Tag Archives: natives

Mystery of the Lanark Cave — Lanark Village

Mystery of the Lanark Cave — Lanark Village
Arlene Stafford-Wilson
February 19 at 9:07 AM  · 
50 years ago…………..part 2 of 2
Article written by James Lally, who worked for the “Lanark Era” and “The Ottawa Journal” from 1945-1960

I love how our community helps each other with history and it was with great interest when Arlene Stafford Wilson posted the artcle above this week. Read her local history blog here..

Then local historian Doris Quinn posted this on the Lanark Village Community Group Read Doris’s notations on: The Canada Character Civilization Award — Doris Quinn and Have you Ever Seen the Praying Station? The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Doris Quinn
8h  · 
In this weeks Lanark Era…. What we were mentioning a few days ago! FIFTY years ago 1972

Lanark Village Community Group Comments on the subject:

Paul Milotte

When I was young and in Cubs a Dr. Craig came to one of our meetings and told us a story of the early days in Lanark when a dog went into the cave at the 50 acres (behind Mrs M.’s house). The dog was lost for a few days but reappeared somewhere near George Young’s funeral home. I remember trying to go into the cave with Ted Holmes when where adventurous young lads. We could see inside the cave but no way we could squeeze in. Don’t know if the small opening is still there.

Ted Holmes

Actually you could go inside and as I remember the small opening was to the right of the main entrance

The dog story is true but never varied to my knowledge.

Dr. Craig also told us about tapping the wrong tree for maple syrup but also was very keen in the Baden Powell’s scouting. Jungle book and camping was certainly a large part of the imaginary and real fun we lived.

I was so keen on the totem pole Dr Craig had erected at his home across from Marg and Oval Adam’s.

Molly Mahon

Cool! There are drawings on the rocks at the playfairville rapids too – other side of the river near the old stone fireplace.

So was this cave a figment of stories from the past? Not at all, and it probably still exists. But I advise all of you not to go on private property, and for that I have abbrievated the last name (property) as that is the very last thing I want.

The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
22 Feb 1972, Tue  •  Page 3
The Sun Times
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
22 Feb 1972, Tue  •  Page 13
The Expositor
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
22 Feb 1972, Tue  •  Page 21

Notations about the cave from one of my fave writers Randy Boswell in 2020

 Randy has a wide-ranging career with the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News, where he covered city hall, had a business column, wrote a variety of feature stories, served as city editor and developed a national history beat, he became a full-time professor at Carleton University in 2012.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Aug 2020, Tue  •  Page A7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Aug 2020, Tue  •  Page A7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Aug 2020, Mon  •  Page A5

Edward Van Cortlandt had a deep interest in the natural world and contributed greatly to the fields of geology, archeology and biology. He created a museum that was open to the public to display the geological and biological specimens he had collected from around the Ottawa area, as well as the indigenous artifacts, some of which came from the 5,000 year old indigenous burial ground he discovered along the Ottawa River.  Eventually his collection was broken up and used to seed the collections of other institution such as the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Redpath Museum, The McCord Museum, the Geological Survey of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Museum of History. Van Cortlandt was the first curator in Ottawa and his work went on to help create other world famous Museums. READ more here CLICK

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Feb 1866, Tue  •  Page 2
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
15 Jun 1850, Sat  •  Page

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Jan 1861, Fri  •  Page 1

Related reading:

Where Was Meyers Cave?

Meyer’s Cave — John Walden Meyers


Historical Caves — Pelissier’s Caves

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

So Where Were the Caves in Carleton Place?

Now You see it, Now You Don’t: The Disappearing and Reappearing of the Tim Horton’s Subterranean

Muddy Beaver Cave

Our newest cave adventure took us (Rob, Mick, Jeff and myself) to the far Eastern end of Ontario. Our mission was to find this long known but not over explored cave. Rob brought this cave location to the attention of us caver’s and some prodding of the cave community showed that it has been explored sporadically in the past. The cave has been somewhat modified due to advancements of the infrastructure in the area in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Muddy Beaver Cave was renamed to cover the somewhat revealing original name. The cave consists of a large half flooded chamber with numerous side nooks and mini chambers. A variety of formations and a rumored aggravated beaver make for an interesting exploration. Enjoy the pics.
1910 cave found.. click on photo to read..
Since Kayley and I both had the privilege of having Holiday Monday free from the constraints of employment, we decided to get out of the house and do a little adventuring.
Our first stop was at the Bonnechere Caves in Eganville, Ontario. CLICK HERE TO READ__http://www.thecountlesswandering.com/tag/calabogie/

Franks Culvert Cave near Perth click here

THIS IS A STOCK PHOTO OF WHAT I Thought it might look inside.

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

Did you Know About the Caldwell First Nation?

Did you Know About the Caldwell First Nation?

Did you know???

During the War of 1812, the Point Pelee people fought as British allies alongside Capt. William Caldwell, when they became known as “Caldwell’s Indians.” As a result, the British promised them formal title to their homelands.

The Caldwell First Nation served as allies of the British during the War of 1812. In consideration of this service, they were promised land at Point Pelee. The First Nation band continued to occupy Point Pelee, with the support of the Canadian government, up until the late 1850s. In the 1920s, many of the band members were forced out of Point Pelee when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police along with local law enforcement agencies burned the homes of band members in the area in an effort to force them from their traditional lands.

Before his marriage, while in Fort Niagara, William Caldwell had a relationship with a Mohawk woman. They named their mixed-race son, born about 1782, Billy Caldwell. The boy was first raised with his mother’s people. In 1783 Caldwell married Suzanne Baby, daughter of Jacques Baby dit Dupéron. Together they had eight children, five sons and three daughters. In 1789 his father brought his son Billy Caldwell into his family and gave him an education. Billy Caldwell later lived in the United States after 1818, where he became a prominent representative of the Potowatomi people in Illinois and Iowa. He was sometimes known to them as Sauganash, their term for a British Canadian. He died in 1822.

In 1977 the powers to be along with with Indian leaders from eight Southwestern Ontario bands to tried to solve a ticklish problem from out of the distant past. At issue were the somewhat meagre remains bones, pottery, lint knives and clay pipes of an almost unknown people who lived around Lake Erie hundreds of years before the first Europeans wandered by. Their graves are spread about this region, including one particular burial site east of Huron Church Road and the Third Concession in Windsor. This site, dated by its pottery at be tween 900 and 1,100 AD, lies where the city planned to build an E.C. Row Expressway doverleaf. From this shallow sand gravesite, more than 40 years ago, the skeletons of 27 individuals men, women and children and the few possessions they were buried with were removed by archeologists.

Since the late 1930s, however, the site has been used as a source of gravel and sand, possibly destroying its archeological value. But those ancient Indians helped to focus attention on a small yet widespread contemporary Indian band which for 140 years has tried vainly to claim Point Pelee and Pelee Island as its native homeland and whose chief now seeks to keep bulldozers and road graders from the burial site. The leader of the tiny Caldwell band, Carl Johnson, almost alone among his band members lived with his family in this area. And in a long-accepted provincial custom, the nearest Indian band to a disputed site argues the native cause. Johnson, from the town of Essex, whose band members numbered fewer than 80 scattered between Chicago and Toronto, gathered support from the eight nearest Indian bands in Southwestern Ontario. The chiefs, representing bands from Walpole Island to London, agreed to try to resolve the conflict between Caldwell demands that the site not be touched and the citys need to build the cloverleaf for the expressway.

The crumbling bones and crushed pottery fragments from the burial site are stored now in steel cabinets in the archives of Ottawas National Museum of Man. “These remains are part of Canadas heritage,” a museum spokesman said. They are inspected every year to check on their condition. You can say theyre lovingly cared for.” “They’re not the heritage of Canada, at all,” Chief Johnson said,

“Those people didnt know what Canada was. Canada would be nothing to them at that time”.

There are copies of documents that shows the band, under a Chief William Caldwell, began to demand their own land back in 1835. But historians, archeologists, and governments alike have suggested the Caldwell Band are misguided in thinking Point Pelce and Pelee Island are their ancestral lands. The problem of identity lies in the Caldwells name and the time it first appeared in region records.

The confusion arises front the fact there were three Caldwells, who appear to represent at least two different families, who dealt with Indians on the Upper Canada frontier. “Williapt Caldwell Sr., was an Irish-American colonist, a United Empire Loyalist, a man throughout his life actively involved with Indians in the Lake Erie-LakeOntario area. “The Indians he led in battle, principally Shawnee and Delaware, and may Have thought of him as chief. . . but they werent Point Pelee Indians.”

Clifton said Williams son, Billy, who became a noted if unsuccessful entrepreneur on the frontier, was dubbed a Potawatomi chief after his death in Chicago. But the Potawatomis did not cross into Canada until the third decade of the 19th century. A third Caldwell, John Sr was born about 1800, Clifton said, and, in documents in the mid-1800s, he is listed as chief of an Ojibway band in southern Ontario which was always referred to as “Caldwells Band” and which resided at Point Pelee but that was in the 1850s, far later than Chief Johnson says his people took the name Caldwell.

In 1976 a Mr. Johnson pointed to a copy of an 18th century map of the north shore of Lake Erie, which indicates a small but unnamed settlement at Point Pelee. “That’s us,” he said. “Thats where we were in the late 1700s.” Johnson said the chief of the Caldwell Indians at Point Pelee were not invited to take part in the great land purchases in 1790 by Alexander McKee. We werent invited, and yet our land was sold from under us. We claim that purchase was illegal.” Clifton and others say the reason no Caldwell chief was invited to that deal was because there wasnt a chief called Caldwell at that time.” And so the confusing argument continued wrapped into the added enigma of the unknown people whose grave awaits the discussions of other Indians at Windsor City Hall.


One of the few First Nations in Canada without a reserve changed that in 2020, marking a major milestone in the small community’s 230-year fight for a homeland.

The Caldwell First Nation, previously known as the Chippewas of Point Pelee, announced on Monday that it secured reserve status for an 80-hectare property on the band’s traditional territory in what is now Leamington, Ont. on the north shore of Lake Erie. Read the rest here– CLICK

Tribal Name: Caldwell First Nation

Band No. 165 Traditional Name: Alternate Names: Chippewas of Pelee, Point Pelee Indians, Pelee Island,  and Caldwell’s band of Indians. Related Tribes: The Chippewa (also called Ojibwa in Canada) are an Anishinaabe-speaking indigenous nation with people within the borders of present-day Canada and the United States. The Anishinaabe are the largest Native American/First Nation peoples north of Mexico, with nearly 78,000 people among various groups in Canada from western Quebec to British Columbia.

  • William Caldwell was portrayed in Walter D. Edmonds’ popular 1936 historical novel Drums Along the Mohawk.
  • In the 1939 movie by the same name, directed by John Ford, John Carradine portrayed Caldwell

The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
21 Jun 1924, Sat  •  Page 29

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?

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

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

Written in the interests of the Presbyterial of Lanark and Renfrew, and addressed to the members of the Women’s Missionary Society by Miss Jessie Comrie, of Carleton Place.

In a treaty made with our Dominion Government and made with the Indians.

In 1871 there was the promise of schools for their children; to fulfill that promise our Government has undertaken a share in this work and recognizing the necessity of giving the Indians an education under Christian influences gave over the work to the different churches.

The churches have taken a part in the educational work among the Indians, believing that it would afford them an opening for Christian work among these people. The church expects the school to make the Christian work the centre and soul of all the training and teaching of every department. To lose sight of this purpose would be to not only fail In carrying out the plan of our church, but to fail in doing the Indian children any real good.

In 1866 mission work for the Indians was begun by the Presbyterian church among tribes that were untouched by any church, and in 1876 the women of our church were organized for missionary work and since then have supported teachers in the mission-schools for the Indian children.

The spiritual growth is slow as in all pagan lands, but steady advance has been made and present results are largely attributed to the secular and religious training the children have received in our schools. The teaching of the Bible each day and in Sabbath schools, morning and evening family ’ worship and thehourly,- association with Christian workers are no small factors in training our Indian boys and girls for Christian citizenship. 

There are 550 children under our care in the day and boarding schools. It is the opinion of our workers among these people that the boarding school is the best adapted to give the boys and girls a thorough education and best results so far have come from these schools.

Some of the day schools are semi boarding schools, for the children to come long distances. The Government has given an allowance that provides them with a mid-day meal which the missionary teachers make ready with the help of the older children.

Two of the boarding schools are in Manitoba, two of them in Saskatchewan, two in British Columbia and one In Ontario, named the “Cecilia Jeffrey” in memory of one of our secretaries in Indian work in the early years.This school is forty-five miles from the town of Kenora. In these schools each child, with the consent of the parents, is signed into the school and remains there until he or she is eighteen years of age. 

They study the public school course. The older boys and girls spend only half of each day in the school room, the other half they are being taught to do useful work, and helping to do the work of the institution. The aim is to give them industrial work that will be most useful in after life, the boys to till the ground, and the girls to cook wholesome food and tend to a family.

To be in a position to give this industrial training a few years ago, the Government made a number of new regulations, requiring more accommodation in all boarding schools as well as sufficient land around the school to make such a training possible; it being the wish of the Government  that sooner or later all the children be sent to a boarding school where a better industrial training is possible than in the day school. Our Woman’s Missionary Society has made it possible for the children to be kept in school by sending clothing for them every year. This supply work by the women of the Church, has been responded to generously, remembering our Master’s words:

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these ye have done it unto Me.”

But what is being done for the Indians by Church and State is only a just debt and should never be considered in the light of charity.The fruits of our mission work are seen to-day in the second generation of Indian youth who are entering our schools. Misa McGregor, our field secretary, who taught for eight years in an Indian school, urges us to “Go forward doing what we can to further this work,” because of what has been achieved in the past, and because of its possibilities. Our missionaries have had the joy of seeing many of the young accept a Saviour, who is not of the white man’s , alone, but the Indians, too. Their vision in the not far distant future is a rising generation of Christian Indian citizens in a land once theirs now ours and theirs. ■ JESSIE COMRIE, Carleton Place

Jessie Comrie drowned in Sept of 1928– was it accidental or murder most fowl? READ-

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

Charlie arrived at the Cecilia Jeffrey School, which is run by the Presbyterian Church and paid for by the federal government, in the fall of 1963. Some 150 Indian children live at the school but are integrated into the local school system. Consequently, Cecilia Jeffrey is, for 10 months in the year, really nothing more than an enormous dormitory. And Charlie, who understood hardly any English, spent the first two years in grade one. He spent last year in what is called a junior opportunity class. That means he was a slow learner and had to be given special instruction in English and arithmetic. This fall he wasn’t quite good enough to go back into the grade system, so he was placed in what is called a senior opportunity class. read more here


Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

Name:Jessie Comrie
Birth Date:abt 1858
Birth Place:Montague, Ontario
Death Date:5 Sep 1928
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death:Drowned
*Jessie Comrie- Nurse to all the Muirhead children Death Notice–Mary Gillies Muirhead posted this note on this death card.–From the collection of Linda Seccaspina–

Presbyterian Church 1888

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?
1906–Walpole Island is an island and First Nation reserve in southwestern Ontario, Canada, on the border between Ontario and Michigan in the United States. It is located in the mouth of the St. Clair River on Lake St. Clair, about 121 kilometres (75 mi) by road from Windsor, Ontario and 124 kilometres (77 mi) from Detroit, Michigan.
It is unceded territory and is inhabited by the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa peoples of the Walpole Island First Nation, who call it Bkejwanong, meaning “where the waters divide” in Anishinaabemowin In addition to Walpole Island, the reserve includes Squirrel Island, St. Anne Island, Seaway Island (except a small U.S. portion), Bassett Island, and Potawatomi Island. The river or creeks that separate these islands provide the area with its other commonly used name, Swejwanong or “many forks of a river.”


Standing ankle-deep in weeds by the side of the rutted road, looking across fields bordered by trees, it takes only a little imagination from young Duff Williams to see that rivers ran here, once. This ancient river bed lush, now, with soybeans and corn winds out of sight between two islands of trees. If. you look at it in a certain way you can visualize canoes coming around that distant bend and nosing up against one of those ‘islands’ which 7,000 or so years ago was merely a river bank. One of those riverbanks was the summer home of some of Duff Williams’s ancestors; “There’s a site right there,” says the 28-year-old Williams, his arm extended. Working the summer for the Walpole Island band’s research group, he has been palming away surface soil and finding the signatures arrowheads, spear points, bits of earthenware crockery of the people who came here each summer to fish and to hunt, to tell stories around campfires before following the elk and the deer on their annual autumn migration.

Though vast change has occurred since those distant days, one thing remains constant. Wander the fields of Walpole Island; spend some time at the edge of a marsh; listen to the heron’s grumpy call; watch the ducks burst out of the reeds; look at the ripples from a muskrat, ducking for safety into the marsh; see the little boy, spear in hand, hovering over a stream, looking for fish and “there’s always life here,” says Williams. It was this abundance of wildlife which attracted the migrating native hunters about 10,000 years ago. According to the book Walpole Island, The Soul of Indian Territory, published by Nin.Da.Waab.Jig, the community-based research arm of the Walpole Island Band Council, the Ojibwa, Pota-watomi, Chippewa and Huron hunters did not establish permanent settlements until 1,100 or 1,200 years ago.

It was the descendents of these people members of tribes joined in the Wendat, or Wyandot, confederacy whom the Europeans encountered when they ‘discovered’ what is now Ontario. It was only a matter of time before the “settlers and traders, eager for the acquisition of new lands or fortune,” poured into the Indian country, where they used “every low trick and artifice to overreach and cheat” the Indians who lived there, according to the book. The landgrabbers and Indians had widely differing concepts of the land under their feet. Europeans regarded the land as something they could buy and sell. Indians, believing the land “belonged” to no one, saw themselves as custodians, with a clear responsibility to pass the land on, undamaged and fruitful, to future generations.

The white man he says A ‘who owns this land?’ ” says Cecil Isaac, a specialist in his people’s traditional ways. “And they said ‘I don’t own it. My brother doesn’t own it.’ And the white man says ‘all right, if you guys don’t own it, I’ll own it.’ ” ‘? . Between 1790 and 1827 sometimes paying as little as a fifth of a ; penny per acre the Crown acquired more than four million acres in what is -now southwestern Ontario. By 1838, . the 11,000 Indians in Upper Canada found themselves surrounded by 400,-000 whites. It . was with astonishment and increasing despair the Indians watched the new ‘owners’ lay waste to their ‘motherland.’ “We are a people of the earth,” says Isaac, who teaches both Indians and non-Indians about native ways. “We lived with nature in harmony. We could see that everything out there exists in a logical sequence. We could see that trees provide food for animals. They provide housing for animals and birds. They provide shade to keep us cool and sticks to keep us warm. They provide bark and sticks for housing. But the white man, he looks at the same tree and he says ‘I wonder how old it is?’ and he cut it down and counted the rings. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘it’s a hundred years old’ and he left it there and walked away.’ ”

The invaders were not content to merely take the Indians’ land. As historian Robert J. Surtees wrote in his book The Original People: “To white observers, the Indians simply did not fit in. Whites created a benevolent, paternalistic reserve system to ‘civilize and Christianize’ the Indian so these native peoples would be ‘useful’ citizens.” The reserve system also eased the white man’s guilt: “Whites now saw themselves as giving the Indians the benefit of civilization. “Unfortunately, the new proteges were expected to give up their past and their traditions. They were also expected to grasp gratefully and quickly at this opportunity.” They didn’t always do so. In the middle of the 19th century, the Jesuits blundered in, hoping to convert Walpole Islanders. “They built a church, house and a school.

Unfortunately, without consulting the Indians, they placed their buildings on sacred ground at Highbanks which contained an ancient burial mound as well as a more recent cemetery. They also cut down a century-old oak grove for timber.” Not surprisingly, few Indians converted to Catholicism. Deciding it would be easier to import Christians than create them, the priests settled 40 Roman Catholic Potawatomi on land around the mission. Fearing priests intended to give their land to the ‘faithful,’ Walpole Indians torched the priests’ church on March 22, 1849. “The story is told that the Chief set to it himself.” Over the next half century, the Indians did their best, despite an oppressive Indian agent system, to out a living. They turned increasingly to agriculture and by 1884 were farming 2,297 acres. “However, other changes were coming about which subverted progress towards self-sufficiency. 1900 it was discovered that the soil of Walpole Island was exactly right for sugar beets and for the first time a large area was planted with this crop. In this business the farmers were less independent. They were supplied with seed by those in the sugar beet industry who even helped them prepare the ground and then bought the mature crop. Some Indians took employment in the sugar beet fields instead farming on their own.”

Many of the island’s young people sought work the sugar factories in Wallaceburg. “As with the non-Indian population in many parts of Ontario, wage labor was replacing farming. In 1907, the agent reported that the majority of the Indians work in the sugar beet fields in the summer and in the woods in winter, cutting wood and making axe handles. There are a small number that farm.” It is one of those curious island ironies that the Indians first lost a measure of independence because of contract farming, and later regained it for exactly the same reason. Because the land was so good, mainland farmers were anxious to lease it and Indian agents negotiated long-term leases for large parcels. Angered by the leases over which they had no control the Indians could do little but complain among themselves. But in 1960 the first year Indians were permitted to vote in federal elections the Indian agent again negotiated,a long-term lease. Chief Burton Jacobs and the council went to Ottawa to try to have the lease overturned but federal officials refused to do so. The refusal coupled with a general anger at the high-handed activities and attitudes of the Indian agents fueled unprecedented activisim on the island.

Jacobs managedto surround himself with like-minded councillors in the election of 1964 and the new council promptly hired a band manager who soon came into conflict with the agent who felt his power was being eroded. It was more than eroded. Later that year, he was suspended. The band was given a year to try self-government and at the end of the experiment, the Indian Department gave permission for continuing self-government the first time an Indian band in Ontario was allowed, in effect, to become its own Indian agent. It was the first step on the return trip to independence. The band council has made concerted efforts to capitalize on its natural resources. The band leases marshland to half a dozen hunting lodges most of them frequented by Americans and last year earned $228,000. Every fisherman and hunter who comes to the island must buy an island licence, in addition to provincial licences, bringing in $289,140 last year. The band-owned farm 4,400 acres devoted to corn and soybeans employs four permanent admi nistrative staff and as many as a dozen workers in the peak seasons. Sales of its corn and soybeans brought the band $2.2 million last year.

While many steps have been taken, there are many more to go before the island is on both feet financially. Although as many as 300 of the band’s 1,700 members work as trappers and guides making up to $500 a week or hire on at the hunting lodges, the work is seasonal. And though the farm requires up to 12 workers in peak planting and harvesting times, for most of the year there are only four or five people on payroll. At the best of times during the peak hunting and .fishing seasons 60 per cent of the band’s employable members are at work. At the worst of times in the dead of winter especially unemployment reaches 75 to 80 per cent. It is time the band council undertook a major “economic and employment development strategy” says Charles Samson, the band’s economic development officer. But even in the absence of such a strategy, which Samson hopes will be in place within five years, there are certain fairly obvious needs. Most of the dollars generated on the island soon leave it.

There is no grocery store on the island, no hardware, no automobile repair shop. Apart from a couple of variety stores and gas bars, the money which arrives on the island finds its way to Wallaceburg or elsewhere and there it stays. The band council is attempting to encourage enterprises which create what Samson describes as ‘the multiplier effect’ where dollars are spent two or three times before leaving the island.

There is some ‘discussion about a small-scale mall which would house a native credit union, a grocery, a hardware and perhaps a building supplies store. The council is also looking at improvements in its zoning and bylaws to encourage off-island firms to migrate to Walpole, bringing jobs along with them. “We want light industrial development which would provide a significant number of jobs for skilled and unskilled laborers. We want a clean type of development, mould-making, assembly operations. No chemicals. No air pollution.” In order to encourage such development, Samson said the band would “put up buildings and lease land and space.” The band particularly would like to encourage developments which would “create a lot of employment opportunities for women.” Though a small mall and light industry would do much to buoy the economy, the island’s livelihood has long been sustained on agriculture and tourism. “We’d be foolish to undertake development in other areas and ignore agriculture and tourism,” says Samson.

“Those are two factors we’ll be keen on.” Developments in tourism, particularly, seem to hold obvious promise and these range in size from the multi-million to the mom-and-pop. Development of Seaway Island would fit into the former; bait and tackle shops into the latter. Seaway Island is one of a number of islands which make up the reserve. This one about three km long is at the southeastern, or Lake St. Clair, end of the reserve. Undeveloped, it is a haven for boaters from the United States. “There are hundreds” of yachts there every weekend,” says Samson, ‘but, the island reaps not a penny from the visitors. Samson and others see great potential for a marina-restaurant complex which would provide boaters with dockage and the island with much-needed revenues. But you have to spend money to make it and even the most ‘ modest of marina developments would cost ttye band up to $3 million.

Not everyone on the island thinks it’s a wise investment, including former chief Bob Williams, He and others recently formed the Walpole Island Conservation Club “and we’re trying to get council to keep Seaway Island like it is.” The club’s members want to see the island preserved, as much as is possible “in a natural state, not too commercialized, like factories. Tourism would be good, using what you have. It’s invaluable to have what we have, like it is now.”. Development of Seaway Island, however, is not much more than a dream. Closer to reality are a couple of local initiatives which will be completed within the next year. Earl Pinnance hopes to open his 10-unit Chematogan Motel the island’s first later this year or next spring at the latest. Located on River Road South near the Squirrel Island bridge, it will have four housekeeping units and six double occupancy rooms. Pinnance hopes to attract hunters, fishermen and tourists.

Lee White hopes to cater to the same crowd with his White’s Water Sports and Bass Charter Service which will open next year. Located on River Road North, near the Canada Customs office, the business will sell “bait, tackle and hunting supplies as well as- rent surfboards, canoes and paddle-boats. White also will have a charter-fishing rig which either he or hired guides will operate. White’s business is being funded, in large part, by federal government loans, and grants and the need for this -funding underlies a crucial problem facing would-be native businessmen. Commercial banks ,won’.t finance Indian projects because the Indian Act stipulates an Indian’s land may not be seized in the event of mortgage default. This leaves natives to either scrape up savings or turn to their bands for help.

The Walpole band, like others, receives federal funds and then makes loans to its members, serving as a kind of private bank. But the band is not in a position to fund major developments. One of the solutions would be the creation of a native credit union, which Samson hopes could be created on the reserve. While it would be nice’ to lure a large industry to Walpole, the band’s new chief Daniel Miskokomon is harboring no illusions that it will be easy. There are difficulties in transferring land to outside investors because of stringent controls laid’ out in the Indian Act. And Miskokomon knows that most other communities in the country are trying to lure industries as well. HE THINKS THE island can solve its own economic problems. “I’d really like to encourage our membership to get involved in private business. The more the marrier.” He does not think the island council should get involved in any more projects like the communal farm or Walpole Industries. “They tie council’s hands.”

The chief and council recently changed banks, finding “a manager who was willing to be a little more flexible” in trying to find ways to encourage and fund native businesses. , The lack’of economic -jdevetoftnjent and the resultant sluggish economy and .high unemployment, have combined to produce the obvious results. As former Chief Williams bluntly puts it: “Alcohol and drugs are a problem.” ( While many of the island’s residents young and old have found gainful employment in Wallaceburg or elsewhere, and personal fulfilment in sports and hobbles, many others – particularly younger people have reached what seems a dead end. .. While buoying the island’s economy would help alleviate its social problems, no one is under any illusions it will happen overnight.

The Windsor Star

Windsor, Ontario, Canada22 Oct 1988, Sat  •  Page 66

The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
04 Jan 1960, Mon  •  Page 8

Also read

Walking Without Knowing the Amplifying Truth

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

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

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

Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools”  After the Fire 1925
Petya Lowes Carleton Place, ON

This story about the Kamloops Residental School is hurting my heart in such big way. it just makes me so mad and angry. As a kid I grew up in orphanage. I have seen it all how how kids were treated and the way I was treated.- Petya Lowes–One of The Children of Chernobyl

The Victoria Daily Times
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
08 Jun 1903, Mon  •  Page 2

People call Canada the one of the greatest countries in the world, but we have our faults: slavery, British Home Children, imprisoning the Italian and Japanese during the second world war and the stories of The Residential Schools do not stop. One by one horrible facts come out and as my friend Kyle said: time for the memorials to stop- it’s over due time for fresh drinking water and liveable homes on the reserves etc. These residential schools were not to treat the children of natives better- they were to take the native out of the child and make them white to get rid of the native issues. There is no other answer.– none at all.

When schoolmates disappeared, they were simply never spoken of again. “I just remember that they were here one day and they were gone the next”

We are enlarging the education of the Indian children now growing up to be a reproach to the white population, or made useful members of society and capable of getting an honest and honorable livelihood for themselves and those depending upon them- Kamloops Industrial school-Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
22 Jul 1890, Tue  •  Page 1

It is very satisfactory to learn, as we do by correspondence in another column, that the Industrial School at Kamloops is succeeding so admirably. This excellent institution, established by a paternal Government to elevate the Indian races, is situated on a lovely spot on the South Thompson River, the buildings themselves being of modern design and admirably suited for the education.

We look far into the future and see the little girls now clustering about the Christian ladies who are teaching them the lessons of life becoming wives and mothers, and eating those truths which are the blessed inheritance of the white man, uplifting and broadening their character and aims; while one need not lie a prophet to predict that the day is not far distant when some of the boys who are now climbing the rough road to learning will emulate their fellows in the Northwest who have made names for themselves in the history of their native land.-Vancouver Daily World
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

22 Jul 1890, Tue  

The Kamloops Industrial School was opened, under Roman Catholic administration, in 1890. It became the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system. Enrolment peaked in the early 1950s at 500. In 1910, the principal said that the government did not provide enough money to properly feed the students. In 1924 a portion of the school was destroyed by fire. In 1969, the federal government took over the administration of the school, which no longer provided any classes and operated it as residence for students attending local day schools until 1978, when the residence was closed. (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)

The dilapidated wood-frame school was partly destroyed by fire in 1924 while a new main building was under construction, the structure that still stands today. Additions were made over the years. The exterior walls are made of local red brick with granite chimney caps, coping stones and detailing. Large timber trusses support the shingled roof, while a galvanized iron bell tower dominates the symmetrical design.

1925– An Indian department policy is expressed in the quarter of a million dollar Indian residential school, whose newly-completed brick and granite walls overlook the South Thompson River near Kamloops. Rising from the north bank and commanding a view of the sunny city across the river and of the rolling hills behind, it stands out from a perfect hillside background. Mount St. Paul and Mount St. Peter form a protection from the wind and add a touch of guardianship to the picture.

The Indian school has been designed as a large central educational and training headquarters as distinct from the small and numerous centres of the past. Centralization has succeeded the system of detached local units in British Columbia. Generally, the area from which the pupils will be drawn comprises Penticton, Westbank, Head Lake, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Tappen, Chase, Shuswap, Kamloops, Chu Chua, Davidson’s Creek, Bonaparte, Shulus, Coldwater, Douglas Lake, Quilchena and some points of the Lytton agency.

Two-thirds of the building is completed. In due course a boys’ wing will be added to the present units which consist of the administration building and girls’ wing. The building was designed by the architectural branch of the Indian department. The contractor of the central portion was Mr. Thomas Carson of Vancouver. Claydon Company of Winnipeg constructed the girls’ wing. Exclusive of furnishings, the cost to date rather exceeds $175,000.

The scheme in its entirety will cost approximately $250,000. Rev. Father James Macguire, O.M.I., whose zeal is manifested in every department of the school work, is the principal. The staff will consist of eight sisters of St. Annes, celebrated all over the country for their deep devotion to educating these children. There will also be a male instructor in agriculture and one in trades. The school has been designed under a three unit system, the administration block in the centre, girls’ wing on the east and boys’ wing on the west of brick and tile construction, the salient features of the design are brought out in granite.

Facing the visitor is the eighty-foot dining-room, seating 250. At the north end two rooms have been reserved for workmen’s dining-rooms. Two exits lead into the yard and playground. Next the large dining-room are two sculleries one for girls and the other for boys the former giving access to the minor kitchen wing containing the kitchen itself of 28 by 38 feet, a store, a dairy and pantry. There is nothing above the kitchen and this permits of the maximum amount of additional light and so allows or getting rid of all odours with glazed brick. All walls are lined with white There are also two staff dining rooms on the floor, each 24 by 15 feet.

I’ll never forgive the Catholic ‘ church for what they’ve done to my ‘ people,” said Bill Seward, 76, of Nanaimo. “When I spoke my language, I got ‘ punished, and there were a lot of times I went three or four days without food. That was my punishment,” said the ‘ former band chief. “I had to kneel in the corner, some- ; times all night. That’s how I got bad knees.”

To the immediate west is the boiler room, at a lower level. On the ground floor are the principal’s roomy offices and waiting-room, a parlour and staff rooms. Principal Macguire’s sitting-room and bedroom are here also and there are bathrooms and storerooms on the same floor also. The main corridor gives access to the chapel, as yet unequipped and with seating capacity for 250 and vestry with immediately adjacent two fire- escapes. On the first floor are the boys’ and girls’ infirmaries, with nurses’ rooms, bath, linen and general storerooms, ready for all contingencies. Passing through the connecting link, giving access from the administration building, the visitor finds himself in the girls’ wing. On the semi-basement floor are two staff bedrooms, with connecting bathroom, twelve children’s bathrooms, lavatories and washrooms. Under the recreation room is a particularly well laid out, splendidly equipped laundry and disinfecting room. On the ground floor of this wing are the sisters’ community room, girls’ (senior and junior) sewing-rooms; two large classrooms and four staff bedrooms, with bathrooms and toilets.

The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
03 Aug 1957, Sat  •  Page 35

The first floor is devoted to dormitories, clothing-rooms and the necessary staff rooms for supervision. On the second floor are dormitories, staff bedrooms and staff duty rooms, so placed as to avoid or minimize supervision over the dormitories. The floors of the lavatories and washrooms are to avoid fires made out of terrazzo. Floors of corridors, dining-rooms, kitchen and stores and dairy are of asphaltic mastic.

Doors and trim generally are of British Columbia fir. Ceilings are of metal. In connection with such an institution the kitchen is of much importance that in this particular connection, one is not surprised to find a huge finely equipped refrigerator plant. Ice-making is also provided for. The water supply is self-contained, coming from the nearby river. Pumps have been installed to take care of both domestic and irrigation supplies. It is expected that another pumping unit will be added In the near future.

Children were forcibly removed from their homes once attendance became mandatory by law in the 1920s, with their parents under threat of prison if they refused. The children were not allowed to speak their native language nor practise their own spirituality. Many children ran away and some disappeared and died.

The farming land in connection with the school is approximately 160 acres, all capable of cultivation. Here are growing in profusion: Alfalfa corn beets potatoes, cabbages, while and vegetables. There are eighty head of cattle, many horses and hogs, turkeys and chickens by the hundred. There is a very fine barn, also carpenter and blacksmith shops, poultry houses, root and vegetable cellars. Here boys receive instruction in agriculture and such training as will enable them to carry out the necessary farming operations on their own land some day.

Girls’ training includes instruction in all domestic problems, including cooking, making butter, preserving fruits and vegetables, all branches of sewing and knitting and that general knowledge of domestic economy which will make them good Indian housewives of the future. At the beginning of September there will be about 150 pupils in residence. The complete scheme will afford accommodation to at least 250

A former student, who asked not to be named, said one of the brothers would come into the dorm two to three nights per week. He would crawl into bed with the boys, ‘ kissing and fondling them’. “When we heard him coming we’d say, who’s going to get it tonight?’ It was terrible,” said the man, who was molested by the brother.

Kamloops Industrial School

(This strap was found by residential school survivor Rudy Bruyere, who wrote the dates he attended St. Margaret’s on the back of it. Photo: Martha Troian/APTN)
On the back of it, “1951 to 1962” is written in permanent black marker. That is during the time when Bruyere attended St. Margaret’s.

Read-‘A very painful artifact’: Strap used at residential school moves from family home to archives

The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
27 Jul 1957, Sat  •  Page 35

The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
24 Mar 1920, Wed  •  Page 2

Did you know?

“The ‘Heathen’ School opposite the Carleton Place Baptist Church is now in operation.”

What was a ‘Heathen School’? Was it a school dealing in Wicca? Is that where the Witches of Rochester Street got their education?  The ‘Heathen School’ was built, in part, to convert the world through seeded evangelism. Carleton Place was not the only town that had one. People from so-called “heathen” nations would attend, learn to spread the gospel. Sons of some of the most prominent Aboriginal leaders of the time (many of mixed ancestry) received their education at the Foreign Mission School in Conn., later becoming distinguished members of their nations. It seems that Carleton Place felt it needed its own.

Of the native Indians who a 180 years ago had been almost the sole inhabitants of the Lanark and Renfrew area, only a few stragglers still remained in Lanark County in the late 1800s.–read The Heathen School in Carleton Place — Salem’s Lot?

Carleton Place Town Hall
5h  · 
The flag on the Carleton Place Town Hall has been lowered to half-mast to honour the memory of the 215 children who tragically lost their lives as part of the former Residential School system in Kamloops and to pay respect to their families and survivors.
“This is an important gesture to acknowledge this unnecessary tragedy and the heartbreak felt across the nation at this recent discovery,” says Doug Black, Mayor of the Town of Carleton Place

Also read-The Wright Brothers– British Home Children

Clippings of the Barnardo Home Boys and Girls

Home Boys and Family–Mallindine Family — Larry Clark

Canadians Just Wanted to Use me as a Scullery-Maid

Laundry Babies – Black Market Baby BMH 5-7-66

More Unwed Mother Stories — Peacock Babies

The Wendigo’s of Devil’s Mountain

The Wendigo’s of Devil’s Mountain

The summit of this mountain Mount St. Wilfred, formerly Devil’s Mountain (summit at 783 m) is located at about 15 km northwest of Mont-Laurier and near Lake Windigo. In this sector of the Laurentian Mountains, the relief form an oblong mass of about 8 km by 5 km.

According to a legend, this mountain is haunted by the Windigo, an imaginary character from Algonquin mythology. It would be about an alien and demonic creature whose myth is widespread on the planet. This character represents evil. He is possessed by the evil spirit.

Popularly, this mountain is designated “Montagne du Diable”, a French adaptation of the old term Windigo used in this area to designate the stream and the lake. The toponymic designation Sir-Wilfrid was assigned in 1932; this designation is similar to the toponym Mont-Laurier, which the town is nearby. This toponymic designation evokes the memory of Wilfrid Laurier (1841-1919), Prime Minister of Canada, from 1896 to 1911.

The natives of the area were so afraid of Devil’s Mountain that Hugh Evendigo lived there and would not ascend it. It was told by Mr. John O’Connell that when he was in the Baskalong country in the 1890s he saw a mountain which was called Devil’s Mountain. The natives were afraid of it because there was nearly always a fog around its fop. However the fog at the top was there because there were miles of swamp lands around the base or the mountain.

The natives told the white men that the Wendigo was on the mountain and they had no right to go there and they didn’t. Mr. O’Connell says he never ascended the mountain himself, but he knew several who did and they saw no difference between it and any other mountain. Men who got lost in the bush found the Devils Mountain very useful. By climbing a high tree or high hill, they could see the fog-topped mountain and then they knew their whereabouts.

Algonquian tribes called the Wendigo the “spirit of lonely places and it was an evil spirit who takes the form of a skeletal human– something like the White Walkers from Game of Thrones. With thin, sickly skin and a wiry frame made partly of ice, the Wendigo is best known for its insatiable hunger for human flesh. In some variations of the legend, humans who were particularly greedy or gluttonous could become Wendigos themselves; other versions hold that Wendigos grow larger with every human they eat, ensuring that the beast’s hunger is never fully satisfied. They’re said to inhabit the tundras of northern Canada and Alaska, where the air is as chilly as their souls —

Strange Bird Shot Up at Shirley’s Bay Had 8 Feet Wing Spread

A Bird Weighing How Much was Found Near Barry’s Bay?

How a Boy of 16 Escaped From A Pack of Wolves on Richmond Road

The Wolves of Lanark County

Dancing With Wolves in Perth

This Ram was Ten Yards Long Sir and His Horns Reached the Sky

Shades of The Godfather in Dr. Preston’s Office in Carleton Place

Is This Story Just Up a Tree?

Where Was Meyers Cave?


Historical Caves — Pelissier’s Cave

Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit Westport Perth –McNamee

The Banshee of Kingston Mills

Local Sea Serpent Positively Seen This Time!!

Sea Serpent Captured in Chats Lake


More Lake Monsters–Moose or Monster?

Did You Ever See the Monster of Otty Lake?

Could the Giant Pike of Carleton Place Have Turned Into the Lake Memphremagog Monster?

The Ghost Ship of Brown’s Hill

The Sea Serpents of Lake Ontario

The Water Dragon of White Lake? 1936

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

Captured by Natives Alice Garland

Captured by Natives Alice Garland

In 1831, Mr. Nicholas Garland, a farmer, then living on Lot 20 in the 6th Concession of Beckwith Township, *lost a child, a little girl.  Some of the children had wandered to the back of the clearance, which was then but small, and the little one never came home.

All the neighbours turned out the next day and searched the woods all around and every nook and cranny where she might have fallen and perished was searched, but not the smallest clue or trace of her could be found. The inhabitants concluded that a bear had carried her off and devoured her.

In 1881 the Perth Courier and Almonte Gazette reported that she was stolen by a local native who brought her up in his own family and married her off to one of his own sons. They lived latterly in the County of Bruce where some of her brothers and sisters were living.

The old Chief, her abductor, died in 1881, and before his death made a full confession of the nefarious and cruel deed.  Who needs despair of at least hearing of their own lost loved ones?

So why were local children taken? Quite a few were stolen because a native family was in bereavement from losing a child or family member. These abducted children were often placed into the care of fellow native families that had lost a child, or brother or sister. With some files from Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives

St. Louis Globe-Democrat
St. Louis, Missouri
21 Dec 1881, Wed  •  Page 1

Did the story have a happy ending? It is for
the reader to judge. The heroine’s real family, by
now living in another part of Lanark County,
naturally wanted her to come home. According to
an account in another newspaper, she thought it
over, and refused. After all, she was now a middle aged woman, with a family of her own. She considered herself to be an Indian, and could
remember no other way of life. It was only natural
that she should choose to stay with her husband
and his people.This is one of the strange but true stories in
the annals of the Irish people of the Ottawa Valley- Goulburn Museum

Other stories

Christianne and her husband Jacob Ross were originally buried at Woodlands East Cemetery, Osnabruck Township, Stormont County, a Lost Villages Cemetery.
Christianne Merkley Ross
15 Jan 1856 (aged 97–98)Osnabruck, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties, Ontario, Canada
Upper Canada Village Cemetery
Upper Canada Village, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties, Ontario, Canada
Chrysler Farm

In the year 1858, there died in Osnabruck, Dundas county, at the great age of 98, a lady who had had experiences the like of which have fallen to the lot of few women. The lady in question was Christiane, wife of Jacob Ross, who was of UE. Loyalist descent. The story of Mrs. Ross life is thrilling in the extreme. Mrs. Ross’ maiden name was Merkley. She was the daughter of Michael Merkley, a loyalist, who lived In Schoharie near the Mohawk river In the state of New York, at the time of the American Revolution. In the year 1777 Mr. Merkley left home on business, leaving Christiane, a younger sister and a small brother U keep house. (The mother was dead.)

On the day Mr. Merkley was due to return home, a band of Indians came in sight and shot him almost at his door. They then looted the house, set it on fire, and carried off the three children. The little boy cried so hard for his father that the Indians tomahawked and scalped him, showed his scalp to the two girls and told them they would share the same fate if they made any outcry. The natives (who were allied to the British) marched to Fort Niagara with the girls having to walk all the way. It was a journey of about 600 miles.

At Fort Niagara they sold the girls to Sir John Johnson, who commanded the Natives who were there in the British service. Sir John Johnson took the sisters to Montreal with him and they remained in his service as servants for two years. At the close of the war with the States (Revolution) Christianne married Jacob Ross, a discharged soldier. Mr. and Mrs. Ross went to Cornwall to take up a farm which he had drawn from the government “lot.”

At Cornwall he exchanged that farm for one in Osnabruck. The couple found themselves badly in need of a cow. Mrs. Ross suggested that she return to Montreal for a year and go into “service” to earn money to buy a cow. This the young husband agreed to regretfully. It took Mrs. Ross a whole year to earn wages sufficient to buy a cow.

At the end of the year Mr. Ross left his small clearing and the bride and the cow were brought back in a batteau after much difficulty. The cow made all the difference in the world to the young couple. Devout Lutherans. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were Lutherans and for many years Mrs. Ross’ German Bible and prayer book were her constant companions. She had her full faculties up to the time of her death.

Read more about Christiane here

Nicholas GARLAND (John2, William (Colonel)1) was born on February 21, 1798 in , Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland2 and died on December 11, 1880 in Goulbourn Twp, Carleton, Ontario Canada aged 82.


• He immigrated from Ireland in 1821 to Beckwith Twp, Lanark Co, Ontario, Canada. 2

• Nicholas farmed on Lot 20, Con 6, Beckwith Twp, Lanark Co, Ontario, Canada, in 1822 2

• Nicholas relocated, in 1828 to Goulbourn Twp, Carleton, Ontario Canada. 2

Nicholas married Ann WILLOUGHBY in May 1819.2 Ann was born in 1798 in , Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland2 and died on December 16, 18892 aged 91.

10 Pioneer Children Abducted By Native Americans Who Refused To Go Home