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Memorial wall honours Marden community and its first settlers

LEFT: Members of the McDonald family and descendants of the La Guayra Settlers celebrated the recent unveiling of the Marden Heritage Wall on July 8. RIGHT: Sadie and Connor Pritchard, grandchildren of Bruce and Jane McDonald, eighth generation descendants of the La Guayra Settlers help unveil the Marden Heritage Wall.  Photos by Mike Robinson

Memorial wall honours Marden community and its first settlers

by Mike Robinson

MARDEN - On July 8, Heritage Guelph/Eramosa unveiled the Marden Heritage Wall honouring the 1827 McDonald Log Cabin.

The heritage wall was made using surviving old growth white cedar logs from one of the first log cabins in Guelph Township which were donated by the sixth generation owners of the farm - Bruce and Jane McDonald.

Mayor Chris White was quite pleased with the turnout.

“It’s absolutely fantastic. We’ve tried to do a neat thing here and wanted to have the community come out and take a look.”

White said one of the goals of the heritage committee is preserving local history in the township.

As a recent example, White pointed to efforts in the wake of the fire at the Everton Mill “one of the last wooden mills in Ontario.

“We’ve gone in and pulled metal out of there to preserve as much as we could.”

He described the efforts regarding the McDonald Log Cabin as similar.

“We all know the story of the La Guayra Settlers.”

He noted many of those in the room that day were direct or indirect descendants of those settlers.

Joseph McDonald and his family were among the La Guayra Settlers in 1827 who constructed the log cabin on their farm at the corner of Highway 6 and Marden Road.

Though the cabin stood for many years, it fell into disrepair and eventually dismantled, White said.

“A few logs were salvaged, and it is from these logs the heritage wall was constructed.”

“We are very proud of this wall,” he added.

Heritage committee member Gord Carothers provided a detailed description on the wall’s creation.

He added the wall includes two photos of the cabin with the McDonald children in the 1960s and a plaque explaining the story of the cabin.

White said the result of the work is great and with the wall being indoors “this will last forever ... hopefully.”

 

July 14, 2017

 
 

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