Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Great Ontario Communities Series (Port Hope) ~ Part Two

 Port Hope was also the home of The Great Farini (William Leonard Hunt) and Joseph Scriven. Joseph Scriven is best known for penning the hymn “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”. This is as a result of a letter he sent his mother. Scriven was born in Ireland and eventually immigrated to Canada. He lived and died in the Municipality of Port Hope.

William Leonard Hunt lived in the mid 1800’s and was one of Canada’s and perhaps the world’s most interesting characters. Hunt, or as he became better known as "The Great Farini", was everything from a "tight rope walker", to a "trapezes artist" and  to a "Circus performer trainer and manager". He managed people and businesses. He was a botanist and produced several new plants. He was an explorer, "discovering" the Lost City of the Kalahari Desert He was an inventor and is credited with inventing the "human cannonball", "folding theatre seats" and much more! And, he was a land owner. He once owned most land in Hope Township (now part of the municipality of Port Hope). In his later years he lived and died in Port Hope and is now buried in Port Hope’s Union Cemetery. You can learn more about “The Great Farini” by going to  and about Joseph Scriven by going to . Other famous Port Hope residents include Baseball pitcher and Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Paul Quantrill, artists, David Blackwood and writer, Farley Mowat. Port Hope is a great place to work and live and a special place to visit.

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