From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall


November 1995

By Dr. Bill Randall

The Log House In Lake George

Recently I took a snapshot of Cecil MacLean. It was one of those clear, crisp autumn days and Cecil was standing in front of a log house which may be twice as old as Cecil. Cecil will soon be 97 so that means the house may be close to 200 years old. The house is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ferris and is used as a summer home. It is located near the MicMac Trailer Park in Lake George and I have been trying to track down something of its history.

John McGeorge and Alexander Lawson emigrated to this province in 1817 from Dumfriesshire, Scotland. On October 2, 1818, they petitioned His Excellency Major General George Stacey-Smyth for 300 acres of land each, near a Lake situated in the rear of the Prince William Grant. They each received a grant of 200 acres, Lot #1 and Lot #2.

According to an autobiography written by John McMurray (1843-1922) he traces his ancestry back to his uncle John McGeorge. John McGeorge was shot by an Indian and died in 1822. Subsequently, his nephew James McMurray (1811-1884) of Scotland inherited John McGeorge’s property. James came to Lake George and married Rosannah Donnelly at the Church of England by Rev. Mr. Wiggins. James decided to move West and with his wife and family went as far as Detroit, having sold his property to his brother-in-law, John Donnelly, born 1803 in Ireland.

James and Rosannah were not happy with their prospects in the West so returned to Lake George. From the writing of John McMurray, the son of James, I quote “He, (James McMurray), had spent all his money and had lost his house and farm. His brother-in-law (John Donnelly) let him stay there until he built another for himself. He (James) went down on the south end of the McGeorge property on the east side next the Lawson land. There he built a little log cabin close by the lake. That was the cabin I was born in.”

I think that is the cabin before which Cecil posed for his picture.

The Halfpenny Atlas of 1878 indicates that Lot #1 belonged to McMurray’s and others. Gertrude McMurray, widow of Guy McMurray who was the grandson of James McMurray, indicates that the McMurray families always considered the log cabin to have been built on their property.

There is another possibility which I must present: 1 copy from a letter written by Mr. Crewdson of Bear Island, York County, N.B., to T.H. Perley in April 1905, concerning the death of John McGeorge He (McGeorge) and a man named Ray were the first settlers at Lake George, Prince William. McGeorge and Ray had each a log house and small log barn or hovel in which each kept a cow.”

Could this be the log house which still stands? Ivan Crowell, an expert at dating historic landmarks, examined the nails in the log house and describes them as being square hand-forged about 1795.

There might be a reader who could provide additional information for this subject which would be welcomed, nevertheless it stands as one of the oldest dwellings still in use.

In preparing this material I have appreciated Ruth Cleghorn’s loan of a Lawson family history, compiled by Frank Lawson, also a copy of the life of John McMurray transcribed by Ruth from Family Records of McMurray Family.

And of course, I have enjoyed sharing this project with Cecil MacLean who vividly remembers having lunch in this house when Henry McMurray (a not too tidy housekeeper) lived there.

The McMurray property was sold to Ewart Hyde who after cutting the pulp sold lots to various people. It is in this area that the earliest Lake George Cemetery was established, probably in the 1860’s, recently restored and cared for by the occupants of the MicMac Trailer Park.


By Dr. Randall:

The historical non-biographical material relating to the story of Ann MacLean for October  1995 was researched by Trinia Campbell and she deserves this credit.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest: