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  • ID: I22874
  • Name: William James BURNETT
  • Given Name: William James
  • Surname: BURNETT
  • Suffix: (Picture)(Story)
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 23 Mar 1877 in Howland Township, Manitoulin, Ontario
  • Death:
  • Note: Y
  • Census: 1881 Howland & Strawberry & Lacloche & Haywood Island, Algoma, Ontario, Canada
  • Census: 1901 Burpee Township. Con 10 Lot 10
  • Census: 1911 A1goma East, Sheguiandah, Household #3
  • Religion: Baptist 1901
  • Occupation: Farmer 1901
  • _UID: F0B776E1D415430893B1C9BC0F4569C27AC7
  • Change Date: 28 Mar 2012 at 21:28
  • OBJE:
  • FORM: jpg
  • FILE: A- Sheg school 1898.jpg
  • Note:
    Sheguiandah School - Class of 1898. Teacher Ernest Bruce
    use the Zoom feature to see the picture - then use "IN" fo r a close up Jim, is in the back row, 7th from the left
  • _DATE: 1898
  • _SCBK: Y
  • _PRIM: Y
  • Note:
    A picture of this person is in the binder, photos A-L, at t he
    CENTENNIAL MUSEUM OF SHEGUIANDAH, P.O. Box 2000, Little Cu rrent, ON Canada, P0P 1KO
    705-368-2367 Fax 705-368-2245 email shegmus@vianet.c a
    We feature artefacts from the mid 1800's, pioneer buildings , an Art Galley, rotating exhibits & more.
    Pictures courtesy of Manitoulin Genealogy Club, Little Curr ent, Ontario
    ----------------------------------------------------------- -----------
    1 NAME James /BURNETT/
    *********************************************************** ******
    Early Days of Elizabeth Bay
    We are indebted to Mr. Edward Ainslie for the following his tory of the early settlers of Elizabeth Bay. Some of the da tes may not be accurate, but are approximate and the fact s written from his memory of the stories as told him by hi s parents.
    Soon after Burpee township was surveyed, my father, J. D. A inslie, came here from Owen Sound to look over the land an d located on lot 4 on the 8th concession. Then in the sprin g of 1880 or 81, he brought my mother and the family of nin e, some of them already grown. With him came a young man, J im Hope, a bachelor, who took up lot 6, con. 10.
    They came by boat to Gore Bay, from there they chartere d a small sailing vessel the "Abigail", owned by Miller bro s. of Gore Bay, Captain was D. J. Bailey, of Evansville. Th ey landed on May 24th, at the south end of the bay, on th e Robinson side. They had brought a team of horse, two cows , some fowl and implements and a year's provisions. As the y neared land the horses and cows were put overboard to swi m ashore. Everything else, including the family, was take n ashore by yawl-boat which took the greater part of a day . The first week was spent in a tent near the shore, whil e the men cut a road through the bush to our future home, a bout two and one half miles away.
    They found one white man living alone in a small log shant y near where they landed. Edward Saunders, known as "Ned" w as somewhat of a character. A brother of William Saunders , founder of the experimental farm at Guelph, a scholar, an d a fine musician, and a shoe-maker by trade, he chose to l ive a hermit's life, hunting, fishing, and growing a smal l garden patch. He used us all very kindly and my father en joyed his company.
    As soon as our family was settled, still in a tent, the me n started cutting a road south across the island to Miser y Bay, nearly three miles away, where beaver hay grew. The y later cut this for their stock that winter. The road bein g too rough for a wagon, the hay was carried by hand-barrow s and stacked there, and brought home by sleigh that winter.
    They then cut logs and built a house and stable. The lumbe r required was sawn by hand with a whip saw, and the shingl es made by hand. My mother and sister plastered the house w ith mortar made from clay, as no lime could be had. A hous e was also built for Hope, and it was late fall before the y were finished. Then Hope returned to Owen Sound, intendin g to come back later, but he never returned, as he was los t on the "Jane Miller".
    There were no means of travel, except by boat, or followin g the old Indian trail that led from Sheshegwaning to Lak e Wolsey, then getting an Indian to paddle across where Ind ian Point Bridge is now, with a birch bark canoe.
    The first fall we were on the island, they sometimes saw a s many as ten caribou in a herd, but after a few years the y had completely disappeared. All kinds of wild life were h ere in abundance, except red deer. Partridge could be had , fifteen or twenty in a day's hunt. Fish were very plentif ul, especially whitefish, which could be speared off the sh ore at night by torch light in spawning season.
    The first winter was lonely. The nearest settlers were abou t five miles away, either east or west. My father worked th at winter for Thomas Griffith at Silver Water. He cut one h undred cedar posts a day with a buck saw for thirteen dolla rs a .
    That Spring in March, James Blackburn arrived from Green Bu sh with a team of oxen and moving, and stayed with us whil e they helped him build a shanty and stable, on lot 3, con . 8, where he started clearing land. He was the first neigh bour and was always one of the best. Being a very young man , and a bachelor, he was regarded for years by my parents , almost as one of the family.
    One day when going to work, carrying his axe, he came upo n a bear with two cubs. The cubs ran up into a big pine stu b and Jim took off his smock and fastened it onto a stump , put his straw hat on top, while he slipped away and cam e to our place more than a mile away, to get a gun. My fath er had a single barreled muzzle-loading shotgun. He returne d with him and found the dubs still watching the coat and h at. They got both cubs but saw nothing of the old bear.
    David Ross, his wife and son, came from Mount Forest the sa me summer and settled on lot 10, con. 10. He brought with h im three oxen, a cow, a few implements, and started clearin g land. He stayed only a few years and when he left Colin B ailey frmm Evansville lived there for a few years.
    Robert Morden with his family came about the same time fro m Barrie Island and he settled on lot 6, con. 9. He also br ought oxen and a cow. He stayed about twelve years, then so ld his farm to my brother James.
    In 1882, Stewart Clarke came here from Gore Bay and took u p lot 6, con. 8, and it was about this time they started op ening up the 10th concession. Robert Morden was appointed t he first pathmaster for Elizabeth Bay.
    These early years were very hard, money was scarce and it w as slow work clearing the land. The second fall, we were he re, my father found a large sail off a sailing vessel at Mi sery Bay. That was a wonderful find. My mother made work cl othes for the men, and even moccasins.
    One winter flour ran out. There was very little to be had i n Gore Bay, so my father drove on the ice to Cockburn Islan d in March and brought back two barrels, which he shared wi th the neighbours. When the first boat arrived in Gore Ba y late in May, Stewart Clarke borrowed a punt from Joe Mast in and rowed to Elizabeth Bay with two barrels of flour.
    Wm. Ainslie was the next to settle on the Hope property. Wi lliam Morden with his family on lot 10, con. 9, in 1887 o r 1888. Then John B. Bailey on lot ? con. 10. he only staye d two or three years, then moved to Evansville.
    About 1890, John H. Williams settled on lot 3, con. 7, the n Arthur Williams on lot 11. con. ? in 1894. In 1898 or 99 , Wm. Noakes purchased lot 13, Con. ? and a few years late r started farming there. About the same time James Burnett , of Sheguiandah, settled on lot 13, con. ?. In 1903, Josep h Williams started farming on lot 12, con. 8.
    It was not until 1894 that the school section was formed, a nd the next year they hired their first teachers, Miss Id a Swigley for three months. School was held in a vacant hou se that had been built by Colin Bailey, and seats and desk s were home-made. The next spring, 1896, the ground was cle ared, and a frame school built, which is still in use. Th e first teacher was Oliver Flanagan, who stayed two years.
    For the first few years we had no minster, and then for sev eral years Presbyterian Students supplied in the summer mon ths walking from Silver Water to Elizabeth Bay and Evansvil le. After William Morden came, he frequently held service s in the winter. Church and Sunday School was held in our h ouse until the school-house was built. Mrs. William Morde n and my mother kept Sunday School going for years and almo st everyone attended. After the school was built, service s were held there until the United Church was opened in 192 5.
    At first mail was sent out and brought in by anyone who hap pened to be going to Gore Bay which was not very frequent . Later the neighbours took turns going once a week to Coli n Campbell's in Evansville and bringing the mail for the se ttlement. When the post office here was opened about 1895 , James Blackburn, was the first postmaster. It was moved i n 1902 to J. H. Williams where it remained until 1930, whe n it was moved to its present location.

    Marriage 1 Ann PELTIER b: 1877 in Wikwemikong
    • Married: 29 Oct 1906 in Wikwemikong Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    • Change Date: 16 Mar 2012

    Marriage 2 Elizabeth Ann KEATLEY b: 10 Nov 1878 in Ontario
    • Married:
    • Note: 2 _PREF Y
    • Change Date: 16 Mar 2012
    1. Has No Children Bertha Spray BURNETT b: 7 Jun 1895 in Howland Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    2. Has No Children Hubert Mervin BURNETT b: 4 Mar 1897 in Howland Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    3. Has No Children Charles Russell BURNETT b: 22 Jan 1899 in Howland Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    4. Has No Children Ruthven Roy BURNETT b: 17 Oct 1900 in Burpee Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    5. Has No Children James Alexander BURNETT b: 9 Dec 1903 in Burpee Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    6. Has No Children Annie Lila BURNETT b: 20 May 1905 in Burpee Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
    7. Has No Children Chester Grant BURNETT b: 2 Dec 1910 in Howland Township

    1. Abbrev: MFT
      Title: MFT

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