Historically . . . heritage of Zorra revived on...
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Jun 26, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Historically . . . heritage of Zorra revived on roadside signs

St. Marys Journal Argus

Stew Slater

St. Marys Journal Argus

At one crossroad, there are no buildings whatsoever; just a grove of tall trees where the stagecoach used to stop and be met by a throng of area residents eager for news and goods from afar.

At another crossroads, there’s a single residence, kitty-corner from a tall, steel microwave tower whose light — when it’s working, which it wasn’t for a while recently — serves as a beacon towards the nearby, much larger village of Harrington.

At yet another crossroads, history has been more richly preserved, with an active United Church still bearing the name of the pioneering family known throughout the area as one of the earliest and hardest-working settlers in northern Oxford County. Across from the church, the Women’s Institute has led an ongoing community effort to preserve and continue to use an old schoolhouse as a community hall.

All three of these Zorra Township crossroads, once known as communities in their own right but of late (aside, perhaps, from Browns Corner, with its church and schoolhouse) slipping into the recesses of memory, have now had their heritages revived.

New signs have been put up through the support of the County of Oxford and the Township of Zorra, alerting passersby to the one-time existence of Browns Corners, New Eden (formerly home to McKim's School, near Harrington) and Pasadena (the former stagecoach stop, within view of the Cobble Hills Golf Course on Road 78). The signs show the name of the one-time village, along with the qualifier “Historically.”

“There’s a lot of history here,” commented Zorra Councillor Jim Verwer, when he met with the Journal Argus for a photo of the new Browns Corner sign. “People still know about some of the things that happened here, and the people who lived here. It’s worth preserving.”

Verwer credits Alan Kittmer in New Eden and Mary Older in Pasadena for lobbying long and hard for the signs, as well as volunteers with the East Nissouri History Book committee. He says there may be more in the future. But he couldn’t confirm where.

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