John Backhouse went to Long Point on Lake Erie s.w. of Simcoe where the only family-owned (now govt. owned) still-operating mill in North America still stands--and runs. It IS a beautiful locality. I suggest you contact Mr. George Backus at PO Box 280, Port Rowan, Ontario N0E 1M0, Canada. He is a wealth of stories and data, a real living resource, plus he knows all the grounds Backhouse farmed and milled there and will be a humorous ambassador to show you around. He has documents, letters, and you name it plus maps and knows the countryside intimately.
The original Old John came to America and his father in NYC was friends with John Jacob Astor, so much so that Astor named his 2nd son William Backhouse Astor. Since Astor's 1st son was not mentally fit, William became the inheritor of Manhattan Island and was then the richest man in the US. Old John and sons squatted their lands on Lake Erie before Canada was surveyed and he talked his way into gaining prime timber land when Simcoe completed surveys, providing giant white pines from the forest for masts of Her Majesty's Navy ships. He was a key legislator for the area. And no one can figure out how his mill did not get burned with the rest of them when the Yanks pillaged Ontario to starve them into submission (after which they burned the White House).
Did you know also that these Backhouse's were Quaker descendants, persecuted in England, and Old John still insisted on speaking with "thee" and "thou" in his language?
George Backus has a wealth of such stories and data.