Upload your stories in our TELL US YOUR STORY section here!

(If you reach the bottom of the page,  hit "Next".  There's more!)


Written in 1965 by 87 year old Mrs .Gertrude Caverly of Marmora Township

"In 1860 our roads were rough and in spring very muddy. The long swamp, one  mile and a half long was only a corduroy road.  My mother-in-law,  when she had to cross it,  would prefer to walk and carry her baby rather than ride over such a rough road.  Our neighbours were Campions, Wells,  Airharts, McIlwains, Cooks, Dwiers,  Maloneys, Inksters and Hamiltons.

Most of the work on the farm they used oxen on a plow or a' stone boat. One time a family wanted groceries so hitched a team of oxen to a wagon and the lady rode behind and the man in front with a long whip and a line to goad the oxen.

Recollections of domestic life. Soap making,  1884. The farmer is pouring water into the ash barrel to make lye; his wife is boiling a kettle of fat. Lye and fat produce soft soap.

We were the only ones had a potash kettle and they often got it to butcher their hogs., My father-in-law and a neighbour once wanted to make potash  (the water-soluble part of the ash formed by burning plant material; used for making soap, glass and fertilizer) 

They cut several trees, piled and burned them, put the ashes in a salt barrel and poured on water;   saved this and boiled it down until the kettle was red and then they had potash,   which was sent away for some cash to a soap company.

Money was scarce, so each one tried some way to have cash. Women would go to the forest for wild berries and dry them. Some men would trap for furs, hunt for deer or fish for food. My father moved north of Cordova,  now from near Campbellford,  to a forest of 200 acres. He built and cut a clearing for a home and today, it is a very nice tract of land. The neighbours there were Russels, Wiggins, Cars, Allens, Breakenridge, Minihans. Maloneys, Wannamakers, Crippens,  Caverleys and McConnels.

Once our P.O. was Wariston but now it is Cordova and most of this land around here was crown land and at that time it had to be occupied for a few years before a crown deed was got out.The only farms remaining in this settlement over 100 years  still are  occupied by the older people, ancestors,  and carrying the same name,  such as the old Caverly home, a few more miles down the way.

When we first moved there I got very lonely and ran away over two miles before they caught me. I hated it so bad. This Cordova was a gold mine and it made lots of work and many came for miles to work there.

I managed the P.O. myself and,  as these miners sent money to their homes,  we had no  trouble with it.  Our mail came from Blairton to Wariston  then on north toVansickle P.O. There was a small store  near Cook's corner and a there was a cheese factorynear. there too.

North of Pleasant Corners Community,  back on what we call the common, were two families settled by the name of Couch and McInroy. They made their living by burning potash and selling it for making soap: It was sent to a soap factory. Finally Mr. Couch took very sick and sent out to Pleasant Corners community for a couple of men to go in and make his will. Mr. James Hensy and Mr. Mills Caverly went and all he had to will was a pig and a dog and he wanted his wife to have them,   so they made his will and everyone was satisfied.

Caverly Century farm,  replacing log cabin                                                                photo by wayne vanvolkenburg

For a time we had no well, so Mr. Wiggins drew and brought some water to mother in her wooden churn.  Mother baked his bread for years and each time he gave her one loaf of bread for her work, as his wife was very ill.

My news are almost ended as I am nearly 87 years. I think I wrote plenty.  Good night ...."

Mrs. Gertrude Hay Caverly.


We had to walk over two miles to school called Cook's school. I passed for my last there when I was 13 years old, then went to Stirling High School - took two years work in one year. But been a farm woman the  rest of the time. When I was 10 years old on coming from school,  I had to cross a creek and the water was deep,  so I tried to walk a log on the side of the bridge but off went the bark and I too. So Patsy Maloney, a big boy, caught me by the hair and by so doing saved my life and carried me to a Mrs. Cars' home.

We used to send our milk to that Cook's cheese factory. The men had pig pens there and each farmer put one pig there and the cheese maker fed the pigs grain and lots of whey. I remember the first. binder two neighbors bot. It was Mr. Wiggins and Mr. Breakenridge's,   but others had reapers, or else cut the grain by hand and tied it up the same way.


house of manager of Cooks Cheese Factory                                                   Photo by Wayne  Vanvolkenburg

Wayne VanVolkenburg added that Cook's corner is where Clemenger road meets the Cordova road.  The second building on the right on Clemenger road was the old Cheese factory. There was a school close to where the cheese factory was located.  The area surrounding that location was referred to as the "Pleasant Corners Community".

Several of the Caverly family are buried at the Zion Cemetery.  Gertrude, her husband Edwin, and his parents, Edwin Mills and Elsie Williams, are buried there. Several other family members are buried there as well. If you check Don Shannon's photos of Zion you will find Gertrude's name on Caverly 4.