A century ago Alexander McLachlan was one of the best known citizens of these hills, widely admired, respected and praised for his poetry. Today hardly anyone has heard of him. How did this happen?
Settlers in the 19th century came here to farm, and to do that they had to clear the trees. Their success with that was thorough and dramatic. So was the impact on the landscape.
Facing a crisis was part of daily life for the settlers of these hills and they had no outside help to see them through. What they depended on instead was inner strength, creativity, resources at hand and good neighbours.
For 75 years Ontario students had to pass demanding provincial exams to get into high school. Preparation was rigorous and it was widely believed rural teachers weren’t up to the job.
Live entertainment flourished in these hills a century and more ago. Before new technologies like the cinema changed everything, the stages of our local town halls were filled with performances that appealed to every taste.
From the mid-1870s until 1925, magistrate Joseph Pattullo had to pass sentence on a range of human foible and sin. The record suggests he usually judged the accused with fairness and sensitivity.
Getting to Upper Canada took determination – and good luck.
In spring 1911, four wardens from neighbouring counties sat down for an informal chat. Their conversation here is imaginary, but the issues they discussed were the hot topics of the day – and eerily familiar.
With the notable exception of inmates charged with vagrancy (more on this later), the vast majority of time served at Dufferin County Jail was measured in days, weeks or a few months.
When Hurricane Hazel finally blew itself out in October 1954, the damage and casualties left behind made it Ontario’s biggest weather event of the century. The flood control plans that followed were even bigger.
On the platform of a local railway car, 23-year-old David Hunter was an innocent victim in a deadly chain of events that turned deadly one evening in 1872.
The tweets and accusations of fake news in today’s media seem almost dainty compared to the Orangeville Sun’s lambasting of its rival weekly, the Orangeville Advertiser.