Trout Family Reunion 2018
August 11, 2018 – Meaford, Ontario
Who was Henry George Trout?
Henry’s story can be found in a book familiar to many in the Trout family, W.H. Trout’s Trout Family History (1916). Henr
y was born near Westminster Abbey in London in 1770. His father George was a distiller, as well as doorkeeper for the House of Commons. At the age of 20, Henry joined the army and in 1792 arrived in Canada, serving in the Queen’s Rangers under John Graves Simcoe. He married and began raising a family of ten children. When his unit was disbanded in 1802, he returned to civilian life and settled his young family in the township of Bertie near Fort Erie, Ontario. There he owned and operated a horse farm, a stagecoach service, a ferry across the Niagara River and a small hotel. He was called back into military service again by the War of 1812, and when he returned home after the war, his livelihood had been destroyed—only the family bible which was buried in the backyard survived. Henry applied for war relief and was awarded land near Erin, Ontario. He resettled his family and lived there the rest of his life. Today, Henry’s descendants live across Canada and the U.S., and number well over a thousand.
What is Trout Hollow?
Henry’s son William (1801-1877) was a millwright by trade and settled near Meaford, Ontario. There he built and operated a mill on the Bighead River. A young John Muir came to Meaford and found work and lodging with the Trouts for a short time until the mill burned in 1866, forcing him to move on. Though Muir would go on to become an influential naturalist and environmentalist, he never forgot his time in Trout Hollow and maintained friendships with the Trouts until his death in 1914.
In the 1990s a group known as the Canadian Friends of John Muir discovered and excavated the site of the original Trout mill and cabin. Today it is a hiking trail generously made available to the public, and has recently been upgraded to include several nice trail markers outlining its historical significance, with the Trout family story featured prominently. Nearby Riverside Hall Community Centre is an ideal starting location for the hike, and should provide an ideal spot for our reunion.
Trout Hollow Trail is a walking trail that travels through private property along both sides of the Bighead River from the Bakeshop Bridge in Meaford to Riverside Hall Community Centre on the 7th Line. Parts of the trail are an easy walk while other areas offer a more difficult course due to stream crossing and clay banks. While the trail generally follows the river, passing through cedar groves and old hardwoods, it also climbs out of the valley to pass through meadows and grain fields allowing the hiker spectacular views of the countryside. [Trail Map]
There are multiple routes to the Trout Hollow mill site of varying levels of difficulty. We will take the path that is most appropriate for our group, and depending on trail conditions and weather.
The event begins Saturday morning 10:00 am at Riverside Hall Community Centre in Meaford. At 10:30 am we will gather and introduce Robert Burcher, local archaeologist who helped excavate and document Trout Hollow, who will lead our hike. Afterwards we will return to the community center for lunch and socializing with the family.
There are over 1000 descendants of Henry Trout living across Canada and the U.S. today. While we obviously don’t expect all to attend, the group could grow quite large. Please RSVP and let me know if you plan to attend. Some reunion planning will have to wait until we have a better idea of our group’s size.
If you are interested in attending or would like more information, please contact George Trout at email@example.com.