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"Our Ancestors and Their Descendants"

presented by:
Susan and Barry Reynolds

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History of Craigvale and Stroud

The 1850's

One hundred years ago, (1851-1951) the area was covered with an almost unbroken forest. Forest that had no value, it was an enemy to be destroyed so that the fertile earth beneath might be uncovered to the sun and made to produce food for the needs of man. In the front of the battle were a few settlers; men and women of courage; faith and resourcefulness; of brain and brawn. Their equipment was simple and scant... an axe and saw, a yoke of oxen, more rarely a team of horses, a crude wooden plough, iron sheathed, a butterfly harrow, a scythe, a reaping hook, rapidly being displaced by a newfangled Yankee contraption called a cradle, a rake, a fork, a spade, a hoe. In the house a spinning wheel. The only channels of communication were the public roads, and these were scant and poor. The pioneer farms were mostly self sustained. What few products there were for sale, found a market in nearby Barrie, little more than a village, but mostly in distant Toronto, reached in winter, when snow made for better roads, by a three day journey there and back.

A sawmill was run at Craigvale in the 1850's by a Mr Craig who also kept the post office for a time, giving Craigvale its name.

Mr Gilbert who owned the Wright farm in Craigvale in the early 1850's ran a sawmill on the south side of the road through the village. Later it was run by Stephen Maneer, and he built Mrs Fred Wright's house.

Samuel Maneer's son, Samuel, born 1826, as a young man went to the United States to learn the blacksmithing trade, working in Buffalo, Cleveland, Louisville, Ky, etc. Samuel returned to Canada. On 1 Jun 1859 he married Rebecca Wilson. He operated a blacksmith shop at Conc. 9, east side of tracks (Leonard Beach Rd/then later, Victoria Road in Craigvale). He built and repaired wagons. It was also a paint shop, and he made barrels for the flour mill. After 1890 he dealt in farm implements, binder twine and other farm supplies.

Navigation Aid: History of Craigvale and Stroud
This section contains material collected by Jeanne Groce about the history of Stroud and Craigvale. It contains "information collected from libraries, books, newspapers, the Centennial History of Innisfil, Historical Revue, word of mouth, and anywhere else I could find it." Reference to the source of the material is given where possible.

Many thanks to all who have contributed names, dates, photographs and stories. Corrections are always welcome.
Our research is ongoing and the validity of the information presented should be judged by the quality of our sources.

Our study includes our ancestors and their descendants (our cousins) and our cousins' spouses and their parents. The parents of our cousins' spouses will show as "A descendant is related to Susan or Barry" and their other children will not be included unless they are connected to our family.

Last Updated
June 4, 2023

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