Archiver > UPPER-CANADA > 1999-11 > 0941946903

From: John Helmut Merz <>
Subject: [UPP-CAN] The Long Point Settlement (Lake Erie, U.C.) - Part 2:
Date: Sat, 06 Nov 1999 19:55:03 -0800

Continued from a small book written by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert ....

Although the project for the military occupation of Long Point went
without the approval of the British government during the next two
years and more, refugee families continued to enter the townships of
Charlottesville, Walsingham, Woodhouse, and Townsend, coming from
New Brunswick, Pennsylvania, Niagara, New Jersey, and Long Island.
Thus, in 1793, Peter SECORD and Frederick MABY (Mabee) with the latter's
family, including two married daughters and their husbands came in, as
did also Abraham SMITH and family. Both of these parties came from New
Brunswick. In the same year Lucas DEDRICK and family settled in
Walsingham, having journied thither from Pennsylvania. In 1794 Captain
Edward MCMICHAEL and family, likewise refugees from Pennsylvania,
established themselves on the lake front of Walsingham Township. For
the previous decade they had lived on the western bank of the Niagara
River. In March of this year, also, Jabez CULVER, a Presbyterian
minister, together with his wife and children, came on foot to Townsend
from the State of New Jersey. The arrival of Mr. Culver marks the
beginning of public worship in the new community, for he held service
every Sabbath in his own house until he became pastor of Windham Church
in 1806. Another settler of 1794 was Thomas WELCH (Walsh) of Maryland,
who came to Charlotteville from New Brunswick, where he had been engaged
since the war in surveying lands for the swarms of refugees settling
in that province. On July 1, 1795, Captain Samuel RYERSE (Ryerson) of
the New Jersey Volunteers arrived with his family and several hired men
at the mouth of a creek that empties into the Outer Bay of Long Point.
After more than ten years in New Brunswick the Ryerses had returned to
Long Island in the spring of 1794, until the Captain could visit Upper
Canada in search of a more congenial location. They settled at lenght
in Woodhouse Township at a time when there were but four other families
living within a distance of 20 miles along the lake shore. But during
the next few years settlers came in steadily. As the lots chosen by
Mr. Ryerse possessed valuable water rights, he was required to build a
saw mill and a grist mill. Until these structures were completed the
families at Long Point had to depend on Niagara for their flour. As the
woods abounded in game of all kinds and fish were plentiful in the
creeks and in the lake, tables could be readily supplied with these
kinds of food. So also potatoes, Indian corn, and maple sugar were
familiar products of the region.
Despite the unfailing supply of these bounties during the first
three years of Long Point's history, the year 1796 witnessed an almost
total failure of the grain crops, and hunger drove numbers of rodents
into the settlement, where they consumed the pitiable remnants of maize
that had flourished. The Indians at Grand River saved themselves from
a similar experience by their practice of suspending the garnered ears
of corn from the rafters of their houses, and were accordingly able,
as they were also willing, to share their stores with their less
fortunate neighbours at Long Point. By the end of 1796 the population
within 20 miles' distance of Port Ryerse had reached perhaps 100.
Among those coming in were Yunkers and Quakers from the States, who
usually brought more or less property with them. While these people
cannot be called loyalists, they were non-belligerents who entertained
a real preference for British rule. Mr. and Mrs. Timothy CULVER from
New Jersey joined other members of their family in the Township of
Townsend in this year.
During the summer of 1795 Governor Simcoe had come to Long Point
and laid out a site of 600 acres for a town, with reservations for
government buildings, naming it Charlotte Villa in honor of Queen
Charlotte. The formal approval of the proposed settlement was received
from the Earl of Portland, December 6; but early in the following April
Governor General Carleton objected to the maintenance of a military
establishment in connection with the town as a piece of needless
expense. Then, in the summer, followed Simcoe's departure to England.
It can scarcely be claimed, however, that this incident interfered with
the prospects of the settlement at Long Point, for Simcoe's successor,
acting Lieutenant Governor Peter Russell, encouraged the movement of
Loyalists from New Brunswick into Western Canada, and gave considerable
attention to the survey of townships in Norfolk County, which were now
divided into allotments. It was Russell who, in the summer of 1796, sent
Mr. Hamlin and Sergeant Daniel Hazen to run the lines of Charlotteville
and Walsingham townships. The former was surveyed by Hamlin and his
successor, Thomas Welch, the latter by Hazen. Both Hazen and Welch were
Loyalits who had been previously employed in laying out lands for their
fellow exiles in New Brunswick. Having received a large grant near
Vension Creek in Walsingham, HAZEN brought in his family in 1797. On
July 1 of the previous year Donald MCCALL landed with 20 or more persons
at the mouth of Big Creek. The members of this party were from New
Jersey and obtained grants in Charlotteville. Among them were Lieutenant
James MUNRO, Doctor Robert MUNRO, Robert HENDERSON, and Noah FAIRCHILD.
The settlers who had come to Long Point before 1796 were now confirmed
in the possession of the farms they had chosen, and proclamations were
issued inviting others, especially Loyalists, to take up lands in the
new districts of Upper Canada. .....

To be continued ...
by John Merz.

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