Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

BY WAY OF YONGE STREET   131

York passage was taken by Erie Canal boats, and from New York to Philadelphia by ocean vessel. When I went to the States in 'forty-seven, I took boat from Toronto to Lewiston, from Lewiston to the Falls by horse-car with the horses driven tandem, and from the Falls to Buffalo by a train which ran on wooden rails covered with strips of iron."

Henry Horne, for many years postmaster at Langstaff, in a pamphlet published in the last century, gave some particulars of the difficulties encountered in travel at a still later date than that mentioned by Mr. Miller. Mr. Horne made a trip to Toronto in the fall of 'fifty-two by the section of the old Northern Railway then open. There were no passenger cars on the line. Passengers had to stand up, and when the engine required water the train was held up while the crew clipped the necessary water from open ditches beside the track.

When the Millers and Devins first settled in Markham there was no grist-mill anywhere within reach and all the flour used in the neighbourhood was ground in a coffee-mill Grand-father Miller had brought with him from Philadelphia. At a later stage a man named Thorne established a hundred-barrel mill and general store at the place which bears his name. Big as his mill was, it was linable to cope with the trade that came to it. "I have seen," said Mr. Miller, "a procession of wagons loaded with wheat that kept the mill running until ten at night. Thorne was a kind-hearted man, and many poor settlers in Adjala and Tecumseh were indebted to him for the flour necessary to carry them through


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next