THE AIRHART SETTLEMENT
Children of Adam Airhart and Hannah Rosebush
- George Airhart 1837–1920
- James Henry Airhart 1840–1931
- Asel/Asahel Airhart 1842–1918
- William Airhart 1846–1921
- Adam Henry Airhart 1847–1917
- Amanda "Amarilla" Airhart 1848–
- Oliver Airhart 1852–1933
- Henrietta Helen Airhart 1854–1929
- Louis Albert Airhart 1861–1878
In 1983, geneologist, Bonnie Cole, went on a hunt for the Airhart Homestead property, of which little is known. Followig Twin Sisters Road, 15 miles north of Marmora, she headed into Lake Township, in search of the rumoured Airhart tombstones. She wrote "On the corner is an old abandoned schoolhouse, now used as a hunting camp and has been for over 40 years. When you come to the schoolhouse, you turn right and follow this road for about 500 yards before you can see a lilac bush."
In this lilac bush is hidden the tombstone of Louis Albert Airhart, son of Adam and Hannah Airhart, who died Jan. 21, 1878 aged 16 years, 6 months and 17 days. Bonnie found no other stones.
Adam Airhart (1815-1903) was the son of Asael Airhart, who was born in Fredericksburg near Napanee in 1789, and believed to be of German descent. Adam, it seems, left for greener pastures, and by 1851 we find he is living in Sidney Township, listed as a blacksmith, and married to Hannah Rosebush (1821-1898).
Hannah Rosebush was of French descent, her great great great grandfather, Jean Baptiste de Rosier (1675-1740), having emigrated from Paris, France to Montreal. (It is not clear when her name was anglicised, Rosier, being the French word for Rosebush) Adam and Hannah went on to have nine children before making the decision to adventurously move to no man's land on Lot 5, Concession 5, Lake Township, where they cleared about thirty acres for farming, built a house and later a sawmill. By 1877, Adam Airhart, at the age of 61 was listed as owning Lots 5 & 6, Concession 5 and Lot 2, Concession 2, for a total of 600 acres. As a farmer, he owned 18 cows, 20 sheep, 7 hogs and 3 horses.
In 1996, Charles Barrons (1921-2006) wrote of the Airharts (Ayrharts):
"My father (George Barrons 1875-1939) worked for Aisle Ayrhart. He was the bush foreman and also a boss on the river drives. Later on, the hard wood logs were cut and a steam powered saw mill was moved into the bush. The logs were sawed mostly in spring and early summer. The lumber was piled to dry all summer. Then it was drawn by horses to the nearest railroad in winter. The Ayrhart's were mostly woods men. They had several small saw mills in the area. Bruce Ayrhart (George Bruce, son of Oliver) had one in Shannick and also at Glen Myer, later taken over by his son Doug.
Over the years there had been about eight saw mills set in the southern part of Lake Township in the area of Lot 5, Concessions 4 and 5. Early mills were steam powered; later on they were gas or diesel powered. Many logs were transported to market via the waterways. This was called "driving the river". This was usually done in the spring, along with the spring freshet when the water's current would carry the logs along. In some places, the river was dammed to allow water to back up and, when released, it would give the same effect. The logs would often jam in the river and the men would have to go out on the logs and try to break the jam up and get the logs moving again. It was a very dangerous job. It was not uncommon for men to be drowned while driving the river and they would have been buried nearby.
On Lot 25, Con. 2, West Half of Belmont Twp., there is an area that is still known today as Scotts Dam. It is quite probable this area was named after one such victim of the river. A local man, hunting in this area a few years ago, found a flat tombstone monument with two men's names scratched on it in the roots of a tree that had been uprooted. No one around here can recall the names, but, in all likelihood they, too, were victims of the river.
Located slightly north-west of the current Cordova Lake Dam, there is a flat rock with an Indian head carved in it. It was carved in the rock by Leo Cassibo in 1919. The river drive was on and he was watching the dam. I think this was a drive brought down from north of Tangamong Lake for the Pearce Lumber Company. The last drive was taken out and brought down by the late Dan Ellis about 1922."
OLIVER AIRHART 1852-1933 - SON OF ADAM AND HANNAH
In 1879, Oliver married Margaret Jane McIlwaine, whose father, Andrew McIlwaine had from Ireland and married Sarah Howe in Lennox and Addington. Together they lived at Lot 18, Concession 4 in Marmora Township (Intersection of Cordova Road and North Marmora Rd), and had four children - George Bruce of Marmora, Frank who left for Morse, Saskatchewan, Stewart (see right) and Charles of Marmora (father of well known Grant Airhart)
Margaret, however, died of apoplexy in 1907 at the age of fifty. Two years later, Oliver married Elizabeth Jane Wells, the widow Henry Wells, a member of another lumber family. This marriage also linked the the Airharts to the Bonter tree, as Elizabeth Jane was born a Bonter, daughter of William Bonter, another name well known in the lumber business.
Oliver was a member of Marmora and Lake Township council 1915-16 and an important member of the Methodist and Free Methodist church. In 1929 he purchased the Froat House and moved into the village. (Click here for obituary)
GEORGE BRUCE AIRHART
As a young man, Oliver's son, George Bruce, took a posiion with th Pearce Lumber Company and proved himself as a competent river driver and a favourite of the Pearce Company employees. Within five years, he decided to start his own lumber business and made a success of it, expanding year after year. The Marmora Herald reported, " Mr. Airhart always gave a good deal of credit for his success, especially during the early years, to two men. One was the late James L. Hickey, a woods ranger of wide experience and knowledge, who backed him in the early stages of his venture and gave much valuable advie on buying of limits etc.. The other was Mr. John Davidson, who was selected as woods boss and foreman, and has continued in that position all down through the years. From the first, Mr. Airhart proved himself a keen businessman, one who quickly made friends and won the esteem and confidence of those he had dealings with. "
George Bruce was elected a member of Marmora Village Council in 1918 and Reeve on May 10th, 1920 after the death of R.T. Gray. He served as for nearly 10 years, retiring at the end of the year, 1929. He was also elected as Warden of the County in 1926, and served as a member of the High Shool Board.
He was an important member of St. Andrew's Church, Past Master of Marmora Masonic Lodge, and the Springbrook I.O.O.F. Springbrook, and a valued member of the Peterborough Conservative Association.
Grant Airhart, son of Charles Percy Airhart 1897-1959 and Kathaleen Simpson 1904-1994