Webster’s Corners took its name from its first postmaster – James Murray Webster. The final “s” on “Corners” is significant. In those days, when you were lucky to find even one road going in your direction, a cross-street was a significant find. A person who lived on a jog in the road or on a “dog leg” where the road followed section lines around a 90 degree corner, might find their name applied to a “Corner”. But in order to qualify for “Corners”, you had to have four of them – a full intersection and nothing less. This was a mark of distinction that was not lost on Mr. Webster who was reportedly fond of standing out in the middle of “his” intersection to dispense the mail.
Good farmland along the Dewdney Trunk Road – really little more than a trail – attracted settlers along with small scale logging and milling operations to produce shingle bolts. The Dewdney Trunk itself was a source of income as constant maintenance was required to keep it passable and later to erect and maintain the power transmission lines from the powerhouse at Ruskin. The hauling and spreading of gravel has been an issue since earliest days.
One of the distinctive elements of Webster’s Corners is its Finnish community. Arriving first from Sointula in 1905, the community continued to grow and draw in more Finnish newcomers to Canada. AS there came to be too many people for the restricted land of the commune, it broke up but the community stayed together. They built the Sampo Hall entirely with volunteer labour in 1915. Today there are still Finnish names to be found around the corners as well as the occasional sauna.
View archival photos of Webster’s Corners at our Flickr site.
Pioneer families of Webster’s Corners:
- James Murray Webster family
- William Ansell family
- Volho Katainen family
- Humphreys brothers
- Walter Rauma family
- Sam Saari family
- Arvo Skytte family