Baldoon Settlement

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1804 to 1818
Location: Ontario, Canadamap
Surname/tag: Ontario
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This page is maintained by the Ontario Team, part of the Canada Project.

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Lord Selkirk

Baldoon was founded by the Earl of Selkirk in 1804 as a settlement for Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances. The tenants had been evicted so that the owners could turn the land into large profitable ranches. In May of 1804 one hundred and two settlers from 15 families left from Kirkcubright Scotland for Canada. The founded a settlement located on the marshy north shore of Lake St. Clair on the Chenail Écarté (The Snye), Upper Canada, near today's Wallaceburg, Ontario. Unfortunately, the first settlers arrived at the height of the annual malaria season and many became ill. Selkirk's agent, Alexander C. Macdonell, struggled to make a success of the venture, but the location combined with the colonial government's lack of enthusiasm persuaded Selkirk to concentrate his efforts on his Red River Colony. To make matters worse, the American army rampaged through Selkirk's own farm and the settlement during the War of 1812. During General William Hull invasion of Canada on July 12, 1812. Despite these setbacks, some of the original settlers and their descendants did remain in the area.

For a list of the original fifteen families who arrived in 1804, see The Baldoon Settlement.

The Baldoon Mystery

This legendary ghost story is part of the folklore of Wallaceburg, Ontario. According to the tale, the family farm of local resident John T. McDonald was disturbed by a haunting attributed to the curse from a witch; they heard noises of people marching through their kitchen, saw bullets and stones come through windows, and witnessed fires starting around the house. The McDonalds enlisted the aid of a woman who told them to make a bullet out of silver and shoot a black-headed goose with it, and if they wounded the bird, the witch would be wounded also. After McDonald used the bullet to break the wing of the goose, he encountered an old woman seated in a rocking chair on her front porch with a broken arm, and after that point, there were no more disturbances at the McDonald farm.

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