March 20, 1929

The Pioneers (No. 3)

The pioneer habit of building roads where easy grades were available and the later habit of changing those roads in order, apparently, to send them tumbling over steep clay hills and other obstacles to easy travel, referred to in No. 2 of these articles, may require some explanation. That explanation is easy. The Township was surveyed at a fairly early date: the surveyors following direct lines as indicated by the compass. Base lines, by the way, ran from east to west: the cross lines, from north to south. The area bounded by these lines was a "lot." When roads were made before the surveyor’s work was completed, the best available course was taken. If the surveyor’s work had been done and the lots had not been "pitched" or allotted, the builders of a necessary road would be very likely to disregard the surveyor’s lines and locate that road along the most convenient route for travel. Then when the lots were taken up the holder of one might find that a highway cut through his land just where he didn’t want it, while his neighbor who owned the adjoining lot would find that he had no access to any road at all. To remedy these difficulties, the roads would be changed to the lines run by the surveyors.

In one of the "Ninety Years Ago" articles which recently appeared in The Register, "Thorn Brook" was located at Grafton. This was a mistake. The name was applied to the Cornwallis River at Pleasant Valley where the "Old Valley Meeting House" afterwards stood. A mill was built there in the early years of the Nineteenth Century, and roads to that mill from the settled parts of the district were soon constructed. This explains why a number of roads centre at that locality, while there is no village there. The road from there to Berwick is one of these. The road between Somerset and Berwick was laid out and constructed about 1840. The road from the west end of Main Street North had its origin in earlier days, as was mentioned before.

The surveyor who laid out the highway from the base of Black Rock Mountain to Waterville was probably a frequent visitor to the western part of the Township. One of his sons gave its name to the "Woodworth Road." Another pitched at the western end of what is now Berwick and built up a farm on a portion of which his grandson, Andrew Morton, now resides. Two others settled near the aforesaid road to Waterville.

Another son of this same surveyor was a blacksmith, whose place of business was at Granville Ferry, Annapolis Royal. A younger son, apprenticed to his brother, used to tell the story of his journey in 1807 from Church Street, Cornwallis, to Granville Ferry. Two boys made the journey with one horse. One started on foot in the early morning, the other on horseback later. When he overtook his brother the latter mounted the horse and the other walked. Presently he found the horse tied to a tree and pursued the journey on horseback. Thus they alternated completing the journey in one day.

There is one important fact in connection with the Expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia which Mrs. Anderson does not mention in her interesting account of the "Early Settlement of Nova Scotia," which appeared in The Register of February 27th.

This fact is that the Expulsion was carried out, not only without the authority or even the knowledge of the British Government, but contrary to its instructions. Years before the Expulsion took place a suggestion that the Acadians be removed was made to that Government. The reply was decidedly unfavorable. The officials making the proposal were advised to cultivate friendly relations with the French peasantry, from whom much of the foot required by British military and naval forces in Nova Scotia was derived. The officer from Quebec who was in command of the troop that massacred Colonel Noble and his New England soldiers at Grand Pre, complained bitterly that the Acadians refused to supply him with provisions on the way.

Two men seem to have been responsible for the Expulsion. These were Governor Lawrence of Nova Scotia and Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts. No British soldiers took part in it. Winslow, who commanded, was a descendant of one of the early governors of Massachusetts. One modern writer, Mr. Richard, a descendant of an expelled family, says that the Governors Lawrence and Shirley, divided between them cattle and other plunder to the value of twenty thousand pounds.

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