Part 5

By Mr. J. B. Fairbairn, Post Master

By far the greatest number of immigrants who came into this part of the country at later date, say from 1838 to 1845 or '46 were English. Next to the Scotch I think them the finest people in the world. I know you Mr. Editor, would put it the other way! I have heard it stated that the best all round specimen of a white man is a well bred native of the tight little island whose flag floats on every sea, carrying civilization and all its attendant blessings to millions of the human race. At an earlier period, before the great influx, the Cubitts arrived from Norfolkshire, sometime about 1832. The group consisted of Dr. Cubitt and three sons, Dr. Richard, Fleetwood and Frederic. It must have been a wonderful revelation to them, leaving much elegance and luxury behind and taking up their abode in one of the rude primitive dwellings, at that time the only kind in existence here. I do not mean to say that our happiness consists solely in our surroundings; but certainly to leave a house with everything that would add to comfort and find oneself domiciled in a log shanty with the rudest kind of home-made furniture was a trial of no small magnitude. What a blessing it is that we are able to adapt ourselves to our surroundings! I suppose the Cubitt's soon became accustomed to the change. The father was a medical man and his first residence was on the property now owned by R.W. Scobell. I cannot say whether he practiced his profession or not, or how long he lived. Sometime later they bought the lot at present owned by John Darch, upon which he has erected a fine house. It was called Erpingham after their estate in England. Afterwards it was sold by them to an Irish family named Smith. They also were early settlers and people of the highest type. I may refer to them again. In tracing their movements I find that not many years after they first set foot in Darlington, they had with commendable enterprise entered into the spirit of the time and strove to help on the march of progress. They became the proprietors of the land at present owned by George A. Stephens, four miles north-east of the town. They built a saw-mill and took their share of the rough pioneer work incidental to such an undertaking. After getting the machinery running, they spent many a hard day driving oxen and drawing logs to make into lumber. It is impossible to give dates correctly. I cannot fix the time they left and moved into the front Dr. Richard Cubitt was a great favorite with his acquaintances; he was very sociable and friendly. They kept bachelors' hall at the mill and I have been told, led a right jolly life. I have no personal recollection of him. He, I suppose, was called away when quite a young man. Fleetwood owned the fine farm on the lake, at present belonging to Mr. Harry J. Knight, upon which he lived a greater portion of his life. He was a fine specimen of the ideal Englishman and was liked by everyone who knew him.

Mr. Frederic Cubitt at only 18 years of age, joined the Militia force then being brought into active service and was an ensign in a company in one of the regiments that marched for Toronto to meet the supposed rebel forces under Mackenzie. He had a great penchant for everything connected with the army and retained his connection with the active portion of the Militia, having risen to the full command as Lieut. Colonel of the 45th battalion; and only a year or two before his death was in charge of one o the camps at Kingston. He was born with a genius for that kind of life and made a fine handsome officer. In the evolution of our municipal system he was quite a factor, early becoming a member of the council and for some twelve years was at the head of the corporation as mayor, presiding over the Board with dignity and success. During a portion of the time he was acting magistrate for the municipality and earned the reputation of being an upright judge. He was also for thirty years a school trustee, and when the separation of the schools took place was appointed to the High School and held the honorable position of chairman for years, indeed, up to the end of his life. He was Clerk of the Division court for a long time and also Town Treasurer. In politics he was a Conservative "dyed in the wool", and was one of the leaders of the party during the greater portion of his life. He once contested West Durham but was on the wrong side in the then largely Liberal constituency. He was a good platform speaker and a trenchant writer. He was a born fighter and most persistent in the attainment of any object he undertook. I forgot to mention that he went also to Thorold in command of his battalion at the time of the Fenian raid. He was married in England some time in the fifties. There were four children and of all the household only Mrs. Cubitt remains in Bowmanville. He was a good conversationalist, delighted in reminiscences and told many a good story of the olden time. He was a keen curler and good cricketer. Of his two sons, Churchill, my son-in-law, is in business in Toronto and Frederic in Peterboro. A full size painting of Colonel Cubitt, by one of our celebrated artists, adorns the Board room of the High School wall, placed there by his many friends and admirers. It is true to life.

Next - Bowmanville and Darlington History Part 6

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