32 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
it by boat to Kingston to be made into flour. On one occasion boats carrying grain were driven into Presqu'isle by a storm and frozen up there for the winter. During the winter season it was a common thing for a settler to have to carry flour on his back for twenty or thirty miles through the woods.
"The year 1816 was a particularly trying one on the young settlement as there was frost every month in the year. None of the corn ripened and the whole community was on short rations. Even at a much later date serious hardships were suffered, the springs of 1836 and 1843 being particularly trying. At that time most of the farm animals, save horses, were sheltered in the lee of strawstacks, and, as shelter and feed were both scarce, cattle died by the hundreds.
"As soon as a young man had erected his shack in the woods he was considered ready for marriage, and the bridal tour was made from the parental home of the bride over a blazed trail to the new abode. In the home the Bible was read by the flickering blaze of a pine knot, as even candles were unknown to the first settlers. Preachers travelled on horseback and carried their belongings in a saddle-bag. Some-times, when night overtook them in the woods, they slept in the shelter of an overhanging pine. When a preacher arrived in a settlement, messengers were sent far and wide to announce that service would be held in a certain home.
"It was difficult to obtain teachers of any kind, and those chosen were generally men who were unable or unwilling to do any other kind