ON THE PENETANG TRAIL 117
It is unnecessary to detail the Thompsons' westward voyage, similar to that of other settlers already described in this book. Sufficient to say that they reached Little York on the steamer United Kingdom during the first week in September, 1833, four months after leaving London. "Muddy Little York," as it was not undeservedly called, had then a population of about 8,500. According to Thompson, "in addition to King street the principal thorough-fares were Lot, Hospital, and Newgate Streets, now more euphoniously styled Queen, Richmond, and Adelaide Streets respectively." Where the Prince George Hotel now stands was "a wheat-field." "So well," writes Thompson, "did the town merit its muddy soubriquet, that in crossing Church Street near St. James' church, boots were drawn off the feet by the tough clay soil; and to reach our tavern on Market Lane (now Colborne Street), we had to hop from stone to stone placed loosely along the roadside. There was rude flagged pavement here and there, but not a solitary planked foot-path throughout the town."
The Thompsons purchased a location ticket for twenty pounds sterling, and set out for the Lake Simcoe district "in an open wagon without springs, loaded with the bedding and cooking utensils of intending settlers." After a day's journey, they reached Holland Landing and from there crossed to Barrie in a small steamer. Barrie, at that time, consisted of "a log bakery, two log taverns,—one of them also a store,—and a farm-house, likewise log. Other farm-houses there were at some little distance hidden by