The meal consisted of wild game stew, bannock, griddle cakes with maple butter or honey, and teas (including sassafras). It was followed by stories, around a wood fire, from the lives of Jonathan Doan (Ken Lang), Sarah Haight (Jennifer Kirby) and John Mills (John Martyn). Their descriptions of the back-breaking work clearing dense forest, early day diets lacking in many foods, bears, wolves, the background of a raging War of 1812, high child mortality rates, and other challenges made it easier to understand how remarkable were the settler's accomplishments.
Jonathan Doan scouted out a place for a new home with his grandson in 1813, cleared the land near present-day Sparta and built a log house. At the end of two years he carried favourable reviews of the area to others in Pennsylvania and several heads of family, mostly of the Society of Quakers decided to return with him. John Mills was amongst settlers who arrived with a group that Doan brought back with him in 1815.
In 1820, the first Friends’ Meeting House ws built at the site of the Quaker Cemetery. The earliest Quaker preacher was Sarah Haight who came to the area in 1821 as a widow with twelve children.
Originally called “The Corners” (South Yarmouth Corners), the village people met and decided that the name should be changed to Sparta in 1834.
Find out more about Sparta’s June 29th & 30th 200th Anniversary Celebrations at www.villageofsparta.com.