Tag Archives: first nations

More Native Settlements in Ramsay — Baird’s Bush

More Native Settlements in Ramsay — Baird’s Bush

The Canadian Encyclopedia
Indigenous Peoples in Canada | The Canadian Encyclopedia

I am on this quest to find as many locations the Natives had in Ramsay and Almonte. Here is another story from the Templeton family:

Natives NumerousThe Ottawa Citizen 1931

When the Templetons arrived in Ramsay there were numerous Natives still about. Mrs. Ledgerwood tells of a small band which used to winter in Baird’s Bush on the 9th line of Ramsay near the Templeton home. This band was in charge of an old chief who had the English name of Joe Mitchell. In the summer the Mitchell band used to travel the country as far east as Cornwall, making baskets etc., and selling them. The Natives never Interfered in any way with the new white settlers. Baird’s bush still stands, but there are no Natives any more.

Big Joe Mitchell and Joe Baye were among the better known of the last local Natives.- As the Natives were crowded out from the land on the north side of the Mississippi in the 1820’s, they gradually retreated northward and westward.  Their Mississauga descendants are on reserved lands in the Kawartha Lakes area now.  A few chose to stay near the new settlements in Lanark County, in areas not suitable for farming.  In the 1890’s those still living at points near Carleton Place included groups at McIIquham’s Bridge and at the Floating Bridge.

From Howard Morton Brown

 In the first year only about sixteen settlers got established as far north as the Mississippi or into any part of Beckwith Township. 

The Natives dispossessed here were Mississaugas who were a subtribe of the large nation of Ojibways.  They had moved in from farther northwest after the Iroquois raids ended.  They were a tribe which made an unusually wide use of wild plants for food, harvesting and storing large quantities of wild rice for the winter. They knew how to make maple sugar and to prepare dried berries and fruits for winter use.  As hunters and fishermen they moved their camps about, by canoe in summer and by snowshoe and toboggan in winter.  Their main efforts in this area were directed to moose in the winter, beaver small game and fish including suckers, pickerel and pike, in the spring and summer, while after the fall rice harvest they speared the larger fish spawning along the shores of some of the lakes, lake trout, whitefish and sturgeon.  The Indian rights to this district were surrendered in a treaty made with the Mississaugas in 1819 at Kingston.

As the Natives were crowded out from the land on the north side of the Mississippi in the 1820’s, they gradually retreated northward and westward.  Their Mississauga descendants are on reserved lands in the Kawartha Lakes area now.  A few chose to stay near the new settlements in Lanark County, in areas not suitable for farming.  In the 1890’s those still living at points near Carleton Place included groups at McIIquham’s Bridge and at the Floating Bridge.  Big Joe Mitchell and Joe Baye were among the better known of the last local Natives.

John Cram left us the first settlers’ story of the Naives and the river here.

He was one of the nearest settlers to the river in this immediate vicinity.  He came with the emigration in 1818 of about 300 persons from Perthshire to Beckwith Township, and his land included the site of the United Cemeteries.  He left a story of finding the river by hearing the sound of a waterfall on a still day when he and a neighbor were clearing land together.  They agreed on an exploring expedition.  The next day, going along old Indian trails and new surveyors’ line they followed the sound until they reached the head of the falls, first viewing it from the present site of the Carleton Place Town Hall.  On arriving according to his story as last told by him over 75 years ago, they saw a tall Indian woman leave the shore and plunge across in the shallow water to the north side, where there was an Indian camp.  At that time and until the first dams were built, a long rapids extended above the falls here.  At the place between the present Ritchie mill and the powerhouse there still was a rocky tree-covered island less than a hundred years ago, as well as a falls.

The next year the Indian campground became part of the farmland grants of Edmond Morphy and his family, newly arrived from Littleton in Tipperary

March 21,1890 — BEWARE VERY SENSITIVE TEXT Almonte Gazette

When the driver of No. 3 train from the east was examining his engine at Mattawa last Wednesday night he discovered the lower extremities of a man sticking to it. Further investigation revealed the fact that the remains were those of a native named Leduc, who had been run over a few miles from Mattawa by a freight train running ahead of the passenger. His remains were spread all along the track, and considerable difficulty was experienced in finding the head to identify the corpse. An inquest was held in Mattawa next day, and the jury returned a verdict of accidentally killed.

Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

The Sadler Farm on Highway 44– Nancy Anderson

Did We Find Henry Lang’s Barn?

The Little Door by the River

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?

Walking Without Knowing the Amplifying Truth

Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools” After the Fire 1925

Another Segment in the Short Life of Jessie Comrie– Residential Schools –1919

  1. Where Was Meyers Cave?
  2. Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte
  3. The Adventurous History of the Mississippi – Linda’s Mailbag
  4. Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives
  5. The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer
  6. They Died From Dirty Clothing — The Whiteduck Family
  7. From Carleton Place to Fish Creek –North West Rebellion

Almonte and Ramsay Pioneers – Rafted Down to Their Locations

Mill of Kintail Museum. Known originally as Woodside Mills, this imposing stone structure was built by John Baird in the 130ss as a grist mill powered by a series of dams on the Indian River. Abandoned by the Bairds in the 1860s, it was purchased by Robert Tait McKenzie in 1930 and transformed into a summer home and studio.  In 1952 Major and Mrs Leys purchased the mill and founded the museum as a memorial to Robert Tait McKenzie.  In 1972 the property was purchased by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. CLICK

Baird Trail 
Dubbed one of the most beautiful trails around, this set of  three loops through forests, featuring boardwalks over a sedge wetland, offers fantastic ecological values and giant maple and beech trees coupled with evidence of pioneer farming and red pine plantations. Parking, picnic tables and interpretive signs on site. Located at 1024 Herron Mills Rd., Lanark Highlands. 613-267-4200, ext. 3170. View or print the Baird Trail Map.


Also along the ninth line of Ramsay, on the cast side, settled David Leckie and William Lindsay. On the west side were James Rae from Ireland and John Toshack Sr. In 1825, James Rae was joined by a broth­er, Hugh W., who was a cobbler. Later he went to Western Ontario, returning to Almonte after a time and opening a shoe store and general shopping mart Across the Mississippi River from the Raes was William McEwen on the northeast half of lot 25, a 100 acres later the village of Rosebank. Opposite the present Clayton county road, on the ninth line, settled William Lindsay from Wisha, Lanarkshire, with his wife and family. Lindsays were about the only Lowland Clan to form themselves into a society. William, Jr., born in 1821, was one of the early school teachers in Ramsay. John, a stone mason, settled with his wife, Elizabeth Leitch, in the township of Pakenham. Along the ninth line between Shipman’s Mills and Appletree Falls located the Matthew McFarlanes, Sr. and Jr., and Thomas Patterson; 

“The Gatehouse” Baird’s Store—Township of Ramsay Heritage Driving Tour #1 click

Walking Without Knowing the Amplifying Truth

Walking Without Knowing the Amplifying Truth

First Nations children were once living in residential schools under the thumb of priests, nuns and staff charged with purging these children of their culture and traditions and replacing them with their own. Several of the churches were engaged in the management of day and residential schools. This co-operation of the churches in the case of residential schools was as follows: Roman Catholic, 44; Church of England, 21; United Church, 13; Presbyterian Church, 2, making a total of 80. I have never understood why people try to hide history–great nations should never hide their history– but we did.

Today I discovered my truth in this matter by having a flashback and putting two and two together. Funny how that works- and after I had a good cry- I realized that all truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.

Years ago in the 1950s and 1960s I used to help my Grandmother with her Anglican church groups preparing “the bales” to go north as they told me. The bales were actually handmade quilts rolled up with warm mittens and scarves, along with books and treats. We made a lot of them each year, and in my young heart I envisioned they were being transported to the North Pole. Every year I saved up my allowance to buy treats for the families that I thought lived in igloos, wore snowsuits and had big smiles like in the books I read. I was wrong – they were being sent to residential schools.

“As early as 1921, one official report described living conditions in residential schools as “a national crime.” When children wet their beds, the nuns at the Sturgeon Lake residential school would wrap the soiled sheets around their heads. If they tried to run away from the school where they were forced to live until they were 16, their heads were shaved. If they dared to speak Cree, their hands were rapped with a ruler. But the thing that hurts the most is they forced their religion on the children day in and day out.”

As I type the above words I wondered if my grandmother’s church group should have sent boxes of hymn books like they used too. I was always told the children loved getting these books– and now I can see that they did not. We have rules now that the government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs– so why were these children forced with this injustice. The residential schools were conducted by church authorities, with financial assistance from the Dominion Government and supervised by the Indian affairs section of the Department of the Interior. Half these schools were under Roman Catholic control and they remain divided among the other denominations. An Anglican bishop in Alberta told the media churches must stop “beating themselves up” over the question of abuse at Indian residential schools and should return to the basics of preaching Christianity. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether the bishop was being purposefully ironic, or he really couldn’t see the contradictions of his statements.

In the larger residential schools in the 1930s daily duties were allotted to the pupils, who took turns:

Staff Girl

Set staff table. Clear away all staff dishes. Wait on the staff table. Dry staff dishes. Help to put dishes away In pantry. Sweep kitchen and dust. Clean kitchen stove and kettles.

Kitchen Girl

Pack up and wash staff dishes while staff girl dries. Wash all pot and tea towel. Help with up school meal. Clean both kitchen table before meal.

Dining-room Girl:

Wash all tables. Sweep room after all meals. Dust the dining-room thoroughly. Sweep and tidy the lobby after breakfast and dinner. Take wood to the sitting–room when required. Keep the dining-room shelf tidy. Put all Bible and prayer books away tidily.

Dormitory Girl Every day, clean wash stands In both dormitories. Dust. Clean lamp globe.

Monday, prepare for school wash.

Tuesday, sweep and dust boys’ dormitory.

Wednesday, sort and put away clothes. Fill all lamps, also table lamp.

Thursday, sweep and dust girls’ dormitory.

Friday, sweep and dust top bedrooms.

Saturday, sweep both dormitories. Sweep sewing room. Fill all lamps.

After we packed the bales I went home to loving parents. I had a warm meal, watched television and slept in a cozy bed.The next morning I got up for school without having to do the above chores with a full breakfast in my stomach. I told all my friends how we had sent the bales to happy people in the north, not knowing it was all a lie. One hundred and forty articles knitted by the church group members, as well as cash and other things were being shipped to the residential schools. As well, I remember that our church help donate money for an organ so the children could be forced to sing hymns that were not part of their own religion. Why did this all seem so right to everyone when it was all so wrong?

So what should we do now? In a world of TV soap operas an apology is always followed by acceptance, and the story moves on after the required tears and hugs. But, it just doesn’t work quite that way in real life– and especially in this case. More than one in five former school pupils have applied for compensation for living in residential schools have been turned down. Thousands of children that were taken from their families filed claims stating they were sexually and physically abused and forced to learn English. It’s not like we can just turn a page and everything is good. We have to realize that this is not just a dark chapter in our country’s history, it’s something we as a country need to come to terms with when it comes to making decisions about everyones future. We all are connected in a circle of life that is far deeper than any of us can truly understand– and today my realized participation and ignorance came full circle. Apologies are not just enough– it’s a start– but we have to do more than that.

“In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.”

― Charles Dickens

Also read-Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools” After the Fire 1925

Calgary Herald
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
14 Jun 1930, Sat  •  Page 27
Calgary Herald
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
14 Jun 1930, Sat  •  Page 27

Calgary Herald
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
14 Jun 1930, Sat  •  Page 27

The Ghost Horse of Tatlock — A Faerie Tale???

The Ghost Horse of Tatlock — A Faerie Tale???

Photo of Sophia Seccaspina by Stephanie Seccaspina–Stephanie Seccaspina Photography

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.

Photo of Sophia Seccaspina by Stephanie Seccaspina-Stephanie Seccaspina Photography

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!

Photo of Sophia Seccaspina by Stephanie Seccaspina-Stephanie Seccaspina Photography

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


Somewhere in the Lanark County Woods– Inukshuk — Faeries of the Woods?

The Mysterious 5th Line ?????

Faeries on the Malloch Farm

Tales from the Ghost Story Wagon– 1- Alligators on Lake Avenue East

Pat Burns And the Black Pig– A Ghost Story?

The Mysterious Tatlock Mine


The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

The Seven Wonders of Lanark County

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
02 May 1917, Wed  •  Page 5

They Died From Dirty Clothing — The Whiteduck Family




 Drawing Source: Where Rivers Meet: An Illustrated History of Ottawa                                                                                             by John Dickinson and Brian Young, page 5                                                     by Courtney C.J. Bond, page 15

Two hundred years ago there only existed portage trails, but 150 years ago there were very busy wagon and sleigh bush roads into Lac Dumoine and up the West Branch of the Dumoine River now called the Fildegrand. During the square timber era 1840-1890  researchers suggest that it took 3lb of supplies (tools,food,horse feed,camp gear) for every  linear ft of timber taken out.

Almonte Gazette–

Three natives employed on E. B Eddy’s DuMoine drive, after a hard day’s work, pitched their tent and settled themselves down for a night of peaceful repose.

In the morning, as none of them put in their appearance at the customary time, their tent was opened, and to the surprise of the searchers, what appeared to be a dense gas issued therefrom. Entering, they found one native, Joseph Miconce, from Oka, dead, and the two others, one of whom was Michel Whiteduck, unconscious. (Note the French first name and the spelling because of the French-Canadian priest who baptized him)

The last two having been revived, it was learned that before going to rest the party had closed their tent tightly, so as to keep out the flies. The tent which was a thick cotton one allowed very little air in. The ground on which they lay was moist and from it, as well-as from their damp and dirty clothes, gas is thought to have arisen which, not having any vent, choked them as they slept. A few minutes more and there would have been three dead Natives.

What people do not understand is that people died from improper nourishment, offensive smells and how many people slept in one room. Newspapers were always alerting the public to pay attention to these matters because of remittent fever, diphtheria and inflammation of the lungs. Stewing in stale sweat and dirty clothes month after month could result in death.

What’s behind the smell of dirty laundry?

The unpleasant odour of dirty laundry is a familiar smell to any human who wears clothing, but what actually causes that foul stench? Researchers have found that the reason for your smelly pile of laundry is the gases released by bacteria breaking down the skin cells, sweat, and other bodily fluids left on your clothing, Discovery reports. After giving volunteers clothes to wear, brave researchers smelled the dirty clothing to rank its smelliness and analyzed it with a spectrometer to see what volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found on them.

The scientists found six VOCs on the clothing, and also noted that washing the clothes in an environmentally friendly manner (with cold water and unscented detergent) reduced, but did not eliminate the presence of the noxious gases.

The secret six stinkers are: – butyric acid, dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, 2-heptanone, 2-nonanone and 2-octanone.



James Dunlop Gemmill- Almonte

Editor –Almonte Gazette: ( no date)

Sir – Having lately heard of the death during the early part of last winter at Oka, Lake of the Two Mountains, of Peter Whiteduck, a descendant of the famous Algonquin tribe, Research Paper Rosenberger 14 14 associated as it has been with the history of Canada from the earliest period, I have thought that a few remarks on the subject might be of interest.

The family of Whiteducks was well known to the earlier settlers along the Mississippi River. It is one of the earliest recollections of the writer seeing them twice a year passing up and down the river between their hunting grounds on the Clyde and the headwaters of the Mississippi and their town on the Lake of Two Mountains. They were well off in worldly goods. Beaver and marten were plentiful. Their bark canoes, their dogs and their picturesque appearance were always objects of interest to the youth of that period, as they made their way past the falls at Almonte and encamped at the bay.

The head of the family at that time was Captain Joe, after whom Joeʼs Lake in Lanark County was called. He was not tall, but straight as a lance, with a bold look, which well became a chief of the Algonquin auxiliaries in the War of 1812 and ʻ14. Numerous medals in the possession of the family testify to this. He had a large family, the late Peter being one, and who sometimes spoke of his fatherʼs friends along the river, among whom were the late Daniel Shipman, Lieutenant Colonel Snedden and Sheriff Dickson. I had known him for a long time at intervals in hunting.

As a canoeman I do not think he could be excelled. I have often admired his skill, as standing up in a small canoe he urged it up a difficult rapid with a pole. In tracking and trapping he also had great experience. Kindly and friendly in his character, he was well known on the Coulonge River and above the Mattawa. He was for many years in the council at Oka. A cousin of his, also Peter Whiteduck, lost his life many years ago in the breaking of a jam near Devilʼs Chute on the Coulonge River. I may also mention that Peter was a first class canoe maker and an expert pilot of the timber cribs in the rapids of the Ottawa.

Connections of the family may still be found at the head of the Mississippi, Mud Lake, the Calabogie, and elsewhere, but their ancient hunting grounds no longer yield their former supplies owing to the advance of settlement and other causes. I have thought these few particulars might be of interest to some of your readers, although there are few now in Almonte or Ramsay who knew Captain Joe or Captain Antoine.

Yours etc,

J.D.G. Pieva di Cadora, Italy

The author was Colonel J. D. Gemmill from Almonte— Whiteduck Research Update

Related Reading

First Nations History in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Area-bytown.net


The Legend Of Big Joe Baye — How Much Do You Know?


Another Segment in the Short Life of Jessie Comrie– Residential Schools –1919

The Friendship Moccasins from the Lebret Residential School

Francis Shaw Pakenham Postmaster Gone Missing —Elizabeth Shaw — Residential School Teacher

Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools” After the Fire 1925

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?

Walking Without Knowing the Amplifying Truth

How Many Women Does it Take to Replace a Team of Horses?The Doukhobors

others… about native lands etc..

Sadler Farm Part 2 Jaan Kolk Nancy Anderson and Lorraine Nephin

Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

The Sadler Farm on Highway 44– Nancy Anderson

The Little Door by the River

The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

Constable Frank Rose – Moonshine, Indians, Raids, Drunks and Dances –The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Captured by Natives Alice Garland

Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives

Living with the Natives — Mrs Copithorne’s Bread

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?

Kirby earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Anthropology from York University and has partially completed a Masters of Social Work from Carleton University. He holds a Native Counsellors Certificate from the Ministry of Education of Ontario.

Outside of his educational pursuits, Kirby has spent all of his employment working for and with Pikwakanagan and First Nation Organizations. After university, he was employed for two years with the Union of Ontario Indians researching the Algonquin land claim. Kirby has also worked as a Social and Education Counsellor at the Ottawa Native Counselling Unit operated by Pikwakanagan. Other employment and commitments have all been with and in support of Pikwakanagan in varying capacities such as Manager of Education Services, Manager of Fish and Wildlife Commission, Researcher, Advisor and Land Claim Negotiator. Kirby is now in his ninth consecutive year as Chief and he currently holds the portfolios for Communications, Finance, Administration and Personnel, Child and Family Services, Negotiations and is the supervisor of the Executive Director of Operations.

He is the author of ‘Algonquin Traditional Culture’, published in 2002. His book details the traditional culture of the Algonquins of the Kitchissippi Valley at the early period of European contact.–

Adam-Michael George Peters