Cabinet Minister Lauds Puslinch Fair Directors


(from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for September 21st 1951.)



The Honourable W. E. Hamilton, M.P.P. for South Wellington Riding has heaped credit on the exhibitors and directors of the Puslinch Agricultural Society fall show, held at Aberfoyle on Wednesday.


“Aberfoyle show has become a family show,” Mr. Hamilton said, “with many of the township’s oldest people coming back year after year to mingle with the young folks.”  Speaking to a large crowd at the fair, he mentioned the name of Alfred Crane of Guelph, who told him of having exhibited a champion calf at the same fair 73 years ago.  Bill Winer of Morriston had also told him that his father and grandfather remembered when the Puslinch fair of more than 100 years ago was held a few miles down the road across from Mr. Winer’s present farm.  Now 111 years old, the fair included a full-fledged plowing match in the early days.


It was a day for recollecting as another fair-goer remembered riding in a Model T for short jaunts down the road in 1913.  An enterprising concessionaire of the day provided rides in the lively Ford for the sum of 25 cents.


Judging was brisk despite the large number of entries of livestock.  The horse classes, getting progressively smaller each year, saw the Main brothers of Bright the chief winners in the Clydesdales and the McCutcheon brothers of Rockwood and G. D. Morden of Oakville, at the top in Percheron and Belgian classes.  Dr. E. Foster and sons of Galt swept the light horse awards and N. Jamieson of Brantford took most prizes in the wagon and express divisions.


The Shorthorn and Hereford cattle classes proved to be the main body of the show.  Greatly enlarged prize lists drew a record number of entries to Aberfoyle.  As Shorthorns were judged, a stiff race developed between George Lasby’s entries of Guelph and those of T. C. Amos of Moffat.  Mr. Lasby had the grand champion male, grand champion female, and best herd, as well as a number of other wins.  He was closely followed by Tommy Amos and E. S. Cockburn and sons, Puslinch.  J. S. Dunbar and son of Guelph swept most of the Hereford prizes along with Wesley Scott of Mount Forest and Norman Roszell of Puslinch.


There was also an outstanding Holstein show with W. A. Wingrove, of Campbellville, the most successful exhibitor.  Following closely in the prize money was Art Adie and sons of Guelph.  Altogether, five herds competed in the Guernsey section.  Joyce Brothers of Milton took all honours in the Guernsey classes.


Mrs. M. W. Staples of Puslinch had the grand championship in Jerseys.  Other successful exhibitors were George Hewer of Puslinch and W. Arnott of Breslau.  G. B. Crow of Hespeler cleaned up the prize money in hogs.  Sheep entries of J. H. Willmot of Milton, T. R. Clarkson of Weston, J. Stark of Milton, and J. Kelly of Elora won many awards.


Plan Race Course


In the women’s divisions on display in the hall, Mrs. Roy Carter of Arkell won the Robert Simpson and Acker’s Furniture awards in baking and fancy work.  Mrs. Bert McEdwards of Puslinch won the Loblaw Special in flowers.


For the first time in a number of years, the Puslinch Agricultural Society will be able to declare a profit on operations, secretary W. J. Hunter reported today.  Receipts and admissions were very satisfactory even excluding the proceeds of the dance which followed the show in the township hall on Wednesday night.  For several years now, the fair has come out on the red side of the ledger.


The fair directorate is now looking forward to improving the grounds and plan to include construction of a race track for harness races, in the near future, so promising do the prospects look at this juncture.



Calf Club Winners at Puslinch


A feature which attracted a great deal of interest at the annual Puslinch Fall Fair, held at Aberfoyle, was the competition between boys and girls of the township’s two calf clubs.  Both clubs have a financial sponsor in the Guelph Kiwanis Club.  They are the Puslinch Boys and Girls Dairy Calf Club and the Puslinch Boys and Girls Beef Calf Club.  Ira Black of R.R. # 3 Guelph was winner in the Dairy Calf Club with his prize winning Guernsey.  Ira, who is the son of Gordon Black, Hamilton’s Corners, was also grand champion showman in a competition between both clubs.  Bruce McLean, son of Mr. and Mrs. John G. McLean, R.R. # 1 Puslinch, was the Beef Club winner with his champion Shorthorn calf. 



Old Timers in Public Eye at Aberfoyle’s Fall Fair

by Findlay Weaver


Among the genuine old-timers at the Aberfoyle Fall Fair on Wednesday of this week was Alfred Crane, now of Guelph, living a t 4 Douglas Street, who used to farm in the Downey district of Puslinch.  Seventy-three years ago, he walked nine miles to the fair where he showed a calf which turned out to be a champion.


A hundred years ago, the show was held in a field across the way from the farm now owned by William Winer.  Alf Crane is one of the most loyal and enthusiastic Aberfoyle Fair fans.  The first Aberfoyle Fair was held in 1840.


Another who looks back over decades to early editions of the fair is John Little.  He and Mrs. Little were among the oldest of those attending the show this year.  Location of their farm home is just north of Puslinch Lake.


Former Warden Albert McWilliams called attention to the fact that the Littles live on the 200 acre farm which Mr. Little presented to Wellington County three years ago for inclusion in the county reforestation scheme, the only provision being that the farm home remain the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Little to the end of their lives.


When the 200 acres were presented to the county, 25 acres remained under the original forest coverage.  The other 175 acres are now included in the county’s reforestation areas.


Unflagging Fiddlers


Old time fiddlers were among the octogenarians at this year’s fair, including Tom Sanders of Guelph and Charlie Dyer, now of Fergus, formerly of Hillsburgh.  Each has been a featured personality in the Mercury “Way Back” sketches.  They have been contestants for many years for old time fiddling honours, each having a large collection of prize awards.  At this year’s competition at the Canadian National Exhibition, Charlie was first and Tom second.  At Aberfoyle, Dyer was first, George Redmond of Orton, second, and Tom Sanders, third.


The Little family of Puslinch


John Little is the scion of an outstanding family of the township.  Joseph Little, his father, was an infant when John’s grandparents came to Puslinch in 1839.  Joseph Little was brought up and always lived on the homestead set up by his father, later coming into possession there.  He was a man of impressive individuality, highly intelligent, always genial, and of a personality drawing devoted friends.  His home was one of the most hospitable in the district.


He served on the Puslinch township council for several terms and also on the board of health, and for years was a director of the Puslinch Agricultural Society.  In politics, he was a staunch Reformer, in religion, a Presbyterian.  He died in 1905 at the age of 66 having been predeceased in 1896 by his wife, the former Elizabeth Jacobs.


Pioneer of the Puslinch Littles was Robert, a native of Tyrone County, Ireland, born in 1798.  He and his brother, James, emigrated to Canada and settled in Kingston, both coming to Puslinch in 1839.  James died unmarried, Robert lived to be 84.  His passing came in 1882, predeceased by his wife, who died in 1878 at age 78.


Robert Little Jr., elder brother of John Little’s father, in 1861, purchased 100 acres, lot 10, concession 2, Puslinch.  Starting from scratch, he rose to comparative affluence, became a township councillor, and for a period of years, served as magistrate.  He was a promoter of one of the first farmers’ institutes in Ontario, known as the Puslinch Farmers’ Club, making a name for himself at the first meeting with an address on “Clover and its values”.


One of his brothers, James, became a Presbyterian minister of note, his education in the Puslinch Lake log schoolhouse having been followed by terms at the famous school of Dr. Tassie in Galt, and at Knox College in Toronto.  Two of his sons followed in his footsteps as clergymen.



Brownie Salesgirls at the Aberfoyle Fair


Aberfoyle and the surrounding district now have a Brownie Pack, organized under the direction of “Brown Owl” Mrs. C. A. Gordon.  This pack was formed last January, has an enrolment of 13 little girls, mostly from S.S. #4 and S.S. #5, Puslinch Township.  The pack had a booth at Aberfoyle Fall fair this week and sold candy, popcorn, a variety of toys and other articles to raise money for Brownie activities.  Known as the First Aberfoyle Brownie Pack, some of the members are Ann Gordon, Jean Gilmour, Rita Crow, Jean McCaig, Lorraine Warren, Sandra Warren, Allona Ruetz and Evelyn Clark.



Lucky Draw Winner


The Puslinch Agricultural Society created added interest in their fair yesterday at Aberfoyle by offering tickets on a purebred Holstein calf which the society had earlier purchased from William Winer, a district breeder.  The valuable calf exhibited excellent lineage, being sired by a son of Montvic Rag Apple Master.  The draw was made by the Honourable William E. Hamilton and the calf was won by Billy McLean, of Eden Mills.  He had the option of accepting the calf or $200 in cash.  Billy had gone home when the draw was made and so his boss, Charles Lewis, of Guelph, accepted the calf on his behalf and was immediately besieged by prospective buyers.



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