WORKING INTO THE FLAT COUNTRY 225
How Mr. Dobie happened to settle in Ekfrid, and the story of the journey he and his friends had to make in reaching there, is no less interesting than his reminiscenses of the pioneer days. In the early 'thirties a number of settlers near Fredericton, N. B., became dissatisfied with their surroundings and determined to seek out new homes in Upper Canada. Accordingly Andrew Coulter, James Allan, and a German were sent to spy out the land. On arriving at Windsor they walked to Chatham, from there to Sarnia, and spent Christmas at Westminster. Next spring the party returned to Fredericton, and it was decided that only those named above should remove to Ekfrid; but Mr. Dobie's father and Mr. Clanahan, whose son was afterwards postmaster at Glencoe, decided to seek homes in the new land as well.
"We went by schooner from St. John to New York," he said, "and spent thirteen days in covering the seven hundred miles, twice as long as it takes to cross the Atlantic to-day. From New York we took the steamer to Albany; then by Erie Canal to Buffalo, and from Buffalo we travelled by steamer to Port Stanley. On the way from Port Stanley to our new home, a distance of fifty miles, two days were spent. All told, we were a month on the journey."
By way of contrast, it may be said that when Mr. Dobie and his daughter paid a visit to the old home at Fredericton after railway communication had been established, they were just thirty-four hours on the way—less by fourteen hours than the time spent in making the last fifty miles to Ekfrid in the 'thirties.