Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

146   THE PIONEERS Oh` OLD ONTARIO

TEAMING GRAIN AND PROVISIONS

"There were seven of us, father, mother, four boys and one girl, when we moved into Thorah in 1831," said Alex. McDougall. "It was September when we arrived, and the chill of autumn was already in the air. There was not a tree cut on the place, outside of the small space covered by a little shanty in which we were to lodge, and it was too late to produce food to carry us over the winter. In order to provide for his family—I was then a lad of fourteen—father took jobs threshing grain with a flail. His pay was in wheat, and the nearest point at which wheat could be ground into flour was at Newmarket. We boys, in the meantime, were busy with our axes, and by spring we had chopped fifteen acres of bush.

"Some of neighbours were worse off than ourselves. One man, with nine children, was forced to carry all the grain he used that first winter to Newmarket on his back, and to carry the flour back in the same way. He was kept going and coming all winter, because no sooner had he carried in one load of flour than he had to start back for another.

"Even after we had begun to produce a surplus of grain on our place it was still hard enough for us to live. All of the first crops were cut with the sickle and threshed with a flail. The grain was cleaned by throwing it up in the air from a sheet. The surplus wheat was sold at fifty cents per bushel, but sometimes it was so rusted that we could not sell it at all. A little later on Beaverton traffic was diverted


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next