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ON THE PENETANG TRAIL   119

trees." So desolate was the prospect that some members of the party turned back, but the Thompsons pressed on for the unknown forest, then reaching, unbroken, from Lake Simcoe to Lake Huron." To the Nottawasaga river, eleven miles, "a road had been chopped and logged sixty-six feet wide; beyond the river nothing but a bush path existed."

They toiled on until nightfall, covering a distance of eight miles and at a clearing in the forest came on a bush tavern, "a log building of a single apartment." "The floor," writes Thompson, "was of loose split logs, hewn into some approach to evenness with an adze; the walls of logs entire, filled in the interstices with chips of pine, which, however, did not prevent an occasional glimpse of the objects visible out-side, and had the advantage, moreover, of rendering a window unnecessary; the hearth was the bare soil, the ceiling slabs of pine wood, the chimney a square hole in the roof; the fire was literally an entire tree, branches and all, cut into four-feet lengths, and heaped up to the height of as many feet." As the dancing flames lit up the apartment, they revealed "a log bedstead in the darkest corner, a small red-framed looking-glass, a clumsy comb suspended from a nail by a string,. . . stools of various sizes and heights, on three legs or on four, or mere pieces of log sawn short off." The tavern was kept by a Vermonter, named Dudley Root, and his wife, "a smart, plump, good-looking little Irish woman." The pair evidently knew how to cater for the occasional guests, as the breakfast provided for the Thompsons proved,—"fine dry


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