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ON THE PENETANG TRAIL   103

siped, an occasional drink of whiskey causing the gossip to flow more freely. Sometimes a party would be storm-bound in Barrie, and in that case a good deal of the scanty receipts from the produce sold would be used up in paying for lodging. In one instance a man was forced to send home for money to pay his way back. In another case a settler, who had packed his load on his shoulders, lost his way in the darkness on the road home. After vainly groping about for some time he lay down with a pine knot for a pillow and when he woke in the morning he found himself within a few rods of his own door.

Nottawasaga was not, like Flos, a prohibition township. In the former whiskey was as free as water. It was a common practice at stores to keep a barrel on tap at which customers were free to help themselves at will. One store at Stayner continued this practice as late as the 'sixties and in connection with that particular store and barrel a story is told of a hoax perpetrated by a practical joker of the day. While the barrel was free to all who came in, it was assumed that only such as were customers would take advantage of the hospitality offered. There was one old chap who seldom bought anything over the counter although he frequently drank there and a young fellow decided to cure the old toper of the habit. So when the thirsty one came in one day, and as usual began edging his way to the open barrel, his attention was purposely diverted for a moment and meantime the tin cup attached to the whiskey barrel was filled with coal oil. The


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