Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next



wife sat together with nothing but the open fire-place to give light.

"When we came in," said she, "we brought webs of flannel and fulled cloth with us, and from these I made the clothes we wore. I took raw wool, carded it, spun it and made mitts and sold them, making dollars and dollars in this way. I plaited straw hats and sold them, too. When 1 wanted groceries I had to walk to Orangeville for them. Many and many a time have I walked that ten miles and back, leaving at nine in the morning and returning at three or four in the afternoon, without anything to eat in the inter-val. Even when we got better off, and had cows and oxen, things were hard enough. For butter, taken to Orangeville with an ox-team, we never got more than a York shilling in the early days.

"Fortunately there was little sickness then, and for such as occurred simple remedies sufficed. Catnip and tansy tea were available in every cabin, and for boils we had salve made from the ever-ready balm of Gilead. The greatest hardship was in the lack of schools and churches. For years we were wholly without schools, and church services, held at infrequent intervals, took place in the homes of settlers. Yet with all the periods of loneliness and all the scanty fare of the early days, I cannot say we were unhappy. There were compensations for the hardships. We were young, hope remained even amid the disheartening effects due to untimely frosts, and we were borne up by the fact that we were building a home."

The reward has come; homes have been created; killing frosts are no more; fruitful

Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next