|About the Book|
To present a picture of the early settlements of Ontario and enter into the daily life of the pioneers is a most fascinating task. As we visit these historic districts and mingle with the descendants of the men and women who built the first logMoreTo present a picture of the early settlements of Ontario and enter into the daily life of the pioneers is a most fascinating task. As we visit these historic districts and mingle with the descendants of the men and women who built the first log cabins in the forest, we imbibe the spirit of their simple life. Many of the old landmarks recall the stories of strange experiences we have so often heard, and the presence of the very flesh and blood of the first actors in the drama of the long struggle in the wilderness makes the scene all the more realistic. We think we can discern in the honest faces and general demeanour of these living links in our history something which indicates a deep-rooted sense of citizenship and a consciousness of a responsibility in keeping inviolate the traditions of their ancestors.In the following pages I have endeavoured to bring the reader into closer touch with the first settlers. Many excellent historical works have traced the development of our province and laid before us the achievements of our public men. In vain may we turn over volume after volume in our search for information concerning the evolution of the homestead, and the customs and peculiarities of the common folk of long ago.For the most part the sources of my information have been original documents and interviews with old men and women, many of whom have since passed away. Even from such sources it is an easy matter to fall into error- but I have discarded what I feared was not trustworthy, and believe that I can confidently ask the reader to accept the general statements of facts as thoroughly reliable.I wish to acknowledge the receipt of many valuable suggestions from the Honourable Mr. Justice Riddell of Osgoode Hall, Toronto, and Dr. James H. Coyne of St. Thomas. I am also deeply indebted to Dr. M. R. Morden of Adrian, Michigan- the late Peter Bristol of Napanee, and Elisha Ruttan of Adolphustown, for much useful information regarding the pioneers.