The towering trees provide an umbrella for this log building lost somewhere in Lanark County. The trickle of a shallow stream whispers the memories of a slow-spinning wheel of a gristmill that once splashed sporadic bursts of water. But, some have said setting foot near this cabin also involves placing footsteps into the spirit world.
It has been said that this decaying log structure was the home of an old trapper and his family. As the story goes, one of his sons got hurt journeying to Franktown bringing the family’s pelts to sell and returned injured. The son received medical assistance from his elderly Grandmother, but the journey home was tedious and long and he died from an infection. How ironic that he passed from a strange trap set in the woods not laid out by himself.
Even though the family has long since passed on, those who have ventured near the cabin over the years have had encounters with what they say is the shadow of a young man. The most chilling encounter was involving a few teenagers who felt a curious feeling when entering the cabin. They said they could sense a presence on the other side of the door as they were were leaving.
No one really knows what happened in this hand hewed log cabin from the 1800’s. Only the mentions of strange sounds that obviously came from the days of trouble and torment from the last days of the injured son.
Out of suffering have come emerged the strongest of souls and one that will continue to live in this cabin for years. This now fading into history is at the very roots of the movement that enshrines trappers as heroic figures from a past that had long become the stuff of legends– and those that just tried.
Starting with the arrival of the Europeans up until the mid-19th century, the dominant commercial activity in the region was without a doubt the fur trade– and there were many trappers in Lanark County.
1917–John F. Cram and Sons in Carleton Place bought over eight thousand muskrat pelts in one week from district trappers and collectors.
1934-Among the present residents of Ferguson’s Falls are Mrs. Gray, a widow; William McCaffery a retired harness maker; Alexander Sheppard who runs a general store and blacksmith shop; William Dickinson who runs a hotel; Charles Hollinger, auctioneer and drover; Tom Command, trapper; Thomas Hollinger, farmer and owner of a number of summer cottages; Louis Bedard who has a saw mill
Scotch Corners resident Wm. Henry Poole died there at the age of 96 in 1928. He was an enthusiastic hunter and trapper in his day as well as a farmer.
Game Law Enforcement-1884
Two unfortunate Indians were among those who felt the first punitive effects of the new society’s protective activity. This local story was published in October of 1884:
“Last Wednesday two Indians from St. Regis were about to pack up and leave their camp between Appleton and Almonte, on the Mississippi River, when a representative of the Carleton Place Game, Fish and Insectivorous Birds Protective Society appeared on the spot and confiscated a number of muskrat skins.
The fellows had been warned by the Society to desist trapping the animals until November. The two offenders were brought to Carleton Place. They had in their possession 126 muskrat skins, one mink skin and one raccoon skin. The taking of the latter is not an offence. The poor fellows were in most destitute circumstances.
The magistrate inflicted a fine of $10 and costs and the skins were confiscated. They doubtless intended to do the river above Carleton Place at once, as has been their annual custom. The Protective Society is extending its influence very rapidly in all directions from Carleton Place, having a good representative membership in many points at a distance.”
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
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