FROM SOUTHERN HOMES 27
increased. Toronto, twenty miles distant, was the nearest point at which groceries could be obtained and a trip there occupied three days, the nights being spent in such shelter as the forest afforded. In Toronto itself you could almost have drowned a horse in the mud holes on some of the streets."
Mr. Sherk, one of the early settlers, teamed cordwood to Toronto, which he sold at one dollar and a half per cord. He hauled a cord and a half at a time, starting long before daylight and not getting home until late at night. The women worked quite as hard as the men. They rose at four in the morning to spin flax before breakfast, and after supper, spinning was resumed and continued until nine or ten at night. From the flax was made all the clothing many of the first settlers had to wear both winter and summer. In order to save shoe leather people went barefooted while in the house in winter and barefooted everywhere in summer. The first shoes worn in summer by one of the pioneers were a pair loaned him by his grandmother.
Shortly after the settlement was formed, death came to a little child in the Sherk home-stead. There did not seem to be, anywhere in the forest, an opening large enough to make room even for the body of a child. A small clearing on a hillside belonging to a neighbour on the fourth of Markham was at last discovered and the privilege was requested of using part of this as a resting-place for the dead. The request was granted, and this, the first burial, took place on the fourth of Markham in what is believed to be the oldest cemetery in the township.