Thomas Mason / Amy Ezilda Clark

Settler of township lot:  Lot 9, Conc. 5, Stanhope

Location: Map point is the farm house at 1125 Boshkung Lake Road

Land acquisition:

  • 27 Feb 1861 - Stanhope Township Lands Liable to Taxation register - 100 acres
  • 2 Sep 1872 - Patent from The Crown. Ontario Land Parcel Register Index - Stanhope Conc 5 (Image 76).

Dates of residency:  1861 - 1932, except for the few years around 1881 when the family moved to Belleville, Ontario.

Interesting stories: Thomas Mason, The Patriarch of Stanhope

  • .....Thomas Mason hearing of land to be had in the back townships of Peterborough County now opening, once more pulled up stakes and before the grass could heal the raw wound opened by his wife's grave, was on his way north. A chance meeting with surveyor, Mr. C.R. Stewart, who had just finished Stanhope's crown survey in the autumn of 1860 directed Thomas Mason's course to Big Boshkung by the recently constructed P.H.L.& B. railway to Lindsay. There he booked passage on the Kawartha waters' first steamer, "Woodman", which took him to Bobcaygeon. Here he encountered Captain William Welch and Caleb Davis, formerly on of Queen Victoria's own guards; both were looking for land. Together they proceeded along the Bobcaygeon road which was in the process of construction. Guided by Stewart's instructions, the 3 arrived at the extreme northwest shore of Big Boshkung which the surveyor had enthusiastically recommended as suitable for homesteading since it was accessible by water and not too distant from the Bobcaygeon and Peterson roads. ....  Source: In Quest of Yesterday by Nila Reynolds. Published by The Provisional County of Haliburton, Minden, Ontario 1973 pg 305
  • In November of 1865 fate dealt Thomas Mason the crushing blow from which he never recovered completely. When Mrs. Mason prepared to visit relatives across Boshkung, 2 year old George, the price and joy of his father's heart. begged to be allowed to remain with his father. Too busy to watch the child safely, the father refused. The lake crossing was to be made in the canoe of young George Sims, son of Samuel Sims living between Mason's and the lake. Accustomed to canoeing in all weathers, the brisk November winds sweeping the lake did not deter the journey. However, a gust too strong for young Sims to steer against, swung the frail craft into the trough of the waves and it overturned. Unhampered, the boy clutched the canoe, but Mrs. Mason hugging the 2 year old child, was at the mercy of the waves. Neighbours witnessing the disaster, rushed to her aid but when they pulled her from the water insensible, the child was dead in her arms. During his wide sea travels, the husband had picked up some knowledge of artificial respiration which he now put to good use. A mirror held to his wife's lips showed moisture beads and emptying the water from her lungs, he worked tirelessly from 10 am until 3 pm ceasing only when the lingering spark of life was fanned into flame. Source: In Quest of Yesterday by Nila Reynolds. pg. 308
  • According to Ripley's Believe It or Not, pioneer Thomas Mason would have died on May 31,1863 when a log rolled on him and slit his throat if not for the quick thinking of Mrs. Peggy Hewitt who took her sewing kit and stitched Thomas' neck closed with an ordinary needle and cotton thread.
  • The Ripley's story about this wound having been caused by a log rolling on him does not match with the version of events which Lloyd S.,  a neighbour of Thomas' grandchildren Myra and Wilfred Mason, heard when he was a frequent guest at their dining table in the 1950s.  He was lucky to be able to 'help' Wilfred around the farm when he was a teenager and learned to pitch hay, shovel manure, drive a team of horses, butcher cattle and etc., etc.  The story they related about Thomas Mason's neck wound was that he was splitting wood in the woodyard just outside the farmhouse and caught his axe mid swing in the nearby clothesline.  The axe then flipped over and  cut his neck on its way to the ground.  A story made more believable because a clothesline and the woodyard were still there in the same place beside the farmhouse, and, also, because a big log rolling on you would likely do damage other than a cut to the neck. Broken bones, and/or a cracked skull for example.
  • In 1871, the news item below was published in the Canadian Statesman in Bowmanville:

Was this the same needle that Peggy used to sew up Thomas Mason's neck wound?

  • These news items, the first from 1893 and the second from 1895, from the Watchman newspaper in Lindsay, Ontario tell of the hazards that faced Thomas Mason.


Succeeding landowner: 

  • 1881 Reuben R. Henderson for $800
  • 1883 back to Thomas Mason for $800
  • 1917 Alfred Ernest Mason (son) for $1.
  • 1942 Thomas Wilfred Mason (grandson) until his death

Link to Algonquin Highlands Family Tree

Left: Mason family at Boskung - Rear: Sarah (Davies) Mason, Amey Ezilda Mason, unknown; Middle: Myra Mason, Alfred Mason; Front: Wilfred Mason, Thomas Mason.-  Stanhope Museum Photo Collection

Right: Thomas Mason and his first wife, Matilda Hitchcox - Stanhope Museum Photo Collection

Alexander Niven's Insurance Survey notebook - Haliburton Highlands Museum.

4. Thomas Mason obituary 1932. Owner/Source Lydia Coulter Scrapbook Collection - Book 1, Pg 21.