Port Hope Historical Sketchesby
W Arnot Craick 1901
'Port Hope Historical Sketches' was prompted by the Old Boys Reunion of 1901. It was published by William W Williamson, who also took the photograhs used as illustrations. It was
reprinted in 1974.
William Arnot Craick became editor of 'Canadian Printer and Publisher' in 1902 after graduating with honours in mathematics from the University of Toronto. Three years
later, he was named the first editor of 'Busy Man's Magazine', the forerunner of Maclean's magazine.
From 1910 to 1915 Craick was a freelance writer and, after serving as
associate editor with the Financial Post, became editor in 1919 of 'Industrial Canada', the official publication of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association. He retired in 1950.
Stuart Ryan wrote in October 1966: Sixty-five years ago, a young man of twenty-one published a volume entitled 'Port Hope Historical Sketches'. It appeared coincidental
with the holding of a homecoming celebration in the town at the turn of the century. That small book must be regarded as a tour de force, particularly in light of the short time
available for its production. It has become a collector's item. Every one fortunate enough to possess a copy of it refers to it from time to time and is charmed again by the
freshness and grace of its style.
In presenting this brief work for public consideration, the author desires to make some explanatory statements, which may perhaps modify any critical judgment that
may be placed upon it. In the first instance he desires that no one should be deluded by the impression that the volume contains a complete history of the Town. The more he has
investigated and the more material he has collected the more fully is he convinced that to write an exhaustive history of Port Hope would require many years for its fulfilment.
Then again he desires to disclaim all originality in his treatment of the subject. The material from which the book has been compiled, has been collected from numerous sources,
many of which are not of convenient access to the reader of this work. All that the author can therefore lay claim to, is the service he has rendered in however imperfect a way,
of placing the mass of material, furnished by others, in a form in which it may be of some use.
This has been one of the main objects in view. Others have been to assist
in a slight measure in the important work of collecting the material from which the future historian of Canada may mould his national work, to attempt to inspire some confidence
in the future of the town in the minds of its present-day citizens, by portraying something of its bye-gone enterprise, and to afford if possible a small degree of pleasure to
those interested in the antiquities of the Town.
Before concluding the author would desire to return his thanks to the many individuals who have assisted him in his task.
This assistance has been rendered in many ways. Old citizens of the Town have recounted many interesting matters by word of mouth. Others have placed documents at the disposal of
the author. Still others have allowed him access to valuable files of papers and old manuscripts. To all of these he expresses herewith his best thanks.
W A C Port Hope,
(I) THE FOUNDING OFTHE TOWN
To a person of reflective mind stationed on one of Port Hope's many wooded hills, all the surroundings of upland and valley and lake are full of
suggestions of bye-gone times. The tall whispering pines confide strange tales of other days and the moss-grown stones of the hill-side are rich in the memories of the past. Under
their magic influence centuries are rolled back and the primeval forest emerges from the dark oblivion of unrecorded days. Then once again the panorama of Time unfolds itself and
in a twinkling the days and years of the past flash by and all that has been is seen once more.
Into the peaceful and secluded valley of the Ganaraska come the red men.
They hunt in the woods, they fish in the stream and they build their wigwams on the grassy banks. For a season they remain and then vanish like the snow and new tribes take their
place. Now a stern, rugged coureur des bois appears and camps by night beside the stream and then a patient Jesuit father toils by to his mission-field in the West. At length a
strange sail looms up on the horizon and coasts along the shore. Perchance it is La Salle and his daring adventurers pushing ever westward to the 'Father of Waters'. Other sails
come and go and meanwhile the Mississauga braves build their romantic village of Gochingomink beside the Ganaraska. There they remain till long after the white man has come to
claim the land as his own and till 'Cut Nose,' the thief and the murderer, whose name and reputation alone survive the disappearance of this tribe from the valley, has fled far to
the west from the scene of his evil deeds.
From the mythical past to the more assured realm of history is but a step and on the arrival of the white man the imagination
ceases its conjectures and turns to the pages of recorded fact. Here it is found that in 1778, Peter Smith, a fur trader, landed at the mouth of the creek and took up his abode in
a substantial log-house, which he constructed on the bank of the stream about where Helm's Foundry now stands. Here he began business, and presently the Indians flocked to him
from far and near bearing with them the fruits of the chase and the trap. His fairness in all his dealings with them gave him a good name and a monopoly of the fur-trade, and his
skill as a hunter and trapper won for him the deepest respect. To the scattered settlers of Upper Canada the trading-post became well-known, receiving the name of Smith's Creek -
an appellation which the future settlement was to bear for many years. The trader himself for many years occupied the important position of judge or arbiter among the Indian tribes.
Smith had no intention of being a permanent settler. His object was to acquire a measure of wealth and then to return to civilization for its enjoyment. His purpose was
doubtless accomplished by 1790, for in that year he disappears forever from our history. His log-house now passed into the hands of another trader, named Herchimere, who continued
his dealings with the Indians, and assumed his position as their benefactor.
On the 8th of June 1793 the 'Pilgrim Fathers' of Port Hope, landed through the surf on the
stony beach o f their 'New World.' The little company comprised four families - those of Myndert Harris, L Johnson, Nathaniel Ashford and James Stevens- and a number of surveyors
from New Hampshire. A subsequent chapter will relate the tale of the'pilgrimage' of these early pioneers, but at present the actual founding of the settlement is the subject to be
treated of. The landing of such a goodly company of white men must have been an event of no little surprise to the two hundred Indians of Gochingomink, as well as to the worthy
Herchimere. The red men evinced immediate hostility and were on the point of preventing the landing of the new-comers, maintaining that they were Yankee in truders, when Herchimere,
recognizing Captain Bouchettes gunboat, in which the settlers had been conveyed from Newark, hurried about among the savages and finally persuaded them that they had nothing to fear
from the new arrivals, who were good subjects of the Great Father, King George of England. Thus appeased, the Indians allowed the debarkation to continue.
By sunset a little
group of white tents was to be seen on the 'Flats,' - the level stretch of land across the creek from the trading-post. With the morning light the work of constructing log houses
was begun. These were long low houses with huge Dutch fireplaces at one end and were thatched with bark. In due time they were completed and occupied.
Meanwhile the New
Hampshire surveyors had not been idle, and about half the township had been laid out when they were attacked by a fever, then and several years after very prevalent hereabouts in
the late summer. This necessitated a cessation of work and, we being near at hand, they departed for Newark.
Thus left alone the four families mentioned spent the winter
at Smith's Creek and for the first time the snows covered the roofs of the embryo town of Port Hope. Since that by-gone time many a gloomy snow-cloud has drifted over the valley
and laid its white burden on the frozen ground but never since have the snows of winter fallen on a pathless solitude.
(II) PRIMATIVE PORT HOPE
It is possibly safe to say that a large proportion of the interest of travellers' tales centres in the description of lands visited and people
encountered, rather than in the actual adventures of the narrator. Recognizing this principle it would seem appropriate at this juncture to assume the view-point of the pioneer and
look on the valley of the Ganaraska and its inhabitants, as they appeared to Myndert Harris and his comrades in the summer of 1793.
At that early date the valley was covered
with a magnificent growth of cedars, through which the rushing Ganaraska came pouring down over the rocks. The hillsides on either hand supported a dense undergrowth, providing ample
covert for both rabbits and partridges. Deer and bears roamed through the woods in large numbers and skilful huntsmen like the early settlers needed never to be at a loss for food.
The stream itself emptied into a large marshy area, covering what is now the harbour and the low-lying land to the northward. Where the new harbour-basin now stands rose the island
on which Mr Harris the grass for his winter fodder that first year. One arm the creek skirted round this island by way of the present site of the elevators and then passed along
eastward parallel to the Lake and separated from it by a gravelly bank. Reuniting with the other arm of the creek, the waters of two branches passed into the Lake through a narrow
gap about where the old harbour intersects the shore-line.
The harbour-works have partially concealed the nature of the shore-line. To gain a correct conception of its form
of outline it is but necessary to stand on the beach at the east side of theharbour and run a line across to the high ground south of the Grand Trunk Station. This line forms
approximately the old shore and cuts off all that level tract known as Sandy Beach, which is a comparatively modern acquisition to the Town. To the east again the Lake carved out
huge pieces from the land and is gradually working its way inland.
Herchimere's trading-post occupied a site northward from the point where the creek divided and on its
western bank. All about it rose the village of Indian wigwams. The presence of the trading-post here for more than a dozen years had attracted large numbers of the red men and
there was always a constant coming and going amongst them, which added a liveliness to the place. The only other point of interest at that early date was the Indian burying-ground,
situated in the woods near the present railway-station.
Such was the primitive appearance of the Town. As for its red inhabitants, it would seem that they were a peaceable
lot, extremely loyal to the British Crown, and kindly disposed towards the white men. They spent their time chiefly in hunting and fishing and it was not an unusual sight to see
the bosom of Lake Ontario covered with their canoes, as they fished for the mammoth sturgeon. Not a little wonderment did it occasion the settlers as they beheld the ease with which
the Indians landed the fish in their frail vessels.
The personal deeds of but one Indian have been recorded and, as usual, it is by the evil he did that he is remembered. Cut
Nose was a Chippewa from the vicinity of Lake Huron. He received his strange cognomen from the fact that in his early days part of his nose had been cut off. Coming to sojourn at
Smith's Creek, he soon began to display his evil propensities. Mr Trull, who settled some distance up the lake shore, lost a straw hat one day. Soon after he chanced to be paddling
down the Lake with two men and approaching Smith's Creek, saw some Indians out fishing in a canoe. He made towards them to see what luck they were enjoying, when to his ill-concealed
disgust, he beheld Cut Nose, who was in the canoe, brandish the lost hat aloft, with a devilish grin playing on his ugly face. It was impossible to take it from him. Shortly after
Cut Nose took his departure for Rice Lake, where he presently entered into a bitter feud with some Crow Indians. The Crows conspired to murder him by enticing him into the trader's
house to drink, but Cut Nose was too sharp for them and, getting the treacherous Crow who had invited him behind a wood-pile, he soon put an end to him with a knife and started in to
annihilate the others. Fortunately the trader secured the knife before much harm was done and Cut Nose took to his heels and made for his own country.
(III) GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT
The trader Herchimere moved off to Rice Lake in the Fall of 1793, carrying his goods thither on horseback. Before leaving he presented his log-cabin
to Mr Harris, who accepted it with much gratitude. A difficulty meanwhile confronted the settlers. Their supply of flour was very meagre and obviously was not sufficient to last out
the rigours of a Canadian winter. The nearest point where this commodity could be procured was Kingston and the only available means of reaching there was to coast down the lake shore
in the solitary skiff, which had been brought from Newark. Nothing daunted by the prospect of such a voyage a small party was organized, which performed the journey to Kingston and
return before winter set in. In the Fall, Harris cut a supply of grass on the marshy island near the mouth of the creek to serve as fodder for the cattle. Man and beast being thus
provided for, the winter-season could be faced with more confidence.
When the cold weather at length set in and wood-cutting could be more comfortably engaged in, the pioneers
set to work to carve out clearings in the woods. Any spare moments were usually employed in the construction of household utensils and other implements and Harris, among other things,
constructed a cart for Herchimere. This vehicle was necessarily but a very primitive specimen; the wheels were made entirely of wood, there being no iron at hand wherewith to bind
With the advent of spring the clearing of the land was continued with renewed zeal and the smoke of bush fires floated far over the heavens. Surveyor Iredell and his
men arrived early on the scene and completed the survey which had been left unfinished in the preceding summer. Myndert Harris had meanwhile taken possession of Lot 3 and Ashford of
Lot 1 of the 1st Concession, while Stevens took Lot 2 and Johnson Lot 1 of the 2nd Concession.
The next winter it is related that Harris built a second cart for Herchimere,
this time having wheels bound with iron. In the spring of 1794 the cultivation of the cleared land was begun. In place of a plough, an instrument called a 'drag' was employed. This
was composed of a crotch'd stick with wooden teeth. For threshing the primitive flail, and for winnowing, what the settlers termed a 'fan' was used. This was an instrument made of
ash-boards in shape of a half-circle of radius two feet, with a rim about six inches wide bent round the circle and having holes cut at each side for handles - the whole resembling a
large grain scoop. This was held in front of a person and shaken when filled with grain. The chaff was separated by the wind and the fell to the ground. With these crude implement
pioneers succeeded in producing some wheat. The problem was to get it ground. This necessitated a journey to Belleville, where a grist-mill had just been erected by Col Myers. This
expedition was undertaken in winter, the grain being dragged through the pathless woods on rough sleds.
The same year the Government offered Elias Smith, Esq six hundred
acres of land, being Lots 5, 6 and 7, with all the water privileges for a mile up the creek and a chain of land on each side thereof, on condition that he speedily build a saw-mill
and a grist-mill. Elias Smith was at that time in Montreal. In the spring of 1795 he sent his son, Peter, and some mill-wrights to commence work on the mills. In order to preserve
the salmon with which the creek abounded, a mill-race was carried from about the position of the Ontario Street Bridge, along the side of the eastern hill to where the end of the
viaduct now stands. Sickness put a stop to the work on the mill-race but the construction of the flour-mill was carried to completion. Captain John Burns was the master mill-wright
and, with the assistance of Mr Joseph Keeler of Colborne and a party of men who came up from there in a boat, the mill was finally erected. Next spring work on the mill-race was
resumed but frost caused the banks to give and the whole enterprise proved a failure.
Meanwhile the Government had agreed to give Captain Walton and Elias Smith two hundred
acres of land each and the remaining unoccupied land in the township by way of compensation, provided they brought in forty settlers from the United States. Failing to secure the
requisite number within the time appointed, this agreement became null, but, by a Crown Patent issued August 26th, 1797, the land on which the present Town stands was granted to the
same two men, subject to the condition that they should with all reasonable diligence erect a grist and saw mill on the site. All that had to be done to fulfil the condition was to
move the old mill down to the creek. This was done in 1798 by an American mill-wright for the sum of one thousanddollars. A dam and slide for salmon was constructed where Helm's dam
is now built and the two mills were presently in operation on the east side of the stream.
The following year the Hon DW Smythe, Surveyor General, writing on Canada, remarks
on the excellence of these mills at Smith's Creek, which were patronized by settlers from far and near.
(IV) TALES OF THE EARLY DAYS
The abundance of game and fish in those early days can only be conjectured from the tales of the pioneers. Myndert Harris was the great hero of the
chase and to him are attributed the two following feats. Coming up the shore from Gage's Creek one day, he came upon a fine buck, standing out in the surf. It had evidently been chased,
for its eyes glared and it was practically at bay. Harris, nothing daunted, waded out to it and seizing it by the horns forced its head under water. It was a fierce struggle but the
sturdy pioneer was a match for the buck and eventually it succumbed. On another occasion while out maple-sugaring in the woods, he came across a bear which threatened to attack him.
He was unarmed at the time but, picking up a syrup-trough, he rushed at it and after some heavy blows, succeeded in killing it.
The presence of sturgeon in the Lake has
already been noted. It is only necessary to remark something concerning the abundance of salmon in the creek. James Sculthorpe who came here in 1801 to live with his grandfather, Elias
Smith, was the famous fisherman of the settlement. In one night in company with an uncle he caught three hundred salmon for which the pair refused fifty dollars next morning. On another
occasion, setting out in a boat with a youth named Taylor, he entered a cove near the mouth of the creek. Hardly had the evening's sport begun than Taylor was seized with convulsions
and fell overboard. The boat was upset and Sculthorpe had much difficulty in gaining the shore. He immediately gave the alarm and search was made for Taylor, who was eventually found
on the hill-side, whither he had crawled. Meanwhile the commotion in the cove had alarmed a huge shoal of salmon and in their haste to escape the frightened fish carried the boat along
with them. Next morning the fishermen returned for the boat and found it lying bottom-up on the shore. Judge of their astonishment when, on turning it over, thirty-two fine salmon were
found wedged into it.
The presence of the dense woods and the swamp at the mouth of the creek led to the prevalence of malaria in September of each year. As there was no doctor
in the settlement, the pioneers suffered greatly from the accompanying ague and fever. A few years however witnessed the clearing away of the damp woods and with their removal the
malaria soon vanished.
Prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812 the little settlement was subjected to the ravages of the'spotted plague.' This malady could not be attributed
to climatic conditions for it attacked the colony in March and April immediately after a cold winter. Little is known of its nature. All that is recorded is that decomposition of blood
and tissue followed death rapidly. To illustrate the extent and rapidity of its ravages, it is but necessary to refer to the following examples.Mrs Soper, residing at Smith's Creek was
struck down with it and her brother, Samuel Marsh, the first settler of Port Britain, was summoned to her death-bed. On his return home, he too became a victim to the plague, dying only
a week after his sister. MeanwhileMr Sexton, his brother-in-law, had been called in to make his will. He, too, was attacked and before another week had elapsed, he succumbed. It was
thus that the dread plague ravaged the whole settlement and deprived the community of many of its best members.
In the summer of 1794 the surveyors discovered the Cranberry
Marsh to the north-west of the new settlement. At the present day when food in great variety is so readily obtainable, such a discovery could scarcely be of any moment but to the
hard-wrought settlers it was indeed boon. The young people of the community were thereafter wont to make annual excursions to the Marsh to procure the red berries. Another find of a
less pleasant nature was subsequently made when the'Haunted Meadow' was first encountered. This swamp, for such it was, had been originally formed by a beaver-dam. When first seen it
was covered with a dense undergrowth and encircling it were plum-trees in great profusion. The presence of will-o'-the-wisps unfortunately gave it an uncanny reputation and settlers
kept away from its vicinity. Its evil fame was enhanced by the mysterious disappearance of an orphan-boy, who was said to have been ill-treated and ultimately murdered by a surly old
settler, living within a few miles of the meadow. The story further explained that he had been buried in the meadow and that his ghost was accustomed to wander round at night. This
theory was supported by the adventure of two bold young men, who, throwing fears to the wind, went to pick plums one evening within the charmed circle. They had scarcely climbed into
the trees when weird, guttural noises were heard and presently a ghostly figure began to flit around. Thoroughly frightened the pair beat a hasty retreat, not understanding that the
sounds were due to harmless frogs and the strange light to the explosions of marsh gas.
(V) PORT HOPE IN 1813 AND IN 1826
Descriptions of Port Hope as it appeared in 1813 and in 1826 have been handed down to the present day and, in placing them before the readers of
this book, it was considered as probably the best mode of tracing the growth of the Town, if its aspect at various dates were portrayed consecutively. Already a glimpse of the primitive
town has been afforded and now its appearance at two subsequent dates will be detailed.
To a traveller approaching Smith's Creek from the Lake in the year 1813, the most prominent
structure to attract his eye would be the Smith Homestead on the Point. The Point, it may be explained, is the piece of land abutting on the Lake at the foot of King Street and the
Homestead stood about where the last house on the east side of the street now stands. The house, which was the first frame structure to be erected between Belleville and Toronto, was
built by Peter Smith, the son of Elias Smith, in 1797. The building faced the west and, if all accounts are true, it was completely partitioned off into two portions. Its dimensions
were about twenty-five feet by thirty feet and it possessed an upper story. Prior to its occupation by Elias Smith and his family in 1798 it was used as a store and school-house. Mr
Smith had sent up from Montreal a young man named Collins with a supply of goods and this same young man kept the first store and taught the first school in Port Hope. Besides being
the earliest school-house and store in the Town, the old place may be said to have been the first farm-house in the Township of Hope.
The next buildings to meet the traveller's
gaze would he the grist and saw-mills, already mentioned as being built on the east side of the creek at the end of what is now Helm's dam. Between these mills and the Smith house, on
the Flats, was an ashery. On the west side of the dam were Paul Hayward's clothing-works and a little to the north James Hawkin's blacksmith shop. 'Uncle Jim,' as he was familiarly
called, was the genius of the place, of whom more will be written later on. Suffice it to note that his shop contained the first trip-hammer in the province and was also supplied with
bellows and grinding stone, enabling the clever mechanic to turn out everything from a needle to an anchor.
Herchimere's trading-post still occupied its old site, though no
longer used for commercial purposes. On what is now Mill Street, Jeremiah Britton had a store and residence and, on top of the hill, in the neighborhood of Mr Hoffman's residence,
stood 'Uncle Nick's' log-cabin. On the side of the hill at the foot of Walton Street rose the old timber malt-house, in the upper story of which dwelt Mr Rufus Burr.
A rude bridge
spanned the creek where now stands the Walton Street Bridge. A freshet had recently cut out a new channel to the eastward and another bridge had been thrown over it. A little to the
south a verdant island divided the waters of the stream.
On the north side of Walton Street were two buildings, one of which was the Town Hall and the other the old log
school-house opposite what is now the Queen's Hotel. On the south side of the road at a point about the rear of the same hotel, stood the most aristocratic mansion of the place. This
was a building eighteen feet by thirty-five and a story and a half in height, built by Mr Joseph Caldwell in 1802 and subsequently kept by him as the first hotel in Smith's Creek. In
the rear of what is now Curtis' grocery store, 'Uncle Jim' had built the famous Red Tavern in 1803. He manufactured all the nails, door-hinges and latches required in its construction,
erected the chimneys, plastered the walls and finally became the landlord.
These scattered buildings comprised the Village of Smith's Creek in 1813. It is probable that there
were other buildings but those enumerated, as being the most important, were probably all that the historian could recall. To them must be added the homes of the settlers in the
neighbourhood, who for all practical purposes formed a portion of the population.
During the period from 1813 to 1826, there was a marked growth in the Town and the number of
buildings comprising the corporation was largely increased. While none of the structures of the earlier date are still in existence, several of those standing in 1826, yet remain to
testify to the skill of their builders.
Commencing at the Point and passing up King Street, four important buildings were to be found on the east side of the road. The Smith
Homestead still occupied its old site at the foot of the street. On the vacant lot to the south of Mr Thomas Neeland's house, stood 'the most beautifully picturesque residence' of the
place - that of MF Whitehead, Esq, Collector of Customs. Higher up the hill rose the most prominent structure in Port Hope,St John's Church (now St Mark's), which had been erected
within the preceding four years. Lastly where HA Ward, Esq, MP now resides, stood the village School House.
The only other residences on Protestant Hill were the homes of Messrs
Henderson, Hatton, Riordan and Mitchell, while a portion of the house now occupied by James Craick, Esq, formed the residence of Postmaster David Smart.
Passing down to Mill
Street and about on the site of Mill Street Presbyterian Church stood the store and post-office of Mr Smart. South from this and on the slope of the hill the old log malt-house still
remained. To the south again stood the present Royal Hotel, the first brick structure in Port Hope, erected in 1823 by J Brown and occupied in 1826 by 'Uncle Mark' Hewson. South again
were the stores of Jacobs, watchmaker, Orton, auctioneer and Stevens, hatter. JD Smith's red store and residence occupied the site of Record's pump factory. Across the way were the
grist and saw-mills and a little farther down towards the Lake were two small houses.
Queen Street was the manufacturers' thoroughfare. At the Toronto Bank Corner, Thum had a
blacksmith shop. Along the east side of the street at the dam were Hawkin's blacksmith shop, Hayward's wool-carding factory, Metcalf's chair-bottom factory and Downey's cut-nail works.
On the west side of the street were Robertson's residence and tannery, Smith's distillery on the site of Helm's Foundry, the residence store and distillery of John Brown, Esq, south
of the present British Hotel and the Sculthorpe homestead just east of the Drill Shed.
On the south side of Walton Street between the Creek and the railway-crossing were
Sawyer & Phelp's store, a tailor shop, Robertson's wooden stores, Wm Brogdin's residence and Wm Rosebury's tavern. Between the railway and John Street were a store and Walker's
Tavern. On the site of the Opera House Block was the fanning-mill of Thomas Harper and where the St Lawrence Hall now rises stood the residence and store of John Cundle, the first
butcher. Then came a small house with the Red Tavern in its rear. To the east of Dr Power's residence stood a little house known as the 'Sparrow's Nest.' Where Peter Robertson, Esq
now resides the home of TT Orton was built and on the site of James Robertson's house lived Old Shoemaker Smith.
The north side of Walton Street was taken up by the houses
of Messrs Mark Burnham, John Hewson and John Saxon, the latter's residence being erected on the site now occupied by BP Ross, Esq's house. Where the Tempest Block now stands a group of
wooden houses were being erected by Wm Brogdin.
The first building on Cavan Street was Fowke's distillery. Where Craig's tannery now stands, Smart's distillery was in operation
and on the site of the File Factory rose Brown's Mills.
On John Street Mr Lee lived in a house in the vicinity of Oke's present store. Across the street were the residence and
tannery of William Sisson. Farther south and on the east side lived Mr Thum, the blacksmith. Where Charles Smith, Esq now lives stood the Haywards' house and 'Aunt Betsy,' widow of
Elias Smith, Jr, lived on the site of the Grand Trunk Station.
This completes the enumeration of Port Hope's buildings in 1826. The general outline is doubtless correct but
it could scarcely be expected that anyone writing of a place forty-five years after the date in question, could recall accurately all the details of the scene.
(VI) MUNICIPAL LIFE
Port Hope first became a definite corporation in 1797, when Messrs Smith and Walton laid out a village plot beside the creek. Its name then and for several years subsequent thereto,
was Smith's Creek and under that designation a post office was established in 1817. But meantime the use of the name Toronto had begun to creep in, especially in legal documents
and there was considerable confusion over the dual nomenclature. The difficulty was settled at a public meeting held in 1819, whereat Mr GS Boulton's suggestion of the name 'Port Hope'
was unanimously accepted. All these years the village figured as part of the Township of Hope and was governed by means of 'township meetings' held every New Year.
One assessor looked after both village and township and valued each village lot the same as one-fourth of an acre of cleared land.
In 1834 Port Hope was duly incorporated as a town by an Act of Parliament of the 6th of March, which defined the limits of the corporation and provided for the establishment of a police
and a public market therein. The form of government was to be by means of a President and Board of Police. For electoral purposes, the town was divided into four wards each of
which returned one member. (Ward I included all land south of Walton Street and west of the Creek: Ward II, all south of a line drawn east from the foot of Walton Street and east of the
Creek: Ward III, all north of the afore-mentioned line and east of the Creek: and Ward IV, all north of Walton Street and west of the Creek.) The four members so elected chose a fifth
colleague and the five appointed a President from among their own number.
The first Board which met in May, 1834, was composed of President M F Whitehead and Members John D Smith, Wm Henderson, John Brown and Erasmus Fowke. For four years
Mr Whitehead ably filled the President's chair and was then succeeded by Mr John Brown.
The Municipal Institutions Act of 1849 did away with the Police Board and established a Mayor and Town Council in its room. The present ward system was introduced and each
ward was required to elect three councillors. The assembled councillors appointed their own Mayor and that was the mode of selection of the chief magistrate until 1859 when
he was appointed by popular suffrage as now.
On January 21st, 1850 the first Town Council met at Strong's Hotel. Its members were JW Barrett, FW Metcalfe, WB Butterfield, WM Smith, W Mitchell, J Hatton, J Lynn, A Porter
and JT Williams. The last-named gentleman became the first Mayor.
Until 1860 when Port Hope withdrew from the United Counties, a Reeve and Deputy-Reeve were also selected from among the councillors to represent the Town in the Counties' Council.
After 1860 the separation continued until the end of the year 1893 when it was considered advisable to again join the Town to the Counties. From the year 1894 to 1898 inclusive a
Reeve and two Deputy Reeves were annually chosen by the people. These with nine aldermen made such a very large and unwieldy body that in 1896 the number of councillors
was reduced to six. Two years later a new County representation was introduced doing away with the old double system by means of Reeves. The election of 1899 was run on new lines. Five
town councillors were appointed without any reference to wards but, as might have been expected, a deadlock occurred in 1900 which necessitated a change to six aldermen in the present year.
Prior to the occupancy of the Town Hall in 1853, Port Hope's legislators had no permanent meeting-place. The Board of Police seem to have had a partiality for the Exchange Coffee House,
situated where the Queen's Hotel now stands and latterly known as Thomson's Hotel. The first Town Council secured a room in Gillett's building on the south-east corner of Queen and
Walton Streets, where they met until the Town Hall was ready for them. The contract for the Town Hall was let in the year 1851 to Mr Philip Fox for ten thousand dollars and the structure
was completed two years later. Its outward appearance was almost identical with the present edifice and it only differed in internal arrangements. By the time it was altogether completed
it cost double the amount anticipated in the contract and completely ruined Mr Fox. A fine clock and bell were added in 1855, the clock being put in by HS Perry & Co of New York for £144.
After witnessing many historic events transpire within its walls, the old building was gutted by fire early on the morning of February 3rd, 1893. The Town Council immediately set about
its restoration. The plans of Architect Curry of Toronto, a worthy son of the Town, were accepted and building-contracts let to several local firms. The result of an expenditure of very little
over ten thousand dollars is a most compact and serviceable Town Hall, reflecting much credit on architect and builders. The new building was reoccupied by the Town Council on
February 26th, 1894. A new Town Bell and Clock were subsequently put in, the former costing $207 and the latter $785.
Up to November 5th, 1883, Port Hope had its own standard of time which was about thirty minutes slower than Montreal time. It is true an attempt had been made in 1857 to put the
Town Clock ahead half an hour but so violent were the resulting protests that it was hurriedly put back and so remained until standard time was everywhere introduced.
One important public work on which Port Hope is to be congratulated is her splendid water-works system, the result of many years of experience and effort. The earliest account of
any movement in the direction of water-supply for the Town is an order of the Town Council of December 26th, 1854, authorizing the Committee on Sewers and Water, 'to procure an
accurate survey and estimate of the costs of establishing water-works for the use of the town upon the preliminary examination and report made by TA Stewart, Esq, CE' Evidently
nothing came of this attempt nor for many years did the Committee on Sewers and Water bestir itself. About 1869, however, an ingenious proposal was presented, to convey water
from a dam on the west side of Cavan Street near the Brewery, along Cavan Street to Walton Street, to be used for fire purposes. Difficulties with the owners of the water-supply
prevented this scheme from ever being carried out.
Two years later a special committee was appointed which advocated a system very similar to the present one but again without avail. Next year a new committee was appointed
and the services of Engineer Keefer were secured. The result of this agitation was that in May 1873 the Committee reported in favour of a rotary pump system, to be built and
operated by John Helm, Esq at his dam on Queen Street.
This plan was matured during the ensuing winter and next year Port Hope's first water-works were installed, under the supervision of Messrs McLenann, Hayden and Garnett.
The system was a fourteen-hydrant affair, for fire purposes only, and cost about $16,500, though much more was spent in extensions in later years. The whole was leased to the
corporation for twenty years from its completion in November 1874.
After the destruction by fire of Trinity College School in 1895, the absolute necessity for better fire protection was keenly felt and the inadequacy of the existing system realized.
With very little waste of time it was decided to secure water from a filtering basin situated on the beach west of the harbour, to pump this to a tank at the top of Dorset Street and
from thence to fill extended mains through-out the Town. McQuillan & Co of Toronto were given the contract and about $30,000 were expended in 1895. The completed works
were then vested in a Board of Commissioners, elected by the people and appointed for the first time in 1896. Since 1896 the Commissioners have expended in the neighborhood
of $25,000, providing two new filtering-basins, new pump, new boiler and a splendid steel water-tower, seventy-seven feet in height and capable of holding 230,000 gallons of water.
With this improved plant both domestic and fire purposes are efficiently served. The Board of Commissioners consists of three members and the mayor, ex-officio. R Deyell, Esq
has presided over its deliberations since its inauguration and R Gray, Esq has been the efficient Secretary-Treasurer.
One other public possession of the Town, which should be mentioned in this connection is the large Park to the east of the Town. The greater part of this property was purchased
in 1871 from the College authorities in Toronto for $3,000 and the remainder was secured from the Smith Family. An attempt had been made to buy the land in 1856 and some
arrangement had been come to but for some reason the bargain was cancelled by the Council of 1861.
(VII) POLITICAL CONNECTIONS
No history of Port Hope would be complete without some account of its connection with the political institutions of the country and so, while this chapter may scarcely be considered as
dealing directly with the life of the Town, it is rendered necessary by the foregoing consideration.
Port Hope was originally situated in the District of Nassau - one of the four divisions into which Governor Dorchester divided Western Canada in 1788. The other three districts were
denominated Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Hesse. These German names applied until 1792 when, by a proclamation of October 15th, Governor Simcoe changed them. The Nassau
District became the Home District and it extended from the Midland District on the Bay of Quinte to a line drawn north from Long Point in Lake Erie. Meanwhile on the 16th of January
the same Governor had divided Upper Canada into nineteen counties for electoral purposes. Of these Durham was the thirteenth and it, together with York and Lincoln, was required
to send one of the sixteen members to the First Parliament of Upper Canada. This original county of Durham was more particularly defined in 1798 when it was proclaimed as consisting
of the Townships of Hope, Clarke and Darlington, together with all the land northward to the chain of small lakes back of Peterboro'.
These townships had been created in 1792, the first in response to a petition presented to Government by Jonathan Walton, Elias Smith and Abraham Walton, dated October 6th, 1792.
It was so named in honour of Colonel Henry Hope, a member of the Legislative Council, to whom Governor Hamilton transferred the Government in 1787, pending the return of
Governor Carleton from England. (Hope Gate at Quebec was also named in his
The counties of Northumberland, Durham, York and Simcoe by the same legislation composed the Home District with the District Town at York. The same Act also provided that when
the population of Northumberland and Durham combined had reached one thousand and when six townships therein held regular meetings that the two counties should be formed
into the Newcastle District. This result was attained by the first day of January, 1800, and the Newcastle District was duly constituted with its capital at the village of Newcastle near
Presqu'ile Point. The same year the representation in Parliament was altered slightly and Durham, the East Riding of York and Simcoe formed one constituency.
By an Act of 1802 it was provided that a Jail and Court House should be erected at Newcastle but, such a situation proving most inconvenient, the Act was repealed in 1805.
As a consequence the Magistrates of the District were authorized to select a suitable site, and Amherst, a small village where Cobourg jail now stands, was chosen and next year
a frame Court House and jail was erected there.
In 1808 another change gave the Newcastle District a member in the Legislature and this representation continued until 1825 when, owing to the result of the first census returns of
Canada, taken during the preceding year, each county was allowed two members.
Meanwhile, for many years there had been much contention among various sections in regard to the situation of the Court House and numerous lawsuits were entered into disputing
the legality of the magistrates' action in building at Amherst. The result was that in 1830 the highest legal tribunal declared that the Court House was no Court House at all, as the
magistrates had not been authorized to erect such a building. To settle the difficulty the next session of the Legislature legalized the Court House and granted indemnity to the
magistrates for 'the illegal expenditure of money applied in its erection.' Two years later the present Cobourg Jail was erected to serve as Court House and Jail combined.
The Counties had all this time been growing rapidly and by 1821 Durham had taken in the new townships of Cavan, Manvers, Cartwright,
Emily, Ops and Mariposa. It continued to comprise portions of Peterborough and Victoria Counties, until by the 'Municipal Institutions Act' of 1849 these two new divisions were
definitely set apart and the modern County of Durham with its six townships was left. (These northern townships had formed part of the Colborne District since 1838.)
From 1825 to the time of the Act of Union, Durham and Northumberland were each entitled to two members and for Durham sat Messrs Smith, Fothergill, Brown, Boulton and Elliot.
Since the Act of Union, East Durham has been Port Hope's constituency. Up to Confederation it was represented by John Tucker Williams, James Smith, Francis H Burton and
John Shuter Smith consecutively.
Since Confederation two sets of representatives are required by law, one for the Dominion Parliament and one for the Provincial Parliament. For the former the Town of Port Hope
has supplied all the members, viz FH Burton, Lewis Ross, Colonel ATH Williams, HA Ward, T Dixon Craig and HA Ward for a second term (1900). For the latter the representation
has been as follows - Colonel Williams, John Rosevear, Dr Brereton, TD Craig, George Campbell and WA Fallis.
When the Newcastle District was constituted, its first courts of justice were held at Newcastle (Presqu'ile). The earliest one recorded was presided over by Justice Thompson of
Kingston and so small were the quarters provided that when the jury retired, they were compelled to deliberate in the open air seated on a log. The Amherst Court House was
but a slight improvement as there was still insufficient accommodation for the Jurymen, who in this case were wont to withdraw to a neighbouring tavern. It was not until the
erection of the present commodious Court House in Cobourg that the course of justice has succeeded in running smoothly.
The earliest form of County Government was by means of Quarter Sessions, presided over by the District Magistrates and this continued until 1841, the Newcastle District Judge
being DM Rogers of Grafton. The Union Act of 1841 established District Councils, similar to the County Councils of the present day, with the exception that the Warden was a
Crown appointee. He became an elective officer in 1847 and has since remained so. The Town of Port Hope withdrew from the Counties in 1860 and remained independent until
1894. Efforts have been made at various times to separate the counties but hitherto without result.
(VIII) THE HARBOUR
Though Port Hope was constituted a port of entry as early as 1819, no effort was made to secure harbour or wharf accommodation until 1829. In that year was incorporated the
Port Hope Harbour and Wharf Company. According to the terms of its Charter the Company was bound 'to construct a harbour which should be accessible to and fit, safe and
commodious for the reception and shelter of the ordinary description of vessels navigating Lake Ontario and to complete the same by May 1st, 1844, under penalty of loss of their Charter.
While the Company was in process of formation, John D Smith, Esq offered ten acres of land for harbour purposes, with the understanding that all the villagers should become
shareholders, but unfortunately a difficulty arose at the first election of officers, which disfranchised a majority of the shareholders. Much ill-feeling was thereby aroused and the
prospects of the Company were seriously impaired. Mr Smith withdrew his offer and the property was subsequently purchased from him in 1835.
Notwithstanding steps were at once taken to construct a steamboat wharf and a harbour. The wharf was run out where the eastern pier now stands and at the close of the
Company's regime in 1851 it extended as far as the present store-house. To form a harbour, another pier was run out a corresponding distance on the west side of the creek's mouth.
At this point, progress ceased and by the date fixed in the Charter, the harbour was far from being in a satisfactory state. In stormy weather and occasionally even in moderate
weather, it was impossible for steamers to approach the land, so that much loss was occasioned to merchants and travellers. Commodore Hodder of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club
described it in such terms as these, 'During a south or south-west gale this port cannot be made by large vessels drawing over nine feet of water, with safety, owing to the
tremendous swell rolling in from the Lake; besides which the piers being only one hundred and twenty-five feet apart at the mouth and the basin very small, there is not room
to check the speed of a vessel or to snub her without danger to herself or others.'
The matter came to a head in 1851, when the Company applied for permission to increase their capital. The Town viewed such a step on the part of Messrs Meredith and Andrews,
the principal officers of the Company, with disfavour and commenced legal proceedings against them, to have the Charter declared forfeit. A compromise however was arrived
at and the harbour was purchased from the Company for £11,500, being thereupon vested in a Board of Harbour Commissioners, which has ever since managed its affairs.
The first Board was composed of Chairman P Smith and Messrs R Armstrong, John Ross, WM Smith, JS Smith, F Beamish, Peter Robertson and TG Ridout. The new authorities,
having as an incentive the near prospect of a railroad to the North, set actively to work to enlarge the harbour. The services of a competent engineer were secured and plans
perfected so that when the Town raised £15,000 for harbour purposes in 1855, everything was in readiness to proceed with the enlargement. To acquire a safe and commodious
basin, the marshy island already referred to was to be removed. The completed harbour was to extend over five acres and to project over twelve hundred feet into the Lake
and eight hundred feet within the shoreline. A depth of fourteen feet outside and eleven feet inside the beach was to be provided and a wharf accommodition of nearly five
thousand feet. The contract for this important work was let to George Weir and the sub-contractors were Morton & Jones for earthwork and French & Shevar for
timberwork. Mr Simms was the contractor's engineer and Mr TC Clark, the Board's adviser. For the land on which the new harbour stands, the Commissioners paid at the
rate of $11,000 per acre, while by 1867 the Contractor had received no less than $244,000. Since that date the Dominion Government has expended large sums on the harbour to
keep it in a state of repair.
On the whole the most important use to which Port Hope's harbour has been put has been the lumber trade. In the thirties and fourties a group of shanties on the site of Helm's
Foundry were annually occupied by a rough gang of French-Canadian lumbermen, who every spring constructed rafts in the old harbour. When the new harbour and Midland
Railway were completed, the new basin became the scene of the raftsmen's labours. As a rule the lumbermen of the fifties were a much better behaved set than the whiskey-drinking
Frenchmen who preceded them. As the country opened up, the lumber was shipped through without being rafted.
At present, though in excellent repair and offering many inducements to prospective manufacturers, the harbour is but little utilized. It seems but to be awaiting the opening up of a
canal to Rice Lake, thereby connecting it with the Trent Valley Canal System, to make it a hive of industry. There now seems to be a very fair prospect that this route for the outlet
of the Canal will be adopted as being the most direct, most feasible of construction and cheapest. The scheme is by no means a new one. The 'patriot' Gourlay, whose opinions have
been shown to be valuable, wrote about 1820 that 'in the course of time it may become an object of importance to connect Rice Lake by a canal with Lake Ontario direct, instead
of following the present canoe route by its natural outlet into the Bay of Quinte.'
As early as 1833 the Government of Upper Canada took into consideration a canal from Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario and in December of that year sent Robert A Maingy, CE to
report on the practicability of the Port Hope-Rice Lake route. His report, which it would be impossible in a work of this kind to quote at any length, showed the route to be perfectly
feasible and much preferable to the Trent River route, since 'the communication from Lake Ontario to Rice Lake up to Lake Simcoe can by this route be completed for a sum not
greater than is necessary merely to open the navigation from the mouth of the Trent to the Rice Lake.'
At the next session of the Legislature the Port Hope and Rice Lake Canal Company was incorporated and work on the canal begun at the Rice Lake end, but, like many of the early
efforts in this Province, it was abandoned before it was well begun.
Since then the Trent Valley Canal System has been gradually evolved. Port Hope apparently took no interest in the concern until 1880 when Colonel Williams, MP secured the
services of Government Engineer Stark to go over the route. The matter has again been brought vitally before the people by the prospect of the completion of the Canal. Committees
of citizens have been appointed during the last three years, who are employing every possible means to secure the selection of the Port Hope route. Of these
Dr Powers, Dr Corbett and F Clark have been the most active members.
(IX) STEAM NAVIGATION
The maritime flavour contained in the name, 'Port Hope', obviously demands that some attention should be paid to the shipping interests of the Town. Already in the preceding chapter,
the development of the harbour from its diminutive beginnings to its present goodly proportions has been traced out and it accordingly becomes the aim of this chapter to set down
some record of those vessels, especially steamboats, which have frequented this Port from the days when the first steamship ploughed the waters of Lake Ontario. This momentous
event in lake-shipping occurred in 1816, when the Frontenac
, a vessel of seven hundred tons, was launched at Ernesttown on the Bay of Quinte. This steamer immediately started
to run from Prescott to Niagara calling at Newcastle (near Presqu'ile Point), York and Burlington, the fare from Prescott to York being placed at £4.
was followed in a few years by other steamships so that the 'York Loyalist' of August 12th, 1826 has this to say of the new departure in marine life, 'On noticing the
first trip of another steamboat, we cannot help contrasting the present means of conveyance with those ten years ago. At that time only a few schooners navigated the Lake and the
passage was attended with many delays and much inconvenience. Now there are five steamboats, all affording excellent accommodation and the means of expeditious travelling.
The routes of each are so arranged that almost every day of the week the traveller may find opportunity of being conveyed from one extremity of the Lake to the other in a few hours.'
The first steamer to call regularly at Port Hope was the Niagara
which appeared in 1827. There was at that date not even the semblance of a wharf at Port Hope and passengers
and goods were landed by means of small boats, which plied between the anchored vessel and the shore. This inconvenience was removed by the construction of a small pier in 1832.
About this same period the steamer Constitution
, later known as the Transit
, began to ply across the Lake between Genesee County and the northern ports and continued
to do so until 1837. She was then succeeded by the Traveller
and it again by the Hamilton
Meanwhile the Canada
, William the Fourth
, St George
and other vessels had been performing trips up and down the Lake,
calling regularly at Port Hope. These vessels left Toronto at 9 am and rounding Gibraltar Point at the west end of Toronto Island stood down the Lake for Port Hope, which was reached at 4 pm.
Up to 1840 there was little organization and little permanency in lake navigation. Vessels were owned separately as a rule
and from year to year were changed from one route to another.
But in 1840 the Niagara Harbour and Dock Company inaugurated the Royal Mail Line of steamers with the St George
and City of Toronto
on Lake Ontario and three
others on the St Lawrence River. The three named sailed from Toronto to Kingston, calling at intermediate points and ever since there has been a regular daily service on the Lake during
the summer months by the steamers of this Line.
From 1840 to 1857 the following additional steamers were accustomed to call at Port Hope - Princess Royal
, Maple Leaf
. Of these, three continue to traverse the Lake. The Passport
) and the Magnet
) joined the
RM Fleet in 1847, being new steel steamers and the fastest on the Lake. The Magnet
was modelled on the Clyde and was put together at Niagara by James and Neil Currie.
The British Government took a large proportion of the stock with the view of using her in the event of war with the United States. The
was built the same year at Kingston. A few years after these two vessels began to run, it was deemed expedient to plank over their steel hulls, it being believed that
with steel bottoms there was more danger of holes being stove in by the rocks in descending the rapids. The Kingston
was added to the line in 1855.
After many years service, it was much altered, becoming the Algerian
In 1857 the Canadian Navigation Company bought up the Line Boats and controlled them for the following
eighteen years. Instead of running river and lake boats they
despatched their steamers direct from Toronto to Montreal. The initial through fleet consisted of the Kingston
, New Era
. Two famous boats were built during these eighteen years - the Spartan
in 1864 and the Corsican
In 1875 the Richelieu Navigation Company amalgamated with the Canadian Company and the present R & 0 Line was formed. This has now become one of the most famous
shipping corporations of the world. Many new vessels have been added to its fleet and several of the older ones have disappeared. With the completion of the magnificent steamer
in the present year, which, with its sister ship the Toronto
, makes daily trips down the south shore, the famous old evening boats, that for so many years have
called at Port Hope, have become memories of the past. The Spartan
was the last of the old line to visit this Port, calling on September 14th, 1900.
Meanwhile the Rochester Line has witnessed many changes. In 1840 a new vessel appeared on the route - the
, commanded by Captain Dick. Two years later she was joined by the America
and the two vessels ran conjointly until 1846, when the America
took the trip
alone for six years. The Admiral
, its successor, only ran for one season, it being burned at Toronto, early in 1853. From 1855 to 1863 the Maple Leaf
and the Highlander
were on this route and after them the Rochester
crossed the Lake for three seasons.
The immediate predecessor of the Norseman
) was the Corinthian
which began to run on June 24th, 1865. She was built for the Line Boat Company
but was used for several years on the Rochester Line. (During the first season there was great rivalry between her and the Rochester
). The Norseman
, a name quite
familiar to the people of Port Hope, was built in 1868 and for many years was on the route across the Lake. In 1891 it was entirely remodelled and overhauled, its name being
changed to North King
(X) EARLY MODES OF TRANSPORT
The century which has just closed has witnessed many and wonderful changes in all departments of human life but perhaps the greatest achievement in its annals has been the marvellous
development of the facilities of transportation. Everywhere this revolution in travel is manifest and nowhere can its course be better traced than in its connection with this town and its surrounding country.
The founders of Port Hope, as has been seen, reached their future homes by water and on the water they preferred to travel for many years afterwards. Thus it came about that the earliest
improvements were made in the field of navigation. Flat-bottomed Durham boats in which many early settlers arrived were soon superseded by comfortable sailing packets and they in turn
by steam-vessels about the year 1820. By 1850 these steamboats had become not only large and luxurious but swift and trustworthy. Sailing vessels in large numbers were employed to convey
lumber, coal and grain to and from the south shore and from about the middle of last century until recent years Port Hope possessed a large fleet of these schooners, many of which had been
constructed in the town itself. However it is not the purpose of this chapter to relate more concerning lake navigation, a subject which has been partially dealt with in a previous section.
On land the earliest communication was made with Rice Lake by means of the Indian carrying road. It is not known at what date this road was made but it is not unlikely that it was of very
remote construction. The Indian name 'Gochingomink' means 'the commencement of the carrying-place' so that it naturally follows that the road and the Indian village date back to the same
dim antiquity. However this may be, the ancient path through the woods, marked by blazed trees, was in constant use when the first settlers arrived at Smith's Creek. The trail formed a direct
and most convenient route from Smith's Creek to Sackville's Creek, at which point the Indians were accustomed to launch their canoes. Its course lay to the eastward of the present gravel road,
sometimes running as far as a mile away. As the woods have been gradually cleared away all traces of this old road have been obliterated.
It is a difficult matter to state anything definite about the early roads through Port Hope. All that can be done is to deduce certain conclusions from the facts at hand. During the war of 1812 the
British soldiers were accustomed to put up at Marsh's Inn at Port Britain, on their way to and from York. From this it is evident that the main road at that day ran along near the Lake shore.
At the same period it is known that Cavan Street was the thoroughfare to the north country and the building farthest west on Walton Street was at the Cavan Street corner. This points to the
conclusion that Walton Street was not yet opened up above Cavan Street. Again certain old residents can recall a winding road which zig-zagged up the hill in the neighborhood of the Base Line
and then ran westward, so that it is not improbable that this was the first road into Port Hope from the west.
The main York Road (Danforth Road) running through Welcome and Dale must have been constructed shortly after the War of 1812, as it may be inferred that the Government recognized from
experience the necessity of having a better means of communication between east and west. It may be concluded also that
Walton Street and the road to Welcome were opened up soon after this Danforth road was built. To the east of the Town the old post road ran up
over Ward's hill and joined the present Cobourg Road near the blacksmith shop, half way to Cobourg. The Rice Lake road was another early line of communication. At first it ran directly north
from Rossmount to Peterboro, without going near the Lake but soon after it circled around to Bewdley. Cavan Street formed its first connection into Town.
These roads were presumably of corduroy construction, at least in swampy localities and the discomfort of travelling over them can best be expressed from actual experience.
Captain Basil Hall, RN in July 1827 was travelling east from York. He wrote - 'The horrible corduroy roads again made their appearance in a more formidable shape by the addition of
deep inky holes, which almost swallowed up the fore wheels of the wagon and bathed its hinder axle-tree. The jogging and plunging to which we were now exposed and the occasional
bang when the vehicle reached the bottom of one of these abysses were so new and remarkable in the history of our travels that we tried to make a good joke of them.'
Even after the Cobourg Road Company had been formed in 1847 and had built the new connection into Port Hope complaints were rife, as witness the following broadside which appeared in the Guide of March 15th, 1859.
Tenders will be received until the 20th inst for the construction of zoo Mud Scows to run between Cobourg and Port Hope on the Macadamized (7) Road connecting the two places, which is owned
by Cobourg Capitalists. The Company feel that the new mode of conveyance is necessary as the loss of horses, waggons and valuable lives in the fathomless abyss of mud during court week
was fearfully alarming. Until the completion of the said Mud Scows the Company will continue to exact toll from those who may be so fortunate as to escape alive through the gates.
Though the legality of such exaction may be open to question, they confidently expect that in view of the public spirit of the Company in providing the Scows aforesaid, the public will submit to be victimized.
Dated at Cobourg this 15th day of March, 1859.
Simon Grumpy, Sec Road Co
Since that time great improvements have been made and the majority of the roads into Port Hope, while not quite what could be desired are still very serviceable.
Much difficulty was experienced by the first settlers both in working their farms and in drawing grain from the lack of horses. Mr John Brown of Port Hope proved himself quite a
benefactor when he made large purchases of French horses in Lower Canada and disposed of them on credit to the farmers. Owing to the bad condition of the roads the farmers
of the back country were wont to wait for winter to provide good sleighing before venturing to Town. Ox-sleds were employed and after a good snow-fall the road to Town was lined
with these vehicles, of which a person might pass fifty within a single mile. Those coming from a long distance travelled night and day. The road took them through Graham's Tavern
(Baillieboro), Village Inn (Millbrook) and Bletcher's Corners. At the latter point there was always a warm welcome to all and huge fires burned in the Inn all day long.
The first regular mail stage began to run through Port Hope about 1826. Prior to that date travellers either passed through in private carriages or on their own horses. The hardships
of these early horsemen may best be told by quoting an amusing incident, which occurred to a traveller, who once put up at the 'Red Tavern.' He tied his steed carefully in a shed,
inhabited by some cows, and betook himself into the Inn for some refreshment. On his return imagine his chagrin to discover saddle, bridle and stirrups completely vanished.
The truth was that being made of straw the hungry cows had naturally enough devoured them.
With the advent of the stage-coach, travel seemed to receive a new impetus so that by 1831 five trips a week were made. The coaches usually stopped at the Old Inn on the site of
the present Queen's Hotel. This tavern, in the early days, stood in from the street and the stage drove up to the door through a little avenue, quite in the style of the famous
stage-coaches of Old England. In their palmy days these stages were fine large vehicles drawn by four horses and they presented quite an imposing picture as they dashed
down Walton Street to the sound of the guard's horn.
In summer good time was made by these stages, but at many seasons of the year travellers were badly delayed by the lamentable state of the roads. A traveller in 1831 reports
that he left Port Hope at 2 am and did not reach York until the following midnight. During this time he had to walk a considerable distance, owing to break downs and other delays.
Mr Hicks controlled the first stage coaches. After him came Mr Jonathan Ogden, who had previously carried the mail weekly from Trenton to York on horseback. The last stage
magnate was Mr Weller and under him coaching saw its best days. Besides the regular mail coaches, Mr Weller for some time ran a daily line of accommodation stages expressly
for passengers from Cobourg to Toronto, leaving Port Hope at 9 am and arriving at Toronto early in the evening. Horses were changed at Cobourg and at Marsh's, west of the
Guideboard (Welcome). Another line of stages, run by the Bletchers, connected Port Hope with Lindsay and Peterboro'. However no sooner was the whistle of the locomotive
heard in the land, than stage-coaches became things of the past, at least in this neighbourhood.
(XI) THE ADVENT OF THE RAILROADS
The earliest railroad scheme in which Port Hope took an interest was a proposed tram-line to Bewdley at the head of Rice Lake. This undertaking was agitated in 1832 and on the 9th of
January, 1833 Postmaster David Smart made application to the Legislature for authority to construct such a line. Permission was granted but with that the scheme seems to have dropped.
By 1845 the Toronto and Kingston Junction Railway had begun to be pushed and in October a public meeting of the inhabitants of Port Hope was held to consider the project. Nothing definite
was accomplished during the ensuing six years but in 1851 a deputation was sent to a railroad meeting at Kingston and the same year a grant of £20 was voted by the Council to aid in making
a survey of the proposed route. In 1852 the Grand Trunk Company absorbed this lesser road along with many similar ones and began the construction of its through line from Portland to
Sarnia. Its original capital was £9,500,000 which was soon increased to £12,000,000. By January of 1856 its road was complete with the exception of gaps between Brockville and Toronto and
Guelph and Sarnia. Contracts were let during the spring to Mr John Fowler for the section from Grafton to Port Hope, to Mr Betts for the viaduct and to Messrs Humphrey and Harris for the
section from Port Hope to the western limit of Hope Township.
The latter gentlemen had their contract completed first and on Sept 1st, 1856 they invited several prominent citizens of the Town to an excursion over their line. 'A goodly number were at the
depot grounds to see the Iron Horse harnessed for the first time in the history of the town to cars freighted with regular live
Canadians.' Arrived at the Clarke line the excursionists watched the completion of Messrs Spence and McKenzie's section, which joined them
to Toronto. On their return to town supper and complimentary speeches closed the proceedings.
A week later Mr Fowler opened his section with an excursion party from Cobourg, who were also taken over the Hope section. Several Port Hope citizens accompanied the party on their
return to Cobourg, where a banquet was served according to the usual custom.
Meanwhile the Albert Bridge across the valley was in a fair way toward completion. Contractor Betts began work in May and by the end of
August all his supporters were in place. They were built of white brick with stone foundations, averaged thirty feet in height and were fifty-six in number. With extra work the heavy task of
completing the bridge was accomplished by October 13th. The following graphic account of its opening is taken from the Port Hope Standard of the 14th inst:
'Yesterday at half past twelve the cry of 'all ready' was announced by some one on the great Viaduct in front of the town, and in a few seconds a shrill whistle and the sound of a bell was
heard from near the depot. Presently a rumbling noise and puffing of the iron horse approached us, when with a few others we were asked to take a 'ride on the rail' across the Albert Viaduct.
We of course availed ourselves of the pleasure and off we set at a rapid rate about 40 feet above the locality where the 'dismal swamp' and the 'Canadian Nightingale' existed but a few
months back. As soon as we cleared the curve on the west end of the viaduct steam was put on and the locomotive went over the rest at the rate of at least 45 miles per hour. It then returned...'
On Monday, October 27th, 1856, the first through train from Toronto to Montreal stopped at Port Hope. There was no ceremonial and no crowd. Its stay was but of ten minutes' duration.
It consisted of three first and three second class cars and among its passengers were Chief Justice Sir John B Robinson and Mr Ross, Chief Engineer of the Company.
There have been many changes in the Grand Trunk since that first through train crossed the viaduct. Four passenger trains a day were then deemed sufficient to accommodate the
travelling public, while now twelve are none too many. The engines and cars of the present day tower far above the odd old vehicles of the early railroad and travel at double the speed.
The road-bed both east and west has been moved, owing to the inroads of the Lake. But chief of all the old Albert Bridge has been replaced by a magnificent double-track structure on
huge stone piers - the finest piece of engineering work in Town. The Grand Trunk Company built this bridge themselves and spent seven summers in its construction (1887-1893).
The foreman of the work and the man on whom the greater part of the responsibility lay was Mr Thomas White of Port Hope, who may look with pride on the result of his work.
The bridge was at first intended to be single-track and several piers had been erected before the order was countermanded. The stone used in these piers was quarried at Foxboro,
back of Belleville. The foundations were laid on rock bottom at an average depth of fifteen
feet- in many cases a depth of twenty feet being required. There were thirty-two piers erected with spans of various lengths, the longest being about seventy feet. Not the least
interesting part of the construction lay in the fact that the bridge was built on a curve. While work on the bridge was in progress, traffic was not at all delayed and at the same time
the line was being double-tracked to the east.
All the frontier towns seem at one date to have had ambitions towards securing railroad communication to the north and to Cobourg belongs the honour of completing the first such
line, for on Friday, December 30th, 1854, the Cobourg and Peterboro' Railroad was officially opened. Meanwhile Port Hope had decided to build to the same point and a charter had
been secured in 1846 for that purpose. The line was surveyed in 1852 by Messrs Keefer and Tate and £50,000 stock was subscribed to by the municipality in December of that year.
The plans of the projectors of the road now suffered a change and for some reason it was decided to build first to Lindsay. The contract for the Port Hope and Lindsay Railway was
let in May 1853 to Messrs Zimmerman and Balch, who were to complete the road by the end of 1854. Unfortunately construction dragged for lack of funds and by the end of the
contract time only the grading had been done. The Town thereupon increased its subsidies by £50,000 in 1854 and £70,000 in 1855. It was not until September of 1856 that track-laying
was started. On the 6th of that month the rails were put down across Walton Street. A month later ten miles had been covered and on the 5th of November the official opening
excursion was run to Millbrook in a box car. Early the following year the road was pushed through to Lindsay. The same year Messrs Tate and Fowler leased the road and contracted
to build the Peterboro' Branch for £50,000, Port Hope providing £30,000. The work was rapidly done and the road opened May 31st, 1858.
In 1869 the name Midland Railway was applied to the system and two years later it had reached Beaverton. By 1873 Orillia was connected with Beaverton and in 1878 the terminus was
at Midland. The road was finally consolidated with the Grand Trunk Railway by an Act of Parliament of 1893.
The early lessees of the road from all accounts had much difficulty in keeping out of the sheriff's clutches and for days at a time not a train could run on the road. One amusing incident
typical of this is told concerning Mr Fowler who leased the Port Hope and Peterboro Railway in 1859. To quote the Guide of July 5th - 'Mr John Fowler announced last week that he would
run an excursion train to Peterboro on the 'Fourth' and that the charge per head for the trip to and fro would be the moderate sum of 50 cents. The train from Peterboro arrived at the
usual hour, the band which accompanied it playing 'Yankee Doodle'. 9:30 am was the time fixed to leave for Peterboro' but alas for the pleasure-seekers who had assembled at the station,
when the fingers of the Town Clock pointed in that direction, Mr Deputy Sheriff Benson by virtue of an execution against the goods and chattels of the lessee took possession of the
' (engine). About eleven o'clock the locomotive 'Clifton
' was procured from Mr Superintendent Williams of the Lindsay Line and being harnessed to the Peterboro' train,
those who had hung about the station for two mortal hours were soon speeding rapidly northward.'
(XII) A CHAPTER OF TRADGEDIES
Within its century of existence Port Hope has witnessed many tragic occurrences, the relation of which with their attendant circumstances might fill a volume of much larger proportions
than this. It is scarcely possible to do more than note down a few of the more important tragedies which have taken place in this locality.
Very early in the century an Englishman and his son settled a few miles to the west of Smith's Creek and for some years prospered very well. Their farm was mortgaged heavily and
every year either father or son journeyed to York bearing the interest on the mortgage to the money-lender. One year the son left the homestead with a good sum of money on him
and started for York and this was the last seen of him. Shortly after, a girl on a neighbouring farm went to a spring in the woods for water. As she approached the spot she heard men's
voices and coming still nearer she was able to make out a small party of men dividing up some booty. From their conversation she learned enough to assure her that these men had
been guilty of the murder of the young Englishman. She communicated her story to the authorities but when the culprits were to be tried she refused to give evidence, having been
successfully intimidated in the meantime. Years after when the Grand Trunk contractors were making a cutting with a steam shovel near Port Britain, their operations were constantly
watched by an old man. One day the shovel threw up the skeleton of a man and after that the old watcher ceased to frequent the works. He had been one of the accused at the time of the murder.
A second murder of deplorable circumstances occurred in 1810. A Scotchman by name of Donaldson had just arrived from Scotland with a good sized family. One bright son, thirteen years of age,
secured a position at Smith's red store on Mill Street. It chanced one day that the boy was unpacking crockery from a crate at the door, when an Indian, for some unaccountable reason,
suddenly appeared on the scene, tomahawked him and successfully made his escape.
On Wednesday evening, November 9th, 1836, young MC O'Neil, a clerk in the employ of John Crawford, a distiller and shopkeeper, went down to the wharf to look after the shipment of
some whiskey on the evening boat. It was quite dark and as he leaned over a cask to decipher some words. on it, he was knocked down from behind with a whiffletree. He was badly
stunned by the blow but was able to walk to his lodgings, where he died during the night. Robert Brown and Samuel McKenna were accused of the murder under the clearest evidence.
The deed was the outcome of a feud between the employees of Crawford and John Brown, who were both engaged in the same business. On September 22nd, 1837, Brown was tried before
Justice Macaulay; GM Boswell and WS Bidwell defended Brown, and Attorney-General Hagerman prosecuted. The evidence of Sheriff, mate of the
, was most conclusive and everybody believed Brown a doomed man. Still he had two friends on the jury, Mitchell and Campbell, who belonged to the same secret
society and these men stood out for six days for his release, during the first two days of which no food was allowed the jury. The result was the jury was dismissed and a new trial called for.
It took place at the next assizes and, because Attorney-General Hagerman refused to call Sheriff, Brown was acquitted.
A fourth murder of a still more tragic nature occurred in October 1856, when Mr George Brogdin shot Mr Tom Henderson at the wharf. This fearful deed, involving two young and well-known
citizens of the town, was the result of domestic inconstancy and possessed many extenuating circumstances. Henderson was passing through on the
at the time and Brogdin chanced to be at the wharf. He was at all times prepared for such a meeting and the moment Henderson showed himself he was a dead man. Brogdin
immediately gave himself over to the police and he was put on his trial on October 31st. Immense crowds from town attended the court and it is said had the prisoner not been acquitted,
the populace would have put the law at defiance and secured his release. Brogdin was defended in a masterly manner by Sir Thomas Galt and prosecuted by Solicitor General Smith.
He was declared 'not guilty', to the great joy of his numerous supporters.
A very sad accident of rather a remarkable nature occurred on May 9th, 1838. James McSpadden, aged fourteen, the eldest son of Dr McSpadden, left his home on Walton street in order
to get something he had left the preceding Sunday in the Presbyterian Church. Though he did not return immediately, his parents experienced no alarm. However a companion of James
happened to pass the rear of the Church about that time. He saw a ladder up at one of the windows and at the top of it the form of his friend. He shouted to him but received no reply.
He therefore made an examination and to his horror found that his friend was hanging by the neck from the window which had evidently fallen upon him as he was in the act of passing through.
Around the piers of Port Hope Harbour there are still to be seen the hulks of several old schooners which have at one time or another been wrecked during storms. A sad tale surrounds
an old hulk which lies near the shore to the east of the east pier. It is all that remains of the schooner
, which was driven aground there by a fierce storm on December 3rd, 1856. The
was bound from Bond Head Harbour to Port Hope, laden with coal. It attempted to make the harbour but, striking the eastern pier, it was carried around and driven ashore.
Its crew consisted of captain and five men, who were compelled to climb into the rigging to escape the dashing waves. The inhabitants of Port Hope assembled in large numbers on the
shore prepared to render all possible assistance. A rescue party under command of Captain Alward started out in a boat but failed to reach the wreck. Shortly after Captain Paddock and
five men made a second attempt. His boat reached the ship but immediately thereupon it foundered. The brave Captain was drowned and also one of his companions named Campbell.
The others succeeded in boarding the wreck, making now ten men to be rescued. Captain Alward led the third rescue party and to the relief of the anxious watchers, succeeded in bringing
off the ship-wrecked crew. For his brave act he was presented with a gold watch by his admiring fellow-townsmen.
Space forbids the recounting of further tales of sorrow. There have been many others. The lake has claimed several precious lives, the railroad has mangled many useful bodies, suicides
have oft-times sought relief from their cares and accidents of various kinds have deprived the community of its citizens. But let the memory of these departed souls rest with
those who loved them.
(XIII) THE EARLIEST CHURCH
The history of Port Hope lies inscribed in its oldest Church as in some ancient book. Within the portals and among the gray old tombstones of St Mark's, the modern citizen stands on common
ground with the Fathers of the settlement. Here worshipped the Waltons, the Smiths, the Wards, the Whiteheads and many other old and honoured families. Here were baptized children who
grew to useful manhood and womanhood and who have long since passed away. Here were performed with much pomp and ceremonial the marriage rites of the long ago. Here were buried
the remains of many of the brave founders of the Town. Their names are still decipherable on the moss-grown gravestones. Their memory is still perpetuated by the marble tablets on the
walls of the sacred edifice and up in the belfry the name of Captain Jonathan Walton still stands out clear-cut on the old bell.
The construction of St Mark's Church (known at its erection and until the building of the present St John's Church, as the Church of St John the Evangelist) was begun in the year 1822 and was
completed two years later. It was virtually a gift to the Anglicans of Port Hope from John D Smith, Esq, who erected it at his own expense. The bell, to which quite an historical interest attaches,
was added to the edifice in 1826. It bears the names 'Aspinwall' and 'Albany' and near the lower edge '1826 Presented by J
Until 1830 there was no regular incumbent in the new Church. The Rev AN Bethune of St Peter's in Cobourg conducted services every Sunday afternoon at three o'clock and attended as best
he could to the needs of the parish. In 1830, however, the Lord Bishop of Montreal appointed the Rev James Coghlan to the church in Port Hope. Mr Coghlan held the charge for six years and
during that period was instrumental for much good in the Town. He conducted a boys' school on the property until recently occupied by Mr James Kerr, near the Toronto Road.
On the 18th of January 1836, letters patent were issued by Sir John Colborne, KCB, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, constituting the Rectory of St John the Evangelist at Port Hope,
designating it as 'the first Rectory within the Township of Hope.' In the same year Mr Coghlan was succeeded by the Rev Jonathan Shortt, DD, who for thirty-one years continued as Rector.
Dr Shortt was during those many years a prominent and useful member of the community and interested himself largely in municipal and educational affairs. He belonged to the evangelical
school of thought and for many years edited the Echo newspaper, the organ of that branch of the Church.
In recognition of his services the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on him the honorary degree of DD. Dr Shortt died on August 24th, 1867, but before he passed away a movement had been
set on foot towards the erection of a new Church. A subscription list, to which the Hon Benjamin Seymour, Colonel Williams, JS Smith and HH Meredith were the chief donators, secured over
eight thousand dollars. Gundry and Langley of Toronto were appointed architects and the superintendence of the building operations was entrusted to JG Williams, Esq.
Work on the present St John's Church was begun on the 18th July, 1867 and by Feb 6th, 1869 the structure was completed. The total cost entailed amounted to well over $18,300 but by the careful
management of Mr Williams, the product was well worth the money expended. The handsome Gothic structure is considered by many as the most beautiful architectural production in the Town.
Meanwhile on the 9th Sept 1867 the Rev Frederick Augustus O'Meara, LLD, who had been Dr Shortt's assistant during the last few months of his life, was appointed his successor. Dr O'Meara,
who was a Canon of St James' Cathedral at Toronto and later of St Alban's Cathedral, was like Dr Shortt, a large-hearted and broadminded man. He had spent over twenty of his earlier years
as a missionary to the Ojibway Indians on Manitoulin Island and whilst there had translated a great part of the Bible and the Prayer Book into their language.
In 1875 the School House was erected at a cost of seven thousand five hundred dollars. Its exterior harmonizes well with the general effect of the Church and its equipment is all that could be desired.
The official consecration of St John's Church by the Bishop of Toronto took place on April 5th, 1882. The ceremonial was most impressive, being carried out according to the approved forms of
the Provincial Synod. Five years later on Sept 27th, 1887, Dr O'Meara's Jubilee was celebrated. Many leading clergymen, including the Bishop of the Diocese, assembled to do honour to the man,
who for fifty years had fought the battles of the Church. Addresses were presented from various bodies, all testifying to the esteem in which the Rector was held and the value laid on his work.
Scarcely, however, had this time of rejoicing passed away than the sudden death of Dr O'Meara cast a cloud over the community. His end came very unexpectedly whilst he was awaiting a
train at the Grand Trunk Depot on the morning of December 17th, 1888.
Short occupancies of the Church by the former Curate, Mr Hamilton and by the Rev EC Saunders followed, until the appointment of the present Rector, the Rev Edwin Daniel, BA, who was
inducted on the 16th of January, 1890 by Rural Dean Allen.
Since the erection of the Church its beauty has been much enhanced by the installation of many fine memorial windows, so that the interior of the building now possesses a most appropriate
and sacred aspect. The large central chancel window representing St John, and its two accompanying and smaller windows, were placed there by the parishioners in memory of Dr Shorn.
Over the main entrance two large windows commemorate John Tucker Williams and Thomas Benson respectively. The side windows are all filled with memorials as well as the small windows
on the left of the Chancel. Of these probably the most beautiful are those with the large figures - the one filled with a group of angels erected to the memory of Lilian Holland, the other
portraying Christ with Mary and Martha, in memory of Margaret O'Meara, wife of Dr O'Meara.
In addition to these impressive coloured windows, the stone font and the carved oak lectern are objects of interest. The former resting on four marble pillars each with a carved capital,
was presented in memory of Mrs Shorn, while the lectern bears as its
'In loving memory of Frederick Augustus O'Meara and Margaret Johnston (Dallas) his wife.'
A new organ was placed in the Church during 1896 by Warren & Son of Toronto at a cost of over sixteen hundred dollars and was opened on Nov 20th of that year by Mr Wm Reed of Montreal.
Some attention must now be paid to the subsequent career of the old Church on Protestant Hill. About the period when the new Church was in course of construction it was believed by several of
the members, that there was room for two churches in the town, and that the old church being in a convenient position for them, it might profitably be reopened. They accordingly petitioned the
Bishop with the result that in 1873 the church was repaired and re-dedicated to St Mark. The first incumbent was the Rev Charles Patterson. He was succeeded by the Rev JS Baker in 1878 and he
by the Rev Mr Hibbard in 1891. The Rev CB Kenrick the next Rector came in 1895 and shortly after through his instrumentality the church building was greatly improved in convenience and appearance.
The Rev Mr Kenrick left recently for the maritime provinces and has been succeeded by the Rev EG Dymond, who was inducted in November 1900.
St Mark's Church is a substantial old wooden structure in form of a cross. Its interior, though it lacks the impressive attributes of St John's Church, yet possesses the air of sacredness associated with
a long past. Besides the marble slabs on the walls erected to the memory of departed members, there is a massive oak altar, which is the most imposing object in the building. The church is hung with
exquisite cloth hangings of various colours and delicate embroidery, the work of Mrs Baker, widow of a preceding incumbent. A gallery occupies one end of the structure, being all that remains of
the old gallery which encircled three sides of the church.
Like the members of many early religious bodies the adherents of the Presbyterian Church in Port Hope were compelled by circumstances to meet for many years in private residences or in
school-houses and to be ministered to, either by wandering missionaries or holders of neighbouring charges. As their numbers increased they naturally turned their attention towards securing
a suitable place for worship. Accordingly a meeting was held in 1828 at the residence of Mr John Wallace. There was a large attendance of settlers from both Hope and Hamilton Townships present,
who were strongly in favour of erecting a church. It was definitely decided to build and a Board of Trustees was appointed to superintend the work of construction. This Board was composed of
Messrs Wm McElroy, George Gillespie, Samuel Todd, William Cochrane, and George Kinder. (The elders at this period were John Lindsay, John Lyall, Thomas Quay, John Wallace and Andrew Jeffrey).
The Church, which was completed in 1831, was a frame structure standing on the site of the present First Presbyterian Church. Its dimensions were small but yet it contained a gallery around
three of its sides. The pulpit rose high above the straight-backed pews and was surmounted by a ending board of huge proportions. Below it was the precentor's desk. The builders of the early
church were Messrs Brogdin & Lee. When first erected it stood in a pathless wood, separated from the main road by a deep gully, which necessitated a long detour to the west in order that
the worshippers might reach it in comfort. After a time a bridge was built across the ravine which was subsequently filled in to form the present road.
The first minister to preach in the new building was the Rev Peter Gordon, who was an eloquent young man and, besides ministering to the spiritual wants of the congregation, he also attended
to the instruction of the children during the week. His residence here was unfortunately short. He was succeeded by several ministers whose sojourns were equally brief. Among them were
Dr Thornton, Mr Lawrence and Dr Ormiston. In March 1835 was inducted the Rev John Cassie, whose memory is revered among the Presbyterians as is that of Dr Shortt among the Episcopalians.
Mr Cassie was a native of Aberdeenshire and a distinguished graduate of both Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities. He came to Canada as a missionary from the United Secession Church,
and almost immediately settled in Port Hope, where he remained until his death in 1861. At his coming the membership roll of the Church was but thirty, whereas at the conclusion of his ministry,
it had reached two hundred, and a new church had had to be erected to contain the large numbers who came to his services. His death, which occurred on the 19th of June, 1861, was lamented
not only by his own people but by his fellow-townsmen at large. His funeral service was conducted by the Rev Dr Thornton.
The present brick Church was opened October 1st, 1854. Eight thousand dollars were expended in its erection, and it was calculated at the time to be capable of accommodating nearly one
thousand persons. Its interior fittings were in perfect keeping with the quaint old style of kirk arrangement - high pulpit, led up to by flights of stairs, large gallery almost encircling the walls,
closed pews and sconces for the candles. In time all these old contrivances have vanished. In place of the old-time precentor, there is now an organ and choir, the pulpit has become a
modest desk on a broad platform, the gallery has dwindled down to a small affair at the rear, and electric light takes the place of tallow candles. Much opposition was made to the purchase
of the organ, which was bought about 1870 for $1,600. Up to the present year it was stationed in the gallery but a recent change has placed it to the minister's left hand on the ground floor.
Since Mr Cassie's death the Church has been occupied by Dr Waters until 1868, Rev Wm Donald, 1869-78, Rev RJ Beattie, 1878-1883, Rev JW Mitchell, 1884-1889, Rev BC Jones, DD, 1890-1892,
and Rev JK Smith, DD, 1892-1898. The present pastor, the Rev AG Sinclair, was inducted into the charge in September 1899.
There have been two secessions from the present church during its long history. The first took place about 1858 and was indirectly owing to the famous Disruption in Scotland. The Church
here supported this famous movement and became connected with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. However there were many among its members who favoured the Old Kirk
and in time they left the U P Church and formed a church of their own. Their first minister was the Rev Mr Camelon, who preached in the Town Hall, until the church on Brown street was
completed. This edifice, later occupied as the High School was erected in 1860 at a cost of $2,800. Here ministered Mr Camelon, and after him Mr Cochrane, until the congregation sold the
church in 1872 and united with Mill Street Church.
Mill Street Church was the outcome of the second secession, which occurred after Mr Cassie's death. The difficulty arose between the Scotch and Irish elements in the congregation over
the choice of a new minister and the Irish members left. Next year they built the present Mill Street Church, at a cost of $3,000. Their first pastor was the Rev John Hogg, who has been
succeeded by the Rev Mr Smith, the Rev Mr McLean, Rev James Cleland, Rev William McWilliam, Rev Alex Laird and the present minister Rev William W McCuaig. When first formed
this Church connected itself with the United Presbyterian Church of North America and remained an adherent of that body until the general union of 1870, out of which arose the
Canada Presbyterian Church.
(XV) THE METHODIST CHURCH
Before the auspicious day when the little congregation of Methodists in Port Hope entered their first church-home, their life as a religious body was necessarily an arduous one. To keep together and
alive all the scattered interests of such a community was no easy task for those devoted ministers, who in the early days endured all manner of hardships in ministering to the spiritual wants of extensive
circuits. But the fruits of their labours are being reaped at the present day and the Methodist denomination in Port Hope occupies a stronger and more extensive position than that of any other religious body in the Town.
The earliest record of a Methodist communion in Port Hope dates back to the year 1813 when Smith's Creek was the name applied to a circuit embracing all the country from Belleville to Whitby and
when the Rev Thomas Whitehead laboured therein as its minister. Occasionally other ministers had visited the village, among them being Ezra Adams, Thomas Madden and John Rhodes.
The Rev Nathaniel Reeder succeeded to the circuit in 1815 and meetings were then held either in Mrs Britton's parlour on Mill Street or in the log school-house opposite the present Queen's Hotel or
in Mr Jacob Choate's building on the site of that hotel. Two years later the Revs James Puffer and Elijah Boardman divided the work of the Circuit.
Meanwhile classes were being formed in the country surrounding Port Hope and in 1824 one was formed in Town, with Mr Alexander Davidson as leader. The class consisted of Mr and Mrs Wm Hall,
Mrs Healy, Allen Harris and W Baker and meetings were held at either the residence of Mr Hall or of Mr Baker. The minister visiting Port Hope in that year was the Rev Anson Green and the Circuit
was now denominated the 'Cobourg Circuit'. The stations were as follows during the succeeding years:
1825, D Breckenridge, John Black; 1826, W Slater, R Phelps, JC Davidson; 1827, W Slater, Egerton Ryerson; 1828, J Norris, Ephraim Evans; 1829, D Wright, John Carrol.
To give some idea of how the congregation was brought together in those early days, it is only necessary to tell how Mr Aaron Choate of Perrytown was wont to harness his team to a large wagon or
sleigh, drive to Mr Hawkin's home and next to Mr Gifford's where the Rev Mr Evans resided and then, with a load of people, come into town, where a service would be held in the
school-house on the site of the present residence of HA Ward, Esq.
In 1829 Port Hope was attached to the Whitby Circuit, the Revs R Corson and C Vandusen being the preachers, though a few years later it was restored to the Cobourg Circuit.
By 1833 the want of a church-building began to be felt. The Rev Richard Jones, who preached here in that year, told how in rainy weather he had been obliged to move about in the old
school-house to keep from getting wet whilst he preached his sermon. To Mr Alexander Davidson, a clerk in David Smart's store, belonged the credit for setting on foot an agitation to build a church.
He communicated with influential persons in the Province and wrote letters to newspapers, showing how necessary it was that a church should be erected in this part of the country. Finally it was decided
to build. Application was made to John D Smith, Esq for a suitable site and that gentleman presented to the applicants the lot on Brown Street opposite the present Church. The deed bore date Dec 21st,
1833 and the Trustees named were Wm Barrett, Sr, Richard Howell, John Might, Thomas Benson, Robert Mitchell, Richard Barrett and Alex Davidson. Arrangements were at once made for building.
The contract was awarded to Messrs R Mitchell and P Fox and on the 11th August 1835 the new church was dedicated.
It was a wooden structure with a steeple at the middle of the south front. The latter appendage was quite unusual in Methodist churches in those days and was put up at the suggestion of Alexander
Davidson. There was a gallery around three sides of the Church, in the south end of which sat the choir. The minister occupied an old-fashioned 'candle-stick' pulpit at the north end.
From 1832 to 1840 the following ministers of the Cobourg Circuit officiated at Port Hope, viz Revs R Jones, Davidson, Bevitt, Davis and Bigger. In 1840 Port Hope's independent circuit existence began
and until 1860 these were the incumbents:
1840, Wm Haw; 1841-42, Asheal Hurlburt; 1843-44, Wm McFadden; 1845-46, J Gemley; 1847, C Lavelle and SS Nelles; 1848, J Scott and SC Slater; 1849-50, G Goodson; 1851-52, W McCullough; 1853,
W McCullogh and EH Dewart; 1854-55, J McCallum, W Tomblin, W Bryers; 1856-57, R Whiting, S Tucker, AE Russ, WC Henderson; 1858-59, L Warner, W Andrews; 1860, J Hunt and AT Green.
The Church had been growing all these years and minor additions had been made from time to time. By 1859 it was deemed necessary to make a decided enlargement. Eighteen feet were added to
the east side of the Church and the interior was completely overhauled. The old pulpit was removed and a modern one substituted; the organ and choir were shifted to an alcove at the rear of the pulpit;
the woodwork was tastefully done over in white, and gas and hot air heating were introduced. These improvements cost the Church $1600 but were more than compensated for by the increased
accommodation. The Church could now hold 1000 persons comfortably and 1200 at a pinch.
This famous old church, with its odd additions stood until 1874, when on the morning of August 26th it was completely destroyed by fire. Meanwhile the growing requirements of the congregation had
led to negotiations for the purchase of a new lot and the erection thereon of a new Church. The lot across Brown Street, where the present edifice stands was purchased from J Shuter Smith, Esq in
1870 for $1600. Early in 1874 plans were obtained for a new building from Smith & Gemmell of Toronto and the contract was awarded to Mr JW Wallace on June 9th. The ceremony of laying the
corner-stone took place on September 2nd and the completed structure was opened on March 2nd, 1876 by the Rev Dr Ives of Auburn, NY.
The building is large and imposing and quite the equal in all respects of many city churches. Nearly $35,000 were expended in its erection. It has a frontage of 85 feet on South Street, and, with the
Sunday School at its rear, it extends 137 feet along Brown Street. This Sunday School portion was erected at the same time as the main church and in it is accommodated a school, which always
regards its numbers and work with justifiable pride.
The roll at the present day numbers nearly 600, though during previous years the attendance has been even larger. Immediately at the corner of the street towers up the lofty steeple, whose
apex reaches a height of 180 feet. Within, the Church presents a subdued and restful appearance. Tall, narrow stained windows supply the light. A circular gallery extends about three sides and
the seats on the ground floor are arranged in a corresponding manner. The seating capacity is 1200.
The pulpit is raised to a considerable height and behind it rises the fine large organ, while the organist and choir occupy seats between. The organ, it may be noted, cost $2,500 and was bought from
Warren & Co. In the tower hangs the bell, whose clear-sounding notes are so familiar to the people of the Town. It was purchased at the erection of the Church for $560 and has ever since done good service.
This fine edifice had a narrow escape from destruction by fire on July 31st, 1893. Early in the morning fire was discovered in the basement under the tower, which for a time threatened to be serious.
Thanks to the efficient service of the Fire Brigade, however, the fire was got under way(sic) and the damage of $2500 was chiefly owing to the havoc played by the smoke.
Since 1862 the list of Methodist ministers stationed in Port Hope consists of the Revs GR Sanderson 1862-4, WS Griffin 1865-6, John A Williams 1867-69, IB Howard 1870-2, EB Harper 1873-5,
John Shaw 1876-8, WH Laird 1879-81, JB Jeffery 1882, J Learoyd 1883-5, JB Clarkson 1886-8, EN Baker 1889-91, WJ Crothers, DD 1892-6, WR Young, DD 1897-1900. The Rev EB
Lanceley is now pastor of this church.
(XVI) ST MARY'S CHURCH
Owing to the unfortunate destruction by fire of the first Roman Catholic Church in Port Hope, all the records which could throw any light on the early history of this congregation have been lost.
It has therefore only been possible to secure from some of the older residents of the Town a few facts concerning the first church erected by the Roman Catholics. Though the exact date of the
erection of this Church is unknown, it was very probably built about the same period as the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. It was a narrow and lofty frame structure standing on the
same site as the present Church and possessing a steeple of medium height. During all the years of its existence it was not supplied with a resident priest but the priest at Cobourg, the Rev Father Timlin, attended to both parishes.
This early edifice was not destined to stand for long. It was fired by incendiaries one evening in August 1851 and completely destroyed. The Town Council offered a reward of
£50 for the apprehension of the perpetrators of the outrage, but the guilty parties were never brought to justice.
On the destruction of their Church, the Catholic community secured the use of McDermot & Walsh's store-house, situated near the present site of the Brewery, but, before they had held
a single service in it, incendiaries had again burned it about their ears. Services were thereafter held in Porter's building to the rear of Curtis' Grocery, in the Town Hall and in a hall where
Mr Skitch now keeps his grocery store, until the present Church was erected in 1854. Meantime a resident priest had been sent to Port Hope to in some way compensate for the loss of the old
Church. This was the Rev Father O'Keefe who resided in Port Hope until June 1858 and who was instrumental in building the present edifice.
The Church of St Mary, Star of the Sea, was dedicated by his Lordship Bishop Phelan of Kingston on October 7th, 1855. It comprised the present Church, minus the steeple, though the interior
has since been greatly altered also. The cost of the building was about $10,000 and in addition a further expense of $3,000 was incurred in securing the organ from Boston. This instrument is of
exquisite tone and workmanship and adds greatly to the effect of the choral service.
In 1858 the Rev Father Madden became parish priest in succession to Father O'Keefe and for eight years he remained in charge of the parish. Then came Father O'Keane in December of 1866
and, after living here but a very short time, the Very Rev Father Brown succeeded to the parish on July 1st, 1869. Father Brown during his twenty-one years' stay in Port Hope won for himself
the deepest respect among all classes of the community and his departure in 1890 was much regretted by all who knew him. He possessed artistic capabilities which were early devoted to
rendering the interior of the church more beautiful and appropriate. He left the building practically as it is today.
On entering the Church the words of the angels' anthem, 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo et in Terra Pax Hominibus Bone Voluntatis', high up above the chancel immediately attract the eye. There are
three stained-glass windows - one large one above the altar and two smaller ones at the sides of the chancel. The two latter were presented by Miss Foran and have since become memorials by
reason of her untimely death. The three represent the chalice, grapes and wheat. Over the tabernacle are three statues - St Joseph, the
Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin, while paintings in relief of angels and saints surround the altar. Between the windows of the Church are fourteen coloured pictures representing various
steps in the crucifixion of Christ and high on the walls are small paintings bearing Latin inscriptions. An organ loft stretches across the building over the entrance. In addition to these internal
improvements, Father Brown was also instrumental in having the steeple added. The building was re-opened by his Grace Archbishop Clery of Kingston.
In May, 1890, the present priest, Father Lynch, succeeded to the parish. His residence here has been marked by the improvements which have been made to the grounds surrounding the Church.
St Mary's Church was at first in the Diocese of Toronto but was subsequently changed to that of Peterboro' when that Diocese was formed. The Bishop of Peterboro' at present is Bishop O'Connor.
It is also in the Archbishopric of Kingston, having been formerly in that of Toronto.
In concluding this necessarily brief sketch, it may be noted that the steeple has been twice struck by lightning and the cross at the top has been twice blown down, all four accidents entailing
considerable expense in restoration.
(XVII) THE BAPTIST CHURCH
In treating the histories of the various religious bodies in Port Hope, the order taken has been that suggested by a consideration of the dates at which their first churches were erected.
Beginning with the oldest church - St. John's - the series has now been followed down to the youngest, and this chapter will contain a brief account of the progress of the Baptist denomination.
The history of the Baptist Church begins about the year 1850, when the Rev J Baird formed a small congregation and held meetings in the old chapel north of the present Church
(now utilized as a storehouse by Mr Hume). The little company did not consider themselves a church nor were they in any way connected with the Baptist denomination. They merely held the
beliefs of that body and waited until they should be in such a condition as would enable them to form a definite church. This result was attained in 1855 under the pastorate of the Rev Hoyes Lloyd
and on June 21st public recognition services were held, officiated at by the Rev James Pyper, DD of Toronto, Moderator of the Baptist Association. On the 9th of December of the same year
Messrs Wm Craig, Sr, Morice Hay and Wm Barnett were appointed deacons. For many years thereafter during the summer months baptisms took place in the Lake, while a baptistry was
added to the chapel in 1856 for use during the remainder of the year.
In June 1859 Mr Lloyd resigned his charge and left Port Hope. The Rev Charles Elliott succeeded him during the following spring but only remained one year. The next pastor was the Rev WH Jones,
who in turn was followed by the Rev John Dempsey in 1864. During the ministry of Mr Dempsey the Church passed through an eventful period, for it was in his time that the congregation moved
from the old chapel to the present Church. The initial step in this movement was the purchase and donation to the members of the Church of the lot on the corner of John and Augusta Streets by
Wm Craig, Sr. Then followed a period when subscription lists were to the fore, to which the same loyal gentleman contributed largely. The result of the effort was that during the next few years the
present white brick edifice was erected at a cost of $9,000. On June 3rd 1868, the last annual meeting was held in the old Church; April 25th 1869 witnessed the first baptism in the new building, and
on June 6th of the same year the new Church was definitely opened. The old property had meantime been disposed of to Mr R Hume for $900.
Mr Dempsey resigned from the charge in May of 1870 and two months later the Rev Joseph King succeeded him. The sojourn of this pastor was as brief as that of his predecessors and in November
of 1873 the Church was again extending a call - this time to the Rev George Richardson. Mr Richardson accepted and remained in Port Hope until 1879. During his ministry the present pipe organ,
costing $1,000, was purchased and placed in the Church.
Since 1879 the pastorate of the Baptist Church has been filled by the Rev AP McDiarmid, MA, DD, 1880-2; Rev A Murdock, MA, LLD, 1883-5; Rev John Trotter, 1885-7; Rev D Reddick, BA, 1887-92 and
Rev GM Leehy, 1893-94. The Rev PK Dayfoot, MA has been pastor since 1894. Of these ministers Mr Richardson is now in Hamilton, Dr McDiarmid is Principal of Brandon College, Manitoba,
Mr Murdock is in Otterville, Ontario, Mr Trotter in St Catherines, Mr Reddick is pastor in Denver, Colorado and Mr Leehy is pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In 1894 a considerable addition was made to the east end of the Church providing additional class-rooms in the basement and vestries above and rendering the building most convenient and modern.
A tablet in memory of the late William Craig is the only work of a commemorative nature within the Church.
(XVIII) PUBLIC SCHOOLS
In Chapter V it was mentioned casually that the first school in Port Hope was kept in 1797 in the Smith Homestead by Mr Collins of Montreal. From that date until 1812 nothing definite is known of
any educational institution in the village but it is not unlikely that there were private schools similar to the above, where the children of the village received instruction.
In 1812 it would seem that there was a plank school-house situated on Walton street opposite John street and, though a private institution, it may yet be considered as the parent school of the
present public school system of the Town. It was taught in that year by Mr John Farley, whom history records as a man of good education and a successful teacher. He was succeeded during
the next few years by Mr John Taylor and later by Miss Hannah Burnham, who was school mistress there from 1815 to 1817. Then followed Mr Gardiner Clifford and Mr Page during brief intervals.
At this juncture the school was taken down and removed to the corner of King and William Streets, where it stood for many years. In it in its new position taught Mr Hobbs, Mr Valentine Tupper,
Mr Alexander Davidson, Mr Patrick Lee, Mr John Bengel, Mr Rattery, Mr George Hughes and Mr Maxwell in succession, bringing the school down to 1833.
Meanwhile as might have been expected there were numerous other schools started in various parts of the Town. Mr John Taylor opened a school on Cavan street in 1819. Chief Justice Draper,
then a law student, taught here about the same time. The Rev Mr Coghlan in 1832 built the house until recently occupied by Mr James Kerr, and took advanced pupils. Mr Millard and Dr Shortt
continued his labours there. About 1832 Mr Murdoch McDonnell taught in JD Smith's old store on Mill street for a short time and then built a school on the south-east corner of Pine and South streets,
which was later rented by the School Trustees. These are but a few of the educational institutions that the Town possessed.
The first government aid granted to the schools of Port Hope was received in 1842 and amounted to the sum of £45 12s 6 1/2d. From this it may be concluded that there had begun some public
supervision of the schools, though probably it only amounted to the annual appointment of a Superintendent. The Rev John Cassie was the first such. In 1844 the Town was divided into three
school sections, of which Section I comprised the present Ward 2, Section II the present Ward 1, and Section III the present Ward 3. For each of these sections Trustees were appointed. Both
Sections II and III had school-houses already but, though tenders were asked for the erection of a brick school in Section I it does not appear that there was ever a school-house there.
In 1848 the first Board of Trustees for Schools was appointed. It consisted of Revs J Cassie and J Baird, and Messrs John Reid, Wm Mitchell, Wm Barrett and Wm Sisson. Mr Mitchell was
Chairman and Mr Baird Superintendent for several years.
In 1851 the plank school was moved some distance back on William street and repaired. Mr Thomas Watson was placed in charge of it, while Mr Spotton occupied the rented school on Pine street.
Another small school was kept at the same period by Mrs Grierson in the kitchen of her house, just south of Holmes' establishment on John street. The fees of the pupils at these schools were about $1.25 per quarter.
Two years later the Board of Trustees decided to erect two new schools, according to a plan strongly favoured by Mr Wm. Barrett and some others. These schools were to be octagonal in shape
and lighted from the top. Lots were secured - one where the present East Primary stands and the other on the corner of Little Hope and Sullivan streets - and the schools were erected. Mr Spotton
was removed to the western school and Mr Watson to the eastern school, while Mr Wright was placed in charge of the old plank school on William street. Meanwhile, as will be seen later, a regular
Grammar School had been established which absorbed the older pupils of these schools and made it scarcely possible to keep so many institutions going. The result was that a union was consummated
in the fall of 1856 and a United Grammar and Common School was opened on October 14th, 1856 in the upper flats of Knowlson's Building, corner of Walton and Cavan Streets, with Mr John Gordon
as Principal. Thomas Benson, Esq, Chairman of the United Board, was the man to whom the most credit was due in bringing about this important move in the educational history of the Town, without
which at that time neither Public nor Grammar Schools could have properly filled their mission. In an announcement of the opening of the new school, addressed to parents and guardians of children
in the Town of Port Hope, Mr Benson explains that 'the hours of attendance will be from 9 o'clock until 12 in the forenoon, and from 1 to 4 o'clock in the afternoon, on every week day excepting Saturday.
The fees are fixed at 3s 9d per quarter for the pupils in the Primary Schools; 5s for those in the elementary English branches in the Union School; 15s for higher English, including geography, astronomy,
history, physiology, chemistry and natural philosophy; 20S for the foregoing studies with algebra and mathematics and 25S including the classics.'
To give a proper idea of this old school, it will be necessary to borrow from Dr Purslow's concise description, written during the last few years. 'You entered at the back of the building by a door on
Cavan Street, now the side entrance of Mr McLennan's store. There were 'no separate entrances for the sexes.' You mounted two flights of stairs about three feet wide and came to an enlarged
passage, which served as a waiting-room for the girls; another flight of stairs and you came to a similar waiting-room for the boys; up another flight, narrower if anything, and you arrived at the
top loft, which had been partitioned off into five school-rooms.'
Meanwhile the octagon and plank school-houses were still kept open as primary schools. Mr Watson was brought into the Union School, Mr Wright took his place in the east octagon and the services
of Mr Erskine, a scapegrace son of Lord Erskine of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, were secured for the plank school. The latter building was shortly after consumed by fire and thus perished an
historic land-mark of the Town. A new shifting of teachers ensued. Mr Spotton came down to the Union School and his place was taken by Mr Wright, while Mr Erskine undertook to teach in the east
octagon. Tracked by ill-luck, Mr Erskine's second school was almost immediately after consumed and the unfortunate master dismissed from the service of the Board. This school was then opened
in a small wooden building near the corner of Ward and Elgin Streets and remained there until the present East Primary School was built in 1868. The career of the west octagon was of a somewhat
longer duration. It continued to be used uninterruptedly until the time the new West Primary was built in 1873 and it was then torn down. Among its later teachers was Mr JR McNellie, who subsequently
taught in the East Primary for many years.
The Union School, notwithstanding its uncomfortable position, continued to prosper, so that in 1861, a move to more commodious quarters was deemed necessary. In that year it was transferred to the
old Meredith Building on Mill Street, until recently occupied by the Carpet Factory. Mr Gordon severed his connection with the School in 1865 and was succeeded by Dr Purslow. Meantime the Board of
Trustees felt that the time had come to erect a regular school building and negotiations were set on foot whereby the present site of the Public School was acquired and aid promised from the Town
Council. The present building with the exception of the north-east wing was built during 1866 and opened in 1867. During the process of construction the Town passed two by-laws authorizing the
raising of $10,380 to meet the expenses incurred. Here the Union School was housed for five years, when, owing to the making attendance at the Common (Public) School free the accommodation
was rendered too small. The Grammar (High) School accordingly left the building for new headquarters on Brown Street. Upon the separation Mr Thomas Watson became Principal of the Public
School for one year. Then the services of Mr Goggin were secured and he continued as Principal until 1885 when the present Head of the school, Mr F Wood, was appointed.
A new wing containing three commodious class-rooms was added to the school in 1883 so that now there is room for eleven large classes. A Model School for the County of Durham was established
in 1877 and has had a prosperous career. Two years ago by the extinction of the Cobourg Model School, it has virtually become the Model School of the United Counties.
(XIX) PORT HOPE HIGH SCHOOL
It is to be regretted that a more befitting tribute than the present necessarily imperfect sketch could not be paid in a work of this nature to an
institution which cherishes within its environs the memory of so many sons and daughters of the Town, there brought together, now separated far and wide over the face of the earth. The task of keeping
alive the hallowed memories of the Old High School is of a far more extensive nature than that it could be accomplished in the few pages at the disposal of the writer. Such a work could only be competently
fulfilled by the organization of some permanent association, which, keeping alumni and students in touch, would perpetuate the old traditions and cherish the general devotion to the Old School.
The history of Port Hope High School as a teaching institution is identical with the history of secondary education in Port Hope. Until the establishment of a Grammar School in 1853, such instruction was
given in private schools, of which there were several in existence from time to time. The real progenitor of the Grammar School, however, was the Seminary founded by the Rev James Coghlan in 1831
in the house near the Toronto Road until recently occupied by Mr James Kerr. Mr Millard and Dr Shortt continued the academic labours of Mr Coghlan in the same building. Conjointly other teachers
were giving instruction in the classics and mathematics, notable among whom were the Rev Mr Baird, Mr Thomas Spotton and Mr Thomas Watson.
In 1851 the Government of Upper Canada passed an Act enabling towns like Port Hope to open Grammar Schools and to secure financial aid for their maintenance. Two years later Port Hope decided to
take advantage of this legislation and to establish a Grammar School. Trustees were accordingly appointed, who immediately petitioned the Town Council for the use of a room in the newly-completed
Town Hall. The Council readily complied and fitted up for school purposes a room in the south-east corner of the first floor of the Hall. Here the school was opened with Mr Oliver T Miller, a Dublin scholar
of fine attainments, as master. Mr Miller remained in charge of the school until May, 1855, during which time the Trustees removed the classes to a separate building standing on the south-east corner
of Dorset and Smith Streets. It may be of interest to note here a few of the scholars of that day who are still residents of the Town. Among them were HH Burnham, SS and JD Smith, F Benson and GM Furby.
After the summer vacation of 1855 the school was reopened in a room above the store on Walton Street at present occupied by John Smith. Here Mr Brooks P Lister from Christ Church, Oxford, taught
for a year. History records that as a teacher he was a distinct failure.
The Fall of 1866 witnessed the union of the Grammar and High Schools in Knowlson's Building, under the headmastership of Mr John Gordon. The career of the united schools has been set forth in the
preceding chapter, to which reference may be made.
Mr Gordon continued to hold the post of Head Master until 1865, when he was appointed one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools in Ireland and left for that country. He came to Port Hope in
middle-life - a cultured gentleman, who secured the universal favour of the Town by his disinterested and genuine devotion to his work. He was succeeded in the control of the Union School by Dr Adam Purslow,
who had been associated with him on the staff since 1859.
Legislation of 1871 changed Grammar to High and Common to Public Schools and rendered the latter free. The result was a great influx of pupils and the Union School Building was found to be much too small.
Faced with this predicament, the Joint Board of Trustees purchased the 'Old Kirk' on Brown Street in the fall of 1872 and in January, 1873, opened it as a separate High School under the principalship of Dr Purslow.
In those days there were four forms and three teachers in the school and the registered attendance was fifty boys and thirty-two girls. In 1878 representations were made of the necessity for a fourth teacher
and at length in 1881 the Board appointed a Science Master. Since then a fifth assistant teacher has been added.
In July of 1894 Dr Purslow resigned the Principalship and severed his connection with the teaching staff of the school. After thirty-six years of active service, during which the Doctor had successfully
superintended the up-bringing of two generations, the time had come for him to seek a well-earned rest and the event of his retirement was made the opportunity by both pupils and ex-pupils of giving
expression to the high esteem in which he had been held. He was succeeded as Head Master by Mr TA Kirkconnel, who for several years had been Mathematical Master and Dr Purslow's assistant.
In 1896 the new High School Building on the north-west corner of Pine and Bedford Streets was erected and in January of 1897 the old quarters were abandoned and the School moved up the hill to its new home.
The closing of the Old School which was so impregnated with the memories of the past, could only be lamented on the ground of sentiment. The new building with its modern equipment, commodious and
pleasing appearance (all of which was acquired at an expense of little over $12,000) far surpassed its antiquated, cramped and unimposing predecessor.
The new building was officially opened on January 11th, 1897, by the Hon GW Ross, Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario. During the afternoon a reception was held in the building and in the
evening Judge Benson, Chairman of the High School Board, presided at a crowded meeting in the Opera House, where the Hon Minister delivered an appropriate address.
(XX) TRINITY COLLEGE SCHOOL
Even at this comparatively early date in its history, Trinity College School has become an institution of note all over the world, whilst its renown has been reflected in some measure on the Town in which its
imposing building stands. Known to fame as the 'Eton of Canada', it possesses school-boy traditions and associations which render this name most appropriate. During its thirty-three years' presence in
Port Hope it has provided Canada and the Empire with a fair proportion of their leading men, and it is with an enviable pride that this Town can regard these graduates of the college, as in some degree her own sons.
The School had its origin in the village of Weston in the year 1865 but, owing to the liberal offers of assistance tendered by the citizens of Port Hope, it was removed thither in 1868, where buildings were provided
free of rent for three years. The Rev CH Badgley, BA, Oxon was then Head Master and was assisted by a staff of nine instructors, three being resident. The dormitories were situated in the old Ward Homestead,
on the site of the present School building and were capable of accommodating sixty boys, whilst the tuitional portion of the work was carried on in the Meredith Block, from which the Union School had recently moved.
Such was the condition of the infant institution when the man who was destined to raise it to its present high level was appointed Head Master in 1870. This was the Rev Charles J S Bethune, DCL, third son of that
Rev AN Bethune who years before had officiated in St John's Church. Dr Bethune was born at West Flamboro, August 11th, 1838, and received his education at Upper
Canada College and Trinity University. He was ordained a priest in 1862 and for the following eight years remained in the service of the Church. Then came his appointment to the School in Port Hope. He immediately
set himself to the task of building up a permanent institution there, having as a nucleus the thirty boys who attended the School at his coming. The first step was the purchase in 1871 of ten acres of land, where the
School now stands. Then followed the erection of the central portion of the old building. This was designed by H McDougall, Esq, was of the Elizabethan style of architecture and was first used in January 1872. The
almost insuperable difficulty before this undertaking lay in the fact that all the requisite funds had to be raised by subscription, there being no endowment. Still Dr Bethune accomplished the task satisfactorily.
By an act of the Legislature of Ontario, passed during the session of 1871-72, Trinity College School was constituted a corporate body and then began its days of rapid progress. An attendance of seventy boys in 1872
was increased to ninety-six in 1873, and to one hundred and fourteen in 1874. Meanwhile work on the Chapel and Dining Hall had been in progress during 1873. These were contained in an addition built of red brick with
white brick facings to the east of the School. The Dining Hall was opened on Nov 5th, 1873 by the Most Reverend A Oxenden, Lord Bishop of Montreal and Metropolitan. It consisted of the hall proper, 63x21 feet, and a
recess for the high table 19x15 feet. On March 29th, 1874 the Chapel was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Toronto. It consisted of a nave 75x21 feet and a chancel terminating in an apse 25x19 feet, and was capable of
containing two hundred persons. During the following three years the chancel was richly adorned and beautified with exquisite carved work and the completed Chapel was re-opened on October 18th, 1877.
In 1874 the western portion of the old School was completed and the building assumed the imposing appearance which it was to bear for many years. The finished structure had a frontage of three hundred feet to the
south and eighty feet to the west, and sixty-two thousand dollars had been expended in its erection. A further addition of ten acres was made to the School property the following year, supplying ample room for sports of all kinds.
The progress of the School was now uninterrupted and by the session of 1878-79 there were one hundred and forty pupils in attendance. The decade from 1880 to 1890 was not marked by any eventful happenings, but the
School was quietly building up that reputation on the athletic field and in the academic hall which it still maintains. In the year 1891 the gymnasium to the north of the present building was erected. It was built after the plans
of Messrs Darling and Curry of Toronto and formed a novel and striking addition to the College buildings. Its dimensions are about eighty feet by fifty, and it consists of two stories, being well equipped with all the
necessary adjuncts of a gymnasium.
About this time the School entered upon a period of decline. For two years Dr Bethune ceased to be Head Master, and, though still known as Warden, he had little to do with the life of the School. His place was taken
by the Rev Arthur Lloyd.
On April 27th, 1893, a fire of a most threatening nature was discovered about noon on the upper flat. After most heroic efforts on the part of firemen, school-boys and townsmen the building was saved. However scarcely
a week had passed before another blaze of still more alarming proportions again threatened the building but fortunately without serious results. The final destruction of the old School occurred on Sunday morning, Feb 16th, 1895.
The whole building with all its treasured associations was consumed in one of the worst conflagrations known in Port Hope's history. The loss occasioned was fully $80,000. Notwithstanding this calamity, the School did
not become extinct. For a short period the boys were quartered on the townspeople until the St Lawrence Hall was fitted up for their accommodation. At the same time a new School, larger and better equipped than its
predecessor, was got under way.
Messrs Darling, Sproat & Pearson of Toronto supplied the plans for a $90,000 building. This structure to-day occupies the site of the old School. It is of the same length as the former building but in breadth and height
it far exceeds it. It is almost perfectly fire-proof, being divided into five fire-proof sections. The Chapel yet remains in an incomplete condition but fortunately it contains the beautiful carved choir seats and the lectern
rescued from its predecessor. A new pipe organ was erected in the Chapel in 1899 in memory of RH Bethune, late General Manager of the Dominion Bank, of his wife and of Harriet Alice Mary Bethune, wife of the
Head Master, who was accidentally killed in 1898.
At the close of the School-year 1898-9, Dr Bethune again resigned from the School and retired to live in London, Ontario. He has been succeeded in turn by the Rev R Edmonds Jones, MA and by the Rev Herbert
Symonds, DD, appointed Head Master in the present year.
To attempt to enumerate all the Old Boys who have risen to prominence would be beyond the scope of this work but they are so numerous and well-known, that such a task would be rendered useless.
The brilliant record of those Old Boys who have devoted themselves, as so many Trinity Boys have done, to the military profession, is also known to fame. In the late South African Campaign, over forty
served in the British lines against the Boers, nineteen of whom held commissions. Two of this brave company - Lieut Osborne and Sergt Evatt - have died in that far-away country.
(XXI) THE PRESS
A serious drawback with which the author of this book has had to contend in making researches into the past history of the 'Town, has been the non-existence of files of the old newspapers published in Port Hope since 1830.
With the exception of files of the
for the years 1856, 1857 and 1859 and occasional single copies of it and other papers, there exists no series of journals providing a contemporaneous history of the Town farther back than 1875, when Mr George Wilson took over the
. Since then Mr Wilson has kept complete and well-bound files of his paper, for which service he deserves the best thanks of the community. (It seems that some files of the
are also in existence but the author has been unable to see them).
While Port Hope is thus deficient in her journalistic history, the neighbouring town of Cobourg may be complimented on having a complete series of the
from its inception in 1831. The author is indebted to this journal for many items which have thrown light on Port Hope's history and, while it could not be expected to detail events occurring in Port Hope,
it still treated this Town to a fair share of its attention.
The father of journalism in Port Hope was the late William Furby, Esq, who was born in Yorkshire, England, on September 5th, 1799. As a youth he acquired the printer's and cabinet-maker's trades and then crossed the
Atlantic in 1819. He settled in Port Hope in 1826 and for many years engaged in the furniture business in a building to the west of the present
office. In 1831 Mr Furby, in partnership with a Mr Woodhouse, purchased the printing plant of Mr John Vail, who had established the
Port Hope Telegraph
a few months previously, and continued the publication of this, the first newspaper in Port Hope. Mr Vail's press was one of the old wooden variety, which
Mr Furby soon after superseded with one of the first iron presses ever brought into Canada. His partner, Mr Woodhouse, died in the summer of 1831 and Mr Furby continued the publication of the
alone. Its name was altered to the Warder
in June 1833 and to the
in April 1836. The latter newspaper, which professed neutrality in politics became extinct in 1838, but was probably followed by another paper. In 1844 Mr Furby began the publication of the
Port Hope Gazette and Durham Advertiser
and in 1851 altered its name to the
. It was about this period that Mr Charles Lindsey, now an old and respected citizen of Toronto, rendered Mr Furby's paper famous by means of the brilliant articles, which secured him a distinguished place among Toronto journalists.
In 1856 George M Furby, Esq, elder son of William Furby took over the Guide
and entered into partnership with Mr Crea. Under their management the
became a tri-weekly publication. Two years later Mr Furby sold out his interest to Mr Crea and the latter continued to issue the paper until 1861 when it ceased publication for a few months. Until 1875, when
Mr George Wilson secured the paper, it passed through several hands, among them being those of Mr C Blackett Robinson, but during this period its publication could not be said to be continuous. Mr Wilson bought the
from Mr Moody and began to issue a daily paper in July 1878.
Until about 1850 there was no opposition paper in Port Hope. The first such was the
published by Mr Steel. In reality this paper had its origin in Mr Furby's office, for during its first two or three years' existence it was issued from Mr Furby's press. Then Mr Steel set up a plant of his own and until 1855 the
was regularly published. The following year a professedly Conservative paper, the
, appeared under the editorship of Mr James, while in November, 1857, it was succeeded by the
Port Hope Atlas.
This paper was edited by the distinguished writer, Mr Charles Roger, known by his journalistic contemporaries as the 'Carlyle of the Canadian press' and now better known as the author of a
History of Canada. He came to Port Hope from Quebec and resided here but a few years.
The immediate progenitor of the Times
, the British Canadian
, was established in Port Hope by Mr Hugh Cameron, of Montreal, in 1862. From Mr Cameron this paper passed into the hands of Mr Delamere
and later into those of the late J B Trayes, whilst its name was changed to the one it now bears. Mr Trayes was an able and successful publisher and editor and under him the
saw its best days. He trained up several successful journalists among whom Mr Atkinson, the talented editor of the
, is prominent. Prior to the purchase of the Times
by the present proprietor, Mr Swaisland, it was managed for several years by Mr WF Trayes and Mr FT Harris.
Several other papers have been in existence in Port Hope from time to time. Among these might be noted, the
, a Church paper, edited and published by the late Dr Shoat, the
issued from 1860 to 1863 by Mr Hayter and the latter year removed to Millbrook, the
, published in the sixties by the late Thomas Galbraith, and Mr WTR Preston's
bought by Mr Wilson in 1883 after a life of three years.
(XXII) REGAL AND VICE-REGAL
In early colonial days, it was no uncommon sight to behold government dignitaries passing through the village of Port Hope on their way to and from the seat of Government and doubtless Governors of Upper Canada have stopped over night at
However no details of any such visits remain and all that may yet be recounted is the episode of Sir Peregrine Maitland and Shoemaker Smith. One day in 1828 the Governor was travelling eastward in his official coach,
attended by a numerous retinue. As he drove in state down Walton Street, he expressed a desire to see the old shoemaker, who was famed far and wide as a red-hot radical. His coach was accordingly stopped before the
humble abode of the cobbler. The latter immediately took in the situation.
Coming to the door without removing his leathern apron or his cap, the old 'rebel' shook his fist at the amused throng and thundered, 'Ah, ye know not what yere doing! Ye wud sell yer birthright for a mess of pottage!' He
thereupon retired into his shop and the gratified onlookers resumed their journey.
King William the Fourth died on the 20th of June, 1837, but it was not until the 2nd of August that Port Hope heard the news of his death. The proclamation of his successor, Queen Victoria, took place on the 7th. Late in the
afternoon Sheriff Ruttan of the Newcastle District arrived from Cobourg where he had proclaimed the Queen at noon. Stationed at the foot of Walton Street and surrounded by the local militia, he repeated the ceremonial and read the prescribed proclamation.
'Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Lord, King William the Fourth, of blessed memory, by whose decease the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
and all other of his late Majesty's dominions, is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William the Fourth, which may be born of
his late Majesty's consort, We, Henry Ruttan, Esq, Sheriff of the Newcastle District; the Hon Zaccheus Burnham; the Hon Walter Boswell; the Hon Thomas A Stewart, - Legislative Councillors of the Province of Upper Canada;
William Falkner, Esq, Judge of the District Court; and Richard Hare Lovekin, Alexander Fletcher, Richard Hare, Esquires, Justices of the Peace for the said District of Newcastle, and all inhabitants of this District, therefore do
hereby, with one full voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim, that the High and Mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria is now by the death of our late Sovereign of happy and glorious memory, become our
only and lawful and rightful liege Lady Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, saving as aforesaid, Supreme Lady, &c, of this Her Majesty's
Province of Upper Canada, to whom, saving as aforesaid, we acknowledge all faith and constant obedience, with all hearty and humble affection; beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal
Princess Victoria with long and happy years to reign over us.'
Thus was the glorious reign of Queen Victoria ushered in, in Port Hope, with feelings of much loyalty and solemnity.
Twenty three years afterwards the young Prince of Wales visited the Town. He arrived in Cobourg on the 6th of September, 1860, on board the Steamer Kingston (Algerian). Next morning he took a hasty trip to Peterboro'
and then came on to Port Hope about noon. Several arches had been erected in his honour and residences were profusely decorated. A well-organized procession escorted H R Highness and suite through the principal
streets to the Town Hall, where Mayor Scott presented the Corporation Address, amidst the greatest cheering from the immense concourse of people assembled. The Prince was thereupon escorted into the Hall where
he was entertained at luncheon by the leading citizens of the Town. When the Mayor had duly proposed the toast of the Queen and Royal Family, H Royal Highness left by rail for Whitby.
The town participated in two events during the next three years - the first an occasion of mourning and the second of rejoicing. On the death of the Prince Consort, an address of condolence was despatched to the Queen,
which was responded to by the Duke of Newcastle and on the occasion of the Prince of Wales' wedding the Mayor proclaimed a whole holiday as a mark of gratitude to the Prince for his attentions to Port Hope.
Two royal visitors have since honoured the Town, Prince Arthur of Connaught in 1868 and Princess Louise in 1879. The latter passed through the Town in company with her husband, the Marquis of Lorne, Governor-General
of Canada, on September l0th. They merely visited the Town Hall, where they received the usual formality of an address to which the Marquis very fittingly replied, referring gracefully to the happy significance of the name 'Port
The only other visit of any importance was that of the Earl of Dufferin in his official capacity on Sept 3rd, 1874.
On July 1st, 1887, the Queen's Jubilee was celebrated. The usual Dominion Day programme was entered into with increased spirit and in addition the decorations and illuminations eclipsed all previous attempts.
But the Diamond Jubilee of 1897, as being a more solemn occasion, will outlive the memory of the earlier celebration. On Sunday afternoon, June 20th, a most memorable service was held in the Methodist church,
attended by all the local organizations. Its most inspiring moment was at 4:13 when in company with British subjects all the world around the National Anthem was sung. The following Tuesday was the official day of
rejoicing. Another service was held in the morning and in the afternoon a procession marched to the Park where speeches were delivered by local orators. At night illuminations and a promenade concert in the Drill Shed closed the proceedings.
The news of her Majesty's death, January 22nd, 1901 was received with general sorrow by the inhabitants of Port Hope as well as by many millions of the departed Queen's subjects far and wide. Such a recent event
requires but little description. On the day of the State Funeral, the 2nd of February, an imposing service was conducted in the Methodist Church, attended by all the religious
denominations of the Town, which fittingly concluded a long and memorable reign.
(XXIII) CONCERNING THINGS MILITARY
The part played by Port Hope in the several wars in which Canada has been involved has been by no means a minor one and the name of at least one of her officers will live in the history of the
country along with the names of her bravest military leaders. For, from that far-away day in a bye-gone century when the forefathers of Port Hope shed their blood and gave up all their possessions
for the sake of the British flag, until but yesterday, when her bravest sons went forth to a distant land to uphold the honour of that same royal standard, Port Hope has been ever ready to serve her
country at its time of need.
At the time of the War of 1812 the settlement at Smith's Creek was much too diminutive to provide a complete volunteer company. But in the various regiments of militia centred along the frontier
there were to be found many soldiers, who owned Smith's Creek as home, whilst Captain Thomas Ward was in charge of a company doing patrol duty between York and Presqu'ile, in which he had
doubtless enrolled several fellow-townsmen. To show how these early volunteers served their country, one example should suffice in the person of James Sculthorpe. At the outbreak of hostilities
he enlisted in a volunteer company stationed at Kingston. Here he spent six months on duty and then returned to Smith's Creek with the rank of sergeant. Thereafter until the conclusion of the war
he was entrusted by the military authorities with the conveyance of soldiers and ammunition to York and this was no light task, as it involved the impressing of farmers' horses and vehicles in the transport service.
In connection with this War, there is extant in the the Toronto Public Library a most interesting document containing the minutes of a Regimental Court Martial held at York on August 27th, 1814.
This Court Martial was held on John Montgomery, the Sergeant of a detachment of Militia, ordered to Kingston as a guard to nine convicted prisoners. Four of the nine had made their escape at
Smith's Creek and the Sergeant was charged with neglect of duty. The evidence elicited the facts that when the party reached Smith's Creek on the evening of July 31st, by direction of JD Smith
the prisoners were confined for the night in a shed overhanging the mill-dam and flume. During the night four of the prisoners, aided by the noise of the falling water, escaped through an opening
made in the rear of the shed by the removal of some boards. The witnesses believed that some of the inhabitants of the place had assisted the escape but it seems more probable that this
statement was only a device on the part of his comrades to secure the acquittal of the Sergeant - in which effort they were highly successful.
The attitude of the inhabitants of the Newcastle District during the period of political turmoil which culminated in the rebellion of 1837, seems to have been distinctly in favour of the governing party.
This was shown by the reception accorded Robert Gourlay when he visited this part of the country in 1818. Instead of endorsing his views the meeting, led by Charles Fothergill, passed resolutions
of disapproval, which were largely signed and later were published in pamphlet form along with
Fothergill's speech on that occasion.
About this period the custom of holding annual musters of the yeomanry began. These gatherings were held on George IV's birthday (June 4th) and all the men of the township capable of holding
arms were required to be present at the drill-ground, to the east of the present Cemetery. Until the prospect of a rebellion became serious, this was the extent of the military training of the people.
Then, in the summer of 1837, John Tucker Williams organized a Town company, which drilled regularly on the 'Flats' and became somewhat proficient.
The first news of the actual outbreak of the rebellion arrived on December 4th, 1837. A special messenger dashed through the Town late at night, bearing orders to all Colonels of militia to muster
their forces immediately and march to Toronto, as a body of rebels was rapidly advancing on that place. Two days later over one thousand men had assembled at Port Hope under Colonel JT Williams
and had made a start for Toronto. But twenty-four men, fit to mount guard, were left behind and these were supplied with only four muskets, not in firing condition. Soon after a horde of about
one thousand half-armed men passed through from Cavan and Peterboro' and for many months after the Town was constantly filled with troops coming and going. Of these the 93rd Highlanders
were the only regulars and for one night they were quartered on the residents of the Town.
During the second week the majority of the Hope volunteers returned without having discharged their guns, their only feat being the capture of some prisoners whilst on the road up. On Jan 7th, 1838 a
second muster was held and 125 picked men were despatched to the seat of war. It is difficult to gather from these data just what share Port Hope took in these events but it is known that many of her
sons served for some time both at Toronto and in the Niagara District.
Annual musters (now held on May 24th) continued until well on in the fifties and then they began to give place to the present system of volunteer companies. True there had been military districts and
battalions for some time back but these were based on the annual drill plan. The first volunteer company in Port Hope was organized in 1857 by Captain Augustus Roche and was known as the
Port Hope Rifle Company. Soon after Captain RW Smart started a cavalry corps, which figured in the Prince of Wales' visit. On the disbanding of Roche's Company the Victoria Rifles, a firemen's
organization, was formed. This in turn was superseded in February 1862 by the 'Company of Foot Artillery of Port Hope' under Captain D Bethune and Lieut TM Benson. In August of the same year
Captain ATH Williams took command, and in December the company became the 'Volunteer Militia Company of Infantry', better known as the Port Hope Infantry Company. A Rifle Company under
Captain William Fraser was shortly after formed, as was also an Engineer Corps under Captain GA Stewart. This was Port Hope's fighting strength when a Fenian Invasion was threatened in 1865.
The first order came to the Infantry Company in the Fall to repair to Sandwich for garrison duty. There Captain Williams and his sixty-five men remained until April 1866. On their departure home the
Town Council of Sandwich, through the Mayor, presented a most flattering address to them, which speaks volumes for the kind of men Port Hope then produced. Both the Infantry Company and the
Rifle Company later served at Kingston, where equally valuable testimonials were presented on their departure. At home a Home Guard had been formed in June 1866 under Captain Kirchhoffer,
with sixty Enfield Rifles. This Company patrolled the Town during the troubled times.
The result of this little war was the complete reorganization of the Militia of the country. In the Fall of 1866 the Canada Gazette announced the formation of the 46th East Durham Battalion and other
similar regiments all over the Province. Lieutenant Colonel Williams was placed in command of the new local organization, which comprised two companies from Port Hope, and one each from
Millbrook, Bethany, Springville and Janetville.
From 1862 until 1867 the town had rented a storehouse on Ontario street from Mr P Robertson for use as a Drill Shed. In the latter year the present Drill Shed was erected by Samuel Wilson at a
cost of $3,000, and ever since it has been the headquarters for the troops for a large district around Port Hope.
The North West Rebellion of 1885 forms the next event in Military annals. As part of the general plan for quelling the revolt, Colonel Williams was entrusted with the task of forming a provisional
battalion from the midland counties. In this famous Midland Battalion, the 46th had two companies, one from Millbrook under Captain Winslow and the other from Port Hope under Major Dingwall.
The Battalion left Kingston for the front on April 7th, where a portion of it participated in the Battle of Batoche, May 9th, and all the men did good service. The return to Port Hope on July 19th was
in many respects a sad one. Though all had escaped death in the field the gallant Colonel had been carried off by brain fever on the return journey. His lamentable death occurred at Battleford on
July 4th, and when he breathed his last this Town experienced one of the direst losses it has yet been destined to sustain. The funeral obsequies which took place on Tuesday July 21st, were of the
most impressive character, being conducted with the fullest military ceremonial and in presence of vast throngs of sorrowing people.
The 46th Regiment now came under the command of Lieut Col Benson, who held sway over its fortunes until 1896 when a change occurred. The 45th West Durham Regiment was transferred to
Lindsay, becoming the Victoria Battalion, whilst the 46th Battalion, increased to seven companies became the Durham Battalion and the command of the latter devolved upon Colonel John Hughes.
Captains WJ Robertson and FH Coombs are now in charge of the Port Hope companies and HA Ward, MP, is Major.
In connection with the history of the 46th Regiment, the career of the Band which has been associated with it ever since its formation, is deserving of some notice. At the time of the Fenian
Invasion there was in Port Hope a Citizens' Band under the leadership of Mr Wm Philp. It happened that several members of this Band enrolled with the Port Hope Light Infantry Company
and went to Sandwich with them and while at that point organized a company band of eight pieces. It was from this small beginning that the 46th Band developed. The bandmasters since the
formation of the band have been Mr Wm Philp, Mr R Warner, Mr AH Rackett, Mr D Carson and lastly Mr JR Smith, who was appointed August 1st, 1886. The 46th Band has had considerable
opposition at various times from other non-military bands but has out-lived them all. At present it is in a disbanded state, except at the periods of regimental drill, when players are specially
engaged by the Bandmaster.
In addition to being the headquarters for the 46th Regiment of Infantry, Port Hope is also the home of the 14th Field Battery, until recently known as the Durham Field Battery. This Battery
originated in 1872 under Captain Charles Seymour. Its guns were of the smooth-bore type and were six in number, with six horses to each gun. Captain Graham succeeded Captain Seymour
in command until in 1880 William McLean, who had been Lieutenant at the formation of the Battery, was given the Captain's rank and placed in charge. Shortly before his appointment four rifle
guns had superseded the old smooth-bores. In 1883 Captain McLean received the Major's rank and in 1893 that of Lieutenant-Colonel. The Battery, which has been composed of six guns since
1898, was this year (1901) placed under the command of Major NF McNachtan, of Cobourg, owing to the retirement of Colonel McLean.
In its drills and target practices the Battery has always maintained a high standard of efficiency. In 1894 it won the first general proficiency prize over all the Dominion artillery companies and it
also possesses the Gwoszki Challenge Cup, having won it for two years in succession (1890-1891).
Last on the list of wars in which Port Hope has taken a share, stands the recent long and stubborn contest with the Boers in South Africa. Port Hope's sons did not have an opportunity to enlist
until a second Canadian contingent was in process of formation. Then on January 5th, 1900, a gallant little company left for Ottawa to join 'D' Battery RCA. The party consisted of Hector Read,
Ernest Evatt, Thomas Kerr, William Welsh, Thomas Taylor, Robert Gamble, Victor Hall, Thomas Sandercock, Frederick Davey, Frederick Outram and Charles Ough.
'D' Battery sailed from Halifax on board the Laurentian on Jan 21st and arrived in Cape Town on the 17th of February. After a brief period of rest and training, active service began with a march
through the Karoo Desert in pursuit of a party of rebels when the Battery formed a portion of a column of 2,000 Yeomanry and Australians. This march ended at De Aar on April 14th.
The following six weeks were spent on guard duty at the Orange River Bridge. After a brief service at and near Bloemfontein under General Kelly-Kenny, 'D' Battery reached Pretoria on July 14th
and joined General Ian Hamilton's force. This column was employed for the next three weeks in clearing the Delagoa Bay Railroad and during that time saw much active service. Garrison duty at
various points ensued until Sept 2nd, when the Battery took part in General Buller's movement to the relief of Leidenburg. This point was reached on Sept 7th and next day the men of 'D' Battery
participated in the Battle of Paardeplat. After this taste of severe fighting, garrison duty for two months at Krokodil Poort and Godwan Rivier again became the lot of the Port Hope contingent
and their fellow-soldiers. On November loth, the Battery was once more at Pretoria and shortly after the journey home began. The capital of the Transvaal was left on December 3rd, a brief
stop was made at Worcester for further garrison duty and on the 13th of December, the men embarked on the Rosslyn Castle at Capetown for the long voyage to Halifax. A royal reception
at Port Hope concluded this campaign of one year, on January 13th, 1901. Of the brave little company but one was absent at the home-coming - Sergt Evatt, who fell a victim to
(XXIV) SOME OTHER INSTITUTIONS
While scarcely of such importance as to require separate chapters for their description, yet there are several other institutions in Port Hope deserving attention and these may
conveniently be grouped in a single chapter. The Post Office, established in 1817 with Charles Fothergill as Post Master, has suffered several changes of location. Rumour has it
that Mr. Fothergill for several years handled the mail in his own residence where Mr. James Craick now resides. From there the office moved down to D. Smart's store on Mill street,
when that gentleman became Post Master. Then it was transferred to the store at present occupied by John Wickett & Son; from there to Gould's present site; next to the old Hatton
block on Mill street; from there to the Smith Block on Walton street and in 1877 to the Riordan Block. All these years David Smart and his son RW Smart had been Post Masters. In 1877
the Rev J Baird received the appointment and on Oct 5th, 1878, the present Post Master EJ Baird succeeded him. The present building was erected in 1883, the corner stone being laid with
much ceremonial on August 30th by Sir Hector Langevin, Minister of Public Works.
The Customs Department has been in existence in Port Hope since 1819 and with it the name of Mr MF Whitehead was associated for many years. It was located for some time in the Hatton Block
and later in the block south of the old Oil Clothing Factory Building. From there it went to the new Post Office in 1883. The present Collector EJ Burton, Esq succeeded Mr Whitehead on Sept 15th, 1872.
Offenders against the law and order of the Town were tried by the early Board of Police and later by the Mayor and Justices of the Peace. In 1871 RH Holland Esq was appointed Police Magistrate,
which office he has ever since filled. For several years the lockup was situated in a house on the corner of Walton and Brown streets and then was moved to Norman Strong's house on Mill Street prior to a
place being fitted up in the Town Hall. The Chief Constables have been Dennis Riordan, D Gillespie, John Lynn, James North, David Marshall and Charles Gilchrist. John Douglas, the present Chief, was appointed in April, 1883.
In the year 1821 John Hutchinson was granted the privilege of holding a semi-annual fair or mart in Port Hope. This was probably the first step towards making Port Hope a market town. The Board of Police
were also allowed to establish a market but it was not until the Town Hall was built and suitable accommodation provided that the market, as it is now known, was held regularly.
The Port Hope Gas Company was organized in 1857 with John Smart as President. The present building was erected by Mr Donovan and the works put in by Mr Perry of Montreal. The Town took £42,500
stock on March 2nd, 1857. The Company has had its periods of depression, first when coal oil was introduced and latterly when the use of electric light became prevalent. At present the Company's stock
amounts to $34,860, its last dividend was 4%, and its mains extend eight miles. J Mulligan Esq is President.
Electric lighting came in in 1886 and Mr JW Quinlan was its introducer. By-law 533 dated Jan 11 th, 1886 contains the agreement between the Town and that gentleman. Mr Quinlan supplied the light for
a portion of that year until in November the Town contracted with Dr Corbett to carry out the lighting arrangements. This gentleman has extended and improved the system very largely and still operates it.
The earliest burying-ground in Port Hope was on the east side of the Park Hill. Then the St John's Church Cemetery around the present St Mark's Church became the burial ground of the settlement.
Afterwards the Presbyterians and Methodists each made cemeteries, the former at the rear of their church, the latter west of the High School.
The Catholics also buried their dead around their church. The present St John's Cemetery was opened in 1862, and the Union Cemetery in 1873. A Union Cemetery Company was formed on April 13th
of that year with Col Williams as President. Its present stock is $3,000 and W Craig is President. Up to the present time 1126 interments have been made.
The Port Hope Board of Trade has had a checkered history. There was a Board in existence in 1865 with John Helm as President, but it must have soon disappeared for on August 18th, 1874 a new
organization was registered at Ottawa with the late Wm Craig as President. After a few years this too became defunct and until the Twine Factory was established, no Board of Trade existed.
In 1889 a large Board with one hundred members was formed and GM Furby appointed President. It is still alive though latterly its office has been rendered useless by the appointment of a
Manufacturers' Committee of the Town Council.
An institution which has been of much benefit to the Town is the Mechanics Institute established in 1874 under the presidency of Mr GA Stewart, now of Calgary. A previous Institute had been
established in 1852 and incorporated in 1854, and for several years had maintained a library and reading room over Mr Deyell's present store; but it became defunct and sold its library to the YMCA.
During its early years it provided courses of lectures every winter. The present Institute started over the old Times office and soon after moved to its present location. JH Helm, Esq is President
and Miss MC Budge, Secretary, while the library now contains 5000 volumes.
Prior to 1870 all concerts, theatricals, lectures etc were held in the Town Hall. In that year the O'Neill Brothers built the old Opera House. It was merely a music hall, without gallery, boxes or
adequate stage accommodation. These accessories were added in 1886 when a Peterboro' Company secured the property, and until 1897 the old Opera House witnessed many gatherings of
most varied nature. It was destroyed by fire Feb 14th and restored to its present well-equipped condition in 1899. Mr EJ Farquharson is the lessee.
Since 1862 the charity of the Town has been dispensed through the Benevolent Society, which was formed in that year by the late Wm Craig. Over one thousand dollars pass through the hands
of the society annually, of which more than half is donated by private subscription. Mr W Quay is now President and for over twenty years Mr JH Helm has been Treasurer.
(XXV) INDUSTRIAL HISTORY
The capabilities of the Ganaraska River as a power-stream were early recognized by the settlers of the Newcastle District, and Smith's mills erected on its banks in 1797 were the first of their kind
in a large section of the country. Supplied with its waters from perennial springs, the stream possesses the uncommon characteristic of maintaining an almost uniform flow of water all the year
around, with the exception of brief periods when floods are prevalent. In addition it has a fall of some sixty-four feet within the Town limits which at present develops six hundred and fifty horse-power.
Viewed from the industrial standpoint Port Hope's life divides itself into three periods; the first when the Town was rendered famous by the output of its numerous distilleries; the second when it
became equally important as a railway terminus and port and the third and present period when it is striving to maintain itself at its former level, though suffering from severe losses over which it has had no control.
It was in 1802 that Elias Smith built the first distillery near the site of the skating rink and began the manufacture of the famous Port Hope brand of whiskey. Within a few years other distilleries started
operations and by 1826 no fewer than eight were in existence in the Town, while during the thirties even a larger number were kept busy supplying the world with its
favourite beverage. A large proportion of this production was shipped to Montreal, where it was transformed into brandy, rum and gin and returned to its native town under the guise of a genune foreign article.
Port Hope's busiest years were from about 1850 to 1880 when many important public works were in the course of construction. The building of the harbour, viaduct and railroads employed hundreds of
men; the Railroad Shops and Car Works were kept at full blast supplying and repairing rolling-stock; Helm's Foundry and Hayden's Foundry turned out all manner of machinery; Robertson's Tannery
(est 1820) and Craig's Tannery (est 1852) both did large businesses and Molson's, Barrett's and Peplow's Mills manufactured flour for shipment. Besides these there were carriage-works, saw mills,
carding mills and numerous other industries in operation, supplying the needs of the newly opened-up country to the North.
In 1873 Port Hope's greatest manufacturing enterprise - the Car Works - was set on foot by Messrs N Kirchhoffer, GM Furby, JG Williams, R O'Neill, L Ross, J Hayden, and ATH Williams, with a capital
stock of $50,000. Hardly had the Company's Charter been obtained than an order for 400 cars came in from the Intercolonial Railway, and other orders followed in rapid succession. For about three years
the Company flourished. Extensive shops on both sides of the railway were erected on Ontario street, long sidings were put in and two hundred mechanics were kept busy day and night. But unfortunately
financial difficulties set in, followed by a suit in Chancery, which terminated in the sale of the plant to Mr Helm. For some years the buildings stood idle and finally they were destroyed by fire in August 1880.
Since the Car Works were closed down several manufactories of some note have served to maintain a small industrial population in Port Hope, though other industries of long standing have dwindled
down to very small proportions. The white stone mill at Helm's dam, erected in 1853, was used for many years as a flour mill and store-house. In 1887 Mr J Dyer opened it as a woollen mill and continued
to manufacture there till the building was destroyed by fire in April 1889.
In 1888 Mr F Outram established the File Works at Beamish's dam. At first twenty-six men were employed. Now much larger buildings and three times the number of hands render this Factory of much
importance to the Town. (A recent deal has placed it in the hands of the Nicholson File Company of New Jersey). At the same time that this factory came to Port Hope, a Twine Factory was also
established near the harbour by WA Morris & Company of Montreal. Shortly after it became the property of the Consumers' Cordage Company of the same place. For several years the
works were operated but after having been closed down for lengthy periods they were finally removed in 1898. Its former building was reoccupied in the present year by the Dominion Radiator
Company, which bids fair to become a flourishing institution.
(XXVI) FIRES AND FIREMEN
Until the incorporation of Port Hope with a Board of Police, there was no organization of any sort for the prevention of fires. But one of the the first acts of the new body was the appointment of
three fire wardens - Wm Lee, Wm Mitchell and Wm Furby - whose duties were to inspect all buildings liable to take fire easily, to compel people to place such buildings in safe condition and to
see that every householder was provided with buckets and ladders. These fire wardens also directed the efforts of the people at fires. For many years they were appointed annually, and were
the sole authorities in connection with conflagrations.
Though a Hook and Ladder Company was formed by William Lee in 1842, its existence was so brief that it could not be called the originator of the present Fire Brigade. The date of the latter's
formation was Jan l0th, 1846, when a public meeting was held and a Brigade of over sixty members was formed. Fifty buckets and three small engines, purchased from MF Whitehead, comprised
the apparatus of these early firemen. In February 1849 Rescue engine was purchased from T Snook of Rochester for $750 and Rescue Fire Company was formed with N Kirchhoffer as Captain.
This engine pumped water from any convenient stream or well in the neighborhood of a fire and was operated by hand-power. Union engine was acquired in 1853, and Victoria engine in 1856 and
corresponding companies were formed for them. Hook and Ladder and Bucket companies worked in conjunction with these engine companies.
When the waterworks were introduced, the old apparatus disappeared. Extinguisher Hose Company was formed with a strength of about twenty men, and soon after two Chemical engines were
placed at the east and west ends of the Town and companies formed to operate them. These latter companies continued in existence until about 1891 when they were disbanded and five men
from each added to the Hose company. On Jan 1st, 1901, the strength of the Hose Company was reduced to fifteen men, and a well-trained team of horses added to the equipment.
About the year 1850 the main street of Port Hope was occupied with two-storey wooden blocks. By a series of disastrous fires all these old buildings were completely destroyed. The first fire
started in the Meredith Block on the south side of Walton street, about 9 pm on Jan 2nd, 1850, and before it was out, the street had been cleared from Queen street up to the future site of the
railway track. Shortly after, a second fire started in a hotel on the site of the present American hotel and burned up to the Brogdin Block (Tempest Block). Hardly were new structures completed
on these sites than a third conflagration cleared out the Brogdin Block, and devastated up to Cavan street. The old wooden Durham House on the corner of John and Walton streets stood through
all this destruction until it too went up March 7th, 1859. Within the next few years a number of fine brick blocks north of the Royal Hotel in which the Post Office and Customs House were domiciled,
were also destroyed by fire, which originated in the Hatton Block. Then in the year 1865 a serious fire swept away a number of buildings extending from the Opera House to the YMCA on John street.
The following February a fire originated in Hagerman's grocery in Quinlan's Block and owing to the intense cold and the freezing of the engines, destroyed the whole block. Last of the big downtown
fires was one which started in Brent's Drug Store in the new Brogdin Block in July, 1867, and cleared out the whole block and the adjoining Smith Block though both were of brick construction.
Next came a period when incendiaries were at work and mills and factories suffered. Woods Brothers' Fanning Mill west of the Drill Shed was burned in 1872; Butterfield's Carriage works on Cavan
Street were destroyed in 1873; Molson's huge flour mill at the Electric Light Pond was consumed in the Fall of 1874; and on Sunday morning August 8th, 1880 the famous Car Works on Ontario street
were totally destroyed, entailing a loss of $48,000.
Since then several large fires have occurred, notably Barrett's Mills, Beamish's Mills and Wallace's Store House at the wharf in 1885: the old stone mill, occupied by J Dyer & Sons, April 21st, 1889;
the Town Hall, Feb 3rd, 1893; Trinity College School Feb 16th, 1895; and the Opera House, Feb 13th, 1897.
The Fire Hall was erected in the year 1871 by Messrs Wallace, Carveth and Fogarty, contractors, for $3,200. Prior to its occupancy the central fire station was situated on the west side of Ontario
street near Walton street. The present Fire Chief is Mr L G Misson.
(XXVII) SOME PIONEER FAMILIES
The HARRIS family were originally of Dutch extraction but had settled in America long before the Revolution. In 1776 the family were at Poughkeepsie and with the exception of Myndert,
they all decided to support the revolutionists. Myndert however stood by King George, served during the War in the quarter-master department at New York and at the close of the War
retired with his family to Digby, NS. Dissatisfied with that country, Mr Harris journeyed to Newark, Upper Canada, by way of New York and the Hudson and, through the representations of
Captain Walton, settled at Smith's Creek in 1793. He resided in this neighborhood until his death in 1823 at the age of 75 years. His family consisted of four sons and six daughters. Of these
Myndert, Jr. died at Port Hope in 1878, aged 92 years. He was the father of Thomas Harris of Wesleyville and of the late Joseph Harris of Port Hope. Hannah married first Seth Soper and had
two daughters. One of these was the mother of JD and SS Smith. She afterwards married John Burnham. Sarah married Elisha Jones and had three daughters, one of whom was the mother of Dr LB Powers.
Elias Smith, the founder of the SMITH family, owned large property in New York and Harland at the time of the Revolution. He succeeded in selling the Harland property for £7,000 but lost his
New York property by his adhesion to King George. This city property was in 1830 valued at a million dollars. He came to Port Hope in 1797 and with Captain Walton received a Crown Patent
of the Town site. Of his large family John David is of most interest to Port Hope citizens. He was born in New York in 1786 and came to Port Hope with his father. Until his death in 1849 he was
a prominent citizen of the Town and held the offices of Magistrate and member of the Legislative Assembly for some time. Of his nine sons and three daughters, Elias P was for many years
Manager of the Bank of Upper Canada. He was the father of JD and SS Smith and the late Mrs John Smart. David was a lumberman at Consecon; John S was a lawyer in Toronto, Cobourg and
Port Hope; James became Judge of the County of Victoria; Wm M was a doctor in Port Hope; Mrs JB Hall; Robert Charles, father of RC Smith, was a lumberman; Sidney was a lawyer in Cobourg
and for a time Post Master General of Canada; Joseph S; Wallace W; Mrs TC CLARK; Mrs Wellington.
The WARD family are of English descent. Their founder, Captain Thomas Ward, was born in London in 1770 and came to Canada with Governor Simcoe in 1791. He was one of the first statute
lawyers of Upper Canada and one of the first benchers of the Law Society of the Province. Until 1808 he was Registrar of Northumberland County, residing at Brighton. In that year he became
Registrar for Durham and removed to Port Hope. In later life he also held the offices of Judge of the County Court and Clerk of the Peace for the Newcastle District. In 1847 he resigned from the
Registrar's office in favour of his son George C and his death took place in 1861. All his family of eight children are now dead. Among them were Mrs JT Williams, George C and Ely W, all three
well-known in Port Hope. HA Ward, Esq, MP is the only surviving son of the late George Ward.
John Tucker Williams, the founder of the WILLIAMS family, came to Canada during the War of 1812-15 and commanded a vessel on the Lake during that war. He finally settled at Port Hope.
During the Rebellion of 1837 he commanded the Durham Regiment; later represented the County in Parliament and was the first Mayor of Port Hope. His death took place in 1854. Of his family
of seven children Mrs Wm Fraser, Mrs Charles Seymour and Charles Williams still survive. His eldest son Arthur Trefusis Heneage was born June 13th, 1837 and was educated at Upper Canada
College and Edinburgh University. He was a most public-spirited man and held many responsible positions in the Town and the country. He was Colonel of the 46th Regiment and saw service
during the Fenian Invasion and the North-West Rebellion. He also served in both the Local and Dominion Houses. His lamentable death to which reference has already been made occurred
July 4th, 1885. In 1859 he married Emily, daughter of Hon Benjamin Seymour and by her had five children. On Wednesday, Sept 4th, 1889, Sir John
A MacDonald unveiled a statue, erected in his honour on the Market Square, and by this means the memory of this worthy citizen and soldier is perpetuated.
The BURNHAM family whose names are familiar in a large section of Ontario are the descendants of four brothers, Asa, John, Zaccheus and Mark, who came to Ontario from New Hampshire.
Mark, whose name is more particularly associated with Port Hope, was born in 1791 and came to Canada in 1812, settling first at Cobourg. In 1830 he removed to Port Hope and continued the
mercantile business there for ten years. Besides being a successful merchant he was a musician and composer of some talent. He died in 1864. His third and only surviving son is HH Burnham,
Esq, a prominent and respected citizen of Port Hope.
The CHOATE family comprising a father and two sons left Enfield, New Hampshire about the year 1798 and settled near Hamilton, Ontario. A few years later, Jacob, one of the sons, bought a
farm near Cobourg. There he resided a short time and then came on to Smith's Creek, where he engaged in the hotel business until 1816, his tavern being the progenitor of the present Queen's.
During this time he purchased the lands at Belmont and finally removed there. He was the father of four sons and two daughters.
Of these Nathan, the eldest son, born in March 1805, became the proprietor of Belmont and a prominent agriculturist of the district. For more than fifteen years he was President of the Durham
Agricultural Society. On his death, July 10th, 1891, the Belmont Estate descended to his son Asa, whose lathe returned natives, and for many days before and after the special days of the celebration, the 'old boys'
were largely in evidence. This period of reunion at the beginning of a new century will doubtless live long in the memory of those who participated in it and it will accordingly be unnecessary
here to relate in detail all that occurred. Suffice it to give a general outline of the celebration which may serve at some future date to recall more clearly the events of the various days.
The first morning was occupied with the arrival and official welcome of the visitors. The Rochester Old Boys with the Knights of St George and the 54th Regiment Band were the most
conspicuous figures in the constantly moving stream of humanity. These Americans with their characteristic enthusiasm had provided themselves with a uniform outfit consisting of
long grey dust-coats, yachting caps and red, white and blue sunshades. On the arrival of the Toronto contingent, a processionmentable death, August 28th, 1901, has so recently occurred. Of this family there still
survives Nathan B Choate of Iowa, Miss Elizabeth Choate of Port Hope, Mrs Herriman of Lindsay, and Mrs Meeking of Hope Township.
Among the numerous gentlemen who have taken a prominent share in the public affairs of the Town, there are two in particular, distinguished by especial virtues, whose names should not
be omitted in this volume. These are the late Thomas Benson and the late William Craig. The former gentleman was born at Fintona, Ireland, Jan 11th, 1804, whence his family crossed to
America in 1816. About 1819 they settled at Kingston where the father, James Benson died in 1828. Thomas Benson entered upon the mercantile life, remaining in Kingston until 1832, when
he removed to Port Hope, where he resided for five years.
During the rebellion of 1837 and subsequent years he served as Captain. In 1845 he settled at Peterborough but returned to Port Hope in 1853 to assume the duties of Secretary-Treasurer
of the Port Hope and Peterborough Railway, which he fulfilled in the most able manner until his premature death in the Desjardins Canal catastrophe, March 12th, 1857. Of a family of twelve
children, the eldest surviving son is Thomas Moore Benson, of Port Hope, Senior Judge of the United Counties and a man who ably fills his father's place in the community. Richard Lowe
Benson, for some years Deputy Sheriff of the Counties of Northumberland and Durham; Lieut-Col Frederick Albert Benson and four daughters are still living.
The late William Craig was born in Yorkshire, England, Feb 2 7th, 1819, but did not come to Port Hope until 1852. In that year he started the Tannery which still bears his name. Until his death
on Friday, 29th May, 1891, he was actively connected with the philanthropic and benevolent institutions of the Town, was for many years the main-stay of the Baptist Church and for four years
was Mayor of the Town. He was the father of four sons and two daughters who occupy most honourable positions in the various places where destiny has placed them. Of the daughters,
one is the wife of Judge Chisholm, of Berlin, for many years a well-known citizen of Port Hope and the other is the wife of Dr JW Clemesha, a foremost physician of the Town. Of the sons
T Dixon sat for two terms as member for East Durham; John is a missionary in India; Joseph resides in Minneapolis and William succeeded to his father's business in Port Hope.
(XXIX) THE OLD BOYS' CELEBRATION OF 1901
The idea of entertaining 'old boys and girls' in the home of their youth can scarcely be considered a novelty, but yet it may be justly claimed that no Canadian town has before entered into
the project to such an extent and with such a measure of success as Port Hope. The opportunity of revisiting scenes of their youth and meeting old friends was embraced by Port Hope's
sons and daughters from far and wide. For three days the town was crowded with was formed which marched to the Town Hall where Mayor
White in his best style gave the corporation welcome to the visitors. Speeches followed from Dr Forbes of Chicopee Falls, organizer Joseph Hooper, of Port Hope, Messrs TO Monaghan
of Rochester, WJ Colvin of Omaha, JW Curry, KC of Toronto, Robert Clarke of San Francisco, Samuel Lelean of Redlands, California and President Andros of the Organization Committee.
The afternoon witnessed horse races, athletic sports and a baseball match in the Park, while the day was wound up with a band concert, in which participated the Queen's Own Band of
Toronto and the 54th Regiment Band of Rochester.
The second day of the celebration was ushered in with continued fine weather. A large contingent from Peterboro' with the 57th Regiment Band of that city arrived betimes, much to the
gratification of the people of Port Hope. An excellent Kalithumpian procession amused the crowds until noon. More horse races and a lacrosse match (Peterboro' vs Port Hope in which the
home team were the easy winners) succeeded by a magnificent display of fire-works at night, comprised the second day's programme.
Wednesday and Thursday, the remaining days of the celebration, were spent in a quieter manner and were accordingly enjoyed by all who desired to visit friends. The success of the
undertaking was undoubtedly due in a large measure to the indefatigable efforts of Mr Joseph Hooper, who spent many months previous to the affair in making preparations and working
up enthusiasm. The townspeople expressed their welcome in many ways, especially by the lavish decorations, which everywhere graced the town. Prominent among these was a large
turreted white arch on Walton street, which was much admired by all who viewed it.