[i]Information shared from Ronald S Woods & Effie Woods-Warren
Located northeast of the village of Delta, the Historic Settlement of Daytown starts at Cty Rd 42 in Delta along the Upper Beverley Lake through to Cty Rd 5 linking to the settlement area known as Plum Hollow.
Map of Daytown circa 1801
It appears that the first settlers to the area were the Day Family. They settled along the eighth and ninth concessions in Bastard Township around the year 1801. Driven out of the United States, the Days first came to Grenville and then went on to claim land in Bastard Twsp. Jeremiah, the first of the clan, lived for several years in the area which later became known as Daytown, before proving up on his land. On June 30, 1801, Jeremiah took out patents on 200 acres of land on Lot 14 of the Eighth Concession, and another 200 acres of Lot 16 on the Ninth. Two months later, a son, Richard, took up a 200-acre homestead on Lot 15 of the Seventh. On May 17, 1802, another son, William, proved up on 200 acres on Lot 12 of the Eight and a third son, Albert, obtained 200 acres on the November 12, 1803, while a daughter Nancy, secured 200 acres on Lot 17 of the Eighth on March 6, 1804.
The countryside of Daytown had two stone quarries. One quarry was just before what has been deemed “the Swamp” and the other was down the old sideroad on the right of the old Daytown School House and located approximately 1/4 of a kilometer behind the schoolhouse. The closed sideroad is located across from the former Gifford farmhouse and runs straight north to exit east of the Woods farm on Delta Road. Both quarries were considered small. In the early 1960's when the Daytown road was widened and new wire fences installed, the excess roadside soil, stones and trees were buried in the two quarries. This task filled both quarries to full capacity.
According to historic information, stones from the "Sideroad Quarry" were used in the construction of the Daytown School House and other local buildings. The “Swamp Quarry” had softer shale layered stones used mainly in roadway construction.
Note: Before the "Swamp Quarry" was filled in, the Woods children and other neighbouring Daytown children, use to climb down the steep slopes of the quarry and play there. The quarry bottom was usually dry, but was littered with heaps of garbage, mostly tin cans and glass bottles dumped there by many locals.
Daytown is known for its abundance of farmland, especially sugar maple trees, and many farmers still produce maple syrup each spring to this day. Of course, many of these farms are no longer being managed except for a large dairy farm still in operation, a few beef cattle and small hobby farms.
Sarah Jane Huffman House
[ii]In the late 1940's, a large gardening operation was on the farm of the "Huffman Family", now known as the "Bob Sawyer Farm". Crops consisted of various types of vegetables. Even celery was grown in the black loam of the drained swamp land down behind the former barn site. Many locals who lived in Daytown had worked there. There was a very big apple orchard in the front field along the Daytown Road. This orchard was still productive into the seventies until the trees were removed for other crops. During that time, some garden produce was sold locally, but the larger portion was sent by train to Brockville markets. In those days, celery was in high demand as an increasingly new food entity in Ontario.
In the early 1950s to the early 1960s, the Hunderiser Family rented the same farm. They were a family with 4 children who had emigrated from Germany after WWII. They lived on the farm for a while before moving to the Denaut Mansion in Delta for a few years before moving on to Gananoque. They continued the gardening operation, plus they raised poultry and more delicate "song" birds, i.e. - canaries, budgies. They raised many geese, which were sold locally and at some town markets. They also raised some livestock.
At the Plum Hollow end of Daytown road there is a place that was known as the "Lillieville School House". ("Lillie Vale" might have been written by the early settlers, but I have seen the first used). This name originated from the “Lillie Family" who were early settlers to the area with their stone homestead on Lake Street, (Lake Street runs on the opposite side of the Upper Beverley Lake).
Nelson Lillie House
Lillieville was considered the area between Daytown and Plum Hollow, but I believe that small area is now usually referred to as Plum Hollow. “Quoting Ron Woods who was told many, many times by Nellie Carbino that she was the last student to go to the Lillieville School House. She was also the only student the year the school was opened. I do not know why her twin Sister was not in school with her that last year. With her comments, this school has been closed for a very long time”.
Something else to add is that the "Daytown", "Lillieville", and "Sheldon Corners" school houses were built of the same light brown stones. Could these stones have come from the same quarry at Daytown and perhaps laid by the same stone mason? Something to consider.
Alfred Dean Log House
Back in the day, pieces of land were used to bury the families who owned the properties without any documentation; however, some gravestones were found and relocated to the Denny Cemetery on County Rd 5 and the Stevens Cemetery which is located at the back of a field on what has been called “Whites Hill”. Both cemeteries are inactive and maintained by the Twsp of Rideau Lakes and some active volunteers.
As with many of the small rural schools, in 1963 the Daytown School was closed, and the children were bussed to the newly built Beverley Elementary Public School in Delta. Daytown's own Betty Woods was the chosen winner of naming the new school, which unfortunately was closed in 2003 and later demolished because of environmental issues. The children were then bussed to South Crosby Public School or Rideau District High School.
Daytown can be accessed from Cty Rd 42 in Delta, Delta Rd, Chantry Rd and Cty 5.
[i] Ronald Woods and Effie Woods-Warren - Information and Daytown Map
[ii] Diane Haskins - “My Own Four Walls” - Heritage Buildings in Bastard and South Burgess Township - 1985
By Cathy Livingston
Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee, Township of Rideau Lakes