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Accession Number: 82-006

George Cobb tapes
82-006

Tape 21
Transcription

This transcription is available to researchers for private research purposes only.
All responsibility for issues of copyright is assumed by the researcher.

The following digitized transcription was made from a typed transcription located in the Cobb donor file, Trent University Archives. Sections appearing to have been offered as explanation by the interviewer have been italicized by Archives staff.

William James Telford, recorded by George Cobb, March 23 1968

William James Telford, born Feb. 28 1878, Ennismore Twp.

Used to run a stage, you know, from Bobcaygeon through to Peterborough.

- Did you go on that stage?

You could travel - passenger, you see the other folk were there from Pidgeon creek about 16 and 7-23 mile from Bobcaygeon through to Peterborough here, direct by the bridges, two floating bridges to cross.

- And did you help build that first floating bridge?

I helped to build the other ones, ones on Chemong; I didn't build the ones at Pidgeon.

- When was the fist one built?

Oh! That would be way back in 18 . . . I didn't ...?... that one. It was the first one me father went over there, and then the next was three different places on Chemong Lake. Do you know Bridgenorth much?

- Fairly well.

Uhm, the first one, you know where the bathing beach is in Bridgenorth there?

- Yes.

Well that's where the fist bridge came across

Introduction to his son-in-law who has just entered. His daughter and son-in-law were present during the whole interview.

- What was the Maple Leaf like?

Well, it wasn't a very large boat, run by propeller you know, and it run from Bobcaygeon through to Bridgenorth in the summertime and carried the mail and passengers if they wanted to go. In the wintertime the drove that there with horses from Bobcaygeon through to Peterborough. They would bring a team down this way and leave a team in Peterborough and take another team back, at night, you see. They did that every day in the bad weather. A fellow by the name of Tommy Murphy used to . . . I got a card from his daughter.

- Was it he drove . . . the stage?

Yea. They used to travel on Pidgeon Lake in the winter time, on the ice. Sometimes the weather would be bad and the days were short. One time they were going up there after dark around Jacobs Island there, do you know around Gannon's there much?

- Not very much, no.

There is a current all down through there, and away up in Bobcaygeon where those two fellows were drowned this winter, there was a bad ice up there too. They got out and cot caught in a snowstorm and had to stay out on the lake all night. They were afraid . . . you know, get lost, and didn't know but what they might get into open water.

- They mark the track up there at all?

They would sometimes bush up, but not always. The old floating bridge up there all went to pieces when the first war was on.

- That was the first floating? Well, that was build before your time then!

Yea! I hear my Dad saying, I don't know how true this is, I often heard him saying that a fellow by the name Trennum, they are related to those Trennums out here, he built both bridges, and he built each bridge for 3,600 dollars. Just imagine!

- Did they build the sections on land and then tow them into the (the lake)?

No. Built it all on the water. They used those great big dead pine they would tumble them right off the shore into the water, and float them to the bridge, you know. Some of them would be as long as here across the street

- They weren't squared these pines?

No, no, but they put them like that, all zig-zag.

- So the joins weren't opposite each other.

Then they had cross pieces set in there, then floored again on top of that, and rails and just imagine $3600! But labour was cheap.

- What, $1 a day?

Oh you wouldn't get that. 50¢. I know hired men that we had, good men too, that had big families, worked for $17 a month. That just runs to about 60¢ a day. You would wonder how people would life, wouldn't you.

- That was working on the farm?

Cause they got their boar, you know.

- Did you have any of the Indians from Curve Lake working down there? On the Bridge? - On the farm.

Not much our way. They worked out on the farm there in North Smith (Twp.) and did you know any of the Blewetts in North Smith?

- I've met the one thats there now.

Well, there was an Indian working for him, different year. Oh, a lot of beggars, you couldn't depend too much on them, they'd be here today and away tomorrow. Rather deficient.

- Going back to the beginning Mr. Telford, this log cabin you were born in, where was it?

On the farm, you know where Gifford's farm is now? We sold both farms to the people over there. It was right along the road. It's torn down. We tore it down when we built a new house.

- Had that got just one big room downstairs?

No there was a bedroom off it and a stairway and an upstairs and there bedrooms upstairs in it too, it was good big log house.

- It was a two story one?

Oh, yea.

- And a root celler?

Uh..mm (yes) Oh it was a good big log house. Often we wish we had a picture of it.

- That was chinked with wood, it wasn't chinked with moss?

Oh no, only mortar, lime . . .

- Did you have a lime kiln there?

We had two.

- They use a lot of wood to keep them going?

Oh, you could just keep firing it in, and mostly cedar that they burnt you know. And we used to have two men, each take 12 hours and fire up. It would take a whole week to burn that (the stone)

- How much stone did you put in?

Well, the thing would be about 8 feet across inside, like a silo you know, and those two kilns were as high as this house. Many of times I have helped fill them too!

- You filled them from the top did you?

Oh yea. It was a quarry, and it was dug out and the kilns were built in the side you see, and you could fill them from the right nearly level with the tope of it.

- What stopped all the stone going down into the fire?

Well, we had irons, iron grates that went across the top of the fire place. The fire place would be about that depth (3 or 4 feet) and there were doors on it too. The iron grates stopped the stone dropping down and the lime and the likes of that, when it was burning. It would take a whole week to burn it. And we sold that there at 25¢ a bushel.

- Did you have to do anything to it after it had been burnt?

No. You didn't have to do a thing; it all went into lime or stones. Some of it went solid but the moment the water struck it, it would all break up.

- The stones that were left would break up?

You couldn't put in any stones neither, just had to have limestones.

- After it had finished burning, then did you put the water on it?

No, when you were using it. I think that old door that was on that fire place there went into the causeway, you see they used that quarry there to build the causeway.

- So it has in as fill?

There is still part of the lime kiln in Warsaw in the quarry there. Just past the old school there is a kiln over there by Lakefield, right on the side of the road.

Son-in-law -- Department of Highways bulldozed that all in last fall

People used to come from mile for lime when they were building a house or something.

- How much would they need if they were building a log house like yours?

Well, it was different then to what it is now, it was all solid lime that went into the walls. I've seen men come there with a wagon box, that depth (14 feet) and you know the length of a wagon box, and maybe 4 feet wide, and they would take that there to build a house. That would be . . . how many bushels would that be . . . 4 by 14 inches 4 x 12 is 48. I should think about 50 bushels. I should think about that. There is about 100 bushel in a cord of wood. That is grain what I mean. I think would be about 50 bushel.

- Was there a weaver out there in Bridgenorth?

There was in Bridgenorth. Fellow by the name of Sandy Morrison. He used to weave carpets, not so much cloth, mostly carpets for floors.

- Did he do bedspreads and things like that?

No, he didn't do that. Just carpets. The like of bedspreads is pretty fine work. People used to sew carpet rags, old clothes that were done, make them into strips, maybe that long, sew all together and roll them into balls, then they would five them to this old Sandy Morrison to weave. He used to do a lot. He used to weave some of those blankets. You've one haven't you Wilma (his Daughter) Those heavy wool blankets, He'd weave those, but not the fine work, no. But he'd do a good job, what he did do.

- Do you remember them doing the spinning in the house too?

Oh yes, I've watched time and again weaving, he used to work his feet, and the bobbins, shooting them back and forth with his hand like that.

- He was right in Bridgenorth was he?

Yea, the building that he used to be in was move a way up, well, its up by the place Jim Jopplin lived in. They moved it up for a shed, but it was right on the back street there, along where Charlie Fitz lived there.

- Do you know what he charged for weaving carpets?

I forget now, wasn't very much, it about went with what wages a man was getting. I don't supposed he would make over 55 to 70¢ a day. That was about the wage, about 50¢ a day, a mans wage then.

- He just wove the material that other people brought to him?

Oh yes, he used to supply all that, well it warp, I guess they called it. You know, the threads that locked all the stuff together.

- Did he dye any of the carpets that he made?

No. People would sometimes dye those carpet rages, and maybe put a stripe down the carpet, you know, right up the length as he was weaving it.

- One special colour?

Yes, mostly yellow.

- How did they make the yellow?

With those flowers, is it tansy? They used to use that for dye.

- They used to use that for they yellow did they?

Yes, for the yellow.

- Did they use onion skins at all?

Well, I don't remember that, but I remember that other, for Mother used to dye that yellow.

- Did you go out and pick the flowers for her?

Yes, um-hm

Some of those old gentlemen were pretty good too. Clever. And an awful lot of them liked . . . a drink of liquor.

- They had to have that didn't they?

Yea, come St. Andrews night.

- Was the weaver a Scotsman?

Yes, He was Scotch. Sandy Morrison. Sandy is a Scotch name. Andrew was really his name.

- Had he come out of Scotland as a weaver, or was he corn in Ennismore?

Well, he used to work around with the farmers when there was no weaving to do, work in the harvest fields, he would work around with the farmers. He'd do anything. He used to fire the lime kilns what we used to burn. He was on of the men, and there was Jim Simple. He came from Peterborough. Oh, a lot of those old gentlemen would do anything you know for to make a dollar!

- Do you know if he learnt his weaving in Scotland?

Oh, I think that's maybe were he learnt it.

His daughter Wilma now brings in one of the blankets.

Wilma: My grandmother spun the yarn in Havery Twp. I have a couple of them. They are not signed, one of them is bound with red but I don't know if he did it or if my mother did it. Mother was was married in 1904 and this was made before, she fought them from with her. They were just woven on a 36 inch loom. And they are stitched together in the centre. I have been asked we kept it in such a good colour, it has always been washed in soft water.

 

 

Small Talk

Re: Historical Society

 

- There was a grist mill out there too was there?

Yes. Right now they used to have pretty near everything that was going at that time. There was a cooper and a butcher and a grist mill, saw mill, little of everything.

- There to be because move about they do now.

Um, and a hotel, they had to have them! For their liquor

- Where did they did they get their liquor from?

I don't know, I think at one time they used to make it. --- used to run the hotel there at one time, and they said they had a still down down there in the swamp. That's this way from Bridgenorth. Had a still in the middle of that swamp! I guess there's more profit in it than buying it from the government.

- I suppose the beer came out from Calcutt's brewery?

Yea. But they said at one time, that at every mile, from Peterborough through to Ennismore Cross, thats a village there at Ennismore there was a hotel, or a tavern as they called them then.

- What did they call them? Shebeens?

Wherever there was a clay pipe with their stems crossed like that you could buy liquor, that had in the window. Used to be one there where Robey's Hill is. There used to be a hotel there. At least a Tavern. That's at this side of the village. Then there was one there where Udie's lived. Old Mrs. Masie, a woman used to run that. Then there was Foberts, then there was Dunbars, that was just up there from the bathing beach. People by the name of Dunbar ran that there, then when you crossed the lake there was one at the very end of the bridge, Grouse Lake there, and then about every mile to the cross, up to the Ennismore Cross. So they'd lots of liquor.

Daughter: Tell him about Biddy Garrity, Dad

Ah! Biddy! She was an Irish woman, and hardy too. And her husband worked for us on the farm there for 4 or 5 years, on year after the other. And they had a family of 7 or 8. He had to go home on a Saturday night and Dad would always pay him up on a Saturday night, you know, for the weeks work. And he'd go home and he'd call into the hotel and if he didn't take home a bottle she would pound him.

- Wee that was about the only fun they got out of life I suppose.

Yea. used to be a lot those Irishmen in Ennismore, they are awfully good hearted people and will do anything in the world for you, but all like to drink, yes, they all like to drink. That seems to their failure or failing. There was an old fellow over there called Mick Cloke, and he used to buy it by the keg, liquor, you know of course you could by a gall of that for maybe 50¢ on time you know, for a gallon it was so cheap. He lived over there in Ennismore there and we know some his family now, that is his grandchildren, he would go to Peterborough and bring a keg home. He would lie outside until that was all gone. Then the priest over there would get after him to join the T.A.S. The total Abstainers, you know, and he never would join them. He kept nagging at him to see if he wouldn't join them, and he says 'Well he I'll join the T.A.S. but I wasnt one big drunk first.' So he had that big drunk. He joined them and never touched it afer. And he took sick and they took down to the hospital here in Peterborough. The doctor told the nurse to put a little bit of liquor in his medicine, and she brought the medicine to him, he picked it up and smelled it, and he said 'You don't fool me.' He wouldn't touch it. When he made up his mind, I guess he was solid.

- Really stuck to it.

- There were a lot of Irish people in Ennismore, weren't there?

Oh yes, it is pretty much a an Irish settlement, cause there's people got mixed in there now. Then there are a lot of cottages over there now all around the lakeshore.

- Was it all forested around Chemong before? Did they do much lumbering?

Oh, well it was all pretty well lumbering at one time, you see.

- Do you remember when there were more trees than there are now ?

Yea. All those floats and things . . . You see Kelly's came in there oh, gosh, it's a hundred and . . . it must be a hundred and thirty years ago. Long before my time. But I've often heard the boys talk about it, the Kelly boys. They start to lumber, why all those limits, they could buy them for the next to nothing you know. The Kelly's, Smith Kelly told me that they were offered you know where Scott's Mills is up at the other side of Buckhorn? Well, from there up to Gull Lake, that's Massassagi Lake, they were offered that whole stretch of limits at one time, for a barrel of pork . . . and they didn't take it! But you could get all the timber you wanted for next to nothing. But it's different now.

- It must have been about 130 years ago, or more when they took all the timber off Curve Lake.

Well, that's about the time my grandfather came to this country. There is this book of poems.

- This is a book he wrote, isn't it? I saw a copy of this once, it was a different shape to this, must have been a different edition. 1887. The Bard of Peterborough's St. Andrew's Society.

That there tells, maybe when he comes out to this country.

- What it was like when he got here.

- (Reading from the book) Landed in 1850. He married in 1852 and he settled in Peterborough. Do you remember him?

Oh yes, there is my grandmother's funeral notice in there some place (leafing through the book)

- There is something folded up there

That's a piece. He has lots of poems that would fill another book like that. That's my grandmother That's the way they used to conduct the funeral notices.

- You see these pinned up on the posts, there is always one of these (notices) on the post outside Sidey's store in Warsaw, pinned up on that hydro pole. That's about the only place you see them now.

- What did you grandfather look like?

Something like myself. He was blind in one eye.

- Did he have an accident?

An ox hooked him one time.

- With his horns?

The oxen he used to use. They were in the stable and the oxen threw up his head and hooked him in the eye and blinded him. Then he had cataracts too on the other eye. Went up to Toronto and had an operation for cataracts, and they just dropped him down to the table and operated on his eye without giving him anything. They wouldn't have anything to give him at that time. And he just had to grin and bear it.

- Could he see after that?

Yea, he could see, but not too good.

- Did he farm as well?

Yes, uh hum.

- He wrote these poems in his spare time?

Yes, he made those things up in the evenings. I remember one time there used to be people by the names of Winch, used to run a butchers shop in Peterborough, and they would go out and buy cattle and he drove it out. My grandfather lived there, right near you know where the church is on the S ---- road here, just on the other side of the church, that's where my cousin lives now. Then my other grandfather just lived down the other cross road. Their farms really joined, only a road between them. Anyway, those Winches called out one day, there were going over to Ennismore to buy cattle for the butcher, and they called in and they said 'Telford, I wish you would make a bit of poetry for an advertisement for my butchers shop.' And my grandfather said 'how long will you be away?' 'Oh' he said, 'maybe a couple of hours.' 'Well, you can call when you come back and I'll have it ready for you.' The piece of poetry is around someplace.

- Not in the book though?

I don't know if it is in the book or not.

- There is one I copied out on the Dummer murder; there are a lot of them on news items. I borrowed this book from someone and I had to give it back to them.

Oh, there are are a lot of poems there you know, that are outdated now, mad on the Death of Mable or something like that.

- But there is one on a railway accident, there is one there on the wondrous telephone.

- He came from Scotland did he?

Uhm, yea, he and his brother built that English church there, you know, right near Hendren's (Funeral home, Lakefield), Lakefield. He built that.

- Oh, did he. Was he a stone mason?

His brother was, ya. And he built all those stone houses on Chemong road.

- What was his name?

Thomas

- And did they come out together in 1850?

I can't tell you now if they did or not, but I think they did.

- It was most likely, yes.

My grandfather was the youngest one of the family. We used to have the chest that they brought out all their belongings in, that is, bed clothes and what ever they could pack into it. It was about that square, and boy, that wood there is just like plants, about that thickness (1 1/2 inches) and all bound with iron and we had it on the farm there, we used to use it in the stable there to hold oars and the like of that.

- You haven't still got it?

No, it's gone long ago. I bet the wood would be good in it yet.

- It had a big round top, didn't it?

Yes. But when we used it oats in it, the rats used to get in and chew holes in it.

- They get at anything. You used to go hunting up north in Apsley?

Yea, hunted all over, pretty much.

- Did you know Neil Whitmore, up there?

I knew quite a few around there, the McCalls, Smiths.

- There was a hotel, just at Haultain, too.

Yes.

- Did you stop there on the way up?

Yes.

- It was a temperance hotel, all the logging men stopped there.

There were a quite a few McCauls around Apsley, some of them were pretty clever too. And there were Lanes, a lot of Lanes, I some of those people.

- Stones?

Yea, and er....oh, I can't think of their names now, we used to hunt down Long Lake, you know where Long Lake is? There was a fellow used to keep boats, Dinny Handley, oh been all over those lakes up nor Massissagi and Katchecom.

- How did you get round, in a canoe?

Pretty much all by canoe. And Gull Lake and Anstruther Lake, Eagle Lake we used to call it, Sucker Lake and Bottle Lake and that leads you up into Stoney Creek (or Lake) I've been all through those lakes.

- What did you do, just camp at the side of the lake as you went through?

Yes, camped at the side of the lake with tents. We have build some hunting camps, but sometimes the hunting wouldn't be so good do you would move on further. Then we have been at Parry Sound way up at Paxley, great hunting there at one time.

- You could hunt all the winter then, or was it only 2 weeks?

Well, you would just have to hunt in the deer season. But I remember when Weltick used to up there to Sucker Lake, the used to ho up there and they could shoot any amount of deer they wanted and no restrictions on them, but the deer seasons was in the fall you see, you could shoot any amount of deer you wanted, then they got it that could only take two and now it is only one.

- There are so many more people doing it now, aren't there? Well, that would keep in meat for the winter then?

Yea, Oh had a lot of fun. There's some people maybe, would not enjoy it.

- No. There are always some like that.

No, some people are got up different. I think a little of that too, you live longer.

- I think you do too.

I think you do too.

- Did you farm on the same farm that your father had?

Well, I was born there on my father's farm. That's where my father went first. Then we bought another farm across the road, and thats the farm I was married at. That's the farm that I was on. There are about 240 acres.

- A big farm.

Yea.

- Did you do mixed farming there?

Mixed farm, pretty much. Dairying and growing grain. . .

- Did you take the cream or milk to a cheese factory?

We had a cheese factory up in Ennismore there, and we use to send over to a butter factory up on the Lindsay highway, that's up from Chemong road about a mile.

- Is that were the Smith Creamery is now?

Yes, but its not working now.

- There are not many of the old cheese factories left, are there?

Oh, they are pretty well done around here, but down around my daughter lives now, near Stirling, there are quite a few factories down there yet.

- But they have all gone except the one at Pine Grove from here.

Oh, it's different from what it used to be.

- Did you work with oxen on the farm?

No. Horses.

- No, they had really gone out just before that hadn't they?

Oh, yes that was about the first (i.e. to go out). I never drove any of them, I should think they would be pretty slow going, wouldn't they.

- I should think it would, they just plod along, don't they?

Yea.

- I've got a photograph of one of the old cheese factories in Warsaw, and there is a team of oxen there with a wagon.

You know, those oxen would run away sometimes too. You see there are no lines on them, nothing much. Sometimes they would talk ahead of them, and that's the way they drove them, that way. But if you hitched them up to a sleigh and got behind them, they would run away from you.

- Oh would they?

Yea.

- Yes. They will follow a person, won't they?

Of course, whenever you drive cattle, you have to have some one in front, don't you? Well, with the tractors and thing that they have now, even the horse and the old walking plough with a single mould board is pretty slow going too.

- It would be wouldn't it.

Why those tractors would plough as much in one day as we used to plough in a week.

- What were you using for farm machinery when you first started?

I'll tell you, pretty much just a plough and a cultivator and a seeder and that's about all ... and a harrow. That's about all you'd have.

-What about the grain, did you cut that by hand?

Oh. I never cut much of it by hand, buy I remember when I was a kid, of the old rake reaper, that used to go around and put it off in sheaves, and there would be 4 men binding after that, binding the sheaves.

- That just it and laid it flat?

Cut it and shoved it off, and the men came along and bound it up and made the binding with a part of the (stem). Well then, before that it was pretty well all cradling with the old cradle.

- But the cradle had gone out when you started?

Yea. And we used the cradle around the fields when the binder came out first. Used to cradle all around the fields for the first rounds to let the horses go around, well, then people got a little lazy on that, and they just used to cut it with the binders. And I think it just did as good of a job.

- Would you waste a bit more I suppose. But it would save a lot of time and its combining and now threshing machines.

-They weren't still flailing it when you started?

Flail! This Pat Garrity, this Irish man that worked for us, he used to flail the peas, you know, put them in the mow and leave them til the winter time, then used to flail them in the winter time.

- When they were dry?

And he'd flail those things out. A threshing machine, they always claimed, cracked all the peas. Well it didn't make so much difference if they were cracked as we were only feeding them to hogs. But it was a pretty slow way of cutting the grain out of the straw wasn't it? I often wonder how people had the patience.

- Did they flail the grain too?

Not so much, no. They wouldn't run the peas through the threshing machine, it cracked them all.

- Was it one of those hand threshing machines?

It was a big one, run by the horse wheel, horse power.

- They had the wheel on the ground and the horses walked around it?

Oh, I've been at lot of those threshings with the horse wheels and the like of that.

- They went around the different farms, did they?

Erm, you see the horses went around and the tumbling shaft ran from the machine into the barn, and that ran the machine in the barn.

- Did these threshing machines go around to each farm?

Yes, they would go from one farm to another ---- Mann and Willard and T.R were 3 brothers, and they ran the horse wheel all the time, just had a machine, for to do their own threshing. We used to neighbour with them, we used to back and forward all the time. And a fellow by the name of Tom Davis, he was on the horse wheel one timr, thats Stan Davis, the barber here in Peterborough, his father.

- The old stage that ran to Bridgenorth used to have 3 horses, didn't it?

Yes, there were 3 horses on the big bus. Bob Scott used used to drive that.

- Did Matt McMahon used to drive it at all?

I don't remember him. There used to be a Tom McHahon used to be in the village there. But I don't remember of a McHahon running the stage. But this Bob Scott run it for years. Peterborough up to the hotel in Chemong Park.

- The bus was covered was it?

Yea, oh yes.

- It wasn't open? Like most of the stages were.

It had a top on it and side seats, along the side, and I guess if it rained you could pull down, maybe, blinds for to keep wet out. There was a top on with a railing around, you could throw up -- if you had any grips or valises or anything like that, you could pile them up on top if you didn't have room inside.

- Oh I see.

Pause for looking at photographs

- The Crandella, that came down from Bobcaygeon?

Yea, it came really from Lindsay. A fellow by the name of Crandella owned it, and was called after him.

- Was that a wood-burning boat?

Yea.

- Did it have that walking beam on top?

No it didn't have the beam on, just the shaft through the centre on to the paddle-wheel. The paddle wheels are all covered over, you know, it would get along too.

- Did that bring freight down and cattle of just passengers?

It was a regular excursion boat, it was a big affair. You would think when the crowd got onto that boat it would put it down, you would think that wheel would go down too far into the water, wouldn't you.

- But some of those boats carried a terrific crowd of people, didn't they? The city of Peterborough carried over 500.

Yea.

-Were you saying that the Indians came down and camped round the shore of Chemong Lake?

I've seen them camp on our farm there out in that hardwood bush all summer.

- What did they come down there for?

Well, there used to be an an old Indian, and they claimed that he didn't belong to that tribe up there at Curve Lake, and they used kick him out sometimes, they didn't want him. And he'd come down and he'd ask my dad if he could camp out in the woods there. He had 2 big boys and his wife and little girl they adopted. She is Bert McCue's wife. And er.... I was trying to think of his name. He was blind of an eye. He was a different tribe altogether, he used to go up Burleigh Falls sometimes and camp up there. They didn't want him in the village at all. Then he'd come down and he'd stay all summer camping out in our hardwoods, sometimes at the point there, there are a couple of cottages on it now, they used to sometimes camp on that.

- Cause I head, when I was talking to them up there at that they used to be their original camp at Bridgenorth, before they were given the reserve at Curve Lake.

Yea. Well you see there were the Duffus' cottage is, at the street this side of where the bathing beach is, that was that they called 'Champlain's Rest.' When Champlain travelled through those lakes, and they portaged from there through here to Peterborough, instead of going round by Stoney Lake. They could portage over quicker then they could travel around. And that's what they called, down by Duffuses cottages, Champlains Rest.

- They used to call it that in your time?

I remember when they used to travel back and forth quite a bit, but I wouldn't know anything about Champlain!

-You mean the Indians still called it that?

Oh yea, I think so.

- Of course it could have been handed down to them, the name?

Oh yes, now the, that's quite the portage too isn't it?

- It is!

They wouldn't gain anything by going to Lakefield

- I heard one story that instead of coming down the river because of all the rapids, they went farther over and came down the Indian River. Of course there weren't any rapids in that.

No, it's different now.

- It's too shallow now.

Oh the dams and things like that.

- You can just about get through with a canoe and that's about all.

Yea.

 

Pause, while his daughter gets a magnificent birds-eye maple paddle with a longer than usual handle

.... and I used to buy paddles from him and the likes of that I this one day when I was down there and I said, 'what do you want for the paddle?' He said, 'a quarter' and I bought it for a quarter!

-What this birds-eye maple paddle!

I had bought a lot of stuff you know. I guess, maybe, he gave me a bargain.

- Was that the Peterborough Canoe Company?

No. It was just a private individual. He used to make canoes all the time, and sell them. I used sell some for him out around the village.

Another Pause to look at the paddle

.... He came in one day and says, Mrs. Smith, he says, you'll have to get some clothes he says. 'I've cut my knee,' with one of those adzes you know, and she went and got some cloths, and pulled up his pants leg and he'd red underwear on and he saw the red and he though it was blood, and there wasn't a mark on him at all!

 

 

 

 

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