SOUTffiJOLD. INDIAN FORT AND VILu\GE Elgin County, Ontario, (South of Iona, Highway #3)

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SOUTHWOLD EARTHWORKS 23 (PREH I STORIC ) SOUTffiJOLD H~A P.':'If,VORKS INDIAN FORT AND VILu\GE Elgin County, Ontario, (South of Iona, Highway #3) Map - Survey by t-.. J. vlitenburge, 9.35 shows.the area
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SOUTHWOLD EARTHWORKS 23 (PREH I STORIC ) SOUTffiJOLD H~A P.':'If,VORKS INDIAN FORT AND VILu\GE Elgin County, Ontario, (South of Iona, Highway #3) Map - Survey by t-.. J. vlitenburge, 9.35 shows.the area to be approximately five ae!'es. Drawn by Dr. \~ilfred Juryt 944 Story - Excer~ts taken from the Story as wrj.tten by D..r. 'l'dlfred Jury..t. formerly formerly with t~e Department m Indian Archeaol;;gy, Toronto, now with the University of \vestern Ontario, Londorn. r.; (cl\ DlAGRAM OF SOOTHWOLD EARTH\'lORKS -~ STORY OF IONA EARTffilORKS '.-..._.E~gin County, Ont. _ ;:.~ -~:.::~--:--... \'lhen you as a tourist arrive at the ~-'!..,; :-.. :.,..\ : I If # '._.f,. -- # ' entrance of the Southwold EarthWorks, you,.,.. ; ':.. :._ ~ :...: :. : ::-.:.:. _ : ~; ~ } ; ~~:;.:'-:-:--: : ='~ ~-.' - ~ \ will find a gate of wood between natural/. ~ ;~~--...:.::.:.: ~-_. ~- e.. :-! ~ :- \ stone posts, and a plaque erected in /.:-; a*... _-:......: .. _: ;. _: ~ ~ ~:: :/.: : . ~...: '......, l9jo. You will then follow one of tw9-,...:: o. '. :~ ~:.:,,~ :.: ::... ~::,. truils which l ead back some distance/ :::'...:: : ;.' f-::~r~ ~r.. ~:~ ::_; ;:: --.':= ~;;:.:::,~---:. '.-.'; : - ;: =.~... j... '..., _~~,..,.,:,:.: ~: ~:... :-: \ to the sight of the Indian Village.. ~..-.. :,.....:: ':: ' cnd Fort known as the Southwold ;::~ _{; : c- ao,-; o ~ o~ oo ~,,o e Earthworks. Only a careful exam- r :,. ~:::: ~~ o ., ~;~ : \~.. : ::.. _', ., ~.~ : :. - ~ ~ :..-.. ;._ \ ination of t he CU'64 will reveal.; ;.,:,.. ~,. ~ :;.( c;.,_,. 0,. ::.. two walls, which run.in a circular..: ~r ~~ : :._:::. c o,... : : ~.. \ 0 shape among the t rees. A trail _ tj ct,: ;;, o e ::: o.. ~ .l c ::_\!::_.-_=. ) runs over the top of the walls..;,. 9 :.:: r~.. ~ .? i -~-- This sight is an unique hi~..: o.... :.: 0...,! , -~ ~ :-:.; 0 exar. ~le of a double-walled I:.;,. :,;,, :. 0...!.:,: abor~ginal fort. The pl~que J. .'.., t'l'.'.~ 6 v. ~~ ~ ~-. :.:. :::.:~~: talls the tourist in bot / t~ ~.-:, ,.... ~. ~ ~:.:.. o f.... :b;nglish and French that the f.. - ~~: a.l~ S,l.,J-. :.~::::. r !_;'~ ~ 0 0. o(a ) 0 :~ ;~ :i:' U.Attinwandaronk or Neutral ft, '/..,,.... t.qo!\r(\., :~ : :: :...,o 'co ~: : '~ t Nationn occupiea this region ~~... t' o o '.. v ~, ;t o Cla,.. ~,.:. '~?.f :-, prior t o expulsion about 650 A.]) ~ '?.. :) :::-~c(\ \ L e afy)., \';!~~ '~ut-.,. ~:~ by t he Iroquois. Prior to this,, :~: ~: -'-,:;,,,. .: o 0 ~ ' ; ~, t~ ' ' .~ / : it had been visted by French Tra de ' :-. ';.~,. ~,.,.~ oo e ~. ; I .., ,P.'.; but this earthworks shows no trace o... ;:.: ~': ;.:. ~. o ~.. ~ b ~-... :. ;' uropean con~act. Its antiquity and '\ ~- ',. q ~~ o~ oo., 'e -~.. _.T t...- =:. - ~ / orig in remain unknown. '\. : : :-, ~ -~. i ;:.. :r...,.~ c: ,.. 6.c,;:...:.~.:: :.~-/ t is described as a double-walled \ :t;. ~ :- i -. =., o o : , o.,, ~../ -.:-.: / Indian Fort with a vater filled moat betwe~.:: :;,, :.~.....:. () D e; ~~ e :. ;:; ~~ -;/ the palisades. The fort or village must have '-;: : : :_:.._.... oe... =.. ' / 4 provided accomodations for a fairly large number......,: : -:: ~ :... c. ' r .,~ot :.: ~ ~/ of persons - possibly 200 to 400 persons (.or maybe ' - -:---..._ :.. :~: ~ ~=::: Q l\.: :: oc ' ... : ~~. :. :., / tjjo to 700). It is one of several similar forts that must--...!...:.. ~ : -.. c o.. ~ ::.. ::.-,. :... oo.~: -,:-:: / ~ve been in existance in the peninsula between Talbot Creek ana,.:_: ~ ~ --.. :, =-.: :. : ~ -.::.: ::... /Trees - Ci the most lvesterly bend of KettJ:e Creek. No trace of t he other sites-...:~.... : t ; Post holes- ~ ~;:. ;.:- Relllain. These sites were about 7 miles apart. The Indians living t!lere '-~ ~ -... :.~ /..... practised controlled births by the knowledge of medicinal Iferbs. Both :/omen an~ :---.:. . -:.~._:,::.-~; _:,:~:: ~ ''/ Refuse Heaps-... ~. : - men smoked the Tobacco that they themselides grew. Excavat~ons showed deformed were - -. Pockets 0 ~ ashes... ::~ - put to death - ashes preserved bones utensils. - _ I Human rema ~ns - G~ According t o the History of El~ih County the Southwold Earthworks may have been the Limits of ex.cavated Area - sight of Alexis, one of the fiye v~llag es marked on Sanson's map of 6,6. The Southwold o so Earthworks are now considered to be t he only one of their kind in Canada. There is a similar site I t I a I I I I I I iu ~he u.s.a. These people made pottery and were users of flint, or flit workers. Eigh~ percent Scale o f Fe et. of the flint found originated in Ipperwash; Ont. It could have been aquired by. t r ading. Such a gr oup of Indians lived 7 years at one site, a nd then moved on to proceed to bu~ ld anew. 5 SOUTHWO LD EARTHWORKS 24 ( PREHI STOR I C) :, 0:-.IA Wr.st Elgin Bureau)i IPublir prrssurr. may cause thel\ ~ATURDAY, JU,~E~~5, 96~ ~-.0 nlario go\ crnment to do somebing a b o u l the Southwold I, l :arthworks, a rare historical ;ite jsl south of here.! Unless something is done the Soul hwjid Earl hworks, the retmains of an olci Indian fortress, ';:ill be grown O\'Cr by shrubs ::.d weeds so t hal Lhev can no l]onger be recognized. The site is now clearly markeel by signs. But all the signs have accomplished is lo make lourists an~ry. When they arrive at the silc ;nd fol lcw a bumpy road they f'nd up at a dearl-rnd ncar a hush. Two trails lead into the tt., bush. but unless it is. known t,;~' _t:,.:: :' \\ha l to look fo r there Js vcryl [it... lit tle to SN' lhil some hig trees, a lot or undergrowth and wrc ds. Onlv a careiul examination o[ lhe lrt'!l will revea l two earth walls, which run in a circular shape among the trees an d ' wl'eds. A trail runs right 0\'Cr tlw top of onp of the. wall_s. I :..., L-~-. ~...2- ' -.~~._,..; 2 ' The placjue erected J!l.lO at.,. tlw cnt r nre to the site slates.iol lhi'iiey OF FRUSTHATION- Tounsts travelling on Hlf',h I hilt the Southwold Earthworks \\ ;ly : sec this sign about one mile west o[ lona. If they are a ''tmiquc example of a clcetdc lo foll ow the route to the Southwold Earthworks lhf'y double - walled aboriginal forl.'' ll'l' in for a fr usi rating experience..unless they know what The pi jque goes on to tell the lc look for they will see nothing but trees and grass.-(t. J, tourist, in b o t h l~n g li sh and \Vest Elgin Bureau Photo) I Fr nch thpt '_'The A~t i wand ~r-! who unforttlnately died before ' Parker the Southwold Ear~. onk. or Neul.' a\. N a t ~n, occu- compiling his report. I works ~ay hc.ve. h~cn tlw st. panl_s of ths cg0n, P.l;or to ~x- A Times-.Joill nal story o( Aug. of Alc:.s. onl' ol, It\'(' vlllag_e_. pulswn nhout A.D, 6.~0. by Inc, I.!!5 2, drsrribed the Southwolct markecl on Sanson s map o( 6:-.h IroquOIS. had been VI~ Il ed by_ 'Earthworks as a douhle-wa ll-\ The Sout hwol l Earthworks ar rrench I raders, b_ut this C.? rt_h - ~ e.cl Indian fori, OI' Indian village, now consid red. lo. he tl~c onl: work shows no t are. o~ J:.u n- with wide ditch or moat bclwepn lone or theu hnd C;mada. pean eonta(:t. lls anllq~~ty Hnd the palisade type walls. I Tlw r~ IS a similar site in tlh J I ongm rrmaln unknown. The Jorl or rillagc must h;wc U.S.A. j T.\\Ei\' oven IN J9:;o providni accommorlations for a An official u[ thr hislori The last lime the government fairly large number of people, branch of :c Ontario govern did anything about the site was po ~sihly six or seven hundred. : menl told The Time-s - ~oun~al. in 9:l0, when it was takct over ''The S outh w o d J-:arlh- that a rrqucst to restore ~he Site hy the National Parks System. works is one of several simil:~r ll ancl makr il c;;sily acces! ~ ib le to I In the summer of 9:5 the s te forts!hal must have hn'n In thq public wol'ld be consl({crnl. was excavated by W. J. Wittcm- rxistcnee in the peninsula he Lcltl'rs ~hol:icl hp sent II{ the berg for the \aliona\ :\luscum tween Tnlbot Cr ek nd the most J secret;n.'\' of thr i\rrlwolog_iclll of Ca nada. It wa.s a deprrssion wr~tcrly hcnd of I rtlle c:rerk. ~~d I-Jislorical sites Roard, Torp: ojecl and n,ot very sattsfac \o trace or. the othc r ~ les re- 0 0, on:., only d_one. he nole_s on. the mai_n. Arcordtng to the h s tory of The offidal said that if re p:-;cavatwn were kcpt_m pnv:~lc F;lgm c,o u n l y complied by quests from local rf)sidents were shorthand by ~r r. Wittembetg, reorge h or m an and llalph.:ceived they would lil{cly he ealt wilh at the fall mr.eting.r the Board. The site should rohahly he turned into a pro ;incial pari,, lhe officia0aid_. _ St. Thomas, Saturday, April, 967 Dr. Jury Gives Us a Prod The suggestion by Dr. Wllfred Jury, noted archaeologist and expert on early Canadian history, that the Neutral Indian \ illage that used to exist at what is known ll(jw as the Southwold Earthworks should be reconstructed in the interests of history and tourism, is somethng with which many,p(ople will agree. This historic site, located south of Jona on the Dunwich-Southwold 'fownline, will l t nd itself admirably to the treatment that h;..s been given-under Dr. Jury's personal :.ttpervision-to the 7th Century Indian ' illage at Midland. This village is one of three tourist attractions of an historical vnture at Midland. Others are the Huronia Museum and the Fort Penetanguishene Museum. Paid admissions at the three his ' torical museums exceed 65,000 annually, giving some indication of how great is the iuterest jn early Canadian history. 'An excavation of the Southwold earth,, orks resulted in a large number of relics :-nd artifacts being discovered, and these would, in all probability, be returned by ;:.uthorities at the National Museum in O!tawa, now taking care of them. Dr. Jury estimates about $20,000 will be needed fo the restoration of the pro- jf.ct, with about half of this sum having to be on Jand at the stat of work. This appears to be a great opportunity for local people to preserve an area of important listorical significance, as well as to create a tourist attraction of a type, thts area badly needs. lf $20,000 is all that is needed for lhe restoration work. then this project is well within reach, Jf interested Jocal resi dents provide the right kind of leadership, the necessary support should readily be forthcoming. The fort or village must have provided acco mmodations for a f airly larg e 25 number of people, possibly two or four hundred. The Southwold Prehistoric Earthworks is one of several simila r f orts that must have been in existence in the peninsula between Talbot Creek and the most westerly bend of Kettl e Creek. No trace o f the other sites remain. According to the history of Elgin County compiled by George Thorman and Ral ph Parker, the Southwo l d Earthworks may have been the site of Alexis, one of five villages marked on Sanson's map of 656. The s ite is now considered to be the only bne of its kind in Canada. There is a similar site in the u.s.a. An official of the Historical b r anch of the Ontario go vernment to l d the Ti mes Journal that a r equest t o restore th e site and make it easily accessibl e to the public would be considered. Times Journal, J une 25, 966. Dr. Wil f red J ury, a l ecturer at Western University, London, ontario, a n d a n authority on Indian Archaeology, who has had the privilige o f reconstructing the Indi a n Vill a g e of st. Ma rie at Midland, h a s given several lectures on the Southwold Prehisto ric Earthwork at t he southern out skirts of t he vill a g e of Iona. There were, h e said, a p proximat e l y thirty-two villages of abou t 4 0, Neutral Indians. Their palisaded villa g es, where t h ey lived about seven years on one site, were about sevent een miles apart. These palisades h ad wa ter between the double banks, a n d the living quarters were i n the centre of the circle. These I ndia ns, also known as the Attiwandaronkr pra cticed birth control by their knowl edge of medicinal h e rbs. Bo th men and women smoked the tobacco they g rew. Di ggings at the site showed that they used a form of pottery, and flints. They were known as fl in two rker s, '' - 80 percent of which can be traced a s o ri g ina t ing from I pperwash on L a ke Huron. Their source could have beeh from trade. Ther e is no e videnc e that any battle h ad taken place a t this location. Ex cerpts fro m a l ecture by Dr.. (.Mrs. J. L. Healy- 967). Jury. BURWELL'S CORNERS, Nov. 2 - Southwold Township 'tarmer, Cecil Brown, has one of the most u nusual ta~ka In Canada. He looks after a double ~vall c d earthun fortification ll3 a national historic site for the Federal Government. There are man; forts throughout Canada, ' nnd possibly just as many care- ; p roperty is kept in good shape. takers. However, this former f ~ecently,, he has had the tenc stron t~hold is one of the few mg repal.red... built by ancient Redmen. Vandalism IS VIrtually un- In fact it is so old that it ~nown. ~onccrnlng un:mthordcflnltcly pre-dates the first Jzcd probmg of the tort, Mr. white men ln. this part of tho world Brown states: \t There Is no t wublc a~ ull. Mr.'Brown took on tho main- Persons who come to tho tcnanco responsibility baclt Jn fort are gcn('rally those with 030, when Dr. James H. Coyne an Interest In h l:~tory. Ml'. and other prominent historians Brown saw the v~luo of pre culminated many years of ef- serving. the site.\s a Y?Ung / Cl5 'f ' fort to obtain the site tor the man, recalling the enthusiasm natio, w. J. Wintcmberg, of displayed by tho late Dr. C~yne the National Museum ha d care- who had delved deeply mto fully excavated pprti~ns,of the Can.ada's earliest history., site, pronouncing it an out-. Smcc. the earthwo:lts buildstanding example of Attiwan- ers vamshcd.!rom the sec~~ ~y dnron workmanship. 650, there IS scn~t possbity During the year, Mr. Brown tha~ ~f r. Brown wtll ever meet takes occasional time ott from a vstor who can honestly say his farm worlt to cut the grass, that t heir forefathers lived at tend the t~ _ and see the this place... Newspaper clippi n g s - from - Th e S. Thoma s Ti me s Jou r nal. - TH E TALBOT ESTATE 26 On June 3, 803, Colonel Thomas Talbo t landed on the shore of Lake Erie at a s pot he deci ded was s u itable for headquarters from which t he Talbot Settlement would be est ablished. This extended over what is n ow El gin a nd part s of four adjoining counties. The spot h e cho s e is named Port Tal bot. In the early 800's, Colonel Tal bot a nd Mr. Mc Beth,a lawyer of London, owned t he by now extensive house and land of the Talbo t Estate. Co lonel Tal oot's Residenc e - Port Talbot l 86 0 s. Copied fro m a sketch of Mrs. John Graves Simcoe. Much h a s been said and written about the Tal bo t Settlement, which i s in t he area served by the Iona Branch of the Women 's Institute. Mr. and Mrs. Jame s Wa t kins lived there within the memory of some of us who are still present in Iona. Mrs. Wa t kins was a friendly and outgo ing person. They are are r emembered a s having been very hospitable p eo ple. Miss Clara Lumley (Mrs. Thomas Edwa r ds) of St.Thomas, often visited the home of t he writer particularl y in t h e summers. She, with Miss Alice Lodge ( Mrs. Frank Henderson), Miss Edythe Lumley ( Mrs. Duncan Carswell), Miss Laura Graham (teacher a t Southwold Schoo l Number 5), t h e two Lodge brothers of Alic e and others, were often invited t o Port Talbot and were entertained royally. The Ions Me t hodist Sunday School were invited to Port Talbo t to h a ve their games and sprea d t heir l unches on the Watk i n 's l awn. The mo re venturesome have been known to climb the cliffs. Any g irls caug ht by the boys on the Swing Bridge back o f the house we r e g i v en a good swing to their t error. Crossing the mouth of t h e Bi g Creek where it emptied into Lake Erie, was sometimes possible. When the sand bar blocking the creek's flow wa s absent, it was dangerous. Some members of this Sunday School arrived at t h e picnic with t hei r parents, others, more fortunat e came in a wa gon fi l led with hay. The food was plentiful and good - pies, cakes, fried chicken and ice cream - a r e remembered. In later years, 950 and a few years l ater, the Kerrs, who own t he farm now, allowed the members of the West El g in Women's Insti tutes to hold a summer t ea at the farm. These teas proved suc cessful and t h e funds raised hel ped to l aunch the El gin Mu seum in st. Thomas. An important feature o~ t hese events wa s a tour of the historical old home of Co l onel Tal bot. El izabeth J ohnson Curator THE TALBOT ESTATE 2 7 On May 2, 803, Colonel Thomaa Talbot arrived with four followers at the mouth of a small, sluggish stream in Dunwioh Township, ther,after known as Talbot Creek. He eiesed an axe, and, chopping down the first tree, inaugerated the new settlement. Woodsmen, Indiana and Halt-breeds felled the trees and broke ground for Talbot's first cabin. It was log construction, roomy, perfectly adapted to hie needs and became a stage for many of th~ dramas of the early settlement, its dangers, ita privations and triumphs. From an item in the London Free Press in 960. (Historic Houses of Canada) - Katherine Hale. Two miles due south of this fort is what is known all over Canada as the Talbot Settlement. Colonel Talbot came from Ireland and was given a grant of ten thousand (? ) acres o f l ~nd from the British Crown to be distribute d to settlers, in two hundred acre lots. If the settler required more acreag e, t hey could do eo by giving fifty cents an aore. This land was surveyed by Colonel Burwell, a right hand man of Colonel Talbot, and a registry office was built on the Dunwich side of the town line at Burwell's Corner, where a cairn by the Historical Society was erected. n 924. The inscription r e a d : Site of Re g i stry 0 f f i c e, County of Mi d d e sex, Pre v i o u s to Burwell's Corner is midway between the Earthworks and the Talbot Estate. Mise Victoria Munro (Convmor Historical Research- Iona Women's Institute ). ~Find ~ T race~.~~ Of Talbot's ' r,o First Castle What are believed to be the rotted foundallons of the original Castle Malahide at Port Talbot, built by Colonel Thomas Talbot In the yea 803, have been, d iscovered about 50 feet from the present house on the Talbot Estates, now owned by Colonel F. I. Kcr o! HamUton and his son, J ohn Ker. For m:my years past, there has been some ~uncertainty as to just where the o!'lginal house, which was actually a three-room log cabin, stood. The present house was built a little over a century ago by Colonel Talbot's nephew, Colonel Ail cy, and if reports are true, was not favored by the founder of the Talbot Settlement. He preferred his less pretentious liv- ng quarters. Recently whlle some Improvements were being made to the Talbot home, under the direction of J ohn Kor, the rotted f?undat ions of an old structure were located.. r History ecords how Colonel T alhot climbed the lofty embankment at Port Talbot, selected a site!o his log home and said: '!~~e.,.\'!llj ~TOQ.lit! By JOE 'MA'YAS of The Free I n ss While hisfory may have rcl crvations aboi.t ontrovcrsial colonial devcioper Col. Thoma Hans Talhot. posterity without resen ator makes him look good. While historians snatch at straws of :tht past to fi gure out what kind of man he relllh was, the Talbot Estate t cmains lo this an} testimony to the colonel's good judgment. The l:y of the lnncl th at once was Talb\:ll'r and is now Fred Ker's is almost too perfect to be true. The,200.acre tract is a rcmarka blc blend of fla( fields and rollins hills. The layout could not have been bolter an-anged hy agricultural planners desi~ning the ideal farm estate. Fred Ker. &3 year old r etired publisher o The Hamilton Spectator, farms the areas that are flat, leaving everything else in a natural slate. 'fhe result is a combination or natural and controlled environments a:; rlose to para. cti ~e as man will ever get, says Mr. l\''.. One striking feature about the estate is its boundaries. The southern boundary is. a lcn thy stretch of 00-foot bluhs overlookmg Lake Eric; the n
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