“No fact is isolated. No event is solitary. No force works alone. No life exists but as a part of all other lives. We cannot separate our fortunes, or arrest the influences by which we touch each other. Society is a ship in which all are passengers and what affects one, affects all.”
John Connon, The Early History of Elora and Vicinity published in 1930.
I took the above dictum from Connon to heart, and decided to give a wider spectrum of the history of Centre Wellington – more like a Prequel – as it were. While researching the early owners of this area, including Elora, Fergus, Salem, Nichol and Pilkington Townships, I discovered a most interesting period of Ontario’s history.
Decades before this area was considered for settlement, a society existed in the lower Great Lakes regions during the Georgian and Regency eras in the United Kingdom. But this is no fictional story, it is based on Historical facts that I have uncovered.
Upper Canada from 1750 to 1830 was a perfect setting for a Jane Austen novel. While the wealthy, privileged classes enjoyed all the refinements of regency culture, the working classes were desperately poor. Political power for much of this period was held by the landed gentry and Tories led all governments from 1783 to 1830.
The scene was set for the adventurous rich merchants, especially Scottish; the Military prestige of the Officers, mostly English; the Elite of the English, Irish and Welsh Societies; and the British loyalist settlers who already had the experience of successful colonizing. Upper Canada was the Promise Land for anyone who was ready for an adventure. The future was limitless.
I needed to somehow connect everything, in order to envision an accurate story and an understanding of how we came to be here. The development of the internet as a source of unending material about everything has, I think, revolutionized historical research. I am often overwhelmed by the sheer hugeness of the available information. It is a challenge to break it down in pieces and put the puzzles together. But thereby is the enjoyment and satisfaction for me and I hope that you can enjoy too.