Historical Society Event

Photo: Celia Hunter  George Parker describes early survey methods to a spellbound audience.

Photo: Celia Hunter
George Parker describes early survey methods to a spellbound audience.

Guest speaker George Parker captivated a full house at the October 27 gathering of the Millbrook and Cavan Historical Society with his presentation on how Cavan Township and the surrounding area was originally surveyed in the early 19th century. He illustrated his talk with a number of maps, charts and storyboards along with his own “props” to explain the origins of measurements such as the furlong, rod and chain.

An experienced planning consultant and avid amateur historian, Mr. Parker spent many summers working on survey crews during his university years. His talk focused on the years following the American Revolution, when pressure was put on the colonial administrators to provide land for British patriots and First Nations peoples who had been displaced by the formation of the United States.

John Deyell, recognized as Cavan Township’s first settler, arrived 200 years ago, in 1816, and assisted Samuel Wilmot with the survey of what was to become Cavan and Monaghan Townships. To celebrate this bi-centennial, the Millbrook and Cavan Historical Society reprinted a small booklet written by the great granddaughter of John Deyell with the generous financial support of Galerie Q in Cavan and the Kiani Foundation. This ‘Brief History of Cavan Township and Millbrook Village From the Year 1816 to 1937’ by Mary Sloane Eakins is a window into local history and some of the characters and events that shaped it. The publication is available at Bear Essentials in Millbrook for $10, or through the Historical Society.

Tracing family roots was the focus of the November 24 gathering when Cavan Monaghan Libraries CEO Karla Buckborough demonstrated how to make use of the Ancestry software available at our local libraries, and Kim McLeod illustrated how the Historical Society works to help people, some from surprisingly far-off places, trace their local family trees. The evening also included our ‘What Is It?’ feature with Peter Ramsay, giving everyone a chance to guess at the purpose of a few gadgets from days gone by. All were welcome. The gathering took place in the Fireside Lounge at Centennial Place in Millbrook, beginning at 7 pm.

by Celia Hunter

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