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History of Toronto and County of York in Ontario
Part III: Township of Scarborough


SCARBOROUGH Township is situated at the south-eastern corner of the county. It comprises nine concessions, of which, however, only five extend to the eastern limit of the county, the rest being broken by the water front, which slopes inwards from the western side-line. The broken concessions are known as A, B, C and P, the remaining ones being numbered. The front of the township was surveyed in 1791 by Mr. Augustus Jones, the name when given it being "Glasgow." It is bounded on the north by the Township of Markham, on the south by Pake Ontario, on the east by Pickering, in the adjoining County of Ontario, and on the west by York. The concession lines were not run until the year 1833, when the laying out of the township was continued by Mr. Galbraith, P.B.S. Pi 1850 the western boundary was fixed by Messrs. William Smith and John Shier, Provincial Land Surveyors, and in 1854 the eastern limit was established by Mr. John Shier, P.P.S. The Boundary Pine Commissioners fixed the northern limits of the townships. There are many irregularities in the laying out of this township, owing to the surveys having been made by different parties at long intervals, whereby some of the original landmarks were destroyed or lost sight of. Mr. F. F. Passmore, P.P.S., in 1864 presented a report to the Township Council in connection with a map of a re-survey, in which he stated that there were at that time, exclusive of the exterior road between the township and its neighbours, 126 side-roads, many of them well opened up and travelled. The soil of the southern portion of Scarborough is light and sandy, as indicated by the considerable quantity of pine timber intermixed with the hardwood growths. In the central and northern sections the soil is heavier and better adapted for agriculture, the timber being nearly all hardwood. The township is abundantly watered, and the land is generally undulating, excepting m the neighbourhood of Highland Creek and the River Rouge, the banks of which are steep and rugged. In the southern part of the township there are extensive beds of clay, suitable for brick-making purposes, generally overlaid by sand several feet in depth. The geological characteristics of the township are not of much interest, presenting but little variety. Two springs on the 16th lot of the 4th concession have a local reputation for their mineral properties. Their waters give, by boiling, a small amount of earthy carbonate, but even when evaporated to one-tenth they have no marked taste. They contain, in addition, only sulphate of lime with traces of chloride. Sandstone of the Hudson River formation is met with along the banks of the streams near the lake shore.

Traces of the large aboriginal population which occupied the western portion of this township, but disappeared before the advent of the white settlers, are frequently discovered. Their principal settlement appears to have been near the mouth of the River Rouge, where the site of what was once a considerable Indian village was indicated by the remains of the logs which formed a wooden palisade surrounding their habitations. Here have been discovered from time to time a variety of Indian relics, which, in the opinion of scientists, show a continuous residence on the spot for at least a century. Some have all the characteristics of the stone age, and mixed with the rude weapons and implements of native industry pi are those of copper and iron, and also glass beads, which were probably obtained by intercourse with the early French voyageurs and traders. These relics of a vanished race were found intermixed with ashes and charcoal. A few yards from the site of the village a number of graves containing aboriginal remains were discovered.

In the immediate proximity of this site, and near the present villages of Greenvale and Claremont, in the adjoining Township of Pickering, other Indian relics have been found in considerable quantity, showing that aboriginal villages once existed in those localities. At the site near Claremont, a large Indian burying-ground was found. These ancient settlements were connected with the one m Scarborough, and all are believed to have belonged to the once powerful Huron nation.

The first patents to land in Scarborough were granted in 1796. The following are among the original patentees for the years indicated:—

1796—Capt. William Mayne, John White.

1797—James Hoghbelling, John McGill, William Eadus and others, George Irvine, Amos Merritt, Eliza Small, John Hewitt.

1798—Joseph Ketchuni, Dorcas Kendrick, James Malloy, Capt. William Demont, James Ketchem, Owen McGrath, Elizabeth Davis, James Whitton, Elizabeth Vanderlip, James Thompson.

1799—Sarah Ashbridge, David Fleming, Jonathan Ashbridge, John Adair, Andrew Templeton, William Osterhout, Nicholas Smith, Thomas Hewitt, Elias Thompson, John Weaver, James Eliot, David Robertson, Samuel Heron, Martin Buckner, Ephraim Payen, Susannah Harris, John Segar, John Markly, Richard Ilatt, Andrew Johnston, Archibald Thompson, John Henry Rahman, Eliphalet Hale, Eliza Small, Margaret Ryok-man, Richard Flock, Eva Bradt, Lieut. Miles McDonnell, Barnabas Eddy, Azariah Lundy.

1801—Parshall Terry, jun'r, Ellis Dennis, Samuel Heron, Robert Isaac, Dey Gray, John Smith, John Winterinute, John Robert Small.

1802—Submission Galloway, Parker Mills, Robert Tait, Nipporah Ro-buck, Jacob Fisher, Nicholas Macdougal, David Thompson, Andrew Thompson.

1803—William Devenish, Valentine Fisher.

1804—John Macdougal.

1805—E. Osterhout, Donald McLean.

1806—John Richardson, Alexander McDonnell.

1807—Pelva Cole.

1809—Thomas Cornwell.

1810—Henry Webster, John Robert Small.

1811—Andrew Mercer, James Osburn.

1812—Peter Reesor, Benjamin W. Eaton, George Kuck, Helen Fen wick, John Kennedy, sen'r.

In addition to the patents issued to individuals, King's College and the Canada Company appear among the early grantees. Many of the names given above are largely represented among the present inhabitants of the township.

No very early municipal records have been preserved, the year 1848 being as far back as the documents now extant reach. In the memorandum of proceedings for that year, the following names of electors are subscribed to a declaration that " We, the undersigned, do sincerely promise and swear that we will faithfully and diligently perform the duties for which we are appointed for the current year Joseph Pilkey, George Snider, Adam Walton. William Kennedy, William Fawcett, sen'r, William Mason, Thomas Kennedy, Medley Robinson, Daniel Kennedy, George Galway, John Palmer, John Warren, Isaac Christie, Timothy Devenish, John Richardson, Alexander Wilson, George Stephenson, Abraham Stoner, William Young, William Richardson, William Westeny, William Anthony, James Saw, Isaac Stoner, Thomas Adams, Thomas Booth, King Parkes, James Peters, William Chamberlain, Marshall Macklin, Thomas Adams, jun'r, Isaac Secor, William A. Thompson, James A. Thompson, James Johnson John Sherburn, James Spring, Thomas Brown, John Wilson, John Law, William Nelson, Robert Jackson, Andrew Potter, and Thomas Denima

The first meeting of the "Municipal Corporaton" of the township was held at Thomas Dowswell's tavern, on the 21st of January, 1850, on which occasion were present, Peter Sucor, reeve; John P. Wheeler, deputy-reeve; William Helliwell, Christopher Thompson and Edward Connell. The following year Air. Wheeler attained the reeveship, and Thomas Prown was elected deputy-reeve, and Stephen Glosson, clerk. In 185 John Torrance became reeve, and William Clark, deputy-reeve. Air. Wheeler was again chosen reeve in 1855, and tilled the office for ten years in succession. During three years of this period, 1861-5, was warden of the county. Among those who have held the reeveship are Donald G. Stephenson, Thomas Brown and George Chester. The deputy-reeveship has numbered among its incumbents John Crawford, Sirnon Mller and William Tredway. Prom 1856 to 1865 James Moyle officiated as township clerk. He was succeeded by John Crawford, who still holds that position. The other leading municipal officials for 1884 are : Reeve, John Richardson ; 1st deputy-reeve, A. A. Sucor; 2nd deputy-reeve, George Morgan.

In 1842 Scarborough contained 2,750 inhabitants, and had one grist mill and eighteen saw-mills. The enumeration taken in 1850 showed that its progress had been very marked, the number having increased to 3,821. It had then three grist-mills and twenty-three saw-mills, and its agricultural products from the crop of 1849 were, as follows: 90,000 bushels of wheat, 101,000 bushels of oats, 29,000 bushels of peas, 56,000 bushels of potatoes, 5,000 bushels of turnips, 3,700 tons of hay, 14,000 pounds of wool, 12,000 pounds ot cheese, and 35,000 pounds of butter. The returns of the latest Dominion census, taken in 1881, show a large increase in the productive capacity of the township. The leading items are as follows: Wheat, 85,595 bushels; barley, 132,870 bushels; oats, 160,474. bushels; peas and beans, 35,280 bushels; potatoes, 114,838 bushels; turnips, 283,670 bushels; other root crops, 125,839 bushels; hay, 10,510 tons.

Latterly there has been a falling off in the population of the township, largely owing to the considerable emigration to the North West, which has drawn away many of the young men. The population in 1871 numbered 4,615, in 1881 It had decreased to 4,208. The census of the latter year gives the number of occupiers of land at 588, of whom 412 were also owners. The total acreage occupied was 43,634, of which 36,225 acres were improved. Of this, 28,065 acres were devoted to field crops, 6,892 acres to pasturage, and 1,268 were laid out in gardens and orchards.

Of the total population, 3,233, or more than three-fourths, are of Canadian birth, though mostly of recent British origin, as the LT. E. Loyalist element in the population is small. Smith's Q Canada, Past, Present and Future" says on this point: "The Township of Scarborough is said to be occupied almost exclusively by natives of the British Isles, who have obtained some considerable degree of local celebrity as ploughmen.' It is interesting to note that after the lapse of a generation the yeomen of Scarborough still retain their well-won pre-eminence in this department, notwithstanding many a well-contested match in which the representatives of other townships have sought to wrest their honours from them. Mr. James Patton, residing near Scarborough Junction, is the pioneer ploughman of the county, and one of the most active in promoting competitions. On the 17th of June, 1884, the veteran ploughman was presented with an address and testimonial, in recognition of his services in promoting the cause of prize ploughing.

The report of the Ontario Agricultural Commission furnishes some valuable details respecting the condition ol agriculture in the township. The report states that the area was all settled in about forty years after the entrance of the first settlers in 1798. The general character of the soil is described as a clay loam, but about one-nineteenth is a heavy clay, and ten per cent, in the middle of the township is a sandy loam ; there is a little gravel which is considerably scattered, and about ten per cent, of the soil is black loam; none of the land is too stony or rocky to be profitably cultivated, but about one-fourth is so hilly as to interfere with tillage ; the remaining three-fourths is rolling land. Only about one-fortieth is low, bottom lands, one-fourteenth swampy, and one-fifteenth wet and springy. One-halt the total area is considered first-class land, the quantity of second and third class being estimated at one-quarter each. Water is obtainable, by digging, at from fourteen to ninety feet. The average price of land is from §80 to $110 per acre for first-class land, from $50 to $80 for second-class, and from $10 to S50 for the third-class quality. About half the land is under first-class fences, the material employed being generally rails and posts. Two-thirds of the dwellings are of brick, stone, or first-class frame, the remaining one-third being log or inferior frame. Two-thirds of the outbuildings are also reckoned first-class. A third of the farms are under-drained, principally by means of tile drains.

The acreage devoted to the leading crops, and the average yield of those crops per acre, as nearly as can be estimated, are given as follows:— Fall wheat, 5 per cent., 20 bushels;' spring wheat, 10 per cent., 10 bushels; barley, 12 per cent., 30 bushels; oats, 10 per cent., 45 bushels; peas, 5 per cent., 20 bushels; potatoes, 2 per cent., 130 bushels; turnips, 2 per cent., 500 bushels; other root crops, 1 per cent., 500 bushels ; hay, 20 per cent., 1˝ tons per acre; 15 per cent. is in pasture lands, and 3 per cent, in orchards. The portion of the township about the fiats and banks of the Rouge River and Highland Creek are pronounced better adapted for stock

raising than for grain-growing purposes. The kinds of stock most extensively raised are Clydesdale horses, Durham and Ayrshire cattle, Cotswold sheep and Berkshire pigs. A good many of the" Clydesdale horses are imported stock. Among the principal owners of thoroughbred stock are John Little, Alexander Neilson, J. and J. Neilson, Stephen Westney, William Westney, John Crawford, William Crawford, and John LaW.' The proportion of the township still under timber is estimated at about eight or ten acres to the hundred. The principal varieties of timber are cedar, maple, beech, and pine. The exact number of acres is 43,019^, of which 33,760 are cleared. The cattle number 2,371, the horses 2,198,"the sheep 951, and the hogs 1.329.

The township is well traversed by highways and railroads, securing the farmers a ready access to the leading markets. The Kingston Road, the old thoroughfare between Toronto and Kingston, rims along the front of the township near the lake shore in the western portion, but striking further inland as it proceeds eastward. The scenery in the neighbourhood of Scarborough Heights, which lie between the road and the lake-shore, near the eastern boundary of the township, is extremely wild and romantic. 'The Heights, which are about 320 feet above the level of the lake, present an extensive view over the water and surrounding country. They form a thickly wooded elevation, and their masses of foliage rising from the shore present a beautiful view from the lake. There is a steep ravine to the west of the Heights, encircled on every side by densely timbered banks, abounding in swampy recesses where ferns, mosses, and creepers of all sorts grow in rank luxuriance. It is a charming and delightful spot to all lovers of picturesque natural scenery. Within a short distance is Victoria Park, one of the most pleasant and popular of the summer resorts of Toronto, which is within an hour's sail of the city, and throughout the summer attracts large numbers of pleasure-seekers and wearied citizens in search of a brief respite from the toil and worry of urban life. There is a broad, sandy, shelving beach, running back to a high clay bluff'. The front portion consists of a smooth, grassy expanse, fringed with trees, overlooking the lake. A summer hotel and pavilion have been provided for the accommodation of the public. To the rear is the park proper, sloping gradually upwards, retaining most of the natural characteristics of the forest, except that the underbrush has been cleared away in places, and winding paths have been made in every direction. The country outside of the Park presents attractions of which many of the wealthier citizens of Toronto have availed themselves, a number of summer residences having been built in the neighbourhood.

Scarborough Village is situated in concession D, about midway between the eastern and western limits of the township. It is distant about ten miles from Toronto, and has a population somewhere in the neighbourhood of three hundred. It is an attractive and pleasant neighbourhood. A more considerable village, four miles further east on the Kingston Road, is Highland Creek, situated on the stream from which it takes its name. It has a population of about six hundred. The Danforth Road enters the township about one mile north of the lake shore, and runs in a northeasterly direction through the small Village of Danforth, from which it takes its name, unti1 the Village of Woburn is reached, which is situated about one mile due north of Scarborough Village, on the road to Markham. The Danforth Road then takes a southward turn to Highland Creek. Malvern Village is the most central hi the township, and Armadale is located near the northern boundary. The Grand Trunk Railway, in the western part of the township, runs for some distance almost parallel to the Kingston Road, about half to three-quarters of a mile to the north of it, but crosses it near Scarborough Village, and reaches the lake shore and the township boundary at the Village of Port Union. At Scarborough Junction, about a mile and a half north of the lake, the Toronto and Nipissing Railway diverges from the Grand Trunk, and crosses the township due north and south at a distance of about two miles from its western line. The Ontario and Quebec Railway, which was opened for traffic on the nth of August, 1884, traverses Scarborough in a north-easterly direction, having a station at the Village of Agincourt, near the centre of the township.

Scarborough possesses a flourishing Mechanics' Institute, the head-quarters of w hich are at the Village of Ellesmere, in the western part of the township. It was established on the 7th of April, 1834, heing then known as the " Scarborough Subscription Library." The following were the first subscribers:—J. George, T. Patterson, A. Johnston, A. Glendirming, Wm. Glendinning, S. Thornton, P. Johnston, W. D. Thomson, J. Thom, J. Gibson, S. Cornell, C. Thomson, J. Brownlee, Wm. Forfar, jun'r., Wm. Paterson, James A. Thomson, G. Scott, D. Brown, T. Brown, R. Hamilton, WTm. Hood, J. Muir, R. D. Hamilton, A. Bell, J. Stobo, D. Graham, J. Davidson, J. Findlay, Wm. Elliott, J. Elliott, J. Tingle, Alex. Jackson. A. Patterson, T. Whiteside, J. Martin, George Thomson, J. Glendinning, John Thornbeck, B. Ferguson, M. Macklem, R. Tackett, Wm. Crone, T. Walton, sen'r., Wm. Findlay, Wm. Scott, J. Carmichael. The entrance fee was fixed at five shadings currency, and the annual subscription at the same figure. A general meeting was held half-yearly for the purpose of choosing managers, inspecting books, and deciding upon additions to the library. A substantial frame building was erected in 1846, which is still in good repair. The Institute was incorporated in 1878, at which time the library comprised 1,108 volumes in good condition. No public aid was received until 1879, when a Government grant of $400 was voted to the Institute; and in 1880 a grant of $25 was made by the Township Council. There are 1,737 volumes in the library of the Institute, which has a membership of about sixty. The number of volumes issued last official year was 1,825. The total amount of Government grants paid the Institute from 1879 to 1883 amount to $560.64. The Government Inspector in his last official report bears the following strong testimony to the admirable condition and efficiency of this important factor in the diffusion of intelligence among the people of Scarborough:—"The books are well-arranged. 1 know of no library anywhere that is better kept. It is really a credit to the municipality and its managers." The office of librarian was held by David Martin from 1852 until 1882, when he was succeeded by Sidney C. Thomson. There are few, il any, rural communities in Canada where a public library has been so successfully carried on for a lengthened period, and the fact speaks very highly for the intelligence and public spiiit of the people of Scarborough.

The Township of Scarborough contains eleven public schools, the situations of which are apparent from the following table :—


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