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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 features. 

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.


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 township.

Article Index
Avery, Mr.
Barber family
Barber, John
Beemer, Abram
Beemer, Daniel
Beemer, Henry
Beemer, John
Boughner, Teci
Bowlby, Adam
Clouse, Jacob
Clouse, Leonard
Culver, Aaron
Culver, Gabriel
Culver, John
Culver, Michael
Culver, Nesbitt
Culver, Timothy
Duncombe, Dr. D.
Fero, John
Fisher, Samuel
Foster, Ezekiel
Haviland, John
Heath, John
Kitchen, Joseph
Kitchen, William
Loder, Job
Massecar, John
McCool, Archibald
McMichael family
Merrill, Amos
Olds, Mr.
Parks, Loder
Perry, Mr.
Parney, Ezra
 Shoaf/Shaw, Michael
Slaght, Aaron
Slaght, Job
Slaght, Neil
Smith, Philip
Sovereen, George
Sovereen, Lenan
Sovereen, Matthew
Schuyler family
Wade, Nathan
Walker, John
Wilcox, Richard
Wooley, Joseph

From page 60 of the Mika re-print of 1877 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Norfolk County
Copyright 1997-2012 John Cardiff and Norfolk Historical Society

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