The History of Angus, Ontario
By Hugh Hardy
When these tramways were in operation, it was the usual thing for the cars to go back empty, and in berry-picking time the women and children would "hook a ride" and journey away off to where berries were plentiful. The old folks who recall these happy days of long ago relate that the worst part was coming home when the cars were loaded with logs and everyone had to walk.
As the timber was removed from the surrounding country, the land was used for farm crops, and for several years there was a brisk business in shipping wheat. This was all teamed to Angus where it was bought by wheat buyers and shipped for export. At one time there were five wheat buyers located in the Village. This grain and other produce came from the country south as far as Alliston and west as far as Shelbourne, and a few miles this side of Orangeville. In fact in those days, most of the mail and other supplies were all teamed from Angus to points south and there was a daily stage running to the Town of Alliston.
With such a thriving business of timber and grain and so many people living in and around the village, it required many places of business to look after their needs. There were five hotels, including the Dominion House owned by Wm. H. McDougall, Bush's Hotel owned by J.L. Tar Bush, the Queens owned by Mrs. Margaret Foster, the Northern by Sam Foster, and the Railroad Hotel run by Jimmie Graham. The village had five general stores, among which were JR. Browns, Alex. Coopers, J.B. Smiths, G. McLandress and Boyes and Nelson. As horses were the only means of transportation in those days, the blacksmith was an important man. Four blacksmith shops were in the village, and often the ring of the anvil could be heard late on into the night, as teams waited in turn to be shod. Another important place in those days was the wagon and carriage shop. This was run by WC. McCrimmon. Other places of business included the Land Agent's Office, owned by Jonas Tar Bush, two tailor shops, two photographers, a bake shop owned by Geo. Lawrence, two farm implement agencies, a saddle and harness store owned by Harvey McKinley. There were also two liquor stores, a tinsmith, cooperage shop, drug store and flour and feed business. Dr. Francis L. Nesbitt was physician for many years, being followed in 1887 by Dr. West.
The first school in the village was commenced in 1857. The building stood well back on the lot where Dr. West's home now stands. A second frame structure was erected on the present school lot, but was burned about 1880. The splendid brick school which is used now was then erected.