- In the 1871 census for Cramahe, we found 52 year old James SIM as head of household; occupation laborer. Wife Elizabeth is 39 and not employed outside of home. Children listed were Isabella (16), Mary (14), Sarah (12), Margaret (10), Emma (8), Jemima (4) and our ancestor John Wm (8 months old).
The site location referenced in the pioneer document translates to “broken front concession, part of lot 30, tenant”. A broken front concession is when a lot is on a shore. Tenant indicates that he did not own the property.
We found an old map of Northumberland and located lot 30 – which is on the shore of Lake Ontario. This map also showed the location of the houses on the property. One of these homes is where the SIM family lived.
Black squares show the houses.
Comparing the old map to Google maps, we can see that some of the homes are still there and there are a few foundations left of those that were demolished. Back in 1870, it was a dense cedar forest. Today, most of the area is now part of Victoria Beach, Ontario. There is a large gravel pit nearby.
Victoria Beach was a famous vacation spot for the wealthy at the turn of the century. The forest was cleared by 1894 and there were numerous hotels. By 1901, James and Elizabeth had moved into their daughter's home in Cramahe Township. James passed away in 1902 and Elizabeth in 1907.
Victoria Beach is rated as one of the best beaches in Ontario today. If you are in the area and can visit, send us some photos and we can post them on this blog.
Read more about the history of Victoria Beach.