This is an exciting story that began almost 200 years ago of persistence and family endurance. From early arrivals and establishment in Canada in 1830 to 2018 when the homestead, farming lands and rich heritage artifacts have been reclaimed by the vastly adept Alan Duffy and Duffy family. Which are 7th and 8th generations later.
During the late 1820s and early 1830s there were several Irish families from County Sligo who decided to immigrate to Canada in the hopes of a more prosperous life. In 1830 Andrew & Elizabeth Duffy with their four children Robert, James, Jane and Mary set sail for about three months to Canada. It is believed that Andrew became ill and died at sea. They arrived in Toronto and connected with the other Irish families. After a short time, Elizabeth (Eliza) put a down payment on 100 acres from The Canada Company in August 1832.
The land was just outside Bolton, Ontario. With the help of her children and the Irish community Eliza started clearing and put up the first small crude log home on the land. Eliza’s second son James continued clearing the fields and expanded the farm. He built his own single-story log home which grew with his family and the second story was shortly added afterwards in the 1860s to what is still in existence today.
The homestead and surrounding land (smaller in size due to selloffs throughout the years) left the Duffy family in 1955 from Walker Duffy. Though the farm and homestead had left the family, stories of the family farm were shared through the generations and captured the particular attention of the then young man in his 20s named Alan Duffy.
Starting in 2018 Alan reclaimed the homestead, farm and much of the acreage back to the Duffy family. He and family have rallied around the heritage property. Alan’s son Michael, daughter Lauren and sister Gail are all actively involved in the project. Their goal is to restore the barn and homestead back to its former appearance in various historical period stages. The house is already a designated heritage site. The farmlands have started to be restored to farming crops like what their Duffy ancestors would have grown and harvested to date.
Lastly and most importantly the goal of this restoration project is to share this wonderful story and physical property representing Irish emigration, pioneer living, and heritage restoration for the community and interested parties to partake in living history.
More to come soon!
More to come soon!