In 1879 the hunters made their appearance on the Upper Mississippi Lake and many stories have been told of the slaughter of both wild geese and duck. The name of Glovers around Carleton Place and vicinity was synonymous with duck hunting Tom, Bill, Bob, Sime and Charlie were all crack shots against feathered fowl.
They killed them off by the thousand until the ducks changed their course again. Now the *Glovers are all dead and the old fear of the human enemy has been forgotten by the feathered creatures. In this region of the inland lakes that are tributaries to the Mississippi, such as Haley’s Lake, there were found a full perfect set of elk horns taken out of the mud of this lake in a perfect state of preservation, bleached white by the water and sun rays for hundreds of years.
The oldest records say that elk have not been known in that vicinity for many centuries. When Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano sailed into New York Bay in 1524, bison and elk ranged across most of the East. The deer of Beckwith were killed off for the meat. But the wholesale massacre of the elk, like that of the Buffalo, was carried on for the joy of seeing the great creatures fall in dying agony; and, in later years, by tusk hunters who were too lazy to be hide hunters. Travellers in Eastern Canada were obliged to record only the reminiscences of old settlers, or the discovery of fossil horns and skulls like that which was found in Haley’s Lake.
The Lanark County sportsmen built an old corduroy road into the hunting areas from the main highway between Carleton Place and Perth. It was a few miles off the highway that some remember from their boyhood days. It was natural feeding place where the water was shallow and there were plenty of rice and grass beds.
photo from jay playfair album from Laurie Yuill == Corduroy Road–
There were two outstanding drowning fatalities in the Mississippi. One in 1882 when Alex Gillies and Peter Peden, two of Carleton Place’s promising young men. They were drowned while duck hunting and their funeral was the largest and saddest cortege that passed through the streets of Carleton Place.
The second fatality was the drowning of Noble Bennett and Dick Willis in 1893 who were duck hunting. They were drowned in Kinch Bay and Willis was not found for some days. His body was found standing mired in the mud close to the rice beds; the top of his head was just below the water. Bennett’s body was found months later.
They built a a flat bottomed boat with plate glass in the bottom, three feet square, to be used by the searchers who lay prone on the bottom looking down into the water. Many of the old timers will remember this, and the sadness and gloom it cast over the village. They were both good swimmers, but their fate was claimed once again by the Mississippi Lake.
*Glovers-A young Glover child was killed by being crushed under a lumber yard wagon; Billy Glover fatally injured sliding down the Spring Street hill;
Under the title of the Carleton Place Game, Fish and Insectivorous Birds Protective Society it continued to operate for some years. Original officers of the group were William Pattie, president ; Jim Bothwell, vice president ; Walter Kibbee, secretary-treasurer, and committee members John Cavers, Tom Glover, John Moore, Jim Morphy and Jim Presley ; elected at a May meeting in the old fire hall on Bridge Street, when a constitution drawn up by Robert Bell was adopted. Glovers ran a carriage shop.
Plenty Canada, a non-profit Indigenous-based charity in Lanark County are starting a World Wildlife Federation funded field project to study wild rice in the surrounding area. The organizers have heard there could be beds of wild rice in Clayton Lake and contacted MVFN asking for local information on these, or possible locations.
If you are aware of any wild rice beds in any Lanark County lakes please get in touch with Shannon Farmer directly at Shannonfarmer@trentu.ca or (705)740-5874.