Resilience Prevailed And They Bounced Back
From All Disasters Fate Handed Them
It was late in the fall of 1879 that the Fremlin family arrived at the wharf at Marksville on St. Joseph’s Island from Collingwood. William David Fremlin was born to “comfortable circumstances” in England, and was untrained in the necessary skills to carve a homestead out of rough Algoma bush. However, determination and the spirit of adventure brought him to the St. Joseph’s Island area. The story is told of several misfortunes befalling the family, firstly with their belongings all destroyed in a fire, and then through no fault of their own, their newly purchased provisions being ruined.

Fremlin men. Back Row: Bill, Duncan, Guy; Middle Row: Clark, Al (baby), Frank; Front Row: Tom, Jack

Resilience prevailed and the family bounced back from all the disasters fate handed them. William moved to Bar River and purchased land in Section 5, as a gift for his wife, Mary, in whose name the farm remained until her death in 1909. A store was built on this property and operated by William’s daughter, Jessie and her husband Ed Hollingsworth. The early ledgers date from 1888.

William and Mary had six children; Jessie, (Mrs. Ed Hollingsworth), Henry Phillip, Margaret Mary, William Chappelle, Duncan Walter and Helen May (Mrs. Ed Lothian). William and Mary are buried in Hilton Beach.

Duncan came to Laird to manage the family farm. On March 26, 1902, he married Edna Louise Browne of Bar River; the first couple to be married in the newly built Presbyterian Church. The store was at this time converted to a house. Nine children were born to this union – Guy, William, Frank, Clark, Lloyd, Katherine, Nora, and twins Lulu and Mac. Unfortunately, shortly after the twins were born, Mrs. Fremlin passed away. Six years later, Duncan married Marion Desmont Swire of Laird. Six children were born to this marriage; Jack, Tom, Girlie, Roger, Beth and a still-born son.

Duncan operated a mixed farm with cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys and geese. He also provided hay and grain for bush camps, delivery stable etc.


Curious to know more?  Delve Further Into The Fremlin Family History here:
Laird Chronicles Chapter 10 – The Pioneers
Family History/Photos – The Fremlin Family