The History of East Road (by Alex Lochead)

It was a cold December night when Harriet quietly mentioned to Richard that they were almost out of oatmeal for their morning porridge and he should take a bag of oats down to McDonald's Mill tomorrow. Richard, of course, had another opinion and discussed all the reasons he should wait until one of the neighbours were going that way and he would go with them. He explained that a 100 pound bag of oats was a bit bulky and got really heavy after a couple of miles and that road out through Silver Bay was a long way to Sandfield. Harriet responded that he should go down that deer trail that goes down the East side of the Township, the one that Indian lad up on Paul's Point uses. She explained, “It must be a reasonable trail because he uses it a lot and after all, Concession 11 is another mile and a quarter further up the shore than we are at Concession 10. Anyway, there is not much snow in the bush and no doubt some stumps are cut off fairly high so that you could just back up to rest your load on it.”

“But what about those sun dogs in the sky tonight? We both know that calls for snow, and I will be into that,” replied Richard. “And you realize I don’t know that trail down there. I was only deer hunting once in that area.” But Harriet's reply was quite firm, “I don't really care which road you take but that trail down the East side of the Township is a lot shorter and you can always watch the lake from most of it. Also, it is not too far for you until you come to the Lime Kilns and there is a wagon trail from there down to Sandfield and someone might be still hauling lime and would give you a ride. It is not much of a decision in my mind which way is best and you are going TOMORROW!”

“Well, I guess I will go the East Trail then and now I am going to bed. By the way did you ever get my heavy mitts darned? It is going to be cold.”“ I'll darn your mitts. You just remember to ask Mr. Johnston when he is making up the rolled oats to throw a little flax seed in with it and some cracked wheat, it helps the flavour.”

And so the East Road started to evolve as a "given" road, which means basically the land owners have allowed the general public to use the road and this is still true of some parts of the East Road even today. The township maintains the road and has purchased the right of way on most of it but there are some parts still a "given" road. The East Road, as we know it today, is an important throughway for many of our township residents and is still a "shorter" way for many.