"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Thursday, November 1, 2012

History of Everton - Eramosa Township Wellington County

...from the Wellington County Historical Society Essay and Journal Collection

photo credit: Wellington County Museum and Archives

Speech given by Master Ross Dampier at Eramosa school fair September 23, 1932 - This speech placed Ross as first prize winner

I wish this afternoon to tell you something of the history of the most important village in the township of Eramosa – a village noted for the cleverness of the citizens, past present and future, the great variety of its industries and the magnificence of its scenery.

I do not need to tell this intelligent audience that I refer to my home town Everton.

Everton was just called Hungry Hollow but we would prefer to call it Prosperity Corners.

When we study the history of our village we find that Rufus Evert, uncle of Mr. William Evert who still lives in our village, and Peter Stewart, Great uncle of Councillor John Stewart, were the first owners of the land where our village now stands.

Some time before 1858 they laid out a town of many streets. They must have had a great imagination for they saw avenues where Colonel Head now harvests heavy fields of oats, and busy factories where Arnold Wauless drives his cattle home in the cool of the evening.

The town plan provided for a market square of an acre of two taken off Mr. Stewart’s property just above the church. This is still commons.

The upper part of the village was called Stewarttown, while the lower was Everton. No doubt they hoped that some day there would be twin cities (like Minneapolis and St. Paul) to grace the centre of old Ontario.

For some time the place seemed to prosper and many industries sprung up and it came to have three churches, two hotels, three blacksmiths shops, grocery store a tailor shop, an implement agency, a cabinet markers shop, a carding mill, a washing machine factory, a cooper shop, and stove factory and a potash plant.

There was also a flour and feed and saw mill. These with a church a store and one blacksmith shop are all that remains.

It looked at one time as if those dreams were coming true, but alas! the railroad passed us by and unwisely placed its depot in Rockwood. The provincial highway also kept to the south (number 7).

Our clever young people drifted to the city and our industries have followed them. Our population though less than in the olden days, still shows so many types we are just waiting for an L.M. Montgomery or a Joseph C. Lincoln to rise up among us and we will be famous.

Although the hydro builder has spoiled some of our trees we still have a village that could be just as pretty as any in Muskoka. Who knows that we may not yet cheat the village cows of free pasture and establish an air dome on the market square that will bring us loads of American summer visitors.

Our school in the past has sent out teachers, nurses, bank clerks, druggists, dentists, doctors, ministers, lawyers, a judge, a university professor and a senator. Who will say that we may not now be training future college presidents or even prime ministers in S.S. No. 7 Eramosa?

April 16th, 1940 at time of copying this.

The old stone store has been burned. The blacksmith shop owner, Mr. George Robertson, died. It has been dismantled and sold for lumber or firewood.

The old Methodist church used for a Literary Society since 1902 until about 1930 was it was used for a blacksmith shop by [ Charles ] Fountaine and since destroyed by fire.

Colonel Head keeps groceries in his house.

Electricity installed in Everton February 1931. Lights turned on in the church February 6th, 1931.

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