WRITTEN, ILLUSTRATED AND PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM S. PIPER
FORT WILLIAM, ONTARIO
Nipigon Historical Museum Archives
|Victoria Avenue, Fort William, 1918|
|Cumberland Street, Port Arthur, 1918|
|Part of Indian Village, 1918|
|Nepigon Village, 1918|
|Birch Park, 600 Acre Farm on Kaministiquia River, 1918|
|Bowlker Park, 780 Acre Dairy Farm on Kaministiquia River, 1918|
|W. S. Piper, 500 Acre Stock Farm on Kaministiquia River, 1918|
|Kakabeka Falls, on the Kaministiquia River, 1918|
We in Western Algoma are just beginning to realize the charm of Indian Legends. Too late, perhaps, as many of the old-time Otchipaways, who translated freely, have passed away. By pen and camera I have tried to preserve some of their stories as told to me years ago. There is an unmistakable charm about Indian legends that is fascinating, especially when you hear them amid their own surroundings.
W. S. P.
A SUMMER VACATION ON THE NORTH SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIOR
With thermometer registering almost 90 degrees in the shade I wasted no time, but took a hasty farewell of my friends. Taking one last look around my office, I found so many things that required my personal attention, that I left immediately. Since my vacation was to be aquatic, I made straight for the dock, where I found Luke, my Indian pilot, awaiting me at the head of navigation on the Kaministiquia.
Among the principal rivers flowing into Lake Superior the Kaministiquia as a commercial River ranks first. Born in the height of land, or watershed, dividing the waters of the Hudson Bay from those of Lake Superior, its valley is the only railway outlet between Thunder Bay district and the Canadian Northwest, the three transcontinental railways following its course to near the summit of the great divide. The river banks are very beautiful, in many places the river winding between shores of spruce and birch with here and there luxuriant banks of wild roses fringed with water lilies. Some of the largest stock and diary farms in the district are situated on the Kaministiquia River. Two miles down we pass the old Point de Mueron farm, atone time the residence of the late Lord and Lady Milton, and the birthplace of the present Lord Milton.
|Fort William Harbour|
As we sailed down the river I asked Luke concerning "Kaministiquia." He said the Chippewa word "Kaministiquia" meant in English "river of many mouths." After a ten-mile run we entered the Fort William harbor where elevators succeed elevators - elevators of steel, elevators of concrete, elevators of wood - with freight boats of all kinds receiving grain at their spouts. At the wheel Luke was kept busy passing scows, barges, tugs and every imaginable kind of water-craft.
It was high noon when we left the river and entered into the clear water of Thunder Bay. Here Luke explained to me the Indian Legend of Thunder Bay as follows:
"Many, many years ago a party of hunters from a distant tribe, in spite of many warnings, provoked the wrath of the Great Thunder Eagle by climbing to its summit and assailing its home in the high cliff. Their progress was suddenly arrested by vivid flashes of lightning accompanied by loud and prolonged peals of thunder. The mountain was soon enveloped in flames and the hunters all perished in the vain attempt to bring down a great medicine. Ever after the bay on which the cities of Fort William and Port Arthur are situated was known as Thunder Bay."
We are now in full view of Port Arthur. It is situated on a hill and is one of Canada's most beautiful cities and a popular summer resort. But when on a vacation I want birds and butterflies overhead, not buildings, as brick, stone and human faces look much alike the world o'er, so we changed our course for the Welcome Islands, where many, many years ago one of the fiercest battles ever fought took place between the Sioux and Otchipaways, traces of which remain.
To the east of us is the Great Thunder Eagle of Thunder Cape, upon whose western side reclines Nanna-Bijou, the Sleeping Giant. The inspiration of the Great Thunder Eagle, sacred to the Manitou, from time immemorial swayed the minds of the extinct races who peopled this land of the Algonquins, as well as the Indians of the present time. Pictures of it may be found in this district and the far north carved on the rocks and in the mounds of the extinct races. All the sacred animals are represented by Thunder Cape as described by St. John, Rev. 4 - 7.
As we passed Hare Island we could see and hear a bell buoy. The channel was marked right enough, but about the way the old lady marked her pies: "T. M. " ('tis mince ) and "T. M. " ('tisn't mince ). There was nothing to indicate which side of the bell buoy to go, but the chart showed plenty of water either side.
|Port Arthur Harbour, 1918|