The Fenwick "papers"
The News-Chronicle, October 5, 1938
While spending a week of hollidays in Port Arthur during the latter part of August, J.W. Currran, editor of the Sault Daily Star, used a considerable portion of his time to investigate and, if possible, verify reports of Norse relics having been found near Beardmore.
The finding of these relics, if authentic, is regarded as proof that Norsemen visited this part of the country, probably entering by way of Hudson Bay centuries before the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
As a result of his investigation a dn inquiries, Mr. Curran writes in his paper that he is fully satisfied with the story of the discovery credited to J.E. Dodd, a Port Arthur trainman who in his spare time is prospector and mining man.
Mr. Curran uses three columns in his paper to tell of his impressions which he formed. In his opening paragraph he describes it all as " A preposterous, unbelievable story that turns out to be true. I have no more doubt that James Edward Dodd, Canadian National Railway freight conductor and amateur mining prospector of Port Arthur, Ontario, found Norse relics in 1931 at the spot near Beardmore, where he says he found them, than that Hudson Bay exists where people tell me it is located."
Thereafter, the editor investigator proceeds to give the details of his inquiries, with credit to Judge A.J. McComber and Dr. Geo. E. Eakins for valuable assistance. One of his most interesting deductions is that in time the bona fides of the find will be accepted with the result that Ontario will have come into possession of an historic shrine "that may rival the Dionne quintuplets as a lure for the scientist and the general public...The little mining town of Beardmore will become the Callander of the North and the neighbouring cities of Port Arthur and Fort William will benefit as North Bay has benefitted."
Mr. Curran summarizes his findings and conclusions as follows:
- That Norsemen came into Ontario by James Bay probably before 1,100 A.D.
- That they travelled by the Albany and Kenogami Rivers and thence by the route on which Pearl and Beatty Lakes are situated - an age-old trail to Lake Nipigon which runs close to Beardmore.
- That the weapons found by Mr. Dodd belonged to one man who probably died on the spot, and was buried with his warrior equipment there as was the old Norse custom.
- Ontario has found a historical shrine that may rival sthe Dionne quintuplets as a lure for the scientist and the general public. At present there is no motor road from Nipigon (1938), fifty-seven miles from Beardmore, so that the traveller must visit the place by train. The whole area is primitive and difficult for travel. But the railway lands the visitor within a quarter mile of the grave of a man who was buried probably 900 years ago. The little mining town of Beardmore will become the Callander of the north and the neighbouring cities of Port Arthur and Fort William will benefit as North Bay has benefitted.
The evidence collected and in view will probably intrigue the scientific world for the next thousand years. Books without number will be written about the find, and science will inevitably step in and enlarge the scope of a story that is bound to fascinate manking for centuries.
Note: 2012 Train service is no longer available - CNR pulled the rails in 2010