessel on this route in 1853-54 was the Fairy, commanded by Capt. Edward Marlton, of Goderich. Of these vessels, many were but open boats, in some cases not nearly as staunch as those in common use to-day by the fishermen on the lake. The names of the Various vessels engaged in the lake traffic and of their captains have been given in what may seem a somewhat detailed manner. As an excuse for this, the reader is asked to remember that hundreds of settlers found their way into the county of Bruce by their instrumentality. Of these, those who survive and read the foregoing will note with pleasure the name of the vessel and of the captain that brought them safely over the waters of Lake Huron to their destination; and they will recall the voyage and the novelty of a prolonged sail in a small, over-ladened craft, accentuated by incidents of danger, [1] for in those days there were no harbors of refuge or light-houses to guide or warn. Such early voyagers can recall the unpleasantness, especially to women and children, of being landed on the beach amid the breakers as they rolled in and broke in foam on the sandy shore, for pier or wharf existed not, and of how many an article of freight or of personal effects was wet and possibly ruined by water in being transferred from the vessel to land.

[1 The following episode, written by Mrs. John Reekie, late of Kincardine Township, details vividly the dangers and hardships referred to. After relating the particulars of the journey from Glengarry with her father (Archibald Sinclair, of Sinclair Corners, township of Bruce) and the rest of the family to Goderich, Mrs. Reekie goes on to say : " The only available transport for the rest of the journey was an open boat. In this we embarked after waiting a few days for favorable winds. There were eighteen passengers in all. We left port about 8 p.m. The night was dark and the lake rather rough. In about an hour or two the wind rose to such a gale that it was considered too great a risk to attempt to round Pine Point. The boat was accordingly headed for shore at a place called 18-Mile Creek—the only place where it was said a landing could be effected with safety. It was a perilous run, but it had to be made ; and as we went plunging through the foaming breakers the boldest held his breath, as it seemed that every plunge might be the last. When we struck the beach our little craft went to pieces, and it was with no little difficulty that the women and children were rescued. How thankful we were, though wet and dripping, to find ourselves once more on solid land. The night was bitterly cold, and there was no shelter nor habitation to be seen. Only a narrow beach, with high clay banks on one side and the raging waters on the other. The sailors told us that above the bank was a clearing, with a house about half a mile away. We climbed the bank, and after wandering around in the dark for a while we discovered what we took to be the house on the opposite side of a deep ravine. Down into this we went, crawled across the creek on a log, and up the other side. The occupants of the shanty lost no time in making us as comfortable as possible under the circumstances; two of the men being left to guard what was saved of the cargo and luggage on the beach. Some of the neighboring settlers, who learned of the disaster, kindly offered to relieve them, bidding them go and get shelter and rest, with the result that several articles of value disappeared in their absence. The next morning men, women and children started on foot to reach Kincardine, as there was nothing else to be done, there being nothing but a footpath. We made ten miles that day. There could not well be a more weary lot of children than we were when we arrived at Bellemore's tavern at Pine River that night, where we found accommodation so limited that we children, with the girls of the house, had to sleep on the straw in the barn, none too well covered for the cold night. Our party had not proceeded far along the shore next morning when we were met by a boat that had been despatched to our assistance by some of the men who had walked through to Kincardine the night before, in which we reached our destination, thankful to be done with travel either by land or water."]

In April, 1851, the control of the postal system of the province was transferred from the British to the Canadian Government; as a result there was an extension of postal privileges in which Bruce participated. That summer a post-office was established at Kincardine and another at Southampton. [This post-office at first, and until about 1890, was known as "Saugeen."] The postmasters of these two offices were David MacKendrick and Robert Reid, respectively. Prior to the establishment of these offices all mail matter for Bruce had to be obtained at either Goderich, Owen Sound or Bentinck (Durham). [The mail service to these three places at the time the first settlers came into Bruce was as follows; Goderich received a mail from London twice a week, conveyed by coach or horseback ; from Preston thrice a week, conveyed by coach. Bentinck received a mail from Guelph once a week, conveyed on horseback. Owen Sound received a mail from Guelph once a week, conveyed on horseback; from Barrie once a week, conveyed likewise.]

Parliament was dissolved November 6th, 1851. At the election which followed, the Hon. Wm. Cayley, who had previously represented Huron and Bruce, was defeated by the Hon. Malcolm Cameron, who, as a member of the Hincks-Morin Government, held the position of President of the Council.

Before passing on to narrate the incidents of the following year, attention might be drawn to two events relating to the town of Kincardine, where in 1851 the first school in the county was established, and the establishing in the same year of the first settled pastorate of any denomination in the county, that of the Rev. Thomas Crews, of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, whose congregation was organized with a membership of forty. Rev. Mr. Crews was in charge of the congregation at Kincardine for the years 1851-2.

The winter of 1851-52 was unusually severe; it was also noted by an excessive snowfall. The combination of these has caused its dark days to be well remembered by isolated settlers who had not laid in a large store of the necessities of life, as the difficulties of replenishing were under the circumstances almost insurmountable.

With the opening of the spring of 1852, five parties of surveyors were sent into the county by the government. Of these, one in charge of J. D. Daniels, P.L.S., was allotted the survey of the township of Carrick; to G. McPhilips, P.L.S., was allotted the survey of the township of Culross; to E. R. Jones, P.L.S., the survey of that part of the township of Kinloss not divided into farm lots by the early surveys of A. Wilkinson and A. P. Brough, referred to in Chapter II.; to C. Millar, P.L.S., was allotted the survey of the eastern part of the township of Bruce; and to Robt. Walsh, P.L.S., the residue of the township of Greenock.

The work of opening up the Owen Sound Post Road, as it was called, was busily prosecuted during the summer of 1852. The contracts for the same were let by A. McNabb, Crown Lands Agent. This road extended from Southampton to Owen Sound, via Burgoyne and Invermay. Part of the required work thereon was the construction of the first bridge erected over the Saugeen, north of Walkerton, [Mr. McNabb on leaving Toronto to assume his new duties at Southampton was supplied with $6,000 by the Government to be disbursed in the opening up of roads. On rendering a statement of contracts entered into, that for the bridge over the Saugeen was disallowed, the Crown Lands Department claiming it to be unauthorized, as the grant had been made for roads and roads only. Until this bit of red-tape could be got round the money to meet this obligation was raised on the joint personal note of Mr. McNabb and the Hon. Malcolm Cameron. (See also Appendix O.)] Thomas Lee [Thomas Lee filled the position of postmaster at Southampton from 1857 until his death, February 20th, 1901.] and Thomas Godfrey being the contractors.

The site was at Henry Boyles', lot 21, concession "A," Arran. The contract for opening this road through the township of Arran was secured by George Gould [George Gould's name is closely identified with Arran. He had been engaged in its survey, under Charles Rankin, and he was among the first to take up land in the township. He was the first postmaster of "Arran," now Invermay. He also filled the office of township clerk for several years, until he resigned in 1861 to assume the duties of county clerk.] for nearly the whole way. The author has only been able to surmise the reasons why this road was opened up years before the more direct one, which is known as the Northern Gravel Road, and which, as far as he has been able to find out, the government had engaged with the Indians to open when they made the surrender (in September, 1851) of the "Half-mile Strip." [In October, 1865, the Government paid into the hands of the treasurer of the United Counties the sum of $4,000, to be expended in the opening up of this road and to build Denny's bridge.] The following are the surmises offered: First, the funds at the disposal of the Crown Lands Department for the purposes of road-making being very limited compared to the demands thereon, every penny had to be prudently and economically spent, and as there was along the northern boundary of Arran a long stretch of swampy land through which it would be difficult and expensive to construct a road, very much more so than to open the road decided upon; and also, by starting the Owen Sound Road at Burgoyne, a point on the Elora Road, instead of at Southampton, the erection of one bridge over the Saugeen would answer both the roads, and so the cost of a second bridge be avoided. These considerations probably led to the road by the longer route being decided upon. And, as a further consideration, the opening of a road through the centre of the township of Arran instead of along its northern boundary, would expedite its early settlement, as well as being a convenience to a larger number of settlers, although, be it remembered, [See Appendix I.] the Indian Department were offering for sale the lots on the Half-mile Strip at the same time.

Up to the time under consideration no road had been constructed which permitted communication between the townships in the north and those in the south excepting that through Brant, mentioned in a previous paragraph, and this only to the extent of about nine miles. To remedy this, Simon Orchard undertook (November, 1851), on payment of £12 10s., to open up "a sleigh track" from the vicinity of Paisley as far as Lachlan ("Lochbuie") McLean's tavern, standing where is now the village of Port Elgin; from there the beach afforded a road to Southampton. [It is said that after Orchard got through to his objective point that on returning, he could not find his way back over the supposed track that he had made, and had to come back through the woods by another path. Said, no doubt, in fun to illustrate how difficult it was to find the track.]

The expression just used, "a sleigh track," recalls the primitive conveyances used in those early days throughout the county. Summer or winter the only conveyance the early settler used was' a sleigh, alike in winter's snow or summer's mud. A waggon would have been bumped or racked to pieces among the stumps and trees, or have sunk inextricably into unknown depths of muck or mud in the tracks cut through the woods, or possibly only cleared of underbrush, which did duty for roads, these being utterly devoid of every requisite that is considered necessary in a good road. The sleighs were the handiwork of the settler alone. Rough looking though we might call one of them, he no doubt looked with pride upon it. The runners and frame-work he had hewed with much labor out of suitable wood, selected on account of possessing the requisite curve, and had put it together with wooden pins and wedges, his only tools an auger and an axe. With such a primitive conveyance, which always had an axe stuck in a slot in the side bar, drawn by a yoke of oxen, he could travel through the bush with no fears of "a break down." The "jumper" also was much in use, especially in summer, on account of its lightness. It was even more primitive in its construction than the sleigh already described, as its runners were made from ash saplings, which had been flattened a short distance from one of the ends so as to be readily bent into the shape of a runner, The "jumper" frequently lacked a pole, this to enable it readily to twist about trees and stumps.

Of the many disadvantages endured by the early settlers, that of being compelled to go long distances to have their grain ground into flour was one of the most serious. The mills at Goderich and Port Albert in the early "fifties" ground many a bushel of wheat grown in Bruce, access being readily had by means of the lake to these 'distant mills. Those living in the rear of the county had to take their grain to Bentinck or Inglis' Falls for a similar purpose. As a makeshift, hand-mills were sometimes used. One of these, in the possession of Angus H. McKay, of Tiverton, is in a good state of preservation; being a curiosity in these days of roller mills, a description of it may not be amiss. This mill was brought from the county of Oxford by Hector McKay (of lot 1, con. 10, tp. Kincardine), father of the present owner, when he took up his land. An examination of the two stones that compose the mill leads one to suppose that the nether stone was originally intended for a grind-stone, but not possessing the required "grit," was adapted to a mill-stone. The upper stone is of limestone, which has been shaped so as to fit the lower one. . The stones and the principle of this hand-mill are a copy of the large ones of a grist-mill, excepting that instead of regular grooves being cut on the face of the stones they have been simply roughened and indented. The upper stone shows a socket used for the insertion of a handle. The present owner relates how, after the evening meal had been disposed of, the mill would be placed on the table; one end of the handle, which was a long one, would be inserted in the socket in the stone and the other adjusted to a socket in a beam overhead, and then the mill would be run by the boys, grinding the porridge-meal for next day; or perhaps it would be used by some of the neighbors, who had brought over some grain to grind.

Major Wm. Daniel, of the Durham Line, Kincardine Township, describes the difficulties of the settlers in regard to getting their grain ground as follows: "Our only mill was an old spice-mill owned by Jacob Latschaw, driven by hand. I took half a bushel of corn there once to grind, but the work was so slow and hard that I did not attempt it a second time. We could not send a team with a grist to the mill in summer because the roads were so bad, consequently we had to wait until winter to have gristing done. Sometimes the snow was deep and the track but little better than a footpath, for settlers and teams were but few through Greenock. Consequently one beast only could utilize the single track to advantage, and in order to do this we would drive an ox single by taking a short piece of timber, cut a notch in the centre to set on its neck; into this single yoke was inserted the bow; then by a trace-chain or rope fastened to each end of the yoke we could hitch it to a light narrow 'jumper,' that would bear two or three bags of wheat. A number of us would start together, for company's sake, forming a sort of caravan of these single ox sleighs."

Disadvantages such as those referred to in the two preceding paragraphs called for redress. George Jackson, who had ever the interests of the settlers at heart, appreciating to the full the need of a gristmill in the western part of the county especially, issued notices in the summer of 1850, calling a meeting of the settlers at Penetangore. This meeting, held opposite William Rastall's store, appointed as chairman Mr. C. R. Barker, while Joseph Barker, his brother, acted as secretary. A hundred settlers or more were present. The topic discussed was the securing of a mill-site and the erection of a mill, Mr. Jackson being the principal speaker. What results were achieved by this meeting the writer has not been able to find out. Municipal aid was granted toward the erection of a grist-mill somewhat later than this, as we find that in the levy of 1853 there appears the sum of £38 for a "mill-site." This was the first municipal bonus granted in Bruce to encourage any industry, and the author regrets that fuller particulars are not available. It was early in 1852 when William Sutton built a small log building for a mill at Kincardine (in the hollow that still bears his name), in which he placed the necessary machinery for milling purposes, and started that summer the first grist-mill in the county. The next grist-mill to be operated was that at Walkerton, erected by Joseph Walker, which was started in November, 1853. In the following year the Rev. Wm. Fraser built a mill at Lome. These three mills were sufficient at first to supply the requirements of the southern part of the county. The northern townships had to wait for equal privileges until 1855, when Shantz's mill [So great was the run upon Shantz's mill that settlers had to wait over a month for their grists, although the mill was kept running night and day. One of the millers, a German, in order to gain on the arrears of work, determined to run on Sunday ; but good old Deacon Sinclair used to tell with a chuckle how the mill showed its moral superiority over the miller by stopping punctually at 12 o'clock on Saturday night. Soft wheat had formed a dough and stopped the stones.] at Mill Creek, Saugeen, was in operation. Wm. Reekie in 1855 built a grist-mill at Armow, which place was then known as "Reekie's Mills." Valentine's Mill at Paisley was running in the same year, and the one at Lockerby shortly after. At Inver-may, Luke Gardiner commenced to run a grist-mill in 1857. Other mills on the Teeswater River were also in operation prior to the last given date at Pinkerton and elsewhere.

The prevailing rule that marked the settlement of the county of Bruce was that, in respect to nationality, previous occupations, and other characteristics, the original settlers of the county were fairly mixed up. Men Canadian born took up land alongside of other nationalities; experienced backwoodsmen settled alongside of those that were town-bred; men who had been merchants, or who had followed some profession, settled beside trained farmers. This aggregation was to the good of all, and the succeeding generation has manifested its benefits in the energy and intelligence they possess. But in September, 1852, a marked exception to this practice took place, when what was known as the "Lewis Settlement" was made in the centre of Huron Township. This settlement comprised 109 families, all from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Coming into the backwoods ignorant of the country, of the requirements of pioneer life, and also of farming, for the majority of the men were by occupation fishermen or shepherds, and handicapped by being able only to speak Gaelic, these settlers were placed at a marked disadvantage, which it took a number of years to overcome, as it ultimately was. The surveyors were hardly out of the township of Carrick (1853) before settlers began to pour in. Of these a very large percentage were of German origin, who formed a second group within the county of people of one nationality. These settlers possessed the advantage of being practical farmers; the majority having come from the county of Waterloo, were accustomed to Canadian ways of farming. Many of them were possessed of means; this, combined with the natural industry and economical habits characteristic of their nationality, enabled them from the first to do well. Possessed of such advantages, these German settlers forged ahead and founded one of the most progressive settlements made throughout the whole county.

The government, on July 30th, 1852, made a change in the price charged for farm lands in the county of Bruce that was very acceptable to settlers. The price for school lands was at the first 12s. 6d. and Crown lands 10s. per acre. At the date given the price was reduced to 10s. and 7s. 6d. per acre respectively. This reduction in price is said to have been made at the instance of the Hon. Malcolm Cameron, the newly elected member for the constituency in which Bruce lay. [See Appendix J.] On the same date the government offered for settlement and sale all the school lands in the county. [See Appendix J.]

The census of the province, taken in 1852, [The particulars of this census are to be found in Appendix L. ] shows that all the townships within the county had received a number of settlers with the exception of the townships of Carrick and Culross. With the increase of population the government established a mail route from Durham, extending west as far as Kincardine. On this route two post-offices in Bruce were established, [The first post-office established in the county of Bruce, in nearly every case, bore the name of the township in which they were located. Thus, the settlers in the township of Brant obtained their mail at " Brant P.O.," and in like manner those in Greenock at "Greenock P.O." t The same rule applying to Kinloss, Kincardine, Bruce, Saugeen and Arran, where the first post-office established bore the name of the township. The townships of Elderslie and Huron are the only exceptions to the rule among the townships settled prior to 1853.] bearing the names of "Brant" and "Greenock." John Shennan received the appointment of postmaster at Brant, a name retained until September 23rd, 1857, when the name of Walkerton was given to it. The name of Greenock is still borne by the post-office, although the village is known as Enniskillen. The officer who received the position of postmaster there was J. B. Ritchie. [Mr. J. B. Ritchie supplies the following particulars regarding the Greenock post-office. After stating that he held the office of postmaster for sixteen years from the establishment of the office, he goes on to say: "Cowan Keys (of Huron Township) was the first mail-carrier. His route was from Durham to Kincardine, a distance of 45 miles, which he traversed on foot once a week, each way. There were no horses here in those days, and even if there had been, it would have been utterly impracticable for them to get along the road, owing to its being so rough. The mail was contained in a small bag, like a schoolboy's satchel, hung by straps over the carrier's shoulders. How glad the settlers were to see the mail-carrier coming, bringing news from friends, wives and sweethearts ; it made the saying true, " Absence makes the heart grow weary." Cowan brought the first mail to Greenock post-office on October 9th, 1852, and continued the weekly routine for a year or so, when the route was divided, after which Cowan brought the mail from Kincardine as far only as Greenock. There he was met by old Mr. Hunter, of Durham, with the mail of his route. Matters went on in this way for some years, until, finally, the mail was made a daily one to and from Walkerton and Kincardine."]

In closing the narrative of the events of the year 1852, it may be noted that it marked the completion of the survey of the residue of Crown lands in the county into farm lots; the last survey consisted of that part of the township of Greenock not included in the Durham Line" free grants."

Previous to the organization of the Bureau of Agriculture in 1852, the annual grants made by Parliament for roads and bridges in Canada were expended under the direction of the Crown Lands Department. On September 14th, 1853, the Minister of Agriculture submitted to the Governor-in-Council a scheme, which was adopted, recommending the opening of two roads which affected the county of Bruce. The construction of these roads was entrusted to the supervision of David Gibson, P.L.S., of whom a government report speaks as "a surveyor and civil engineer of high standing and long experience in forest surveys and in the construction of roads and bridges and other public works, which he has brought to bear most favorably in the performance of the duties devolved upon him." [David Gibson took an active part in the Rebellion of 1837. As one of its' leaders be was indicted for high treason. In the Provisional Government set up by William Lyon Mackenzie at Navy Island, Mr. Gibson held the position of comptroller.] The appointment of Mr. Gibson as Superintendent of Colonization Roads bears date of September 14th, 1853. He is here referred to at length, as his connection with the county of Bruce, in the opening of government roads extended over a period of eight or ten years. As chief assistant Mr. Gibson had Wm. Lyons, P.L.S.

The scheme referred to in the preceding paragraph, which proposed the making of the two roads known as (1) the Elora and (2) the Woolwich and Huron (or "Wawanosh") Roads, was supplemented and enlarged as follows: (3) The completion of the Durham Road across Greenock and Kincardine to the village of Penetangore, chiefly cross-logging the swamps and reducing inequalities of the surface; (4) a road connecting the Elora and Sydenham Roads along the town-line between Elderslie and Brant and eastward in Grey, thirty miles in all; (5) a road in Co. Wellington with same object as (4); (6) a road along the southerly boundary of the townships of Carrick, Culross and Kinloss, uniting the Elora and Wawanosh Roads; (7) a road in Co. Wellington with the same object as (6); (8) a road south from Lucknow to the lands of the Canada Company; (9) a road between the townships of Carrick and Culross and southward a total distance of twenty miles; (10) a road connecting Southampton and Sydenham, north of Derby and Arran (about fourteen and a half miles of this road were previously opened. by Mr. A. McNabb, leaving seven miles to be made); (11) a good winter road from Southampton to Goderich along such a route as may be most useful and practicable, forty-five miles. [Probably this "Lake Shore Road" was included in response to a petition of the County Council, made in January, 1853.]

Mr. Gibson seems to have let the contracts for making a number of the foregoing roads without loss of time, and good progress was made in their construction, as may be noted in the footnote 1 referring thereto.

To provide for the payment of such extensive works as the foregoing comprehensive scheme of roads indicate, the government was authorized by Parliament (see footnote 2) to reserve from the proceeds of sales of School and Crown lands in any county a percentage, which was to be used to form a fund for public improvements within the county.

[Footnote 1 Extracts from report made to Parliament, dated 30th September, 1854, re Colonization Roads, by the Department of Agriculture (the figures here given in the margin correspond with those in the scheme as proposed):

"(1) He [Mr. Gibson] has surveyed the line for the Elora and Southampton Road, which is now all under contract, and will be opened and fit for travel 1st January next.

"(2) The Woolwich-Huron Road is also let and will be passable by the same time.

"(3) The improvements required to complete the Durham Road are in progress, and will also be finished by the New Year, with the exception of that portion which lies in the town-plot of Penetangore, which is not required at present, as there is a parallel road already opened at a short distance to the north." [This, no doubt, refers to the road opened by William Sutton through his property.]

"(4 and 10) These roads will also then be completed.

"(11) Road from Southampton to Goderich. Mr. Gibson has let the opening of this road across the townships of Saugeen, Bruce, Kincardine, Huron and part of Ash field, to meet the road formerly cut by the Government under the superintendency of Wm. Hawkins, P.L.S. It is to be made a good winter road by bridging the streams, crosswaying the swamps and cutting out and removing the fallen timber and underwood less than 8 inches in diameter at chopping height, from a space in the middle of the road allowance 44 feet in breadth, leaving the heavy growing timber for the present.

"These new roads to be opened by January, 1855. The sum of £2,000 was placed to Mr. Gibson's credit, of which, on September 1st, 1854, he had paid out £1,492 1/6. Some of the payments were as follows : For work in Carrick, to Joseph Bacon, £330. For work in Brant to S. Orchard, £9 4/2, and to Wm. Johnston. £50. For work in Elderslie, to J. Lundv, £50. To S. T. Rowe, £50. To D. Currie, £12 10/. To P. J. Benson, £150. For work in Saugeen, William Cunningham, £25. To D. McNeill, £15. To J. Campbell. £70. For work on Durham Road, to E. Stauffer, £25. To M. McLeod, £20."]

[Footnote 2 Extract from "Public Lands Act," 16 Vic, Chap. 159, Section 14. Assented to June 14th, 1853 : "It shall be lawful for the Governor-in-Coun-cil to reserve out of the proceeds of the School Lands in any county a sum not exceeding one-fourth of such proceeds, as a fund for public improvements within the county, to be expended under the direction of the Governor-in-Oouncil. And also to reserve out of the proceeds of unappropriated Crown Lands in any county a sum not exceeding one-fifth, as a fund for public improvements within the county as above." To be expended under conditions to above : " Provided always, that not exceeding 6% on the amount collected, including surveys, shall be charged for sale and management of lands forming the Common School Fund, arising out of the 1,000,000 acres of land set apart in the Huron Tract." (See also Appendix O.)

Among the incidents of 1853 to be noted is the commencement of the settlement of the township of Carrick. Among the first to settle there, subsequent to those previously mentioned, who had squatted on unsurveyed lands in 1851, were Robert Young, Joseph Grey, Thomas Liscoe, James and Andrew Dunbar, who took up land on the Elora Road in the vicinity of Mildmay in November of 1853, while Peter Emal and a few others of German extraction settled in the vicinity of Deemerton about the same time. It was in this year, also, that the original boundaries of Arran were enlarged by the addition of the "Half-mile strip," made by proclamation December 3rd, 1853. The lots in this "strip" were offered for sale nearly a year and a half previous (see Appendix I), the agent for the sale being John McLean at Guelph.

Two post-offices were opened in Arran this year—"Arran," now Invermay, and "West Arran," now Burgoyne. The township of Bruce also was fortunate in having a post-office established bearing the name of "Bruce," and was situated at what became known as Sinclair's Corners, Peter Sinclair being the first postmaster. Huron Township was similarly favored; "Pine River" post-office was opened this year with J. W. Gamble as first postmaster.

The first port of Customs within the county was established in 1853, the honor coming to Southampton, which was known as the Port of Saugeen, Mr. J. McLean being the first revenue officer, who was succeeded by W. Keith.

The "Big" Land Sale, as it is commonly called, at which the residue of Crown and school lands in the county were offered for sale (see Appendix K for copy of advertisement), was the great event in the county during the year 1854. The date of this sale was September 27th. The lands then offered for sale had been surveyed into farm lots in some cases for several years, and in many cases had been squatted upon by enterprising pioneers. To make good their claim as squatters and retain their rights to the land settled upon it was necessary to have their names entered as purchasers, make a first payment, and obtain a license of occupation. On the day named in the advertisement these settlers and other intending purchasers appeared at Southampton two or three thousand strong. Those who are alive and tell of the crowd and excitement of the week or more they remained in the village relate many amusing incidents.

The limited accommodation of the village could not begin to give house room to the throng, and hundreds slept in sheds, others under the first stories of such buildings as stood on posts, and many had to put up with such resting-places as could be found among the cedar and juniper bushes near the beach. The sole baker in the village was Hugh McLaren, sen. (now of Port Elgin). The demand on him for bread was so great that he had to work night and day; at the same time his shop door was kept closed so as to keep an unmanageable crowd out, but as soon as a baking was completed, loaves were handed out through a window to his hungry customers, whose struggles to secure some of the baking was so great that no time to make change was allowed, and a "York shilling," or a "quarter," as the case might be, was paid gladly by those of the mob who were fortunate enough to get to the window ere the supply of loaves, hot and steaming from the oven, was exhausted. Among the many gathered at Southampton were a large number of Highland Scotchmen, many of whom spoke English imperfectly. In some way, not clearly made known to the writer, a temporary race feud became manifest. One evening, when whiskey was flowing freely, and after several fights had started between the Highlanders and others, one fiery Celt mounted a stump and shouted in his mother tongue, "Anyone who cannot speak the Gaelic, hit him." The natural clannish feeling of the Highlanders drew them together and bound by a common language they presented such a solid front that many that night who had never been known to utter a word of Gaelic were only too glad to use any smattering of it they may have heard and. remembered, and so escape a thrashing.

The following extract from J. M. McNabb's paper on the history of the county throws further light on this exciting sale: "The Crown Lands Agent stood at the window of his office and the money was handed up to him. So quickly did the bank bills roll in that he did not have time to count them, but threw them into a large clothes basket, and when the basket was full put a cloth over it. In two days upwards of $50,000 in cash was thus taken in and $8,000 in drafts. The strain on the agent was so great after some days that he was completely prostrated, and Doctor Haynes would not allow him to do any more business for a week or so. In fact, if he had not taken the physician's advice his life would have been in danger. It may be added that two gentlemen volunteered to assist the agent, but they also succumbed to the strain and gave up."

Why the government should have so long delayed opening up for sale the lands referred to in the foregoing paragraphs it is now hard to say; most probably it was departmental inertia, from which it was roused by a motion passed at the June session of the Counties Council to the following effect: "That as there are now a great number of settlers located within the several townships of Greenock, Culross, Carrick, Bruce and Kinloss in the county of Bruce, and many of these are laboring under the greatest disadvantages for the want of roads, etc., in consequence of the lands within the said townships not being opened for sale by the government, thus depriving the settlers therein from any chance of receiving any benefit from the reserve fund of 2s. 6d. per acre, intended for opening roads, and also as many of the settlers who have squatted upon the lands within the said townships are endeavoring by unjust means to obtain and hold possession of more land than is allowed by the recent Land Act to each settler, and thus preventing many other good and active settlers from obtaining land, and so materially retarding the progress and improvement of the said townships and the wealth and influence of these united counties, that the warden be instructed by this Council to represent the matter to the Govern-nor-in-Council and petition him to have the lands within the said townships opened for sale at the earliest possible period."

If the chief event in Bruce in the year 1854 was the "Big" Land Sale, hardly second to it was the surrender by the Indians of their lands in the peninsula, the details of which transaction are given in Chapter I. of this book. Coupled in importance with this was the division of the county in this year into six separate municipalities, referred to in the previous chapter.

A general election was held in the summer of 1854, resulting in the return as member of Parliament for Huron and Bruce of the Hon. William Cayley, who defeated Thomas McQueen, editor of The Huron Signal, a man who through his newspaper exerted a great influence in many parts of the county. [1]

The years 1854 and 1855 were marked by a widespread prosperity throughout Canada, in which the county of Bruce shared to some extent. Several causes lay at the bottom of the prevailing good times. Railway construction was proceeding extensively, involving the outlay of immense sums of money to the contractors, but ultimately to be diffused throughout the length and breadth of the country. Then the American Reciprocity Treaty came into operation March 16th, 1855, opening up new channels for our commerce. In addition to the foregoing, all kinds of farm products advanced materially in price during these years, [Wheat was sold in 1853 on the Toronto market at 4s. (80c.) per bushel, advancing in 1854 to 9s. 8d. ($1.94), and in 1855 to 11s. 9d. ($2.35), a price never attained since.] owing to the Crimean War. This flood of prosperity to the country, while it brought some brightness into the hard lot of the backwoods settler, interfered with the carrying out of contracts with the government which some of them had taken, to open up or improve roads. Mr. David Gibson, in his report anent colonization roads in this district, says: "Little progress had been made in 1854 owing to the scarcity and high prices of labor and provisions, succeeding a time, when the contracts were made, of moderation in both. The difficulties of the contractors increased in 1855, during which labor and the necessities of life attained prices quite unprecedented in this section of country. Some of the contractors found themselves compelled to suspend operations and relinquish their contracts." Further on in his report of work accomplished during 1855, Mr. Gibson says: "That the Elora and Saugeen Road may now be travelled between these places, and that with few exceptions the whole works originally intended to be executed upon it are now completed. But to make this a good summer road a considerable expenditure will yet be necessary in levelling, cross-waying and draining." Of the Durham Road, Mr. Gibson says in the same report: "All contracts finished, except that in town-plot of Kincardine, where the excavation of a hill and some bridging remain to be finished." Of the Southampton and Goderich Road: "This road is now open for travel over its whole extent, except a portion of the contract of Cowan Keys in Huron. This obstruction is, however, obviated by a small portion of the Wawanosh Road adjoining the lake being opened, by which the public get to the lake shore which it follows to Kincardine. There is also an obstruction at the point where the line crosses the river Penetangore, over which a bridge has not yet been built." In a foot-note []1 is to be found the expenditure on colonization roads affecting the county of Bruce up to December 31st, 1855.

The above extracts from Mr. Gibson's report give a more flattering account of what the roads in Bruce were like than would be concurred in by the general public of that day. The author remembers a remark he heard in the fall of 1856 regarding the Durham Road, "There is only one mud-hole on the road, but it extends from Walkerton to Kincardine."

The United Counties Council of 1855 were determined to have good roads, and here are given extracts from the minutes of each session held that year. Some of the expressions used exhibited a breezy freshness unusual in County Council proceedings, and all show a determination to agitate until what was wanted was obtained. They also cast a light upon the difficulties undergone in going to and from market, owing to the state the roads were in even as late as that year, and indeed for long after.

Item 53, January session, reads: "This Council cannot refrain from expressing regret that the road from Goderich to Saugeen is yet impassable even for sleighs, although a grant of two thousand pounds was given by government."

Item 51, June session, reads: "That this Council is led to believe that Mr. Gibson is only authorized to cut the underwood and make a sleigh track on the mail line of road between Saugeen and Goderich, making no provision for the opening up of the road to the full width. That a petition be sent to the Bureau of Agriculture, praying that it may be chopped this season to full width, so that the track may be kept dry and not form one vast mud-hole, or at least allow the stumps and roots to rot in order that said road may at some future time be turnpiked."

At the December session a special committee was appointed to report on a scheme for gravel roads for the united counties, in which Bruce was to benefit by a gravel road from Goderich to Saugeen, and another from Kincardine to Hanover. The following is an extract from the committee's report:

"We only ask the public to look into the counties of Perth and Middlesex and ask their neighbors how they like their gravel roads, as a speculation how do they find them pay? What do they think of the counties of Huron and Bruce for allowing themselves to continue enveloped in mud, literally locked up for three months in the year, unable to proceed with their legitimate vocations and urgent business by the deplorable state of the so-called roads! What a cruel mockery to call such sloughs roads! The mere idea of them and what we have suffered in them during past months and years makes our blood run cold. How long are we to suffer such a state of things, how long allow a cloak of apathy, a narrow-minded and selfish policy, to chain us in the mud? Hard indeed would it be to suffer such and not have power to improve our state. Still harder is it to have to endure such grievances and know and feel that nothing save a well-directed, thoroughly-understood action is required to place us in a state of comparative comfort, and in a position to hold up our head amongst neighboring counties, free from the foul imputation of being styled 'Mud Turtles.'"

The foregoing report, in as far as the county of Huron was concerned, resulted in a system of gravel roads, but the proposal for the gravelling of roads in Bruce was allowed to fall through.

It was in 1855 that the first Division Court within the county was established. Its limits were co-extensive with all the municipalities therein. Christopher B. Barker held the office of clerk of this court, his office being at Kincardine. Before the erecting of other Division Courts in the county an immense amount of business came before it, as many as seven hundred cases being heard at one sitting, which would be extended so as to occupy three days. The holding of the court broke in upon the sameness of life in the bush, and numbers used to be found in attendance whose only reason for being present arose from the craving for a break in the monotony, for some excitement, mild though it may seem, the craving being the result of living the isolated life of a backwoodsman. The most numerous cases in the early courts were suits entered for the collections of promissory notes given in payment for the "Brockville Air-tight Cooking Stove." This was the first of many articles which large numbers of the farmers of Bruce had been induced to purchase, and gave their notes for, under the specious arguments of travelling agents and under the promise of long credit. These stove men were followed in later years by agents for fanning mills, sewing machines, organs, agricultural implements, etc., down to the present day, in a procession that seems to have no end.

The advent of the cooking stove, just referred to, into the log-shanties, marked an advance in prosperity. The settler purchased one because he felt that he was getting on his feet financially, and therefore he would lighten the good wife's labors, and at the same time add to the comfort of their home. Previously the household cooking equipment consisted of a much-used frying pan, a cast-iron pot with legs, a tea kettle and a bake kettle, called by some a Dutch oven. This latter not being a familiar article to the present generation, its appearance and uses may as well be described. In shape it was a shallow, flat-bottomed pot, ten to fourteen inches in diameter, standing about five to six inches high; the lid, like the body of the pot, was of cast-iron, and fitted closely. In this vessel meat, bread, or anything else that now would be cooked in an oven, was placed; the lid was then set on and covered over with hot ashes and coals, the heat having to be calculated with judicious care, despite which the food would often be burnt. All cooking was done at the open fire-place; the fire on the hearth not only did the cooking, but furnished all the heat, and in many a shanty all the light they could afford.

On July 1st, 1856, the law regarding the election of members to the Legislative Council of Canada came into force; prior to that date the government appointed the members of the Upper Chamber. The new law directed that they be elected and retain office for a term of eight years. Twelve districts were contested in the fall of 1856, one of these being the Saugeen District, which consisted of the counties of Bruce, Grey and the north part of Simcoe. The candidates were Messrs. James Patton, John McMurrich and James Beatty, the former of whom was elected after an exciting contest.

The government, in addition to the expenditure made for colonization roads in Bruce in 1855-6, commenced to spend money on various harbors along the lake shore. [The Commissioner of Public Works, in his report made in 1855, says regarding Lake Huron: "Along the entire side of the Canada coast of this vast lake the mariner is wholly unaided by either lights or bouys, with the exception of the solitary light at Goderich." The report goes on to recommend that lights be placed at Chantry Island, White Fish Island, and the Isle of Coves. Also that a pier 500 feet in length be constructed at Chantry Island.]

It was in the former of these years that Kincardine received its first help from the government toward its harbor. A breakwater was constructed at a point 150 yards north-west of the end of the present pier; this breakwater was, however, washed away a few months afterwards in a severe storm; its remains are yet to be traced on the bed of the lake at the spot mentioned above. Encouraged possibly by the hope of harbors of safety and the promise of light-houses at Pine Point and Chantry Island, the lake ports in 1856, and from that time onwards until the opening of the W. G. & B. Railway, were served by steamboats, the Ploughboy being the first. She ran between Detroit and Southampton, and was commanded by Captain Duncan Rowan. The wharf accommodation along the coast was very meagre, there being only two in the county, one at Southampton and the other at Stoney Island, while at Kincardine there was none. Prom the latter port a large scow used to be rowed out to the steamer if the weather were fine to take off freight and passengers; if it were at all rough, they were landed at Stoney Island, to the great indignation of the Kincardine people, who openly charged Captain Rowan with being too partial to Stoney Island because of his property there.

The survey of the peninsula was in progress during the years 1855-6, being conducted in Amabel and Albemarle by Geo. Gould, for Chas. Rankin, P.L.S., and in the three northern townships by J. S. Dennis, P.L.S., and H. C. Boulton, P.L.S. The Indian Department offered for sale at auction at Owen Sound, on September 2nd, 1856, those lands lying in Amabel, Albemarle and in Southampton north of the river. Prices then paid for the village lots were in some instances so high that on second thought the purchasers forfeited their deposit. Many speculators purchased quantities of farm lands, as there was no immediate settlement clause in the conditions of sale; this tended to retard immediate settlement of this part of the county. The year 1856 marked the close of the settlement of that part of the county of Bruce as originally laid out, that is, of all of the county south of the township of Amabel. True, the Greenock swamp was still held by the Crown, and maybe a few undesirable farm lots elsewhere, but with this year land-seekers had to search for land in the Indian peninsula or elsewhere outside of the county. The peninsula is not even yet all taken up, and owing to the rocky nature of large sections of it, it will be many years before this is accomplished, although it may eventually be done by selling these unarable lands in blocks to be made use of as sheep farms.

Before closing that part of this history relating to the settlement of the county of Bruce, it is but fitting to write a few words regarding other things than the mere incidents of settlement and development. At length the time came when it could be said that the county was settled, that the land was all taken up, but the question naturally arises, Prom whence came these thousands of settlers, thrown together as neighbors and fellow-citizens? How have they been fitted by previous training for the work of opening up the bush, so that it may be made to feel the throb of civilization? In an earlier part of this chapter an effort was made to show that, with two exceptions, the settlement of the county was about as mixed as it could well be. The census taken in 1861 gives a reliable basis on which to form an opinion as to the place of birth and of the religious denomination of these early settlers. The five years intervening between the close of this chapter and the taking of the census witnessed, it is true, an increase in population within the county, but no material change in the character of its inhabitants. Prom the census of 1861 we glean the following statistics as to place of birth of the people: Of Canadian birth, 59 per cent. (of course this included many young children born in the county); of Scotch birth, 19 per cent.; of Irish, 11 per cent.; of English, 5 per cent.; of German, 4 per cent.; from the United States, 1 per cent., and all others, 1 per cent. In their religious tendencies, 44 per cent. were Presbyterians, 18 per cent. belonged to the Church of England, 16 per cent. were Methodists, 12 per cent. Catholics, 4 per cent. Baptists, and 2 per cent. were Lutherans, while there were 4 per cent. scattered among a number of other denominations. Of these settlers a marked characteristic was that so many were young couples commencing life together in the bush. It was youth that was needed to face and endure the hardships of those early days, falling to the lot of both husband and wife, and with brave hearts the youth of the country responded and sought out and made homes for themselves in the backwoods.

Probably the most marked characteristic of these early settlers was the whole-hearted hospitality to be met with in every locality. The names of some households are still spoken of by "the old timers" as standing out pre-eminently for the many instances of help rendered, often at the cost of self-privation and inconvenience suffered. Not a township but could give the names of such, and the author feels diffident about mentioning any, for many others, equally worthy, would be certain to be overlooked. Where all were poor it was felt that mutual assistance, when possible, must be rendered, so the meagre supplies of the necessities of life were cheerfully shared, implements were loaned, day labor was exchanged, and logging-bees, raising-bees, etc., were exceedingly common; hired help could not be obtained even if the money to pay for it were available, which it was not, so mutual co-operation was forced upon these backwoodsmen, even if the natural good-heartedness which prompted to helpfulness did not exist.

The dwellings of the settlers were largely of two classes. There was the low, flat-roofed shanty, covered with "scoops," or bark, with its "notch and saddle" corners and single-pane windows, the chinks between its bark-covered logs being filled with cedar splints and clay; its one door, a home-made one, had ever the latch-string hanging outside in a hospitably inviting manner. Then there were the more pretentious and larger one storey and attic buildings, of hewed logs and shingled roof, with square, "dove-tailed" corners, which have not yet entirely disappeared, but are still to be seen on all of our concession lines. These latter buildings were warm and far from uncomfortable. The windows were of a fair size, there was a back as well as a front door; while partitions divided the interior into several rooms. Whatever there was in the way of a barn or stable was very primitive; the winter's wind could blow through the chinks between its. logs, and any cattle therein had but little shelter. But few cattle had even this pretence for shelter; they had to live during the winter in the bush on the browse provided by the tender twigs of trees, felled by their owners for that purpose. One feature marked the outside of each house, and that was a grind-stone, used for sharpening the axe. This was roughly rigged up alongside the house, and if you happened along when the good-man was not in the hush, you would see the axe leaning against it. Not far off was a plough, strongly mads so as to be able to tear up the roots lying buried in the newly cleared land. Beside it was the harrow, [The top of a small tree, called a "brush-harrow," was in use to cover turnip and other small seeds.] or "drag," as it was sometimes called, made from the crotch of a tree, looking like a huge letter "V"; its teeth had been forged by the nearest blacksmith, who also had hammered out the heavy hoe that leaned against the house, marie heavy enough to cut the small roots of the stumps around which the expected winter's supply of potatoes had been planted. And what potatoes grew in that black mould! and how sweet they did taste with salt and butter, even though the latter did often have a flavor of leeks, which were common enough in the woods where the cows sought pasture.

One of the most marked changes to be noticed betwixt the farm of the present day and that of the period of which this chapter relates is the complete revolution which has taken place in regard to the beasts of burden on the farm. At the time the bush was opened up the slow, patient and enduring ox was of far more service than the more delicately organized horse could have been. This fact was recognized to such an extent that a team of horses in the possession of a farmer during the days of the early settlement was almost unknown. When the author arrived at Kincardine in 1856 there were only three teams of horses in the village, and he cannot recall any farmer in the vicinity who at that date owned, or worked, a team of horses.

The pioneer who takes up prairie land in the far West is enabled to obtain a harvest, in return for his labor, during the very first year of his settlement. Very different was the lot of those who took up a bush farm in the heavy timbered land of the county of Bruce. The process of clearing was a slow one; to chop, log and burn five or six acres was a fair season's work for the man who had no capital. This work had to be accomplished before the ground could be ploughed and planted, while in the long interval between the felling of the first tree and the reaping of his first harvest, the family had to be sustained. To do this rigid economy and self-denial were essential; the majority of the settlers possessed but scanty means, and to keep "the wolf from the door" taxed these to the uttermost. Those who prior to entering the "Queen's Bush" had had some experience on a bush farm, through being the sons of Canadian farmers in the older settlements, possessed a great advantage over those to whom everything in the bush was a novelty. The former were able to wring much out of the forest to help them along financially. They could make ox yokes and ox bows for their less skilled neighbors. They were able, where cedar was convenient, to manufacture shingles for sale in the settlement, working long and late with frow (or shaving-horse) and draw-knife to earn the moderate price paid for such in this country of much wood. Others had among their effects a whip-saw, and they, with the help of a companion, would by manual labor cut lumber in those localities destitute of saw-mills. Where there were saw-mills, hemlock and pine logs were in demand to a small extent. The supply, however, was so abundant that the price obtained was unremunerative. Others again, who had a little capital, made potash. This, however, was an industry which does not seem to have flourished to any great extent among the farmers of Bruce.

[The author recollects that his father had at his store, for sale, during "the fifties," half a dozen pot-ash kettles which were after a time duly sold, but the demand was not sufficient to warrant the stock being renewed. There was great difficulty in unloading from the small sailing vessels such a large, heavy mass of iron as a pot-ash kettle, where there were no wharves on which to deliver them, and the small boats which landed ordinary freight not being of strong enough construction to undertake such an exacting task. Captain Rowan used to tell with some gusto how he got over the difficulty by gently placing the big kettle into the water and then getting into it himself and paddling to shore. Without doubt the first instance of sailing in an iron vessel on Lake Huron.]

It demanded an initial outlay that few were prepared to make, but some help in this line did come to the needy settler who wished to realize something on his wood ashes when, in 1858, P. & N, McInnes, opened a pot and pearl ashery at Kincardine, to be followed two years later by one at Tiverton. The poor bush-whackers were only too glad to get some ready money by selling the ashes that were to be found wherever a brush heap or log pile had been burned. The price paid was only 2d. a bushel, yet the supply was ample. At the time the ashery was first established settlers of too poor means to either own or hire a yolk of oxen would carry ashes on their backs in a two-bushel bag for several miles to obtain the small sum of 4d. Can anything emphasize more forcibly than such incidents the destitution of the pioneers? But then, as now, the man with his eyes open, possessing energy and forethought, found means of providing some comfort for his family that others not so favorably endowed could not. One luxury all might have was maple sugar and maple syrup. No farm but had growing on it an abundance of sugar maples, and the demand for sugar kettles in the early spring was very satisfactory to the village store-keeper. Game was plentiful. The creeks, especially those tributary to the Saugeen, were full of trout. Partridges were not uncommon, while deer were plentiful. Many a settler has been able to stock his larder with venison, the result of a fortunate shot at a deer that had come at early dawn to feed on his growing grain. The species of game which existed in greatest numbers, but which has entirely disappeared, even as the buffalo on the Western prairie, was the wild pigeon.

[About the last notice the author has met with regarding wild pigeons in large numbers is the following extract from the Paisley Advocate of April 28th, 1876:

"The immense flocks of pigeons which have been flying over various parts of the country in an undecided way for the last week or two have gathered in the township of Amabel, in countless numbers, and have begun building. The nests are in thousands, and many eggs lie on the ground owing to the breaking down of branches. The place is visited by scores of persons who are shooting the pigeons, and all the shot in Owen Sound and Southampton seems to have been fired away as a telegram has been received in Paisley asking for a supply.'']

Those who have not seen the flocks of pigeons that flew over this county, from their "rookery" in Grey, cannot imagine the number of birds so congregated, thousands and thousands, stretching out in a flock possibly half a mile long, so close together as to cast a shadow, and the whirr of their wings being like the loud hum of machinery. The flocks in general flew low, so low that many instances are on record of people knocking them down with a stick as they flew by. It was useless to fire a shot at the flock as they came toward you, as the shot glanced off the thick shield of feathers which covered their breasts. The sportsman—probably pot-hunter would be the correct designation— would wait until the flock was a little more than abreast of him before pulling the trigger. As flocks in many cases followed one after another over the same route, there was no difficulty in posting ones self to advantage, and in a short time fill the game bag. Pigeon pie was a common dish in those days, and found in many of the settler's houses, where it was much appreciated, for animal food was a rare article among them.

This chapter cannot be more appropriately concluded than by quoting an old pioneer poem, written by Mr. David Martin, of Beverly Township, county of Wentworth, a good many years ago, entitled:


In the rough old times, In the tough old times,
Of twenty years agone,
There was nae a clock in the settlement
To tell how the time went on;
But we kenned very well when the day began,
And we kenned very well when 'twas o 'er,
And our dinner-bell was the gude wife's shout,
When the sun reached the nick in the door.

Cash, we had none, we were all alike,
But we whacked awa' at the trees,
And when summer came, ah, then we had
The splores at the logging bees;
The affairs o' the kirk, the affairs o' the state,
We seldom did review,
But we talked and sang o' our native lands,
And faix we whiles got fou.

Now fields are cleared, and every stump
Has vanished from the ground;
And now the ladies, bless them all,
Are hoopit round and round.
Now every house one time-piece has,
And some have even more,
And youngsters laugh at their mother's clock—
The guid auld nick in the door.

And now we blether politics,
And knowing folk are we,
And some oppose and some support
The present ministry;
But who is bought, and who is sold,
And wherefore, why and how,
We know as well as A, B, C,
O, what a difference now.

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