Once upon a time Tatlock was a thriving little village with various outcrops of natural marble formed from the glacier age everywhere you looked. On the Indian River in the north of Ramsay township, was a section where some of the last Natives of the township lived. Over the five year period before the pioneers of Ramsay had arrived settlers had located at points along the Mississippi from Morphys Falls and Mississippi Lake up to Dalhousie Lake.
Sections still occupied by Indians included those at Mississippi Lake where as then noted by the Rev. William Bell, ‘some of the islands in the lake are still inhabited by Natives, whose hunting grounds are on the north side and who are far being pleased with the encroachments our settlers are making on their territories’.
In 2012 Abigail Gossage wrote about seeing a ghost stallion moving through the grass in the Tatlock area. Could it be real? It seems that decades ago in the mists of local history one of the Native chiefs had a beautiful daughter who was loved by another young chief who lived nearby.
Her father consented to marriage and the young couple were happy. Sadly, that was not to be meant for long however. There was a chief from another local band who also desired the maiden. When he heard she was being given to another he vowed to kill them both. To save his daughter and her future husband the Chief advised them to run away as far as they could.
To speed the couple on their way he gave them his favourite white horse, noted for its speed and its stamina. However, the villainous Chief did catch up to them and killed the young couple. But the horse escaped, and for years afterwards it was seen on occasions, roaming the roads and forests in the Talock area. Sometimes he was seen with a tiny bright light following him. That tiny white light was said to be the spirit of the young Native maiden that was killed and had turned into a white fairy because of her tragic love story and pureness.
In the 1960s two men were walking down the road to the Tatlock mine and one looked up and said to the other,
‘There’s an old white cow coming up the road!’
The other man looked and saw it and then both of them just stood there looking at the thing that was soon close and the other said:
‘Jim, that ain’t no cow, it is too big for a cow, it’s a white horse’.
Well, that white vision came up closer and closer and when it was almost up to the both of them it stopped. It was so close they could see its ears and tail a twitchin’ and they both decided someone should hit it with a rock.
The rock flew thought the air and went right through that horse and hit way down the hillside. It was obvious that white steed was a ghost. It stood there and switched its tail and flicked its ears for a little bit longer in the moonlight and then turned slowly and walked right over the bluff. It just kept on going until it was out of sight.
With the skies full of UFO’s and other things that go bump in the night maybe you wouldn’t be interested in such things as harmless ghosts. But next time you are driving on the Tatlock back roads and you see that magical white horse— look for the tiny white light that follows him. That tiny fairy princess constantly is beside him and protects him from harm.
Before you shake your head in disbelieve remember—-things like this happen all the time on the backwoods of Lanark County — you just have to look carefully. They don’t only exist in fairy tales, they live and breathe in our local countryside having come from the old country with all the old settlers that made their homes here. Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale!
Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of AlmonteInformation where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun Screamin’ Mamas (USA) and The Sherbrooke Record