60 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
of Nelson Casselman and his neighbours. At one end of the main room was a stone fireplace, nine feet wide by four feet deep, and five feet high; but this had been bricked up and was no longer visible. "I can remember, though, when all our cooking was done in that fireplace," said Mr. Casselman.
The Cook tavern of 1813 was displaced in the 'twenties by an imposing brick structure, which at one time served as the half-way house between Montreal and Kingston. Even the interior walls were of brick. "The mortar used in laying those bricks," Mr. Cook told me, "was made from lime burned on the premises. The stones from which the lime was burned were broken by dropping on them twenty-four-pound cannon balls that had been picked up from the field of battle.
"In the old staging days the tavern was a lively place. I have seen in the yard at one time four stage coaches with horses ready to move. Priests and bishops, lawyers and merchants were among the guests, and beds were set as close together as that," said Mr. Cook placing his outstretched palms side by side. "But it was when the lumbermen dropped off on their war up or down the river that things really did liven up. As many as two hundred of these were about the house at one time with enough fiddles to furnish music for the whole party. British officers and soldiers stopped there, too, on the way to or from Kingston. On one occasion a couple of officers had ten thou-sand dollars in coin with which to pay the troops at Kingston and other posts. The officers, when