Home .. Email .. Articles .. Simply .. Links

Welcome to Canada

Photo Essay

British Columbia
BC - Mainland Photo Essay
Vancouver Island Photo Essay

New Brunswick
Acadian Village
King's Landing

Nova Scotia
Amherst Shore to Pictou
Brier Island Whale Watching
Digby to Annapolis Royal
Granville to Windsor
Photo Essay
Parrsboro to Amherst
Truro to Parrsboro
Windsor to Truro
Yarmouth to Digby

Ontario - North
Autumn Splendor
Driving the TransCanada - The Sault to Wawa
Driving the TransCanada - Wawa to Thunder Bay
North of Superior - Armstrong
North of Superior - Nipigon to Armstrong
North of Superior - Sault Ste. Marie to Terrace Bay
  Sudbury Rocks!
A Woman's Work is Never Done

Ontario - South
A 'Grand' Canyon
A Wee Bit o’ Perth
Christmas in the Valley
Kate Aitken
Lucy Maud
Mennonite Country
Teepee Camping
Fergus - Rural Ontario's Scottish Town

Corridor #132 Grosse Ile through Bay St Laurent to Gaspe
Highway #132, L’Islet to Matane
Highway #132, Matane to Gaspe
Highway #132, Perce to Matapedia
Photo Essay
Photo Essay 2
Montmorency Falls, Ile d'Orleans and the Cote de Beaupre
Quebec City's Historical Treasures
Quebec's Old City & Petit Champlain
The Eastern Townships
The Eastern Townships Photo Essay

Apple Butter & Cheese
Brighton's AppleFest
Celtic Festival
Elvis Festival
Festival of the Maples
Headwaters Country
Herb Festival
Maple Madness
Northern Lights
Pow Wow
Pumpkin Festival
Scarecrow Festival
Split Rail Festival

Quiet Corner
River Valley

Country Music Highway
Golden Triangle - Photo Essay
Golden Triangle
Kentucky East
Kentucky North
Kentucky South
Kentucky South-Central
River Corridor

Bar Harbor
Bounding Maine
Classic Maine

Old Sturbridge Village

New Hampshire
Mount Washington

New York State
Adirondack's Autumn Surprises
Autumn in the Adirondacks
Grandma Moses
More Than Baseball
Lake Placid

North Carolina
Cape Lookout to Cape Fear
Cruising the Coast
From Sea to Mountain
My Heart's in the Highlands
The Gardens of Eden
Western Reaches - Hidden Treasures Photo Essay
Western Reaches of North Carolina

The Quiet Land

Beautiful York
Bridges; Markets
Festivals, Frolics
The History Trail
The Johnstown Flood

Rhode Island

South Carolina
Beaufort, Bluffton
& Hilton Head
Charleston and Area
Myrtle Beach
Olde English District
Photo Essay
Thoroughbred Country

Cumberland Highlands
Eastern Tennessee
Knoxville, Norris, Oak Ridge & The Gap
North & East of Nashville
North & West of Nashville
Pickett County - Photo Essay
Photo Essay
South & East of Nashville
South & West of Nashville
The World of Dale Hollow

Christmas Village
Middlebury Inn


- - - - - - - - - - - -
Jewels of the North
Breezy Blackpool
Witches and Hot Pot
A Lightning Tour

- - - - - - - - - - - -


- - - - - - - - - - - -

The Island of Crete

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Ancient Rome
Renaissance Rome

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Some tips on
Living Simply


Print this page
By Pat Mestern
March 19, 2004

One burial in the Auld KirkYard behind St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Fergus, that of Andrew Dalgarno, stands out as being indicative of the trials and tribulations early settlers had to endure in Upper Canada.

To set the stage - during the early 1830's the economy in Great Britain was in a downward spiral, due to concerns about the Reform Bill. Deep recession would be a good phrase to use to describe the situation. At the same time glowing reports were published about the possibilities of a prosperous life in Canada. In particular Adam Fergusson’s notes of his travels through Upper Canada in 1831 and Chambers “Papers on Emigration to America” caught the attention of some dissatisfied Scots.

A number of Aberdeen business men decided to check for themselves, the country so glowingly written up. They formed a plan to establish their own colony and to call it Bon-Accord after the motto of their ancestral city’s coat-of-arms. George Elmslie was chosen to travel to Upper Canada, to select and purchase a suitable settlement site.

Elmslie and his family cleared Grosse Ile, the quarantine station, where he met Mr. Alexander Watt and traveled on to Kingston and Toronto. Leaving his family and Mr. Watt in Toronto he linked up with William Gibbons and traveled east and north of Toronto to look at lands in the Peterborough, Lake Simcoe, Barrie and Nottawasaga areas. His next foray, in the company of Watt and Gibbons was to Niagara, Dunnville, Brantford and Galt. Still seeing nothing that impressed them, the party pushed toward Waterloo then Elora and Fergus. They stayed for one evening at “a tavern kept by one Freivogel.” That tavern still stands on Highway #8 between Kitchener and Shakespeare.

The party lodged in a tavern in Elora for one night and not finding Mr. Gilkison, headed upriver toward Fergus. After spending one night in Fergus in the company of Webster and friends, Elmslie’s party made their way back to Elora, found Gilkison, saw his maps and set out to see the lay of the land. Taking the Fergus Brush Road the party made their way to the Irvine, River, crossed and examined land on the 11th, 12th and 13th Concessions of Nichol. Pleased with what they saw, arrangements were made to purchase a block of approximately 2,500 acres. The land lay several miles north of both Fergus and Elora and could thus provide ties to both communities. This close approximation would prove a good selling point. Bon Accords ties with Fergus would strengthen considerably with the marriages, and deaths, of a number of settlers.

By December 1834, Elmslie had moved his family unto the land and others were encouraged to follow. Andrew Dalgarno, a thirty- three year old labourer from Longshore, Aberdeenshire, heeded the call, uprooted his family and sailed on the “Pacific” on April 16, 1835, arriving with the fifth party of Scots to emigrate to Elmslie’s settlement on June 10th. With him were his wife about which little is known although indications are that she was a “Walker” and related to James Walker, baker in Fergus. The couples children were Andrew Jr., John, Alexander, Barbara and Beatrice, no ages are known. In all accounts, Andrew was over six feet tall, muscular and used to hard work.
Andrew took up residence in a rough log home on the southwest corner of George Barron’s farm which was on the south corner of present day Sideroad #10 and Irvine Street where a monument stands today - a memorial to settlers of Knox Church Elora, 1837-1937. This monument is on the site of an old log church dating 1838 to 1850. Behind the memorial are parts of two headstones, those of an Anderson and a Gibbon.

On a Saturday morning in August 1836, Andrew, with a scythe and lunch at hand, went to cut beaver meadow grass along Moirs Creek. When he didn’t appear home at dusk, his wife began to worry but it wasn’t until Sunday morning that she sounded the alarm. At daybreak, she told George Barron that her husband was missing.

A group of Bon accord settlers with muskets and noise makers set out to find him. They traveled up Moir’s Creek, up to the point where it crosses between Nichol and Pilkington Townships. When no sign of the man was found, the party split up. Some went farther up the creek. Others proceeded downstream. Several took a blazed Indian path toward present day Alma. If Dalgarno was found, two shots were to be fired.

The party walking downstream came across a huge beaver meadow to the left of Moir Creek which they explored. t the end of this large meadow the party found another stream flowing in a westerly direction. Following this stream they found footprints of hob-nailed boots, definitely those of a white man. They then saw evidence that a scythe had been used on meadow grass. Sounding the alarm, a decision was made to return home as it was getting dark.

Next day, Monday, fourteen men, well armed with weapons and food, retraced the path to the newly discovered beaver meadow where the group broke into two parties to fully explore the area. Both met again around six o’clock in the evening with tales of footprints, scythe marks, shootings of pheasants, sightings of deer but no Andrew Dalgarno.

It was agreed that the full party should precede further downstream where they plodded through more beaver meadow then found a large river which they ascertained was the Grand below Elora. As they knew that a waggon trail that led from the Townships of Woolwich and Waterloo ran along the east bank of the river toward Elora, they crossed the water and reached an area, known today as Inverhaugh. After blazing a hugh maple on four sides, they had a hearty meal and walked to Elora where they heard Dalgarno had been found. This party had followed present day “Carroll’s Creek. Today, it is marked with a bowstring bridge and crosses Middlebrook Road west of Elora and just past a red brick school house.

Andrew’s story was that he had wandered from Moir Creek into the newly discovered meadow then mistaking a stream for Moir Creek, went a considerable distance before realizing he was lost. He decided to follow the stream down its course as he knew it would eventually dump into the Grand. When night overtook him on Saturday, he ate the last of his food and slept. Next morning, Sunday, he ascertained that he should follow the direction of the sunrise. Forgetting the sun crossed from east to west during the course of the day, Dalgarno walked in a circle, all the while fighting his way through swamp and cedar copse. On Monday morning he woke up and heard falling water. Following the sound, he found himself on the west side of the Grand River near the Cascade where he began to vocalize his plight. Old King Reeve heard the call, crossed the river and lead Dalgarno back to his house and a good meal before sending him on his way home to Bon Accord.

Andrew was not a lucky person. Shortly after this incident, while cutting a tree, a wood chip struck him in the eye, blinding him for life. And his life proved to be a short one. In 1838, while chopping trees on the Watt farm, he was struck by a tree and killed instantly. The tree he’d been chopping, fell, struck a dead beech tree that in turn fell on Andrew. Due to the lack of sight in one eye, he couldn’t see the danger until it was too late to react.

Andrew Dalgarno was reputed to be the third person to be buried in St. Andrew’s Auld KirkYard in Fergus. As with Mrs. Pirie, who was the fourth burial, Dalgarno’s coffin was carried two miles on the shoulders of neighbours for burial in the ground of a “hame preachin’ Kirk”.
The first burial was that of a child of Charles Allan, the second an unnamed mill hand who drowned in the Grand River at Mirror Basin.



Copyright © 2005 Mestern.Net All rights reserved.