Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The McKenzie Marsh Aurora Ontario

 The McKenzie Marsh property has been sold. A large house was built large amount of trees were removed and the land was poisoned grass removed and wild life dissipated.  In May 2020 the large house was in flames. 

I was asking myself what is the history of this land? Hard to find information about the history of this piece of land.

Who is McKenzie? Who built this lake? What was here before? 1900, 1800, 1700, 1600?  Records were lost, paces were renamed, the history even the recent history is lost. Who was the initial recorded Owner of the McKenzie Marsh.

In this area a University Professor of U of T was digging and found an old Town. He had his doctorate thesis based on the discoveries on this area. All artifact dissipated. There are only 4 pictures of the findings in this area of Aurora.

The Aurora Site, also known as the "Old Fort," "Old Indian Fort," "Murphy Farm" or "Hill Fort" site, is a sixteenth-century Huron-Wendat ancestral village located on one of the headwater tributaries of the East Holland River on the north side of the Oak Ridges Moraine in present-day Whitchurch–Stouffville, approximately 30 kilometres north of Toronto. This Huron ancestral village was located on 3.4 hectares (8.4 acres) of land and the settlement was fortified with multiple rows of palisades. The community arrived ca. 1550, likely moving en masse from the so-called Mantle Site located nine kilometres to the south-east in what is today urban Stouffville. The Aurora/Old Fort site is located at the south-east corner of Kennedy Road and Vandorf Side Road, east of the hamlet of Vandorf in the town of Whitchurch–Stouffville. The Aurora site was occupied at the same time as the nearby Ratcliff site.[2]
The Rouge River trail, used by the Huron and then later by the French to travel between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe / Georgian Bay, ran through the Aurora site.
Perhaps the busiest and best documented of these routes was that which followed the Humber River valley northward ... although another trail of equal importance and antiquity and used earlier than the former by the French, extended from the mouth of the Rouge River northward to the headwaters of the Little Rouge and over the drainage divide to the East Branch of the Holland River at Holland Landing.,_Wendat_(Huron)_Ancestral_Village

The Aurora/Old Fort site was completely excavated in 1947 and 1957 by the University of Toronto. The 1947 dig was the first student excavation by the university, and it was led by John Norman Emerson. Emerson's doctoral work was largely based on the excavations of the Aurora/Old Fort site. 

The lack of public records of the findings make me to assume that the University of Toronto is responsible for the destruction of the real History of the place.

The $20 million St. Johns Sideroad reconstruction project was officially completed on June 26, 2006. On this date local stakeholders, Town, Regional officials and staff attended the ceremony. The project was one of the most environmentally significant projects completed by York Region to date. It was a recipient of the Ontario Public Works Association’s 2006 Project of the Year in the environmental category and the American Public Works Association’s 2007 Transportation Project of the Year.

Aurora (2016 population 55,445) is a town in central York Region in the Greater Toronto Area, within the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario, Canada. It is located north of the Town of Richmond Hill and is partially situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine. In the Canada 2016 Census, the municipal population of Aurora was the 95th largest in Canada, compared to 97th for the 2006 Census. Aurora has been ranked in the top 10 wealthiest towns in Canada.

Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe gave the order for Yonge Street to be extended to Holland Landing in 1793, the first step toward the establishment of a community where Aurora now stands. Yonge Street opened between 1794 and 1796. In 1795, the first house in Aurora was built at Yonge St and Catherine Av. The government began granting deeds to land in 1797. By 1801 there were fourteen homes.
In 1804, Richard Machell became the first merchant at the crossroads of Yonge and Wellington and the hamlet soon became known as Machell's Corners. Charles Doan was another early businessman at Machell's Corners and became the first postmaster and later the first reeve. The post office was originally known as "Whitchurch". As postmaster, he was influential in renaming the village Aurora, after the goddess Aurora from Roman mythology.[7]:10[a] Machell proposed to rename the town "Match-Ville", ostensibly for the match factory in the town, but the name Aurora was more popular and ultimately chosen as the town's name. Flour and grist mills were built around 1827. With the coming of the railway in 1853, Aurora emerged as an important centre north of Toronto. The Fleury plough works foundry opened in 1859, making agricultural implements.
The community was first known as Machell's Corners and had only 100 residents in 1851. The population of Aurora in 1863 was 700, and by 1869 it had grown to 1200.
The settlement was incorporated as a village in 1863 with Charles Doan as the first reeve. Records from 1885 describe Aurora as the "largest village in the county" an "enterprising and stirring business community" with several factories and mills, five churches, a school house with 210 students, and two weekly newspapers. The population in 1881 was 1540. The population reached 2,107 by 1888.
 Total Area 49.85 km2

Aurora got its start with the opening of Yonge Street in 1796 by Governor John Graves Simcoe. The first settlers were refugees from the new United States of America: Loyalists, who had sided with the British Crown, and Quakers, who had sided with no one. In both cases, the newcomers proved to be both industrious pioneers and exceedingly loyal to their adoptive homeland.
Aurora’s big boost came when Richard Machell settled along the corners of Yonge and Wellington Street in 1804. He was soon joined by other settlers and soon, as was common in those days, a thriving hamlet sprung up around this busy crossroad. The community took the name, Machell’s Corners, in honour of its first settler.

In 1853, and to much excitement, the tracks of Ontario’s first railway arrived in the village. The railway provided a direct link to Toronto and encouraged growth in population and industry in Aurora. On the eve of the railway’s arrival, a mere 100 people lived in the village. By 1878, that number had risen to 1500. Aurora had become an important industrial town, home to two farming implement factories, three sawmills, two cabinet factories, and other business enterprises.

In a very real sense, the arrival of the railway heralded the dawn of a new age for the community. Sensing that, postmaster, Charles Doan, decided to rename the village Aurora, after the Greek goddess of the dawn. The new name became official on January 1, 1854.

William Lyon Mackenzie (March 12, 1795 – August 28, 1861) was a Scottish-born Canadian-American journalist and politician. His strong views on political equality and clean government drove him to outright rebellion in 1837 after a career as mayor of Toronto and in the colonial legislative assembly of Upper Canada (Ontario). He led the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion and during its bitter end he set up a small rebel enclave named "Republic of Canada," where he served as president December 13, 1837 to January 14, 1838. After a period of exile in the U.S., he returned to Canada and served as elected member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1851 to 1858. 

While Mackenzie was not a religious man himself; he remained a lifelong proponent of separation of church and state. 

William Lyon Mackenzie was born on March 12, 1795, in Scotland in the Dundee suburb Springfield. His mother Elizabeth (née Chambers) of Kirkmichael was a widow seventeen years older than his father, weaver Daniel Mackenzie; the couple married on May 8, 1794. Daniel died three weeks after William's birth, and his 45-year-old mother raised him alone; as Daniel had left her no significant property.

Mackenzie's mother arranged for him to apprentice with tradesmen in Dundee, but in 1814, he secured financial backing from Edward Lesslie to open a general store and circulating library in Alyth. During this period Mackenzie had a relationship with Isabel Reid, of whom nothing is known except that she gave birth to Mackenzie's illegitimate son on July 17, 1814. The boy was raised by Mackenzie's mother. 

During the recession which followed the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Mackenzie's store in Dundee went bankrupt and he travelled to seek work in Wiltshire in 1818, for a canal company. He travelled briefly to France and then worked for a short period for a newspaper in London. Lacking stable employment, at age 25 Mackenzie emigrated to British North America with John Lesslie. 

Mackenzie initially found a job working on the Lachine Canal in Lower Canada, then wrote for the Montreal Herald. John Lesslie settled in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto). Mackenzie was soon employed at Lesslie's bookselling/drugstore business. Mackenzie began to write for the York Observer.
In 1822, Edward Lesslie and the rest of his family, along with Elizabeth Mackenzie, joined Mackenzie and John Lesslie in Upper Canada. Elizabeth brought along a young woman, Isabel Baxter (1802–73), whom she had chosen for Mackenzie to marry. The couple were wed July 1, 1822 in Montreal. Isabel had 14 children with Mackenzie, including Isabel Grace Mackenzie, the mother of William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Edward and John Lesslie opened a branch of their business in Dundas, entering into a partnership with Mackenzie who moved to Dundas to be the store's manager. The store sold drugs, hardware, and general merchandise. Mackenzie also operated a circulating library. However, his relationship with the Lesslies soured and the partnership was dissolved in 1823. He moved to Queenston and established a business there. While there, he established a relationship with Robert Randal, one of four members representing Lincoln County in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.

The McKenzie Marsh property on St. John’s Sideroad in Aurora has been sold and landscaping behind the pond began sometime in May. Changes can be seen from the main boardwalk observation deck just West of the railroad tracks on the North side of the road. The pond is transforming and the standing trees and shrubs in the midst of the pond are progressively collapsing. Also note that on the East side of the pond behind the leaf-less landmark oak tree  a white cell tower post appeared sometime last year standing behind the water treatment facility.

Large Aurora house under construction on McKenzie Marsh goes up in flames

The devastation of the property is reflected in the lack of wild life Gooses that used to lay eggs here were not returning.
I believe that land destruction for the benefit of one person had consequences.

McKenzie Wetland (also known as Aurora Wetland or McKenzie Marsh), an area designated as a Provincially Significant Wetland and an important environmental feature to the local community. The McKenzie Wetland is a permanent home to numerous fish and wildlife species. Recognizing a significant opportunity to both protect and enhance the wetland and its functions along with the roadway, York Region implemented a number of key design elements to limit intrusion in the marsh and restore many of the impaired functions of the wetland. 

While achieving the transportation objectives, project design emphasized improvements to: (1) Wetland area, function and attributes; (2) Fish and wildlife habitat and function; (3) Water quality and circulation. Other technical innovations associated with the project included: (1) Timber boardwalks, viewing areas, education and interpretive signage; (2) Unique streetscaping elements including landscaping and decorative lighting; (3) Bike paths throughout the length of the project, which linked the Town’s existing bicycle trail network to the McKenzie Wetland and its boardwalk; (4) Widening the roadway to a fully illuminated four lane urban cross-section with curb and gutter, storm sewers, sidewalks on both sides and traffic signals at major intersections. (5) Railway safety improvements that included profile revisions and new gates and signals at an existing at-grade commuter railway crossing; (6) Extension of the East Holland River Culvert, a triple-cell culvert, with construction being staged to maintain stream flows without using dam-and-pump or flow bypass methods; (7) Tunnel construction of the East Holland Sanitary Trunk Sewer using a tunnel boring machine with a connection to the Aurora Pumping Station. This $20 million project presented several challenges that in turn provided opportunities to develop unique design approaches. This project complimented the surroundings by being sensitive to both the natural environment, while enhancing the communities enjoyment of the area.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

McGinnis Lake former Shamanic Lake the Petrogliphs Provincial Park and Ancient Man Cut Megalitic Stones

Petroglyphs Provincial Park is a historical-class provincial park situated in Woodview, Ontario, Canada, northeast of Peterborough.

McGinnis Lake use to be named the Shamanic Lake and it is a sacred lake for the Native Americans.

The Ojibway (Anishinaabe) people who have lived in the region for millenia. The presence of the First Nations people is marked by the largest known concentration of rock carvings in Canada. Cut into white marble rock face centuries ago, the 900 petroglyphs depict turtles, snakes, birds, humans, and spiritual images. This sacred site is known as “the rocks that teach”, or Kinoomaagewaapkong, by the Anishinaabe people. This park protects an area that serves as a critical reminder of some of the region’s most ancient cultural history. After seeing this amazing site, continue your journey over to McGinnis lake. 

Indigenous peoples are caretakers of Mother Earth and realize and respect her gifts of water, air and fire. First Nations peoples’ have a special relationship with the earth and all living things in it. This relationship is based on a profound spiritual connection to Mother Earth that guided indigenous peoples to practice reverence, humility and reciprocity. 

I liked this declaration of the First Nation. It is inspiring and should be regarded with respect.

A Declaration of First Nations

We the Original Peoples of this land know the Creator put us here.
The Creator gave us laws that govern all our relationships to live in harmony with nature and mankind.
The Laws of the Creator defined our rights and responsibilities.
The Creator gave us our spiritual beliefs, our languages, our culture, and a place on Mother Earth which provided us with all our needs.
We have maintained our Freedom, our Languages, and our Traditions from time immemorial.
We continue to exercise the rights and fulfill the responsibilities and obligations given to us by the Creator for the land upon which we were placed.
The Creator has given us the right to govern ourselves and the right to self-determination.
The rights and responsibilities given to us by the Creator cannot be altered or taken away by any other Nation.

McGinnis Lake use to be named the Shamanic Lake Nature Lovers’ Paradise

For nature lovers there is a wide diversity of trees and plant life, including red and white pine with pockets of spruce and other trees such as white birch, sugar maple, and red oak. The park is home to a large population of white-tailed deer, as well as smaller mammals and bird life is abundant. Bald and golden eagles can occasionally be seen in the winter. 

McGinnis Lake use to be named the Shamanic Lake  is a meromictic lake.
A meromictic lake  is a lake which has layers of water that do not intermix.

In ordinary, holomictic lakes, at least once each year, there is a physical mixing of the surface and the deep waters.

Most lakes are holomictic; that is, at least once per year, physical mixing occurs between the surface and the deep waters. In so-called monomictic lakes, the mixing occurs once per year; in dimictic lakes, the mixing occurs twice a year (typically spring and autumn), and in polymictic lakes, the mixing occurs several times a year. In meromictic lakes, however, the layers of the lake water can remain unmixed for years, decades, or centuries. 

The lake is one a few meromictic lakes in Ontario, an effect that creates different oxygen levels at different layers of the lake where only certain depths can be habitable due to oxygen depletion. This lake has a fantastic green/blue hue to it and it is not permitted to swim or use watercraft on the lake as to not disturb the water. 

 Meromictic lakes can usually be divided into three sections or layers. The bottom layer is known as the monimolimnion; the waters in this portion of the lake circulate little, and are generally hypoxic and saltier than the rest of the lake. The top layer is called the mixolimnion, and essentially behaves like a holomictic lake. The area in between is referred to as the chemocline.

A meromictic lake may form for a number of reasons:

  • The basin is unusually deep and steep-sided compared to the lake's surface area
  • The lower layer of the lake is highly saline and denser than the upper layers of water
The layers of sediment at the bottom of a meromictic lake remain relatively undisturbed because there is little physical mixing and few living organisms to agitate them. There is also little chemical decomposition. For this reason, cores of the sediment at the bottom of meromictic lakes are important in tracing past changes in climate at the lake, by examining trapped pollen grains and the types of sediments 
 The term Algonquian (also spelled Algonkian) refers to one of  North America’s largest indigenous language families. Individual tribes or First Nations like the Innu, the Micmac, the Algonquin, the Ojibwe, and the Cree all speak a version of Algonquian. 

n 1954 a prospector, Everett Davis, sat on this rock face as he surveyed the area east of Eels Creek and north of Upper Stony Lake. He had been here before but had never noticed anything special; this time the sun’s light hit the rock just right and the images came out of the rock – some recognizable as humans or animals and others more abstract or fantastical.  As he pushed away the leaves and moss covering some of the rock face, more and more petroglyphs were revealed.  He did not know it at the time but he was standing on one of the largest petroglyph sites in Canada.

The territory lies on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield and before the arrival of the Europeans, it was in the cultural transition zone between Algonquian-speaking communities (the Anishinaabeg) to the north who lived in small mobile hunter-gatherer (foraging) bands and Iroquoian-speaking communities (the Haudenosaunee) with their larger and more advanced agriculture-based villages to the south.

A number of the images on the rock have parallels with pictographs at other sites on the Canadian Shield which are known to be Algonquin or Ojibwe or Cree. Thus, placing the petroglyphs in an Algonquian context fits the evidence best.
Since carbon dating a petroglyph is not possible, the discovery of other datable material at the site helped set a rough parameter for when it was used.  Found in the crevasses of the rock were bits of pottery – the remains of small offering bowls? –  which were dated back about 1000 years, placing it in the Woodlands Period of pre-Columbian archaeology.  At the very least, this puts the creation of the petroglyphs before the arrival of the French in the 1600s.

In 1976  the Ontario government of the day created a new park – Petroglyphs Provincial Park.  Since 1990 Ontario Parks has managed the site along with members of a nearby Ojibwa First Nation whose ancestors first moved into the area in the late 1700s. Their present community is found on Buckhorn Lake southwest of and above Burleigh Falls.

1. The Learning Centre 
The Visitors’ Centre, also called The Learning Centre, opened to the public in 2002 and is where the visit to the site begins.  While the building has a small gift shop with various souvenirs and a movie theatre with seats for perhaps 80 visitors, the main attraction is a colourful multi-panelled poster display.  We spent some time reading our way through the various snippets of text. I had expected an introduction to the petroglyphs and their meaning to be the main focus but it soon became clear that there was something else being presented here.

Here is a movie regarding the Petroglif Provincial Park

The Teaching Rocks (1987) by Lloyd Walton 

 About Shamanism

For over 100,000 years, shamans around the world have perfected the art of traveling in consciousness to other levels of reality, gaining access to information that can seem quite extraordinary about how to treat and prevent disease, avoid negative situations, clear family issues, plan for our future, and more.

Here are few Shamanic Practices

A few of the frequently used shamanic healing practices are:

  • Power animal retrieval (restoring spiritual power to the individual)
  • Shamanic extraction (removal of spiritual intrusions or energies that simply do not belong)
  • Soul retrieval (reintegrating soul parts that have departed from a client)
  • Shamanic drum healing (allowing the healing power of spirits to pass through the drum to the client)
  • Passing on the power of the helping spirits to the client
  • Psychopomp work (helping/guiding souls who have passed)


 Ancient Machine cuttings.  Were these places ancient megalithic structures?

Stones cut at 90 degree angles .

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Los Haitises National Park and its History The Arawak and the Taino Native Americans to Dominican Republic

 The Los Haitises National Park

Covering an area stretching 1,600 km² (618 square miles), Los Haitises National Park is one of the crown jewels of the Dominican Republic’s national park system. Los Haitises–which translates into “hilly land” in the Taino language–attracts numerous visitors who come here by boat to see its magnificent series of 30-meter (98-foot) high rock formations jutting out of the water. The park also boasts extensive mangroves along its bay, which is dotted with cayes that are home to multiple bird colonies, as well as a series of caves known for having one of the highest numbers of petroglyphs and pictographs in the country.

You’ll easily spot the endangered Ridgway’s Hawk, the Hispaniolan Piculet, the Hispaniolan Woodpecker, the Hispaniolan Emerald, as well as pelicans, frigate birds, herons, and many more majestic birds in flight over the park’s extensive landscape. Los Haitises also nurtures one of the DR’s few remaining rainforests, once used as a filming location for the feature film Jurassic Park. Explore the park by boat from Samaná, hike its rainforest to view flora up close, or kayak along its lush mangrove system.

Los Haitises National Park is a national park located on the remote northeast coast of the Dominican Republic that was established in 1976. It consists of a limestone karst plateau with conical hills, sinkholes and caverns, and there is a large area of mangrove forest on the coast. Other parts of the park are clad in subtropical humid forest and the area has an annual precipitation of about 2,000 mm (79 in). The park contains a number of different habitats and consequently has a great diversity of mammals and birds, including some rare species endemic to the island. Some of the caverns contain pictograms and petroglyphs. The park has become a popular ecotourism destination but the number of tourists allowed to visit is limited.

The park was created by Law 409 enacted June 3, 1976. It was preceded by a Reserva Forestal (Forest Reserve) called Zona Vedada de Los Haitises (Los Haitises Prohibited Zone), created by Law 244. In 1996, its area was expanded from 208 to 826 km2 (80 to 319 sq mi) by Decree 233. Its boundary, which has been redrawn on several occasions, is uncertain. The bulk of the park is located in the municipality of Sabana de la Mar, province of Hato Mayor, while the remainder lies in the provinces of Monte Plata and Samaná. Sabana de la Mar is the site of a visitors' center.

The area was formed during the Miocene epoch of the Neogene period. Geomorphologically, it is a platform karst[2] with dense clusters of conical hills of nearly uniform height (200–300 m or 660–980 ft) in between which there are many sinkholes. The maximum dimensions of this platform karst block are 82 km (51 mi) east to west (from Sabana de la Mar to Cevicos) by 26 km (16 mi) north to south (from the Samaná Bay to Bayaguana). The hills of the interior have the same origin as the islets of the Samaná Bay. There is a multitude of caverns.

Hydrographically, Los Haitises spans portions of two basins: in its western half, the lower basin of the Yuna River; and in its eastern half, a zone spanning Miches and Sabana de la Mar. The Yuna drains through two mouths: its own and that of the Barracote River. In addition to these two rivers, the park is traversed by the Payabo River, the Los Cocos River, the Naranjo River, and numerous natural channels[3] including the Cabirma, Estero, and Prieto.
Mangroves in Los Haitises National Park

Los Haitises has two Holdridge life zones: humid subtropical forest (Bh-S) and very humid subtropical forest (Bmh-S). Broadleaf species in the park include "musk wood"[4][5] (Guarea guidonia, locally cabirma santa), cigar-box cedar (Cedrela odorata), ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), West Indian mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni, Spanish caoba), cupey[6] (Clusia rosea), and grandleaf seagrape (Coccoloba pubescens). There are many species of orchids. Los Haitises contains the greatest abundance of Caribbean mangrove, in which species like red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) predominate.
Pelican in the nest on one of Los Haitises islands

The fauna of Los Haitises is of great variety, and due to the park's diversity of physical geographic zones, it has the greatest diversity of fauna among the protected natural areas in the country. Two endemic mammal species, the Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus), are threatened with extinction.

Being a coastal and marine park, it contains a large variety of birds, including most of the species endemic to the country. These include the brown pelican or alcatraz (Pelecanus occidentalis), magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), Hispaniolan amazon (Amazona ventralis), barn owl (Tyto alba), and stygian owl (Asio stygius). Some of the bird species found in Los Haitises are not found elsewhere within the Dominican Republic.
Nesting birds island in San Lorenzo bay

Los Haitises National Park is a protected virgin forest with little road access. The number of tourists allowed is limited, but since 2000 it has been a relatively popular destination for ecotourism using ecological guides from Sabana de La Mar. Haiti (singular) means highland or mountain range in the Taíno language, although the elevation of the park's hills ranges from 30–40 m (98–131 ft). There is a multitude of caverns created by water erosion. Native Americans adorned these caverns with pictographs and petroglyphs.

Los Haitises National Park contains spectacular landscapes like the San Lorenzo Bay, the islets (keys), and the mangroves. The Cayo de los Pájaros ("bird key"), which is conspicuous for the virtually continuous presence of frigatebirds and pelicans circling low overhead, sits between the Boca del Infierno ("Mouth of Hell") and El Naranjo Arriba. Cupey is the dominant tree species and birds fill its horizontal branches. The wild banyantree (Ficus citrifolia, also known as shortleaf fig) and tropical almond (Terminalia catappa) are the other park trees.

Most visitors arrive by sea embarking from Sabana de la Mar (east end), Sánchez (north end), or Samaná (across Samaná Bay to Sabana de la Mar center); however, it is possible to arrive by land from the south using four wheel drive vehicles. A private highway is being constructed through the mountains and a new airport is being built in the city of Samaná to provide better access. The main economic activities in Monte Plata Province are cattle ranching and sugarcane farming. Tourists will find a large number of roads for sugarcane transport.

The Arawak 

The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples of South America and of the Caribbean. Specifically, the term "Arawak" has been applied at various times to the Lokono of South America and the Taíno, who historically lived in the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. All these groups spoke related Arawakan languages.

The term Arawak originally was applied by Europeans specifically to the South American group who self-identified as Arawak, Arhuaco or Lokono. Their Arawak language is the name of the overall Arawakan language family. Arawakan speakers in the Caribbean were also historically known as the Taíno, a term meaning "relatives. The Spanish assumed some islanders used this term to distinguish their group from the neighboring Island Caribs.

In 1871, ethnologist Daniel Garrison Brinton proposed calling the Caribbean populace "Island Arawak" due to their cultural and linguistic similarities with the mainland Arawak. Subsequent scholars shortened this convention to "Arawak", creating confusion between the island and mainland groups. In the 20th century, scholars such as Irving Rouse resumed using "Taíno" for the Caribbean group to emphasize their distinct culture and language.

The Arawakan languages may have emerged in the Orinoco River valley. They subsequently spread widely, becoming by far the most extensive language family in South America at the time of European contact, with speakers located in various areas along the Orinoco and Amazonian rivers and their tributaries. The group that self-identified as the Arawak, also known as the Lokono, settled the coastal areas of what is now Guyana, Suriname, Grenada, Jamaica and parts of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago

Michael Heckenberger, an anthropologist at the University of Florida who helped found the Central Amazon Project, and his team found elaborate pottery, ringed villages, raised fields, large mounds, and evidence for regional trade networks that are all indicators of a complex culture. There is also evidence that they modified the soil using various techniques such as deliberate burning of vegetation to transform it into black earth, which even today is famed for its agricultural productivity. According to Heckenberger, pottery and other cultural traits show these people belonged to the Arawakan language family, a group that included the Tainos, the first Native Americans Columbus encountered* It was the largest language group that ever existed in the pre-Columbian Americas.

At some point, the Arawakan-speaking Taíno culture emerged in the Caribbean. Two major models have been presented to account for the arrival of Taíno ancestors in the islands; the "Circum-Caribbean" model suggests an origin in the Colombian Andes connected to the Arhuaco people, while the Amazonian model supports an origin in the Amazon basin, where the Arawakan languages developed. The Taíno were among the first American people to encounter Spanish Conquistadors when Christopher Columbus visited multiple islands and chiefdoms on his first voyage in 1492, which was followed in 1493 by the establishment of La Navidad on Hispaniola, the first permanent Spanish settlement in the Americas.

Relationships between the Spaniards and the Taino would ultimately take a sour turn. Some of the lower-level chiefs of the Taino appeared to have assigned a supernatural origin to the explorers. The Taino believed that the explorers were mythical beings associated with the underworld who consumed human flesh. Thus, the Taino would go on to burn down La Navidad and kill 39 men[9]. There is evidence as to the taking of human trophies and the ritual cannibalism of war captives among both Arawak and other Amerindian groups such as the Carib and Tupinamba.

With the establishment of La Isabella, and the discovery of gold deposits on the island, the Spanish settler population on Hispaniola started to grow substantially, while disease and conflict with the Spanish began to kill tens of thousands of Taíno every year. By 1504, the Spanish had overthrown the last of the Taíno cacique chiefdoms on Hispaniola, and firmly established the supreme authority of the Spanish colonists over the now-subjugated Taíno. Over the next decade, the Spanish Colonists presided over a genocide of the remaining Taíno on Hispaniola, who suffered enslavement, massacres, or exposure to diseases. The population of Hispaniola at the point of first European contact is estimated at between several hundred thousand to over a million people, but by 1514, it had dropped to a mere 35,000.By 1509, the Spanish had successfully conquered Puerto Rico and subjugated the approximately 30,000 Taíno inhabitants. By 1530 there were 1148 Taíno left alive in Puerto Rico

Taíno influence has survived even until today, though, as can be seen in the religions, languages, and music of Caribbean cultures.[12] The Lokono and other South American groups resisted colonization for a longer period, and the Spanish remained unable to subdue them throughout the 16th century. In the early 17th century, they allied with the Spanish against the neighboring Kalina (Caribs), who allied with the English and Dutch.[13] The Lokono benefited from trade with European powers into the early 19th century, but suffered thereafter from economic and social changes in their region, including the end of the plantation economy. Their population declined until the 20th century, when it began to increase again.[14]

Most of the Arawak of the Antilles died out or intermarried after the Spanish conquest. In South America, Arawakan-speaking groups are widespread, from southwest Brazil to the Guianas in the north, representing a wide range of cultures. They are found mostly in the tropical forest areas north of the Amazon. As with all Amazonian native peoples, contact with European settlement has led to culture change and depopulation among these groups.[15]
Modern population and descendants
Arawak people gathered for an audience with the Dutch Governor in Paramaribo, Suriname, 1880

The Spaniards who arrived in the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispaniola (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1492, and later in Puerto Rico, did not bring women on their first expeditions. Many of the explorers and early colonists took Taíno women as sexual partners or concubines, whether consensually or not, and those women bore mestizo or mixed-race children. Through the generations, numerous mixed-race descendants still identify as Taino or Lokono.

In the 21st century, these descendants, about 10,000 Lokono, live primarily in the coastal areas of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, with additional Lokono living throughout the larger region. Unlike many indigenous groups in South America, the Lokono population is growing

The Taíno

The Taíno were an indigenous peoples of the Caribbean.At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas and the northern Lesser Antilles. The Taíno were the first New World peoples to be encountered by Christopher Columbus during his 1492 voyage. They spoke the Taíno language, an Arawakan language.

Groups of people currently identify as Taíno, most notably among the Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Jamaicans, and Dominicans, both on the islands and on United States mainland. Some scholars, such as Jalil Sued Badillo, an ethnohistorian at the University of Puerto Rico, assert that although the official Spanish histories speak of the disappearance of the Taínos as an ethnic identification, many survivors left descendants – usually by intermarrying with other ethnic groups. Recent research revealed a high percentage of mixed or tri-racial ancestry in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Those claiming Taíno ancestry also have Spanish ancestry or African ancestry, and often, both.

Groups, such as the Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Boriken Puerto Rico (1970), the Taíno Nation of the Antilles N.Y.C. (1993), United Confederation of Taíno People N.Y.C (1998), and El Pueblo Guatu Ma-Cu A Borikén Puerto Rico (2000), have been established to foster Taíno culture.[citation needed] Taíno activists have created two unique writing scripts. The scripts are used to write Spanish, not a retained language from pre-Columbian ancestors.[5] The organization Guaka-kú teaches and uses their script among their own members.[citation needed]

In February 2018, a DNA study from an ancient tooth determined that the Taínos have living descendants in Puerto Rico, indicating that most Puerto Ricans have a degree of Taíno ancestry.[6]

Frank Moya Pons, a Dominican historian, documented that Spanish colonists intermarried with Taíno women. Over time, some of their mixed descendants intermarried with Africans, creating a tri-racial Creole culture. 1514 census records reveal that 40% of Spanish men on the island of Hispaniola had Taíno wives. Ethnohistorian Lynne Guitar writes that the Taíno were declared extinct in Spanish documents as early as the sixteenth century; however, individual Taínos continued to appear in wills and legal records for several decades after the arrival of the Spaniards.[7]

Evidence suggests that some Taíno men and African women inter-married and lived in relatively isolated Maroon communities in the interior of the islands, where they evolved into a hybrid rural or campesino population with little or no interference from the Spanish authorities. Scholars also note that contemporary rural Dominicans retain Taíno linguistic features, agricultural practices, food ways, medicine, fishing practices, technology, architecture, oral history, and religious views. Often these cultural traits are looked down upon by urbanites as backward, however.[7]Sixteen “autosomal” studies of peoples in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its diaspora (mostly Puerto Ricans) have shown that between 10–20% of their DNA is indigenous, with some individuals having slightly higher scores and others having lower scores or no indigenous DNA at all.[8] A recent study of a population in eastern Puerto Rico where the majority of persons tested claimed Taíno ancestry and pedigree showed that they had 61% mtDNA (distant maternal ancestry) and 0% y-chromosome DNA (distant paternal ancestry) demonstrating as expected that this is a hybrid creole population.[9]

The ancestors of the Taíno originated in South America, and the Taíno culture as documented developed in the Caribbean. Taíno groups were in conflict with the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles. At the time of contact, the Taíno were divided into several groups. Western Taíno groups included the Lucayans of the Bahamas, the Ciboney of central Cuba, and the inhabitants of Jamaica. The Classic Taíno lived in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, while the Eastern Taíno lived in the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles.

The Los Haitises National Park Preserve is a very beautiful, untouched, lush Rain-Forest area.  This tour consists of a scenic boat ride across the bay to the Nature Preserve/Bird Sanctuary area.  The scenery of the Samana peninsula includes a number of small islands that make up the bird sanctuary part of the Park.  Many species of birds use this protected area to raise their young, safe from humans and other predators.  
Next we dock at the mouth of a larger cave with some spectacular photo ops. Walk from one end of the cave out the other side where the boat will be waiting at another dock to pick us up.  Once safely back in the boat we are on our way to the pictograph caves where we’ll pass through the mangroves swamp en route.  These caves are where you find the drawings on the walls from some of the original Taino Indians that were wiped out by the Spanish.  The caves on this tour alone are worth seeing because they are very large and carry a very unique history that's over 500 years old.
You can visit two caves Cueva de la Linea and Cueva de la Arena that have pictogrames from the original Tainos people over 1000 years old.

At the time of Columbus's arrival in 1492, there were five Taíno chiefdoms in Hispaniola, each led by a principal Cacique (chief), to whom tribute was paid. The Taíno name for Hispaniola was Ayiti ("land of high mountains"), which is the source of the name Haiti.
Cuba was divided into 29 chiefdoms, many of which have given their name to modern cities, including Havana, Batabanó, Camagüey, Baracoa, and Bayamo.[10] Taíno communities ranged from small settlements to larger centers of up to 3,000 people. They may have numbered 2 million at the time of contact.

The Spanish conquered various Taíno chiefdoms during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century. According to The Black Legend and some contemporary scholars such as Andrés Reséndez, warfare and harsh enslavement by the colonists decimated the population; however, most scholars believe that European diseases caused the majority of deaths.

A smallpox epidemic in Hispaniola in 1518–1519 killed almost 90% of the surviving Taíno. The remaining Taíno were intermarried with Europeans and Africans, and were incorporated into the Spanish colonies. The Taíno were considered extinct at the end of the century. However, since about 1840, there have been attempts to create a quasi-indigenous Taíno identity in rural areas of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. This trend accelerated among Puerto Rican communities in the mainland United States in the 1960s.

At the 2010 U.S. census, 1,098 people in Puerto Rico identified themselves as "Puerto Rican Indian", 1,410 identified as "Spanish American Indian", and 9,399 identified as "Taíno". In total, 35,856 Puerto Ricans considered themselves Native American.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Toronto Archaeological Finds at St. Lawrence Market North - 92 Front St E, Toronto

 The remains of previous structures built at the St. Lawrence Market North site had been discovered in advance of construction to replace the aging building. With remnants of former markets dating back to 1831, the find is a significant step forward in understanding the cultural and built history not only of this historic Toronto neighborhood, but the city as a whole.
 The current building lies directly across Front Street from the larger 1850 structure which National Geographic named the world's best food market. Markets, in several shapes and forms, have occupied the site since at least 1803, when Lt. Governor Peter Hunter declared the location a place to sell "cattle, sheep, poultry, and other provisions, goods and merchandise." It wasn't until 1831 that a permanent two-story building with an open courtyard was erected on the site, with the north end housing City Hall from 1834 onward.
 A massive fire in 1849 destroyed the market, which was replaced by a new building two years later. In an effort to rejuvenate the area, a new building was constructed in 1904, until again making way for the current one-storey building which opened in 1968.
 Preparing the site for construction, Golder Associates Ltd. conducted a stage 2/3 archaeological assessment on August 31. Three trenches, measuring 15 by 1 metres, were dug out beneath the concrete floor of the existing building, subsequently peeling back layers of Toronto history. Evidence from each previous market was uncovered, a discovery which had been anticipated and factored into the new building's construction timeline.
Remnants of the old foundation piers from the 1831 market are largely intact, a good sign of things to come, as the building's cellars are likely in a similar preserved state. Those cellars as expected to provide precious artifacts that shed light on the first permanent market's activities until its unfortunate demise in 1849. The 1904 market's concrete foundation, running north and south, is also visible.

So these old foundations are before the formation of Canada. Is it possible that we remove traces of history while removing these historical artifacts?
 History of Canada

All the former colonies and territories that became involved in the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, were initially part of New France, and were once ruled by France.

Following the Rebellions of 1837, Lord Durham in his Durham Report, recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be joined as the Province of Canada and that the new province should have a responsible government. As a result of Durham's report, the British Parliament passed the Act of Union 1840, and the Province of Canada was formed in 1841.

The new province was divided into two parts: Canada West (the former Upper Canada) and Canada East (the former Lower Canada). Governor General Lord Elgin granted ministerial responsibility in 1848, first to Nova Scotia and then to Canada. In the following years, the British would extend responsible government to Prince Edward Island (1851), New Brunswick (1854), and Newfoundland (1855).

The area which constitutes modern-day British Columbia is the remnants of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia District and New Caledonia District following the Oregon Treaty. Prior to joining Canada in 1871, British Columbia consisted of the separate Colony of British Columbia (formed in 1858, in an area where the Crown had previously granted a monopoly to the Hudson's Bay Company), and the Colony of Vancouver Island (formed in 1849) constituting a separate crown colony until it was united with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866.
 Robber trenches, aligning with the foundations for what were the walls of the 1851 market, were also found. A large flagstone sewer and two capped stone feeder sewers have been discovered and are assumed to have been constructed as part of the 1851 structure.

The northernmost trench shows several cast iron drainage pipes and a brick-lined box drain representative of the 1904 structure. An arched stone sewer from 1851 lies beneath. Each of these trenches is capped by the relatively simple concrete flooring of the existing building, demonstrating that construction of the 1968 market did not remove all traces of history associated with the site.
( this is the building in the back of the construction site is city property hopefully would not be demolished )
Stage 4 mitigation is the next step, which requires the complete demolition of the current building. Four levels of underground parking are included in the redevelopment of the site and it is not yet known which and how many of these artifacts will be preserved. City officials hope to eventually put many of the findings on public display.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Ghost Canal of The Town of Newmarket that contributed to the defeat of the Liberal Government in 1911

The First Railroad in Upper Canada On the first Saturday of June 1853, the first train came into Newmarket this was the first railroad built in Upper Canada. Called the Ontario, Huron & Simcoe Railway, it eventually linked Toronto to Collingwood on Georgian Bay, but that June day the tracks ended here.

1905-1906 Farmers and businessmen from all over the Newmarket district, angry at skyrocketing railroad freight rates, met in the Town Hall on Market Square to look for cheaper ways to get their products to market.
Their Member of Parliament, Sir William Mulock, convinced them a canal was the answer and so the Newmarket Canal was born. 
Newmarket’s civic leaders went to Ottawa to lobby for a canal linking to Lake Simcoe and the Trent Waterway. 

With Mulock as its chief advocate in Cabinet, the canal was approved and construction started in 1906. It was almost complete in the summer of 1912 – three lift locks, three swing bridges and a turning basin – when the new government of Robert Borden cancelled the project. 

The attempt to build a canal linking Lake Simcoe to the Holland River during the years 1906 to 1911 was one of the fore most topics of controversy on Parliament Hill. 

This  project was apparently entered into with an amazing lack of foresight, there being insufficient water to operate it, thus totally impractical. 

The scandal brought about as a result of this project and the wasteful expenditure of a large sum of government money contributed significantly to the defeat of the Liberal Government in 1911.
History of Newmarket

In June, 1800, Timothy Rogers, a Vermont Quaker, explored the area  around the Holland River and up to Lake Simcoe to find a suitable location for a contemplated Quaker settlement. The Quakers were disturbed as a result of difficulties encountered when this peaceful sect refused to take part in the rioting and bloodshed of the American Revolutionists. In 1801, Rogers, leading several Quaker families, left their homes in Vermont and Pennsylvania and secured land grants of 8,000 acres located at the east end of lots 93, 94, and 95 along Yonge Street in the former Townships of Whitchurch and King. It was easy for them to see the potential in these fertile rolling lands, through which flowed the Holland River, an important trading artery for both aboriginals and fur traders.

Having arrived in the spring, these first Quaker settlers immediately began the arduous task of clearing the land for their homes and farms. Indeed, By Christmas of 1801, Joseph Hill had constructed a mill on the Holland River at what is now Fairy Lake, around which the settlement to be known as Newmarket sprouted.
 It is possible that at that time the river to have been larger.

In its first 50 years, the community grew and prospered. Farmers’ markets were held regularly on Saturdays and were well-attended because purchasers were spared the long journey to York. Although it was essentially an agricultural community, it provided a busy centre for commerce and small industry. It is believed that the name Newmarket evolved as a result of the trading that took place, while York (not Toronto) was the ‘old market’, this new centre of commerce became the "New Market".

Many factors helped to shape this growing community. One which had a significant impact was the Rebellion of 1837. Newmarket was a focal point of discontent against the manipulations of the governing Family Compact, of whom it was said "were robbing the country". This anger grew to the explosive point with the general election in 1836. 
When the new "Constitutional Reform Party of Upper Canada" was defeated, and grievances of the settlers were not addressed, there was no holding back the tide of rebellion. 

The rebellion was quickly crushed and William Lyon MacKenzie fled to asylum in the United States. Two participants in the uprising were hung, one of whom, Samuel Lount, was from the Newmarket area. The death warrant was signed by Sir John Beverly Robinson. 

By the mid-1800s the fur trade had come to an end and the aboriginals were no longer trading along the Holland River.  

A local news paper, the "New Era", was started in 1852 and in 1853, with Erastus Jackson as its editor, was renamed the "Newmarket Era". 
With the coming of the steam railway the same year, Newmarket experienced another surge of prosperity and growth making it the
most important village north of Toronto.

Newmarket was incorporated as a village in 1857 with a population of 700. Schools we re built, many small industries were started, dry goods and grocery stores flourished. In 1880, with a population of 2,000, Newmarket became a Town and William Cane was elected as its first

Newmarket benefited from technology with the advent of the Electric Railway in 1902. The railway ran from Toronto to 
Newmarket and in 1906 was extended north to the trendy summer resort of Jackson’s Point. 

Newmarket was experiencing a boom, which was to last until the onset of the Great Depression in 1930. 
The coming of the railroad also cinched Newmarket’s role as the business center of the vast and wealthy hinterland north of Toronto. Communities missed by the tracks withered and disappeared, those with stations grew and prospered. 

Businesses moved here, mills and factories were built and the population grew. It has never stopped growing. The railway station was replaced with a larger building twice in the first half century. Today’s railway station was built in 1899 and has been restored by the Chamber of Commerce as a symbol of our business success.