Hello Neighbour, Welcome to the first issue of Third Town Talk; an informative newsletter, exclusively written for North Shore and Gretna residents. Why "Third Town"? Fredricksburgh (North and South shore of Hay Bay) was the third town in the allotment of land grants and was settled by Colonel Rogers and 299 of his Rangers, the King's Royal Regiment of New York and their families. It was during the early summer months in the year 1784 when they arrived on the shores of Hay Bay. Many of the Loyalists were comfortably situated in New York State, prior to arriving to a land that was untouched and forest-covered. The land was still being divided; townships had been surveyed, but not yet divided into lots. The men, women and children slept in tents in a makeshift village until finally, later that summer, each family received a "location ticket", which was later exchanged for a deed of land, typically an area of two hundred acres (acreage allotments varied depending on military rank. For example, a Loyalist Field Officer would have received 1000 acres, while Warrant Officers and Staff would have received 500 acres of land). Interestingly, "habitable homes” were a requirement which were to be built on each family's land, and had a minimum building requirement of 16x20 ft.! That's a minimum total of 320 square feet! Boy, have things changed since then. Additionally, the men were given nothing more than a regular small axe to clear their newly acquired land. As I drive along the North Shore, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for my community. The hardships which were endured by the people before us, deserve our gratitude for developing this picturesque area I am fortunate enough to call home. It is the work ethic demonstrated by the hard-working pioneers that I am most proud of, because I see that same work ethic confirmed by neighbours all along the bay. I hear the farmers up at the crack of dawn, I hear another neighbour cutting wood for hours at a time; working diligently to complete his orders, most days of the week and I see the pristine properties that have been so carefully cared for. Because I am focusing my real estate career, my energy and thirst for knowledge on North Fredricksburgh, I have been researching and learning a great deal about the area. If you are not a descendant of one of the original families of North Fred and would like to learn about your property’s history, please contact me and I will happily assist you in doing so. Most of the research I have done that has been included in this and to be included in following newsletters, was completed at the Lennox & Addington County Museum and Archives, located behind the court house in Napanee. If you are ever curious about your family or homestead history (and if your family is from the Napanee area), I urge you to visit the museum. Not only do they have the archives office you can sit comfortably at while looking through historical documents there is also the most inviting and simply lovely museum exhibits, displaying some of Napanee’s history. The staff are more than willing to assist and are very welcoming. In the meantime, if YOU have any interesting historical family stories relating to North Fredricksburgh, facts, ideas, photos, tidbits, famous-family-recipes, and if you would possibly like to share with fellow residents of North Fredricksburgh, please feel free to contact me by phone, email, text, or arrange for a neighbourly visit. I may include your information in the next issue of the Third Town Talk.
Warm & neighbourly regards,