A Silver Hill woman wants to put the former Suckertown back on the map.
Sherri Taylor of North Walsingham Road 10 received encouragement last week to pursue the installation of signage acknowledging the ghost hamlet of Carholme.
Carholme was once a thriving community southeast of Langton.
The hamlet started out as Suckertown in the 1840s. When the time came to establish a post office in the 1890s, federal authorities deemed the name Suckertown inappropriate. Thus was born the hamlet of Carholme.
Taylor has wanted to acknowledge her neighbourhood’s past for several years. She finally acted after seeing how successful residents of Dogs Nest east of Port Dover have been in resurrecting memories of their history.
“I saw that in the paper and I said `I’ve got to get going on this,’” Taylor said. “Our family would help pay for the sign if we knew how much it was.”
Taylor teared up during her presentation to Norfolk council on Feb. 11. Memories of Carholme were important to her father Robert Morrison Jr., who recently died, and her late grandfather Robert Morrison Sr.
Taylor is looking into the cost of deluxe heritage signage of the kind posted in Vittoria, Normandale, Lynedoch and other hamlets in Norfolk that reached their zenith in the 19th century.
In her presentation, Taylor said Suckertown got going on the 10th Concession around 1840.
“Suckertown over the next 40 years became a growing and vibrant community,” Taylor said. “The land was cleared, homes were built (and) a flour and grist mill was built on Big Creek run by water power.
“It is not known who started the original mill. However, two of the early owners were the Suttons, who later moved to Simcoe, and Bowyer family, (whose) descendants now live near Renton.”
The hamlet grew to accommodate a blacksmith’s shop, a general store, and a Presbyterian church.
“The west side of Big Creek was settled largely by Irish people and the east side by Scottish people,” Taylor said. “It is interesting to note this is the way they sat in church. The Scots sat in the east pews and the Irish in the west.”
A school was built in 1869. The headmaster — a Mr. Barclay — was immensely capable and ran a normal school in summer that graduated educators, some of whom went on to teach in Vittoria, Port Rowan, Langton and elsewhere.
The Carholme area was more recently in the news in 2017 when the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit issued evacuation orders to several homes on North Walsingham Road 10.
The emergency involved the emission of high levels of toxic hydrogen sulphide gas from two abandoned gas wells. The order was lifted once the wells were capped.
Sherri Taylor’s home was part of the evacuation order, a situation which saw Norfolk County block through traffic with concrete barricades.