The residents of Hammond will be paying homage to the Scottish immigrants who settled the area 200 years ago, with a series of special events throughout the summer!
Full Article in Watertown Daily Times | MAY 2018
HAMMOND — The residents of Hammond will be paying homage to the Scottish immigrants who settled the area 200 years ago, with a series of special events throughout the summer.
Although the town wasn’t officially incorporated until 1827, the community of Hammond has existed much longer, according to historian Donna Demick.
She said this year’s planned bicentennial of Scottish immigration honors those who settled the community beginning in 1818, nearly a decade before the township was formed by splitting off from the nearby towns of Morristown and Rossie.
She said one of the most common stories is that David Parish, who owned vast tracts of land across the region, lured Scottish immigrants to what is now Hammond with a promise of free farmland and other amenities of the day.
“Mr. Parish sent an agent up in Canada where they were and lured them with the promise of 10 acres of land, a log cabin, provisions for the first year, a cow and a pair of oxen to share between every two settlers,” Ms. Demick said. “I mean, he made it look really good.”
She said the historical accounts point to those first Scottish settlers putting down stakes along what is now the Chippewa Bay Road in Hammond. In many cases they did not find the open spaces and easily tillable bottom land that Mr. Parish’s agent had promised.
“They had to forge their way through the forest to get to land and then clear the land,” she said. “It turns out he was just putting a cookie out there.”
Ms. Demick said she is not sure whether the settlers received the free land and other perks they had been told awaited them. But what the immigrants did find, Ms. Demick said, was a beautiful landscape near the St. Lawrence River, one very similar to what they had left in Scotland.
“They found a lot of stone,” she said. “They started with log cabins and eventually, when things got settled, they started using the sandstone, which was right in their back yard and easy to get. That’s why we still have 40 stone houses in the town.”
Following is a tentative list of events beginning this month. For more information contact Ms. Demick at 315-528-4742.
■ May 19: The public is welcome to join students to place Scottish flags next to the immigrants’ gravestones. The event will take place at 10 a.m. in all five Hammond cemeteries. The Pleasant Valley Cemetery houses approximately 100 of the 200 recorded Scottish immigrants.
■ May 28: Memorial Day parade will honor Scots who served in the military.
■ June 25 to July 13: Three mystery sightings of Kelpie, the St. Lawrence River beast, will occur.
■ July 14: A Celtic music party from 7 to 9 p.m.
■ July 15: Legendary Celtic harpist Kim Robertson will perform at the Iva Smith Art Gallery at 4 p.m.
■ July 16: “Three Weeks in the Highlands.” Mark and Louise Scarlett, Susie Wood and David Duff will present a photo talk at the Hammond Historical Museum at 7:30 p.m.
■ July 18: Hammond Historical Museum will be open from 10 to 6 p.m. with Scottish-themed displays and merchandise for sale.
■ July 18: Hammond farmers and artisans market from 3 to 6 p.m. with some Scottish-themed items.
■ July 18: Tartan weaving with Harriet Burris
■ July 20: Scottish stone house bus tours beginning at 9 a.m.
■ July 21: Main celebration at the Hammond Historical Museum. Events planned throughout town all day, to include Highland Games competitions and blacksmithing, sales and music.