Excerpted from Beardmore: The Viking Hoax that Rewrote History, by Douglas Hunter, published Sept. 2018 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. On the hot summer night of 16 July 1934, a Canadian National Railways (CNR) train clattering through the boreal gloom of northern Ontario was brought to a sharp halt about four miles southwest of the whistle … Continue reading Beardmore: The Middle Claim
One of the enduring curiosities of early Canadian history is what Samuel de Champlain, routinely celebrated as Canada’s founding father, was even doing in eastern North America when he first arrived in 1603. From his initial appearance on the St. Lawrence River in that year, until his departure from Acadia in 1607 as the Port … Continue reading Was New France Born in New England?
It was early autumn, 1968, and a teenaged Dave Anderson was booting along a gravel road in a light-green Dodge half-ton pickup with his brother Richard. They were in the northwestern corner of the province, north of Kenora, on the way to a family trap line, when they saw something they weren’t supposed to see, … Continue reading The Ghost Cat
John James Audubon's Double Crested Cormorant The five men came ashore on Little Galloo Island, an uninhabited, 52-acre outpost on the American side of eastern Lake Ontario, on July 26, 1998 . The island was then owned by Phillips Petroleum and used for fall duck hunting, but as an Important Bird Area under New York … Continue reading Devil Bird
As symbols of cottage living go, the Muskoka chair is right up there with the loon, and way ahead of the chainsaw and the Friday-night traffic jam. I have one on my front deck at home on southern Georgian Bay, screwed together a dozen years ago from precut and drilled white-pine parts that came … Continue reading Chair Wars
The four hundredth anniversaries of Samuel de Champlain’s many new-world adventures are upon us, and will roll over us like successive Fundy tides until 2035, when this nation’s founding father officially has been dead and gone for four centuries. It’s an opportune time to do some historic housecleaning on Champlain, as the last big … Continue reading The Mystery of Champlain’s Astrolabe
Illustration by Douglas Hunter Habakkuk Prickett was lying in his cabin, his weakened legs aching from scurvy, when Henry Greene, accompanied by the boatswain, William Wilson, approached him on Saturday, June 21,  with the plan to overthrow Henry Hudson. Excerpt from God's Mercies: Rivalry, Betrayal, and the Dream of Discovery, by Douglas Hunter. … Continue reading The Hudson mutiny