Lanark County Routes Sequel Set for 2023
By Rose Mary Sarsfield
Lanark County Genealogical Society (LCGS) continues to celebrate our farming community and the pioneers who cleared the trees and rocks, built their homes and planted crops around the stumps. Our two-volume set entitled Lanark County Routes, East and Lanark County Routes West was a remarkable success when it was published last year.
We tapped into the history recorded in the local Tweedsmuir History books and collaborated with several of the present farmers in the County to tell the stories.
We tell about who the early settlers were and what is known of their family, and the subsequent owners up to the present day, noting the changes in farm life from the days of oxen and horses to that of big machinery and robots.
But many stories are yet to be told. We are now beginning to work on a sequel.
LCGS is happy to tell the tales of all the properties and the people who have lived on them, whether they were successful or not. If your farm was not included in last year’s books and you are interested in its history being recorded for future generations, please get in touch.
Lanark County farms have a varied history. In the early days of settlement every family relied on the land to provide them with the income and food that they needed to survive. However, that only worked well for those who were fortunate enough to get the good land. Many properties passed through several different hands if they were not profitable. Some properties, with the right people involved, grew and prospered and are still providing adequate living for their owners today.
Sample Farms in L.C Routes East
The Robertson farm on Upper Perth Road in Ramsay is one whose original settlers’ descendants farmed until 1962 when it was sold to another local farmer. Like many of the small older farms, it was no longer able to sustain a family with the income that was needed.
The John Kidd farm on Kidd Road in Beckwith is a farm that is still in the possession of descendants of the original owner, who arrived in Beckwith in 1818. This is one of many farms where the descendants’ names are recorded for future generations.
Corad Farms in Pakenham Township is an example of several 100-acre parcels being combined into a large modern operation. The Hunt family have over 500 head of Limousin cattle and grow corn, soybeans and hay on their 1000 acres of land.
Sample Farms in L.C Routes West
The John Love farm in North Sherbrooke is an example of a farm where the pioneer was barely able to make a living because the land was so rocky and poor. This man was eventually forced to move to Dalhousie where he had slightly better land. His buildings from North Sherbrooke did survive and are now part of the display at Wheeler’s Pancake House and Museum.
Another difficult area to farm was Darling Township. However, the John Rintoul farm on Concession 6 was able to sustain Rintoul family members for 143 years. When it was sold in 1995 the new owners extensively updated the buildings, including rebuilding the stone foundation under the barn, and made it into a working farm again.
Drover’s Way farm in North Elmsley was a property that changed hands many times over the years. The Loten family, who bought the land in 2001, have turned it into a major sheep farm with about 600 ewes. They also have horses and operated a riding school.
For more information, or to enquire about having your farm listed in the sequel, please call 257–9482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .