It’s hard being human, and our greatest weakness is sometimes spent in giving up– even though the most certain way to succeed is to keep trying. I had to reintroduce myself to a pen, which became my new stage of opportunity and strength, not being allowed to have my laptop in the hospital when I had my heart attacks. Actually it was the only option left for me, and most certainly the regular opportunities were kept away from me for health reasons.
The last time I wrote by hand was when we lost power a year ago in Lanark County and a loving tribute to the late Marvin MacPherson was composed by pen under the sole light of what was left in my solarium. We know that stress is one of the most underrated of all heart disease factors and I have no idea how I would have coped among the first Beckwith settlers and the different stress factors they encountered when they came to Lanark County.
In judging the healing of my poor old heart and those that got off a ship anticipating sunshine, flowers, and lollipops I think we both underestimated what would lay before us. They literally got screwed, and I’m going to be if I don’t smarten up. Trust me, there is no other way for me to put it into words other than being frank for the both of us.
We both wandered through towering trees where we couldn’t seem to see the sky and lost our footing in the thick murky swamps. The only difference between us is that some of those poor Beckwith settlers only got 35 acres out of 100, and I got the full 100. Imagine if they had been given a full chance like I had been given in life.
The main reason that these Beckwith settlers survived was because of their fortitude and ultra conservatism (that word was Glenn Lockwood’s not mine). We eclectic folks would not have stood a chance in those days as we are more interested in words and decorating than building up a strong base. The first settlers received no rich soil like their Upper Canada counterparts – only ground with stone patches greeted them and those conditions carried on for years. Even in the 1940’s local children coming home from school were still instructed to pick up a rock or two to clear the land. One only has to drive through the back farm roads to see piles of rock scattered throughout the area to understand the magnitude. It was necessary for these emigrants to change their awareness of what they thought life would be and realize each day was going to be a struggle from now on– like myself.
In spite of all the issues they spoke about Beckwith Township becoming a powerhouse solely for the reason that it was named after Sir Thomas Sidney Beckwith (1772-1831) who was at that time a Canadian rockstar. But, did he really have their best interests at heart, or was it just the undercurrents of “a foot race” to see which township could become the best? In the end who really ended up picking the right door to great wealth and prizes?
Settlers really didn’t win with all their hardships, the Indians lost big time and who really wins after what is called ‘an event’ – medical or physical? In the end, as with anything, it was nothing but: a lot of vocabulary, (‘c’mon folks let’s keep that loving feeling’ ) and make sure those rogue fighting Americans huddling in the woods near Brockville stay away.
Roads began to be built and squabbles about Franktown re: name changes etc. similar to Almonte began the daily rounds. The residents and powers to be finally got it through their heads that the Jock River was no hub for mills, and as with anything else, the new up and coming settlement of Morphy Falls (Carleton Place) was the place to be seen and heard.
By 1840 Franktown consisted of less than a dozen homes and Morphy Falls was on the way to be coming what Franktown had wanted to become. They say that great things come to those that work hard, and like fighting heart disease; these settlers came, raised hell, and spread awareness of who they were. They proved they were intelligent, capable and they stayed strong–no matter what the challenge. The Beckwith settlers kept their heads and their heart strong… like I will try too–because..
They built this township
They built Beckwith Township on rock…. and roll.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)