Scarborough's BiCentennial in 1996 affords us an opportunity to reflect on what it has taken to build this city -- people and their values and their industry. Scarborough's new Coat of Arms, presented on June 15 1996, takes us back to those feudal times when values and attributes were just beginning to be recorded in symbols and mottos on armorial bearings and clan crests. It is altogether fitting that this Scarborough Bi-Centennial investigation into the evolution of the values of Scarborough's Scottish immigrants should begin with a survey of late feudal rural society....
This project is an important chapter in the social and economic development of the Lanarkshire Scots who later settled in Scarborough, Canada, in the early nineteenth century. To Scarborough they brought their values -- including profound respect for freedom, individuality, faith, family, honest toil, security and material wealth. This is a brief study of the evolution of several of those values. Lanarkshire immigrants like James Weir, John Torrance, James Neilson, James McCowan, Alexander Muir, Dr. Robert Hamilton, James Lawrie, Robert Stobo, Catherine Bowes Hall, and Agnes Hamilton Rae made important contributions to Scarborough's social, economic and political development. It is absolute folly to pretend that we can understand their mid-nineteenth century experience in and contribution to Canada without first exploring the evolution of their value system in Scotland.
And so, this study is as much an investigation of immigrants to Canada as it is of rural Lanarkshire. The more we know about the values of immigrants, the better we can plan the future of this nation. The log home of Lesmahagow immigrant William Porteous McCowan is a public museum in Scarborough. This story of immigrants' values is just one of many lessons that may be taught in the McCowan Log House Museum during Scarborough's BiCentennial Celebration in 1996.
From the Introduction to When The Ground Fails: An Economic Watershed