Lennox and Addington Historical Society Papers and Records, Volume 1, 1909
Note.-These letters were written by an "old resident," and were published in The Beaver in 1873 and 1874. They appear in one of the Historical Society Scrap Books.
LETTER I. LETTER II. LETTER III. LETTER IV. LETTER V. LETTER VI. LETTER VII.
We are acquainted with an old gentleman who was barkeeper for some time in the "Old Red Tavern," and received $2.00 per day in specie for his service, being acknowledged an excellent barkeeper. He was converted, and has for forty years been a Methodist class-leader.
Dr. Dier was the first M. D. who settled in Napanee. He built the house in Clarksville now occupied by Mr. Coleman McCoy, and had the reputation of being a good doctor. Dr. Brewster, and then old Dr. David Allen, who for many years kept a dispensary, did an office practice. He removed to South Fredericksburgh, where he kept the Sandhurst post office. Old Dr. Chamberlain for many years practised his profession near Napanee, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who for a long time had a large and lucrative practice, and who only a short time since ceased to work and live.
Old 'Squire Embury, an Irishman, about eighty years ago, worked at cabinetmaking business. A friend of ours has a secretary that he made, of cherry and black walnut, which is as sound as when first made, and not a crack, break or shrink is to be found in it; it is somewhat ancient in appearance. He and old Mr. Samuel McCoy were the founders of Methodism in the Midland District, if not, as we think, in Canada.
The early wheelrights were James Hart and Samuel Janes, the latter of whom but recently died. He was well known in Napanee.
The first professional baker was Richard Gabell, who opened his bakery in Mrs. George's old place in Clarksville. His bread had the reputation of although always being heavy, yet never turned the scale.
William Fell was the first to put up a barber's pole. After several years practice in the tonsorial art, he removed to Prescott, where he now carries on the same profession, and where he has acquired considerable property. He has grown somewhat gray, but is no larger than when here. Many others have succeeded him in Napance in the trade.
Of coopers, Joseph Card, now of Camden, Willie Alexander, and Willie Gorden were the first.
Of the first carpenters to work in Napanee, was Mr. Blanchard, whose widow Dr. Ruttan's father married, Henry Schermahorn, Joseph Bradshaw, the latter of whom put up a brewery where Stevenson's old storeouse stood. He afterwards bought the site of Wright's sawmill. He was killed by his team running away. Peter Barton was the "simon pure" for barn building. It was he who put up the old school house. Samuel Shaw could frame a sawmill, use the slick, and was quite a chiseler.
Peter Kesler, son of Jacob, was a smithy, and quite a genius, made a galvanic battery and a small side-wheel boat, but the battery would not work, so the wheels refused to go. Had he known as much of the spark as is now known, he might have managed it. David Hess, his brother-in-law Gay, and Matthew McCoy also worked as Smiths.
Hugh McMullen (alias Walliper), who in idle hours delighted in writing poetry, some of which is still extant, was a mason. Our bricklayers were 'Squire Maybee, Willie Napier, and Conger & Sons. The Sons still live and follow the same trade.
Of distillers one Tuttle, Alex. Stalker, Robt. Wilson, Thomas Funnell, and Neil McCarron. Tuttle was said to have had a large amount of gold and silver coin hid away in a pot, but which was never, to our knowledge, discovered.
In 1832, one Wilson was attacked with cholera, with which he died. An hospital was fitted up and furnished, about where Geo. Schryver has his steam pumping engine for the G. T. R., which had only one patient. Afterward, one Johnnie Fie, who had his leg broken, had it amputated in said hospital.
For the amusement of our readers we reproduce the following
POETIC DESCRIPTION OF NAPANEE,
By the late Ira Beeman, Esq., which is taken from the first number of the Napanee Bee, printed October 19th, 1850:
Where lately the forest in dreariness stood, Where Shippe-eaw's* wigwam was found in the wood, Where naught but the owl broke the silence of night, There for a while your attention invite- The axeman directed his steps to this place; He cared not for Shippe-eaw's title or grace; But boldly the felling of timber commenced; His cabin he built, and his garden he fenced. But mark ye the change ! in a few passing years, From cabin to hamlet, a Town now appears; Here trees, that long braved the wind's mad career, Fall prostrate to man-but again they appear, True Phoenix-like rising: -but think it not strange- Stupendous buildings came forth in the change. Three churches, in honor of God, here we find, Where people to worship seem deeply inclined. And learning, the handmaid of truth and true grace, Through Grange is diffusing her luminous rays May learning and Virtue, Politeness and cheer, With concord unite, and forever reign here. Four hotels are open where travelers alight, Refresh and pass on, or repose through the night. Good stabling, soft couches, and sumptuous fare, Two lawyers, they tell us have come here to live, And mark ye, delinquents, they're saucy and bold When they count your money, your fortune is told. Two druggists will serve you with powders and pills, With grains, scruples, drachms, and with ounces and grills With oils, paints and dye stuffs of every name, So if you're not furnished, pray who is to blame Should pain or disaster, or sickness appall, Six knights of the lancet will rise at your call, Proscribe or administer, just as you please ; Full glad to relieve you and pocket their fees. But should your infirmity baffle their skill, Despair not, dear sufferer, there's hope for you still To one of the druggists make haste to apply, His patent, his potent restoratives try, And death will relinquish his strong iron hold, And you'll soon recover ; if all's true that's told. Our masterly water-power proudly propels, A train of machineries, factories and mills, Stupendous and costly, conveniently they stand To water conveyance and thoroughfares-grand. Of still-house and brewery, I just turn to say, Their fires are extinguished; -may long be the day Before they're re-kindled, to waste and destroy, And issue their poison our peace to annoy. Teetotalers and tipplers, the sober and gay, While striving to see which should carry the sway, The "Sons" to the rescue,-their banners unfurled And The Bee shall their conquest proclaim to the world. Of artists and craftsmen, you'll please understand. We've sculptor, and printers and painters at hand. And handicraft, knowing the wants of the day, Came hither his masterly art to display ; He'll carriages furnish, for business or pleasure, And sofas to rest on, as you can find leisure. With bureaus and tables, chairs, bedsteads and stands He's ready to serve you--send in your command- While teamsters, and turners, and tailors pursue Their honest employment, with riches in view, Two tanners, two saddlers, and cordwainers six, Are pulling for money like pulling at sticks. Let coopers and forgemen in concert strike in, To charm with, two workmen of copper and tin. If casting you wish for, they're here on the ground, A foundry in full operation is found. Just send in your orders, make known your desires, Where business is done as business requires. Two or more milliners, with scissors are slashing, To furnish your dresses and caps in the fashion; With silks, and with satins, with laces and frills, They'll answer your orders and order their bills. With stone, brick. or wood, would you build. say the word, We've -, masons, and joiners, and jobbers prepared To finish your building with beauty and strength, All which must account for our article's length. Yet further improvements in progress we see To brighten the prospects of fair Napanee.
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