Photo: Ted Forbes
Oldest Known Keewaydin Archeology -
"Peter Brown Mattawa 1903"
Peter was one of Keewaydin's first three Temagami guides in 1902. During the second Trip In he carved his name on this rock on a portage (no longer in use due to flooding) on the Matabitchuan River above Fourbass Lake. He would later become head guide and caretaker, working for Keewaydin for almost four decades.
Bob Groves and Doug Hamilton, then working for the Ministry of Natural Resources' canoe routes maintenance program, uncovered this site in 1984 while looking for the old portages. The carving was hidden on the west put-in behind a spruce that had grown on the old trail. Bob Groves showed their discovery to the '93 Reunion Trip In group when this photo was taken.
Brian Back then noticed on the same rock, faint but visible, in pencil scrawl: "Peter Brown, Frank LeClaire, Joe Levigne, 1902." These were Keewaydin's first three guides in Temagami, hired in Mattawa for the Trip In. This site is the oldest-known Keewaydin "archeology." Due to poor contrast, only the above 1903 signature could be captured on film.
On a larger rock face at what may have been the eastern takeout for the portage, is another rock carving site. This one contains many names, but clearly written is: "Dunmore Trip 1936 Waters Mike Buckshot." Waters was Roy Waters, the staffman of that trip.
Although leaving names in rocks was once a practice among early explorers and at Keewaydin in the early part of the century, it is no longer condoned.
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