Thursday, January 26, 2012

William Schurman House

    I was looking for a Schurman house in Summerside and came across this blog entry.  Check it out:
William Schurman House
( Wm. built after the fire destroyed the cabin -  it’s also gone now )
...So we set about researching the William Schurman family history which turned out to be quite easy since a two volume set had been published in the 1970′s that traced most of the more than 15 thousand descendants of William and his 11 children. Linda Schurman is descended from William’s son Isaac so it was his line we were most interested in seeing if we could find locations…houses, graveyards, etc related to him.
     The first thing we went looking for was the site of William Schurman’s original log cabin. According to the Descendants book it was located on the Dunk River in Bedeque. With a little digging we learned it was on the farm now owned by Sydney Green so I went to visit Sydney who took me down as close as he could to where he said the log cabin had been located. I had to struggle through waist high weeds growing between a canola field and the trees lining the bank of the river. It was a very hot July day and I was wearing shorts….not a good decision because I got my legs all scratched and bloody from the rose briars. Of course the blood just sent the mosquitoes into a feeding frenzy. I got the where Sydney said the log cabin had been located….There’s nothing there now although Sydney said at one time when he was clearing land he found some old charred timbers which he figured belonged to the cabin after it burned down.
      It was obvious I was not going to be able to bring Linda and her family back to the log cabin site this way. Then I came up with what I thought was a great idea. What if we came in by water….just the way William would have. I called my neighbour, Brian Lewis who is an oyster fisher and asked him if he would take me up the Dunk to see if we could get to the site of the log cabin. I had the GPS coordinates so we would just use them to lead us to the location.
     When Brian and I went to scout out the location to make sure we could find it, we discovered a little channel just wide enough for our dory to go through that led in from the river right to where the log cabin had been built. Brian figured it was probably a lot wider 200 years ago which is likely why William built the cabin there…he could get his boat right up to the site. We both kind of got goosebumps thinking we were actually following a route used more than two centuries ago...

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