90 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
From Barrie the Nine Mile Portage Road was cut through to Willow Creek. There, trees, cut from the surrounding forest, were fashioned into bateaux, and in these improvised craft, when spring came, the relieving force floated down Willow Creek to the Nottawasaga River, along that river to Georgian Bay, and thence to Mackinac. Block-houses as bases of supply were built at Holland Landing, Barrie, and Willow Creek; the Barrie block-house being located where the music hall now stands. Willow Creek was quite an important centre of settlement for years afterwards, but to-day not one stone remains upon another. Only a few holes mark the site, these holes having been dug in search of gold which tradition said had been buried there.
A WAYSIDE INN'S FAMOUS GUESTS
There is possibly no other Ontario farm with the exception of farms along the lake frontier, which is so prominently connected with local history as is the old Warnica homestead, lot thirteen on the twelfth of Innisfil,—opposite the beautiful avenue of pines on the Penetang' Road, two miles south of Barrie.
The farm was given to John Stamm for his services with Button's Cavalry in the War of 1812-15, and settlement duties on the place were begun by Stamm. Once, when on his way to the place from Markham township, Stamm narrowly escaped drowning in Lake Simcoe. That was enough of that location for him, and he sold his place to the first of the Canadian Warnicas for