Orwell was named in 1769 by Surveyor General Captain Samuel Holland after Lord Francis Orwell, then British Minister of Plantations. Initial settlement was on the coast but and as fields and roads were created settlement moved inland. The small crossroads community of Orwell Corner was founded in the early nineteenth century by Scots who were amongst the Glenaladale Settlers who left Scotland in 1772 on the brig ‘Alexander’, and they were joined by families that came from the Isle of Skye, County Monaghan in Ireland and loyalists who left the US after the revolution. Part of the village that these settlers created has been preserved as an open air museum.
Clarke Store & Farm Yard
Orwell Corner went into decline in the 20th century and in 1970 plans were prepared to restore it to reflect how it would have looked in the 1890s. The result is Orwell Corner Historic Village, a small open air museum with a church, a farm, a store, a school, a community hall and a blacksmiths shop. Its historical significance lies in the fact that these are historical buildings on their original sites, sadly with the exception of the community hall as the original burned down in the 1950s.
Kitchen of Clarke Store
D.E. Clarke's General Store represents the Irish settlement of the area as Clarke family came to the colony from Galway in Ireland in 1856. Brothers Richard and Denis opened this general store in 1864. The store operated until 1906 and has now been stocked with antique items typical of the 1890s. This picture shows the kitchen of the house attached to the store.
The farm dates back to the 1890's. It was a mixed farm but potatoes and grain provided the main source of income. Nowadays chickens, sheep, pigs, goats and draft horses are kept for the visitors and there is an exhibition of old wagons, farm machinery and farm implements.
Presbyterian Church from graveyard
The Scottish roots of many of the village’s early settlers is reflected in the church which was built in 1861 by Scottish Presbyterians from the community. In the cemetery dating back to 1884 can be found many graves bearing traditional Highland surnames.
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