A 1991 Letter from J. Earl Hewitt

In the early 1990s, the volunteer committee of the County Town Museum, now the Minden Hillls Museum, videotaped the descendants of early Haliburton County settlers.

These sessions were held at the Bowron House on the grounds of the museum, where they were invited to share their family's stories and memories of their pioneer life in the county.

This is a transcript of a letter J. Earl Hewitt sent to the museum committee, as he was writes that he was unable to attend.


Minden, Ont, July 2, 1991

Having been asked to be at the Bowron House on the above date and I cannot be there, I suggested to write my early remembrance of living.

I was born Mar 25, 1909 - my father and mother were Joseph and Margaret Hewitt. We lived along the Buck Slide Road about 1 mile from Halls Lake.

The third house you came to (as Robert Oliver & James Deacon lived near the Lake) was my Grandfather's - a large 3 story house with 7 bedrooms and cellars, the pump was in a room off the kitchen as they had good ideas.

Next one on the west side of the road was our home - 4 boys and 1 girl, I was the youngest boy and my sister Minnie was adopted, being my mother's brother's chlld whose mother died a few days after her birth.

Across the road from our place was at that time owned by my Uncle Arthur and my Aunt Minnie. They had two boys.

Also on that side of the road was the Anglican Church St. Stephens built 1901 by the people of the district of which my relations were some of the main ones.

The house of my Grandfather's was built off the land of his farm - they made all the timbers, quarried the stone, burned their own lime, made their own lathe and shingles, as the house was all plastered inside.

John & Clara Hewitt, my Grandfathers' brother, also had a stone house but you could not see it from the road.

One mile along the Buck Slide Road at the cross roads, there was the little Red School House. This was a one teacher school of about 12 - 25 pupils of which I will show you a picture of them taken around 1918.

On down the same road to Bucks Slide, where Kushog Lake empties into Boskung Lake was a large family of nine Harrisons.

Now the other road that went west from Halls Lake Dam went up over the hill and followed down where Camp Calumet is now. Allen Hewitt and his wife Florence lived where Camp Calumet is.

There was another house a short distance down the road, I don't know who owned it but Angus Coulter and his wife started there in 1918.

Fred Harrison's family was next near the road near Lake Boskung. On farther was Coope's near the Lake - Uptons, and then Masons (Tom Mason who lived to be over 100 - his son & wife raised 1 girl - Myra - and 1 boy - Wilfred, who is still on the farm).

Then farther west was Joseph Beatty & family. The mail was brought from Minden by horses on Wednesday and Saturday. Down from there again we come to the School House.

Continuing on west, we arrived at Wm Moore's family home - next to them was Archie Coulter family (on same property that my Grandfather's father & mother lived after arriving there around 1850 from Ireland, and a short stay in Paris, Ontario).

Then on down south again there were two homes – one on the east side of the road was owned by Johnson and the other side by Jos. Pritchard and later McConnells. They moved away many years ago and Wm J Walker bought it and his grandson is still on it. The other house is owned by Harrisons.

This will enlighten you as to the territory I was raised in, except I didn’t mention it was only in 1928 that Highway 35 was built from Halls Lake Dam, as the old road went on the Concession from Halls Lake Dam through the bush and John Hewitt’s house was along this concession.