Elwood Burris remembers a time when you could hitch a ride on a slowly moving train from Hillier to Picton. He also recalls a much less-lyrical time as a young boy picking tomatoes rain or shine. But then there was always a rich community life with hockey on the creek in winter and lots of parties and dances at the hall.
It was a hot afternoon in 1949 when Doug and Betty Alyea came to look at a farm that was for sale at the end of Bakker Road. The house seemed a bit run-down but Doug knew he could handle the repairs, and he liked the look of the big barn and thick, green grass in the fields. Standing in the yard on that hot afternoon they could also feel the cool breeze coming in off the lake and that settled it. They decided that this would be the place to set roots, raise their family, build up the farm and follow their dream.
Five hundred to five thousand years ago Indians built their encampments - the first villages - along this creek which empties into Pleasant Bay and from there into Lake Ontario. These fields were beneath a deep and vibrant forest. There were no roads and the only way of getting around was either by boat or on foot.
Loyalists, United Empire Loyalists. They were called loyalists for their loyalty to Britain during her war with her American colonies. England lost the war and her American colonies in 1783. The loyalists supported the losing side and faced vicious hatred and persecution for their beliefs. They were ridiculed and shamed, ostracized, often hunted down, tarred and feathered; some were even hanged or shot. They lost their land and houses which were either confiscated or burned. And so they fled, destitute and terrified.
We each want happiness. Ah but where to find it? We sometimes sees others look for it in all the wrong places and sometimes catch ourselves as well. Others seem to find it effortlessly, as though it were right under their noses. Maybe it is. Take Bart Cunningham, for instance. He grew up on a farm on Hubbs Creek Road just west of Wellington. He went to the barn to do his chores at four-thirty every morning for fifty years.
One day as you're driving along Loyalist Parkway between Wellington and Bloomfield you notice a large beautiful painting of a black and white Holstein cow hanging high on the side of a brilliant yellow barn. Now what's the story about that cow, you wonder? And what's the story about all those flowers in front of it? And how could you ever find out?
Many people remember a time or place in childhood that's special. For some it's an event or an pet. For Ross Parks it's a chestnut tree. When he was a young boy he would climb up and curl into a branch and feel the warm wind rock the tree.
Others like Martha Crawford, who arrived as a bride in the County during a huge snow storm, found the special time in her memory of her friendships on Bethel Road.
Rum Running in the County. The words stir up your imagination. They suggest adventure, danger --- even tragedy. Was it some or any of these? And if it was --- well, just how dangerous? Are there people still around who can tell us how it all worked and knew about it first-hand? George Miller was a rum runner and his nephew John Miller remembers him well.
In the 1800s settlers arrived to a county that was covered in a great primeval forest. The forest was in the making since the last ice age here some 10,000 years ago. It took one lifetime for the forests to disappear. To the settlers the forests represented several things and all meant cutting them down.
Floral Minaker's ancestors were among the first settlers to arrive in the County. When Floral talks about the journals that both her father and grandfather in which they describe their daily activities through the years, she warmly recalls how, in the midst of all their hard work, they always had time to enjoy themselves. Nothing was as important as family and friends and she recalls picnics and celebrations they would have even in the middle of the day.
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