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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 253
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, January 9, 2006 - 8:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I think it did. The piece in question was chipped out and was reported to be about the size of a hand.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 514
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, January 9, 2006 - 9:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

As you know, I have been researching Temagami history since 1978, and have interviewed hundreds of people. I have learned a lot about peoples' memories, perceptions (those things people absolutely believe are facts, but aren't) and the real facts. I always try to get a second source for everything I write about, and that's when things get interesting.

First, Ed mentioned here that someone was caught by customs trying to cross into the US with a chiselled pictograph from Diamond Lake. He recalled a news story in Sarnia. He said this was in the early 1980s. Then Alscool posted a photo of the large Diamond pictograph site with graphics to show where the pictograph was removed. Alscool said that Alex Mathias had told him this. So I called Alex this morning. He said he heard the story of the theft from none other than Ed. And he said Alscool misunderstood him, as Alex thought Ed had said the pictograph came from an island on Diamond Lake. Is this sounding familiar? But Ed added a message saying he believed the photo (taken on the mainland) was the site of the theft. Furthermore, Ed wrote that if we wanted more detail we should check with Alex. And there we are, travelling the telephone circle.

I am sure you are getting my point. I have heard this story too, for decades, but could never find any documentation of it. I checked with Thor Conway today. Thor was the regional archaeologist with the Ministry of Culture during the suspected period of theft (he has written at least one paper on this site). He would have been informed of theft at such a well known site, or known theft there before his tenure. He said was not aware of pictograph theft anywhere in Temagami.

So what we now have posted on a public forum is a photo showing where a pictograph was removed in the 1970s or 1980s, unintentionally perpetuating an unsubstantiated rumour. Hopefully this photo I am posting will put an end to the myth.

It was taken in 1954 by a guide at Keewaydin. Note the same gouge in the rock -- that everyone thought was put there by a lowdown chiselling thief in the 1970s or 80s --, and the same chips around the edge (covered by Reynolds hand in Alscool's photo). The other chips are there too. I have looked closely at the site and I would have to say it is not conclusive that the half-round chunk was chiselled out, though there has been much more minor chiselling. The chunk could have fallen out naturally.

My response is not intended to criticize, but to end what I fear is a thread that will reinforce another myth (like that one about Maple Mt as the highest point in Ontario).

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alscool
Member

Post Number: 72
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I would have to think that some lowdown chiselling thief ruined this pictograph site some time before 1954. In my humble opinion, from seeing this site first hand, that this is definately been chipped and chiselled.

I think Alex has also had his fair share of errant campfire smoke and his memory is also cloudy.

Good sleuthing there Brian
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onlypassnthru
Member

Post Number: 31
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I've read somewhere (shrouded by errant smoke) when logging dams were built to raise lake levels and float timber down river, the raised levels of water has damaged some pictographs. This happens especially in winter with the freeze.
Was there a logging dam on Diamond that you know of Brian?
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brian
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Post Number: 515
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 2:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yes, there was a dam. It was built in 1942 by the A.J. Murphy mill of Latchford. Because the water was lapping up against the pictographs, Chief Gary Potts asked the MNR to remove it. It was dynamited in 1973.

It remains open to question whether any of the damage we see in the photo was caused by ice.

There is a little more info on this page I did a few years ago:
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/History/ladye-l iftover.htm
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 254
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 5:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Your sleuthing is very good Brian, but in my mind it is still a mystery.
Brian wrote:
"I am sure you are getting my point. I have heard this story too, for decades, but could never find any documentation of it."

I did not meet Alex Mathias until 1999.I did not speak to him about this pictograph at least until 2002. But Brian reports hearing rumours about it for decades.
Alscool mentions it could be that the pictograph was chipped out prior to 1958 and was sitting in someones cabin/cottage until the 1980's when they or their relative decided to transport it to the USA as an artifact, got caught and made the News.
I visited this site for the first time last Spring.It sure looks like a chisel job to me.
I think the mystery remains at least for me it does until more conclusive proof comes forward.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 255
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 7:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Oh! Sorry! I meant to say 1954 as the date and not 1958.I don't want to add more smoke and mirrors to the mystery surrounding this piece of potentially missing rock.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 517
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 8:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The mystery I heard was that someone had stolen a pictograph from somewhere. It never referred to any specific site or date. I actually never thought it referred to the best known, most visited site in Temagami (Diamond) because I had asked if there had been any theft there and the officials all said they had heard of none. I agree that a mystery lurks (there is always some kernel of fact in every myth), but we simply should not point fingers at any site or anything else, until we know for sure. Nuff said.
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tsm
Member

Post Number: 43
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 8:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I've visited the site several times. On one occasion, I think it was our '98 Maple Mountain trip, we were coming up the liftover from LE to Diamond. We noticed a canoe with 2 people in it at the pictographs. As we got closer to the rock, we could see that markers of some sort were attached to the pictorgraphs. We asked what they were doing and were told they were doing research and were taking measurements. Not sure if we asked who was doing the research.Too bad I didn’t take a photograph, it was interesting to see.
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onlypassnthru
Member

Post Number: 32
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I started reading on Pictographs last night in Reading Rock Art, Interpreting the Indian Rock Paintings of the Canadian Shield, by Margaret Grace Rajnovich. She advances the theory that each pictograph is a sacred place, a spot where a shaman, elder, hunter, or warrior fulfilled a vision quest, recorded the results of a dream/vision quest, and communicated with or received power from a Manitou. Animals in the pictographs may be the hunter’s quarry, clan totem, or the Manitou in animal form. Tally marks represent time in days for a journey or fasting. Figures in profile or without features represent humans. Pictograph figures with features facing toward the viewer represents powerful spirits (Manitou) themselves. Her opinion is that pictographs are more than mere art, but writing also. Any one pictograph can have numerous meanings too.
She didn’t list the Diamond Lake site in her book, but there is a nice representation of one of the Obabika Lake sites with the translation “I come up from below, I come down from above” (I am Manitou.)
I guess that in the final analysis, any damage to these mysterious places is bad. I have a difficult time getting my mind around anyone intentionally vandalizing one, either for a souvenir or for the shear purpose of desecration. If damaged by ice and water for a logging operation that's ignorance or neglect, but the site is still just as damaged. Still a terrible shame.
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alscool
Member

Post Number: 73
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 1:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Diamond Lake Pictographs for your viewing pleasure

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alscool
Member

Post Number: 74
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 1:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

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alscool
Member

Post Number: 75
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 1:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

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alscool
Member

Post Number: 76
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 1:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

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blackfox_dave
Member

Post Number: 59
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 2:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'd just like to say thankyou to alscool for posting the photo's they are real nice to see.
Thanks
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alscool
Member

Post Number: 77
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 2:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Your welcome Dave. also, thanks for the Christmas well wish
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onlypassnthru
Member

Post Number: 33
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 8:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Great photos Alscool, a very extensive pictograph. Thanks for sharing.
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blackfox_dave
Member

Post Number: 60
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 5:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Alex Im stuck in the UK for about one more year but then will be Home for good to help fight the good fight to keep Temagami wild and Free wish you all well
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paul_hammersten
Member

Post Number: 228
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 1:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Alscool...neat photos ...thanks.

I wear suspenders too...and a 2" belt even though John Wayne said he would never trust a man who wore both suspenders and a belt!

When I started my new job working on fire hydrants last February, a friend told me about Duluth Trading Companys ' side-clip suspenders '. Wish I had them during my hard core canoeing days.

http://www.duluthtrading.com

Best

Paul
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alscool
Member

Post Number: 78
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 2:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Buddy in the pics is actually a pal of mine Darin.
winter/summer guide and outdoorsman extraordinaire.
Like me, he also has a Misabi Sled Dog, except she's not as cool as dogscool, just as Kim........

(Message edited by alscool on January 13, 2006)
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alscool
Member

Post Number: 79
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 2:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

damn edit tool

just ask kim.......
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 256
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 6:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Did she bite Kim in the arse? That must have been why she was not so cool as dogscool.
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kim
Moderator

Post Number: 118
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 7:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Bit me on the leg....twice !
He chewed on my leg the second day into the trip.
Darin and I concluded that the dog was protecting his master.
I got too close to his tent...20 feet away from the tent by the way.
I even treated him with pepperettes and he still bit me!
One man dog.....I guess?

Darin is the toughest man I have ever met.
Must have passed it on to the pooch?
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blackfox_dave
Member

Post Number: 61
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Haya Paul that's some damn good stuff from the Duluth Trading Company I like the Fire Hose™ Clothing that they do thanks for the link.
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paul_hammersten
Member

Post Number: 229
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2006 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yeh...Being a ' 5 H ' man now [ flush, flag,grease,paint,and maintain, fire hydrants that is ] I'm saving up for one of those Fire Hose presentation jackets!

Another neat company I mentioned once on the message board is the makers of SNO SEAL.

http://www.atsko.com/

I have used SNO SEAL [ boot dressing - wax ] on my hands to keep them warm and maintain a firm grip. They make a product now just for hand too.

Something to keep in mind when paddling in the cold and rain.

Best

Paul

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