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MUNCHIE MURDER: THE KILLING OF HOSTESS CHIPS

Childhood memories are an oasis for the mind in today’s challenging world, recalling nostalgic events or products brings us a brief moment of joy reflecting on those more innocent times. For me, BMX bike rides to the Becker’s convenience store after collecting bottles from the ditch is one of those happy recollections, as $2.00 in bottle deposit refund money was like winning the lottery. That bottle money was quickly put right back into the Becker’s cash register when I bought Wacky Packs, Dinosaur Eggs, Sour Chews and of course, Hostess Potato Chips. 

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The 1980’s gave us such great movies, music and junk food. Washing down some fresh foil bagged Hostess chips with Jolt Cola was an integral part of our teenage lives, and for many, Hostess was THE GREATEST potato chip in Canada. As our carefree childhood days slipped away, so did our Munchies, and in what would be a sly corporate takedown, Canada’s beloved Hostess Chips were killed by a well-known American corporation: Pepsi.

BACKGROUND

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Edward G. Snyder, 1962.
Photo by Belair.
Source: Mennonite Archives of Ontario 1992-14.1572

The epic Canadian story of Hostess Potato Chips stretches back to 1935 when Edward Snyder started making potato chips on his mother’s kitchen stove in Breslau, Ontario, near Kitchener. One Saturday he took a small supply to the Kitchener Market and was sold out by mid-morning. The potatoes were peeled by hand and salted from hand-shaken salt shakers. He wanted Snyder’s Potato Chips to be of the highest quality. He created foil bags in which to package the chips to retain their flavour and crispness. The public demand for Snyder’s Potato chips led Snyder to move a factory which he built on land he purchased that adjoined the Snyder farm. His entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding marketing ability led to his chips being sold across southern Ontario and in the city of Toronto. It wouldn’t be until 1955 that his chips went big when Mr. Snyder sold his Chip Company to E.W. Vanstone, who expanded it greatly  before he then sold it to General Foods four years later.

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Hostess Chips were the new brand, and they soon garnered a solid reputation for quality, using foil bags to maintain freshness, and the bags of Hostess chips were easily recognizable using simple colour coding for each flavour. Regular was a blue package, Salt and Vinegar yellow, HOT BBQ in red. These colours for chip flavours were so effective that other brands still continue to use these packaging colours to this day. 

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Hostess became the #1 potato chip in Canada and fought off US corporations that soon started entering the Canadian chip market. The genius of their marketing once again made waves when Hostess introduced “The Munchies” in 1981.

imageThese were three cartoon chracters that represented the “hunger munchies” one gets for salty snacks. Widely successful, the Munchies became the brand image for Hostess, and were placed on their chip bags, except for Hickory Sticks, that opted for the wood-grain motif on their packaging.

Hostess was so popular, they created giveaways inside their bags of chips, including Rock Music stickers, film tie-ins, and Munchie Merchandise prizes. They were the top potato chip in Canada and the choice of almost every Canadian kid who bought some chips in the 1980s.

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The Classic Flap Hat of the Summers of the 1980s

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1980s Hostess Rock Stickers that were inside bags of chips.

This irked the American companies that their brands could not compete with the formidable Hostess brand, leading to a plot to eliminate them, a Munchie Murder. 

CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER

The 1980s were the Golden Age of many things, including snack foods, and corn based snacks were rising in popularity. Fritos, Cheetos and Doritos all taking the stage. Hostess didn’t have any corn based snacks and decided to enter the market by entering into a partnership with Frito-Lay, who were owned by…..PEPSI.

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In 1987 Hostess and Frito-Lay joined forces to introduce a corn based chip snack called Hostess “Taquitos” and they merged in 1988. The Pepsi owned Frito-Lay now started adding their own brands into the Canadian market, which included Ruffles, Cheetos, and Doritos. By 1992 Pepsi then bought out Hostess’ remaining interest from General Foods. This would spell doom and the eventually death of the beloved Canadian Hostess brand. 

PEPSI PUNCHOUT

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Hostess Taquitos became “Zesty Doritos” after the Pepsi takeover of Hostess.

With Pepsi now owning Hostess, they replaced the Taquitos with their own brand, changing the name to “Zesty Doritos”. Yes, your Zesty Doritos are actually Hostess Taquitos.

With the introduction of other Pepsi owned chip brands such as Ruffles and “upscale brands” of chips such as Miss Vickie’s (another Canadian chip company bought out by Pepsi owned Frito-Lay in 1993) the Hostess brand was effectively destroyed by the very company that purchased it.

Pepsi made the decision to change the name of Hostess to “Lay’s” in 1996, using hockey players as spokespersons to rebrand the image of this new chip.

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Hockey Player Marc Messier as the spokesperson for the newly branded “Lay’s Chips” 

The Munchies were killed off, Hostess chips were quashed, and Pepsi now only keeps the Hostess name on Hickory Sticks.

THE END?

Now more than ever I think we need to re-visit the things that make us happy and bring them back by any nostalgic means possible. If that means that the American Corporate Pepsi Machine re-introduces the once #1 Canadian brand Hostess Potato Chips for its 85th Anniversary, then let it be so. Because in the end, when you got the munchies, nothing else will do….

Andrew King, March 19th 2020

SOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Potato_Chips

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Vickie%27s

https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Snyder,_Edward_Groff_(1905-1991

 

FINDING THE FIRST SHIP ON THE GREAT LAKES

The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, a vast network of lakes that ultimately connects to the the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence River. They have been traversed for centuries by those that inhabited its shores, first using dug out canoes stretching back 12,000 years ago. These ancient water dwellers lived and utilized the Great Lakes not only as a source of food, but as a network of highways for them to trade. Around 1000 AD these ancient mariners traded copper nuggets from Lake Superior which made their way down the Mississippi River into Southern Ohio, and even into Florida.

It would not be until the 17th century that the Great Lakes would see its first large sailing vessel on its waters, this is when the history books tell us a French brigantine or barque called “Le Griffon”, commissioned by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was built on the Niagara River. It would be labelled as the first known sailing vessel to travel the Great Lakes in the year 1679. However, LeGriffon disappeared on its maiden voyage, having never been found. It is considered the “holy grail” of shipwrecks, being the first of its kind. *Please note I refer to a “ship” as a large boat, not the official maritime three masted definition of the word*

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Artist’s rendition of how “LeGriffon” may have looked like in 1679. 

Yet, an obscure letter dated 1673 mentions an even earlier sailing vessel that was part of a fleet of FOUR other vessels built BEFORE LeGriffon at Fort Frontenac, now Kingston, Ontario which would make those boats the earliest known sailing vessels on the Great Lakes. Uncovering old documents and notes from the 1600’s, I believe that LeGriffon was not the first, but actually the FIFTH sailing vessel on the Great Lakes, and as we will learn, the whereabouts of them might be just under our nose.

IMG_2432THE FIRST SHIP

 

In July of 1673 Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau, better known as Count Frontenac, the Governor of New France, traveled to a place called “Cataraqui”, where the river that bears that name, and the St. Lawrence River meet at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Now called Kingston, it is a strategic location since it is at the confluence of these three waterways where the fur trade could be easily monitored and controlled. Under the advisement of explorer and fur trader René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, this spot was chosen to build a French fort to control the lucrative fur trade in the Great Lakes Basin to the west. La Salle was left in command of the fort in 1673, where he immediately built a wooden fort and a harbour to contain a future fleet of sailing vessels which could control the expansive waters of the Great Lakes.

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A map from 1685 shows Fort Frontenac, which is now Kingston, ON. The harbour where the 4 ships would have been anchored is where the anchor symbol is at the top. 

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Fort Frontenac ghosted over present day Kingston to show its location in the 1600’s.

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It was here, in this Kingston harbour, that it seems the very first sailing vessel on the Great Lakes was constructed and launched. I found this in my research of a document titled “Lettre de Frontenac au Ministre” dated November 13th, 1673, in which Frontenac himself mentions:

“…with the aid of a vessel now building, will command Lake Ontario, keep peace with the Iroquois, and cut off the trade with the English,”

The letter then continues to state that with “another vessel on Lake Erie, we, the French, can command all the Upper Lakes.”

 

So it would seem that this large sailing vessel mentioned by Frontenac under construction at Fort Frontenac in 1673 pre-dates LeGriffon by six years. Not only that, but another document from 1677 states that:

“Four vessels, of from twenty five to forty tons, had been built for the lake and the river,”

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So it seems that LaSalle was busy at his fort’s harbour and built not just 1, but 4 ships in 1677 to command the waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It would be two of these ships that would carry the supplies needed to built the famous “LeGriffon” on the Niagara River, and it is these first ships we will now look try and locate.

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My sketch of how the very first sailing vessel on the Great Lakes, “Frontenac” may have looked, launched sometime around 1674.

The first of these ships built in 1673 by LaSalle at Fort Frontenac was constructed at what is now the intersection of Ontario Street and Barrack Street. This would have been the very first sailing vessel built and launched on the Great Lakes, if you don’t believe that Vikings had already ventured down the St. Lawrence and sailed here 600 years earlier. The rapids at LaChine in Montreal had prevented any large sailing vessels to pass south into Lake Ontario, so new ships would have to be built at Fort Frontenac if they wanted to sail the Great Lakes.

This first boat constructed is said to have been called “Frontenac” after the Governor of New France, and was a sloop type vessel of about 10 tonnes, with a single mast. It would be this vessel that would carry two men, LaMotte and Hennepin to Niagara where they would establish a construction site to build LeGriffon.

UNKNOWN SHIP

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Of the four sailing vessels that were recorded as being harboured at Fort Frontenac in 1677, one was the sloop Frontenac, with another being recorded as a bigger vessel of about 40 tonnes, likely a ketch, that was used as a supply ship to carry the hardware and equipment needed to build another, bigger ship on the Niagara River. This earlier vessel would carry LaSalle and his companion Tonti (who was deeded Amherst Island, named after him before it was called Amherst Island, Isle Tonti) from Fort Frontenac to Niagara a few weeks after the first, smaller vessel had left Fort Frontenac.

THE VOYAGES

So now we have two large sailing vessels, both built at Fort Frontenac, embarking on a sailing adventure to build another ship at Niagara. But what actually happened to these first ships? LeGriffon gets all the attention, but it was these first ships that were actually the first to sail on the great Lakes, a full six years prior to LeGriffon.

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This map tracks the first two ships and their journey on Lake Ontario in 1678. 

It would be a cold November day in 1678 when LaSalle sent his comrades LaMotte and Hennepin aboard Frontenac to find a suitable spot to build and launch LeGriffon above Niagara Falls. Setting out on November 18th, 1678, the sloop encountered high winds whipping across Lake Ontario so the crew hugged to the north shore of the lake, stopping in many of its bays for refuge making their way west, likely stopping off in Prince Edward County, Port Hope, and other places until they finally reached the native village of Taiaiagnon on November 26th, which was located at the mouth of the Humber River near present day Mississauga, ON. Here they sought refuge from the cold and were welcomed by the natives, but their boat, Frontenac, was soon locked in ice in the freezing waters. Using axes and knives, they finally chipped out their vessel from this icy grasp, and sailed on across the lake to the mouth of the Niagara River on December 6th. Once there, they dragged Frontenac on shore to protect it from the lake ice, and trudged on to find a spot to build the new larger ship, LeGriffon.

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A late 1600s map showing the various locations the ships visited on their journey.

LaSALLE’S SHIP

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LaSalle’s supply ship he and Tonti took to Niagara from Fort Frontenac on Christmas Eve, 1678.

A month later, on Christmas Eve of 1678, LaSalle and his pal Tonti boarded their bigger sailing vessel of an unknown name at Fort Frontenac filled with anchors, cannons, cords, sails, hardware and other supplies needed to build LeGriffon at Niagara. Leaving Fort Frontenac’s harbour (which was filled in with landfill and now has condos on it) they sailed west to join LaMotte and Hennepin, however, the winds were fierce and they were almost bashed apart somewhere off Prince Edward County, likely around Point Traverse where there are many treacherous rocky shoals.

On Christmas Day, LaSalle and his team aboard their large, unnamed ketch crossed Lake Ontario to arrive at what is now Rochester, NY. They sailed along the southern coast of Lake Ontario where they stopped at a Seneca village. Here LaSalle and his comrades decided to carry on by foot to meet LaMotte at Niagara. Their vessel was left in charge of its pilot and crew, but they did not secure it well enough and on January 8th a wind carried away the supply laden boat 15km west, along the shoreline, where it broke apart near Thirty Mile Point, spewing its precious cargo on the lake floor. A messenger was sent to tell LaSalle his ship had been wrecked, sending him back to try and salvage what was left.

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He and his men managed to salvage the anchors, chain, and some materials important for outfitting Le Griffon, but most of the supplies and provisions were lost, and remain there to this day. This would make LaSalle’s ship the first shipwreck in the Great Lakes, before the loss of LeGriffon in 1679.

LaSalle and his men dragged what they could salvage from his wrecked ship 50km overland on foot to the Niagara construction site, which is now Griffon Park in Niagara Falls. After laying LeGriffon’s keel on January 26th, 1679, and driving the first bolt into it, LaSalle left the operation in charge of his comrade, Tonti. LaSalle departed on foot heading back to Fort Frontenac, arriving almost starved to death after an arduous and cold journey of almost 400kms.

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Tonti, LaMotte, Hennepin and their team would later re-float the first vessel, Frontenac, to try and salvage more equipment from LaSalle’s wrecked boat, but the winter ice prevented any further success. That first smaller boat would later go back to Fort Frontenac to retrieve more supplies for building LeGriffon, and return to Niagara once again, but what happened to what was the first sailing vessel on the Great Lakes remains a mystery.

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An early 1700s illustration of the construction of “LeGriffon” in 1679.

LaSalle’s men continued to build LeGriffon throughout the winter months of 1679, but were met with cold temperatures, disgruntled workers, hostile natives, and the constant threat of sabotage. Tonti made sure to launch ahead of schedule and get out of there as quickly as possible, with LeGriffon hitting the water with great ceremony in early summer of 1679. It would be the largest sailing vessel on the Great Lakes when launched, but not the first as some will have us believe.

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WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

Tonti towed LeGriffon through the turbulent waters of the Niagara River to Lake Erie, before LaSalle climbed aboard, unfurled its sails and steered into the lake on August 7th, 1679. Outfitted with seven cannons, two of which were brass, LeGriffon now sailed the unchartered Great Lakes with LaSalle and headed for Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he got off the vessel to explore the head of Lake Michigan with some four canoes.

La Salle ordered LeGriffon to off-load merchandise for him at Mackinac Island, and then on September 18th, the pilot and crew of 5 left either Rock island or Washington Island for their Niagara River starting point with a cargo hold full of valuable furs.

LeGriffon was never seen again and disappeared into the Great Lakes somewhere between Green Bay and Niagara Falls, its final whereabouts being one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time.

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The last known location of LeGriffon on Lake Michigan before it disappeared in September of 1679. 

Some say the crew took the furs and burned the ship, others say it went down in a storm. No one knows for sure what happened or where LeGriffon lies, but it continues to intrigue shipwreck hunters from across the world.

Being a special wreck to find, little attention has been paid to where the first vessel was lost off 30 Mile Point. That vessel would in fact be the Great Lakes first shipwreck, and yes, it would be great to find LeGriffon, but wouldn’t it be more interesting to find LaSalle’s first ship, built 6 years earlier, with its supplies to build LeGriffon still lying somewhere on the lake floor?

At least we know the general vicinity where that wreck may lie. It awaits discovery after 342 years, and there might not be much left, but at least we now know where the Great Lakes first shipwreck may be hiding.

Andrew King
February 2020

Sources

https://books.google.ca/books?id=wnNKAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=Lettre+de+frontenac+au+Ministre+1673&source=bl&ots=W-ubBKpmf1&sig=ACfU3U0amIWV6Q2uqeVnJy8xTWooaPjgaQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiq8I–iPXnAhXNlHIEHU_ODMQQ6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Lettre%20de%20frontenac%20au%20Ministre%201673&f=false

Google Maps

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Griffon

 

A LEGENDARY 17th CENTURY FORT SUBMERGED IN THE OTTAWA RIVER

Three hundred and sixty years ago, a vicious battle took place on the Ottawa River, a battle so epic that both history and folklore intertwined to create an enduring legend. It was a significant skirmish called “The Battle of Long Sault” which took place in this country’s formative years in 1660, and it occurred halfway between Ottawa and Montreal on the shores of the Ottawa River. It was a brutal battle that would later mold a Quebec folk hero by the name of ADAM DOLLARD.

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A typical representation of Dollard’s Last Stand.

Yet the exact location of where this historic battle took place has never been determined. Recent research into the matter has uncovered compelling evidence of a quietly shelved archeological dig that took place in the 1950s indicating that the famous battle did not take place in Quebec but rather in Ontario.

BACKGROUND

One of Canadian history’s most glorified battles, The Battle Of Long Sault has been heavily engrained into Quebec cultural history, its central hero being Adam Dollard des Ormeaux. Finely crafted into a heroic figure of French-Canadian culture, he represents idyllic French Canadian nationalism and staunch Catholicism. Yet, some research brings up  key evidence that may reveal his tragic story ended in Ontario and not in Quebec as the textbooks would have us believe.

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A massive memorial stature to Dollard and the Battle Of Long Sault in Montreal. (Wikipedia)

The May 24th weekend, or Victoria Day for the rest of Canada, is a bit different in Quebec where it is unofficially known as “Fête de Dollard”, in recognition of this character he will soon discuss. In 2003, provincial legislation officially declared the date to be National Patriots’ Day. A central figure of this Quebec patriotism is a young man named Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, a 25-year-old commander of Montreal’s (then called Ville-Marie) garrison. In April of 1660, Dollard requested permission from Governor Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve to take an expedition up the Ottawa River towards present day Ottawa to attack a war party of Iroquois before they could reach Ville-Marie and its few hundred inhabitants. Dollard believed that many Iroquois warriors who were encamped along the Ottawa River were preparing to destroy the French settlements at Ville-Marie, Quebec City and Trois-Rivières.

Dollard said he could surprise and ambush the Iroquois warriors before they could begin their campaign against New France. After assembling a force of sixteen volunteer riflemen and four Algonquin warriors, including Chief Mituvemeg, the expedition left Montreal in late April of 1660 with several canoes, filled with food, ammunition and weapons.

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The rapids of Long Sault on the Ottawa River, pre-flooding.

Fighting the strong current of the Ottawa River, Dollard and his men finally reached their destination in early May, an area thought to be a good place for an ambush of the approaching Iroquois coming downriver from present day Ottawa. At the site he chose there was already an abandoned Algonquin fort built along the river made up of trees planted in a circle, cut down to trunks. Forty Hurons, under Chief Etienne Annahotaha came to this position to assist Dollard with his ambush plans. Dollard wanted to create a strong fortress from which to launch his attack, so he and his men reinforced the old fortification by building a new wooden palisade around the wall of existing tree trunks, but the Iroquois soon arrived before his new fortress could be completed.

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How Dollard’s hastily constructed wooden palisade fort on the Ottawa River might have looked when he and his men built it in 1660. (sketch by author) 

 

The Iroquois approaching from the west came down the Ottawa River and quickly arrived at Dollard’s position, and in reaction Dollard engaged the Iroquois with musket fire. The result was an immediate assault made upon the fort by the Iroquois, but it was repulsed by the Frenchmen inside. The retreating Iroquois took the French canoes they had left on the beach, broke them up and set them on fire, using the burning wreckage to set ablaze Dollard’s new wooden stronghold. The French and their Huron allies were able to resist the attack and in doing so, killed a chief of the Seneca.

In what was a horrific and brutal scene, the French took the corpse of the Seneca chief and placed his head on a sharpened pole of the palisade as a grim warning to the remaining Iroquois. However, the infuriated Iroquois responded by calling in 500 more warriors to the scene. The Hurons loyal to Dollard, now witnessing the huge army of Iroquois in front of them, decided to defect over to the other side, except for the Huron chief, who loyally remained with Dollard.

The Iroquois wanted revenge and got busy building wooden shields called “mantelets” that were able to repel the firing French musket balls. After a week of back and forth harassment, the final battle began, and now armed with their shields, knives and axes, the Iroquois chopped through the fort’s walls and started pouring into Dollard’s wooden stronghold.

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A painting depicting the gruesome end scene of the battle and the eventual demise of Dollard and his men.

 

Sensing imminent defeat, Dollard then ignited a keg of gunpowder inside the walls of his fort and prepared to hurl it down on the Iroquois attackers, but when the bomb left his hands, it struck the palisade wall, bounced back and exploded in his own fort. With the overwhelming Iroquois forces now inside his walls, Dollard and the defenders were quickly killed in a gruesome skirmish that left only 4 Frenchmen alive, three of them quickly burned alive within the fort, and a fourth being taken prisoner, later tortured and killed. Fearing more intense battle bloodshed ahead, the Iroquois decided to pull back their planned attack and retreated west to Ottawa, deciding it wise not to unleash more havoc in Ville-Marie where the French likely had more muskets and cannons.

Dollard was defeated and the Iroquois achieved their revenge, but the history books say that the young Frenchman managed to scare off the attacking Iroquois, saving Ville-Marie and the rest of New France from imminent bloodshed.

A HERO IS BORN

Native survivors of the epic battle on the Ottawa River then recounted the tale back in Ville-Marie (Montreal). The courageous tale of Dollard des Ormeaux and his men was then recounted to Catholic nuns who decided Dollard should became a heroic figure in New France, a hero who exemplified selfless personal sacrifice, a martyr for the church, and the colony.

In the 1800s The Catholic Church had become an influential representative of French Canadian interests within Canada, and to create an ideal moral and cultural hero, the Catholic church wrote their version of history with an emphasis on Christian heroes, which included the story of Dollard.

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Dedicating a memorial to Dollard in 1919 in Carillon, despite any proof the battle actually took place there. 

So it comes as no surprise that in 1919 a small town in Quebec called Carillon was chosen as the spot to dedicate a massive memorial to Dollard on what was decided to be the battleground site and Dollard’s final resting place. However, the location was picked purely at random because it fit a certain narrative and was thought to be in the general vicinity of where this historic battle occurred. Good enough. No evidence was ever found of the battle ever taking place at that location, but it was symbolic a place as any to celebrate Dollard’s heroism, so the memorial was built. However, it seems evidence was eventually found, but it placed Dollard and his fort in Ontario…

THE FORT IS IN ONTARIO

After piquing my interest in learning where this historic fort might be located, I came across a journal article published in 1960, entitled “The Lost Battleground Of Long Sault” by National Museum of Canada archeologist Thomas E. Lee, who weirdly published his report through the University of Rome. Reading the report, it clearly outlines an extensive archeological dig done by Lee in the 1950s that indeed uncovered a burnt out palisaded fort…BUT, it was on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River. However, all this new historic evidence was soon conveniently submerged underwater, flooded out when the nearby Carillon Dam was built in 1959.

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The report by Thomas Lee who uncovered the archeological remains of the Dollard battle site in the 1950s. 

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Lee’s detailed investigation notes into the location of Dollard’s fort. 

The Carillon Generating Station uses a large dam, which raised the Ottawa River water levels by over 62 feet (19 m) at Carillon and flooded out the rapids of Long-Sault, submerging all evidence of Lee’s archeological find of Dollard’s fort in Ontario.

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The Carillon Dam that flooded the Ottawa River, and the battlefield site. 

After 60 years of being quietly hidden underwater, I will tell you exactly where I think we can find the Lost Fort.

As with many important historic finds, a regular citizen can be attributed to finding this Lost Battleground, and her name was Miss Anne Dewar from Ottawa who had grown up near St. Andrews and had heard stories of an old French fort being on the farm property of a Mr. Ross. The farm, located just below the Little Rideau River and 8 kilometres east of the town of Hawkesbury, was apparently the site of Dollard’s Last Stand.. Dewar approached the museum with her thoughts and persuaded the curator at the time, a Mr. Alcock to join her along with some local French fisherman who also knew of the actual battle site.

Below: Rare photos of the Lee excavation in Ontario of the fort. 

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Thomas Lee was then given the go ahead to begin an archeological survey of the site where earthen mounds and rings of earth would reveal a definite fortlike structure. I was able to track down Lee’s photographs of the site before it was submerged underwater for the dam construction, and the evidence Lee uncovered certainly does substantiates Dewar’s claim. Lee of course was met by opposition in the academic quarters who made it clear that Dollard was French hero, who died in Quebec.Yet many older generations in the area adamantly proclaimed the fort was indeed located on the Ross Farm on the Ontario side. Lee also mentions that local indigenous members traveling up and down the Ottawa River often spoke of the old battle at the Ross Farm, as did inhabitants on the Quebec side of the river.

THE LOCATION

Lee began his excavations in 1951 and unearthed the remains of a palisaded structure, which matched the description of the fort where Dollard, his men and countless native warriors perished almost four centuries ago. The fort would have been a rectangular, round-sided palisade, hastily constructed by Dollard, so not a huge size, but big enough to accommodate his men and supplies. Lee’s excavations uncovered quite a remarkable collection of archeological remains, so it was photographed and recorded, but it would soon be submerged under the rising waters of the river when the Carillon Dam was constructed, concealing once and for all the true location of this historic battle.

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An 1800s map showing the area of the Ross Farm. 

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Superimposing the old map with the original shoreline with a current, now flooded river shoreline. Where I believe the battlefield is located indicated in red. 

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Red circle marks the location of the submerged fort. 

Cross referencing historic maps of the area to locate where “The Ross Farm” was located, and using the fact it was said to be 8km east of Hawkesbury, I was able to pinpoint the area where the fort would have been located. Then studying the photographs by Lee, it looks like the fort was constructed quite close to the water’s edge pre-flooding. Since the Ottawa River water levels rose significantly after the dam’s construction, the site is now likely under about 15 feet of water.

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Comparison imagery showing where the fort remains are likely located. 

RECONSTRUCTION

Referencing Lee’s notes and the historic accounts of the battle, I sketched how a 17th century wooden palisaded fort may have looked like and then positioned it at the location of where I determined the site to possibly be. It seems to be located about 50 feet off the shoreline of private property, and if that property owner is willing, it might be worth doing some investigation on their property to see if metal detectors could unearth any evidence of the battle in the form of musket balls, arrowheads, knife blades, and any other remaining 17th century artifacts that could have survived. To my knowledge, no further archeological excavations have been conducted, and the site and its secrets remain submerged.

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CONCLUSION

I firmly believe that Thomas Lee did in fact uncover the actual site and fort ruins of the Battle Of Long Sault, but whether it is because of old fashioned politics or a lack of funding, interest, or all of the above, the proof needed to confirm this historical event’s location continues to be concealed beneath the waves of the mighty Ottawa River.

Andrew King, February 2020

SOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Long_Sault

https://www.jstor.org/stable/29787448?seq=1

Google Maps

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_E._Lee

https://wiki2.org/en/Adam_Dollard_des_Ormeaux#cite_note-lee-5

OTTAWA’S LOST MUSTANGS

Once Upon A Time in Ottawood, our skies above the capital were abuzz with the sound of Rolls Royce Merlin engines, purring from the fuselages of the graceful and iconic WW2 fighter, the P-51 Mustang. After the war, Canada purchased a total of 150 Mustang P-51Ds from the United States for use by the RCAF and at No. 416 “Lynx” Squadron based at the RCAF Uplands Air Base south of Ottawa. This is where the MacDonald-Cartier International Airport is today. Operational for only a few short years between 1950-52, the Mustangs were declared obsolete in 1956 when they were replaced by the Canadair Sabre, and were later sold off to private buyers.

Do any of these remarkable Ottawa Mustangs still exist? I researched some serial numbers of these now sought after Mustangs to see if I could track any of these Ottawa Mustangs down. Selling for around $2-3million dollars nowadays, these once surplus planes would have been sold off for as little as $150 as surplus scrap in the 1950s.

Let’s push the throttle on these Ottawa warbirds and see where they may be located today using their old registration numbers…HERE THEY ARE:

Mustang 9273

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Sold to James H. Defuria on 27 February 1959, later registered as N1070Z.  Acquired minus its engine.  Later sold to Robert J. Pond/Planes Of Fame East, Spring Park, MN, June 1980.  Registered as N151BP.  To Bob Pond/Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, CA, December 1997.  Flown in  USAAF clours, coded “E2-S”, named “Button…circa 2002.

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Mustang 9271

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Ex USAF P-51D-25-NA serial number 44-73843. Registered to American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum of Texas on 6 September 1991.  Moved to CAF/Commemorative Air Force/Dixie Wing, Peachtree City, GA , 2002.

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Mustang 9265

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Ex USAF P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-74829.  Used at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario.  Now in New Zealand at the P-51 Syndicate, Ardmore, NZ…  Named “Rudolph”.  Still airworthy circa 2002.

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Mustang 9260

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Ex USAF P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-74836.  Used at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario.   Acquired as wreck by Walter Soplata Collection, Newbury, OH, 1979.  To Brian O’Farrell/Johnson Aviation, Miami, FL, 1986.

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Mustang 9259

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Ex USAF P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-74878.  Used at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario.   Last registration, still as N6306T, to T. Wood on 21 May 1993.  In Texas, then sold to someone in Indianapolis. Flown marked as 44-74878, coded “HI-G” on RH side and “G-HD” on LH side (or codes changed at some time?).  Damaged in wheels up landing, June 2003.

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Mustang 9258

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Ex USAF P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-74865.  Used at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario.   Restored to airworthy, Idaho Falls, ID, 1998.  Flew as Mormon Mustang.  To Mallette Family LLC, Provo, UT on 1 August 2001 as N8677E.  Flown as My Sweet Mary Lou since 2001 in Utah.

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Mustang 9251

 

Ex USAF P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-74843.  With No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario in 1951/1952.  Sold to James H. Defuria (dba Intercontinental Airways of Canastota, NY).  To US register as N6314T.

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Mustang 9257

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Ex USAF P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-74859.  Used at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario.  Crashed at Carleton Place, near Uplands, on 9 November 1951.  Reported delivered to Israel with other damaged RCAF P-51Ds.  Reported delivered to IDFAF, their serial 39.  To Sterling Aircraft Supply, 1964.  To Pioneer Aero Service, Burbank/Chino, CA on 2 December 1964.  Registered as N7079V.  Restored as TF-51D, Chino, CA, 1988-1990.  To Doug Arnold/Warbirds of Great Britain, Biggin Hill/Bournemouth, UK, 1990.    Remains of 44-74859 reported stored, North Weald, UK.

Mustang 9243

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Ex USAF P-51D-25-NA serial number 44-74012. With No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario in 1951/1952. Crashed during forced landing due to engine failure at Hudson, WI on 4 August 1974. Wreckage sold to Gordon W. Plaskett, King City, CA on 30 September 1975. Used wing in restoration of 44-73458/N4151D. To Robert H. Jens/Executive Air Craft Ltd, Vancouver, BC on 27 September 1976. Registered as C-GPSI. Rebuild started but not completed. To Duane Williams, Kellogg, ID in February 1984. Registered as N6519D. Rebuild continued. To James E. Smith/Crystal Lakes Resort, Fortine, MT on 28 September 1987. Now operated in RCAF colours marked 9577, coded “PV*577”. Still airworthy circa 2002.

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Mustang 9249

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Ex USAF P-51D-25-NA serial number 44-73864.  With No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario in 1951/1952. To US registry as N6316T, and N1451D.  Badly damaged at Rosenburg, Oregon on 15 June 1964.  Being rebuilt, registration N90338 allocated on 23 July 2004 to S.R. Loeffler of Italy.

Mustang 9246

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Ex USAF P-51D-25-NA serial number 44-73979.  With No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario in 1951. On display, first at College Militaire Royale, St. Jean, Quebec from 10 May 1955.  To RCAF St. Jean, Quebec by 1960.  To Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK in 1968.  Restored for static display, completed in  October 1973.  To Imperial War Museum, London, UK in 1989.  Displayed marked as 472258 coded “WZ-I”, named “Big Beautiful Doll”.  Still there…

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Mustang 9245

 

 

 

Ex USAF P-51D-25-NA serial number 44-73871.  With No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario in 1951/1952.  Later at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario.  Ice Strike Corp, Dover, DE on 22 February 1996.  Reregistered as N7098V.  To Mustang Air Inc, Wilmington, DE on 5 September 1996.  Flown as “Stephanie”, later “Miss Stephanie”.  Based in Florida, still airworthy!

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Andrew King, January 2020

SOURCES

http://www.rwrwalker.ca

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/p51registry/p51registry.html

http://silverhawkauthor.com/canadian-warplanes-3-the-second-world-war-and-postwar-north-american-p51-mustang_684.html

 

CANADA’S LOST LOONIE

Canada’s “Loonie” coin was supposed to be much different than the one we know today, altered after a mysterious theft in 1986. The original dollar coin molds could still be hidden within Ottawa…

LOONIE TUNES

The “Loonie’ (maybe I should say “one dollar coin” since the Royal Canadian Mint in 2006 secured the rights to the name “loonie” according to the Canadian Trade-marks database and Canadian Intellectual Property Office) was conceived in 1982 when the Government of Canada wished to introduce a new dollar coin to eliminate the ol’ green one dollar bills.

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The old one dollar bill, in circulation from 1973-1989. (image: Bank of Canada)

Do you remember when a can of Coke cost $75 cents out of a vending machine but when the loonie® $1 coin came out, they magically went up to $1.00 in price? This is likely in part to the vending machine operators and transit system groups lobbying the Government of Canada to replace the old one dollar banknotes with a new dollar coin so their machines would not have to deal with the paper notes, just modify existing coin operated machines to accept dollar coins. Prices of everything from a can of pop to bus fare seemed to coincidentally go up to an exact one dollar amount, or loonie, after its introduction in 1987. That is another conspiracy for another time…

The government announced on March 25, 1986, that the new dollar coin would be launched the following year as a replacement for the dollar bill, thus saving taxpayers $200 million over 20 years. The new dollar coin was to be made so it matched the dimensions and weight of the American Susan B. Anthony dollar coin so it would be compatible with American manufactured vending machines being used in Canada.

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The new dollar coin of 1986 was supposed to feature the Voyageur canoe that had been on coins since 1935.

It was also decided that the new Canadian dollar coin would feature the “voyageur” image from the old, but rarely circulated Canadian dollar coins made since 1935, but instead of being made of silver, the new dollar coin would be a bronze/gold colour due to it being bronze plated nickel. It would also have 11 angled sides instead of being perfectly circular.

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A concept image of how the original Canadian one dollar coin was supposed to look when it was designed in 1986. (image by author)

The plan was approved, and the new dollar coin master dies were prepared in Ottawa to be sent to Winnipeg where they would be manufactured for circulation. But then…

THE LOST LOONIE

In an effort to save $43.50 The Mint in Ottawa decided to use a local letter-courier firm instead of the usual high-security armoured service like Brinks to send the dies to Winnipeg. This decision would result in a historic turn of events.

As the dies were packaged to be shipped on November 3rd, 1986 the usual protocol of packaging each side of the coin’s dies separately was sidestepped for unknown reasons. The two dies were to be shipped in separate shipments. This security practice was in place so that if a die package fell into the hands of counterfeiters, they would only have one correct side of the coin. Yet, somehow, the new dollar coin dies were packaged TOGETHER and then went mysteriously missing.

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An example of a coin die pair, one for each side of the coin.

With the new coin dies supposedly in transit via this cheaper courier service, the Winnipeg officials waited 11 days but still no delivery. On November 14th the RCMP was called. The dies never made it from Ottawa. It seems they had been stolen before they even left the Nation’s Capital.

Scrambling, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to keep the heist under wraps from the public in hopes they would turn up, but alas they did not. They even withheld the theft from Monique Vèzina, the minister of the Department of Finance, which was responsible for the mint’s operation.

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Headlines from 1987 Ottawa Citizen regarding the coin caper. (Google News Archives)

For several weeks, the lost coin stymied officials who considered making a minor variation to the voyageur design that could possibly reveal the thief’s location. It was thought the risk of counterfeiting was too great so it was quickly decided to use a new design, replacing the voyageur with a loon.

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Robert-Ralph Carmichael who created the “Loonie” image for the coin (image: Canadian Geographic)

That loon image was done by artist Robert-Ralph Carmichael who had submitted it in 1976 for a $100 gold coin, but it was rejected. In desperation to get the new dollar coin in production, Carmichael’s once discarded image of the loon was decided upon for the new dollar coin and soon its dies were rushed off to Winnipeg (not using a discount courier) to be minted.

Six months behind schedule due to the Ottawa heist, the new “loonie” as we know it today was launched on June 30th, 1987. The bronze-plated nickel coin had 40 million units introduced into major cities across Canada that year.

 

The original Voyageur Dollar Dies are still missing to this day, whether they were sold on the coin collector black market, thrown into the Ottawa River or still hidden in someone’s basement here in Ottawa has yet to be determined. (if any readers know anything, please contact me, as an anonymous source of course!)

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The scene of the coin caper…are the original coin dies still in Ottawa? Bottom of the river? Your attic? (Image: Google Streetview)

Our loonie is a coin made from hasty necessity, a product of a government mishap, which propelled a rejected artist’s work to iconic status. His work has now made it into the Great Canadian lexicon, vending machines, arcades and laundromats across the country. Carmichael, who died in 2016, lives on through his initials, RRC, which are visible directly under the loon’s beak, between the ripples on the surface of the water.

Currently our loonie coin is no longer a bronze plated nickel coin but now made out of brass plated steel. This means that it is not being accepted in some older vending machines, but The Mint states that it produces an electromagnetic signature that is harder to counterfeit and by using steel instead of nickel it provides some cost savings….wait, isn’t that how we got into this whole situation in the first place?

Andrew King, December 2019

SOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loonie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Canadian_Mint

https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v11n46a25.html

Ottawa Citizen, Feb.5, 1987

 

Parliamentary Secrets Of The Solstice

The winter solstice usually falls on December 21st of any given year, it is a day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun is at its lowest elevation in the sky and since ancient times the winter solstice has been seen as a significant event for many cultures. Celebrated with festivals and rituals, it marked the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Cultures built monuments to recognize this special celestial day, such as at Stonehenge and within the pyramids of the Maya. The term ‘solstice’ derives from the Latin word ‘solstitium’, meaning ‘Sun standing still’. On this day the Sun seems to stand still before daylight lengthens again.

In recognition of the Winter Solstice tomorrow I’d like to share with you certain aspects of Canada’s Parliament Buildings that I discovered that seem to have been designed to honour this event. In 1859, The Legislative Assembly in Ottawa voted for the construction of a House of Parliament and the winning bid was made by Thomas Fuller.  The cornerstone was laid under the rituals of the Order of Freemasonry by the future King, Albert Edward, who later became Grand Master of the Convent General of the Knights Templar.

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The cornerstone of the Parliament Buildings being laid under Freemason ceremony on Sept. 1 1860 by Fuller and the Prince Of Wales.

It is my belief that certain solstice secrets were built into the Parliament Buildings and surrounding area that can be seen by studying certain aspects on the Solstices using the app “Sun Surveyor” that maps out the position of the sun on specific days.

NUMBER 1

Parliament is in alignment with the sunset axis on Solstice day. The overall layout of the Parliament Buildings is aligned east-west along the axis of the setting sun on the Winter Solstice.

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NUMBER 2

Second, the downtown core of Ottawa is laid out in alignment with the Winter Solstice. Wellington, Sparks & east-west streets all align with the setting sun on Winter Solstice. You can stand & watch the sunset down each street. This is why the sun is in your eyes driving west.

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NUMBER 3

Third, & most interesting of all, is that the Library Of Parliament which was designed to resemble a Templar church, has a statue of the Queen at its centre. The Queen faces the entrance doorway where at noon, on the Winter Solstice, she watches the sun exactly above it. Note the special “runway” from the statue on the floor and also the bizarre geometric patterns built into the wood floor.

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The statue of Queen Victoria as she gazes down the wooden runway awards the noon hour sun on the Winter Solstice. Note other curious geometric patterns on the floor.

And finally, the statue of Colonel By at Major’s Hill Park has been positioned so if you are there on the Winter Solstice you will see that he watches setting sun through the Peace Tower, & finally the Library Of Parliament. There is even an axis line built into the pad.

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Call it coincidence, or call it a very specific and concerted esoteric effort to honour the Solstice event through the structures of the Parliament Buildings and the surrounding area.

Happy Solstice!

 

Andrew King, December 2019

SOURCES

1000206736-1000287878

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Fuller_(architect)

 

 

SAVING CIVIC: Good news for a beloved old sign.

All too often I use this blog to lament over the loss of Ottawa’s classic old signs, a trend that seems to have now finally been swayed in the other direction. I recently received some good news regarding the landmark Civic Pharmacy sign at the corner of Holland and Carling. It is has been saved and restored.

Many concerned residents emailed me about the sign when they witnessed its anchor building swathed in tarpaulins, unsure of what was happening to the building, and our beloved sign.

I am happy to report that through the efforts of the community, the sign is safe and has a positive new outlook. The thoughtful owners of the building have decided to keep and resurrect the iconic sign, returning it to its former splendour.

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The newly restored Civic Pharmacy sign at the corner of Carling and Holland. (photo by Tina Klein Walsh) 

 

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The old sign. Note how the lettering is now white instead of black. 

The newly renovated landmark sign has new letter boxes, and have only altered the letters to be white instead of black, as the originals were. Also, in place of “PHARMACY” the new tenants have their business on the sign, a Credit Union. Personally, I am thrilled they kept the sign instead of throwing it out as most developers do with older signage. Despite the modifications from the original, the sign has a new lease on life and looks refreshed for a whole new generation of Ottawa residents to enjoy.

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BACKSTORY

The Civic Pharmacy Building officially opened on September 17 1960, and along with it, the illuminated and animated “CIVIC PHARMACY” sign attached to its corner. The sign is inspired by “Googie” style of architecture, a modern, futurist architecture that evolved through the Atomic Age of the 1950s and 1960s. A culture absorbed with jets and the space-age inspired this style with Ottawa’s example brightly shining at the corner of Holland and Carling for 58 years.

Since the word “CIVIC” is a palindrome (a word which reads the same backward as forward) it was made into a rotating sign, with each letter rotating, and being able to be read from any viewing position. The rotating letters of the sign required much maintenance, and it stopped rotating at some point.

I was lucky enough to meet and chat with the original owner/pharmacist of the building, Wally Cherun, who told me about the history of the much cherished sign. It was the first sign of its kind in Canada, and was fully illuminated at night. Wally said a sign guy would oil the mechanics of the rotating letters regularly. It eventually got too expensive to maintain, the letters stopped rotating, and the lights burned out. The building went up for sale over a year ago, and changed hands, but luckily to someone who appreciates it. (STORY HERE)

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The Civic Pharmacy Building currently wrapped in tarpaulins. (Photo: author)

PRESENT DAY

Andy Billingsley, Chair of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association History and Heritage emailed me about a month ago to inform me that he went over to check on why the Civic building was wrapped in tarpaulins and relayed that the new owner of the building decided to keep the cherished sign in place. Gregg Kricorissian, another concerned resident who also appreciated the sign, established a relationship with Steve LeBrun, President of Ray Neon Signs. Steve is the son of the original sign’s designer/builder. According to Gregg, Steve has lent his full support to save the sign, and generously offered to remove and and store the sign if that became necessary. Ray Neon has provided a quote for restoration, and completed the work on the new sign last week.

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HAPPY ENDING

So it seems that when some like minded people get together with a shared love of neighbourhood nostalgia, good things can happen. “It’s wonderful how our initiative to save the CiViC sign is playing out, and I’m pleased to have played a part in it.” says Kricorissian, who thinks the sign is a vital piece of neighbourhood history. “Not only is the sign a symbol of our neighborhood, but it’s also a great testament of how a small Ottawa business started in post-WWII Ottawa, and has grown to a highly successful member of its chosen industry.”

My sincere thanks to all those involved in helping to preserve this important landmark of Ottawa’s street scene. I know myself and probably most of Ottawa eagerly await the sign’s return to glory on the street it’s been quietly watching over for almost six decades.

Andrew King, Updated November 2019

 

 

 

 

 

An Ancient Humpback Whale Found South Of Ottawa

When Whales Swam Above

When stuck in Ottawa traffic, your mind can drift as you stare with glazed eyes at the hundreds of cars slowly moving ahead of you. The snail beside you in the ditch is making better progress. On one such occasion during rush hour, I began to imagine a time when the entire Nation’s Capital was under a vast ocean with the surface we live on being the seabed of an ancient body of water called “The Champlain Sea”. This is not a daydream, but reality…about 12,000 years ago melting glaciers created a murky sea that covered the region in about 500 feet of saltwater, from Ottawa all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

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The extent of the Champlain Sea that covered the Ottawa area 12,000 years ago. (Image: Wikipedia)

 

Imagining this ancient sea that once existed above our heads, I also pictured the many sea creatures that would have swam above us so long ago, and how their remains must be buried in the soil all around us. A quick bit of research revealed that such a find did occur, a creature of the ancient sea was in fact discovered in 1874 south of Ottawa, and it was none other than a giant humpback whale.

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A report on The Peter Redpath Museum published by Princeton University in 1883 outlines the discovery of a humpaback whale north of Smiths Falls in 1874 while building the Canadian Pacific Railway line, just a stone’s throw from the current VIA rail tracks.

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The report explains that bones were found in a gravel pit, three miles north of Smith’s Falls, at a depth of 30 feet from the surface. Two vertebrae and a fragment of another with a portion of a rib, and other fragments were found in good preservation.

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The red dot marks the location of where an ancient humpback whale was found in 1874. (GoogleMaps)

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The gravel pit where the humpback Whale was found, just off Highway 15 (GoogleStreetview)

The Humpback whale bones were then donated to the Peter Redpath Museum in Montreal, which still houses them today. In addition to the Humpback whale, SEVEN other whales have been unearthed in the Ottawa Region. From Arnprior to Montreal scores of whales, seals and porpoises have been found accidentally, cocooned in sand for over 10,000 years.

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In 1948 at a sandpit near the Uplands Airport, two beluga whales were recovered. It seems the sandy bottom of the Champlain sea is where a number of whales were laid to rest 12,000 years ago, with many more likely still waiting to be found.

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Beluga whale skeleton in the Redpath Museum, unearthed in the Eastern Ontario region. 

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Map showing where various whale and other sea creatures were discovered in the region of the Champlain Seabed. (fossilslanark.blogspot.com)

You can still see the bottom of the ancient ocean in the sand hills near the airport where creatures large and small would have swam above for thousands of years as the glacial waters receded to their present levels. This ocean 500 feet deep was full of whales, seals, and other creatures. Quite astonishing to imagine, but if you are stuck in traffic you can let your mind wander and close your eyes, picturing humpback whales swimming above the current sea of traffic. Existing in a time when the highways of Ottawa were nothing more than a weed covered ocean floor, with its salt content being the only thing similar to our current dreary winter roads…

Andrew King, November 2019

SOURCES

http://fossilslanark.blogspot.com/2015/04/hunting-for-whales-in-eastern-ontario_24.html

Google E-Books

Wikipedia

GoogleMaps

GoogleStreetview

“Guardian”: The 30th Anniversary Of A Bizarre UFO Incident near Carp, Ontario

On the night November 4th, exactly thirty years ago, in that glorious year of 1989, one of the most bizarre and unexplained stories in UFO circles occurred, known as the “Guardian” case. Centred around the supposed crash of an extraterrestrial craft in a swamp west of Ottawa near Manion Corners, today marks the 30th anniversary of the mysterious incident. Since it is in the realm of the OR file cases, I thought it would be interesting to recount the story here once again, in case anyone knows more about it since it occurred that November night in 1989…

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The area that matches the Unsolved Mysteries clip where the crashed UFO was supposedly recovered west of Ottawa. (Google Maps)

“GUARDIAN”

The fantastical story of a UFO crashing into a swamp west of Ottawa begins when a gentleman by the name of Tom Theofanous of The Canadian UFO Research Network (CUFORN), received a package from someone calling themselves “Guardian”. With no return address on the package, it was curiously opened and within was a written claim that an alien craft was recovered from a swamp in West Carleton involving both United States and Canadian security teams.

Graham Lightfoot, a UFO researcher living in Ottawa at the time was dispatched to verify these explosive claims, and he interviewed some residents in the area mentioned by Guardian about anything unusual that may have occurred on the night of November 4th, 1989 to substantiate his claims.

Diane Labanek, a resident of the area, said that on the night of November 4th 1989, she witnessed an intense, bright light pass overhead, heading towards a swamp at the far end of the field south of her home. She said she also saw several helicopters earlier that evening using bright lights to scan the area.

Another resident said their cattle was dispersed by something and it took a while to recover them all again the next day.

Another couple in the area told Graham about a very bright light that shone through their south-facing bathroom window. “It reached right down our hallway!”. The same wife also recalled hearing the sound of helicopters that evening.

Without verifiable proof of a crashed UFO and no photographic evidence, the case was deemed a hoax and that GUARDIAN was a crackpot.

However, if we read the note that GUARDIAN sent in 1989 once again, perhaps we can learn more from it 30 years later using more modern research methods.

Below is an edited transcript of the original letter sent by Guardian and his claim, and some further investigation into what could be a real incident:

From Guardian, 1989

“Canadian and American Security Agencies are engaged in a conspiracy of silence, to withhold from the world the alien vessel seized in the swamps of Corkery Road, Carp, in 1989.

UFO sightings in the Ontario region had intensified in the 1980’s, specifically, around nuclear power generating stations. On Nov. 4, 1989 at 20:00 hrs Canadian Defense Dept. radars picked up a globe shaped object traveling at phenomenal speed over Carp, Ontario. The UFO abruptly stopped, and dropped like a stone.

Canadian and American Security Agencies were immediately notified of the landing. Monitoring satellites traced the movements of the aliens to a triangular area. (see aerial map) off Almonte and Corkery Roads.

The ship had landed in deep swamp near Corkery Road. Two AH-64 Apaches and a UH-60 Blackhawk headed for the area the following night. The helicopters carried full weapon loads. They were part of a covert American unit that specialized in the recovery of alien craft.

Flying low over Ontario pine trees the Apache attack choppers soon spotted a glowing, blue, 20 meter in diameter sphere. As targeting lasers locked-on, both gun-ships unleashed their full weapon loads of 8 missiles each. All 16 were exploded in proximity bursts 10 meters downwind from the ship.

The missiles were carrying VEXXON, a deadly neuro-active gas which kills on contact. Exposed to air the gas breaks down quickly into inert components. Immediately after having completed their mission the gun-ships turned around, and headed back across the border.

Now the Blackhawk landed, as men exploded from its open doors. In seconds the six man strike team had entered the UFO through a 7 meter hatchless, oval portal. No resistance was encountered. At the controls, 3 dead crewman were found.

With the ship captured, the US Air force, Pentagon, and Office of Naval Intelligence were notified. Through the night a special team of technicians had shut-down and disassembled the sphere. Early the next morning Nov. 6, 1989 construction equipment and trucks were brought into the swamp. The UFO parts were transported to a secret facility in Kanata, Ontario.

As a cover story the locals were informed that a road was being built through the swamp. No smokescreen was needed for the military activity as Canadian forces regularly train in the Carp region. Officially nothing unusual was reported in the area. Although someone anonymously turned in a 35mm roll of film. It was received by the National Research Council of Canada, in Ottawa. The film contained several clear shots of an entity holding a light. (see photo) At this time the photographer is still unidentified.

The humanoids were packed in ice and sent to an isolation chamber at the Univ. of Ottawa. CIA physiologists performed the autopsies.

The reptilian, fetus-headed beings, were listed as CLASS 1 NTE’s. (Non Terrestrial Entities) Like others recovered in previous operations, they were muscular, grey-white skinned, humanoids.

The ship was partially reassembled at the underground facility in Kanata. Unlike previous recoveries this one is pure military. Built as a “Starfighter” it is heavily armed and armored. In design no rivets, bolts, or welds were used in fastening, yet when reconstructed there are no seams. The UFO itself is made up of a matrixed dielectric magnesium alloy. It is driven by pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by a cold fusion reactor. All offensive capabilities utilize independently targeting electronic beam weapons. In the cargo hold were found ordnance racks containing fifty Soviet nuclear warheads. Their purpose was revealed by advanced tactical/combat computers located in the flight deck.

The most important alien-tech find were the 2 millimeter, spheroid, brain implants. Surgically inserted through the nasal orifice the individual can be fully monitored and controlled. The CIA and Canadian Govt have actively supported mind-slave experiments for years. Currently the Univ. of Ottawa is involved in ELF wave mind control programs. A continuation of the CIA psychological warfare project known as MKULTRA, started at the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal.

Using ELF signals transmitted at the same wavelength the human brain uses, the researchers could subliminally control the test subject. The alien implants utilize the same principles except that the whole unit is sub miniaturized and contained in the brain. Fortunately the implants can be detected by magnetic resolution scanning technology. All individuals implanted by the aliens are classified as ZOMBIES.

The ZOMBIES have been programmed to help overthrow Mankind in the near future.”

Now, this seems completely ridiculous and an obvious a piece of fiction. But, let’s see if anything within Guardian’s letter could actually be true…

CLAIM 1

“Canadian and American Security Agencies were immediately notified of the landing. Monitoring satellites traced the movements of the aliens to a triangular area. (see aerial map) off Almonte and Corkery Roads.”

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These satellite images of the area clearly show both an unusual triangular shaped area of land and the swamps below it where the craft was apparently recovered. (GeoOttawa)

TRUE: Zooming in to the property area mentioned on a current Google satellite map where Guardian claimed the craft crashed, there is indeed a triangular area of land that is adjacent to a swamp. This was area was later verified by analyzing an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” and the property was identified.

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Clearly a triangular area as Guardian mentioned does exist with some equipment scattered around. (Google Maps)

CLAIM 2

“Two AH-64 Apaches and a UH-60 Blackhawk headed for the area the following night. The helicopters carried full weapon loads. They were part of a covert American unit that specialized in the recovery of alien craft.”

TRUE: Unrelated witnesses in the area said they saw and heard helicopters and bright lights that evening.

CLAIM 3

“The UFO parts were transported to a secret facility in Kanata, Ontario.”

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The DRDC facility near Kanata. (Google Streetview)

COULD BE TRUE: In Kanata at Shirley’s Bay there is a government research facility where classified Defence Department projects are worked on. It is called DRDC:
Defence Research & Development Canada where some sites claim there is ongoing alien craft reverse-engineering projects. *This is not confirmed and highly speculative!*

CLAIM 4

“The CIA and Canadian Govt have actively supported mind-slave experiments for years. Currently the Univ. of Ottawa is involved in ELF wave mind control programs. A continuation of the CIA psychological warfare project known as MKULTRA, started at the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal.”

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The Allen Institute in Montreal where CIA funded mind control experiments occurred under the MkUltra program. 

PARTIALLY TRUE: This is actually true that the MkUltra program operated Mind Control experiments from the Allen Institute in Montreal during the 1960s. Extremely low frequency, or ELF, has been the subject of many conspiracies that the mind can be controlled with these signals.

So, HOAX or real?

Now those claims mentioned above can be somewhat verified by cross referencing current data, but in my opinion it is not enough to verify the claim that an actual craft was recovered November 4th, 1989. Perhaps Guardian’s story is true, perhaps it is not. It was 1989 and we did not have the proper abilities and resources that we have now to validate the story.

It would be two years later that Guardian submitted a SECOND claim and package of yet another UFO landing AT THE EXACT SAME SITE west of Ottawa, and that story was actually featured in the 1990s television series “Unsolved Mysteries” hosted by Robert Stack.

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A still from ‘Unsolved Mysteries” showing the property where the UFO incident occurred. 

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The area that matches the Unsolved Mysteries clip where the crashed UFO was supposedly recovered west of Ottawa. (Google Maps)

To this day the video footage recording the craft within that case has yet to debunked or logically explained, so maybe Guardian’s first story in 1989 was indeed true and he was an insider of a certain top secret project? We may never know, unless of course one of you readers happened to work in that secret underground Kanata base, or witnessed an alien autopsy at the University of Ottawa 30 years ago…

Andrew King 

November 2019

SOURCES:

https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_flyingobjects34.htm

http://wikimapia.org/35409/Shirley-s-Bay-Research-Centre

GOOGLE MAPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remains Of A Hudson’s Bay Trading Post on the Ottawa River

Situated approximately 57km northwest of Ottawa there is a nondescript piece of property near Chats Falls on the Ottawa River. It is part of the oldest known European settlement in the Ottawa Valley and includes the ruins of a centuries old Hudson’s Bay Trading Post.

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Lying quietly on the shores of the Ottawa River near Quyon, QC are remains of the Ottawa Valley’s oldest settlement and a Hudson’s Bay Trading Post.

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Concealed under the cover of bushes and underbrush, the original stone foundation of a structure is visible. This is most likely the remains of Mondions original home he built in 1786, the oldest known settlement in the Ottawa Valley, and later a busy trading post.

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More stone ruins.

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Before Philomen Wright arrived in 1800 from Massachusetts to settle the National Capital Region in Hull, there was another visitor that settled in the wilds of the Ottawa River Valley. An area traversed by nomadic tribes of the First Nations for thousands of years to transport goods and copper from Lake Superior east along the Ottawa River, or “Great River” as it was known then, this parcel of land was an important strategic and cultural piece of property.  Samuel Champlain would have passed by this property in the early 1600’s but it wouldn’t be until 1786 that Joseph Mondion would decide to build a permanent residence here. Fourteen years prior to Philomen Wright setting up shop in Hull, Mondion arrived in 1786 on what is now called Mondion Point, or “Indian Point”.

A description of the trading post at Mondion Point from an 1832 publication entitled "British Dominions in North America" by Joseph Bouchette

A description of the trading post at Mondion Point from an 1832 publication entitled “British Dominions in North America” by Joseph Bouchette. Note “spirits” for sale. SOURCE: Google

Known to be a major transit route for both First Nations tribes and French voyageurs and “coureur des bois”, Mondion built what is now known to be the first permanent structure in the Ottawa Valley when he built his home there in 1786. A wise entrepreneur, Mondion raised cattle and hogs and sold meat to the hungry fur traders passing by and portaging Chats Falls in the late 18th century. After the British took control of the previously French occupied lands of New France in 1763, Mondion operated his little trading empire on the Ottawa River until he was apparently shut down for selling illegal whisky to those en route along the river. Packing up shop in 1800, he sold his piece of property to a trading company from Montreal: Forsyth, Richardson and Company. In 1804 the Northwest Trading Company took over the property, a valuable piece of land known to be a strategic fur trading point along the Ottawa River.

An 1804 survey map outlines where the structures of the trading post and previous Mondion buildings were located.

An 1804 survey map outlines where the structures of the trading post and previous Mondion buildings were located. (Source-http://www.histoireforestiereoutaouais.ca/en/b2/)

The North West Company of Montreal and Hudson’s Bay Company were forcibly merged in 1821 by order of the British government in an effort to end the often-violent competition between the two trading companies and the piece of land became an official Hudson’s Bay trading post. This once remote outpost consisted of log cabin structures and wooden outbuildings that would contain the inventory needed to trade with natives, such as guns, blankets, iron tools, and clothing.

A typical Hudson's Bay Trading Post in the 1800's.

A typical Hudson’s Bay Trading Post in the 1800’s.

In 1837 the trading post was abandoned since most of the native population had been displaced and the fur trade was coming to an end with lumber being the new commodity along the Ottawa River. The trading post log cabins fell into ruin and the land was transformed into farmland until it became cottage country, of which it remains today.

Overlaying the 1804 Northwest Trading Company map over a current map we can see where any ruins may be located.

Overlaying the 1804 Northwest Trading Company map over a current map we can see where any ruins may be located. SOURCE: Bing Maps

In an effort to locate this once prosperous 200 year old Hudson’s Bay Trading Post I referred to an 1805 map by the Northwest Trading Company that outlined where the original structures would have been. Transposing that map on a current aerial view map indicated where any ruins may lie today.

Another map from 1845 indicates where Mondion's original 1786 house would have been.

Another map from 1845 indicates where Mondion’s original 1786 house would have been. Some cottages are built on a burial ground. (Source: The Upper Ottawa Valley by Clyde Kennedy)

Of course the original plot of land settled by Mondion and used by the Hudson’s Bay Company has been subdivided into many lots since they departed, but a significant parcel of waterfront land that was once owned by Mondion and the Hudson’s Bay Company is still undeveloped. Nearby, off the main road it was also discovered that some overgrown stone foundations remain, likely those of the original 1786 Mondion house and the 1800’s trading post. The crumbling stones of this once bustling fur trading dynasty now sit quietly forgotten in the bushes.

Concealed under the cover of bushes and underbrush, the original stone foundation of a structure is visible. This is most likely the remains of Mondions original home he built in 1786, the oldest known settlement in the Ottawa Valley.

Concealed under the cover of bushes and underbrush, the original stone foundation of a structure is visible. This could be the remains of Mondion’s original home built in 1786, the oldest known pioneer settlement in the Ottawa Valley.

The stone ruins lie almost exactly where the old maps indicated it would be.

The stone ruins lie almost exactly where the old maps indicated it would be.

The concealed stone ruins measure approximately 10ft by 20ft.

The stone ruins measure approximately 10ft by 20ft.

 

Lying quietly on the shore of the Ottawa River the remains of the Valley's oldest home and a Hudson's Bay Trading Post lie forgotten.

It seems a shame that the area of Ottawa Valley’s oldest pioneer settlement and a Hudson’s Bay Trading Post lie forgotten on the shores of the mighty Ottawa River.

I find it seriously disheartening that such an important piece of Ottawa Valley history, if not Canadian history remains forgotten. This is certainly an important part of our national history that I think should be considered for recognition by the federal or provincial government. Who knows what important historical artifacts lie beneath the surface of this land. With the Hudson’s Bay Company recently sold to an American private equity firm, these ruins of the old HBC trading post, whoever they belong to, should be preserved and recognized for their cultural and historical value to this country.

Andrew King, October 2019

SOURCES:

firstpeoplesofcanada.com

heritagepontiac.ca

histoireforestiereoutaouais.ca

Wikipedia: Hudson’s Bay Company

Google Maps

Bing Maps

The Upper Ottawa Valley by Clyde Kennedy, 1970.