Dear Thomas – Part II

A fictional letter to the late Thomas Moore of Maberly from his 3 x Great-Granddaughter, Krista Moore…..

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 a fairly ambitious young man.  I  noticed you were a councillor 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 William Moore and later Robert 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 the 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.

log cabin church in ontario

What a log cabin church might have looked like in 1840s Ontario.

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 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 stony lane-way I saw on your father 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 oxen pulling and tilling the hard earth…

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

Maberly has changed quite a bit since you first lived there.  But I imagine your face would light up to see some of the buildings and houses still in place, like the old general store, now boarded up, but the backroom 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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