The story of John Sims and the broad axe

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

It turns out Donald Morrison (The Megantic Outlaw) wasn’t the only Scotsman from the Townships known to run from the law. In an effort to keep the history of the Scottish community in the Townships alive, here is the story of another famous Scotsman named John Sims. As the story goes, Sims came from Glasgow, Scotland to North America when he was only thirteen years old. His reason for leaving Scotland is one for the history books. Before coming to North America, Sims was working in a shipyard. One day, he got into a heated argument with his boss. They ended up getting into a fight and Sims knocked his boss out cold, his body lying flat on the ground. Believing he had killed the man, Sims hopped the next ship leaving Scotland and ended up headed for Boston. He arrived in Boston around 1830. He then continued on through Wells River and Ryegate, Vermont to the St. Francis Valley. Ryegate was a Scottish community so it made sense that John chose to pass through there on his journey from Boston. Throughout his journey, he carried only two belongings: a broad axe and a sledgehammer. He knew those were the essential tools that he would need once he found a piece of land to build on. See full story in the Wednesday, July 17 edition of The Record.

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