||September 26, 2008
Up Snake Creek Without A Paddle
We recently completed our historical
trip up Snake Creek Quebec – not by canoe and
paddle- but with ATVs – and saw some fascinating sites. We stopped at the Morin
site where the murders I wrote about recently took place and the Hawkesbury and
Morel farms that were involved. The latter two have been abandoned with little
indication of their previous existence.
David Dunlap (L) & Moffat Dunlap
(R) at the foundation of the former site of the Dunlap Estate on Lac Marin
Quebec 1910-30. D. Mackey photo
I will walk
briefly you through our trip beginning on Friday afternoon and ending
Saturday evening. The 2 David A. Dunlap grandsons, David and Moffat mentioned
in a recent article came early and shared a lot of artefacts prior to the
arrival of several other participants in the excursion project. The 3 of us
actually stayed overnight at the Nature’s Harmony Lodge on
Snake Creek, Ontario where the Friday events took place.
Owners Jen and Tzach Elnecave
provided a gourmet meal for 10 of us prior to our evening session with several
we prepared for the next day excursion
At that session David Dunlap
presented a copy of his grandfather’s 1924 book on his family life at his
extensive complex on Shahwandagooze Lake (now
Lac Marin) in the first half of the last century. It is a
beautiful rare book with several fine prints by the well known artist
Thoreau Macdonald. Jack Whalen the chair of the Mattawa Museum Board accepted
the book for the museum. Plans are in the works for a mining display on David
A. Dunlap and the Timmins brothers’ mining achievements in the early 1900s.
David was a Mattawa lawyer who worked with the Timmins brothers to develop
properties in Cobalt and several other locations making them and others wealthy.
David Dunlap (L), June and
Richard Watson (Memewin Lodge owners) and Moffat Dunlap visiting Memewin
Lodge where the Dunlaps spent a lot of their
youth. D. Mackey photo.
After the presentation the Dunlaps
were also presented with copies of Gerry Therrien’s book Mattawa Our Timeless
Tour and Clermont Duval presented two prints of a painting he did of the
waterfalls on Snake Creek Quebec. Clermont
lived there in the early 1960s when his family lumbered there. Jack Whalen
presented a print of Mattawa by the rogue priest Father Paradis as painted in
1886 about the time Dunlap came to Mattawa as a 22 year old lawyer.
The Dunlaps showed a video of movies
taken in the 1920s on their grandfather’s wilderness estate and the
Shawahndahgooze Hunting and Fishing Club nearby where he was a member. The Club
had a 9 hole golf course. The original Dunlap estate is now gone but the Club
remains. David Moffat Dunlap the only son of lawyer David A. Dunlap established
his own camp in the 1940s on Lake Memewin
several miles from the original estate. Film of the Memewin era was included in
the video. The
evening included more “show and tell” and lengthy conversations.
Shawahndahgooze Hunting & Fishing Club 7 miles
up Snake Creek Quebec.Submitted photo
On Saturday morning the people going
on the excursion gathered for breakfast at Nature’s Harmony and headed for Jeff
Jodouin’s barge on the
Ottawa River for our trip across the river. When we got
across we were greeted by several waiting ATVs arranged for by Jeff
Jodouin and Conrad Duhaime
who is the caretaker at the current Shawahndahgooze Club. Conrad brought his
passenger van and his two sons brought ATVs. Jeff’s son and daughter Marc and
Kim and Kim’s friend Jocelyn Michaud along with
David Mayer were on hand to prepare lunch for us later at Jeff’s camp. Jack
Edwards and Jeff Jodouin
also brought their ATVs. As you can guess we could not have done the trip
without a lot of help from these good people.
We took the opportunity to see the
beautiful waterfalls at the river and headed for the Shawandahgooze club seven
miles up the Creek. After a full visit there hosted by Fern
we headed on another barge and motorboat up the lake to the site of the
old Dunlap estate. Lots of conversation and photos throughout.
We then headed back down to a
sideroad near the river and headed for an afternoon visit at Memewin Lodge.
Richard Watson, Memewin’s owner was there to lead the way. We stopped on the
way and had lunch at Jeff’s camp. The Memewin Lodge is a little piece of
paradise. Deserts, conversation, walks and photos followed. Owners June and
Richard Watson were excellent hosts. David and Moffat Dunlap were especially
happy to be back where they spent a lot of their childhood summers. The
Petrant family that worked there was
represented by Isabelle Petrant (Butler) ,who
spent a lot of time there as a child when her parents worked, there and husband
Bob who enjoyed the reunion. The Dunlaps stayed overnight and returned to
Ontario on Sunday. The rest of us took the road back to the Ottawa and headed
home with a much better understanding and appreciation of the past and a good
look at the present pleasures of the Quebec wilderness.
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