Have Bakersdale and Frankville Been Found?

In the written history of William Panton, it states that William and his family came to Canada and Nelson Township. It was in 1834, at the age of 26 that William and his family (mother, sisters Jane and Maria, his cousin Susan, Uncle William Spence and his wife Martha, Spence’s son Patrick, his mother, his sister Anne Panton and her family) made the trip over to start a new life in Canada. It would have been quite a contingent of family and friends on the voyage from Ireland.

Land records show that William Spence purchased 100 acres, Lot 1, Concession 3 New Survey in 1834 from Edward Thomas. It was the W1/2 of the 200 acre lot. Because the group from Ireland came over together, it is conceivable that they lived near each other. The land records further show that William Spence sold 20 acres to Jane C. Panton, widow in 1852. Perhaps Jane had been living on those 20 acres since her arrival with the group and did not officially purchase the land until 1852. Lot 1, Concession 3 is in the area of #2 Side Road in what is now the Nelson Quarry. In letters written to her nieces in 1915, Jane Panton, sister of William Panton, wrote that when the group came to Canada they settled at a place they called Frankville. The 100 acres of William Spence are most likely, Frankville.

It is interesting to note that William Spence also purchased 100 acres of Lot 14, Concession 2 NS from John White who was a prominent member of parliament in 1871. This lot would be in the current location of McNiven Road and what is now known as Conservation Road, previously Steeles Avenue. In 1875 he sold 50 acres to Francis Baker. Francis kept the property until 1883 until it was sold to John Small.

We know that William Panton purchased a farm reported to be not far distant from his mother. This purchase most likely came after his service in the 1837 Rebellion and after he married and lived in Thorold while he worked on the building of the Welland Canal.

Review of the land records in Nelson Township, specifically Concession 2 New Survey, has found that William Panton purchased 100 acres on the NE ½ of Lot 5 in 1840 from Burge McCay and his wife. Lot 5 is in the approximate area of what is now Britannia Road and Cedar Springs Road to Blind Line. The north east half would be closer to Blind Line. Looking on a map, one can see that this is quite close to where his mother, was living (almost due south). This is most likely the location of Bakersdale.

The land was sold in 1853 to George Harbottle. This is about the same time as Kilbride was laid out as a village and we know that William Panton moved to a home on what was Thomas Street (now Kilbride Street) and Jane Street. The house still stands. It is interesting to note that on the original survey of Kilbride, the Panton house is the only structure depicted.

The Panton house in Kilbride remains a landmark. It is located on the corner of Kilbride Street and Jane Street, immediately east of Kilbride United Church.

Contributing Author: Helen Callaway