Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The region of Oak River was becoming very crowded, and by crowded we mean that all the space that wasn't forest was being used. The villagers of Westfield, Middleton and Sudbury hatched a plan to clear about 4 square kilometres of forest so that it could be used as agricultural land. The area under question is outlined in the image below.
The inhabitants of Oak River wanted no part of this, being much more conservative, no doubt under the influence of original settler and Alderman John Harris.
There was no lumber company in the part of the world as of yet so the inhabitants were forced to chop the trees themselves. Armed with axes the hardy menfolk, womenfolk, childfolk and dogfolk set to work. Actually only the older children were allowed to help the adults and they were limited to cutting branches off felled trees.
Piles of felled trees soon started to appear as a small swath was cut through the forest.
Not far behind people made a rough dirt track that followed the swath through the forest. This was to allow them to get back to and from the villages easily.
This was a venture that was going to take some time.
Written by Dr Philip Younger at 3:10 PM