Painting and Auction Sale

Burlington Gazette - History by Helen Langford

Painting and Auction Sale
Tues., April 11, 1978

Very few families in Burlington have the continuity in farming of the Davis' and Ghents. Descendants of each family farmed here from 1806 until the 1950s. The Ghents reached their 150 year anniversary before Newton sold his farm on Maple Avenue.

The second white child of Brant's Block became very active in politics. George Ghent finally bought better land on Brant Street and his home still stands on the south-east corner of Brant and Prospect. Many years ago a fine oil painting of George showed up in an antique shop. Fortunately a local historian rescued it realizing its local importance.

The first generation of Ghents (nine of them) married very familiar names such as Fonger, Triller, Fisher, Hopkins and Davis. Sarah Ghent married her cousin James Davis and moved to north Toronto where they established the Davis Tannery.

Three of Asahel Davis' children moved to Iowa as adults, leaving Gilbert, the fourth child of twelve home on the farm. It has been said that Asahel died a wealthy man. When the homestead was broken up in 1951, Ward Price from Toronto held an auction at home. Unfortunately, the sale was not well advertised and the buyers were few - the catalogue would make any of you auction lovers green with envy and the final price even a little ill. For example a plain sterling silver butter dish with glass liner brought $4.50 and a Baxter Print brought $3.00!! Believe it or not - I got two Davis entree dishes as a wedding present.

Thomas and Elizabeth Ghent brought a fine grandfather clock to their new home - still cherished by the family. Beside it hands a very large oil painting one of the four given to the daughters of Gilbert Davis, painted by a Hamilton artists J.S. Gordon who spent a summer recuperating with the Davis family. The great granddaughters of Hannah Philipse surely inherited her beauty. The eldest Hannah, married her second cousin Thaddeus Ghent, son of George, one again joining the Ghent and Davis line.

These two families added their strong, dependable salt-of-the-earth characters to our talented, colourful Bates, Kings, Chisholms, Brants, Kerns, Fongers and Applegarths - a great nucleus for a developing area.

P.S.: The 'buter' last week sold for 3 shillings, 9 pence, not 3 pounds, 9 shillings.

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 11 Apr. 1978. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library - Central Branch. Reel No Missing.