All posts by Dorothy

Gander Bay NL

decks-awash-1983-v12-no6-coverDecks Awash, in 1983, published an issue about Gander Bay and Hamilton Sound. Below are the pages about Charles Francis of Clarke’s Head in Gander Bay. He was a Mi’kmaw from Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia. In 1821, when he was maybe 12 years old, he settled at Clarke’s Head, where the Gander River meets the bay.

Click or tap the images to enlarge them. You can see the entire magazine online at the MUN Digital Archives.

Gander Bay area

gander bay intro…For the most part this 10-mile-wide bay, which was once part of the French Shore was overlooked by settlers until the early 1800s. This is perhaps because Newfoundland was valuable as a base for the fishing industry, and Gander Bay is shallow and too far from the fishing grounds of Hamilton Sound to have been seen as a suitable area for settlement…

The first settler was a Micmac Indian, originally from Nova Scotia. The first white settlers arrived via Fogo and Change Islands in search of farm land and timber, and by all accounts lived in harmony with the Micmac settler. In fact, intermarriage occurred and many residents of Clarke’s Head and other communities in the vicinity are of Micmac descent…

Clarke’s Head, Gander Bay

decks-awash-1983-clarkes-head-p-10Sometime in the late 1700s a Micmac Indian and his mother arrived in what is now Clarke’s Head by way of Conne River. Near the mouth of the Gander River he cleared a plot of land and set about trapping furs to earn a living. He also fished for salmon on the river to provide variety in his diet. His name was Charles Francis.

But his solitude did not last long. A few years later John Bussey came from Fogo in search of land suitable for farming. Being an industrious sort, he cleared an entire point and called it, not surprisingly, Bussey’s Point. He planted vegetables and raised livestock, and like his Micmac neighbor fished for salmon. His attempt at immortality did not succeed, however, for the area later became known as Tibbey’s Point and today it is no longer distinguished form Clarke’s Head at all.

Gradually, more settlers came, and by 1838 there were eight houses at Clarke’s Head with a population of 68. Somewhere along the way Charles married into the white community, taking a Gillingham woman from Greenspond for his wife. Their only problem was that he was Roman Catholic and she was a member of the Church of England. They brought that situation to a happy conclusion by agreeing to raise half their children in her faith and the other half in his. It is possible, however that Charles’ mother was none too pleased with the arrangement for she returned to Nova Scotia.

decks-awash-1983-clarkes-head-11As time went on Clarke’s Head became known for its lumbering. A shipbuilder named Saunders from Blackpool, England, came to Clarke’s Head in the 1890s and set up business premises. He invested in the fishery including the Labrador and operated a large sawmill which exported rough lumber. The operation of the mill continued until the 1950s. At about the same time a George Phillips obtained leases for 270 thousand acres of virgin timberland on the banks of the Gander River and began to operate mills at Botwood, Glenwood, Norris Arm and Campbellton. In the winter he employed between 200 and 300 men in his woods’ operation near Clarke’s Head. But the operation literally died with him in 1905, just ten years after it began. It was purchased by the Newfoundland Timber Estates which closed it down soon afterwards. Perhaps because of the importance of the woods’ operations, the fishery in Clarke’s Head began to die.

Clarke’s Head has the distinction of being the site of the first church in Gander Bay. In 1905 an Anglican Church was finished to provide a place of worship for the community’s 221 members of the Church of England. The Roman Catholic Church maintained its presence of 36 members which grew to 42 over the next 30 years. There were also 13 Methodists in the community.

Clarke’s Head is the place where the first moose was landed in Newfoundland. In 1875 the HMS Eclipse landed a buck and a doe to see if the animals could survive in the area. The following year the fisheries officer aboard the HMS Bullfinch arrived to find that the buck was dead and the doe had wandered off. At this point the oral tradition surrounding the story becomes interesting. One version has it that a man traveling by horse and sled to Clarke’s Head struck the buck and injured it so badly that there was nothing to be done but put the poor animal out of its misery. A more plausible version claims that the unnamed gentleman killed the moose intentionally for the supper table perhaps starting the tradition of setting out in winter to hunt for moose in the woods around Gander Bay. It was not until several years later that more moose were landed in the area.

It is also said that there was a great fire in Clarke’s Head in the 1890s which wiped out all the houses in the community. The fire is said to have cut a path a mile wide for a distance of five miles to an area known as Charles Cove.

One final note of distinction at Clarke’s Head is the development of the Gander Bay river boat. In appearance it is remarkably like an Indian canoe with a few modifications. it is designed to withstand rough waters and, since it does not sit very deep in the water is ideal for use in the shallow waters of Gander Bay and the Gander River. Today, the boats are made by Gander Bay Woodcrafts at Clarke’s Head operated by the local Indian Band Council.

Some definite opportunities

decks-awash-1983-calvin-francis-41decks-awash-1983-calvin-francis-42

Calvin Francis, above, is the great grandson of Charles William Francis, eldest son of Charles Francis and Caroline Gillingham. He represents Gander Bay on the Qalipu First Nation council.

Children of Charles and Caroline Francis

Charlie and Caroline had seven children, all born in Clarke’s Head. They are:

  • Charles William Francis, born about 1855. He married Rachel Wadden, born about 1862 in Change Islands. They had three sons and one daughter: Herbert, Simon, Edgar and Althea.
  • Peter Francis, born about 1856 and died 1922. He married Dorcas Gillingham, born 1866 and died 1950. They had seven children: Theodore, Angus, Katie, Ida, Beatrice, Florence and Elijah.
  • Fanny Francis, born about 1859 and died soon after her marriage to Azariah Snow, born about 1858 in Hare Bay, Fogo Island.
  • Thomas Francis, born about 1862. He married Julia Peckford, born 1865 in Change Islands. They had nine children: Caroline, Lewis Aquilla, Frederick Pierce, Alberta, Laura Bridget, Chesley, Winifred, Thomas Riley and Sidney Ralph.
  • Mary Ann Francis, born late 1860s. She married Levi Stuckey, born about 1860 in Herring Neck, New World Island in Notre Dame Bay. They had three daughters: Maud, Lillian and Daisy.
  • Andrew Francis, born about 1869. He married Isabelle Pinsent, born about 1885 in Pilley’s Island, Notre Dame Bay. They had three daughters: Henrietta, Amanda Matilda and Evelyn.
  • Edward (Ned) Francis, born 1869 and died 1948. He married Sarah Anne Taylor, born about 1875 in Carbonear. They had 4 children: Helena, Peter Alphonsus, Melvin and Veronica.

Corrie Street 10 Dec. 2017

Stoke on Trent

Monday, Moira and Colin left Weatherfield for Stoke on Trent. They have been the only bright spot for me the past few weeks. And they maintained their style right to the end.

moira-at-barThe telling of the tale in the Rovers, in blank verse. Undone by Cupid, Moira tells Liz and Steve, Norris and Mary. Stealing a vial of blood for a man. A man who knows how to kiss, oh, how he knows how to kiss.

liz-steve-norris-mary-speechlessBut now what future for her? Pastures new, perhaps, suggests Liz. Not what Moira wants to contemplate. But then the resolution. Enter Colin. He woos his lady and, on bended knee, he suggests love ever after in Stoke on Trent.

This was brilliant. Moira slipped easily into rhythmic Shakespearean style as she bemoaned her fate and her foolishness. The surprise came when Liz responded in kind. And then the others – Steve, Norris and Mary. None of them, except Mary, characters you’d associate with such a literary device. That’s maybe why it was so funny. Brian Packham, yes, joined by Ken and Roy. Maybe Norris too. He’d pooh-pooh it, of course, but he’d be able to fall into the cadence.

colin-talks-to-moiraLater Moira and Colin returned, bags packed and taxi waiting, and in natural speech said fare thee well. Waving them off out the door amid promises to visit Stoke on Trent as soon as – try stopping us – Liz and Steve heaved huge sighs of relief.

colin says come to stoke on trentThe loose ends of their stories had been tied up. Dr. Gaddas fired Moira for stealing Norris’ blood sample, despite Colin explaining why he had asked her to do it. Norris explained to Colin why his two weeks in Darlington in 1961 had been memorable. Not a fling, rather hospitalization due to a car crash. Colin sold the Kabin back to Norris. So, unencumbered, they were ready to exit the stage of Weatherfield.

moira-and-colin-kiss-at-barI preferred watching Moira and Colin to any of the other storylines at present. Not because they had become integral characters; rather, they remained unintegrated add-ons. However, even though you had to suspend disbelief a lot, they were more believable and pleasant than most everything else going on. A surprising thought in light of the stories they were given. Sketches, really, with sometimes a bit of framework thrown on to sort of explain the action. So, Stoke on Trent and Liz, your gain is my loss.

Halifax Explosion

Halifax Harbour, December 6 1917, two ships collide. An explosion, followed by a tsunami and a fire that burns much of the city. The next day, a major snowstorm.

Halifax Explosion blast cloud LAC wikicommonsA rare photograph of the actual explosion. The photographer is unknown. But other photos of the explosion turned up a few years ago. Royal Navy Lt. Victor Magnus was in Halifax. His daughter, Ann Foreman of Cornwall, UK, found his photographs of the explosion long after his death. You can see them and read the full interview in the Daily Mail. This is part of what she said in November 2014:

My father was a great photographer. He always had a camera around his neck… It was just a coincidence that he was at the Halifax disaster. The actual explosion was a massive amount of smoke. He was very lucky to survive, especially as it destroyed the town. He took some photos on the shore and it looked like the London Blitz.

W. G. MacLaughlan, Halifax Photographer

Looking-North-toward-Pier-8-from-Hillis-Foundry-after-Explosion-Halifax-1917-W-G-MacLaughlan wikicommons
Looking North toward Pier 8 from Hillis Foundry after Explosion Halifax, W G MacLaughlan

Many of the images of the destroyed city came from the cameras – still and film – of W. G. MacLaughlan. His daughter, Rose Edna, recalled the day of the explosion.

Just before war was declared in 1914, Dad opened a studio – he was a photographer- on the corner of Buckingham & Barrington, over the Royal Bank and [sister] Bea and I worked in the reception room awhile before she went to Normal College and I to Business College.

I was there on the morning of the explosion- a Belgian Relief Ship and another loaded with explosives collided in the harbour. The North end of the city was partly destroyed and a great many people killed. No one at the College was seriously hurt, although a number of the windows were shattered. The College was about three miles from the Harbour…

I knew Bea had gone to Dad’s studio uptown, so I went down and met her on Barrington St. coming for me. We went back to the Studio but Dad hadn’t come in. Mr. [George] Nason, who worked there had been in the developing room and had his head done up as he was cut when the skylight broke up, but not badly. We were living out at Armdale then, about five miles from Barrington St. and we had to walk home, as everything had closed in the city. The traffic was terrible – cars and trucks taking people, who had been hurt, to the hospitals. When we got home we found mama and sister Marguerite ok and Dad had been a few miles from the house on his way to work. He went back home to see if they were ok and then left for the city. Nearly all the windows in our home were shattered, but that was all the damage.

Benjamin Smith, Hillview, Trinity Bay, Royal Navy

A Newfoundlander, Ben Smith, was in Halifax on that day. His story was told in a 1977 Offbeat History column. Here’s part of it.

The account doesn’t say where Ben Smith joined the Niobe. Most likely he had to go to Halifax. In any case he was in the Niobe at the time of the cataclysmic explosion, December 6, 1917, when the city was half destroyed. Ben Smith was below decks when the blast occurred and perhaps he owed his life to that fact. As he hurried on deck in the confusion and terror he lost his cap, and when he reached the deck the first thing he saw was the bodies of two of his shipmates who had been killed. He thought to himself: “Well, they won’t need their caps any more.” So he picked up one of the dead men’s caps and put it on his head and wore it until the end of the war.

He saw a lot of grim sights on that terrible day in Halifax after the Niobe’s crew was allowed ashore but ordered to stay out of the explosion area. As the men were walking down the streets they heard a woman screaming from a window. They asked her if there was anything they could do. She beckoned to them to come up and three of the sailors went into the house and the woman asked them to take out her invalid mother, aged 80 years, and bring her downstairs so she could be taken into the country for safety. It was lucky they went in for there were so many dead and dying and injured people about that no one would likely have bothered to rescue the old lady.

Men who tried to save Halifax Harbour

From the Shelburne Gazette, Feb. 6, 1918 (complete article at Shelburne Co. Coast Guard). Nineteen of 24 crew members of the tugboat Stella Maris, including the Captain, died in the explosion.

Capt. Brannen’s Great Work

One of the outstanding characters who lost his life in the great Halifax disaster was Captain Horatio H. Brannen, commander of the S.S. Stella Maris, who was making an heroic effort to reach the burning Mont Blanc and tow her to a place of greater safety before the catastrophe came.

Captain Brannen was born at Woods Harbor, Shelburne County, forty-five years ago, and so was just coming into manhood’s fullest prime when his life was so tragically cut off…

Captain Brannen had never been discharged from the naval service and, on the morning of the great disaster, he was taking the S.S. Stella Maris into Bedford Basin when he was sent to the aid of the burning ship. Aided by British blue-jackets he was trying to reach the Mont Blanc with a line in the hope of towing her to a place of greater safety when the explosion came.

Corrie Street 3 Dec. 2017

Cheesecutter

back-room-kabinThursday, Moira comes bearing gifts for Colin. Norris’ blood sample, a flat cap, and herself.

The blood sample is so that Colin can find out if Norris is his dad. The flat cap – I don’t know why. Maybe Colin had been looking for one? It colin-puts-on cheesecutter capgave him the opportunity to say that in New Zealand, it’s called a Cheesecutter. Well, you just have to google that, don’t you? Yes, indeed, a Cheesecutter cap is a type of flat cap and you can learn more at Prohibition Hats NZ.

The third gift came from the hat. As Colin was about to try it on, Moira was overwhelmed by his lustrous locks. She ran her fingers through his hair, spurring him to do the same with her hair. “Titian” mutual-fingers-running-through-hairhe murmured, as he ruffled and mussed and apparently painfully tangled her hair, judging by her wince. Still, the flame of passion stayed alight. The last we see of them is a leg in the air as they fall to the floor in the Kabin’s back room.

I’ve said before that I think Moira and Colin are great. Comedy gold, you could say. However, it strikes me as significant that, in a week of dramatic and emotional events, this is the scene that stood out for me. Kate struck Robert with her car. Robert may have testicular moira-wincescancer. Kate and Rana became ‘Kana’. Sally was inaugurated as mayor. Bailiffs came to Sally’s door to collect on Gina’s debts. Sinead and Daniel did a mating dance. There’s more too probably, but they’ve all blurred into each other.

Adding on comedy

So only this one small scene stayed in my mind. And it is between two peripheral characters. Neither Colin nor Moira have been integrated well into the street, the show. The actors have done wonders with what’s been given them. Ok, you want us to do the comedy bits? We can do that.

colin-and-moira-sink-to-floorBut why is Colin there? I hope this is not a long-lost son storyline. We’ve done that with Mary just recently. Once might work, twice takes us way too far into American soap territory. A new person arrives in town; so how are we going to connect him/her to existing characters? I know! Father and son, mother and daughter, identical twins separated at birth. What I would rather know is why did Colin leave his presumably high-powered job that he had when we first met him at the radio station? Why did he buy The Kabin?

And Moira? She just recently left her husband. Doesn’t this distress her at all? Why have we heard nothing more about him or their relationship? He popped in to wrap up a contrived storyline with Liz and the vaping scam. That exposed him as Moira’s dearly beloved blur-of-a-footand most respected husband. In turn, that expanded Moira’s role outside the medical clinic. But, sadly, she is a vessel for funny lines more than a real character. Are she and Colin there simply so Corrie can say ‘oh yes, we still have comedy’? Extraneous characters there only for a laugh can work in a sitcom. But not here.

Code Talkers

youtube code talkers-white house
L-R: Fleming Begaye, Donald Trump, Thomas Begay, Peter MacDonald, Nov. 27/17

In the early part of World War II, the enemy was breaking every military code that was being used in the Pacific. This created a huge problem for strategizing against the enemy. Eventually a suggestion was made in early 1942 to use the Navajo language as a code.

The Marine Corps recruited 29 young Navajos, not telling them what they are being recruited for because this was a top secret operation. They were just asked ‘you wanna join the Marines? You wanna fight the enemy? Come join the Marines.’ Then they were separated from all the rest of the Marines. Took them to a top secret location. That’s where they created a military code to be used in the Pacific.

After creating 260 code words, the 29 young Marines – half of them were sent overseas to join the 1st Marine Division. On August 7th 1942, 1st Marine Division hit the beaches of Gaudalcanal. This was the first battle where the Navajo code was to be tested in actual battle.

Three weeks after the landing, General Vandegrift, Commander of the 1st Marine Division, sent word back to United States saying, this Navajo code is terrific. The enemy never understood it, he said. We don’t understand it either, but it works. Send us some more Navajos. So that opened up the gate for United States Marine Corps San Diego to start recruiting more and more Navajos, using the same tactics.

The 13 of us, we still have one mission. That mission is to build National Navajo Code Talker Museum. We want to preserve this unique World War II history for our children, grandchildren, your children, your grandchildren.

Why? Because what we did truly represents who we are as Americans. America, we know, is composed of diverse community. We have different languages, different skills, different talents, and different religion. But when our way of life is threatened, like freedom and liberty that we all cherish, we come together as one. And when we come together as one, we are invincible.

-Peter MacDonald, Sr., Navajo Code Talker

This is part of what Peter MacDonald Sr. said at the White House on Monday. Mr. MacDonald, Fleming Begaye and Thomas Begave are Marine Corps veterans of World War II, Navajo Code Talkers. It played on Wednesday’s As It Happens on CBC Radio (beginning of Part 3).

Navajo US Marine Corps code talker recruits, Fort Wingate NM wikicommons
First 29 Navajo US Marine Corps code talker recruits being sworn in at Fort Wingate NM

This was a rare opportunity to hear about the history of the unit directly from those involved. But Mr. MacDonald’s speech didn’t get a lot of television coverage. Yep, President Trump opened his mouth.

So thank you, CBC, for playing this excerpt. It made me go look for the full speech, which I found on Real Clear Politics – both transcript and video.

Corrie Street 26 Nov. 2017

Oddball

mary-meets-jude-at-doorOddball, Jude calls Mary. That, he says, was his defence of her when Angie complained to him about Mary’s interference and criticism. He goes on, while having it out with his mother, to tell her that she’s a freak, evil and should never be allowed near children. Wow!

jude-tells-mary-how-upset-he-isYes, Mary may be an oddball and her actions can be harmful despite being gussied up as love. But dangerous? I think not, but she did almost abduct baby George. Dev points out to her that she is wonderful with his twins and they love her dearly. But she points out to him the clincher: Dev’s children are his children, baby George is her grandson. So while she is able to maintain a normal and healthy distance with Asha and Aadi, she goes right off the deep end when it’s her own mary-says-she-found-a-pamphletflesh and blood (my words, not hers).

I don’t know how either Angie or Jude have tolerated her behaviour for as long as they have. Angie has let her animosity show, which is hardly surprising. But Jude has been happy, peacemaking and a loving son and husband. I’ve wondered what’s wrong with him. How could he subject himself and his wife to Mary’s overbearing presence in their lives? Also, how could he not know how upset Angie was about it? A quiet word with mother, perhaps, maybe you should back off a bit. After all, Norris and Dev have both said it straight out to her. Toyah has hinted at it.

Had Jude been a bit more proactive at drawing boundaries, maybe his scene with Mary on Tuesday could have been avoided. She will jude-calls-mary-an oddballpush and push until she is made to stop. He doesn’t know that, not having known her for long. But still, the damage she is doing had to be pretty evident. But he hasn’t known her for long – therefore hasn’t become inured to her ways as most people do with their parents. ‘Oh, that’s just Mom’ isn’t something he knows from years of exposure. Yes, he’s mary-dismayed-by-verbal-attacktrying to get to know his mother. He’s happy that his childhood dream has come true, to know his ‘real’ mother. And he’s trying to accept and love her.

Unfortunately, all those conflicting elements and emotions caused jude-says-mary-should-stay-awayhim to bury his head in the sand until they – and he – exploded. He was very cruel to Mary. I hope he apologizes and they can get on some kind of even track. But that will be up to Mary too.

In this storyline, she has not been the Mary I like, even admire. But I happened upon an old scene of the week, and saw Mary really hasn’t changed. In 2012 she pushed Roy over the edge. Then, as now, mary-devastated-by-judeshe justified herself by saying ‘I’m doing it for you,’ ‘I only meant to help’ – self-serving excuses for self-serving behaviour. Poor Angie has even been subjected to it second-hand. “She means well”, Toyah has told her. How can you argue with that, without sounding like a selfish cow yourself?

Cauliflower Cheese

I made baked cauliflower cheese with cherry tomatoes for supper cauliflower cheese with tomato-photo-d-stewartone night. It was so pretty that I had to take a picture. It tasted so good that I thought I should make it again right away while I could remember how I did it. I still had half a cauliflower but no cherry tomatoes so I used mushrooms instead. Just as good.

Cauliflower Cheese recipe

  • ½ cauliflower head, cut in bite-size florets
  • 1-2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tbsp onions, chopped
  • 6-10 small mushrooms or cherry tomatoes
  • (1-2 tsp pesto, if you like)
  • breadcrumbs or croutons
  • Parmesan cheese

casserole-ready-to-cook-photo-d-stewartMicrowave cauliflower florets about 2 minutes, so they’re partially cooked. Put them and all other ingredients in a greased 8×8 inch casserole. Pour cheese sauce over veggies and gently mix it in with a spoon.

Sprinkle breadcrumbs or croutons on top. Add a bit of grated parmesan if you wish. Bake at 350℉ for about 30 mins until the top is nicely browned and the cheese sauce is bubbly.

Cheese Sauce

¾ – 1 cup marble or medium cheddar (melts well) cut in small cubes
1 cup milk
2 tsp flour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water (or blending flour without water)

partially-made-cheese-sauce-photo-d-stewartPour the milk in a large enough microwaveable bowl. Mix the flour paste in, then add cheese cubes. Microwave for 3 minutes at 70% power, stir, then nuke another 1½ minutes at 80% power. (More in ‘Microwave Magic’ near bottom of Helpful Hints)

You can also make cheese sauce on the stove top or pour it ready-made out of a jar. Use about 1½ cups.

baked cauliflower casserole-photo-d-stewartIf you like the idea of this meal but it seems like too much work, there’s an even easier way of making cauliflower cheese. Steam or microwave the cauliflower pieces fully and pour cheese cheese over them. Ta-da! You’re done.

Corrie Street 19 Nov. 2017

Benign

rita-relieved-gemma-notDoctor: “The tumour was benign.” Gemma, head down: “Flippin’ heck.” Rita: “No, that’s good news.” Gemma: “Oh!” And then the tears and hugs and laughter. Wonderfully touching. Brought tears to my eyes, so happy that our Rita is okay.

benign is good newsOne of the best moments between her and Gemma too. Gemma barging into the doctor’s office, claiming to be her “daughter”. Rita apologizing to the doctor for her “daughter’s” behaviour, making invisible air quotes around the word. The doctor recognizing Gemma’s lie but knowing too that it really isn’t fiction.

gemma-throws-her-arms-around-ritaThey go from the doctor’s office to the Rovers, ready to celebrate. Already there, just by happenstance, are Gail, Audrey and Jenny. They talk about how worried they are about Rita and how they should react to whatever her news is the next day, when she’s said audrey-and-jenny-contemplate-bad-newsshe has her doctor appointment. A party is called for. Obviously, if the news is good. But what if it’s not? What if the tumour is not benign? What then? Audrey gives it a think, decides a party will still be okay. Rita will want her friends around her, will want support and cheering up.

Then Rita and Gemma come in. The others hold their breath when they realize she had lied and has already got the results. You could almost feel the exhalation of pent-up breath when Rita said she’d got audrey-reacts-to-newsthe all-clear. The rejoicing starts, and party plans are on.

Later in the week, two more moments of significance. Ones that should have been at least as emotional for characters and viewers. Norris’ last shift at the Kabin, and the celebration in the Rovers of his retirement. All the right people were in both scenes, all the right words were said. But somehow both fell flat for me. It was as if the writers had a checklist of “characters needed for momentous occasion” and cinematographic shots needed.

celebrating-good-news-in-roversLeaving the Kabin, Rita gave the lingering look at her little empire, eyes scanning the shelves and jars of sweets. Then eyes forward, to the street and her future. At the Rovers, Ken Barlow gave the obligatory quote from Shakespeare. But he looked as uncomfortable as everyone else. That the others did is not surprising – Ken’s declamations can have that effect on people. But him looking like a schoolboy forced to recite words at the front of the classroom? Not like Ken at all.

On Friday, we saw the new Kabin management in action. Colin. I haven’t liked him so far. But I thought the exchange between him and Moira was brilliant on both their parts. And then Rosie! Absolutely fabulous rita-calls-for-a-party by her, Colin and Moira. They were the bright spots of the week for me. That’s aside, of course, from Rita’s tumour being benign. And, flippin’ heck, that’s good news.

Eden Line

My grandmother wrote this short history of the Burwell family on Eden Line in Bayham Township, Elgin County, Ontario. My guess is she wrote it about 1966. I came across it on the Elgin County Archives site.

burwell-fam-elgin-co-archives

The Burwell Family (Contributed by Mrs. Chas. Burwell, Tillsonburg, Ont.)

Among the pioneers of Eden district was Joseph Norton. He was born in Boston Mass. and came as a young man, after the death of his parents, to these parts and lived with the Dobie’s for some time. From them, he bought land which he cleared and built up into the old homestead on which his great-grandson Wilford Burwell now resides, west of Eden about 2 miles.

He married a young Highland Scottish maiden named Mary Younglove who was at Simcoe. He, taking among other provisions for the journey, bread baked by Mrs. Dobie and going by ox-team and sled down the Talbot road which had been surveyed out by Col. Thomas Talbot and Col. Mahlon Burwell. He brought his bride back to this farm home and farmed successfully for many years. He died in 1895, at the age of 90 being pre-deceased by his wife in 1888.

The couple had two daughters, Melissa Jane and Ada Ann. Melissa married William David Stilwell. To this union were born four children, Joseph Norton Stilwell, Mary Helen, Agnes and Rachel. The first two died very young. Agnes married Charles Moore and Rachael died suddenly and was buried on her 18th birthday.

Across the road from the Norton’s lived Mr. and Mrs. Howard Johnston the latter nee – Maria Burwell whose brother Hercules while visiting them, became acquainted with Ada Ann Norton. And in course of time, the two married, he being the son of Lewis Mahlon Burwell and Levonia Williams, sister of the Thomas Williams who founded the Thomas Williams Home in St. Thomas. Lewis Mahlon was first cousin to the above mentioned Col. Mahlon Burwell.

To Hercules and Ada were born James Silas, Ada Larreau, Levonia (Mrs. Chancy Clark), Lewis Mahlon, Charles Hercules, Merritt Lee, Frederick William (Wilford’s father), Wilson Garfield, Peter Dwight and a baby not named. Ada Larreau, Lewis Mahlon and the baby died very young.

Their parents settled on a farm about a mile west of Eden, in fact next farm west of the Fred Chandler place. They cleared it and built buildings and set out fruit trees, making it into a nice, comfortable home. Then when the great epidemic of influenza swept the country in 1890 he died on Pneumonia on Feb. 14th at the age of 41 leaving his wife with five young children to raise alone. This she faithfully did, and when the boys were grown they decided to move the buildings out to the front of the place. They had been back on the side-road before, and the place never looked so homey afterward. Their mother died from Diabetes in July 1912, in her 64th year. This family of 8 children are now all passed on.

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Johnston lived many years on the farm across from the Norton’s or where Grover Ketchabaw lives now. They sold it to Silas Burwell, who was then a young man. They moved to Fingal where Mr. Johnston died. Then Mrs. Johnston came back to Eden again and lived with her daughter Mrs. Charles Allemand, south of Eden, until her death in her 103rd year.

Norton-Burwell Farm

My Old Valley Home, poem by C. H. Burwell, and photographMy grandfather wrote about the farm on the Big Otter Creek where he grew up in his poem My Old Valley Home (see more poems)

google eden line 2017
Norton-Burwell farm (marked Wilford’s) above, Johnston farm (marked Silas’) below

Here is what it looks like today, from Google satellite. Looks like the old house has been torn down and a new one built. Wilford Burwell lived in the original house until his death in 2004. It was sold after his wife Madge died in 2009. So, nearly 200 years after Joseph Norton cleared the land, the property is no longer in the hands of his descendants.

Johnston-Burwell-Ketchabaw Farm

burwells-and-friends
Human pyramid, top, Harry Howey and Merritt Burwell, middle, Silas Burwell, bottom, Charley Burwell, Fred Millard, Joe Kennedy

Silas Burwell bought his Aunt Maria’s farm across the road and rebuilt the house about 1915. His wife was Alice Kennedy, whose siblings were Joseph, Clara and Ida May.

Joseph Kennedy was friends with the Burwell brothers ( more photos here). Clara and Ida May Kennedy married Chandler brothers Edward John and Alexander. Fred Chandler was their brother, so brother-in-law by marriage to Silas.

Burwell, Kennedy and Chandler – Eden Line

burwell-kennedy-chandler-chart d stewart
click or tap chart for larger view

After Silas and Alice Burwell died, Grover Ketchabaw bought their farm. Silas and Alice had no children but still their house managed to keep connected to his family. One of Grover’s sons married Wilford Burwell’s sister. The son of Grover’s daughter now owns Silas’ farm.

A mile west of Eden

The mystery for me in Grandma’s story is in the second last paragraph. “They” moved to a farm about a mile west of Eden,  just west of Fred Chandler’s farm. Who moved? It sounds like Hercules and Ada Ann, whose dates of death match those Grandma gives in that same paragraph. But their son Fred, who took over their farm beside the Big Otter, didn’t marry until 1916, which was after the death of both his parents. I never knew that the family lived anywhere on the Eden Line other than in that house.

Two stories about the Chandler family are also in the Elgin County Archives. They start on the fourth page of the pdf. Here is my grandmother’s story and more on the Chandlers.

Corrie Street 12 Nov. 2017

Shoot

Thursday Phelan, Andy and Vinny in an abandoned paper mill somewhere. Phelan’s handgun. Time to shoot or be shot. Tense, dramatic. And so long overdue that I just didn’t care. Just please shoot somebody, anybody, so this can finally end!andy-turns-gun-on-pat

Phelan forces Andy to shoot Vinny. Andy turns the gun on Pat, but crumbles and hands it back. Phelan then shoots Andy. We don’t see that, just hear the shot while seeing the outside of the mill. We see Phelan dump the bodies in a pond, then walk through the rain to his van. Back behind the wheel, he watches his hands tremble.pat-points-gun-at-andy

Of course, the shootings won’t end the storyline. The whole thing will have to come out, and Phelan be caught. I am not looking forward to it. I’m even thinking about how much time Coronation Street consumes in my life. And wondering if that time could be better spent.

The scenes with Andy and Vinny in the cellar and the van were great. It crossed my mind that add a bit to them and you would have a great short play. But a good Corrie? Not for me. The basement business went on too long. I’d come to dread seeing those stairs or that lightbuib. Please, no, I don’t wanna go down there again!andy-pleads-with-pat

Pat Phelan is a wonderful character and Connor McIntyre is brilliant at portraying his many sides. So I can sympathize with the writers’ problem. They have created a great character and fan favourite. But he is a villain. He cannot switch to being Nice Pat and just go on living on the street. He must have his comeuppance. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. Or how much more convoluted it’s going to get. Too long, too much, I suspect.pat-after-he-shot-andy

It would be ok with me if they just did a “Dallas on Phelan and have it all be a dream. He or Eileen would wake up and say “what a horrible dream I had. I was (you were) a really clever conman who ripped off a whole lot of people and held nice Andy prisoner for a year then killed him and my (your) evil partner Vinny. Wow, won’t they get a good laugh when I tell them!” There, problem solved.pat-in-van-hands-shaking-after shoot