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

WHITCHURCH is situated to the north of the Township of Markham, and east of Yonge Street, which divides it from the Township of King, being in the middle of the eastern row of townships. It was laid out in 1800 by Mr. John Stegmann, who had been an officer in a Hessian regiment during the War of Independence, and afterwards found employment as a surveyor in Upper Canada. Mr. Stegmann's work was completed in 1802, but further surveys were afterwards made on the 8th and 9th concessions by Surveyor Wilmot, and in 1869 a re-survey of some of the lines was made by Mr. John Shier. Whitchurch comprises 59,743 acres. It has ten concessions, numbered eastward from Yonge Street, two of which are deficient. Settlers began to come into the township as early as 1795. The "Domesday Book" records the following patents issued in the earlier years of settlement:—

1796— Joseph Bouchette.

1797—Frederic Smith, Charles Fathers, James Pitney.

1798—William Bond, John Chisholm, Capt. W. Graham.

1801—Capt. John Baptist Bouchette, Alary Chambers, Duke William Kendrick, John Stegmann.

1802—Nathaniel Gamble, sen'r, Stephen Barbarce, Simon McMirty, James McMurty, Frederic Baron de Hoen, Isaac Phillips, James Roche, Peter Miller, Ebenezer Cook, John Ferguson, Nathan Nixon, John Baker, George Althouse, John Bogard, John Herns, James Mitchell, William Smith.

1803—Abner Miles, Abraham Tucker, Robert Wilson, James Miles, James Fulton, Hugh Shaw, George Chisholm, Joseph Webster, Godfrey Hilts, Peter Brillenger, John Engelhard, Joseph Durham, Jeremiah Durham, Robert Henderson, Hugh Wilson, Peter Boughstanch, John C-line, Joseph Derick, Gilbert Vanderbarrow, William Bec.htel, Samuel Betzner, Jacob Bechtel, sen'r, Adam Cline, Mary Peeks, William Cornell. Samuel McPin. Poyal Davis, John Pricker, David Alberson, George Clemens, John Cornwell, Samuel Pucker, Phil. Saltberger, Hall Davis, Moses McCay, Benliam Presson, David Hooter.

1804—John Jones, John Starkweather, Henry Crone, Timothy Rogers, Isaac Pilkington, Isaac Willis, James Starr, William Webster, Thomas Jobett, John Dehart, Jesse Ketchum, Henry Hashall, Ebenezer Dundy, Davenport Philps. John Eyer, Aaron Wilson, James Rogers, Josh. Smades, John Cook, jun'r, Ebenezer Jones, jun'r, Obadiah Taylor, Hannah Peans, Martin Pogart, sen'r, John Perry, Robert Gray.

1805—Ebenezer Britton, Robert Ward, Shadrack Stephens, Andrew Clubine, Abraham Webster, John Pundy, George Senion, John Bassel Russell Hoag, Mary Walts.

1806—Joseph Chiniqui, Mary McNab, William Hill, Samuel Palmer, William Pearson, Isaac Johnson, Alexander Gray, John Furon, Ambroise de Farcy.

1807—Hannah Johnson, Elijah Groomes, Edward Heazzel, Nathaniel Pearson, Christian Schill, Nathaniel Hastings.

1808—Sarah Vanwick, James Pundy, Peter Wheeler, William Maclean.

1809—Abraham Stouffer, junr, Abraham McDonald, George Foukler.

1810—Jacob Pong.

1811—John R. Small, W. Widdifield, James Edward Small.

1812—Wm. Eadus, Whitfield Patterson, John Kendrick, Joseph Widdifield, Mary Wells, Aaron Tool, Joseph Randall, Eliezer Pundy, Osborne Cox.

Frederic Baron de Hoen, whose name is given in the above list, received extensive grants of land in Whitchurch. He was an officer in a Hessian regiment which disbanded at the close of the American Revolution, and a great friend of the Baldwin family. His real name was Von Hoen. He also had a farm in York Township, about four miles north of Toronto, upon which he resided. Baron de Hoen officiated as the second of Attorney-General White n the duel with Mr. John Small, in 1800, which resulted in the Attorney-General receiving a fatal wound.

Two or three of the names which appear among the earlier patentees are those of French royalist emigres, a number of whom settled in the Oak Ridges region. Most of them were located in Vaughan and Markham. The land was rough, and not well adapted for farming, and after a few years most of the French settlers left the country, though some of their descendants still remain. Among the number is Mr. Henry Quetton St. George, whose name is well known in the commercial world. Mr. St. George stid retains an interest in the picturesque locality where the little French colony was established, as in addition to his business operations he is engaged in agriculture, according to the most improved scientific methods, on "a fine farm in the 2nd concession of Whitchurch, inherited from his 'father, the Chevalier de St. George. His estate is known as "Glenlonely."

A number of the first settlers were Quakers, from Pennsylvania. This body now numbers 371, according to last census returns. The Gazette, of October 4th, 180G, contains an address from the Quakers residing on Yome Street to Governor Francis Gore, on the occasion of his arrival in Upper Canada, which concludes by "hoping thy administration may be suel as to be a terror to the evil-minded and a pleasure to them that do well: then will the Province flourish under thy direction, which is the earnest desire and prayer of thy sincere friends." This quaintly worded and characteristic document was presented by Timothy Rogers and Amos Armitage. The first-named, together with Jacob Lundy, took a leading part in the affairs of the Quaker settlement. A few years before the address to Governor Gore the Quakers had occasion to interview his predecessor, Governor Peter Hunter, to complain of the delay in issuing the patents to their lands. Governor Hunter had then just arrived in the country. He heard the story of the Quakers as presented by their spokesmen, Rogers and Lundy, and was convinced that there was just foundation for their complaints of official negligence. He summoned all the officials to whom the Quakers had successively appealed in vain, and entered into a searching investigation as to the cause of the delay. It transpired that the order for the patents was of over a year's standing, and that Mr. Jarvis, Secretary and Registrar of the Province, was responsible for the documents not being forthcoming. Mr. Jarvis advanced the stereotyped official excuse: "press of business."

"Sir, replied the Governor, "if they are not forthcoming, every one of them, and placed in the hands of these gentlemen here in my presence at noon on Thursday next, by George I I'll un-Jarvis you!" Two days afterwards the Quakers got their patents.

Other times, other manners. Those were the days when governors were not content with being mere "figureheads," as the common phrase goes. What would be -thought nowadays if Lieutenant-Governor Robin son should talk to Provincial Secretary Hardy m that style?

Both Timothy Rogers and Jacob Lundy had numerous relatives, the names frequently appearing in connection with the early history of the township.

Further to the north of the township, just beyond the Oak Ridges, the country was largely settled by Mennonites and Tunkers. These two sects are not identical, as is frequently supposed, owing to the similarity of their beliefs and customs. They wear long beards and hair, old-fashioned coats and broad-brimmed hats, though these peculiarities have been much modified, and are principally seen among the older members of these churches. Both denominations hold the same views as the Quakers in relation to war and oaths. The Tunkers practise feet-washing as a religious rite, holding the Saviour's example and precept in this respect as a perpetual ordinance. They also consider the text " greet ye one another with a holy kiss," as prescribing the mode of salutation among Christians, though this familiarity is not extended to those of opposite sex, as a public observance at least. The Mennonites and Tunkers are mainly of German and Dutch extraction. According to the census of 1881 there were 311 belonging to these denominations. The Teutonic element, however, is by no means confined to the sects referred to. It is very strong in this township, and, as everywhere else, is characterized by thrift, honesty and intelligence. Many of the best and wealthiest farmers of the township came of this stock. The last census indicated that of the total population 811 were of German and 260 of Holland origin. The great majority are thoroughly Canadianized by this time, and have little more than their names and family traditions to mark their foreign extraction.

The quantity of Indian remains unearthed from time to time in the township indicates that it must anciently have contained a large aboriginal population. By far the most important discoveries of Indian relics within the county have been made m Whitchurch. Ever since the early settlement of the vicinity, the site of the Indian villiage on lot 9, in the 8th concession, has been well-known to all who were sufficiently curious about such matters to interest themselves in these relics of a departed race. This village occupied about two acres on the brow of a hill overlooking a steep ravine. There were no indications of the rude fortifications such is the Indians frequently threw up around their villages. A quarter of a century since many remains were dug up in the neighbourhood, such as stone-axes, flint: arrows and spear heads, and broken crockery—the latter being the fragments of vessels large enough to hold several gallons, and evidently used in cooking. Earthen and stone pipes in great number have also been found here, and also bears' teeth with holes bored through them, and the well-worn and polished teeth of beavers, deer and moose, which had apparently been used for decorative purposes. The implements found also included bone needles and two or three articles constructed from the shoulder-blades of deer, having six prongs about three inches in length. It is not known whether they were used as combs or for fish-spears. The large deposits of ashes and other refuse, such as partially carbonized corn-cobs, are held to indicate that the village had been a place of continuous residence for many years. Among the more interesting remains was a circular portion of a human skull, well worn, but in excellent preservation. It was perforated with seven holes, and had evidently been held as a trophy, the holes being the score of enemies slaughtered in battle by the wearer. Down in the adjoining ravine are a number of large boulders, in each of which is a round well-worn depression about a foot in diameter and two or two and a-half inches in depth. These were used as millstones by the Indians, the corn being placed in the hollow and crushed with stones. No graves have been discovered at the village, but a quarter of a mile or so distant, on lot 10, in the same concession, a pit containing many hundred Indian skeletons was found. This was opened about 1848, and large numbers of skulls and other remains removed.

Another site of a once populous Indian community is located on lot 16, in the 6th concession. It comprises about three acres on the top and partially down 'the slope of a hill, and is enclosed by a trench and mound. The trench is still five feet in depth, and on the inside there is evidence that a wooden palisade once existed. Trees twenty inches in diameter are growing on the top of the mound. The indications of the occupation of this site by the aborigines include an immense quantity of ashes, bones, flint instruments, etc. The original forest was cleared away for a considerable space around the village, and many of the pine trees now growing there are forked from the root upwards, showing that they must have been trodden down when young. The burying-ground of this Village was situated outside the trench on the north side—two thousand interments having taken place in the immediate spot. These interments were all made singly, and not in accordance with the usual custom among the Hurons of exposing their corpses until the flesh is eaten by birds or beasts of prey, and then interring the bones promiscuously in a pit. The position of the remains unearthed showed that the bodies had been laid down on the side with the knees drawn up towards the elfin. Large numbers of these ghastly relics of mortality were dug up by the early settlers at a time when scientific interest, in anything tending to throw light on the history and customs of the Indian races, had not sufficiently developed to lead to their preservation. Latterly, however, the remains unearthed have fallen into the hands of collectors. Mr. Hirschfelder of Toronto, an enthusiastic archaologist, has secured many of those recently obtained in Whitchurch for his large collection of Indian curiosities.

About two hundred yards distant from the fort there is a pond three or four acres in extent, on the border of which is another buiial ground where a large number of interments have been made. The discovery of these cities of the dead, in a neighbourhood from which the last living representative of their race has disappeared, may well excite such reflections as those to which Alexander McLachlan, the too-little known Canadian poet, has given utterance in his poem "To an Indian Skull," which opens as follows:—

And art thou come to this at last
Great Sachem of the forest vast?
E'en thou who wert so tall in stature
And modelled in the pride of Nature.
High as the deer you bore your head,
Swift as the roebuck was thy tread;
Thine eye, bright as the orb of day,
In battle a consuming ray!
Tradition links thy name with fear,
And strong men hold their breath to hear
What mighty feats by thee were done—
The battles by thy strong arm won!
The glory of thy tribe wert thou—
But where is all thy glory now?
Where are those orbs, and where that tongue,
On which commanding accents bring?
Cans't thou do naught but grin and stare
Through hollow sockets—the worm's lair—
And toothless gums all gaping there?

Ah! where's the heart that did imbibe The wild traditions of thy tribe? Oft did the song of bards inspire, And set thy very soul on fire— Till all thy wild and savage blood Was rushing like a roaring flood; And all the wrongs heaped on thy race Leapt up like demons in thy face; And rushing down upon the plain You raised the war-whoop once again, And stood among your heaps of slain 1

Other Indian sites have been discovered near the Village of Aurora, in the immediate neighbourhood of the Northern Railway depot, and on lot 15 m the 5th concession. Rev. Mr. Jenkins, Presbyterian minister, took a great interest in promoting the explorations of the latter locality, which to judge from the remains found, had been occupied as a place of residence for a considerable time. The situation of these and other sites in adjoining townships show that a line of Indian villages extended from the mouth of the River Rouge to Penetanguishene, and the more thickly peopled district of the Georgian Bay.

The natural features o£ Whitchurch are a good deal more varied than those of most other sections of the county. The Oak Ridges or high land between Lakes Ontario and Simcoe ran almost diagonally, from the north-west to the south-east angle of the township. It is a rugged picturesque region abounding in beautiful sylvan scenery, and presenting many features of interest. Here the numerous tributaries of the Don, the Rouge, the Holland River and other streams have their rise. There are numerous small lakes scattered along the height of land, including Bond's Lake and Lake Willcocks, in the south-eastern portion of the township, near Yonge Street, Lake Reesor towards the centre, and Lake Musselman and Island Lake near the western boundary. Bond's Lake, at which point Yonge Street makes a slight detour to the west, had its name from William Bond, the owner of the surrounding property, who as early as 1800 had established a nursery garden in the town of York. It covers an area of fifty-one acres, and is over three hundred feet in depth, and having no inlet nor outlet s apparently fed by springs from the bottom. About half a mile to the north-east lies Lake Willcocks, which is considerably larger in area, covering perhaps an extent of about 150 acres. It was named after Col. William Willcocks, who early in the century was Judge of the Home District Court, and was allied by marriage witl the Baldwin family. He was an early owner of the property adjoining the lake. About a mile and a half north of Bond's Lake 1s the Pinnacle, bemg the most elevated land n this region, and about eight hundred feet above the sea level.

The soil of Whitchurch ;s varied in character, but fairly adapted for agricultural purposes. About one-fifth is composed of heavy clay on the surface, the sub-soil being principally marl, though somewhat diversified. Six-twentieths of the area is a clay loam over a sub-soil of marl and other constituents. Six-twentieths is sandy loam, and three-twentieths sand. About one-twentiethis black loam. Perhaps one acre in twenty is sufficient to interfere with successful cultivation. Nine-tenths are undulating, about one-twentieth low, fiat land, and the same proportion wet and spring)'. Boulders presenting mixtures of the Laurentian, Huronian, and Silurian formations are met with along the height of land. The first-class farming land comprises about one-quarter of the total area, and seven-twentieths is reckoned second-class, the remainder being third-class or inferior. The average price of farms in the market is $60 per acre for first-class land, $fo for the second quality, and $20 for the third-class farms. About two-thirds of the farms are well fenced, the material principally n use being cedar and pine rails. Draining is not generally resorted to. The farm houses are principally of a substantial and comfortable character, two-thirds being of brick, stone, or first-class frame, one-third log or inferior frame. Half of the outbuildings are first-class in point of material and construction.

The average yield of the leading crops to the acre is as follows:—Fall wheat, 20 bushels; spring wheat, 15 bushels; barley, 28 bushels; oats, 35 bushels; rye, 15 bushels; peas, 20 bushels; corn, 25 bushels; buckwheat, 15 bushels; potatoes, 100 bushels; turnips, 300 bushels ; other root crops, 300 bushels ; hay, one ton. The acreage devoted to these crops bears the following proportion to the total area :—Fall wheat, spring wheat, barley and hay, 10 per cent, each; oats, 15 per cent.; peas, 5 per cent.; rye, corn and buckwheat, 1 per cent, each ; potatoes and turnips, each, 2 per cent., and other root crops, 1 per cent.; 10 per cent, is in pasture land, and 2 per cent, devoted to orchards. About three-sevenths of the whole is still timbered, the remaining bush being a mixture of hardwood, pine, and hemlock. The number of acres cleared is about 42,000. The township as a whole is considered better adapted for grain raising than for stock and dairy fanning. In 1881 it had 3,323 cattle, principally Durham grades; 2,341 horses, largely roadsters and of Clydesdale stock; Cotswold, Southdown, and other breeds of sheep to the number of 3,608, and 1,888 hogs, the Berkshire and Suffolk varieties being those principally produced.

In 1842 Whitchurch contained 3,836 inhabitants. In 1850 the number had increased to 4,242. The population numbered 5,014 according to the census of 1871. In 1881 the returns indicated that it had fallen to 4,529. This is partly, but not altogether, accounted for by the fact that Stouffville, part of which was formerly included in the township, having in the meantime become an incorporated village, has a separate place in the last census, instead of a portion of its population being credited to Whitchurch. Of the present population 3,873 are of Canadian birth.

In 1849 the crop produced included in round numbers 76,000 bushels of wheat, 8,000 of barley, 81,000 of oats, 22,000 of peas, 42,000 of potatoes, and 40,000 of turnips. The Dominion census returns for 1881 give the leading articles of agricultural produce as follows:—78,543 bushels of wheat, 93,562 bushels of barley, 200,323 bushels of oats, 4,554 bushels of rye, 63,120 bushels of peas and beans, 69,687 bushels of potatoes, 101,482 bushels of turnips, 44,950 bushels of other roots, and 5.825 tons of hay.

There are 689 occupiers of land in the township, of whom 458 own their farms. The total area occupied is 53,346 acres, of which 39,858 acres are improved land. The area devoted to field crops amounts to 33.320 acres, 5.609 are in pasture, and orchards occupy 929 acres.

The earliest records of municipal organization extant date back to 1826. In that year Joseph Hewitt was town clerk, William Reader and J. Hewitt, assessors, Samuel Ball, collector, and Eli Gorham and John Bogart, jun'r, town wardens. John Bogart, jun'r, was elected town clerk in 1825 and held that position twenty-three years. The town wardens under the old form of municipal organization were as follows: 1827—Eli Gorharn and John Bogart, jun'r; 1828—Martin Bogart and John Bogart, sen'r; 1829 —Martin Bogart and E. Gorharn; 1830—James Faulxner and Timothy Millard; 1831—Isaac Eundy and Jacob Wiedman; 1832—John Balsfred and Abraham Stover, sen'r; 1833—John Sharfer and Eudwick Wiedman ; 1834—William Aikins and John Stover; 1835—Thomas Mackiin and Andrew Clubine. In 1836 the Act of the Provincial Legislature, passed the previous year, regulating municipal affairs came ;nto force. Commissioners took the place of the town wardens, and for the old-fashioned designation of "town ' was substituted that of township. The first Commissioners elected were Samuel Pearson, Joshua Wilson and Ludwick Wiedman. Among other curious details which appear in the records, indicating the difference between the methods of those days and the present age, we find mention of "money raised by subscription to open and make a road between lots 25 and 26 in the 4th concession, and to make a certain piece of road on the 5th concession line." The total amount raised was £25 18s. id., ten shillings being the usual figure of individual subscriptions, but John Bogart, jun'r, put down his name for The account of the receipts and expenditures on the township roads for 1836 will also be of interest. It runs as follows :

"Received of Mr. Cawthra, for gravel taken out of the highway, £1 0s. 6d., also from Thos. A. Teb, 7s. 6d., from T. Billings, jun'r, for wild land tax for the year 1834, £1 19s. 7d. Received of Joshua Wilson, £1 15s. gratis, also of E. and D. Eang, 2s. Gd. gratis, likewise of Air. Bogart, jun'r, 10 dollars, gratis. Paid for roadwork £4 7s. 6d. Received of Thomas R. P„earson, in lieu of statute labour, £1; also of Solomon Wamsley, £1 13s. gd., and Gabriel Lount, £1 2s. 6d.; J. Watson, 5s.; Samuel Pearson, 10s., and a number of others for the same. Dr. account, £18 19s. 6d. Cr. account, £22 10s. Due to the township, £3 18s. 4d." this indicates a considerable degree of public spirit among the settlers of that day. In this era the acknowledgment by municipal officials of amounts received " gratis " would cause considerable astonishment.

In 1837 Joseph Pearson was chairman of the township meeting, and was appointed one of the Commissioners, the others being John Mackiin and Eli Gorham. A resolution was passed imposing a fine of £5—a pretty stiff penalty in those days—on any one allowing the Canada thistle to grow on his farm. A project was broached in this year for the erection of a township hall, and the following Avere appointed a committee to fix a suitable site and open a subscription list: Adam Gorham. John Millard, Simon Beels, Joshua Wilson, Ezra Clubine, EudAvick Wiedman, Eli Gorham, James Edmonson, Jacob Laing, J Floyd, jun'r, Thomas Macklin and J. Burkholder. The proiect, however, fell through owing, no doubt, to the breaking out of the Rebellion. In the year 1838 it is stated that " there was no township meeting held, by order of the justices of the peace, in consequence of the Rebellion taking place about the same time ; and the township officers for the year are to remain as they were in 1837, except those commissioners known to be under bonds or implicated."

In 1839 the old nomenclature of "Wardens" seems to ha\-e been resumed m place of " commissioners." The chairman of township meetings and wardens for the next eleven years until the present system of municipal representation was adopted in 1850, were as follows: 1839— Chairman, Joshua Willson; wardens, Robert Fenton, Joshua Willson, Isaac Lundy. 1840 Eli Gorham, chairman; Phil. Bogart, John Miller, John Macklin, wardens. 1841—T. Willson, chairman; P. Pogart, Benjamin Pozer, D. Hunter, wardens. 1842—T. Willson, chairman; B. Bozer, J. Dockler, sen'r, T. Hunt, wardens. 1843—T. Willson, chairman; T. W. Collins, Jacob Clark, T. Bozer, W. Graham, wardens. 1844—P. Pearson, chairman; T. Macklin, G. Pozer, T. Botsford, wardens. 1845—Michael T. Empey, chairman ; J. B. Cohvell, C. Stoufter, Hugh Norman, wardens. 1846—Michael J. Empey, chairman; T. Botsford, Henry Widdifield, W. Seaton, Avardens. 1847—M. T. Empey, chairman; J. Cook, R. H. Smith, J. Patterson, wardens.. 1848—J. Hewitt,1 chairman ; T. Pearson, J. Doherty, J. Macklin, wardens. 1849—P. Pearson, chairman; J. Hunt, Nelson Scott, John Hill, wardens. In 1850, under the present municipal organization, the council were as follows: Joseph Hartman, T. Pearson, J. Macklin, E. Wiedman, and G. Playter. G. S. Hewitt was appointed township clerk, in place of J. Hewitt who resigned after holding the position for about two years ; Joseph Hartman was elected reeve. The following year the council comprised: J. Willson, G. Playter, J. Macklin, T. Pearson, and Henry Weedman. In 1852 the members were: J. Hartman, R. Weed-man, D. Smith, G. Playter and R. Prodie. Mr. Hartman obtained the reeveship, which position he retained until his death in 1859, a resolution of respect and condolence being passed by the township .council. John Ironside succeeded him in the reeveship, which he held until 1863. Among those who have subsequently been thus honoured are Edward Wheeler,

John Randolph, D. Wheeler, and Maxson Jones. The latter was first elected reeve in 1874 and still occupies the position. The other officers for the year 1884 are: Charles J. Brodie, Bethesda, 1st deputy-reeve; Lot L. Hartrnan, Aurora, 2nd deputy-reeve ; John Irwin, Ballantrae, and John Burkholder, Lemonville, councillors; Philip Jones, Bloomington, assessor; Stewart Walker, Aurora, collector; J.W.Collins, Newmarket P.O., clerk and treasurer. Mr. Collins has held the clerkship continuously for thirty-two years, the date of his appointment being 1852. Joseph Collins, his father, was one of the early pioneers, having come in from Pennsylvania when the country was a wilderness. He erected a grist mill—the first in the neighbourhood—on the site of the present Village of Uxbridge, and not long afterwards met his death by accident. The family are originally of Welsh stock. On the' maternal side, Mr. Collins is connected with the fami] y of the Bogarts whose names occur so frequently in the annals of Whitchurch, who were also immigrants from Pennsylvania, but of Dutch extraction.

The Town of Newmarket, the most important business centre in the count- outside Toronto, is in the north-western corner of the township, and about four miles to the south-east, lying partly hi King Township, is the incorporated Village of Aurora. These places will be fully noticed elsewhere. They are connected by the Northern Railway, which enters the township a short distance south of Aurora. The Lake Simcoe Junction Railway runs through the eastern portion of the township from Stouffville on the southern boundary northward, passing the Village of Ballantrae, where the township meetings are held, and Vivian, about a mile and a-half south of the Township of East Gwillimbury. Other villages are: Ringwood, a mile and a-half west of Stouffville; Lemonville, about two miles to the north-west of the latter place; Bethesda, in the centre of the township, about a mile and a-half north of the southern boundary; Bloomington, about two miles north of Stouffville; Pine Orchard, in the northern portion, and Petchiville and White Rose lying to the east of Aurora.

Whitchurch formed a portion of the North Riding of York for Parliamentary purposes until 1882, when the re-distribution of seats in the Dominion Parliament, popularly known as the "Gerrymander Act," took place, by which this township, together with the Town of Newmarket and the Village of Stouffville, were detached from North York, and made a portion of the Riding of West Ontario.

Whitchurch has twelve school sections, and three union sections with houses in the township, and two with houses outside the township.

No. 1 stands 011 lot 21 in the 2nd concession, directly east from Aurora. The house is a new, neat and substantial brick building in a commanding situation. The teacher is Henry Love. His attendance is 35 on an average.

No. 2, on lot 17 in the 3rd concession, near Van Nostrand's Mills, is a frame house in fair condition, surrounded by an unusually attractive lot of evergreen and hardwood shade trees. The teacher is Thomas McCormack. Attendance, 28.

No. 3, the Pogarltown School, a comfortable brick house, stands on lot 31, near the centre, in the 3rd concession. Teacher, J. A. Sangster. Average, 39.

No. 4, the Pine Orchard School, is a renovated frame house on lot 29 in the 4th concession. Robert O. White is teacher. The average is 30.

No. 5, stands on the south side and near the middle of lot 31 111 the 8th concession. It is a new and good frame house, but badly situated in its yard. The teacher, Miss A. Myers, has an average of 40.

No. 6, 011 the west end of lot 10, 3rd concession, is a new frame building with comfortable furniture. The teacher is William T. Stone. His average attendance is 22.

No. 7, an old and unattractive frame house, stands on the north side of lot 5, near the centre, in the 3rd concession. Teacher, E. J. Smyth. Attendance, 27.

No. 8, on the east end of lot 9, 5th concession, is a frame building. The teacher is Mary E. Cook. Her average is 16.

No. 9, the Pemonville School, stands on lot 8, 7th concession. It is a frame house, enlarged some years" ago, and supplied with modern desks and seats. Teacher, Alexander Marshall Hannah. The attendance averages 25.

No. 10, Ploomington School, is a frame house, on the west end of lot 10, 9th concession. The average under the present teacher, Henry J. Hoidge, is 43.

No. 11, known as the Pallantrae School, stands on the side road between the 8th and 9th concessions, on lot 21. It is a double frame house. Teacher, Edwin Pall. Average, 40.

No. 12, on the west end of lot 7, 9th concession, is a good brick structure, with dinner and hat rooms, in need of some repairs however. Teacher, Isaac Pike. Average, 32.

No. 2, union with Markham, known as the Ringwood School, is a brick structure of unusual pretentions, rapidly falling to ruin through defects in workmanship and neglect. The teacher is Wellington P Wismer. The average for the Whitchurch part is 24.

No. 3, union with King, known as the Brick School, Yonge Street, stands on lot 28, 1st concession. The main building is an old brick structure—the addition is frame. Teacher, Joseph A. McPherson; assistant, Ellen Cody. Average—Whitchurch, 12, King, 30.

No. 1, union with East Gwillimbury, known as Shrubmount School, a small frame house, is situated on lot 35, 6th concession. Teacher, Agnes Brillinger. Her average—Whitchurch, 12, East Gwillimbury, 11.

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