Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections
Digging the Shillum Farm Pond, 1953


Description
Media Type:
Image
Item Type:
Photographs
Description:
Rose and Robert Shillum bought the 100 acre dairy farm on the Back Concession (now 3133 Burnhamthorpe Rd. West), Palermo, from Fred Edwards and moved their family from Toronto in 1950.

In 1953, neighbour David (D.A.) Wendover, who ran a contracting and excavation business, dug a new pond and new well on the Shillum farm. (See other records in this collection with photographs and information about the Shillum farm pond and well, and other area construction work by the Wendover business.)

The farm had clean water systems in place, but they weren't sufficient for the Shillum family of five. Wayne provides detailed information in his book of the set-up prior to this 1953 work.

The photographs in this record are of creating the new pond, which was the first step in increasing and modernizing the farm's clean water supply.

The first two photographs show Robert Shillum wearing his painter's cap looking at the machinery for soil scraping and levelling. Perhaps the other man is D.A. Wendover.

The third picture shows the family standing in the deep end of the pond as water starts to fill it. By year end, the water was about five feet high. 1954's spring run-off would fill it.

The pond was just west of the house in the front west field. You can still see the shape of the pond near the road. It was to provide household water, barn water and for swimming and skating.

There were two other ponds in existence on the farm that supplied water for the cows and horses when in pastures. It made sense to refurbish these swampy areas while the excavating equipment was at hand. The first pond to be repaired was one in the lane that protruded into the east middle field. The other was in the bush. Trigger, one of the horses, became trapped in the mud of the lane pond. The story ends well but Wayne's description of the ordeal to free Trigger is vivid. They not only dug mud away with shovels and by hand but also used the bulldozer so the heavy work was done as quickly as possible. The bulldozer had the strength to pull Trigger slowly out of the mud.
Notes:
There are 3 photographs in this record, click on "Pages Select" to view each.

Information for this record is taken from Wayne E. Shillum's book, The Farmboy in 1950's Palermo Ontario. Publisher: WES Marketing, cJanuary 2018. ISBN 1987978064, 9781987978063 (Available from Amazon.ca)

The pond was dug in 1953. The roll of film with this photograph was developed in 1954.
Date of Publication:
1953
Subject(s):
Personal Name(s):
Robert Henry Shillum, called Bob, April 19, 1915-March 1999 ; Rose Violet Shillum, called Rose, March 14, 1914-April 1998 ; Sons: Robert Lloyd Shillum, called Bob, August 29, 1938-October 3, 1993 ; Wayne Edward Shillum, b. March 12, 1944 ; Brian David Shillum, b.October 6, 1947.
Local identifier:
TTWES000724
Collection:
Trafalgar Township Historical Society
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4478683697204 Longitude: -79.7980362011718
Recommended Citation:
Digging the Shillum Farm Pond, 1953
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Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton
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Digging the Shillum Farm Pond, 1953


Rose and Robert Shillum bought the 100 acre dairy farm on the Back Concession (now 3133 Burnhamthorpe Rd. West), Palermo, from Fred Edwards and moved their family from Toronto in 1950.

In 1953, neighbour David (D.A.) Wendover, who ran a contracting and excavation business, dug a new pond and new well on the Shillum farm. (See other records in this collection with photographs and information about the Shillum farm pond and well, and other area construction work by the Wendover business.)

The farm had clean water systems in place, but they weren't sufficient for the Shillum family of five. Wayne provides detailed information in his book of the set-up prior to this 1953 work.

The photographs in this record are of creating the new pond, which was the first step in increasing and modernizing the farm's clean water supply.

The first two photographs show Robert Shillum wearing his painter's cap looking at the machinery for soil scraping and levelling. Perhaps the other man is D.A. Wendover.

The third picture shows the family standing in the deep end of the pond as water starts to fill it. By year end, the water was about five feet high. 1954's spring run-off would fill it.

The pond was just west of the house in the front west field. You can still see the shape of the pond near the road. It was to provide household water, barn water and for swimming and skating.

There were two other ponds in existence on the farm that supplied water for the cows and horses when in pastures. It made sense to refurbish these swampy areas while the excavating equipment was at hand. The first pond to be repaired was one in the lane that protruded into the east middle field. The other was in the bush. Trigger, one of the horses, became trapped in the mud of the lane pond. The story ends well but Wayne's description of the ordeal to free Trigger is vivid. They not only dug mud away with shovels and by hand but also used the bulldozer so the heavy work was done as quickly as possible. The bulldozer had the strength to pull Trigger slowly out of the mud.