This Week In Brooklin History

109 years ago this week
September 14, 1888

Fruit Thieves

From the Brooklin column in the September 14, 1888, Whitby Chronicle:


There are a few very choice orchards and fruit gardens in this village and there are also a large number of the worst young scalawags of boys the sun ever shone on. Before the fruit gets ripe these young vandals are on the forge.

Lately while Mr. Jno. Moore was at church they stripped his pear trees; last week they stole a large quantity of Dr. Starr's grapes. The reckless and desperate young villains not only filled their voracious stomachs but wantonly wasted enough to satisfy as many more. They crowned their despicable work by carrying a quantity to the Methodist church on the evening of the Harvest Home festival and made some of the worthy christians their innocent accomplices.

I understand the Dr. has the names of the depredators. I hope he has, and every person who desires the good of those boys wishes the Dr. to make an example of them and make them atone to the offended law. These lads have previously committed similar offences and come off free.

The fact that they do not get punished is the strongest factor in the development of their fitness for the penitentiary and the gallows. It is a duty to the boys and to the community and the nation that crime of this nature should be nipped in the bud. If allowed to go unpunished, the habit of stealing will grow and eventually lead to thieves on a large and different scale.

The parents of these boys have a plain duty to perform if the Dr. doesn't perform his. If not sent to jail they should be whipped so severely that every time the temptation to steal is suggested, the remembrance of the whipping would make them shiver. Parents, remember the advice of Solomon, the temporal and eternal destiny, painful though it be.

I have the greatest mind in the world to give the names for publication and thus warn the public against the thieves, but the fear of not being accurate or complete withholds me at present. I may have them ready for you next week.

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