172 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
five dollars per ton. Even when father came in the following year, flour was seventy dollars per barrel at Quebec, potatoes were a penny a pound, and the country was full of stories of the horrors endured during the winter of a year's duration.
"Happily the year 1817 was as prolific as the year before had been barren. Happily, too, there was a considerable migration in 1817 from Nova Scotia, which had escaped an affliction that appears to have been confined to Ontario, Quebec, and the Eastern States. The new-comers from Nova Scotia brought with them potatoes, that provided seed not only for them-selves but for neighbours in Ontario who were without seed. These potatoes had a blue point and our Ontario people gave them the name of `blue-noses.' From the potatoes the name passed to Nova Scotians themselves. I am told that the people of Nova Scotia do not like the title. They should be proud of it. The name recalls the time when help from that province by the sea proved the salvation of sorely stricken Ontario.
"Even I have been witness of afflictions little less grievous than those of the `summerless year,' " continued Mr. Waldbrook. "About 1833, army worms came in countless millions. They literally covered the ground and trees were left bare of foliage as in mid-winter. At the doors of houses they swarmed like bees at the entrance to a hive.
"About the same time a deluge of frogs fell upon the land. In the blazing heat of noonday sun these rotted and filled the air with poisonous vapors. For a time this province was