|Adjala-Tosorontio||Bradford-W. Gwill.||Clearview||Essa||Innisfil||New Tecumseth|
Road (Part 1) (Part 2)
|The Schools||The Early Press||The Pioneer Churches||Publications||Simcoe Main|
Formerly Nottawasaga and Sunnidale Townships
For an entire road map of
Simcoe County CLICK HERE
#1 Town of Collingwood (See Clearview)
#3 Town of Wasaga Beach (See Clearview)
#4 Camp Borden
#6 New Tecumseth
#7 Bradford-West Gwillmbury
#9 City of Barrie (See Vespra)
#13 Town of Orillia (See Severn)
#18 Town of Penetanguishene (See Tiny)
#19 Town of Midland (See Tay)
BOOKS ABOUT CLEARVIEW (Nottawasaga & Sunnidale)
SETTLERS PRE 1837
A HISTORY OF NOTTAWASAGA WRITTEN A CENTURY AGO
A HISTORY OF SUNNIDALE WRITTEN A CENTURY AGO
All Saints Anglican (Collingwood) 1999 Con 7, Lot 41
Banda Christ Church Anglican-Methodist Con 2
Batteau Hill (Duntroon) Con 9, Lot 24
Bretherin in Christ (Tunkers) 1996 Con 6, Lot 26
Christ Church Anglican (Batteau) Con 7, Lot 36
Church of the Redeemer (Duntroon) Con 8, Lot 24
Collingwood Presbyterian Con 10, Lot 39
Creemore Union Con 4, Lot 8
Dunedin Union Con 9, Lot 6
Dunkard Menonite Con 2, Lot 14
Duntroon Pioneer Con 9, L 26
East Nottawasaga Presbyterian Con 4, Lot 20
Lavender Con 7, Lot 1
Little R.C. - 1981 Con 5, Lot 13
Singhampton Union Con 12, Lot 18
St Mary's R.C. - Collingwood Con 7, Lot 41
St Patrick's R.C. - Stayner Con 6, Lot 25
Stayner Union - 1996 Con 1, Lot 25
Trinity United - Collingwood Con 10, Lot 39
West Nottawasaga Presbyterian - 1998 Con 9, Lot 33
OLD TOWNSHIP NAME: Sunnidale
Brentwood Roman Catholic Our Lady of the Assumption County Rd. 10
Ebenezer United Missionary Jack's Lake Con 13, Lot 11
Glencairn Con 1, Lot 2
Jack Lake United Missionary Church (East side)
Jack Lake United Missionary Church (West side)
New Lowell United Con 4, Lot 11
Sunnidale Corners United Missionary Con 8, Lot 13
Sunnidale Pioneer Con 11, Lot 5
Sunnidale Public Union (Bethel) Con 6, Lot 17
WASAGA SAGA, by Thelma M. Morrison.
COLLINGWOOD HISTORIC HOMES AND BUILDINGS, by TEXT: Laurel Lane-Moore; PHOTOGRAPHY: Eileen Crysler, 1989. 111 p. illus. map. An excellent balance of picture and text.
COLLINGWOOD SKIFFS & SIDE LAUNCHES. . . BUILDING CANADA’S MARINE HERITAGE, by Maggie Leithead, 1994. 32 p. illus. map. An illustrated overview of shipbuilding in Collingwood from the coming of the railway in 1855 to the closing the shipyard in 1986.
SETTLER Con. Lot. ADAIR, John 10 32 BELL, Angus 8 23 BELL, Archibald 8 25 BELL, John 10 26 (S1/2) BELL, Malcolm Sr. 8 25 BOWERMAN, Joseph 9 4 (N1/2) BERTLE, John 3 15 BERTLE, Joseph 4 15 BULMER, John 7 6 CAMPBELL, Alex 10 33 (N1/2) CAMPBELL, Angus 4 23 CAMPBELL, Duncan 2 17 (Pt) CURRIE, Archibald 8 21 (S1/2) CURRIE, Donald 11 35 (S1/2) CURRIE, Hugh 8 28 CURRIE, John 12 35 CURRIE, Malcolm 8 25 CURRIE, Peter 8 25 DALLAS, William 9 20 (N1/2) DIXON, John 8 1 DOOLING, Patrick 7 16 DUGGAN, Edmund Sr. 4 16 FENELON, Thomas 2 17 (N1/2) GILLESPIE, Donald 11 30 JARDINE, Andrew Sr. 10 30 (N1/2) JARDINE, David 10 30 (S1/2) KLIPPERT, George 9 26 (N1/2) KNEFF, George 9 25 (Pt) LAWLER, Andrew 10 5 LAWLER, James 9 19 LEACH, William 8 20 LOTT, John 4 3 MARTIN, Anthony 11 23 (E1/2) MARTIN, Robert 2 4 MARTIN, William 8 25 MATCHETT, James 4 4 (Pt) MATTZ, ..... 8 25 MOORE, Peter 3 31 MOORE, William 7 31 McCALLUM, Archibald 4 23 (N1/2) McCALLUM, John 10 28 (Pt) McCALLUM, Malcolm 8 25 McCUTCHEON, William 12 28 McDERMID, Archibald 11 33 McDERMID, John 8 27 (S1/2) McDERMID, Malcolm 10 33 (S1/2) McDUFFIE, Dougald 11 29 (N1/2) McEWAN, Archibald 10 31 McEWAN, Neil 9 26 (S1/2) McFADYEN, John 1 19 McGILLIVRAY, Arch 9 29 (W1/2) McGREGOR, John 9 20 (S1/2) McLEAN, Duncan 4 30 McNABB, Duncan 7 19 McQUEEN, Donald 5 23 McQUEEN, John 11 35 (N1/2) McQUEEN, Neil 12 33 NEELANDS, Hamilton 4 4 (Pt) PATTERSON, John 11 29 (S1/2) PATTERSON, William 2 12 (S1/2) PAUL, Neil 4 21 (S1/2) ROSS, William 8 23 SMITH, Randall 12 37 SMITH, William 9 6 (N1/2) SMYTH, John 11 1 SWALM, Conrad 8 29 (S1/2) THOMPSON, Samuel 8 26 WILLING, Nathaniel 9 24
SETTLER Con. Lot. BELL, John 5 19 BIRCHALL, Samuel 13 9 CAMERON, John 1 27 CANE, Hugh 12 8 CATHEY, Geo. 14 4 (SE Pt) COATES, Matthew 3 21 CROW, Joseph 13 6 CURRIE, John 12 3 CURRIE, Donald 12 3 FINLAY, William 2 26 FISHER, S. 7 12 GARDINER, James 12 8 GOODE, Cephas 13 4 GILCHRIST, Alex 10 5 GILLESPIE, Alex 10 12 HAGGART, Timothy 11 9 HARVEY, Patrick 13 8 McCALLUM, Peter 9 15 McCALLUM, John 10 14 MACAULAY, Gilbert 10 13 McKENZIE, John 10 4 McNEILL, Alex 1 27 MOORE, John 11 3 (E1/2) PATTERSON, Malcolm 9 17 O'CONNELL, John 2 26 (NW1/4) O'CONNOR, Patrick 7 12 (N1/2) RICHEY, James 13 4 SHUALL, William 1 27 SOMERVILLE, Arch'd 5 20 SMITH, George 7 11 SHAW, Donald 9 16 SHAW, John 9 16 SHAW, Duncan 9 15 (N1/2) SULLIVAN, James 11 11 SEELER, Henry 12 7 THOMPSON, T. John 14 3
The experiences of the pioneers Samuel Thompson and his brothers, upon locating in the forests of Sunnidale, have been referred to in the chapter on that township. Owing to their land in Sunnidale being near a large cedar swamp extending into Nottawasaga, the locality was to aquish, and they accordingly determined to remove to a better spot in Nottawasaga. As Mr. Thompson's narrative of their removal contain glimpses of the events that were happening in the district at that time, we shall refer to the reader the account in his own words.
Mention was just made of the establishment of a Highland Scotch Settlement at Duntroon, but it should not be inferred that all the early settlers near that place were of that nationality. A few of those who located early were of Irish nativity, and a few were Germans. Some of these Nottawasaga pioneers had been previously located in Sunnidale, but owing to the marshy character of the land and other causes, their families soon cast their lots in the more westerly township. Late in 1834 or the early part of 1835 a number of five acre lots were laid out, and given to immigrants without power of sale, at Bowmore at that time, but since named Duntroon. It is said that twenty-one settlers availed themselves of this provision by the Government, and removed their familes there. The names of these pioneers are as follows:-
Most of these settlers, however, left the five acre lots within a year or two afterward and took up bush farms in the neighbourhood. In this respect it may be of interest to contrast the Bowmore pioneers with the French settlers of Penetanguishene. In both cases the system of granting small lots was adopted by government; and while in the former case the settlers entirely forsook the small holdings, the movement was not so marked in the latter case.
One of the earliest to arrive at the five acre lots was Malcolm Bell who came with his family in October, 1834. He died July 5, 1854, in his 74th year. Numerous descendants of his have been residents of the locality. His eldest son, Angus Bell, was Clerk of the Township for a number of years.
Peter Currie came with the first contingent of Islay settlers in the fall of 1834, but did not live long to see the growth of the settlement, having been killed by a falling tree in March, 1835. The place where the accident occurred was north of Duntroon, on or about lot 26, con. 8, and his death was the first that took place in the new settlement. One of his sons, John Currie, afterward settled on lot 35, con. 12, and another, James Currie, on lot 38, con. 10.
Hugh Currie came to Canada in 1833, and lived for some time in Oro, but in 1836 he settled on lot 28, con. 9, near Duntroon, where he lived for upward of 55 years, and for 52 he was an elder in the Presbyterian Church at Duntroon. His death occurred at Collingwood, October, 1893, at about 83 years of age.
William Dallas, also a native if Islay, Scotland, like all the others here, settled first on a five acre lot, then moved to lot 20, down the 8th kine. About the year 1893 he died at the home of his daughter in Manitoulin Island, where he was buried. His son William became the occupant of the homestead.
It is stated that Neil Bell was the first white child born in the township, in March, 1835, but there is a diversity as to this particular, as a later account states that John Ross, a son of he man who built the first grist-mill, was the first child born within its borders.
Archibald Freguson came a short time later that the others in this interesting group of settlers. He was a stonemason before coming to Canada. His son, Peter Ferguson, became the first school teacher at Duntroon, although in this particular, as in some others, there are two accounts of the case, another stating that Malcolm Livingstone was the first school teacher. The truth of the matter is that Peter Ferguson belonged to the Old Kirk, and the Livingstone family to the Free Church. Each party had a teacher of its own, and the writer cannot ascertain which was the earlier of the two. One thing is certain; there was strong feeling manifested on both sides, as according to one amusing account, even the children of the respective schools could not pass in the roads without flinging sticks or stones at each other.
Peter Ferguson was a good platform speaker in both Gaelic and English, and became the first reeve of the township in 1850, when the name of "reeve" took the place of the district councillor. He represented the township for seven years at the County Council board, in the first year of which (1850) the question of taking £50,000 stock in the Northern Railway came up, and as the vote in the Council was a close one, he was given credit for giving the casting vote in favour of the measure, and in this way earned the dislike of many prejudiced against it. At a later time he was postmaster at Colingwood and also Customs inspector there. Subsequently he removed to the Northwest.
Amongst the best known of the later settlers at Duntroon was Francis Hewson, who arrived in 1842. He had come in 1820 from Ireland with his paents to Innisfil, where they were the first settlers in the township. He became the Township Treasurer of Nottawasaga in 1850, and held the position until his death, which occurred, February 10, 1900. He also held other positions of trust, and was President of a Pioneer Society organized in Nottawasaga in 1892.
Jas. Mair was the Free Church local preacher at a later period, and held services mostly in Gaelic, although he was also versed in English.
After the Rebellion of 1837, Archibald McAllister, moved his family from Toronto where he had been living, and purchased lot 27, con 8, Nottawasaga, near Duntroon, where he lived until a short time previous to his death on December 15, 1893. His son, Dr. L. McAllister, was reeve of the Township for some years, and later, Township Clerk.
As to the question of who kept the first store at Duntroon, there are two accounts in existence, as usual, one stating that William Milloy kept the first store, while another says that Francis Baxter kept the first.
Some question as to the disposal of the five acre lots having arisen at a later day, William Gibbard, the surveyor, was employed to make a plan of these lots, as laid out upon lot 25, in the 8th and 9th concessions. Mr. Gibbard's plan, which is preserved in the Department of Lands at Toronto, is dated May 26, 1860. A burial lot and a school lot had been provided in the original survey.
One by one the settlers on the five acre lots at Bowmore bought larger farms further south and west, and moved to their new purchases, the settlers persisting in their work of clearing and moving further back. At an early date they opemed the eighth line, or Hurontario Street, as it was called at a somewhat later date, southward to the Bowerman settlement at Dunedin. They opened this road, notwithstanding a series of formidable hills, deep valleys, the Devil's Glen itself, (near Glen Huron), and other frightful places to be crossed. A traveller along this road to-day journeys past houses and barns perched upon alarming hills that would frighten the bravest dweller of the flat country, yet all this land is as fertile as clay can be, and it attracted the early settlers thither.
They soon learned how to navigate the steep hills with ease. They have a chain and shoe attached to the waggon, and when going downhill with a load they fix one wheel of the waggon on the shoe, attaching the latter to the fixed part of the waggon by the chain. With the one wheel firmly set so that it cannot revolve, they move down the hill with ease and safety. For going up a hill, a trailing "dog" holds the waggon in its place while the horses rest. With these appliances they navigate the hills with almost as much ease as the denizens of the lower ground navigate the plains.
The first post office at Duntroon was opened about the year 1836, and was known for many years in the post office annals as "Nottawasaga." By 1857 it had been changed to "Bowmore." The first postmaster was Angus Campbell, who held the position for about twenty years, and after him Francis Hewson was appointed.
The original town hall for the township was erected here but was burned down. At one time a considerable quantity of business was carried on at Duntroon, but the arrival of the railway alterd the course of trade. For some years, however, after the first opening of Nottawasaga, the clearings around Duntroon made the main settlement in the township.
The evidence of Chas. Rankin, the surveyor of this township, in regard to the slowness of its settlement up to 1838, is given in Lord Durham's Report, and has also been quoted in Dent's "Upper Canadian Rebellion," Vol 1, p.61. There had been no clergy reserves in Nottawasaga, and hence there had been a greater profusion of land grants to others. According to Mr. Rankin, the whole of the land in the townships of Nottawasaga and Collingwood had been granted, mostly to persons who did not become actual settlers, but the townships themselves were almost entirely unsettled (Collingwood Township having then only one settler). So much wild land intervening between one settler and another, made communication amongst them extremely difficult.
The Rev. John Climie, who had formerly been a settler in the Township of Innisfil, became the first resident minister of Nottawasaga at Duntroon. In the Manuscript Minutes of the General Quarter Sessions for the Home District, under the date, April 6, 1841, is the following entry:-The Rev. John Climie of the Township of Nottawasaga, minister of the Congregationalist Society, appeared and was recognized as such and received a certificate (to solemnize marriages) according to the statute, having first taken the oath of allegiance." To get this certificate Mr. Climie had been under the necessity of travelling to Toronto where the Quarter Sessions met, as this was before the erection of Simcoe into a separate district. Having obtained the license to marry couples, Mr. Climie was called upon quite frequently to perform the ceremony for the pioneers' sons and daughters. Mr. Climie built the first church in the township in 1842, a little south of Duntroon. The first Presbyterian congregation was organized at Duntroon in or about the year 1841, but there was not stationed minister here until the Rev. John Campbell came in 1853.
Some years ago, Mr. W.J. Honeyford furnished the following particulars of the first congregation to one of the local newspapers:- "the first church was organized on July 20, 1841. It was Congregational, with nine constituent members, who were the Rev. John Climie and his wife, John Moore and Mrs. Moore, William Throope, John Rogerson, Henry Hunter, Joseph Honeyford and E.F. Honeyford."
About the year 1838 William Ross built the first grist mill in this locality, on the upper part of the Batteau River on lot 23, con. 8, having received from Government a grant of land for the purpose. It is stated that Mr. Ross constructed nearly the whole of the mill with his own hands, even to the making of the millstones. About five years after the erection of the mill Mr. Ross lost his life through being caught in the machinery, the date being recorded as April 30, 1843, at the age of 56 years, in the inscription on the headstone in the Duntroon Cemetery.
Fred T. Hodgson, of Collingwood, who had arrived in Nottawasaga in 1848, and was familiar with the townships growth, wrote a series of "Nottawasaga Reminiscences," which appeared in the Collingwood Enterprise in 1907, in the issues of that newspaper for June 13 and 27, and July 11. They contain many references to the pioneer days at Duntroon, and in other parts of the township.
Donald Blair also wrote a series of letters on "Early Days in Nottawasaga," for the Collingwood Bulletin, in 1908, the initial letter appearing in the issue of that journal of August 6, and continuing for five weeks. Various interesting particulars are given by that writer, more especially about the early days of Duntroon, with which he was personally acquainted from his youth upward.
In addition to the appellation of "Bowmore," the Village of Duntroon, was known as the "Scotch Corners." It was near this place that in the winter of 184-, Rev. Dr. Burns, the late distinguished Presbyterian divine, had an experience of travel which is to odd to be omitted. On the occasion in question he was making a missionary tour among the outlying settlements in this northern country, and when close to Duntroon he was nearly shot for a bear. The details of the incident appear to have been something like these:
In company with a friend he was driving thither through a snow storm, and when at the foot a hill near the village, the rig in which they were travelling upset and caused something to go wrong with the harness. In order to get out of this predicament and proceed on their journey, it was necessary to get a piece of rope from a pioner's cabin which was in sight at the top of the hill. So setting out on his errand, dressed in his great bearskin coat and cap, and with huge fur gauntlets on his hands, the travelling missionary found the hill so slippery and difficult of ascent, owing to a recent thaw succeeded by keen frost, that he could not keep his feet, so was obliged to get down on all-fours to proceed. Jut at that time the woman of the house for which he was making, happened to come to the door, and through the falling snow espied the strange object coming toward them, whereupon she cried out to her husband: "Mac, get your gun! here's a bear." The man rushed out with the gun in his hands, and was taking sight, when he became conscious of the mistake, and burst out with a loud guffaw, and said, "Tuts, woman; why, that's Dr. Burns!"
Soon after the formation of the settlement at Duntroon, a new one was begun on the tenth line and on the lands adjacent to it. This onw was known as "The Back Settlement," as it lay closer to the Mountain ridge, across which there was no communication in the first years. The first settler close to the foot of the mountain was Donald Currie, a native of Islay. He had brought his family to Canada in 1834, reaching the Township of Oro, where he spent his first Canadian winter, and where one of his children died. The following summer he moved his family to Nottawasaga, which he had visited by himeslf the summer before, and placed them on one of the five acre lots at Duntroon. As showing the tender care of Highland people for their domestic animals, for their first winter in this new settlement at Duntroon they picked basswood leaves in the fall and saved them for cow feed. These, with the assistance of some turnips they got from Duncan McNab who had arrived the season before them, and had grown a small crop, together with the browse, kept their cow alive over the winter.
After living at the five acre lots for two or three years, he moved his family to the "Back Settlement," as already stated, taking up lot 35, con. 11, (S. half). About the year 1839, at the raising of a log building for Archibald McEwan, a log slid back and broke Donald Currie's leg. There was no Doctor nearer to the place than Barrie, which was about thirty miles distant, so before they could get Dr. Pass from the county town several days had elapsed, as a result of which his leg had to be amputated. There was no chloroform in those days, but he stood the ordeal without murmuring.
Donald Currie died January 15, 1868, aged 80 years. Of his family who grew up to maturity, there were:- Archibald, Laughlan, Peter, Flora, Ann (Mrs. Barr), Mary, Donald. The eldest, Archibald, received a five acre lot, but after marriage to up lot 37, con. 12. A grandson of the elder pioneer, Donald Currie Barr, of Collingwood, was Warden of the County in 1908.
One of the pioneers in the same settlement was Archibald McEwan, who took up lot 31, con. 10. He had settled also for a short time on one of the five acre lots at Duntroon, before moving to the "Back Settlement."
Another pioneer in the same part of the township was John McCallum. He came to Canada in 1836 and took up land in Sunnidale, but remained there for only one year. He then came to Nottawasaga and settled on lot 28, con. 10, where he resided until his death, March 23, 1894.
Andrew and David Jardine had settled in the five acre lots at Duntroon in 1834, and went to lot 30, con. 10, about the same time as the others who moved to this part of the township from the Government block. At a later time Andrew Jardine was a Justice of the Peace and became the first Clerk of the Division Court. He died, July 20, 1871, aged 70 years. David Jardine died May 27, 1865, aged 73 years. Some interesting Reminiscences of the pioneer days in Nottawasaga, by David Jardine, junior, appeared in the Collingwood Enterprise of June 7, 1907.
Amongst those who came to this part of the township at a slightly later period was John Macgillivray, who arrived with his family in 1848, having lived for a short time in North Carolina. He settled on lot 27, con. 12, where he lived until his death on April 21, 1892. Several members of the family of this pioneer have occupied prominent positions in the country.
The road allowance between lots 25 and 25, the whole road, in fact, from Sunnidale Corners to Duntroon (or Bowmore), was cleared out in the fall of 1834, and it was the pioneer's road for many years. Settlers began to locate in 1834, upon the Fourth Line of Nottawasaga, which was soon opened up to meet the Crossroad northward. McEachren's tavern was erected at the meeting place of the two roads at an early time, and the place got the name of the "Fourth Line Corners." At a later time it has been called Ballygrant, in which is included the settlement southward.
John McIntyre took up lot 24, con. 3, and settled on the crossroad at an early date, his patent being dated May 26, 1836, and his name becoming also attached to this locality.
Sothward, on the higher ground, the families of John and Joseph Bertles, Edmund Duggan, Patrick Dooling (or Dolan), Thomas Fenelon, and a few others settled in 1834 or the following year, soon after the township's survey, although they were not all located on the fourth line, but within easy distance of each other. Luke Harcourt also became an early settler in this small settlement of Irish Catholics, for a short time, on lot 17, con. 4, having come from the Township of Adjala, where we had occasion to notice him amongst the pioneers. In fact, several of the settlers in this part of Nottawasaga arrived by way of Adjala, having reached Nottawasaga by a trail through the forest leading from one township to the other, across the Pine Plains of Tosorontio. The old cemetery of the Roman Catholics on lot 13 on the fourth line was the first cemetery of that denomination in this part of the country. Owing to the soil being so wet, notwithstanding the high elevation of the groound, the place was abandoned as a cemetery for the one upon lot 25, con. 6, but several of the original settlers are buried at the earlier one on the fourth line.
To the northward of the settlement of Irish Catholics just mentioned, a few families of Highland Scots from Islay, also settled in the first years of the township's history, including the families of Campbell, Currie, McCallum, McQueen and McLean.
John Currie of this part of the township was one of the early school teachers, and was also Township Clerk for a period (1843-6, etc.)
On the fourth line, at lot 20, the East Nottawasaga Presbyterian Church, erected in 1854, has a pioneer graveyard, and is the resting place for the remains of a large number of early settlers. The building is now a brick edifice, but was originally built of more primitive materials, in keeping with the times in which it was erected.
In the year 1834 a small group of families including those of Swalm, Mattz, Kinder, Bulmer (Boomer), Knuff, Klippert, Moyer and Stoutenburg, left their homes in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, to find new abodes in the forests of Ontario. Their voyagae across the ocean lasted thirteen weeks and was more hazardous than usual for even those days of perilous sea voyages. In a fierce hurricane the vessel was carried out of her course and nearly wrecked, but managed to hold on her voyage after repairs by the ship carpenters. In addition to the perils of the sea, they had to face that terrible scourge the cholera, from which a number of the company died and were buried at sea.
In course of time they reached Quebec, and after the hardships and delays of quarantine, or the apology for it which then existed, in the St. Lawrence River, the remnant came on this county. After waiting for three weeks at Barrie, which then consisted of three or four small shanties, until the last portion of the Government Road had been opened out from Sunnidale Corners to Duntroon, this small group of pioneers set out for their destination in Nottawasaga in the latter part of October, 1834. With great difficulty they reached the new Government block of land, newly divided into five acre lots, where they were among the first to arrive. To each family there was alloted a five acre lot, with a certain amount of provisions in exchange for chopping or othr labour, as already explained in the chapter on Sunnidale. After spending about three years at the five acre lots, some of this small group were the first to form the settlement of Germans on the Sixth Line near the Batteau.
The hardships of some of these German families were unusually severe. Edmund Duggan of the fourth line used to relate in after years how his crops there consisted partly of turnips which he sold to the German settlers of the Batteau, and upon which they chiefly subsisted. He thought some of them were indolent and thriftless, and hence they suffered want, but it is more probable that their half-famished condition had robbed them of their natural energy.
It is stated how Boomer, (or Bulmer), once lost his way in the woods, and was nine days without food. Found by some Indians in a dying condition he was taken to their camp and restored, but it was not easy to understand to what settlement he belonged. After partial recovery the Indians took him to Toronto, and left him with the Government officers, who sent him back to his family in Nottawasaga.
Conrad Swalm, another of the group, made his way to the earlier settled Township of Markham, and earned enough to purchase food for his hungry wife and little ones at home on the plot. Altogether the sufferings and hardships of the pioneers of Simcoe County furnish no sadder story than the annals of this little group of settlers from Hessse-Cassel. The cause perhaps lay, in part at least, in their want of knowledge of the new surroundings and conditions into which they had been transplanted.
The families of Bowerman, Clark, Cooper, Hill and Sing came from the vicinity of Bloomfield in Hallowell Township, Prince Edward County, about the year 1834, and were the first families of the settlement around Dunedin, which some people mistakenly called the "Yankee Settlement." They were of U.E. Loyalist descent, and not U.S. citizens, but they had the Bay of Quinte dialect, which was distinctly of the "Down-east Yankee" kind, and that gave rise to the mistaken name. It is said that these familes, or at least some of them, were of Quaker origin. This settlement would appear to have been the first in the township, some having come into it by way of Orangeville and Horning's Mills in the summer of 1834.
In the Bowerman family there were four brothers,- Joseph, Judah, Israel and Benjamin Bowerman. This settlement was formed under the direction of the first named, Joseph Bowerman, who was also connected at various times with the opening of new roads in the vicinity. He died February 20, 1877, in his 66th year. Judah Bowerman built the first mill at Dunedin at an early date.
The River Road, passing through Dunedin and following the Noisy River, was opened at an early period of the settlement.
The name Dunedin was given to the post office about the year 1870.
Near Lavender, the families of Coyle, Mastin and Tupper settled about the year 1834. Peter Mastin died April 28, 1878, in his 82nd year. Wm. Bulmer, another pioneer of this neighbourhood, died May 4, 1899, in his 77th year.
Nulty & Webster built the Creemore Mills on the Mad River about the year 1845, having formed a partnership with each other for this purpose. In connection with this mill, Mr. Webster had a small store, the first one in the place, and G.I. Bolster came as clerk in this store. The post office was opened in 1849, with Edward Webster as postmaster. Subsequently Mr. Bolster carried on a business of his own, and became the postmaster. At a later day he was Inspector of Weights and Measures, with headquarters at Orillia. Launcelot G. Bolster, the pioneer of the family of this name, died June 3rd, 1867, in his 80th year.
In November, 1883, the County Council passed a By-law for the erection of Creemore into a Police Village. It thus became the first Police Village created in this county, and police trustees were to be elected for the village.
In June 1889, the County Council passed a By-law appointing James A. Spence as enumerator to take the census of Creemore. In this case the council gave some time for the taking of the census of the village, as the Beeton Lawsuit (Fenton v. County Simcoe), three years before this, had had a wholesome effect upon their deliberations. At the next session of the council (November) it appeared by Mr. Spence's enumeration return that Creemore had 753 inhabitants, whici was more than the required population, within the limits of 500 acres, and it was therefore entitled to incorporation, for which the Council passed a By-law, November 20, 1889. The first returning officer appointed was Joseph Hood, and the first reeve elected in January, 1890, was James A. Spence.
On the higher ground to the south of Creemore and Avening, somw settlers had established themselves at an early time. Amongst these were John Lott, Robert Martin, James Matchett and Hamilton Neelands. Hamilton Neelands, jr., served the township as deputy-reeve and reeve for several years, and afterward took a Government position. During his latest years he was in the Inland Revenue office, London, Ontario, where he died March 1, 1893.
In this part of the township, (viz., south of Creemore), John Rhodes had the first threshing machine in the fifties. It was one of the primitive kind, viz., without a separator attached to it. Mr. Rhodes, who was a native of Yorkshire, England, died October 1, 1895, in his 81st year.
In this part of the township, Joseph Honeyford, sr., and W.J. Honeyford, later of Alberta, and formerly of Avening, were also among the first settlers.
George Carruthers, a native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, came to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1848, and in the following year came to the site of Avening, where he chopped and cleared an opening in the forest, to which he moved his family in 1851.
Frederick C. Thornbury came from West Gwillimbury where he had kept a tavern about 1845 and later, and built grist and saw mills at Avening about the year 1860. These passed into the hands of his son, W.H. Thornbury, who became also the first postmaster on the establishment of the office, February 1st, 1864. The latter was reeve of Nottawasaga in 1868-9. F.C. Thornbury died January 16, 1872, aged 63 years, and W.H. Thornbury died in New York, in September, 1908.
George Carruthers and sons, who had been the pioneers, as mentioned above, also erected mills about the same time as the mills of Mr. Thornbury. One of the sons of Mr. Carruthers, the pioneer, viz., John J. Carruthers, was reeve of Nottawasaga in 1870-2, and also in 1874-6; he went to New Zealand in 1882. George Carruthers, jr., of the mills, died Aoril 25th, 1906, in his 67th year. An Wm. G. Carruthers has been postmaster at Avening for several years.
It would appear that the builders of mills on the Mad and Noisy Rivers, which supply excellent water powers, began the erection of mills on the upper parts, and established them in rotation down the stream. Thus, beginning with the earliest at Dunedin, then the mills at Creemore in 1845, and those at Avening about 1860, followed each other down stream into the flat lands, the hills having been settled and cleared before the easterly lower parts.
When the Carruthers family settled at Avening in the early fifties, there was only another settler on the second line northward, near Cashtown of the present time.
Jas. Cooper built a sawmill at Glen Huron at an early date, which was probably the first mill at the place; but it was a small one; and he either sold or abandoned it in 1852, to build another at the Batteau, on the rise of the prospect of the railway passing there. The latter undertaking is mentioned in its proper place under the heading of the Batteau.
Jas. Hamilton was at a later day one of the well-known residents of this neighbourhood, from his connection with the Township and County Councils for a number of years. His death occurred in November, 1894. His son, W.H. Hamilton, was a county commissioner, and Warden in 1900.
Another well known settler, who came here about 1845, was Jas. D. Stephens, or as he was more familiarly called, "Tally-Ho" Stephens. He was a man of more than usual energy, and lived in this neighbourhood until about the year 1880. He succeeded John Frame, in 1845, as the District Councillor for Nottawasaga, and married Mr. Frame's widow for a second wife. At an early date he built a carding mill at Glen Huron, also the first grist and saw mills at Hurontario, and it is stated undet that heading, and had various other mercantile and manufacturing branches of business. About the year 1880, he retired to Winnipeg to live with his son, where he died, November 9, 1891.
The "Green Bush" tavern on the eighth at lot 18 was a famous hostelry in the pioneer days, kept by Jas. D. Stephens, who also had a store here. The hospitality of the place still lives on in a group of old apple trees which supply, in their season, the birds and squirrels with an abundance of fruit, although almost every other sign of the life of former days has departed except the foundations.
Opposite the "Green Bush," the family of Robertson were early settlers. One of the members of this family, and Calvin Throope of Sunnidale, afterward entered into partnership with each other as Robertson & Throope in the Atlantic Iron Works, Brooklyn, N.Y., and made sugar refinery machines.
The village itself, which is half a mile west of the mill site, was surveyed in 1856 by Cyrus and Josiah R. Sing, on their property. These brothers had come from Price Edward County, as it is stated under the heading of the Dunedin settlement, and had removed to the upper parts of the Mad River in 1852 or earlier.
The post office was established in 1852, under the name of the Mad River Mills, of which the early postmaster was Andrew Yuill; he was succeeded at a later time by Josiah R. Sing, whose family name was given to the office. Cyrus Sing subsequently became a settler at Meaford, where his death occurred, April 25, 1904, at an advanced age.
This place had its origin with the opening of the railway in 1854. The first settler was Andrew Coleman who was a foreman or sub-contractor on the construction of this part of the Northern Railway. Mr. Coleman came to Stayner in 1854 and built the first hotel on the site of the "Queens" when the rest of the land now covered by the buildings of the town was almost an unbroken forest. The first building was a shanty, and was used as a boarding-house for the men employed on the railway construction. Mrs. Coleman was the first white woman to live in the place, and after the completion of the railway the family remained as permanent residents. He sold the original site in two or three years and built other hotels in the place. Another of the first settlers was Gidoen Phillips, who built a sawmill, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace, April 3, 1857.
For a number of years the place was known as Nottawasaga Station, and the post office, which was established in 1855 with Donald Baine, a lumber merchant and storekeeper, as the first postmaster, was also known by the same name. About the year 1857, the village, but not the post office, was called Dingwall, but about the year 1864 the name was changed to Stayner, which it finally retained.
In June, 1872, the County Council passed a By-law for the incorporation of Stayner as a village, with A.M. Ingersol as the first returning officer. The first reeve elected (for 1873) was George Randolph.
The Ontario Legislature passed an Act to incorporate the Town of Stayner, March 23, 1888, as 51 Vict., chapt. 61.
One of the good mill privileges of the Pretty River was where Hurontario Street crosses it, and here Buist & Melville built saw and grist mills in or about 1853. They had been carrying on business at the Old Village in the earlier years of the fifties, and then took up the erection of the big mills at Nottawa, where they also had a general store.
After the opening of the railway, various sales of vacant lots took place on "wild cat" schemes in this part of the township, and one of these sales was advertised to take place, October 14, 1856, at Collingwood, the property to be sold consisting of building lots on lot 37, con. 8, of Nottawasaga, at Nottawa Mills. About this time Bourchier & Lyall had a saw-mill near this place.
Another of the early stores at Nottawa was kept was kept by Jas. Cooper, who had erected the mill at the Batteau, as it stated under that heading. In Mr. Cooper's store at Nottawa, two clerks were employed by him, F.T. Hodgson and Thomas Long, afterward well known residents of Collingwood. It was with Mr. Cooper that Mr. Long made his entry into business life, afterward so successful, his first wages having been $12 a month and board.
James Cooper built a mill at the Batteau River in 1852, about 2 miles from its outlet, where the railway crosses it, and a hamlet of some size grew up. There was an overshot waterwheel in use in this mill, which in a year or two passed into the hands of Jas. D. Stephens, who had been carrying on business in the Hurontario mills at the bay shore for some time before this. Mr. Stephens also built at the Batteau another mill with a central discharge waterwheel.
On selling his mill at the Batteau, Mr. Cooper built a store at Nottawa. Mr. Cooper was one of those who had come from Prince Edward County with the Bowermans, Sings, and others, to the Dunedin settlement, as already noticed, and had carried on a small sawmill at Glen Huron before coming to Batteau and Nottawa. Ultimately Mr. Cooper went to Bracebridge, where he carried on a sash and door factory, saw-mill, etc., and died there.
About the year 1866, Batteau was called "Warrington," but the name did not remain long with it.
It may have been observed in our peregrinations through this township that the various rapid streams flowing down out of the glens in the face of the "Mountian" furnished good water power for numerous pioneer mills. One of the good mill privileges on the Pretty River was at its outlet into the Nottawasaga Bay, and here were the Hurontario Mills built early in the forties about a mile to the east of Collingwood of to-day. The place had previously been a frequent resort and camping place of the Indians for fishing and other purposes.
Of late years this place has been called the Old Village. The first person who began to build a saw-mill at the outlet was Francis Baxter, who had a store at Duntroon, and who obtained the patent for lots 43 and 44, con. 7 (70 acres), February 14, 1843. Soon afterward he got timber out for the mill, but did not carry out the work any further. James Connell took up the project and completed it, getting the patent for N. half 43 and lot 44, con. 8, (200 acres), on September 24, 1844. The business was then conducted by Chas. D. Stephens and his brother M.N. Stephens, who also buit a grist mill at the mouth of Pretty River in 1845, and conducted them for some time.
Andrew Maarackell and a Mr. Cook soon opened inns at the place, which was for some time the only spot showing signs of life along this shore of the bay.
In the industry of boat-building, Hector McAllister built the first boat at the Old Village, having obtained a patent for land in this locality in 1856.
The beginning of the town took place immediately upon the selection of the place as the terminus of the new railway during or perhaps a short time before the winter of 1852-3, which was two years before the completion of the line. Joel Underwood was the nominal owner of 335 acres of the site of the town, nearly opposite the small islets or rocks known as the Hen and Chickens. And when the place was selected for the terminus, a small group of two or three men entered into partnership with Mr. Underwood, who supplied the land, to erect a steam saw-mill, which, with the board dwellings that soon arose around it, became the nucleus of the future towm.
Mr. Underwood's silent partners, who were Sheriff Smith, David Morrow, and the Rev. Lewis Warner, and who were then residents of the county town. (although Sheriff Smith shortly afterward took up his residence in Collingwood), had got some inkling through county offical sources that the Hen and Chickens terminus had been, or would be, selected. With the information which had thus become known to them, this company lost no time in making a start on the new town site. As Mr. Underwood's mill was built two years before the railway was actually completed, the boiler and machinery for it had to be hauled by team, and the hauling was done by John L. Waarnica of Tollendal. Mr. Underwood was a Yankee who had arrived here about the year 1847, and being of a loquacious turn, although without capital, floated the project successfully.
Prior to the choosing of the place as the railway terminus, the survey of the harbour, which was the first of many surveys if we except Bayfield's general survey, was made by Sandford Fleming (afterward Sir Sandford Fleming), who was an assistant engineer on the railway construction, and whose family relatives were well known early settlers at Craigleith. One of Mr. Fleming's assistants or helpers in this survey work was the late Alex. Smith of Vespra.
Mr. Underwood was the nominal owner of the land on which the town's first buildings were built, but Sheriff Smith had patented, on November 4, 1852, lot 43, (200 acres), and on November 22, 1851, lot 44, (135 acres), in the 9th concession of Nottawasaga, and afterward had them surveyed into building lots by Wm. Gibbard, the surveyor. Besides the steam saw mill, erectd at the outlet of what is still called Underwood's Creek, Mr. Underwood opened a store. This was on First Street, just south of the outlet of the Creek, while the sawmill was on the opposite side.
Joseph H. Lawrence was also one of the first settlers of the town, and became one of the first office-bearers in the Methodist Church on its establishment in 1853, and the Superintendent of the Sunday School on its formation in the following year. Mr. Lawrence was appointed Town Clerk in 1858, and held the office until his death in June, 1877.
it is stated that James Smith had the first store in Collingwood, and George Collins the first tavern.
As to the choice of a name for the town, the adjacent township of Collingwood, under the name of Alta, had been surveyed twenty years prior to the first survey of building lots in the town, and the name of Alta abandoned for that of Collingwood. But as to who actually appplied it to the new railway terminus of 1852-3, there is a slight difference in the published reports. One account of how the harbour and railway terminal point got its name at the instance of D.E. Buist is recorded by David Williams in his paper on the naming of the post offices in Simcoe County, alreay referred to in another chapter.
A few boats started singly to run regular trips with the opening of navigation in 1855, but the first regular line of steamboats, in connection with the railway, began in 1857.
Collingwood was incorporated as a town under a local Act of the Canadian Legislature passed June 10, 1857, for that purpose, as 20 Vict., chap. 96. In this way it did not pass through the "village" stage. By this Act, the town ceased to be part of Nottawasaga on January 1, 1858, and became a municipality by itself. Wm. B. Hamilton was chosen by the Council, as the law then required, the first Mayor of the town for 1858, and Jas. Telfer was elected the first reeve to represent the town in the County Council. John McWatt, who was chosen Mayor in the following year, 1859, was the first Mayor of the town chosen by the votes of the people, the law having been changed in this particular. Mr. McWatt was elected Mayor for succeeding years up to and including 1866, in which year he removed to the county town. He had formerly resided in Barrie until he was appointed collector of customs at Collingwood in 1856. It was during John McWatt's Mayoralty tht H.R.H., the Prince of Wales, now King Edward VII., visited Canada in 1860, and the Collingwood Town Council decided to invite the Prince to visit the place. Mayor McWatt was despatched to Quebec to obtain the promise of a visit from His Royal Highness, the Council granting $50 toward the expenses of the mayor's trip on this important errand, which resulted in complete success, and the subsequent visit of the Prince was a good "ad" for the town and county.
A Jubilee History of Collingwood (published on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 1887) was issued by the Collingwood Enterprise-Messenger, and contains the chief doings of the town council from the beginning in 1858 until 1876, with much other historic material. Some of the aldermanic disputes of those early days of the town furnish quaint reading for the people of to-day. The author's name is not given, but it is fair to suppose that important parts of that interesting town history were prepared by John Hogg, who was one of the pioneers of the town, having arrived in May, 1856, and established the Enterprise at the beginning of the following year. He was reeve of the town for fourteen years, beginning with 1863, and was Warden of the County in 1873, besides holding various other offices of trust at different periods of his life. His death occurred February 11, 1901.
Several bad fires have occurred in the town at different times, but the one on Sunday, September 25, 1881, was perhaps the most disastrous of them all, destroying as it did a large portion of Hurontario Street, (the main thoroughfare), in the business part of the town.
In June, 1882, the ratepayers of the town having approved of a By-law for the purpose, Collingwood issued debentures to the amount of $25,000 to assist in building and establishing a Dry Dock and Ship-building Yard in the town.
Fred T. Hodgson prepared for the Board of Trade an extended Report for the year 1893, giving much information about the town. This was issued in the form of a booklet in 1894, and contained a sketch of the history of the town and its vicinity.
In 1839 he acquired an interest in the Toronto Herald Newspaper, and continued in this profession until 1860, publishing in succession, during those years, the Herald, Patriot, News of the Week, Atlas and Daily Colonist newspapers, and finally the Quebec Advertiser. The story of his life and experiences is told by himself in a most interesting manner in "Reminiscences of a Canadian Pioneer" already mentioned. When the Toronto Public Library was established in 1883, Mr. Thompson's services to the country were remembered by appointing him to a position in connection with it; but he only survived a year or two. Alex. McNeill, in the list of Sunnidale pioneers, was the early innkeeper of the township, probably the first in it.
The Shaw family, of whom there were three brothers, John, Duncan and Donald, settled in Sunnidale in the very earliest period of the township's settlement. The last named, Donald Shaw, was related by marriage to Wellesley Richie, the Government agent for locating the settlers upon their lands, and two sons of Mr. Shaw became artists, one of whom, H.R. Shaw, resided in Rousseau, Ontario, and the other, D.A. Shaw, resided for many years in the county town and produced work in both portrait and landscape painting. Donald Shaw sat for about twenty years in the township and County Councils, and in the earliest period of schools (1844, etc.), was the Township School Inspector.
Gilbert Macaulay, mentioned in the Pioneer List in the Appendix, was the pioneer School Teacher of this township, and is referred to in the chapter on the early schools.
A little further onward, Alexander Gillespie settled about the same time and also became a useful pioneer. He was the first postmaster of "Sunnidale" post office on its establishment June 4, 1840, and for some years in he forties was the Township Clerk, as well as a Justice of the Peace, having received the latter appointment in 1857.
Timothy Haggart, placed in the List on lot 9, was employed in the party of Wellesley Richey, and soon afterward became a resident of the county town where he spent the remainder of his life.
Of Henry Seeler on lot 7, it is recorded that he was a native of County Kerry, Ireland. He was chosen District Councillor for Sunnidale for the year 1846, but grew tired of the office, and for the next three years the township was without any regular representative at the District Council board, there being nobody in the township with means enough to lose time to fill the office. George Sneath in his article on Sunnidale fifty years ago (printed in No. 1 of the Pioneer Papers of the Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society, page 13) relates how in the year of Mr. Seeler's District Councillorship he travelled on foot to Barrie. He died April 7, 1893, having nearly reached his hundredth year; his aged wife had died a few hours before him, and they were both buried in one grave, after residing 59 years together on the homestead.
In the pre-rebellion years Joseph Crowe located on the Sunnidale Road, at the place which bears his name to this day (Crowe's Corners). The district around Meaford was settled about the same time as Sunnidale; and as it was long prior to the railway days, a great deal of teaming was in requisition by the new settlers in that remote section of the country. Mr. Crowe's house was a convenient hostelry or stopping place for the night. The ice of Nottawasaga Bay was extensively used in winter time over which the supplies for these Meaford settlers could be transported. On one occasion, while on a teaming expedition, when the condition of the ice toward spring was critical, Mr. Crowe lost a valuable span of horses through the ice, and he himself narrowly escaped from drowning. Such were the ups and downs of pioneer life.
Were we to mention at some length the trials and hardships of the Sunnidale Road settlers, these sketches would become lengthy, as they were particularly severe. Sufficient has already been said of their troubles. The Appendix contains the roll of the names of those who had settled in the township prior to 1837.
Another notable pioneer who settled on the Sunnidale Road, four miles south of Sunnidale Corners, and who arrived in the spring of 1837, was S. Fisher. He was 76 years of age at the time, had been a London publisher, and was not well adapted for the hardships of bush life. However, he persevered, but did not succeed well at his advanced age. He died in 1848, and his grandson, George Rogers, succeeded him on the homestead. Some of Mr. Fisher's experiences in this locality are described in Mr. Sneath's paper already referred to, and also by W.L. Smith from a narrative of George Rogers, published in the Weekly Sun (Toronto), of September 3, 1902.
A little way northward from Mr. Crowe, George Cathey had a pioneer sawmill near the Nottawasaga River. He was a Captain in the Militia and drilled the pioneers' sons, as Mr. Sneath has related in the interesting article referred to. In many ways Mr. Cathey was a useful man in that neighbourhood.
John Currie, mentioned on lot 3 in the list of the pioneers, was the Township Clerk in 1845, and belonged to the same family as others of that name in Nottawasaga. Various early settlers along this Sunnidale Road were natives of the Island of Islay, Scotland, some of whom removed to Nottawasaga.
Nearly all the early settlers in Sunnidale lived along the Government Road. Having now made a few references to the early settlers along this pioneer road called the "Sunnidale Road," some remarks ought to be made in regard to the arrangements for settling the pioneers upon their lands. The chief agent appointed by Government to do this work was Wellesley Richie, and in the "Memories" of the Rev. Thomas Williams (published by the Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society, in 1909) there is an account of the work as it was carried on, Mr. Williams having been one of Mr. Richey's party in his undertaking. The following instructions to Mr. Richey from the Government Department will throw a little light upon the events of those far off days.
YORK, 14th May, 1833.
As it is not possible, at present, to say what number of Emigrants will stand in need of being employed at the expense of the Government, the numbers of acres to be cleared cannot be specified, but it is His Excellency's pleasure that you should proceed to Sunnidale forthwith and select a number of the most eligible lots, upon each of which it is proposed to clear ten acres of land by contract at the rate of £4 currency per acre for clearing and fencing the same.
The Emigrants to be employed being such only as do not possess the means to purchase land and who cannot obtain employment elsewhere; you are authorized by His Excellency to advance each settler, when he has chopped fit for logging, one acre, the sum of one pound, ten shillings; and if his circumstances are such, that he cannot subsist himself and family while he is employed in chopping that acre, you may advance him one shilling and three pence per day, for each day's work preformed, and deduct the amount from the one pound ten shillings above mentioned.
His Excellency requires that weekly returns of the expenses incurred at your Agency should be forwarded to me and you are authorized to draw on the Commissioner of Crown Lands for the amount.
In order to prepare for the employment and accommodation of the Emigrants expected to arrive this season I am directed by His Excellency to inform you that he will sanction the following outlay for that purpose. It is, however, to be borne in mind that in no instance is the contract to be entered into if the amount of the tender exceeds the sum specified.
1. To repair the log houses erected for the use of Emigrants at Kempenfeldt Bay (at Barrie).
His Excellency is very anxious to give the experiment of employing Indigent Emigrants in clearing land a fair trial as he conceives it to be of the utmost importance to discover some mode of employing them by which the amount expended will revert to the Government for the purpose of carrying on similar operations in future; and if the improvements you are authorized to make on the different lots of land can be sold for what they cost the Government, that object will be obtained.
Your Most Obedient Servant,
(Sgd.) Anthony B. Hawke
The vicinity of New Lowell was not improved unti 1853, when Peter Paton, Neil and Martin Harkin, and others, began to open its forests. Peter Paton became thr first postmaster of New Lowell in 1855. His son, Robert Paton, was M.P.P. for Center Simcoe, 1890-8.
At Sunnidale station, which was at first called Silver-shoe, and Strongville since 1904, John Ross settled in 1854 and became its first postmaster in 1856.
In June, 1858, by a By-law of the County COuncil, Sunnidale was detached from Vespra, with which it had been grouped for municipal purposes, and authorized to elect a Township Council after January 1, 1860. Whether intentional or not, the By-law was framed so as not to come into effect for more than a year and a half after it was passed. Misunderstanding the date, the Sunnidale ratepayers, at the beginning of 1859, elected a Township Council, with John Ross as reeve, but the County Council held it to be illegal, wand would not allow Mr. Ross to take a seat at the County Council board. As the people of Sunnidale had elected their Township Council, and did not wish to be retarded for a whole year in becoming a separate corporation, they applied early in 1859 to the Canadian Parliament for an Act to legalize their proceedings, but the Bill did not pass in the Legislature.
In the serious bush fires which devastated portions of this County during August and September, 1881, several settlers in Sunnidale, especially in the northerly parts of the township, sustained heavy losses by the destruction of their buildings and other property.