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Research by: Darren Hansen 1998
Information from a paper by Dell B Moses dated 1910
In the year 1800, when there was a great rage for immigrating to Ohio. Several families had left for that then distant El Dorado of the west. Nehemiah and Benjamen Churchill, sons of Ezral, were smitten with the "Ohio Fever" as it was called. 

Not being able to carry out their plans from some cause, they removed back into the woods, with their families, several miles beyond the most distant settlers at "the ponds" as all the country above the Mills at Milltown was then called. They gave their settlement the names of their wished for the western homes. 

John Saunders Nathan Crosby Sen. Jesse Cann
Eleazer Butler Knowles Crosby John Cann
Robert Butler John Crosby Joseph Porter
Nathan Butler Joseph Watson Patten Joseph Whitehouse 
Robert Durkee Sen. Ashabel Wyman Benjamen Whitehouse
John Durkee Manasseh Cook Jacob Vickery
Robert Durkee Jr. Elias Trask Nathan Crosby
Ward Handy William Fletcher William Moses
James Allen Nehemiah Churchill Elenezer Crosby
Jos. Alden Ellis Benjamin Churchill

Just outside of Yarmouth town is the old homestead property of Phineas Durkee of 1762. Robert, one of his descendants was among the pioneers of Ohio. 

These early settlers first cleared away the forests in order to build their homes and get in the crops. They first built log houses until they could get in a position to erect better homes. Berries were very plentiful. I heard a woman tell that her mother while waiting for the members of her household to come to the mid day meal, stepped out of doors and picked a large quantity of berries which in the afternoon she exchanged for groceries. 

The Cape Fourchu river, called by that name probably on account of its being forked flows through Ohio. Some authorities call it the Yar river believing it to be the river from which Yarmouth got its name. One branch of the Cape Fourchu river flows through Hebron and Ohio nearly to Lake George and another branch flows through the salt pond dyke to Chipman's Corner. 

The river widens in Ohio to form Bunkers Lake the fourth of the chains of lake extending from Lake George to Milton and connected by this river. It probably received its name from Paul Bunker, one of whose lots of land lay near its foot. 

This river forms a good mill site and the early settlers gave their attention to lumbering and timbering but more lately people attend to farming and bringing cordwood to the Yarmouth market. The surplus farm products and building materials from saw mills at Ohio helped make cargoes for the West Indies. Returning from the West Indies the cargoes were molasses, sugar, etc. 

Enoch Crosby may be taken as a type of the older Ohio farmer. After spending an ordinary life-time in building up his valuable homestead property on the western side of the Cape Fourchu river, he sold it to Nelson Cann and retired to Deerfield, where some of his children had settled, and soon transformed his new home, which was a very rough place, so that it is now the chief ornament in that part of the county. 


Previous to this time when the first settlers came from Chebogue to Ohio there were Indian settlements in Ohio. Although Indians settled and named many of the neighboring villages. Chebogue is an Indian name, derived from Che and Paug meaning Great Still Water, also Chegoggin meaning Great Encampment, and Tusket meaning the Great Forked Tidal River. 

The Indians used to make excavations for their winter stalk of corn and dried fish. These store houses were five or six feet deep and five to fifteen feet wide. As a protection against rain and frost they covered them with poles, dried grass, and sods. 

Many years ago there was an Indian encampment by the side of Government Brook. At that time wild animals were numerous and the Indians were occupied in hunting and making baskets. They had the Indians usual appetite for liquor. They drank it unmixed until they could drink no more. One Indian, John Pete, had his heel cords cut by the members of his tribe for some of his evil deeds. A family of Indians called the Bartlets sent their children, Chris, Mattio, and Blums to school. Mrs. Judy Bartlet used to make baskets and exchange them for fine laces and home made garments. Mrs. Piper who lived near theses Indians evidently esteemed Mr. Bartlet very highly. 

With the exception of the Bartlets the Indians seldom stayed in Ohio more than a few months at a time. The first Indians that came to our village lived in wigwams. Those that came in later years built log houses. Now as in all provinces here is not a trace "of the gentle race That has passed away forever" 

The memory of the Old Man
How can it pass away
While their names of music
On each mount and stream and bay;
While Musquodoboit's waters
Roll sparkling to the main;
While falls the laughing sunbeams
On Chegoggin's field of grain.


In arranging a fire in an old fire place. First a large log called the back log was put at the back, then the andirons were placed against this log at right angles to it and the fore log was placed on the standards of the andirons. The smaller materials were then placed on the andirons between the back and fore log. This left a space beneath for draught and for the coals to drop down where they were easily obtained. 

Bread was cooked in an iron kettle. This kettle was put in front of the fire place and surrounded with coals. It had a cover constructed so that coals might be placed on the top of the kettle. A baking oven was used in baking cakes and biscuits. This was shaped like a sloping roof with an open space towards the fire. There were cleats inside of this upon which to set the pan containing the food. This baking oven was set upon the hearth and the coals were shoveled around it. This was somewhat inconvenient as the cinders were often scattered over the food. For frying and boiling meats and vegetables, griddles and boilers were hung upon a crane. 

The houses were lighted by means of candles. At certain times our ancestors took a day for moulding candles. They ran tallow into moulds in which wicks had previously been arranged. The women wove cloths called homespun, and then made them into garments. 

The daughters of families in ordinary circumstances had one dress of homespun cloth each year. Girls labour was valued at the rate of sixty cents a week. A seamstress usually got seventy cents a week. Woman used the cheap wool left from weaving for making mittens, which sold for fifteen cents a pair. These were called Sale Mittens because they were to be sold. 

There was usually a room provided in the home for drying grain. Buckwheat, barley, and rye were raised, and taken to the grist mills to be grounded into flour. Nearly every family kept sheep. In the autumn a beef creature and a pig were killed and kept in provision for the winter. 

A shoe maker was hired from time to time to come to the different houses and make shoes for the family. 


In the winter of 1869 the first surveys were made for a railroad between Yarmouth and Annapolis and in April the Western Counties Railway was incorporated. New surveys were made in 1873. The first rail of the Western Counties R.R. was laid near Lovitts Wharf. The first spike was driven by G.B. Dane, president of the company. 

The first locomotive "The Pioneer" arrived at Yarmouth October 20, 1874 and the first trip was made October 28, 1874. The road was formerly opened to traffic between Yarmouth and Digby September 29, 1879, the first passenger ticket being purchased by J.R. Kenney, M.P.P. The first excursion a "Maying Party" left on May 10, 1875 going as far as the Pitman's Road, just above Ohio, with twelve platform cars between 1100 and 1200 passengers accompanied by Milton Brass Band. 

The D.A.R took over the control of the Yarmouth and Annapolis R.R Oct. 1, 1894. 


The first Post Master of the village was Mr. Wm. Crosby. On January 1, 1882, our first mail was brought to us by railway. Previous to this date it was brought by coach. Coaches used to run between Yarmouth and Digby. 


In the year 1853 George and William Crosby came from the United States and commenced the manufactures of Boots and Shoes in the American way of doing things. They kept at the business for several years, and made a success as long as the works were kept running. 

About the year 1876 a large building was erected and a company organized for the manufacture of cheese, with a first class plant. They manufactured cheese for years, but owning to the cost of milk and low price of cheese, on account of competition in the market the business closed. 

A large wood-working factory was built by Mr. George Crosby in the year 1891. In this factory were manufactured rakes, clothes pins, hand sleds, broom handles, wash boards and various other articles. A vessel with a cargo of spool wood was wrecked in Yarmouth Harbour and the wood was forwarded to Ohio and used in this factory. This factory is not running at present time. 

At one time there was a Champion Linament factory in Ohio. This factory was burned about eight years ago in the fire which left this and the three principal stores of the village in ruins. 

There has always been a saw mill in Ohio and in former days there was a grist-mill. Mr. Elias Trask built the first saw mill. Lumber was formerly exported from Ohio. At the present time shingles are made in the place where Mr. Trask first run his mill. 

The early settlers of Ohio raised much more grain than is raised at this time. Nearly all the farmers raised wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, and oats. This was taken to the different grist-mills on the Cape Fourchu river and ground into flour, not equal to superfine Genesee, but which made good bread. 

These different manufactures made Ohio a thriving village of quick growth and second to no other in the county from a business stand point. 


In 1833 was laid the foundation of the magnificent fleet that a few years after grew to be one nintieth of the tonnage of the British Empire, and carried her flag into every sea and into every port of the world. But finally like all wooden ship building there is barely any sail of it left, on account of the enormous growth of steel ship and steam marine. 

In the days when Yarmouth took the lead in ship building a great many of the citizens of Ohio were ship owners. Below are some verses composed by the great grandparents of the present inhabitants of Ohio about those who owned a share in a vessel called the "Ohio". 

Old Uncle Enoch, Ohio Nate Old Aunt Hannah, Little Mary Nate
High-blooded Trask and old Uncle Jake Big Ab Trask, Aunt Thia Jake
Skipper Jim Robbins, Capt. John Cann Chunky Mrs. Robbins, lean Becky Cann
Squire Lord Porter and King Jesses Cann Fat Bitsy Porter and Quenn Nabby Cann
Click on pictures for enlargement

The education interests of the young were taught in two small houses one of which was on the land near where the Ohio church now stands. The other one was located and is now a part of the store of Wm Crosby. About the year 1850 the two districts came together and built a very nice school house, with a hall in the upper story, on the lot of land nearly opposite where our present house now stands. This house was a long step in advance of the first two. There were but few branches taught to the pupils, but they were practical ones. Our present school house was built in the year 1867 at the commencement of the present free school systems. Ohio school has two departments, the advanced and the primary. 

Previous to the year 1851 the people of Ohio attended worship at Hebron church or held services in the two small school houses. At Hebron in 1837 there was organized a Baptist congregation designated "The Second Baptist Church of Yarmouth". A few years later, on February 15, 1851, a church was established in the Ohio district, its relationship with the older body suggested by the name, "The Ohio Baptist Congregation in connection with The Second Baptist Church of Yarmouth". 

A place of worship was completed and dedicated in 1852. On September 10 of the same year, 36 members were dismissed from the parent church in Hebron to become the charter members of the South Ohio church. 

Elder James Reid became the first pastor of the new congregation, an office in which he was succeeded in 1858 by Lic. Joseph Sanders. Mr. Saunders served until 1870 and returned for a second ministry with the congregation during the years between 1898 and 1904. 

 By 1884, the community had grown beyond the capacity of the church. So a second church was build and opened in February, 1887, the dedication sermon was preached by Rev. J.B. Woodland. This building was called North Temple church and its people continued for seven years as a separate pastorate. During its brief life span, the North Temple was served by three pastors, Rev. H.N. Perry, Rev. F.M. Young, and Rev. Trueman Bishop. 

Meanwhile, the original body build a new church and opened it for uses on January 27, 1889. The two church organizations in South Ohio functioned independently until 1894 when it was agreed to share the services of one pastor. In 1905, the two groups united and the North Temple passed out of existence. 

The outward appearance of the Baptist church in South Ohio underwent a marked change in 1917 when on July 30, the structure was struck by lighting. In making repairs, the spire and belfry were removed and the tower was rebuilt in its present form. 

Pictures from postcards about 1900 


    A Brief History On South Ohio
    Trevor Goodwin 

    On June 9, 1761 the first English speaking settler arrived at Chebogue from Massachusetts. This first groups consisted of three families. Others arrived from New England and settled in the area around Yarmouth. Although many settlers came, not all decided to stay. 

    In the year 1800, when there was a great rage to emigrate to Ohio, and several families had left for that " Eldarado of the West", Nehemiah and Benjiman Churchill, sons of Ezra, were smitten with the "Ohio Fever", as it was called. Not being able to carry out their plans they resettled back into the woods, with their families, several miles beyond the most distant settlements at "the ponds". [ Which was all the country above the mills at milltown (Now called Milton)]

    Other families also settled the area some of these family names include: Allen, Butler, Cann, Cook, Crosby, Durkee, Fletcher, Handy, Moses, Porter, Saunders, Vickery, and Whitehouse. Many of these can still be found in or around the Ohio area.

    These early settlers cleared the forest in order to build their houses and make gardens for their crop. Their first houses were crude log houses, which were lived in until they were able to make better houses.The first saw mill was built on the Ohio mill stream by Elias Trask. Much of the lumber for the early houses came from the mill. Some of the lumber was even exported. Later this mill was changed and started the manufacturing of wooden shingles.

    Most of the farms in Ohio were large and self-sufficient raising livestock and produce. Most of the men and boys worked in the woods cutting firewood and logs for the sawmill. Different types of grain such as wheat, rye, and oats were grown to be grounded at grist mill to be ground into flour. 

    By the mid- nineteenth century Ohio was growing into quite a bustling village. In 1851 the first baptist church was built on the North Ohio RD. In 1887 another church was built on the junction of the Lake George, North Ohio Roads. Before 1850 the children in the area got their schooling does in two small houses, one classroom was located in a home near the church, the other classroom was situated in part of a store owned by William Crosby. About the year 1850 a nice school house was built, with a hall in the upper story. In 1887 a much larger school was constructed to serve the educational needs of many of the youngsters who wanted the chance, and needed it, to go to school.

    Towards the end of the nineteenth century many businesses had developed and prospered. Some of these include Janie Cann ran a clothing store, George Crosby ran a dry goods store. Porter's Blacksmith Shop was also in operation and the Post Office operated out one of the two general stores.

    The introduction of the railway skyrocketed Ohio's economic activity and the first locomotive, The Pioneer, arrived in Yarmouth in 1874. The first excursion The Pioneer took, in 1874, went as far as the Pitman Road just above Ohio. The train had 12 platform cars and carried approximately 1000 passengers. The train was also accompanied by the Milton Brass Band. On Jan 1, 1882 the first mail was brought to Ohio by train. Before the train it came by coach, which ran between Yarmouth and Digby.

    Manufacturing played a very important role in the development of Ohio. In 1853 manufacturing was introduced to the area by George and William Crosby. They came from the United States and built, operated, and successfully managed a boot and shoe fitting factory. This factory remained successful for many years. Another successful business erected in Ohio was a large wood working factory built by George Crosby in 1891. This business made many useful things including rakes, clothes pins, ban sleds, broom handles, washboards and other various items.This company thrived for 10-15 years but started falling out and eventually went out of business in 1910. About the year 1876 a large building was erected and a company organized in order to process cheese. This business never peaked and eventually had to close for reasons such as high cost of milk, low demand for the product and competition in the marketplace. Another successful business erected in Ohio was a large wood working factory built by George Crosby in 1891. This business made many useful things including rakes, clothes pins, ban sleds, broom handles, washboards and other various items. This company thrived for 10-15 years but started falling out and eventually went out of business in 1910. Another business that had trouble was the Champion Linament Factory, who in 1902 was destroyed by fire, leaving the three principal stores in ruins. With its manufacturing, many businesses and the arrival of transportation Ohio was a thriving village of quick growth and could have been ranked as # 1 from a business standpoint.

    South Ohio has witnessed many changes in its near 200 year history. This village can be viewed now and shows how, in the last 150+ years, the town has prospered and grown into one of the greater communities in Yarmouth County. This history has been but a glimpse of its illustrious past. 

    If you have any information on any of the communities of Yarmouth County that you would like to share please 

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