Pat Mattaini Mestern is the author of eight previous books, including No Choice but Freedom and Magdalena's Song. She writes travel, lifestyle, and local history columns for a variety of national and international publications. She lives in Fergus, Ontario.
Pat Mestern, author of several earlier books and an ardent booster of her hometown, has produced an entertaining personal account of Fergus, while maintaining the historical perspective and utilizing the rich oral history of the area. Her lighter look at some of the characters and the escapades that add flavour to life in small-town Ontario make this a delightful read. Ghost stories and "the legacy of the one-legged chickens" are memorable examples of her Fergus.
The settlement of Fergus, originally known as Little Falls, was founded by two Lowland Scots, Adam Fergusson and James Webster, both advocates by profession. The practice they introduced of giving all new streets Scottish names is still maintained by the local council.
"I first met Pat Mestern back in 1988 when I arrived in Fergus, Ontario, to perform at the Highland Games. Her gracious reception was the aperture to a community which directly conveyed to me a sense of ’The Auld Country.’ The charm of the town and its surroundings along with the enthusiastic greeting I received from the audience is remembered well and has endeared the people of Fergus to me. I am delighted that this community now has a publication to portray its history so that kindred Celts can discover this ’Wee Bit o’ Scotland’ in Canada."
- Alex Beaton, Glenfinnan Music Ltd., Woodland Hills, California.