Dear Thomas – Part II

A fictional letter to the late Thomas Moore of Maberly from his 3 x Great-Grand daughter, Krista Moore, cont’d…..

Do you remember the Deacons?  Do you remember old Ephriam and Ellen? And the Deacon farm? Did you visit often?  Did you two ever have a match of wits, and who decided to accept the role of Reeve first?  Was it you?

The Deacon Farm, Bolingbroke 2011

You were likely, I say, likely, a fairly ambitious young man from what I can tell.  I  noticed you were a councilor very early on, and you took the charge as a young magistrate as well, and you, along with the other pioneering churchmen, fought for the little church on your father’s or Hughe’s land. I’m not sure what the picture was like at the time, or who was fighting for whom, but your name was on everything! So I can only assume it was very important to you.

Petition to save Wesleyan Methodist church, Thomas Moore esq. et al. circa 1850s, Maberly, South Sherbrooke

What was that first little Wesleyan Methodist church like? Do you remember it now? Could you describe it to me??   If you were here, or I could hear you, I could imagine you saying it was quite dim inside, the logs were quite heavy and dark, and the place was quite stark. It was good enough for the purpose it served at the time. Certainly not an elaborate testament to God or King.  But, it would do for a little chapel in the woods.  I wonder who attended, and what they wore, I wonder who descended upon it, and the little wagons pulling up or going through the lane-way on your father’s land. Maybe it was different then and the church wasn’t where I imagined it at all. Perhaps I got it all wrong.

You see, we only have an 1880 map of the area, and the roads have changed since then. I’m sure if you stood where your house was now, you would be quite alarmed to see a paved road running through, and a big white house standing there where your father’s log cabin used to be. Or perhaps you would be standing in a thicket and nothing would be there. Or, perhaps, you would stumble down the lane-way, the very cobbley lane-way I saw on your William’s land, where I could see his wagon and horses coming through, to the open patch of land where I imagined his crops were, or his cows grazing, or an oxen or two pulling ? and a little barn or two…

The new lane-way up to the old William Moore farm, Maberly, 2011, Conc 10, Lot 14

But I really can’t imagine this at all!  You have to help me with this one.  It is just my imagination, and not a very good one at that. I was never told to imagine much, and so I’ve had to rely on television and movies, which you had never even heard of before, unless you managed to see one of the first silent films in the late 1880s. I sort of hope you did. I believe you died in 1887 so it is entirely possible.

Maberly has changed quite a bit since you first lived there.  But I imagine your face would still light up to see some of the buildings and houses still in place, like the old general store, now boarded up, but the back room still open and the old shelves still there and the same old door.  The river Tay runs behind it, and where once was an old mill I believe. I can’t remember if we had a hand in that at all, or just the Deacons, and the Morrows. You tell me!  I imagine though, you had to do something with all that wood you cut down on your properties. I feel so ignorant as to your lifestyle and what it meant to live at that time. What you men went through, clearing your land and building structures that were liveable enough for your ever widening brood.

End of Part II

Continued in Part III

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  1. […] Continue to Part II […]


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