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96   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

A LONG WAY TO THE MILL

 

When I listened to the story which follows, near the close of the last century, the country between Barrie and Penetanguishene had long played its part in Canadian history. Penetang' itself, like Toronto, figured in the War of 1812-15, and the settlements between Barrie and Penetang' began almost as early as settlements near Toronto. The Drury farm at Crown Hill, for example, was taken up by the grandfather of the Honourable E. C. Drury in 1819, and the Methodist Church at Dalston bears the dates 1827-97. At the same time, not far from the road leading to Penetang,' pioneer conditions still existed twenty-five years ago.

What is here related is based mainly on what I was told by Thomas Craig, of Craighurst, who was then living on the north half of lot forty-two on the first concession of Medonte. Of that farm something could then be said that probably could not be said of any other farm in Ontario. The lot was taken up as a grant from the Crown by Mr. Craig's grandfather in 1821, and from that time, until 1899, there was never a mortgage against the property, the only records standing in connection therewith in the Registry Office at Barrie being in the form of transfers from father to son.

"There were," said Mr. Craig, "two reasons why grandfather located so far north. One was that the land about Kempenfeldt Bay was all in the hands of military pensioners and that about Dalston in the hands of a company; the


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