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|Townsend | Settlement | Waterford|
|The Township of
Townsend is inland, being separated from the lake by Woodhouse. It is
bounded by Walpole on the east, Oakland on the north, and Windham on the
west. It is watered mainly be Black Creek and the Nanticoke. The branches
of the latter stream run diagonally across the township from northwest to
southeast. Townsend possesses no extraordinary physical
Its most marked characteristic is the almost universal excellence of its soil. It is said there is not a plot of 100 acres in the township from which a farmer might not make a comfortable living. The soil, however, varies greatly in composition, the general tendency being toward clay in the east and sand in the west. The surface is greatly undulating throughout. Probably there is not a township in Ontario better adapted for agricultural purposes than Townsend. In 1798 this land sold at 25 cents an acre.
COURSE OF SETTLEMENT
The first settlers of Townsend came in from the south. The Culvers were the first settlers of the township. A few trappers who lived with the Indians had made temporary houses there previous to the arrival of the Culvers, but it was the Culver family who settled upon what is known at the "Bart Farm." lot 24, concession 11, which was the first farm ever tilled in Townsend.
The Culver family crossed at Niagara by fording it, and coasted along Lake Erie until the harbor at Dover was reached. They then penetrated dense forest, following an Indian trail until they reached the spot above-mentioned. Here they pitched their tent; that is to say, they drove stakes into the earth and formed a rough wigwam in which they abode until a log house was built. Traversing the forest was in those days a slow and difficult process. It was the custom to place the young children in baskets which were slung in pairs over the back of a cow. In this fashion did the youthful Culvers make their way into Townsend.
The Culvers (Aaron, Timothy, John, Gabriel, Nesbitt and Michael) were followed by the Beemers (Abram, John, Daniel and Henry) who settled near what is now Colborne in 1798, and the Sovereens (Lenan [sic], George and Matthew) Job Slaght, Ezra Parney, ___ Avery, Job Loder.
Immigration went on, but slowly. Even as late as 1817 the population amounted to only 716, as shown on returns to the government that year.
The names of the settlers who were
farming in Townsend about this time are (as far as can be ascertained) as
follows, beginning at Simcoe and proceeding north: Joseph Wooley, John
Beemer, Philip Beemer, John Fero, ___ Olds, the Culvers, Michael Shoaf
(Shaw), Richard Wilcox, Adam Bowlby, William Kitchen and his brothers John
Heath, Jacob Clouse, Amos Merrill, Nathan Wade, John Barber, Joseph
Kitchen, Job Loder, ___ Perry, Ezekiel Foster, L. Sovereen, Ezra Parney,
Job, Aaron and Neil Slack [sic], Leonard Clouse, John Walker, Loder
Parks, John Massecar, Philip Smith, the Schuylers, John Haviland,
Archibald McCool, Teci Boughner, Dr. D. Duncombe, the McMichaels, Samuel
Fisher, and a large family of Barbers, These were mostly on the
Simcoe and Brantford Road, which was settled before the rest of the
Duncombe, Dr. D.
From page 60 of the Mika re-print of
1877 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Norfolk County