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The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 10

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Daniel Way lives at the entrance of the settlement, by the first bridge. Cloth manufacture is his trade. At the far end of the settlement, by the bridge at the foot of Chemin Madore, lives Harry Hollister. He has been operating a saw mill and a grist mill for several years.

larger_way.10a.jpgDaniel Way puts in the following add in the Stansead Journal on May 23, 1851: "WOOL CARDING NOTICE The subscriber would inform the inhabitants of Barnston and vicinity, that he has rebuilt his CARDING MACHINE which is now second to none in the Townships. It will be in operation in a few days, and he would invite the attention of his former customers and all domestic manufacturers. He would also render his thanks for the very liberal patronage he has received, and hopes by prompt attention to his business and his usual liberal terms, to merit not only a continuation but an increase of business. Grain will be received in payment if delivered in January next, and a very liberal discount made for cash in hand, and work done to order."

Daniel has surely read the Proverb of the Bible : "A good name is more desirable than great riches : to be esteemed is better than silver and gold." (22 :1). But what about Harry Hollister?

larger_way.10b.jpgLiving by an ill-defined boundary around "45" (the 45th parallel) until the Washington Treaty was signed in 1842, the good people of Barsnton Township and their american neighbours have benefited from the free circulation of people and goods. But smuggling and other illicit endeavours are now on the rise. The Township has the reputation of being a nest of counterfeiters. On April 20, 1848, the Stanstead Journal carries these news : "An arrest of persons supposed to be engaged in the manufacture and vending of spurious money took place in Barnston on the 12th ... A search instituted for counterfeit money and the various implements used by the 'fraternity,' was successfully continued through the week…Spurious notes on various banks in the United States, to the amount of $15, 000 to $20,000 were found, principally upon the premises of Davis and Hollister. A considerable amount of base coin, - gold and silver- was also discovered, … together with the implements used in coining, among which were several dies, and a machine for stamping coin called the «big bogus»… it would seem that a considerable amount of business has been transacted at the'Barnston Bank' during the past winter. The honest and law-abiding citizens of Barnston …will rejoice at the breaking up of the haunts of the desperate and lawless men who have long made that Township a reproach."

Harry Hollister is among the men imprisoned in Sherbrooke to await trial. But on August 30, 1848 The Stanstead Journal reports: "The trial of Harry Hollister, indicted for having in his possession certain dies, plates, presses, &c., designed to counterfeit American half and quarter eagles, was fixed for today. As it was shown to the satisfaction of the Court, that the instruments found in the possession of the prisoner, were not designed exclusively for counterfeiting, but were often used by Machinists for lawful purposes, and that the prisoner himself was a Machinist, the Jury were instructed to render a verdict of not guilty, which they accordingly did." After four months in jail, Hollister is a free man.

Harry is an honest man after all ! Certainly, his name and his grist mill are good enough to be listed in the Canada Directory of 1851 under the Township of Barnston. And Hollister and Way will work together for their fledgling community, as shows a petition they present to the Stanstead Council in 1851.

To be continued...