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Around the World Places

Rare Bear: Buried History

By Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner

I received an e-mail from a friend, recently, detailing an interesting historical discovery in the Orkney Islands; a settlement in Scotland dated to be about the same time period as the Great Flood. 

While reading this story, I remembered that Ontario also has a buried village.  It is encased beneath Sandbanks Provincial Park, somewhere South of Highway 2,  East of Toronto, around the Belleville area.

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I grew up hearing stories about this buried village from relatives who lived in the area.  I have been to that park, but I have never actually witnessed any reference to the story, and there is nothing on the Internet to indicate its existence.  However, there is one village in Ontario that was buried, for more than four centuries. It’s named Huronia.

Just outside of Midland Ontario, on the banks of the Wye River, Huronia sits as an Ontario tourist site…painstakingly rebuilt to its’ original size and material. This village was a thriving settlement for the Jesuits who explored Canada, and set up various enterprises to tap its’ wealth…including furs, and gold.

The Jesuit Priests brought laymen from France to the site to build a settlement for ministering to the Huron Indians.  It operated for about 10 years, and then, as the Jesuits were getting ready to flee because of the threat of a war against them by the Indians,  they burned the village.  The forest grew up around it and over the years Ouendadt disappeared.  

I first found out about Huronia in 1945.  A professor named Wilfred Jury at the University of Western Ontario began excavating the area below a tourist site knows as the Martyr’s Shrine!  My family cottaged in the beaches of Georgian Bay for as long as I could remember. One summer day my parents took a drive to Midland to see this archeological site and  I was hooked.  

I stood in a farm field bordering the highway and looked at a stone barn foundation.  Not too far from it was a group of people working with small shovels and trowels; scratching the earth, and every so often yelling about finding something.  

For two years, I spent several days a week in hot summer weather, digging with a trowel and finding things such as arrowheads and bits of pottery.  

We visited that site many times over the years and I watched as it transformed to the point it is today.  Much later while I was living in Midland I was able to visit the site regularly and learn even more about the village of Ouendadt in the heart of Huron Indian Country.

Talking of buried history, some modern history was literally unearthed close to two centuries ago. Actually, it was technically buried but remembered in memory.

On April 13th, l838  a vicious storm hit the waterfront of Toronto, silting in the Rouge River, Highland Creek, the Don River, and the Toronto Peninsula.  Suddenly the peninsula was separated by a 500-yard gap and it became an island.  The storm also did severe property damage, including the destruction of two hotels:  The Quinn’s hotel, and the Parkinson house.
This storm,  (worse than Hurricane Hazel)  whirled up the bed of Lake Ontario. 

An ancestor of my Mother’s (a great uncle,) owned a trading ship that plied Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  Its home port was in the Rouge River. After that storm,  Andrew Moon, I have been told, sold his trading vessel, and built an amazing hotel,  known as the White Castle Inn.  It was torn down and re-built as a motel sometime in the early 1960s.



GOD IS FIGHTING FOR YOU

Moses told the Israelites,
Standing on Moab’s Plain;
“God will fight for you!”
Years later, Nehemiah–
Told workers on a wall
“Our God will fight for you”
Remember in this time of pain
 Our God’s word is true,
And though you may not feel it
God is fighting for you!

{c}  Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner, Nov.2016

Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.

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