The story of Dexter D’Everardo will be told at the Pelham Historical Society meeting on Oct. 18 by author Johanna Abrahamse, who dug up some new tales on the founding father of Fonthill.
Abrahamse began writing the chronology of D’Everardo after researching the land where she currently lives.
“First I wrote around three lines. That turned into a binder, and eventually into a book about his life,” stated Abrahamse, who was shocked on how few knew his story.
“It’s amazing because you think everyone would know of the man who helped start up Fonthill. But so many people have no idea who he is.”
D’Everardo came to the town and quickly started to build the foundation. Creating a concert hall and serving in many positions across town which included lending out mortgages, providing insurance and selling property. He was also the clerk of Pelham Township and a major influence in the start-up of schooling. Abrahamse says all those positions and job titles eventually caught up with him later in life.
“He was involved in way too many things and that was his downfall as he suffered ill health.”
During the hours upon hours of searching and researching, she discovered new information surrounding the curious life of D’Everardo.
Abrahamse says little was known about him before he came to Upper Canada in 1885 with a name and no background. When asked to supply information on his background history, she believes he made up tales of his french background.
“Nobody ever mentions an accent or a word of french spoken from him listed in the writing,” she said. “They have newspaper articles about his demeanour and how he acted, but nothing to tie him back to his days in France like he stated.”
The exciting part of the whole project have been those discoveries, Abrahamse says. Information keeps coming in and changing the story which has kept her on the lookout for old records and newspaper clippings with information on D’Everardo to continue putting the pieces together.
“It’s exciting to see something you think you know the full story on change. Shows how history should not be forgotten.”
Residents looking to learn more on the often forgotten about founder of the Fonthill can check out the presentation at the Kirk-on-the-Hill Presbyterian Church beginning at 2:30 p.m.