Thursday, June 29, 2006

OAS Chapter?

I met with another interested party today. Mr Michael Henry of AMICK Consultants with offices in Port McNicoll. We talked about a number of issues relating to site protection and identification but perhaps the most timely was his current efforts to establish a chapter of the Ontario Archeological Society in this area. This chapter could be the vehicle that would be able to bring all interested parties together under a credible umbrella. This would negate the need to form yet another association that appears to be having difficulty getting traction.
I have dusted off my membership application for the OAS and would encourage others who are not already members to check out the organization and consider joining aswell. The more members that they have in this area the better chance there is that a chapter could be formed.

Just a Discussion Group

I have included in this post some correspondence that is perhaps overdue and I have changed the title and intro of this blog accordingly. I may have to send out new invites to join and or post so let me know if you are having difficulty.

Dear John,

I think it's time to be clear that there is no Huronia Historical Association.

Instead what is taking place is that you are acting without consulting with anyone else. Without asking for consensus you are representing yourself as the leader of an association. And I recall, yes, you saying what is an association. That seems a little disingenuous. For me an association is a formal or semi-formal group of people who have agreed to act together under some sort of agreed upon rules. That has not happened. Maybe an organizing meeting should take place, maybe not.

Site Protection

I met yesterday with Gary French, a lawyer from Elmvale who has a great interest in and has contributed a great deal to the preservation of Huronia's Heritage. I approached Gary with my frustration over the level of protection currently afforded heritage sites as noted in a previous post and queried as to the value of having known Huron sites regisered on property title. I was quickly advised that this has already been attempted and that the Provincial Registrar will not consider this unless it affects property ownership.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ste. Ignace revisited

As is obvious from some previous posts, I have had questions about the validity of the sites currently marked as Ste Louis and Ste Ignace. On the advice of others I read S W Fox's book Saint Ignace-Canadian Alter of Martyrdom. This book is designed to be the definitive proof of the validity of the current site marked as Ste Ignace ll. In the process of reading this book I was advised by a local expert on Historic Huronia's to read an article titled 'The Search for St-Ignace ll" by Martha A Latta published in Ontario Archaeology #48 in 1988. This article references a reinvestigation of the site in 1975 directed by William Russell and a field party consisting of Allan Tyyska, Roberta O'Brien and Jamie Hunter. As a result of these findings and questions raised by other prominent archaeologists Latta raises serious doubt about not only the validity of this site being that of Ste. Ignace ll but the validity of the site itself as a historic Huron village of the time period relevant to the events of March 16th-20th 1649.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Site Locations.

I had a brief meeting yesterday with Ian Bender, the chief planner for Simcoe County. In that exchange I expressed my interest in the identification and protection of the native village sites in Simcoe County and sought clarification as to how the process works. I expressed my concern that the current process and legislation do not afford sufficient protection for these sites and that another situation such as the ossuary found in Little Lake Park Midland was bound to occur again if more is not done soon to protect these sites.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ste Marie Revisited

I when to visit Ste Marie with a new set of eyes this past weekend. For the past 20+ years I have visited as a tourist, an educator and a guest at numerous events. This time I went as a student of Huronia.
Why is the site we see not the site as seen and excavated people like Kenneth Kidd?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why were there no horses?

In reading all the material about Historic Huronia and for that matter New France I can't recall any mention of horses.
The Spanish, if I recall brought horses over to Central America, why did the French or for that matter the British or Dutch not bring horses to the New World in the 1600's.
It would appear that the French and Jesuits managed to bring all the other animals of Old MacDonald's farm up to Ste. Marie, why not a horse?
Think of how much easier or at least quicker travel would have been between missions if they had.
When did the first horse arrive in Huronia? Who brought it and how?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

St. Louis items - Huronia Museum only place

I had a conversation yesterday with Jamie Hunter, Huronia Museum in Midland, about St. Louis. I asked where one could go to see materials excavated from the site. Royal Ontario Museum? University of Western Ontario? Simcoe County Museum? Penetanguishene Centennial Museum? Nope. The only place and it is a good place to visit for many other reasons to see items from St. Louis is the Huronia Museum in Midland, Ontario. Beads, wampum shells, arrow heads (notched and unnotched) and clear signs of long European contact (nails, hinges).

Clearly when in the area, you MUST visit the Huronia Museum, in Midland, Ontario.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wikipedia articles

I took a look at Wikipedia to see what it offered. I found a few articles. I also found some gaps. Something someone might want to consider addressing.

no Wikipedia article on Huronia or Ste. Marie Among the Hurons.

There is an article on Samuel Champlain, but very little about his visit to Huronia.

I have no experience writing or editing a Wikipedia article. If you look at one of the articles, be sure to look at the tabs on the top of the article: "article" "discussion" "edit" "history".

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Public Awarness

I received the following email from a friend of mine in Barrie who is involved in the Simcoe County Plaquing program.
" Thanks. I got it O.K. and have just skimmed through it. What a lot of information is included!
Right now, I can't think of any information I could add, but I sure can learn a lot from what is there. I am very much interested in the Huron Missions, and all that took place in Huronia after Champlain's arrival. But my information is second hand, as I have not had time available to do original research.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

OT 400 years

You know this is completely off topic to this blog's central focus, but today as I was standing at St. Louis, it occurred to me that given the current lack of progress in dealing with "modern" man's pollution of the earth whether someone will be able to stand on this same spot in 2406 or 2449.

St. Louis - photos

Well, it is not impossible to find after all. The better way to get there is to turn south off Hwy 12 at Reeves Rd and drive south to Granny White's Side Road and turn left (East) and drive about 200 metres. You will see on the left or north side of the road a very badly faded blue historic site sign. Turn left (north) immediately at this sign. There are gates but they were open today. I have no idea when they are closed. As has been pointed out, take that immediate turn, just a few feet further to the east is a private drive and you don't want to go in there.

Two reports, Same event?

It is obvious after reading the account from Father Ragueneau and the one from the shoemaker Christophe Regnault that they were reporting on the same event one the same date from the same place, but what about the discrepancy in distances as they relate to Ste Louis. Father Ragueneau says that the village was less than 1 league from Ste Marie. The shoemaker says a short 1/4 league.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Father Ragueneau's account of Ste Ignace

THE progress of the Faith kept increasing from day to day, and the blessings of Heaven were flowing down in abundance upon these peoples, when God chose to derive from them his glory in ways which are adorable, and which belong to the jurisdiction of his divine providence,—although they have been very severe for us, and were not in our expectations.
The 16th day of March in the present year, 1649, marked the beginning of our misfortunes,—if, however, that be a misfortune which no doubt has been the salvation of many of God's elect.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Will This Map Help?

This is the map that most historians use as their reference document for finding Huron and Catholic sites. How I wish they had GPS devices! Good luck Bill. This map was an insert in a larger map produced in 1660. There are others such as one credited to Brebeuf but not verified, and non that I am aware of that show more detail or more accuracy that can be used as primary source material.

Where are These Villages?

The following is an account of the events of March 16th 1649 that make these site of historic significance and sacred ground to the Catholic Church;

"A veritable Account of the Martyrdom and Blessed death of Father Jean de Brebeuf and of Father Gabriel L'Alemant, in New France, in the country of the Hurons, by the Iroquois, enemies of the Faith.
Father Jean de Brebeuf and Father Gabriel L'Alemant had set out from our cabin, to go to a small Village, called St. Ignace, distant from our cabin about a short quarter of a League, to instruct the Savages and the new Christians of that Village.

St Ignace II

St. Ignace II Huron Village and Jesuit Mission 1648-49, probable site of St. Ignace II overrun and destroyed by the Iroquois March 16-19, 1649; St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant were martyred here March 16-17, 1649.

St. Louis and St. Ignace II Road Signs - a little inconsistent

This morning I took a few minutes to try and take some photos at St. Louis and St. Ignace II. The curious part is that while there is no highway marker on Hwy 12 for St. Ignace II (at least that I saw), there is a marker along the road to indicate where to turn in. The reverse is true for St. Louis. As you head west past Victoria Harbour, a sign says St. Louis 2 km. Another sign indicates a left turn off the highway. And then there is no more signage. If I have missed them, and someone knows whereof they are, please post a comment to that effect. Thanks.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

More on Water Levels

This is an interesting chart that shows levels back to 1870. It indicates to me that over that 136 years the highs have not been as high and the lows have been lower. The trend if there is one would show a general drop of about 3ft over that period of 136 years. If that trend were projected back to 1639 or 367 yrs that would mean a total sustained drop of over 8ft since that time.
Hunter and Kidd appear to have been measuring at low ebbs on the cycle and hence there estimates of 10-12ft may seem extreme to some.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sagard's travels in Huronia 1623-24

This in an interesting interpretation of Sagard's travels and the villages he visited or mentioned in his first book Long Voyage into the Land of the Huron. Note that his arrival in this author's understanding was via Penetang Bay east of Copeland Creek and Liligan Lake where there are numerous recorded village and ossuary sites. Note also Champlain's travels and villages that he visited 8 years prior to Sagard. Did they visit the same villages?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Champlain's Travel in Huronia Aug-Sept 1615

In Champlain's words;

After crossing a bay, which forms one of the extremities of the lake, [119] we went some seven leagues until we arrived in the country of the Attigouautan at a village called Otoüacha, on the first day of August. (1615)

The next day (Aug 2nd1615) I went to another village, called Carmaron, a league distant from this, where they received us in a very friendly manner, making for us a banquet with their bread, squashes, and fish. As to meat, that is very scarce there. The chief of this village earnestly begged me to stay, to which I could not consent, but returned to our village, where on the next night but one, as I went out of the cabin to escape thefleas, of which there were large numbers and by which we were tormented, a girl of little modesty came boldly to me and offered to keep me company, for which I thanked her, sending her away with gentle remonstrances, and spent the night with some savages.

two crosses at Carhagouha (First Mass Site)

To reduce the slight confusion I introduced by posting two separate photos of the crosses at the site, here is a photo showing both.