Blue Water Healthy Living

Ottissippi: BWHL OTTISSIPPI Excerpts Ch. 8 #2

By Cheryl Morgan

Although it may seem like Ottissippi is jumping out of order, rest assured it is for a good purpose. Cheryl has carefully laid out the order of the next few chapters of Ottissippi so that readers will learn of the history before exploring further into Chapters 2 and 5. Thank you, Cheryl, for your dedication and in-depth research into the lives of our local Native history.

OTTISSIPPI is written by local author – Cheryl Morgan. It is the New Native History and culture of Southeast Michigan and beyond that has been untold. It was inaccessible due to the complexity of the many tribes, governments, states, and boundaries. The history was hidden and scattered everywhere due to time and the many changes of names of waterways, peoples and places. It is the result of 4 years of intense groundbreaking research that clarifies and reveals what happened here and in the Northwest Territory. Now available in one volume! Non-fiction 643 pages.

BWHL will be sharing excerpts from OTTISSIPPI with the readers every other week. The book is available on

It is available as an eBook with a searchable Table of Contents and in Print – paperback.

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St. Clair County and Michigan were once part of Canada under the British. Earlier, we were part of Louisiana and Quebec under the French. Quebec was a very large part of Canada, reaching to the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers.


“Quebec was the name of the region of Michigan, Southern Ontario, and more. This name signifies a strait, as does Detroit. Quebec was also the oldest city in the Canadian dominion and first Capital of that region, the place from which Cadillac and the first settlers came hither. It is derived from the Algonquin word Quebeis or Quelibec, signifying a strait.

Lasalle built a stockade called Fort St. Joseph at Point Edward. Cadillac viewed the ruins of Lasalle’s fortification in 1701.

In the early days, the waters of Lake Huron flowed into Sarnia in several channels, none very deep. In 1771, Captain Barr of Detroit said there were still two channels, one a league wide with a depth up to 48 feet. Today there is only one, dredged to a depth of 70 feet. The land contours on the Canadian side where the other channels once were. The Great Storm of 1913 almost reopened the second channel; a few more hours and the topography of Point Edward would have gone back 140 years.

A short distance below Sarnia was the storage boom for logs sent from the North. Now and then the rafts would be caught and twisted by the current, breaking them up, causing panic to steamers and delight to Indians who retrieved them for the sawmill at 25 cents salvage.

The gas buoy later marking the middle ground between Port Huron and Sarnia was on the site of what was once a willow-clad island rising several feet above the river. Different Indian tribes occupied the east and west banks of the St. Clair; and the Indians wishing to cross came to this island and made smoke signals. Erosion reduced the island to a mere spit, this was dredged out by the U.S. government.

Port Huron once had a history intertwined with Sarnia. The roads on the west side linking Fort Gratiot to Detroit were better than any on the Canadian side; so even the Canadians traveled on the west side, and the population on the American side grew rapidly after 1828” (Lauriston, Lambton’s 100 years, 1971).


“John Askin was the leading fur trader, merchant, and government official. He was instrumental in establishing British rule in Upper Canada which is Southwest Ontario.

In 1781, the British Crown purchased land from the Missasauga-Ojibwe tribe in a series of treaties that encompassed much of Southern Ontario and parts of Southeast Michigan. They made land grants to United Empire Loyalists (UEL) who left property in the 13 colonies to reward them for loyalty to the Crown and bring more British people to the lands of Canada. The UEL-United Empire Loyalists called “Tories”, started migrating to Canada and Detroit in support of the British Crown in 1776 during the Revolutionary War. The majority came after the Treaty of Paris in 1783, when the U.S. was given the land to the South in America. American settlers also came in large numbers to Canada for cheap land.

Patronage was strong with the British Tories; they were favored in all dealings, especially for military service” (History of Canada and Canada West, www).


When Quebec was split in 1791, St. Clair County (Michigan) was in Upper Canada, part of British Canada from 1763 to 1796 when Britain evacuated the premises. It was governed by a legislative council, appointed for life, and a legislative assembly, elected by the people. Representative government was not responsible government (History of Canada and Canada West, www).

The appointed legislative council was called The Family Compact, a group of families who controlled the government. The elected legislative assembly had no real power, their bills were defeated. This led to rebellion and change. The 1837 Durham Report called for more freedom and a united Upper and Lower Canada.

Upper Canada was from 1791 to 1841. Michigan was a part of Upper Canada until the British removed in 1796. Lower Canada consisted of the Northeastern part of Ontario.

“The French and Indians were without representation in government.”



Lambton County Ontario was Kent County under British rule in Upper Canada. St. Clair County, Michigan was also Kent County under British rule in Upper Canada.

Lambton County in 1842 was part of Kent County; in 1849, Kent County became Lambton County.


Upper Canada was from 1791 to 1841. It was Southwestern Ontario and Michigan. Lower Canada was the Northeastern Canada lands, bordering New York and Maine along the St. Lawrence River.

Upper Canada was created in 1791 when the Colony of Quebec was divided into two parts. Lower Canada consisted of Northeastern Ontario reaching to the Maritimes.

Kent Township in 1792 included Michigan, Illinois, and Lakes Michigan and Superior” (Farmer 1884).

“In 1792, now St. Clair County, Michigan was part of Kent County Upper Canada, under control of the British. Kent County was also called Fairfield.

The Township of Zone was New Fairfield. The British formed the Fairfield militia.

York is now Toronto.


The District of Hesse was created in 1788 and renamed the Western District in 1792. The Western District of Upper Canada was created in 1792. The District of Hesse was then to the South and included part of Southeastern Michigan and Southwest Ontario.

The District of Hesse – The British, in 1788, comprehended all of the inland parts of the Western Provence, from the south to the northern boundaries, including East Michigan.

In 1798, the British of Upper Canada divided Kent County into Essex and Kent Counties. In 1849, the Western District became the United Counties of Essex and Kent.

The District of Kent – In 1847, Kent County was changed to the District of Kent and was not part of the Western District.

Slavery was abolished in Canada in 1807.

Lambton’s first great wave of settlers came from Britain in the early 1830s. Many were tenant farmers kept poor by high rents, others were artisans whose work was being taken over by machines. Numerous weavers and a few military men who were granted free land” (Canada West Last Frontier).

From 1815 to 1850, the Great Migration came. Over 800,000 people came to Canada.


In 1841 to 1867, Ontario, Canada was called Canada West. Canada West at one time included Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Manitoba.

St. Clair Township became Sarnia Township.

Sarnia – Aazhoogayaming – The Crossing Waters Place.


“The Family Compact was the ruling government in early Ontario; they did not represent the people but the elite who controlled all decisions. They muzzled the press, ignored petitions of grievances, and discouraged education.

In 1837, MacKenzie called for independence, as did Louis Papineau. Both fled to the United States and later received amnesty.

This led to rebellion and revolt against domination from without and privilege within. In the Patriot War of 1836 to 1838, there were over a thousand, citizen militia, killed and deported to slave lands. Many men from Michigan and New York were involved, and government troops were sent to put them down all along the border of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Strait of the Detroit and St. Clair River.

The UEL invasion of Ojibwa lands came after the English traders. Promises were made that, if the Loyalists were permitted into Southern Ontario, they would improve the well-being of the Ojibwa. The peaceful acceptance of the rapid settlement of Indian and White Loyalists along the north shore of Lakes Erie and Ontario was typical of the way the Ojibwa comforted their defeated allies (adapted). The Loyalists did not appreciate and respect the generosity of the Ojibwa. The Loyalist promises of cooperation and peaceful coexistence were soon broken. The British government demonstrated some support and gave many promises, on the other hand, they took their lands. The death of Tecumseh in 1813 and the disintegration of the confederacy sealed the fate of the Southern Ojibwa. The hunting grounds that remained in their territory would be taken from them, radically changing their lives forever” (Schmaltz).

The Patriots’ War began after years of failed efforts at peaceful change to a corrupt government, finally coming to rebellion. Over 1,000 farmers rebelled. Many were killed and sent to work camps in other countries owned by the British. The war was due to undemocratic, unworkable colonial systems of the imperial government who were out of touch with and unsympathetic to reform” (History of Canada West, www).

“On the U.S. side, Hunters’ lodges (anti-British) were organized for Patriots, who were in sympathy with the Canadians. Many U.S. Patriots helped the farmers who were organizing to try to take over the country, as America had done to be independent from the Crown.

At the Battle of Windsor, hundreds of Patriots stormed the Canadian Frontier of the Detroit River. Some experienced death by flogging and hanging. Some leaders and supporters were arrested or sent as convicts to Tazmania, Australia.

Raids were made from the U.S. for nearly a year. Three hundred and twenty-five men died, all Rebels except 27 British soldiers. One hundred Rebels were captured and many were executed by the government.

The Durham Report of 1837 was the report on the affairs of British North America. It was written by John Lambton – Lord Durham, who was appointed Governor General of British North America. It called for more freedom and a united Upper and Lower Canada. It encouraged immigration to Canada from Britain to overwhelm existing numbers of French Canadians and French culture. It called for more progressive British culture. The Durham Report was the catalyst to change in Canada.

The Family Compact and the Chateau Clique eventually lost their power to reign supreme over the country of Canada. Upper and Lower Canada became united into the Province of Canada. The Durham Report was not accepted, and Canada would not get responsible government for another decade.

Land grants favored British settlers from Britain, as opposed to those with ties to the United States. Many were denied political rights. The Province of Canada began in 1841, uniting the Upper and Lower Canadas. This led to responsible government, democratic reform, and self-government” (History of Canada and Canada West, www).

“Sombra was the Shawnee refugee reserve. When the Indians were being removed in the United States, many natives were British Loyalists and were welcomed into Canada.

The Ojibwa Chief Shinguaconse reflected: ‘When your white children first came into this country, they did not come shouting the war cry and seeking to wrest this land from us. They told us they came as friends to smoke the Pipe of Peace; they sought our friendship, we became brothers. Their enemies were ours. At the time, we were strong and powerful, while they were weak and few. But We did not oppress them or wrong them? No! and they did not attempt to do what is now done. . .Father. Time wore on and you have become a Great People, while we have melted away like snow beneath an April sun; our strength is wasted, our countless Warriors dead” (Schmaltz).

Great coal beds were found at Corunna. The east side of the St. Clair River was very swampy, having many small lakes and marshes.

In 1800, John Courtney became the first White settler on the east side of the St. Clair River. His farm was half a mile north of the Town of Moore.

“Louis and Joseph LaForge settled at now Sarnia prior to 1807. Tradition says he was the first permanent White settler on the east bank of the St. Clair River. Early records show him as a fur trader who came from Mt. Clemons. His father-in-law, Jean Baptiste Pare, and another Frenchman, Ignace Cazelet, came in 1808. They chose the site of now Sarnia for the swamps and marshes nearby that were swarming with animals, and the tribes of Indians in the vicinity were friendly and were partly Christianized. Louis returned to Detroit. Joseph and his brothers set out to trap and hunt and trade with the Indians” (OGS/Hodgins).

“James Baby came in 1815 and set up a store and did lumbering. The first post office was established here south of Sombra and in Sarnia in 1837. M. Pare Cosson was employed by the government for 30 years as a messenger and mail carrier from Kingston to York (Toronto) and between Detroit, and Sandwich (Windsor), Chatham, Malden (Amherstburg), Ontario, Canada.

No one was yet settled on the Port Huron side.

After a while, the Brandimores settled on the Port Huron side but soon moved to the Sarnia side and built a house where the shipyard was later built. The Indians were friendly, the fur, timber, and other trades that sprung up were profitable. It is said these French settlers used to carry little bags of gold”.


Parties of Indians were accustomed to rove about the river and lakes as pirates, plundering the trading Indians and the settlers of their furs and other goods. They were finally caught up with by a large fleet of Indian canoes from Manitoulin Island. Along with other tribes, they joined battle in the St. Clair River above Stag Island.

The pirates and their allies were driven onto the head of the Island opposite Corunna, where a fierce battle took place. Many were killed and the pirates were vanquished; the Island and its shores were strewn with the slain. For many years, skulls and bones could be seen protruding from the sand, until recent years when the ghastly remains were at last buried.


John Courtney, an Englishman, is said to be the real pioneer settler on the east bank of the St. Clair River. John sailed in on a Batteaux and landed about 1800 and cleared land owned by Neil Simpson in Moore Township.

Many Old Country gentlemen and war veterans came to the St. Clair about 1830.

Some of the early settlers were Captain Vidal of the Royal Navy, who built a log house in the heart of Sarnia on Front Street. The only other houses were LaForge’s and the houses built for the Indians who used them for stables for their ponies while they lived in wigwams.

William Jones, the Indian agent, had a home near the Indian reservation. He came in 1831, and he later became the head of Methodist Missions in the Canadian West and invented the Cree syllabic characters which gave these Natives a means of writing for the first time.

George Durand came to Sarnia in 1833. He purchased 25 acres from Captain Vidal. He built and occupied the first store on Front Street. Coming through the forests on an ox cart, Durand did much to advance Sarnia and amassed a fortune there. A post office was established at Port Sarnia with George Durand as the first postmaster.

Peter McGlashan arrived a few days after Durand. He was clerk of the first court. He was later the inland revenue collector.

Malcolm Cameron came in 1833; he was the real founder of Sarnia. He laid out Sarnia Town site on 200 acres. He operated the largest trading place on the east shore of the St. Clair River. Sarnia is the largest city on Lake Huron in Lambton County. It is a natural harbor. At the Rapids in the early days, men and horses pulled ships through the shallow waters.

Roman Catholic clergymen from Windsor were the first to hold religious services in Lambton. They worked among the French and Indians along the St. Clair River.

The first Protestant clergyman on record is Reverend William Griffis, who was appointed in 1824 to the Indian Mission at Sarnia under the Conference of the Methodist Episcopalian Church of the United States. The British Wesleyan Methodists took over the mission in 1832 and had a mission house built.

In 1835, Sarnia, or the Rapids, had 44 taxpayers. Sarnia was the Roman name for the Island of Guernsey.

St. Clair Township in Ontario became Sarnia Township in 1839.

Lambton County was formed in 1849, named after John Lambton – Lord Durham – who brought reform to the corrupt government.

The British North America Act in 1867 unified the Dominion of Canada.

An annual agricultural fair was held from 1846 to 1940.

“Point Edward, where Fort Edward was on 1,000 acres, became the Grand Trunk Railroad Company Town” (MI Historical Commission, John M. Munson, MI Room SCC Library).

“The Huron Company obtained and sold much land in Lambton County.

Transacting business and voting in the early days required a long journey and involved many days. There were many ferries operating between Canada and the U.S. side of the River St. Clair.

Moore Township was named for Sir John Moore, a military hero. For many years, Mooretown was the most important settlement below Sarnia. It was established by James Baby Jr., who built a store, and business places were established. Most articles were handmade, and shops manufactured as well as sold the goods.

James Baby came from the Sandwich/Detroit area in 1815. He inherited land from his grandfather, from Chenail Escarte to Port Lambton. They built the first Catholic church, Eglise De Sacre Couer, in Lambton County in 1827. Baby’s timber business loaded many vessels at Baby’s Point in South Sombra Township.

At Port Lambton, Duncan McDonald from Ohio came in 1820; his son erected a steam mill and was a leading business man. Port Lambton was described as ‘the liveliest little river town South of Sarnia.’ There were many mills here. All were steam operated. A continuous dock, 45 feet long, fronted the village. There was a customs house and storehouses and warehouses.

In 1821, Abraham Smith and Samuel H. Burnham located on the site of Sombra. Two French families had been there for years, Beauchamp and Matavie. Angus McDonald was south of them, and Alex Kerby was north of the settlement.

Alexander McKenzie was Canada’s second prime minister. He was a Reform Party leader. He became the leader of the Liberal Party. He went from being a stonemason to Prime Minister; he was also Minister of Public Works. He created many changes in the government of Canada, making fair laws for the people.

Point Edward was named for Prince Edward, Queen Victoria’s father. One thousand acres was a military reserve. Land was leased here. It became Grand Trunk Railroad land.

Rum running was a large business during the U.S. Prohibition of 1919 to 1933. Bootlegging and rum running was the major pastime along the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers. Canadian liquor supplied many large cities in the U.S.A. Boat houses, marshes, and haystacks along the river provided bases to smuggle Canadian whiskey to America. It was impossible to control the easy access, and many officials were involved in the illegal activity. Hardened criminals and major crime organizations came to transport liquor to Chicago and other large cities. This was dangerous business.

The Canada Company formed in 1826; it had purchased a million acres in Bosanquet, Huron County, and Perth County, known as the Huron Tract, plus clerical land throughout the Colonies.

In the twenty-first century, the Canadian government awarded the Mississauga First Nation nearly 145 million in settlement of a land claim because of the Crown’s underpayment in the 1700s.


Salt wells were found in Ontario and the Michigan Basin; they became a large industry. There are 70 caverns in Ontario used for storing hydrocarbons, oil, gas, benzene, methane, and natural gas. There are 112 salt wells in Ontario. Benzene is a petroleum derivative used in making plastic. It is a very toxic chemical. Hydrocarbons are liquid petroleum products.

Salt layers were deposited on the floor of the ancient sea. The Michigan Basin was a great salt lake, a Salt Basin” (Terry Carter, Petroleum Resource Center, London, Ont).

Natural gas is also a large industry in Ontario.

“James Miller Williams dug the first successful oil well in North America in 1858. The Enniskillen County Ontario lands contained gum beds. Williams was searching for a source of fresh water, and he struck oil. The oil industry began in Ontario during the 1860s. There were no automobiles, and plastic had not been invented. What was needed was a new source for lighting oil lamps. Whale oil was becoming scarce and expensive. In 1854, Abraham Geesner discovered a way to make lamp oil from petroleum and called it kerosene. Crude oil was used for making asphalt. James Miller Williams Inc. began his refining company called The Canadian Oil Company (the world’s first integrated oil company) which operated in Hamilton. This market would change the lives of millions. He was the pioneer of oil refining, the Father of the Petroleum Industry in Canada.

This was the first place in Canada and North America to drill commercially for oil. The knowledge acquired here led to oil drillers from Sarnia traveling the world, teaching other nations how to drill for oil” (Sarnia, Wickipedia, www). Massive growth of the petrol industry followed.

The first refinery in Sarnia was called the Liverpool Oil Company. In the 1860s, a plank road was used to haul crude oil to the refineries.

Imperial Oil started in 1880 when sixteen oil producers formed a corporation. A majority interest was sold to Standard Oil in the U.S.A. J.D. Rockefeller, an American business man, purchased the company in 1891 and moved it from London to Sarnia. The original commodity was kerosene for lighting. Since then, 328 other products were made from oil. They had 650 patents awarded. In the 1950s, the first petrochemical plant in Sarnia produced polyethylene for making plastic.

A smaller oil company began in Petrolia, Ontario in 1901 and produced gasoline called “White Rose”.

The IP pipeline reached Sarnia in 1953. Oil flows into Sarnia from Alberta, Canada.

Sunoco and Shell built a large pipeline to bring oil to Sarnia for refining.

Polymer was a synthetic product used to make rubber and plastic. The natural supply for rubber had been cut off when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1942. All the necessary products for making it were available here, including petroleum and benzene. The St. Clair River provided the transportation, cooling water, and brine. Polymer was built almost overnight and was incorporated in 1942. It was considered an engineering miracle due to its complexity. The company put out 5,000 tons of rubber a month. It was a Crown Company until 1971. It was sold to the Canadian Development Company and renamed “Polysar” in 1976.

Nova Chemical, Bayer, Cabot Corp., Ethyl Corp., Lanxess, and Dow Chemical came to Sarnia. Dow ceased operations at Sarnia in 2009. They decommissioned the land and sold it to neighboring Trans Alta Energy Corporation to produce power and steam for industry, the largest natural gas generation plant in Canada. The Blue Water Energy Park was created on the former Dow site. Lanxess produced 150,000 tons of butyl rubber annually, the sole producer of regulatory approved food grade butyl rubber for chewing gum. They also created the Bio Industrial Park at Sarnia.

The complex of refining and chemical companies is called Chemical Valley. It has the highest level of air pollution of any Canadian city. The area east of Chemical Valley has no vegetation. Families nearby the plants have had health issues from being exposed to various chemicals being released into the atmosphere and the water, causing significant air and water pollution. The Ojibwe reservation people have had reproductive problems and are the only place in the world where girl children are born at a three to one ratio over boys.

Enbridge Solar Power is the largest in the world.

Research Park is the Canadian center of commercial and biotechnology. It was known as the hub of the Great Lakes, the center of trade and culture.

The First Nations Three Fires Confederacy Council controlled much of the area. Farming was the major occupation until 1921.

The first paved highway in Lambton was in 1929 from Sarnia to London, having a concrete surface.

The Bluewater Bridge was built in 1937 to 1938 and opened in 1938. The second span of the Blue Water Bridge construction began in 1995 and opened in 1997. It was part of the great highway system between Montreal and Chicago, Illinois. It is 1,883 meters or 6,178 feet in length. Thousands attended the grand opening.

The Sarnia-Port Huron border crossing is the fourth busiest border crossing in Ontario, Canada.

In 1841, there were 610 people in Sarnia. In 1871, there were 2,929 people in Sarnia. Port Sarnia expanded throughout the nineteenth century. The name was changed to Sarnia.

Timber and the discovery of oil, along with the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1859, stimulated growth.

In 1890, the tunnel was built between Sarnia and Port Huron, Michigan. This was the marvel of the world at the time. It created much better routing of trains. The work was done by men and mules. It was the first railroad tunnel ever constructed under a river, through developing original technology for execution in a compressed air environment. The Excalibur Boring Machine was used to bore the tunnel under the St. Clair River.

In 1914, an act was passed to incorporate the city of Sarnia. The population was 10,985 in six wards.

The grain elevators at Sarnia ship all over the world.

Holmes Foundry was established in 1919. It was a major producer of cast products for automobiles, agricultural equipment, and defense. The main customer was Ford Motor Company.

Muellers was a brass plumbing and goods plant in Sarnia. The owner, Hieronymus Mueller, was from Germany. It was the second industry to be built in Chemical Valley.

Prestolite/Autolite began operations in Point Edward in 1930, one of 30 plants, producing starting motors and generators for the auto industries.

“Historically there were high incidences of chemical spills to the River St. Clair; those have been greatly reduced. However, spills still occur. Monitoring equipment was installed in many water intake plants. The Huron to Erie drinking water monitoring network has greatly improved notification to the public. Undesirable surface scum, suspended solids, and other unsightly flotsam are no longer a problem in the St. Clair River. Dredge spoils of the shipping channel since 1992 show no contamination that requires hazardous material disposal. Due to historical industrial contamination of sediments near the Canadian shoreline, navigational dredging is still restricted in Canada” (Friends of the St. Clair River Watershed).

In 1940, women get to vote.

The TransCanada pipeline crosses Canada in 1958, carrying natural gas. In 1982, the TransCanada highway opens.


“Land was acquired as it was needed for new settlers.

In 1790, the McKee Treaty ceded a large portion of Western Ontario for the United Empire Loyalists. Most of Lambton County was yet Indian land.

After the American Revolution, the British government faced the problem of finding homes for the United Empire Loyalists; many of them had given their all for loyalty to the motherland. The Mississauga’s of the territory, including most of the present counties of Essex, Kent, Elgin, West Middlesex, and the southern fringe of Lambton Counties, were the landowners. The treaty was signed by the chiefs of the Ottawa, Chippewa-Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Hurons.

The price of $1,200 was paid in trade goods, including blankets, scarlet cloth, ribbons, thread, black silk handkerchiefs, guns and ammunition, looking glasses, fish hooks, brass kettles, scissors, horn and ivory combs, fire steels, 39 gallons of rum, a bullock, 400 pounds of tobacco, 24 lace hats, 11, gross of pipes, and two, gross of knives” (Barnes, Lambton).

In 1796, land along the St. Clair River of about 46,000 acres was ceded to be used as Shawnee Loyalist land.

In July of 1827, Chief Joshua Wawanosh and 17 lesser chiefs ceded 2,200,000 acres of land to the Crown. This was called, Treaty Number, 27 ½, or the Amhurstburg Treaty. The treaty was to be paid in trade goods. Four reserves were retained.

In 1825, in the treaty negotiations under Chief Wawanosh, Head Chief of the Sarnia Chippewa, the chiefs and principal men had insisted that four land reserves be kept for the tribe, including Sauble River Reserve, Kettle Point Reserve, Sarnia Reserve, and Walpole Reserve, consisting of about 25,505 acres. (See “Chapter 10: Reserves and Indian Lands” and “Chapter 11: Mounds and Treaties” Chapters.

Elected chiefs replaced hereditary chiefs beginning in 1876, and in 1951, Indian women were given the vote for chiefs and counselors.

In 1954, the Indians were granted voting privileges, and in 1962, they were given federal voting privileges.

Before construction began in 1995, the ancient aboriginal fishing campsites were excavated and salvaged. There were several layers of debris here, including pottery, stone tools, and food remains, representing the middle woodland occupation dating from 200 B.C. to 600 A.D. The Algonquins used this site and the west shore sites opposite on the American side for their great fishing camp.

The Crawford site was discovered in 1947. It was an Iroquois village overlooking the Ausable River and the bog. The Parker Earthworks site is near Corunna; it was an Algonquin Indian site in 1400 to 1600 A.D. The Thedford, site 11, was a Palaeo – first peoples – Indian site. The site covers 700 meters. Barnes points were found here, a fish tail form. Fluted bifaces were also found.

Ipperwash is found in “Chapter 10: Reserves and Indian Lands”, as are the other reservations in Lambton County, Ontario.


Norman “Red” Ryan, a notorious gangster, spent most of his life in and out of jail and prison. He was known for armed robbery, safecracking, and other major theft. He killed six people in his lifetime. He had conned Prime Minister R.B. Bennett into believing he was a changed man. Shortly after his parole in 1935, he was back at his old line of trouble, robbing stores across the Province. A notorious bandit, Red Ryan – and his partner in crime, Harry Checkly – made a career out of robbing. In 1936, they were in Sarnia where they were going to rob a Christina Street liquor store. Police Officer John Lewis was fatally shot by the two masked men. Ryan and Checkly were shot dead in a liquor store in Sarnia, an officer shooting him three times.


We will return in two weeks with Chapter 7 Part II, #1: The Forts, Indian Captives, and American Biography.



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This book came about after a visit to the library where I could not find local Indian History. I grew up in the St. Clair and Black River area of Michigan, fishing on all the area waters with my father and brothers. I loved books, libraries, horses and puzzles; I was not a tech person. I love to cook, garden, travel, and camp. I was determined to find and share the truth. This has been a difficult journey in every way. I give you, the reader, the truth and blessings I also reaped. Cheryl Morgan

Cheryl Morgan lives near Port Huron, Michigan with her husband Tom and dog Fred.

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