Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

52   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

stones above the graves were the words "native of—" with the name of the English village, Scottish glen, or Irish valley, in which those who have passed away were born. On returning to the Jones home, the man whose memory covered well nigh a century of time told me that fully two-thirds of the names I had seen are no longer heard in the township of Clarke. The first of those bearing the names have passed beyond the line dividing time from eternity. The descendants are more widely scattered than "The Graves of a Household." Why is it that the place of birth, so fondly remembered by the first generation, as evidenced by the inscriptions on the headstones in the old cemetery, has failed to hold the children born here beneath the shade of majestic pines and amid the autumn glories of broad-leaved maples?

PUTTING HIMSELF ON RATIONS

Samuel Billings, living north of Orono at the time of my visit, also told of the early days in Clarke.

"Our first farm," he said, "a mile south of Orono, was purchased about 1831, from the Honourable Peter Jackson of Toronto at three dollars per acre. Ten years later we moved to our present farm, four miles north of Orono. This we purchased from Jeremiah Orser, Port Perry, for eight hundred and fifty dollars. Even at that comparatively late date we had to cut a road for half a mile through the bush to reach the place. When we first came to Clarke there was only one house, Dr. Herriman's, in the


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next