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234   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

we were on our way," Mrs. Patton told me, "and I had to use the baby's hat in baling out the boat. My clothes became so soaked with water that I could hardly move, and I thought that each wave as it came would engulf us."

 

PAYING TAXES WITH HAY

Most of the records of the early days in Huron on which I have drawn, were obtained from those of the second generation. But I found one man, Moses Pierce, of McGillivray township, who could tell of what "these eyes have seen and these ears have heard."

"I had been living in Markham township," said Mr. Pierce, "and in my early days Yonge Street was fairly passable only as far north as Thornhill. Passengers could ride that far by stage; but on going further they not only had to walk, but at intervals had to assist in prying the stage out of bog holes with handspikes. When I left for the Huron tract, the usual means of making the journey was by boat from Toronto to Hamilton and after that it was ride by wagon or foot it. We took wagon from Toronto to Hamilton, and that was a three days' journey. London to Clandeboye, twenty miles, took another day. For the last five or six miles to the place where we settled, we had to zig-zag through the bush with an ox-team.

"The land in that section belonged to the Canada Company and the price was from three to ten dollars per acre. This may seem to those of the present day a low price for land, but where was the money to come from?


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