TYRONE RE-VISITED.

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CHAPTER I

"I've wandered in the village, Tom

I've sat beneath the tree

Upon the scholl-house playing ground

Which sheltered you and me

But none were there to greet me, Tom

And few were left to know

That played with us upon the green

Just twenty years ago"

I heard a lady sing the old song once with tears in her voice. It never dawned upon me then that I should ever re-visit my native village and find so many changes taken place in half that space of time. I don't suppose I'd have taken that holiday at all, only it being Jubilee year and determined John Gilpin like to make the most of it; only unlike that famous hero of our juvenile days, I took the iron horse instead of an obstinate steed, reaching Bowmanville station in the course of an hour or two. Now What? As I haven't told anybody I am coming, I ride up town to look around for a chance to Tyrone. I know the mail goes back every day and it's likely there'll be room for me on the rig somewhere. While I am looking for the driver, I see you, Mr. Editor, who are bearing the ups and downs and hard rubs of business life pretty well.

Well, Sir, you well remember asking me to write up my trip into the country. I don't mind what I said exactly but it was something to the effect that if I did send in anything, I was going to write just as I liked, at the risk of ruining your reputation and that of The Statesman forever. You allowed me full liberty, so here goes to avail myself of it.

In the first place (this is orthodox) in the first place, I say, I found I could get out to Tyrone by riding in the mail rig with "Billy", otherwise Mr. W. H. Moore, but know in my time as "Billy" and "Billy" he still remains all along the line. As a boy he always had big reserves but possesses plenty of tact and courtesy so ere long we were talking easily about everything generally. I found he was still living where his home had been for a number of years, the former fine residence of Mr. Alexander Gibbard. His father and mother are gone, the rest of the family married with the exception of his brother Byron and himself. Byron is still sticking to his trade of long ago. I kept asking about this one and that one as we jogged along past beautiful houses, close trimmed lawns, ornamental fences, nureries, lovely shade trees and orchards delicious for perfume, gladsome with blossom and solid promising for Autumn; on past cedar and hawthorne hedges, stately solitary elms, groups of beech, birch, ash and willow, while all along the roadside spread the loveliest carpet of green, perfectly bespangled with golden dandelions. Ah! you hold little rascal! Much use to order you to "keep off the grass" and yet I could kiss you and gladly, you little sensitive sunbabies, only that you would leave too dazzling an imprint on my face. Didn't I use to revel in making watch chains and garlands for our heads out of you! Well keep on shining golden faces till someday -- whiff! off you go like all the rest. Methinks the Creative Power did wisely when he placed you there if only to relieve the monotony of the green. While I am musing over the dandelions we have reached Mr. Thos. Grigg's. There he is - a little less nimble but toiling still aided by his daughter Carrie -- energetic and rosy. For persevering British pluck he can't be excelled. Forbidding stony soil, hilly or flat, what cares he? At it he goes and from most unpromising fields demands by steady toil an abundant harvest.

Soon we reach the Long Swamp. The east side is intact but the west has been cut away considerably. It seems a pity to cut it down. Travellers along the Manvers road for ages have welcomed it's protection from the blasts of winter and the fierce heat of summer, while those of an imaginative turn of mind would be kept costantly on the qui vive peering into it's tangled depths for the possible wild animals which, however, never appeared. Delicate ferns peep out fearlessly at me but separated from them by a slimy pool of water my acquaintence with them grows no closer. Wood violets, pale blue, purple and yellow, little incarnations of modesty, smile sweetly on me as we emerge to the clearing, but I only smile in return and leave them in silent enjoyment.

Mr. W. E. Pollard and sister live close by in their substantial brick dwelling in happy quietude. Happily situated, convenient to either town or village W. E. spends a contented, usefull life. We had some good old times in Tyrone Division when he and I were young, though now I think of it he declared he would never be anything else.

On we go past Mrs. J. P. Pooley's who still resides in her little house on the corner to where a towering windmill proclaims we are at H. C. Hoar's; and Henry is a bachelor yet, is he? Yes, one of the jolliest you ever saw! Truly courteous and kindly of heart, he has a hundred and one interests to take up his attention, which amply compensates for the apparent loneliness of his life. I note with pleasure the double row of evergreens north of the commodious barns which serve at once the double purpose of protection and ornament.

A short distance further and we are at the Hoskin homestead. The proprietor of years ago has passed away. Six daughters and then three sons have crowned the union of the present owner, his son John. Only one daughter remains unmarried but the stalwart sons are evidently not in any hurry to follow their sisters' example, as the two empty houses on Mr. Hoskins' adjoining property can testify. I do not wonder at their being slow to leave home considering how comfortable it must be. It was once the handsomest farm home in these parts and though now superceded by many more modern and pretentious, still conveys to my mind the sense of ease and comfort to be found within its portals and under the shelter of those broad verandahs encircling three sides of the building.

Here we are almost at Jardine's Corners and I am looking at the earthly dwelling of another old pioneer, Mr. Thos. Jardine sr. He and his good wife have passed on with the great majority to whom it was given to make the "wilderness and solitary place to rejoice" leaving the others the fruits of years of unremitting toil. The eldest son, Gilbert, wife and family of three sons, reside in the old house. Many a good time the young people of Tyrone and vicinity have spent within its walls and every nook and corner of the old place looks familiar as we pass it by noting as we do so the flourishing young orchards and rows of evergreens placed along the north and west, set out, I presume, for the same purpose as Mr. Hoar's -- to beautify and protect. There has been plenty of leisure to take a good view of all the places mentioned, for our obliging mail-driver has been distributing mail matter all along the route in the little boxes placed by the roadside for that purpose. His task is about done now till we reach the post office.

As we pass the corner I get a partial view of Mr. Thos. R. Hoar's new brick residence, handsome and roomy. Surely a vast improvement on the old. Ah! me! what a little time it is since he too was a boy and now they tell me his hair is showing threads of silver and his family of boys and girls are fast approaching manhood and womanhood.

Down the hill through the swamp then ascending we reach the Cole farm. Everything is trim looking about the place from the commodious nicely painted new residence with grounds in keeping, to the far reaching, well tilled fields of grain. The father, Mr. Matthew Cole, who worked so many years at blacksmithing in Tyrone, has been laid to rest and Mrs. Cole, one daughter and three sons continue to run their two farms, and the other at Leskard. They still retain also their former residence in Tyrone. For genuine sticktoitiveness the Cole boys are hard to beat, the reward of that course is most certainly to be theirs.

There was once a strip of woods to the east just on the boundary of Mr. Hoar's farm. It was such a pretty bit of timber but had to go, I suppose, to make way for something else. Just outside the fence and running parallel with the woods there used to lie remains of an old log zig-zag fence. Traces of it are still to be seen. I greet this familiar feature with pleasure. The rest of the land between here and Tyrone belongs to Mr. John Hodgson, my polite friend at my elbow informs me. It included the former Gibbard estate and his own, the two lying side by side. A Mr. W. Doidge lives on the Gibbard farm. Mr. Hodgson has rebuilt, since his house was burnt down some years ago, on a much larger and handsomer scale. I take another look as we pass by the house and grounds, mentally reviewing the possibilities of the situation. That winding brook, that gentle verdant slope up to the gate, that long sweep of flats to the south, that north-western embankment, could art possibly improve on it? Or what a beautiful combination nature and art could make. Right here the road is capital for trotting and Billie's horse scenting his oats whirls along right speedily til we have turned the corner and are in Tyrone.

 

 

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CHAPTER II

Mr. Samuel Bingham's pretty white residence with its green shutters is right where it always has been since I can remember, and has all the attractiveness of an old friend, for it was here the late Abraham Younie spent the busiest part of his life. Since passing into Mr. Bingham's hands it shows evident signs of improvement. There is a pretty ornamental wire fence along the west and north and the lawn has been extended, the house repainted, the out buildings moved further to the rear, and the old McCutcheon lot to the east added to the property. Across the stream to the west stands the old Cooper shop alongside one of more recent date. Mr. Bingham is a pushing, energetic business man, and hold his own in the barrel-making, despite the keen competition. Employing only first class workmen, (Mr. John Ryan who lives here is the foreman.) The demand during the busy autumn season is often much in advance of the supply. In the same lines that Mr. Younie made progress Mr. Bingham follows and with a charactoristic zeal.

Messrs. Penfound & Co. conduct the stave factory and shingle mill to the north east of the village and thoroughly good workmen thay are in all departments of their business.

"S. Vanstone & Sons, Tyrone" is the inscription confronting us on the flour and feed mill still at its incessant murmuring. The letters are oartially obliterated and are not likely to be reproduced, as Mr. Vanstone has long since given over the business into the hands of his son, Mr. Jabez C. Vanstone, who lived here in the old home until his removal to Bowmanville several years ago to engage in the milling interest on a larger scale. Mr. J. Saunders a highly estimable citizen is his miller here, residing in Mr. Vanstone's house. There are very few changes in its appearance, I notice, as we climb the steep hill.

The old long dwelling on the hill-top south side belonging to Mr. Joshua Branton looks very natural too. I get out at the Post Office and go in search of a friend of mine whose home is here and though unexpected I am almost sure of a welcome. I do not find my friend but his wife hospitably feeds and entertains me until such time as I announce my intantion of having a look around ere his return. I shall start at the East End to tell you what I saw.

The transformation here has been great, sure enough. Where once the hotel stood now stands an excellent general store and dwelling house combined owned by Mr. F. G. Byam. About three years ago Mr. Byam purchased the stand from the last hotel keeper, Mr/ John Moyse. It was something of a task to remodel the house, tear down the long range of sheds and old outbuildings and prepare the gravelly soil for lawn and flower beds, but all this has been done and well done. Mr. Byam is an active business man perfectly adapted to his calling and does a good miscellaneous trade. His stock covers the department of dry goods, hardware , groceries, boots and shoes.

Over the way the old East End store still stands looking natural as ever. It is run by Mr. W. H. Clemens. William looks quite as much at home here as he did on the farm, keeps all the necessaries in the grocery line and conducts as well a flourishing butcher shop. The latter is a very recent inovation of which Tyrone citizens are not slow to avail themselves. They find it much handier as well as economical to run in and purchase their steak or roast at any time than the former method of buying from The Bowmanville or Hampton butchers on their bi-weekly trips. Mr. Thos. Newton, Cobourg, brother-in-law to Mr. Clemens, runs the butcher cart and Thomas is just the man for it. There is exceeding danger of his running the other butchers out completely, not only in this but other sections.

I go across to the solid stone blacksmith shop where over the door hangs the inviting sign, "R. McCullough, General Blacksmith." "Well, my boy, hows business?" "Oh, not so bad." Then after a few general remarks I lapse into questions while Robert descreetly returns to his work, for I am standing in the late Mr. George Emerson's shop and have suddenly become aware of painful loss. How strange to see another occupying his place and yet I am proud see one of his former apprentices proprieter here and able to fill the position so worthily. The fascination of an old oft-repeated scene comes over me, that one when as a child I used to linger near the door at eventide even though forbidden to enter and watched the thousands of sparks flying heavenward beneath the steady stroke of the master's hand. Mr McCullough lives on the house on the place and enjoys a generally happy bachelor existance, keeping for his own amusement and recreation a fine breed of chickens and a dandy little driver of which he is very careful and proud in his quiet way.

He is not without opposition for Tyrone supports three blacksmiths. Mr. Wm. Hillyar, Burks Falls, a first class mechanic, has his shop on the corner of Charles Ball's lot hard by and down towards the West End Mr. D. G. Welsh does a rushing business in the shop owned by the late Mr. Donald Fraser.

While up this far, I concluded I would run back, or rather walk, for I have an old-fashioned love of pedestrianism, to see Mr. W. R. Clemens. I found him recovering from a recent illness but cordial and conversational as ever. He has one of the quietest, prettiest spots that can be found for those inclined to study and repose of mind. I am not surprised that the young clerical probationers have for so many years made this their home while laboring on the Circuit. Mr. and Mrs. Clemens are genuine entertainers. There are many other demands on Mr. Clemens than those strictly religious but I was glad to hear of his enthusiasm in Sabbath School effort, having been Superintendent there for a number of years. Rev. H. E. Curts a young minister with ability boards with them but intends going to Victoria College at the close of the present conference term.

Now that I am this far I may as well go further and see the new house on Mr. W. H. Clemens' place. It was created only last summer and fitted up with considerable expense. The old one was of course far inferior to this, and yet I notice, that the side which should give a most commanding view of the house is hidden completely by the dense folliage of the apple trees. Inclination leads me in still further till I am as far as Mr. Samuel Hooper's. He has greatly beautified this home of his on its commanding elevation. His brother Charles lives only a short distance away so the two families are favoured in being permitted this neighborly intimacy. I did not see Mr. Thos. Woodley's place, Pioneer Farm, though well I remember the dear old quaint mansion with its many eccentricities and romantic surroundings. Mr. Woodley is blessed in having all his family with him yet. There is lots of go-ahead in him - always was. He has shown his enterprising spirit this spring by setting out in conjunction with his brother Richard two fine pear orchards. Here as elsewhere I find farmers are compelled to turn their attention in other directions than that of mere grain growing; stock raising and fruit cultivation is carried on extensively. I must congratulate Mr. Richard Woodley, the owner and operator of the saw mill North of Tyrone, on the valuable addition to his family in these last years, in the person of his only child, little Clara, the light of her father's eyes.

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CHAPTER III

I retrace my steps towards the village, pausing a few minutes on the way down to turn in at the old, now almost deserted graveyard. Most of those who formerly rested here have been disinterred by friends and laid in Bowmanville Cemetery, but a few familiar names are still engraved on the slanting headstones. I do not care to linger here musing over such thoughts as are contained in Grey's Elegy, for it always seemed to me the sentiments of that incomparable poem would much more truly apply to Bethesda cemetery than this it being the last resting place of so many old residents of this neighborhood. There is one grave, however, even here where the mold lies comparatively fresh which they tell me covers all that was mortal of R. Bancroft. Poor genial "Northward", what airy flights art thy spirit now taking, my old time friend! Peace to thy ashes and fragrant thy memory. It is too much to heave a sigh or drop a tear at the recollection of a once brilliant but erratic genius forcing itself into channels where that which was brightest, best never did never could find development? But all that happened before I knew him - my aquaintance began in temperance work, a cause he was ever willing to aid. I was sorry to find his last resting place in this lonely neglected spot, but after all what matters it. I go down from the graveyard to the swamp where I do a little botanizing for the sake of old times. Many a times I;ve rummaged thro' this bit of bush for ferns or flowers in my youthful days and got lost here one evening in a tangle of underbrush.

The Younie farm is worked by Mr. Jos. Hawkey. He is a very thorough going, pushing farmer and makes they tell me as well out of a rented place as many do on their own. You wouldn't know the place across the road here - Mr. Joseph Penfound's - it is so changed. By this time I am getting used to it, but notwithstanding turn in at the gate of the ornamental wire fence to make a brief call and at the same time take in the tasteful surroundings. Year after year of improvements on the house has been amply rewarded by the additional comfort of the inmates. The shade lawn and flower border are testimonials to a love for the beautiful. The Tyronese are pre-eminantly a flower loving people. Mrs. Penfound and daughters have some rare varieties as well as many general favorites. I would gladly pass over but can not omit mentioning the shadow that darkened their home one early morning last November, the loss to them of precious companionship, in the death of their son and brother, Frederic. The perfect circle is broken, the light radiating in other spheres and yet he is never really absent, never forgotten in the hearts and home he loved.

There is just another place I stopped to look at along this line, the former residence of Mr. John Manning, sr., previous to that the house of Mr. John Hellyar, sr., up to the time he left boot and shoe making here to enter on a more lucrative business in Bowmanville. Mr. Manning's earthly labors are over. After his father's death his son John disposed of the property and purchased one much more comfortable and attractive on King St., the house Mr. T. T. Jardine remodelled some years ago. I missed the old Hellyar shop from its usual place but found it had merely journeyed a little to the west where Mr. Manning, for convenience sake, had it placed on his lawn, another example of beauty giving place to utility. I looked over the fence a minute or two at his apairy, for I am aware John has kept bees this many a year, I saw what looked like a garden full of hives and hummers. It is the largest apairy in the vicinity and Mr. Manning, I understand, finds ready sale for the delicious product of his busy little workers.

Just across on the other corner lot live the Misses Scott. Mr. and Mrs. Scott are dead. The only boy, Tom, lives on the farm just south east of the village. Tom was always a lively boy and has not quite tamed down yet. Miss. Scott's home surroundings are beautiful with shade trees, shrubs, grass and flowers.

Next to this is the house of Mr. Thos. Curtis, neat as a new pin. Following on down I arrive at Maple Shade, the property of Mrs. Agnes Harris and now rented and occupied by Mr. Wm. Wight and family. Mr. Wight is in the stock buying business and is also sanitary officer for Tyrone this season. Mr. John Hoidge and family used to live in this house before settling in the city. I still can trace the boys initials on the evergreens in front of the door.

A short distance down I espy a building of the unmistakable S. A. style of architecture. It was formerly a barracks for that organization but the corps which flourished here longer than in any of the surrounding villages finaly disbanded. Mr. John Collacutt had it converted into a machinery hall, not a bad use. He does quite a thriving business, I'm told, in the farm implement and bicycle agency lines.

Richard Branton, I see, is toiling away, a little stiffer, a trifle older looking but hard working as ever. He too has been making improvements in his home such as handsome windows and new front door. Grand'fer Branton has passed out of this life and his former home into the hands of strangers. Right here a building I know right well greets my vision as I leisurely make my way down King St. North side, none other than the boot and shoe shop of Mr. W. H. Hicks - jovial, brisk, and untouched by time so far as I can see - Mr. Hicks continues to make and mend, buy and sell. Tyrone would not know itself wothout him. His residence, grounds, etc., are very pretty and inviting but something or somebody seemed wanting about the place. It was Johnny, yes, I missed Johnny, for that was the name we knew him by, from the oldest to the youngest. His lively personality and hearty disposition to engage in any good work made him a general favorite. But the tide has carried him out and away from his native haunts, yet not so very far for they tell me he is nicely settled with his little family in business at Toronto Junction.

A little to the west and back from the road by the long green lane is the natural looking old house where Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hodgson used to live. One of the wittiest old men of his day was Mr. Hodgson and many an odd expression of his is still treasured by the old inhabitants.

Now I am in front of the church but I shall have time to look at that tomorrow. It is too sacred a spot to pass lightly over. Right next it, however, another surprise awaits me. Mrs. Gregory used to live here. In her time it was a generaly delapitated old building but since Mr. John Mutton took hold of it the change is marvelous. Mr. John Colwill, jr., owns and occupies Mrs. Bell's little cottage. He has a valuable addition erected in the rear and the grounds generally improved. Mr. Colwill is one of the steam thresher owners. Mr. John Phare who bought and fixed up the old Mrs. Hooper dwelling near the east end is the other steam thresher owner Tyrone boasts of.

Mr. Jos. Byers' house(formerly widow Gray's) is shut up for the summer as he and Mrs. Byers are rusticating on their farm back north for the summer.

In the days when the inhabitants of this district considered it unusual and unseemly for a man or woman to leave home and return without getting "gloriously full", two hotels were built in Tyrone. Today, thanks to a turn in the tide, not a vestage of hoteldom is to be found. The house I am looking at now was for many years put to that use but has for long enough been such a different looking place that people have well nigh forgotten it. Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Bingham live there now. His brother Mr. Gilbert Bingham and family lived there for several years preceding but now like too many families are scattered far and wide. Gilbert we believe is favored in having his three daughters, Mrs. John I. Bell, Mrs J. W. McPherson and Miss May Bingham, all residents with him of the same town, Marshalltown, Iowa.

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CHAPTER IV

I was glad to see the frightfully ugly looking old sheds of the hotel, referred to in the previous chapter, had disappeared; in their stead, grass trees and flowers. I am almost beginning to think myself a long way from home again when I catch sight of Mr. T. Gardiner's place. There is not so much change here but still some. A new front entrance neatly and artistically finished and a carpenter shop built some few years ago. His garden stuff is the most forward of any I've seen, but I remember he was always formost in that particular. For coolness and level-headedness he was often a marvel to me in boyish days and here I find him just as of yore, enjoying the shelter of his "own vine and fig tree", as little bothered by the petty worries of mankind as it is possible for mortal man to be. Tom still stays with his father and asists in their calling of contractors and builders.

Mr. O. Stock, saddler, is found in his place stitching away as if he had never left off since last I saw him. The quality of Mr. Stocks work is such as to require no recommend of mine. I can remember when his farmer customers used to come long distances to obtain his handiwork and they tell me it is the same today. The large west windows of his shop present an attractive appearance owing to the fine display of fine flowering plants Mrs. Stock has placed there. Everything round the place testifies to the neatness and taste of its occupants.

To the rear of Mr. Stock's property is the Thos. Hancock farm owned and worked by Mr. James Souch. It has passed into good hands they say, for Mr. Souch and son Arthur J. know what they are about and can make a living if anybody can.

Sure and here is Mrs. Haisley's. What a shame the way the boys used to tease the poor old dame! Their carrying on was lawless and perfectly rediculous, I fear, but it appears to me the old lady was pretty touchy. She kept a little grocery. The sales did not foot up into the thousands daily nor yet yearly, so perhaps that accounted for the extrordinary lack of liberality Mrs. H. manifested when an opportunity of disposing of her goods did offer. I well remember one wicked rascal running clear to the east end one night with a ball of wrapping thread he had captured winding it most dexterously round people's door knobs as he ran. In return for their teasing, she on one occasion resolved to be even with them and awaited the expected invaders with a dipper full of hot water. Unfortunately, however, an unwary harmless pedestrian was the first to pass her door and receive the benefits of the rather too genial shower bath without, to the best of my knowledge, displaying any particular gratitude for the same. Well! well! Those were old days and the boys amply deserved the punishment they did not get.

A true son of Emerald Isle, Mr. Robert Lindsay, now dwells here and he has made a very respectable looking place of it.

It is drawing on to tea time and I am a bit weary of my tramp, but there is another place I saw I should like to tell you about. Which is that? Judging from its appearance I would not know it but am positive it is occupying the site of the old post office and tailor shop. I knew a dear old strange looking building as accentric in its nooks and crevices as the brain of its builder, the half crazy old schoolmaster Mellis. Can I forget the appearance of the east side with its large S shaped bars of iron securely fastened there to prevent the wall giving way? Have I forgotten the oblique-lined window casings? Is it likely to slip my memory how that lovely luxuriant Virginia creaper used to climb slowly but surely year after year, stretching up and spreading its protecting green still higher and higher until the high wall was surrounded and every chimney top enveloped, and there it used to look down on us laughing and nodding with the slightest breath of wind, saying softly to the beholders, Look on me! see what can be acieved by preseverance? Try, you little fellows down there, to climb as high as ever you can but in your climbing don't forget to make evrything beautiful as you go along. See how undaunted I am, I can go no further so retrace my steps, so to speak, and make doubly beautiful my former effort.

Am I dreaming all this or do I see again the broad front windows completely filled with ever blooming flowers and through the open doorway catch a glimpse of a sweet smiling face framed in bewitching curls the face of one they tell me has gone to abetter land, a land where the inhabitants thereof shall never say "I am sick." She loved the flowers which was not un reciprocated.

While I am standing day dreaming, or what you will, someone emerges from somewhere whom I cannot mistake as being Miss Susan Farrell; spare of figure as ever and trim as the little house she now owns and where she resides. The old house has been pulled down and rebuilt to a modest height, cottage roofed. Within it is a very comfortable and decided improvement. Ah, well, old house, you have taught me my lesson. How many of my own airy fantastical buildings have been thus relentlessly torn down to be replaced by something more solid - if less lofty?

I am not in the mood for going any farther just now so return to my friend's home, wondering as I go what the boys up in the city would say about the boy that couldn't go down to the country without feeling chicken hearted. For I can assure you, Mr. Editor, I felt a painful sensation in my throat. It is the tears we never shed which cause the sorest heartache.

My spirits brighten under the cordiality of my friend's greeting and glow of cheerful conversation, so that in time without any special questioning on my part or answering on his, I glean most of the information I have been able to give about the places visited this afternoon.

"Let's take a stroll as far as the mill pond" I say and forthwith we go. On our way we call at Creeper's store. Mr. Thomas Creeper is as deliberate as ever and Mrs. Creeper just as sprightly and energetic. They bought this store from Mr. Samuel Vanstone a good while ago and have built up a good business in groceries, dry goods, hardware and millinery. Between the store and post office they are kept pretty busy, for since the death of his wife, Mr. J. T. Welsh gave up the office, confining himself strictly to his trade, tailoring, which is carried on in a pleasant room in the north west end of the store. He lives with a life long friend and spends his spare time in the society of his daughter Mrs. Richard Davey, whose home is north and east of Tyrone. I think I never met anyone who reminded me of Longfellow in his "Via Solitaria" as does Mr. Welsh.

We observe in passing Mr. Creeper's large mansion he had been freshly painting the verandah, and kept our distance accordingly. Piano music(not a rarity in several houses in this neighborhood) floated from the interior, and I miss some way down here the torturing feeling I experience at its everlasting drum, drum in the city.

As we begin the rapid descent, I glance from the street to Vanstone's hill and wish it were winter. Boys! what I would not give to be a little tacker again coasting over its snowy surface? "Quick as lightening" we used to say! There is not as much danger now of going over the bridge into the creek as a protection has been built up for some distance.

We are just in time to see the sun take his last dip for the day in the placid waters of the old mill pond. There is nothing especially grand about it but the long line of molten light across the waters, terminating in the cedarswhich skirt the western shore, brings to me a sense of hopefulness and calm. We walk around the rebuilt damn, my friend meanwhile entertaining me with accounts of that anxious night when it would appear if the waters were not stayed that Vanstone's mill, Mr. Samuel Bingham's house, and no one knows what else, would be carried away in its destructive current. I laughed again at his amusing recital of the fate of certain chickens who went sailing down, house and all, whose owner considered his loss as quite as grave moment as Mr. Valentine's, Mr. John Hockin or any of the mill owners who suffered loss.

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CHAPTER V

What good times we had skating here, a blazing stump at the north end of the pond sufficed to light our way, whether the moon shone or not we were not particular; and as for electric lights, why they were no way compared with the fun of steering our course by its flickering uncertain gleam. On the western side where Mr. Wm. McLaughlan's lane slopes down to the pond "the spring that bubbled 'neath the hill" has been utilized by the insertion of a hydraulic ram to force the water up into the watering trough for the convenience of Mr. McLaughlan's stock. I should like to have met him. His parents are both dead. What an alert intelligent ald gentleman Mr. John McLaughlan was! an ardent politician in the Liberal ranks as well and much resembled in feature, it is said, Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

We turn backward and slipping over the bank let ourselves down by the mill race where hours and hours I have stayed, rod in hand, impatiently waiting for the bite which proved to be a chub as often as a speckled trout. Over the way we see Mr. Richard Coates' white house. It is said he is in easy circumstances now, owing to certain property left him, so it is likely he will be seeking a more pretentious abode soon; though this is so nicely situated.

I turn my eyes longingly up to "the woods that crown the upland," that choice bit owned by Mr. Hodgson where picnics and lots of good times have been spent. Long may it remain an object of beauty on the landscape.

Saturday night down here is not very noisy. We have a pleasant time until a late hour in recalling old friends and incidences connected with their lives. Over and over we laugh till you could have "tied me with a straw" as we tell about an old chum of mine - Jack by name - several years my senior, a fellow hopelessly addicted to the use of tobacco. Try my best I could not get him to break the habit. (I might have formed it myself if it didn't make me so beastly sick always.) Well, one night a fire broke out here in Tyrone and everyone was rushing to put it out in lieu of a fire engine, all shouting themselves hoarse as they ran with cries of fire! fire! Jack was sleeping at our place that night and as I jumped and ran out half dressed I never expected for a moment but what Jack would be at my heels, such a pinching had I given him to be sure of his awakening. Well, Sir, do you know what that fellow did? He actually dressed himself, refilled and lit that despicable old pipe before he budged out of the house. It was his nerve soother. Once on the scene he worked with the best of them.

At another time Jack was helping raise a barn. A heavy timber was about to go in the wrong position, involving disaster and perhaps accident. "Hold hard there a minute, boys" shouts Jack. The boys held while Jack went off they supposed to get further assistance. Back he comes in a minute or two with what do you think? That pipe again! A whiff or two, an order is given by him and "yo! heave!" she goes into her proper position in a twinkling.

Yes this neighborhood has its charactors as well as other important places. Another of the oddities, about the greatest that could be, was a being known as Joyful John, though the cause of his Joy was not very apparent. He lived a long way out of Tyrone in a dirty little hut which it would be merest satire to dignify with the name of home, and kept a miscellaneous quantity of stock round and near him. When he sallied forth to the neighboring villages or town his appearance was the subject of general comment. As for costume! Talk about McClure's of Drumtochty, it was nothing to Joyful John's! He was intended for an oriental, I think, but somehow had slipped over to the wrong side of the globe. This idea fastened itself upon me, I imagine, because of the fatal propensity he manifested of girding himself with whatever came to hand - an old rope just as like or not. The advantage in his case must not be overlooked however. The other garments under the old sloppy coat of all sizes and shapes could be held in place you see by this outer girdle or belt. However his nationality and age was always a puzzler to me. At times I have set him down as a relic of the antedeluvian age, possibly some unrecorded grandson of Noah's who having such a surfeit of water during the flood took a solemn oath to have nothing more to do with it from that time forward. By this last remark you may gather he was not overly given to that virtue which is said to be "next to godliness." He professed the latter, however, and used to slip into church service quite often. The minister at that time had a dainty little wife who used to appear at church in charming costume and marvelous bonnets, hats, etc., though to the initiated it was well known she wrought most of these effects her own sweet self. Joyful John's glance took her in as being at once a most important person and a pattern for all others to go by. It ought not to be. Mightily he wrestled with the feelings for a time but it must be done. He must perform his duty and save this precious one from ruinous sin at any risk. The grands finale was reached one morning when Joyful John boldly stepped up to the parsonage door and as boldly ringing the bell announced to the astonished pastor his deep grief on observing the way his wife persisted in dressing. :It dident arter be allowed, no how, parson. Jes see what extravagant critters wimmin folks is anyway and when they see that wife of yourn a settin such an ungodley example it jes serves to make sotter and sotter in their reckless notions." The minister paused to take breath before replying. This dirty, fearfully costumed creature to criticize his wife! Well of all things! He was too indignant to see the comical side just then and simply said in his most freezing manner "My wife dresses to please herself and me, not you or anyone on the circuit. I shall be pleased to excuse you from any further remarks," so saying turned and went in. Joyful John turned himself away from the closed door, not at all abashed, content in the consciention discharge of his duty, while the minister shut himself in his study till calm is restored, finally bursting into laughter and ever after regards it as a capital joke.

Story telling, as we all know gets wearisome if kept up too long and we drift into other conversation, we have talked of things merry, things sad, have gone from laughter to the verge of tears. I get a sound nights sleep, waking in good time on Sunday morning to hear the singing of the birds. Orioles, greybirds, robins, bobolinks are all having a chorus but in rather subdued voice as it has been raining through the night and looks very unsettled for today. Everybody is getting used to rainy weather this season so a little damp more or less does not deter a goodly number from assembling at the church for the special S. S. Anniversary services held there today. Rev. J. T. Morris whose attractive face I have often seen in the city and who though not exactly in the heart of the city as yet is working his way, is now sitting on the platform prepared to conduct todays services. I am afraid I am not as attentive as I should be. Unconsciously I am compelled to listen and engage in retrospect at one and the same time the speaker's earnest words about the Creator, the All-Father's tender care over the most insignificant of his creatures, mingles with the queerness I experience in finding myself in this church once more.

 

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CHAPTER VI

I look round the church at some of the little ones, I see them sitting just as I used to, dangling my weary legs, wondering how long before we should be done, or in the language of Robert Burdette, wondering how many hundred years it would be before my feet would reach the floor like the bigger folks. The interior of the church too is so much different to what it was, I shall have my attention directed toward it for a little time. The little choir next the roof is taken away and a more commodious sitting secured at a slight elevation to the rear of the ministers desk. One of our ministers accustomed all his early life to town buildings used to term the little choir nest a garrot. Why it was built so close to the high ceiling I never could tell, unless that the congregation, being obliged to crane their necks in order to see the singers were consequently placed in a worshipful attitude could thus more easily lead themselves to believe they were listening to angelic strains.

"Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever" are the words beautifuly and appropriately painted round the present semi-circular choir alcove. The church is well lighted by hanging lamps and reflectors. At the north of the church proper are a lecture room and two enclosed class rooms. Two preaching services on Sabbath, week night prayer meeting, large Sabbath School, senior and junior Epworth Leagues, is the weekly church program. Since the Methodist union this is the only edifice where service is held, for though a latent spirit of prejudice was manifest when the other church(B.C.) was spoken of as a probable parsonage, it has long since passed away and the church now remodelled makes by far the most pretentious house in Tyrone and a most desirable home for the senior pastore, Rev. A. C. Wilson, a man of culture and advanced thought. His son Asbury has just attained his degree at Queen's. A daughter, Miss Marie Wilson, has just completed her graduation course in vocal and postgraduate in instrumental music at Albert College, Belleville.

But to return to the church service I was attending, I enjoy it all, the sweet singing by the children, the address, the beautiful prayer and lastly the exchanging greetings with old friends, some of whose familiar faces I knew too well to be mistaken. The fathers and mothers in Isreal were nearly all present, some I missed, however, among them Mr. Peter Werry, Springbrook Farm, west of the village. I found his health had been pretty poor of late. I am pleased to see some of his neighbors the Curtis brothers - James, Paul and Harvey. They are good fellows in the church or out of it, and are living evidences of the prosperity attendant upon painstaking perseverance. As there is no S. S. this afternoon we conclude to take a jaunt down the road leading south from the East End, my determination being strong to see as many old friends and revisit as many old haunts as possible. Mr. Chas. Welch's little home is still the same. He is living here yet with his daughter but is failing considerably. Mr. Herbert Couch is a school teacher so rents his place across the road. He has a sister Miss Emilie, also teaching, and a brother in the ministry, Rev. Isaac Couch.

Mrs. Chas. Walters still spared to her children lives here in her pleasant home a blessing to the community especially in sickness or trouble. Her only surviving son, James, is at present filling a position at Grand Rapids, Mich. Following along the beautiful grassy maple shaded road(the prettiest I have seen in these parts) we come to Aunt Belle Dunn's, for this is the title the cheerful old lady is used to getting by her entire circle of friends and acquaintances. The large brick cottage bespeaks comfort and eade in all its details and though living here in almost entire seclusion in years bordering upon the nineties, she enjoys the use of her faculties as much as many in middle life. I think Mrs. Dunn, Mr. Samuel Channon and Mrs. Wm. Channon, sr., are about all of the earliest settlers to be found here now.

Opposite Mrs. Dunn's the fine brick structure built by Mr. Stephen M. Clemens attracts our attention. Mr. Levis Annis bought the place for his son Arthur, the present industrious proprietor. Do you know what a surprise I got when I first looked upon this sturdy intillegent looking young farmer. It was as if the mantle of his maternal ancestor (Mr. Wm. Clemens, sr.) had fallen on him so loke is he to his late grandfather in general feature and manner. Perhaps its just my notion, you know, but at any rate he has begun life right and understands his business and is an honor to any community. The old home of the former largest land owner in the vicinity (the Mr. Wm. Clemmens, referred to) stands, just a little to the south. His youngest son Albert lives here. He is becoming quite prominent in municipal matters, they say, having served as councillor for several years and now fills the position of deputy reeve for Darlington township. There can be no doubt as to his capability of filling either this or a higher position.

Mr. Wm. Brent of Graylands is his next neighbor. The situation of his home with its broad, well cultivated acres adjoining is pleasing and retired to the extreme. Mr. and Mrs. Brent enjoy their home and family life intensely. It speaks well for that home when we find his son and daughter after both enjoying college advantages declaring it the best place upon earth.

I remember what a vigorous old gentleman Mr. Brent's father was. Even in his latest years he much preferred walking to riding, and scorned wrapping himself up in severe weather to the extent much younger people deemed necessary.

A gradual slope of country brings us to Roy's corner. A turn to the left brings us to Braebank, the ancestral home of Mr. Wm. Roy. It is the home of the typical country gentleman. Himself a man of cultivated tastes, widely read, it is the pleasure and privilege of all like minded to meet with and enjoy Mr. Roy's hospitality and scholarly conversation. A life, with many demands does not deter him from teaching the large Bible Class in Tyrone Sabath School. Bonny Braebank, with its atmosphere of perpetuity without and intellect within is a spot from which our footsteps turn reluctantly.

It is getting toward the evening of another day and I finf my time in and around Tyrone is becoming limited. After the evening service which is better attended than the morning my friend and I make out a program for the next forenoon, as I am to leave on the afternoon train for the city again. To get up very early, go fishing over to Lane's creek, then back again, pay a visit to Tyrone school - and away. We do get up early, no mistake about it, but now is the time, for a mist hangs over everything and will for an hour or so, possibly longer. I must mention the places along the route not spoken of before. Mr. John Awde's is the first, Mr. Thos. Williams' old place. Mr. Awde is from Mariposa but was formerly a Tyrone boy. He lives here now in peaceful retirement, has the enjoyment of home and the society of his beloved wife and only daughter, Mrs. William Wight. The old house looks as if a miracle had been wrought for its benefit both inside and out. The worthy couple are enthusiasts in flower, fruit and vegetable culture. Poor old Mr. Williams wandered about from one child to another after selling his property, finally turning back as close to the old spot as possible, we find him boarding at Mr. John Mutton's. He disposed of his business and carriage making shops to Mr. R. A. Philp, a former Bethesda boy. Mr. Philp tore down the old shop to make building space for the neat residence of modest dimensions he has since built thereon. There is always plenty of work on hand in the carriage and general wood-working departments.

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CHAPTER VII

Well, we walk along pst the factory creek where the sundry cool dips we enjoyed there on hot days are commented on up the steep little hill and stop at Pollard's corner to draw our breath and talk a minute or two. Mr. Samuel Pollard is on the homestead yet, I suppose? Yes! and a good job for Tyrone he is, too, for I am sure I do not know what they would do without him. If a horse, cow or any other dumb animal is sick its "send for Mr. Pollard right away!" He hardly knows what it is to get a good nights sleep such are the demands on his time and patience. Nor is it the lower order of creation alone who benefit by his ministrations. You couldn't find a better nurse for the sick room in all the country side. Physically powerful, and tender as any woman his services especially in the worst cases are invaluable. Everybody knows his devotion to the interests of the Liberal party and yet there is not a man, woman or child, Grit or Tory, who has aoght to say against Mr. Pollard as a true friend and perfect tower of strength in hours of distress. He missed his calling somehow! M. D. should have been tacked on his name long ago, but as I observed before it is a good job for Tyrone he is here.

Mr. Levi Skinner is found in his usual place where his father lived for many years before him. He combines with general farming, the raising of stock principally fine breeds of sheep. His father-in-law, Mr. Robert Collacutt, used to be the largest breeder as Mr. Skinner is now the largest in this immediate vicinity. Crowning the steep hillside is Mr. Samuel J. Henry's home. His mother and two sisters live in Bowmanville. Samuel is a good-hearted fellow and a loyal Presbyterian still driving from here all the way to Ennislillen to benefit by the church of his childhood.

I am anxcious to ask about the Channons who live just east of the creek where we have by this time commenced fishing. When I am tired waiting for a nibble I find out from my friend that they were to be found just as I left them only steadily gaining in worldly prosperity. Mrs. Wm. Channon, sr., lives with her son Edward and Mr. Samuel Channon though quite smart yet has given the reins over to his son Jonathan. Miss Sarah Channon is still housekeeper for her father and mother.

Finding I must stop talking if I would succeed in coaxing the shy little fellows on my hook, I keep quiet though as we walk down the creek past Geo. Lane's, I look at his and several other farm houses I know. Two I may mention Messrs. Jas ans Robert Collacutt's farms bathed in glory of the morning sunshine. Two of Mr. Jas. Collacutt's married daughters live in Tyrone the wives of Messrs John Phare and Colwill, respectively.

We turn Tyroneward after two or three hours of fishing, I at least, elated over the couple dozen beauties we have captured and the bunch of fresh watercress we have picked along the banks. Our trophies are given into safe keeping and with a promise of a feast for dinner, I go down to have a little talk with Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bond, who up to this time I have not called upon. These dear chatty old people keep me entertained indefinately but I have to leave at length, I am glad to be able to assure them how well their son, Mr. John S. Bond is doing in the city.

I notice the Sons' Hall has had some fancy lettering done since I left. Tyrone Division, Sons of Temperence, No 126, is to be seen on each of the front windows. It is a public holiday Queen's Birthday so we make a thorough inspection of the new school, the last but not by any means the least in importance of the places visited. Tyrone is proud of its public school system and has a record second to none in West Durham. The present building is the result of a disastrous fire which some years ago swallowed up the old one. I can not say there was much beauty about the poor old place, but what did we youngsters care if there were no laws of architecture by which it could be recognized, no paint to speak of on its walls, no warmth in winter outside a few feet of the blazing wood fire, no maps hung in their true position, no phonic method of teaching, no lots of things which today are in the curriculum of school routine, we were taught some things and taught them well. I shall not linger to give any incidents of that dear old time which though far away now, seems but as yesterday, but will proceed to take a summary observation of the newer better seat of learning.

The new building is of red brick with slate roofing built after the most modern and approved methods is situated further back in the playground than the old one, in order to admit of a flourishing lawn and flower borders between it and the street. The interior is divided into senior and junior compartments, teachers' cloak room, basement which serves as cloak room for the pupils and playroom for them in stormy weather. A furnace supplies the heat. Special attention was paid to ventilation in building. The numerous windows have uniform dark green shades to protect the pupils' eyes from the glare which in the olden times we found so trying. The school's high standing is being ably sustained by the taechers, Misses Mowbray and Potter. I had the pleasure of meeting those young ladies and must acknowledge they were certainly more winning and hope inspiring than some stern uncompromising types of the male persuasion with whom we had to do.

An early dinner is awaiting out arrival after the school inspection to which we do ample justice, afterward I take my boyhood's friend out with me to take a lst look at the landscape to the north of my old home, ere turning my back once more on the little village where the majority of the inhabitants are far more deeply interested in the geese and swine by-law than the regulations in the tariff, in the rise and fall of farm produce than the fluctuations of Wall Street. "Isn't this lovely enough for Arcadia?" I am saying half to myself. "Look old boy at those miles and miles of scenery" Just like a picture. I mean a prettier one than any I've seen painted! Together we look at the varied effects of green and brown, clumps of woodland, quiet farm buildings dotted here and there, hill, hollow and plain stretching on and on in endless continuation until the lofty Pine Ridge surmounts the whole, its sombre spires thrown into vivid relief by the cloudless blue of the distant horizon. "Yes, I suppose its rather pretty" says my friend, absently, "but somehow we never get much time to see what things look like. They say its good farming country." I feel like shaking him then and there but suddenly remember someone else who couln't appreciate the beauties of his home until it was home to him no longer.

"I travelled many winding ways,

That weary seemed to me,

In cloudy nights and windy days,

To find sweet Arcadie.

The shepherds stand on either hand,

We fain would go with thee,

Save for our sheep, to that sweet land,

That far off Arcadie.

Along the self same way I fare,

And shepherds ask of me,

Hast found those green fields anywhere,

Yea, but the people dwelling there,

Know not tis Arcadie"


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