Historical references to Orford’s natural history

Source: Pickering, Joseph (late of Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire). “Township of Orford.” Emigration, or No Emigration; being the Narrative of the Author (an English farmer) from the year 1824 to 1830. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1830 (pp. 44-5). Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.

... returned to Clear Creek. I found musquitoes [sic] in this trip, but not so troublesome as I had supposed they would be, and there were also a variety of snakes, all harmless, except the copper-head and rattle snake; but it is seldom that persons are bit by these, and old residents do not dread them, as many vegetable antidotes are well known in the woods; in fact, they are acquainted with the name and virtues of every plant, while new comers are years learning the names of trees only. (pg. 45)

Source: Sutherland, R.R., compiler. County of Kent Gazetteer, and General Business Directory, for 1864-5. Ingersoll, Canada West: A.R. & John Sutherland, 1864. Transcripts by Alison Kilpatrick, 2018-03-08.

The County was heavily timbered, but during the long time that has elapsed since its settlement, the most valuable portion of the maple, black walnut, elm, oak, and beech has been cut[,] exported or manufactured. […]

Source: Blue, Archibald. “Corundum in Ontario: Notes on skulls taken from a pre-historic fort in Kent County.” Proceedings of the Canadian Institute. New Series. Vol. 2, Part I, No. 7. Toronto: Henderson & Co., February, 1899. (pp. 93-5).

There is no doubt from the color and condition of these skeletons that they had lain a long time in the earth; but additional evidence of time is afforded by the root which had disturbed them. This root, which was two-and-a-half inches in diameter, belonged to a walnut tree which grew within the walls of the Fort, at a distance of fifteen feet to the north-west of the bodies. From the appearance of the stump, the tree had been cut down for at least a quarter of a century. The diameter across the cut was forty-six inches, and I counted four hundred and eighty concentric circles of growth, exclusive of two inches of decayed wood on the circumference. Assuming each circle to represent a year, the beginnings of that tree must be carried back to the dawn of the fifteenth century, or nearly a hundred years before Columbus discovered America, and the probability is that during the first period of occupation no trees stood within the walls of the Fort.

Source: Beers & Co. (Toronto). Biographical sketch for George L. Scott (1823–1897) and Margaret A. McGee (1824–1895), in: Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families. Toronto: J.H. Beers & Co., 1904 (pp. 426-8). Transcript by Alison Kilpatrick.

The late Mr. Scott was a cooper by trade, and conducted a cooper shop on his farm for many years, in connection with his farming operations. During those early days the pioneers of County Kent had many thrilling adventures, in addition to being forced to endure all the hardships contingent upon such a life. Many times did Mr. Scott have to flee for his life, with wolves at his heels, and after, he reached the little log cabin and shut the rude door in their snarling faces, he and his wife could hear them howling about the house almost until morning.

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© Alison Kilpatrick 2018