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Arnot & Van Nest In Solina

Copied from the book: "A Place Called Solina"
Solina, Ontario - Also know as Eldad, Ontario
by Marguerite Fraser

Index of "Arnot" Surname

Page 28

John and Lydia Van Nest raised a family of 3 boys and 3 girls, Jordan, the eldest, farmed the lot next to his father. He was quite a young man when he was kicked to death by a horse, leaving a family of 9 children. John, the second son, married Julia Bray and their farm included the land where Solina School stands. They too had a large family of 8, William married Eliza Arnot and succeeded his father on the home farm, raising 5 children.

The daughters of John and Lydia also stayed nearby. Mary Anne married James Heatlie, on the farm north of her home. Caroline married David Montgomery - son of the Montgomery pioneers mentioned earlier. She and David were the parents of J.C. Montgomery, author of The North Shore. Abigail, who never married, remained with her parents in Solina and went with them to Bowmanville when they retired.

John Van Nest was a man of strong colours and convictions. A "character" in his later years, as all folk used to be. His passion for education was so strong that he paid taxes to both the schools - Solina School and Bradley's - in his community!

Mrs. Edith Baker Hogarth remembers him from her childhood when he was a very old man with long white hair and a snowy, flowing beard. About 1896. He used to wear a little shawl around his shoulders, and on a rainy day when it was too wet to work the farm he would go across the road to visit his neighbour Tom Baker (Edith's father). They discussed weather, crops, current events, religion, and arrived finally at World Affairs. And while they sipped their mugs of buttermild, Mr. Van Nest would thump the table with his great fist and predict, "Them Rooshians will whip the world, some day!"

One old tale has it that the aging man painted his gateposts direct him, when he returned to earth in the after-life. He died in 1910, in his 99th year.

Page 55.

For a hundred years the "Little Advent Church on the Hill" was a part of Solina community. It was built in 1850 on a quarter-acre of Land deeded to the parish by Peter Elford from his farm (the north half of Lot 26, Con. 5) - across the creek and up the hill west of the village.

It was a plain white frame building, kept throughout the years in immaculate condition through the generosity and devotion of the members who worshipped there. When it was sold to the Baptish Mission of Bowmanville, in 1950, it was still solid and sound. It shone proudly with the fresh white paint put on two years before, though services had not been held there for 30 years or more.

Several of the pioneer families, including those of Daniel and Stephen Hogarth, were the founders of the Advent Church. The families of Daniel Arnot and Thomas Pascoe were also lifetime members. John Hughes the schoolmaster, and his distinguished sons, worshipped there.

Page 101

Mrs. Everett Cryderman (nee Lyda Taylor) read the names of all the teachers for the past 65 years: 1899 - Jesse Arnot and the lists of teachers and dates are listed.

Page 150

The next house north of the corner is a very old one - Mrs Grace Rundle Baker lived in this house with her daughter Libby Branton and Libby's family, in her old age, until she died.

The Brantons moved to Oshawa and the house became the property of Mrs. Fanny Arnott, about 1920. She was the widow of Levi Arnott, who died in 1904. Her daughter Mary lived with her, and also a brother-in-law "Uncle" Dan Arnott.

When Mary married Norval Wotten, they moved to the farm of Norman Wright (where the Wottens still live) and the Wrights moved into this house, in exchange. This was about 1925.

Page 194


The heaviest growth in the early days of Solina community was in this north-westerly direction, among these handsome hills and fertile valleys. It reached northward, in places, almost to the 8th Concession road - and as far west as Lot 35.

About a half-mile north of the village centre, on the west side of Solina Road, we come to the first farm in this section; the home now of the Frank Weslake family.

LOT 25, Con. 6
This house, with its fresh white face, is very old for the Lammimans who built it were among the early pioneers of Pilchardtown. They bought the 55 acres from the centre of the 200-acre lot, from Elijah Bice in December, 1848.

William Lammiman came from the English border country. His wife was a McDougall from Argyllshire in Scotland. The McDougalls - John and Mary, their son Dougald, and their several daughters - secured the deed to Lot 34, Con. 5, in the settlement of Taunton in 1839. Three of the daughters married three brothers: Mary (Mrs. Daniel Arnott), Katie (Mrs. Levi Arnott) and Janet (Mrs. Ira Arnot). A fourth daughter, Nancy, married William Lammiman.

Page 196

In the years after Mrs. Lammiman retired ( having married her daughter Nancy's father-in-law, Thompson Hillis) and moved to the old house to the south, a procession to families lived in her pioneer home on the farm. One family Mr. and Mrs. Levi Arnott and Mary (their daughter).

Page 211,
Lot 28, Con 6

Going west from the Yellowlees place we come next to Lot 28, the farm that was once owned by Thomas and Margaret (Hogarth) Pascoe. They had 9 children, all born here, one son Lou Pascoe married Emma Jane Arnot,
Dec 2000, met Robert Proctor ( online & he was
researching Emma L. Arnot, Daughter of Jesse Arnot
Per Newcastle Local History Project, 09-11-83, Page 57
7-WDN Pascoe, Lewis T of Solina, Dec 19, Wed.....across page
Emma L. Arnot in Darlington - Daughter of Jesse Arnot

Page 218 & 219
Lot 29, Con 6

From where we've been standing, we need only turn around and face west to view a farmhouse that is one of the oldies in the community - the original house of the Van Nest family.

The early history of pioneer John Van Nest and his wife Lydia Gerrow has been given in the chapter "The First Settlers". But one of the more unusual things about John and Lydia's family is that all six of their sons and daughters spent their entire lives right here in this community. Only Abigail, the youngest (and unmarried) daughter left to go with her parents to Bowmanville when they retired.

William, the third son of Lydia and John, was the one who succeeded his father on this farm and in the big house, in the 1890's he married Eliza Arnott and they raised 5 children here. Verna (Mrs. Elmer Gibson), Doreen (Mrs. Smuel Brooks), Norman (m. Elmira Staley), Jesse (m. Eileen Gibson) and Arnot, a high school teacher. Arnot and his wife (Mary Smallman) live in Brantford. Looking back on his childhood in Solina, Arnot Van Nest has this to say: "Solina was my first school, and R.J. McKessock my first and only elementary teacher. As a secondary school teacher, I am not convinced that the centralized elementary school is any great improvement over schools like Solina, under Mr. McKessock"!

The Van Nest sold the farm in 1929.

Page 260
Lots 26 & 27 Con 4.

The Pioneers on these two farms were the Arnot's and the Arnot's were a large family, with several brothers. We know of Daniel, Levi and Elias (twins), John, Jesse, Ira, Albert and Archie.

Daniel, Levi and Ira married 3 McDougall sisters ( a fourth, Nancy, was Mrs. Lammiman of Solina). Daniel built his house and buildings on the corner of his lot (Lot 27) close to his neighbors, the Staintons. The site of that home is still visible from the road today. Daniel Arnot was the great-grandfather of Francis Wotten and Arnot Wotten Sr., of Solina.

Jesse Arnot settled on Lot 26, about half-way back on the farm, south along the short side road that separates Lots 26 & 27, and close beside the winding trout creek. The house was sold in the 1940's.