Frog Lake Massacre 1885

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Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Scona » 20 Apr 2011 18:20

I'm going to start a separate thread on the Frog Lake Massacre (and other subjects pertaining to the North West Rebellion) as it is too many subjects to come under one heading. This is a carry over from 1885 NorthWest Campaign viewtopic.php?f=13&t=150

I made some enquiries that I'd like to share. Email replies:

In reply to your request for information regarding Frog Lake, I have located a hand-drawn original map and photo copied it for you. This map was drawn with the assistance of W.B. Cameron. I have copied it in color for you and will mail it to you through Canada Post. I will continue to look for information and either email to you or mail to you what I locate.

Tami Conley-Blais
Interpreter Officer/Coordinator
Fort Battleford NHSC
PH: 306-937-4424
FX: 306-937-3370

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I decided to scan and email the map of Frog Lake. If you have problems opening the document or if it does not print well for you let me know and I will mail a hard copy to you. I'm also attaching a copy of the Fort Battleford, Frenchman Butte and Frog Lake Management Plan. I hope these two items help you with your research.

(See attached file: Frog Lake Map.jpg)(See attached file: pd-mp_e.pdf)

Image

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In the scan that she sent I am able to zoom in or view a larger image of it. If anyone would like these let me know and I can forward the email to you.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby zerostate » 23 Apr 2011 01:21

Interesting map and subject - I'd like a closer look.

PM sent.

Chris

"Cookery is the art of preparing and softening food by the action of fire, so as to render it fit for digestion" - Instructions to Military Cooks in the Preperation of Dinners at the Instructional Kitchen, Aldershot, 1878.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Scona » 13 Nov 2011 18:27

This summer I visited the Frog Lake scene. With the aid of the map, we were able to locate the location of some of the buildings, including the church. Seeing the church cellar, which was just a hole in the ground in the middle of the bush, was very interesting, knowing that several bodies were found there. We looked and disturbed nothing, of course.
Apparently, more signage is forthcoming.

Image
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Scona » 10 Dec 2011 19:37

Regarding Constable Cowan's marker in the Frog Lake cemetery, Wayne Brown wrote:
Cst. Cowan's there when he should really be at Ft. Pitt, his detachment and where he was killed.


An interesting note from the book The Making of the Canadian West, 1898, by the Rev. R.G. MacBeth, former 2nd Lt., Winnipeg Light Infantry. He wrote regarding Cst. Cowan's burial at Fort Pitt...A few years since, when relating the story of the rebellion, I was glad to hear, from one who stated that he was young Cowan's cousin, that the body thus buried on that lonely bank was exhumed the next winter by order of the young soldier's mother, and taken down to be laid in the place of his father's sepulchre hard by the city of Ottawa.

If this is correct, obviously, then Cst. Cowan's grave marker at Frog Lake does not mark his remains. And I agree with Wayne, in that it should be at Fort Pitt, where he fell. I suspect that the RCMP had something to do with placing this marker. I think that I will write a letter to the contact on the sign pictured above and encourage them to remove the marker to Fort Pitt with the cooperation of all involved. Although, I have my doubts that they will do that. Perhaps a letter to the RCMP Historical section might help.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Scona » 11 Dec 2011 19:15

A photo of the Frog Lake cemetery with Cst. Cowan's marker

Image

My email sent to: melissa.austin@gov.ab.ca

I am a history enthusiast with a strong interest in the North West Canada Rebellion. This past summer I had the pleasure of visiting the scene of the Frog Lake massacre and took notice of the sign that indicated that interpretive signage was forthcoming, along with an invitation to provide input. Therefore, I would like to offer this suggestion regarding Constable Cowan's memorial marker which has been erected in the cemetery at Frog Lake. Cst. Cowan's remains were apparently exhumed from Fort Pitt in 1886 or 1887 and reburied in the family cemetery in, or near, Ottawa. It is my opinion, and that of other's that I know, that his memorial marker at Frog Lake should be relocated to Fort Pitt where he fell, in line of duty, and not at Frog Lake.

I'm sure that the historians involved with the interpretive signage are aware of most, or all, references to the massacre scene. But in the event that these references may have been overlooked, I'll include them in this email which will hopefully be forwarded to those involved:

The Winnipeg Light Infantry was a unit amongst the Alberta Field Force that were the first to arrive at Frog Lake following the massacre, and who were tasked with burying the remains. A description of that event appears in the book The Making of the Canadian West, by the Rev. R.G. MacBeth, former 2nd Lt., WLI.

Another book was written by Surgeon Pennefather of the WLI, was "Thirteen Years on the Prairies: From Winnipeg to Cold Lake Fifteen Hundred Miles" (1892)

Lastly, Archdeacon George McKay was an advance scout and interpreter for General Strange. He wrote a biography called Fighting Parson, where he described scouting out Frog Lake ahead of the Alberta Field Force, and stumbling across a body at Frog Lake before withdrawing.

Hoping that my comments might be of some use,


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In hindsight, I should also have mentioned that Cst. Cowan's marker gives a misleading impression that there was one or more policemen at Frog Lake at the time of the massacre, when in fact, the NWMP detachment left for Fort Pitt days before.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby opcmh » 18 Dec 2011 20:01

Thank you Scona for that, my J.F.Walters was at Loon lake and family story was the bullet wound was a result ot the Loon Lake fire fight. So interesting..... regards jack
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Wayne F. Brown » 02 Dec 2012 23:39

Just a note about the Frog Lake Historic Site's status. This past summer the Prov. Government created a tourist's walking path which features about 12 "storyboard" panels describing the features of the site and it's past history. This is located across the road to the south from the Monument and graves. This new addition deliberately draws the tourist's attention away from the history related features which still remain unmarked and hidden in the underbrush.
In addition I've just learned today that Frog Lake First Nations has conducted significant land clearing this fall to the east of the monument, in some cases obliterating significant 1885 features. The reason for the clearing is presently unknown. I intend on visiting the site as soon as the snow melts in spring to view the extent of damage.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Wayne F. Brown » 10 Jun 2013 17:24

Re: my comments regarding the Frog Lake Massacre historic site. Yesterday I was finally able to visit the site and inspect the reported damage that was inflicted by heavy equipment in 2012. The degradation inflicted amounted to someone walking a cat along the ditch of the gravel road which dissects the 1885 historic features of the community. It proved inconsequential, to my great relief. My apologies to other readers of the forum for taking so long to get this done.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Wayne F. Brown » 22 Nov 2015 18:55

For those with an interest in "collecting" I see on Kijiji there is the collection of Steve Andrishak of Elk Point for sale for $1.75 million or so. There's about 8 firearms, original copy of the 1885 map he drew, and a number of other things I can't identify. Only one which has $$$ like that would be the Glenbow. No idea if they'd split the collection into smaller units. You should be able to track it down on Kijiji.ca under art, collectables, Edmonton, Andrishak/Anderson collection. Deadline is coming up fairly soon ! No-one in the area that could pick it up so it would remain "local", that's for sure.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Scona » 11 Dec 2015 01:39

The only way I could see that collection selling is by being broken up and auctioned. The seller is in a dream world asking that much. http://www.kijiji.ca/v-art-collectibles/edmonton/andrishak-anderson-collection/1094205748?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby GrantRCanada » 13 Dec 2015 07:54

I'll say! :shock:
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby Dennis Ruhl » 27 Dec 2015 21:24

Anyone hear whether any of this sold.

$1,175,000.00 is an extraordinary value. My guess would be closer to $11,750.00 mostly for the rifles. I assume the rifles have no particular historical significance as they weren't recovered from the site because of their good condition. The 1886 Winchester is problematic for 1885. The rusty junk could be dug up with a metal detector at 1,000 farms across the prairies. I am unsure why random rusty junk from Frog Lake would have a premium value but I am wholly an amateur.
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby roconn » 29 Dec 2015 21:57

GrantRCanada wrote:I'll say! :shock:

The Hawken style muzzle loader looks a little too modern.....
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby GrantRCanada » 29 Dec 2015 23:01

roconn wrote:The Hawken style muzzle loader looks a little too modern.....

I thought so too at first glance, but it has a back-action lock (apparently missing its hammer) and I don't think any of the modern reproductions had that type of lock.

Listing says "approx. 400 items, so there must be more than the photos show .... although I would assume any seller would show the best of the collection in his photos ....

(Mind you, I'd also expect anyone expecting that ridiculously high a sale price would go to a lot more effort to showcase the items on offer ... and perhaps choose a sales venue other than kijiji!)
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Re: Frog Lake Massacre 1885

Postby roconn » 07 Sep 2016 20:08

Grant:

Every once in a while fortune smiles -- I recently received an 1854 Model Canadian infantry officers sword in not too bad a condition

This sword belonged to my Great Uncle William Fitch Lt 10th Royal Grenadiers who was one of the unfortunates at Batoche.

It would have been a stirring tale if he had fallen with sword in hand on the 3rd day of Batoche battle --- but it seems most officers

parked their swords at the rear in an empty barrel along with the Regimental Colours when the charge on the rifle pits began in earnest.

The old practice of etching the owner's name & regiment or corps makes this quite a family prize item.

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