CA12 - From Croft to Clearing


Stitchers: Janet Lawrie Whiteley, Christine Lawrie Trought, Margaret Lawrie Bell, Nancy Weir McCowan, Ann McCowan Wakelin, Megan Weir Burbridge, Vicki Hallworth Weir, Dale Kennedy Clarke   (Scarborough)

The ordinary lowland Scots in the eighteenth century typically shared their primitive rural dwelling with their livestock. A crude log cabin protected the early Scottish settler from the wild animals of the Scarborough forest. The Maple tree, made famous in Canada by Lesmahagow-born Alexander Muir, camouflages the distinction between Scotland and Canada -- the cultural and economic ties between the old country and the new remained profoundly strong for several generations and should, today, be energetically renewed through appreciation of a common heritage. At an International Exhibition in 1862, “James Lawrie of Scarboro has won a medal for specimens of Canadian timber. Mr. Lawrie had on exhibition twenty-one specimens, in logs and planks, and nearly every one was cut from his own farm. They consisted in part as follows: Pine, Hemlock, Cedar, Balsam, Tamarac, Elm, Basswood, Beech, Hard and Soft Maple, Red and White Oak, White and Black Birch, Ironwood, Blue Beech, Cherry, Hickory.” Several of the Dumfriesshire Thomsons also had sawmills. Quite likely so did the McCowan brothers from Lesmahagow, as their first rented farm had, running through it, a steep ravine with quite a substantial water power potential.

Mr. McOwan
Sir, You will have the goodness to give me an acct of the wood you have deld and to whom you delivered the same.
I am Sir, your obd serv
Joseph Lee, 39 King St. Toronto, A-- 20/38.

In the 1830s:  after assisting to establish the [family] home, he [James Neilson] joined the late Jas. Weir, of Scarboro', in a land clearing and wood chopping partnership, contracting by the job. For the wood chopping they received 25 cents per cord for cutting and piling, and the land clearing was done at the same low ratio. James could cut, split and pile his three cords per day... both died wealthy. (Newsclippings in the Fanny Annis scrapbook.)

CA12 Bhon Chroit gu Farsaingeachd
Bha a’ mhòr-chuid de dh’Albannaich a bha a’ tuineachadh ann an Canada anns an ochdamh linn deug, buailteach a bhith a’ co-roinn an ionadan-còmhnaidh iriosal le an cuid
bheathaichean. Mar a h-uile neach eile, lorg an fheadhainn a ràinig coille Scarborough ann an Ontario fasgadh bho na h-eileamaidean agus bho na h-ainmhidhean fiadhaich ann am bothain loga. Tha a’ chraobh Malpas, a chaidh a dhèanamh ainmeil ann an Canada le Alasdair Muir, a’ falach an eadar-dhealachaidh eadar Alba agus Canada gu ìre – na ceanglaichean cultarach is eaconamach eadar an t-seann dhùthaich agus an dùthaich ùr, ’s iad air fuireach gu bunaiteach làidir airson mòran ghinealaichean agus a dh’fhaodadh san latha andiugh a bhith air an ath-ùrachadh le spionnadh tro ghabhail ris agus tlachd à dualchas coitcheann.