History | John Carrow Remembers
The following is a Paper read to the Norfolk Historical Society by H. Frank Cook and subsequently published in the 4 Dec 2022 Simcoe Reformer (page 1)
Reminiscences of John Carrow, Esq.

I was born on Jan. 2nd, 1815, on what was known as Yankee street, opposite the Slaght burying ground, Waterford.  My father was a cooper, and made barrels for a man by the name of Muckle, in the war times of 1812.

One time, when a boy, I worked for Job Loder, one of the pioneers of Norfolk; he kept hotel or tavern on the lake shore.  Later he kept a store in Waterford. Israel Wood Powell M.P., clerked for him.  Loder owned a farm, store, distillery and mills situated about where the M.C.R. station is now.  I hired to him to drive oxen.  We used to drive from three to seven yoke of oxen at a time, hitched to a wooden plow.  In those days they thought they could not move a plow with less than three yoke of oxen.

We used to drive all the way to Simcoe to get our blacksmithing done by Peter O'Carr.  This was about 1827.  Mr. Loder moved to Ancaster and left his business in the hands of Israel Wood Powell. There was a tavern in Waterford at this time, run by a man named Hyde.

O'Carr married Susan Beemer, daughter of old Squire Beemer, the grandfather of the present Squire Beemer.  Squire Beemer willed his farm to his son John.  John died, and the farm was then given to Susan O'Carr.  Peter then left his smithy, and went up onto the farm.

On the north side of the pond at Waterford lived Leonard Sovereen, and Maurice on the south side.  Leonard's family were William, Philip, Joseph, and David.  The first three moved up onto the Round Plains.  I worked for both Philip and Joseph.  David became a doctor, and married one of the Bowlby girls, afterwards moved to Port Dover, and died there.  One of Leonard's daughters married Mr. Foster in Waterford; another married Jacob Langs; another married Adam Bowlby.  They were the parents of the Dr. Bowlby who lives in Waterford now.

To the best of my knowledge, the first [f]anning mills ever made in Norfolk were made by Smith, and Oliver Blake peddled them. Blake settled on a farm south of Waterford, where he died.  Smith returned to the States.

Leonard Sovereen sent another man and me to break up the first field on the Hiram Bowlby farm south of Simcoe.

Maurice Sovereen lived on the south side of the creek, where Leaman Becker had a store.

Loder had a man by the name of Bedine to run his distillery. Leaman Becker's father came there and said he could distil [sic] corn and make 16 quarts of whiskey from a bushel instead of 12 quarts from a bushel of rye.  So Becker displaced Bedine.

Becker married one of the daughters of Maurice.  Another daughter married James Green, father of the Greens who started the foundry in Waterford.  Maurice had four sons, Daniel, Samuel, Leaman, who died near Simcoe, and Lawrence.

Some time before the rebellion of 1837 my father moved from Waterford, and we lived in the swamp west of Simcoe, where Michael Almas afterwards had a sawmill.  For a number of years there was a road from the east to this swamp, and one from the west to the west side of it, but no passage across.  Later a log road was built, and one could cross the swamp by "bouncing" from one log to the next.  The settlers on the west side went to Fredericksburg, and those on the east to Simcoe.

About 1840 John McCall lived across the road from the Ecker farm.  Billy Wilson, known as "Dimmy John," lived in the next house.  They were, of course, all log houses.  Joseph Wilson (father of Ansley, Gashem, and Daniel, i.e., grandfather of R. M. Wilson, near Delhi) lived on the farm opposite Old Log Salem school house and church.  Arch. Burch afterwards bought that farm.

A man named Butler had a tavern on the Leask place, farther east.  Samson Baker came from England and bought the place and kept tavern.  There was also a tavern on the Cowan place, where the road from Fredericksburg to Normandale crossed the Bostwick road.

Where Michael Almas kept tavern was for years known as Junctionville. The name was given to the place because it was where the Frederick Sovereen road from Fredericksburg to Normandale crossed the Port Dover and Otterville road.

The Bostwick road crossed the town line between Charlotteville and Windham, at Old Log Salem, and went down through the woods in a north-easterly direction. It was closed through lots 11 and 10 of the 11th concession of Charlotteville before 1840.

Article Index
Almas, Michael
Baker, Samson
Becker, Leaman
Bedine, Mr.
Beemer, John
Beemer, Squire
Beemer, Susan
Blake, Oliver
Bowlby, Adam
Bowlby, Dr.
Bowlby, Hiram
Burch, Arch.
Butler, Mr.
Foster, Mr.
Green, James
Langs, Jacob
Loder, Job
McCall, John
Muckle, Mr.
O'Carr, Peter
Powell, Israel
Sovereen, Daniel
Sovereen, David
Sovereen, Frederick
Sovereen, Joseph
Sovereen, Lawrence
Sovereen, Leaman
Sovereen, Leonard
Sovereen, Maurice
Sovereen, Philip
Sovereen, Samuel
Sovereen, William
Smith, Mr.
Wilson, Ansley
Wilson, Billy
Wilson, Daniel
Wilson, Gashem
Wilson, Joseph
Wilson, R. M.

Copyright 1997-2003 John Cardiff