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.
Charles Fathers, James Pitney.
1798—William Bond, John
Chisholm, Capt. W. Graham.
1801—Capt. John Baptist
Bouchette, Alary Chambers, Duke William Kendrick, John Stegmann.
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.
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
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.
Robert Ward, Shadrack Stephens, Andrew Clubine, Abraham Webster, John
Pundy, George Senion, John Bassel Russell Hoag, Mary Walts.
Mary McNab, William Hill, Samuel Palmer, William Pearson, Isaac Johnson,
Alexander Gray, John Furon, Ambroise de Farcy.
Elijah Groomes, Edward Heazzel, Nathaniel Pearson, Christian Schill,
James Pundy, Peter Wheeler, William Maclean.
junr, Abraham McDonald, George Foukler.
1811—John R. Small, W.
Widdifield, James Edward Small.
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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.