RICE LAKE - ALNWICK - IMPROVEMENTS & POETRY.
Mr. Editor -- From many sketches that I have seen in your paper, I am led to the conclusion that you are an admirer of the beauties of Nature; and from some few pieces, I see that you have not overlooked the claims of Rice Lake. To compare this beautiful sheet of water, however, to the far-famed Leman, Como, Windermere, or L. Lane of Kerry, seems to border on absurdity.
The mountain scenery with which these Lakes are surrounded must impart a character of grandeur and sublimity to themselves, which our Lake cannot possess, beautiful as it really is. But on the other hand the gently undulating hills, clad with primeval forests, give it a milder, and to some, a more attractive appearance, while the numerous farm-houses, sometimes in clusters of three or four, but often singly, surrounded on all sides by the forest, and, to all appearance, the abodes of peace, plenty and independence, give a charm to the view, of which many of the former cannot boast.
Much of the beauty of a view of Rice Lake depends upon the point from which it is seen, and allow me to say that, in my opinion, many of its visitors have not yet seen it from the best points of view. Some of these are, in my opinion, the promontories stretching into the Lake, in the Township of Alnwick, and it is said, that a very imposing view is obtained from R. Dropeís newly cleared farm near the outlet of the Lake.
Should anyone be disposed to take a trip to the points now spoken of, he may have an opportunity of proving, by ocular demonstration, the rapidity with which our Province is advancing to the rank of a great, powerful, populous, and highly prosperous Nation, and if he be in anywise infected with the mania of Annexation, I believe this to be one of the best cordials he could possibly take. If the malady has not taken too deep root in the system, so as to destroy the reasoning powers, it would certainly effect a radical cure.
I need not ask your readers if they have ever been in Alnwick, may of them no doubt have, but I may ask if they were there ten years ago, and again lately, and if they marked the increase of population, cleared lands, buildings, &c. Some twelve years since, Dr. John Gilchrist, then living at Keene, in Otonabee, had a farm in the western angle of the Township, which he visited from time to time, bringing over the produce on the ice, the people of Otonabee knew there was good land there, but they regarded it as transportation to think of living in it. At length some two or three adventurous individuals had the courage to brave the inconveniences of a bush life, and at first these inconveniences were found to be formidable indeed, but gradually other settlers were allured by the goodness of the land, and above all by its adaptation to the growth of wheat, a character which it still maintains.
Among the first of these settlers was James Campbell, Esq., the present Deputy Reeve for the United Townships of Haldimand & Alnwick, and soon afterwards his neighbour Mr. Frazer, these were followed by many, both from Otonabee and the vicinity of Cobourg and Baltimore, till now the Township contains numbers sufficed to entitle it to erect itself into a separate municipality. Mr. Campbellís farm would bear honourable comparison with many on the Cobourg and Grafton road, and, if seen when clad with a waving crop of fall wheat, I believe with any from Port Hope to Grafton, the others, particularly Mr. J. Frazerís in the vicinity are a little behind, and the whole presents an appearance of prosperity which, considering the time since the land was a forest, is truly astonishing.
The Township, from its geographical shape, is naturally divided into three divisions, or settlements; the western, chiefly composed of English families, sometimes called Thackerís settlement; the north-eastern, in which Campbell and Frazer are the most prominent; and the south-eastern, where Messrs. T. Wier and T. Solomon claim precedence. Besides these the Indians in Alderville form a distinct and separate body, under the guidance of their venerable Superintendent, the Rev. Wm. Case, and principally governed by their own laws. Whoever passes through this village will be satisfied that they, likewise, are fast advancing in civilization, agricultural knowledge, and consequent wealth, and the intelligent observer will not fail to see that much of this prosperity is attributable to the indefatigable and well directed labours of the above named Rev. Gentleman. A.D.
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