The story of the first settlement of Canaan is legendary and has been brought down to us by generations. There are no documents to offer as proofs of its truth, and if any ever existed, they have been carefully gathered up and sold for paper rags. But the legend runs, that in the wintry December of 1766, the old man Scofield, who had been knocking about the country in search of a home while wandering in the neighborhood of Lebanon, from passing trappers and woodmen, heard of the rich intervals, the huge trees, and game in abundance, to be had in the wilderness, where as yet, no man had settled for a longer time than was needed to take up his traps. He started for the new region on snowshoes, hauling his effects on a handsled, followed by his wife and four children, two young sons and two daughters and settled here, the first white man, among the great pines and maples, the black bear and wolf his only neighbors. The old man must have possessed a stout heart and infinite faith in himself, for I take it, no man even in these devout days would go forth into the wilderness upon snowshoes and a handsled with simply a trust in God. Such a trust might do in. the summer time, when the earth is generous in fruits and flowers, and a bed of grass or leaves is easy for the bones of the weary; but when the frost cloud descends and settles upon the earth, and feathers of young frosting give a nap to all things, a stern reliance upon self is a safer trust. Faith in God may do for a man in the agonies of inexorable death when he knows it is unsafe to postpone faith any longer, but it will never prevent his freezing with the mercury at zero and below. And so thought old John Scofield, for he brought his axe and shovel, removed the snow, felled trees, built him a great fire and a brush house and left a name in the local ananls that will live forever.
It is related that the next morning after his arrival, the old man left his family, and set out for Lebanon for such of his goods as he had been unable to bring the day previous, intending
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