WORKING INTO THE FLAT COUNTRY 217
the Niagara frontier, and for years it was the sole source of supply in apples for a large neighbourhood. On the Watson homestead there was erected, too, the first school in that part of the country.
"The troubles of the new settlement began with the War of 1812-15," Mr. Watson went on. "After the defeat of Procter at the Thames, the American forces burned Colonel Talbot's mill and stole the horses and even the furniture and provisions belonging to the settlers. They also took the men prisoners, but afterwards released them on parole. The result of the devastation caused by war was that the little colony, which had just begun to get on its feet, had to start all over again.
"Even without the handicap caused by war the struggle was strenuous enough. If a man broke a logging-chain, he had to travel sixty-six miles to the nearest blacksmith at Long Point to get it fixed. Grists, usually carried on horseback through the bush, had to be taken to the same point. My father once brought in fifteen barrels of flour by sail-boat, and next day there was only half a barrel left. All the rest had been divided among the neighbours. Even I can remember when it was a day's journey to St. Thomas, more than half the distance being over corduroy roads through the bush. I recollect, too, when there was no cash market for wheat. Later on when we did get cash, farmers sold, for fifty cents a bushel, wheat grown from seed harrowed in among the stumps with an ox-team, cut with a sickle, bound by hand, and threshed with a flail. It was almost