Early Settlement of Dalhousie

Early Settlement of Dalhousie - submitted by Jan - [email protected] - 6 August, 2001.

Lanark Era
October 25th, 1916


Historical Essay which was awarded the First Prize of $5, donated by Mr.
Donald McNicol, New York.

Mr. Donald McNicol of New York City is the gentleman responsible for
introducing the Prize Essay Competition on the early history of the township
of Dalhousie.  Mr. McNicol retains a warm attachment for his native land and
is strongly of the opinion that an authentic history of early times
pertaining to his old home township should be placed on record ere the best
means of obtaining it have passed away.  It was for this reason that he
suggested a historical competition, the essays themselves to be written by
young people who would have the assistance of their parents and grandparents
in getting the data from original sources before the old pioneer line had
altogether vanished.  The Era readily and willingly adopted the idea, and, as
far as lay in its power, placed the matter before the people.  That the
response has not been as free as might be desired may be accounted for
perhaps by the fact that war conditions throughout Canada has centred the
thoughts of the people largely upon that subject, and the time was not
opportune for concentrating upon work of a historical nature.  However, a
start has at least been made, and, while the contest has been closed in so
far as the present competition is concerned, it is the intention of the
gentleman responsible for it to reopen the question later on and persevere
until a complete and adequate record of the pioneer days of our forefathers
has been reduced to print.  In the meantime the Era has much pleasure in
publishing the excellent essays received - first prize essay this week,
others to follow - and in congratulating the young folks who made the venture
into historical writing.

The papers were judged by Mr. W. P. McEwen, Registrar, of Perth, who has very
generously donated $2 as a third prize.  Mr. McEwen, in making the awards,
comments as follows:  "The uniform excellence of the papers is highly
creditable to the youthful contributors and their teachers, and the papers
themselves are a fine summary of the interesting events of Dalhousie's
pioneer days.  Indeed, a careful perusal and re-perusal of them makes it a
difficult task to select the one of most merit.  In making the decision I
have been guided by the quantity of interesting material furnished as well as
the matters of composition, spelling and punctuation.  Two prizes are offered
- $5 and $3.  I award first to the paper of Miss Tena Penman, of Middleville,
and second to that of Miss Lillian Conroy, of Watson's Corners.  But there is
so little to choose from between the two named and that of Miss Edna McNicol,
of Lanark Township, that I have pleasure in awarding the enclosed amount ($2)
as a third prize to that young lady.  I congratulate all three young ladies
on the excellence of their work, and you, Mr. Editor, on being the medium by
which the facts concerning the early history of your section of the County
are being preserved in this way.  I trust that similar prizes may be offered
concerning each township in Lanark County, as in this way reliable data for a
history of the whole County could be secured."