Up Snake Creek Without A Paddle

Up Snake Creek Without A Paddle

We recently completed our historical trip up Snake Creek Quebec – not by canoe and paddle- but with ATVs – and saw some fascinating sites. We stopped at the Morin site where the murders I wrote about recently took place and the Hawkesbury and Morel farms that were involved. The latter two have been abandoned with little indication of their previous existence.

David Dunlap (L) & Moffat Dunlap (R) at the foundation of the   former site of the Dunlap Estate on Lac Marin Quebec 1910-30. D. Mackey photo

I will walk briefly you through our trip beginning on Friday afternoon and ending Saturday evening. The 2 David A. Dunlap grandsons, David and Moffat mentioned in a recent article came early and shared a lot of artefacts prior to the arrival of several other participants in the excursion project. The 3 of us actually stayed overnight at the Nature’s Harmony Lodge on Snake Creek, Ontario where the Friday events took place.

Owners Jen and Tzach Elnecave provided a gourmet meal for 10 of us prior to our evening session with several additional people,where we prepared for the next day excursion

At that session David Dunlap presented a copy of his grandfather’s 1924 book on his family life at his extensive complex on Shahwandagooze Lake (now Lac Marin) in the first half of the last century. It is a beautiful rare book with several fine prints by the well known artist Thoreau Macdonald. Jack Whalen the chair of the Mattawa Museum Board accepted the book for the museum. Plans are in the works for a mining display on David A. Dunlap and the Timmins brothers’ mining achievements in the early 1900s. David was a Mattawa lawyer who worked with the Timmins brothers to develop properties in Cobalt and several other locations making them and others wealthy.

David Dunlap (L), June and Richard Watson (Memewin Lodge owners) and   Moffat Dunlap visiting Memewin Lodge where the Dunlaps spent a lot of their   youth. D. Mackey photo.

After the presentation the Dunlaps were also presented with copies of Gerry Therrien’s book Mattawa Our Timeless Tour and Clermont Duval presented two prints of a painting he did of the waterfalls on Snake Creek Quebec. Clermont lived there in the early 1960s when his family lumbered there. Jack Whalen presented a print of Mattawa by the rogue priest Father Paradis as painted in 1886 about the time Dunlap came to Mattawa as a 22 year old lawyer.

The Dunlaps showed a video of movies taken in the 1920s on their grandfather’s wilderness estate and the Shawahndahgooze Hunting and Fishing Club nearby where he was a member. The Club had a 9 hole golf course. The original Dunlap estate is now gone but the Club remains. David Moffat Dunlap the only son of lawyer David A. Dunlap established his own camp in the 1940s on Lake Memewin several miles from the original estate. Film of the Memewin era was included in the video. The evening included more “show and tell” and lengthy conversations.

The Shawahndahgooze Hunting & Fishing Club 7 miles up Snake Creek   Quebec.Submitted photo

On Saturday morning the people going on the excursion gathered for breakfast at Nature’s Harmony and headed for Jeff Jodouin’s barge on the Ottawa River for our trip across the river. When we got across we were greeted by several waiting ATVs arranged for by Jeff Jodouin and Conrad Duhaime who is the caretaker at the current Shawahndahgooze Club. Conrad brought his passenger van and his two sons brought ATVs. Jeff’s son and daughter Marc and Kim and Kim’s friend Jocelyn Michaud along with David Mayer were on hand to prepare lunch for us later at Jeff’s camp. Jack Edwards and Jeff Jodouin also brought their ATVs. As you can guess we could not have done the trip without a lot of help from these good people.

We took the opportunity to see the beautiful waterfalls at the river and headed for the Shawandahgooze club seven miles up the Creek. After a full visit there hosted by Fern Duhaime we headed on another barge and motorboat up the lake to the site of the old Dunlap estate. Lots of conversation and photos throughout.

We then headed back down to a sideroad near the river and headed for an afternoon visit at Memewin Lodge. Richard Watson, Memewin’s owner was there to lead the way. We stopped on the way and had lunch at Jeff’s camp. The Memewin Lodge is a little piece of paradise. Deserts, conversation, walks and photos followed. Owners June and Richard Watson were excellent hosts. David and Moffat Dunlap were especially happy to be back where they spent a lot of their childhood summers. The Mattawa Petrant family that worked there was represented by Isabelle Petrant (Butler) ,who spent a lot of time there as a child when her parents worked, there and husband Bob who enjoyed the reunion. The Dunlaps stayed overnight and returned to Ontario on Sunday. The rest of us took the road back to the Ottawa and headed home with a much better understanding and appreciation of the past and a good look at the present pleasures of the Quebec wilderness.