FARMING IN GOODERHAM
In the 2002-2003 academic year Trent University student, Shawn Brown, undertook the research of farming in Gooderham and Area. Below are the conclusions in his report. If you wish to borrow the full report, please email the historian
Glamorgan's population change is the most important finding in this report. There was a decline in population over 40 years that was not just confined to Glamorgan. This decrease can be attributed ti the overall poor condition of the land in Glamorgan and to its immediate geographical area. There was so little area to expand, agriculturally, that many people had to go elsewhere in search of better land. As farmers realized the land was bad they turned to other ways to support themselves. Since the land usually had trees on it, this became a new source of income.
The land was eventually cleared of forests in Glamorgan and the evidence is around today. There is young growth on a lot of the land where farmers once were, but because of the decline in the logging industry, the forest has reclaimed its former presence.
Agriculture did at one time occupy a significant portion of the economy in Glamorgan but it was never the chief occupier of its people. Farms that were used in the summer gave way to logging in the winter so the timber industry was being fueled year round. On the other hand, agriculture did amount to some exportation including dairy products and some grain products out of Glamorgan.
Settlement had occurred in the manner set out by the planners of the Huron-Ottawa tract. The colonization roads were influential in getting settlers to their land. The Monck Road and the Buckhorn Road in Glamorgan had high occupancy rates in 1921. The creation of new roads, the eastern concessions, furthered this expansion so that eventually the township was almost half occupied.
Gooderham itself was a booming logging town. It never was a significant agricultural entre-pot, but it did have an agricultural building. The people of Gooderham had traditional social structures in place to serve their needs. Churches, schools, a Loyal Orange Lodge, a dance hall, hotels, and large recreational areas catered to Gooderham's citizens during the logging era. This boomtown changed after the decline of both the logging and agricultural industries. Evidence regarding the list of social structures is now confined to pictures and written accounts because of the removal of these buildings from Gooderham's townscape.
The wealth of knowledge currently available in Glamorgan's citizens is noted here. As people are a great source to get information from, support in getting people to talk is encouraged. There are a lot of primary sources available but some are in private hands. By utilizing communication and sharing, between interested parties, a communal feeling can further the recorded past by uncovering long hidden pictures, journals and memorabilia.
Furthermore, the documentation of the recent past is also encouraged. By recording events now, rather than trying to record them later, their accuracy will be more intact and valued by future generations. In other words, start making primary sources now so that the children of Glamorgan do not have to worry about not finding their history.