We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted – our names, the colour of our eyes and the texture of our hair, the unfolding of varied abilities and interests in diﬀerent subjects…. Each of us contains within our fragile vessels of skin and bones and cells this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise. Only when we recognize that we are heirs can we truly be pioneers.
—Edward C. Sellner, Mentoring: The Ministry of Spiritual Kindship, June 1990
Writing a history of any era is a very daring move, perhaps even a foolhardy one. A history can, at best, be representative of a time and place. Given the possibilities of interactions of thousands of people over more than 175 years in Warwick Township, no history could ever be complete. The Warwick Township History Committee has tried to use the images and stories of our residents, over the period of 1832 to the present, to weave a story that gives a feeling of what the times were like. What we have learned is that Warwick’s story is representative of many other rural Canadian communities.
The opening chapters on our geologic past and prehistory, learned from stones and artifacts, take this history back to times that put our moment and place on this planet into a much broader perspective.
Every household was invited to submit a family history. Out of 2,100 approximately 300 did. Over 170 people and institutions gave us photographs. Considering the normal response to surveys, that is very high involvement. Besides our residents, many people beyond our borders have contributed stories of the times when their families were part of our communities.
This history covers all of Warwick Township, including Watford, Forest (nearly half of it was once part of Warwick), part of Arkona, and several “crossroads” communities that are now just memories.
We have used thousands of resources but have always tried to focus on the stories that tell of our times. We owe a debt to those who have recorded this history before us.
We have been very fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteer researchers handling a wide range of topics.
The story of the township is told not in any one story, but in the book as a whole. For example, the story of railroads is woven into more than one chapter, such as the ones on Forest, transportation and Watford.
Please note that in the early days both cents and pounds were used as currency. We have not tried to convert any of these denominations, nor have we converted from Imperial to metric measurements in most cases. The short forms used are fairly obvious: Road is Rd., Concession is Con., Township is Twp., Highway is Hwy, School Section is SS. A person’s birth and death date are inside brackets (1912–1983) and simply omitted if either is missing, e.g. (–1983) if no birth date is known or (1912–) if the person is still living or a death date is not available. A woman’s maiden name is within brackets before her married name, e.g. Mary Smith who married David Jones is Mary (Smith) Jones.
It is hoped that if you feel a story that is not here now needs to be included in this history, you will submit it and accompanying photos to the archives that will be created with the proceeds from book sales.These extensive archives will include all the information that was collected.
And the story is not complete. The promise of this project is for the future.
Warwick Township History Committee:
Noreen Croxford, Wilbur Dunlop, Janet Firman, Wayne Higgins, Becky Hollingsworth, Jean Janes, Mary Janes, Paul Janes, Linda Koolen, Lewis McGregor, Sue McKay, Gerry Pierce, Glenn Stott, Sunday Thompson and the many others who came to meetings
Warwick Township Council, Don Bruder and the staﬀ of Warwick Township
People who were interviewed:
Peter Aarts, Jack Aitken, Clayton Cable, Wib Dunlop, Ron Ellerker, John Geerts, the late Lloyd Haney, the late Gerald Herbert, Cyril Hewitt, Mary Hogervorst, Lew McGregor, Earl McKay, Alex McLaren, Lois Milner, Velma Ring, Helen Ross, Carlyle Searson, Ron Sewell, Hendrickus Slegers, Fern Sutton, Bill Trenouth, John Van Diepen, Adrian Van Haaren, Henry Van Kessel, John Verheyen, Henry Vermeiren, Arnold Watson, the late Eddie West, Wayne Wilcocks and Thelma Wilson
And those who conducted interviews:
Doug Aitken, Janet Firman, Jean Janes, Mary Janes, Paul Janes, Lew McGregor, Alex McLaren, Jim Sayers, Glenn Stott, Greg Stott
Transcribers, family proﬁle writers and copiers of VHS tapes to DVD:
Don Brodie, Isabel Brodie, Noreen Croxford, Eleanor Darke, Janet Firman, Julia Geerts, Karen Houle, Mary Houle, Mary Janes, Maria Janssens, Linda Koolen, Gary O’Neil, Wendy Tellier, Gwen Watson, Lynsey Wilson
Donors (in-kind or ﬁnancial)
- the 175 donors of photos for this project, especially Lyle Hall, Don Hollingsworth, the Mona Huctwith family, Helen Van den Heuvel and Vicki MacKenzie at The Guide-Advocate
- the staﬀ of the Lambton Room, especially Laurie McBeth, Helen Maddock, Nicki Maxﬁeld and Kelly Sipkins
- Linda Koolen, Dr. Michael Murphy, Chris Simonite, Waste Management of Canada Corporation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation
Editors and Proof-Readers:
Julia Geerts, Frances Harper, Peter Janes, Gerry Pierce, Joy Pierce, Father Murray Watson
It would be remiss on the part of the History Committee not to recognize the outstanding eﬀorts of Mary, Paul and Peter Janes, who have gone beyond the call of duty to complete the project, providing equipment and expertise, not to mention storage space. Mary navigated our committee on a course which avoided icebergs and storms normally experienced by such a project and managed to skillfully guide us into port, safe and sound. Peter has meticulously read and carefully edited every word of the book. Paul, above anyone else, is responsible for the project with his passionate interest in restoring old photographs. When he had reached three hundred photographs related to Warwick Township, he and Mary felt it was essential to “do something with them.” Now that Paul has restored and catalogued 5000 photos, he has indeed done something with them. Congratulations to the Janes on their outstanding leadership in this project.
Besides all the writing he did for this book, Chair Glenn Stott guided us through the process with an even hand and good humour. His past experience in history writing has been invaluable. Glenn’s ability to work with a group of strong-willed individuals has been amazing.
With a project this large we have undoubtedly missed some people who have greatly contributed to the project. For this we are truly sorry.
Warwick Township History Committee
Warwick Township Roads, Old Names and New