White’s Corners (Whitehurst and Orchard Valley)
This forgotten community lies just east of Jellby, on the Jellby – North Augusta Road. The area is reached via the Greenbush Road to Greenbush, Rocksprings Road through its junction with the Jellby Road. Landmarks to look for are John Jelly’s old homestead and ¾ of a mile beyond that, Bill Jelly’s old home which is located at the exact centre of what was once White’s Corners.
The second cheese factory burned down around 1940, the old shingle mill vanished in decay over the years and the only reminder of what was White’s Corners is the former home of Bill Jelly. The cheese factory was known as The Orchard Valley Cheese Factory and was located across from what was Bill Jelly’s house. The Orchard Valley cheese factory was owned by Jim White and J. Cardwell Ferguson was the last operator when the factory burned down. In the 1930’s cheese was selling around 13¢ a pound
Few in the area recall the settlement that once flourished just east of Jellby, but the old Shiloh Church which served the settlers still rises majestically on Shiloh Road.
Originally four families of Whites settled in the area. They located east of where the Ottawa- Brockville CPR line was to run in later years and at their back door was the Augusta Township Line. They settled on the ninth and tenth concessions of Elizabethtown.
Joseph White was the first to settle, followed by his brothers Eli, Henry and George. On February 24, 1824, Joseph White fresh from his native Ireland, bought 100 acres of land on the west half of Lot No. 3 on the Tenth Concession , paying pioneer farmer Enoch Knowlton 100 pound sterling for the land.
Joseph White died February 20, 1835. The White’s are buried in the Bolton Cemetery.
The old Bolton School once stool on the property of Henry White. The school once stood near the Bolton Cemetery on Lot 5 of the Tenth Concession in Elizabethtown. There was also another school, Bell’s School, in the area that served the children’s educational needs. Bell’s school was located close to the Bell’s Cemetery.
The Bolton Cemetery was sometimes referred to as Whitehurst, from the name of a nearby railway crossing. Old maps show the crossing as Whitehurst and more modern maps call it Bell’s Crossing from the Bell families living around there. There was a post office nearby supplying the Jellyby area (Recorder and Tines, Darling Collection Book 3)
as written by a descendant of John White
Lucy (Kilborn) White, was the wife of John White who died about 1817/18 at the age of 50 years.
After her husband’s death she and her sons moved to the northeast part of Elizabethtown in an area that borders on Augusta Township. Here they established a small village once known as “White’s Corners”. Lucy’s sons Eli and Henry settled on Lot 9 of the 9th Concession of Elizabethtown not far from the village of Jellby. In her later years Lucy lived with her son Joseph who had acquired land on Lot 10 of the 3rd Concession of Elizabethtown.
Lucy White lived into her eighties and when she died on March 15th, 1857 she was buried on Lot 5 of the 10th Concession. She lies next to her son Joseph. Her stone reads “Lucy, wife of John White died (dates missing) age 84 years.
James White, the eldest son of Henry R.S. White and Sarah Berry, took over the family farm on the 9th Concession of Elizabethtown from his widowed mother probably when he was in his early twenties. The home lot on the 9th Concession was variously referred to as Whitehurst or Orchard Valley. It was here that James White constructed a cheese factory that became an important supplier of this product for the surrounding district.
According to Wilma White, a granddaughter of James White, “The Orchard Valley Cheese Factory was situated in a grove of apple trees on the corner of Shiloh and Jellyby Roads”. This corner was called appropriately. “Whites Corners. The original cheese factory burned down around the turn of the century (1900) and James White replaced it with another factory he purchased in a nearby community he called Roebuck. Unfortunately this factory also burned down in 1940, but this was long after the property had passed into the hands of the Jelly family.
“John Jelly recalls White’s Corners chiefly because of his son Bill Jelly who occupied the last home owned by the Whites here. His house was once the property of James White and at the rear doorstep lies a tombstone which once adorned the grave of Henry White in Bolton Cemetery.
The railway crossing a mile north of John Jelly’s farm is known as Bell’s Crossing, but more than 100 years ago it was called Whitehurst. There was a post office there supplying the Jellyby area” (Harry Painting “John Jelly recalls Paltry $37 Cheese Cheques” Brockville Recorder and Times March 27, 1981)
*Excerpts on White’s Corners are from the book “A White Family Odyssey 1635-1997, Massachusetts to British Columbia, Canada” by Robert White
Jellyby or Jellby- In researching this hamlet we have come across both spellings, and a sentence by someone that they never knew which was the correct spelling as Jellby was used by the old timers in the area.