The Farmhouse Chronicles

As the Story is Told: Settlement of Morpeth, Part 2

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Every week, I share an excerpt from my Great Aunt’s book, As the Story is Told: A History of Morpeth and Community, which was printed in 1986. Note, this is a historical text and I don’t necessarily agree with all of the authour’s views or turns of phrase.

…continued from last week…

Morpeth, Ontario

The building on the left in the bottom image is still standing in Morpeth today. When I was a child, this was our post office. Now, to continue where I left off with the Settlement of Morpeth:

The growth of Morpeth can better be seen from the brief summary that follows.

1817-18 – The lots on which the village is situated were located.
– The Talbot Road ran through the southern part of Howard.
1820 -There were a few grist mills in operation.
1826 – Edward Lee built the first store.
– Peter Stover’s Inn near Morpeth was in operation.
– The Morpeth circuit rider visited Morpeth, it was part of the Amherstburg circuit.
1827 -Adam Laidlaw built a store, later occupied by Thomas McCollum
– A primitive blacksmith shop opened for business.
– The few dwellings that had been erected were still just log shanties.
1833 – The first frame building was built by Edward Lee – this later became part of the Morpeth Exchange Hotel.
1841 – William Sheldon settled in Morpeth and built a hotel and laid out the eastern part of the village (see map of 1850 Salter Survey).
1846 – At this date Morpeth contained three stores, two hotels, two blacksmith shops, one distillery, one cabinet shop and one tailor shop.
1852 – The population of Morpeth was 331.
1853 – Two surveys of Morpeth were made by Robert Wood and James Coll.
1859 – The population had now increased to 500.
1864 – Morpeth now contains four general stores, three groceries, one saddle and harness shop, five shoe shops, two tailor shops, three hotels, one carriage factory, two cabinet shops, two butcher shops, one cooperage, one bakery, three blacksmiths, one carding and fulling mill and a foundry, a Town Hall, masonic and Orange Lodges, two churches, four physicians and a good school. The Second Division Court is held here and at Ridgetown alternately. John Duck is clerk of the court. A store-house and pier is in the course of construction by William Wilson at Hill’s Landing, a mile and a half from the village. Mails arrive daily at 12:30 from the west and 1 pm from the east. Dispatched at 1 pm, to the east and 2 pm, to the west. – Andrew Hewyood, Postmaster
– Population is 600.

…To be continued next week…

 

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