This area was settled in the early 1800ís by the
to James W. Sh
1807 to James W. Sharrard for the standard 200 acre package, likely receiving the grant because he was the son of a United Empire Loyalist. (Oddly enough, exactly 150 years prior to my birthday.) It is unlikely James Sharrard ever lived here. He may also not have done any clearing on it. In 1815 William H Walbridge purchased the property for 50 pounds, in 1875 inflation was in full gear as the sale price was 175 pounds.
THE HAMLET OF SILOAM
The area around us was a thriving sawmill community in the 1800ís.
Early settlers would travel from York (Toronto) up Yonge St. to Newmarket
, a days travel by horse and buggy on a muddy rutted road. From there they would
traverse the Newmarket Road which led to Uxbridge. Sections of the original
Newmarket Road are visible on the property south of ours (
the current Matthews property)
and elsewhere along the
The settlement of Dikeville (now Mill Run Golf Course) was active as well. In the 1870's Dikeville had it's grist mill, sawmill, bucket mill and store, while just a short distance north the Widdifields had there sawmill and school nearby. Soon a need arose for a post office for the two communities, however the names of Dike, Widdifield and Randall were passed by in favor of the name Siloam, after the "Pool of Siloam" in the Bible. Samuel Widdifield was the first postmaster in 1872, and the office was his farmhouse just north of the school (perhaps the current Matthews home?) The folks from Dikeville had to trudge all the way Widdifields for their mail. So when Mr. Widdifield resigned in 1880, and John Dike became postmaster, the post office and the name Siloam moved from what is now Siloam Orchards to its present day site on Durham Rd #8. A church was erected in 1874.
Matthew Frankish ,a Civil War veteran, is buried in the Siloam cemetery. He enlisted with K Company, 24th Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry- The Black Brigade. He fought at Cold Harbor, Chancellorsville, Germania Ford, Battle of the Wilderness, Appomatox Court House, Gettysburg, and Hatch's Run. He was wounded twice. He was present at General Lee's surrender, and was called to Springfield to attend Lincoln's funeral. He was discharged at the age of 19 on an $8.00 pension. (Thanks to Allan McGillvary of the Uxbridge Historical Society)