Historical Plaque Properties


Duncan Forbes - Retired Farmer
139 Elizabeth Street
Stratford, ON

Duncan Forbes was born in North Easthope in 1843. He was the son of John Forbes and Isabella McNaughton who had emigrated with a number of other families from Glenquaich, Scotland in 1840. In 1841 John Forbes had a contract for Concession 2 Lot 32 and a year later, he held the deed for it. In 1842, he bought the adjoining lot on Concession 1.

As with most pioneers, the Forbes first home was a log structure. As time and money permitted it was replaced by a stone house. According to Hills of Home: North Easthope Township, “at 19 years of age, their son Duncan helped with that formidable task by using a wheelbarrow and system of planks to haul large stones to the masons.”

Duncan married Rebecca Curtis in 1867. She was the daughter of John Curtis and Rebecca McFarlane. The Curtis’s owned a farm consisting of two lots on Concession 4. In 1880, Duncan and Rebecca acquired ownership of this farm.

Duncan and Rebecca became the parents of eight children. Their eldest son, John, became a teacher in South Easthope and later moved to Ottawa where he remained. Daughters Elsie and Rebecca died young. Daughter Ida remained single and lived with her parents until their deaths. The Forbes other children married and took up farming in the area.

In 1887, Duncan Forbes built the first cement silo in the township. It remained in use until the late 1920s.Duncan was described as an imposing figure with a long flowing white beard and was a dedicated parishioner of Knox Presbyterian Church in North Easthope.

Duncan and Rebecca retired form farming and moved into the newly built house on Elizabeth Street in 1914. Later, they moved across the street to number 162 Elizabeth Street where they remained until their deaths. They are buried in Avondale Cemetery, Stratford.