Origin and Early History of the Shahwandahgooze Hunting and Fishing Club
The following was written by the Club’s Secretary Treasurer in 1918 and summarizes much of the first 15 years of the Club’s existence.
Unfortunately for the sake of definite dates, the exact time of the circumstances leading up to the formation of The Shahwandahgooze Hunting and Fishing Club is wanting and therefore while the circumstances are still as clear now as at the time of their occurrence the exact date must be left to the imagination or until such time as conditions reveal them.
In the month of a certain October, the writer was invited as a guest, to spend the first two weeks of November (that being the open season for Big Game), with a party of friends, to take part in their Annual Deer Hunt.
The party was a jolly one, Deer were plentiful, the hounds of the best, and as a natural consequence success crowned our efforts. The season over, all returned and the spoils were equitably divided. Did I say equitably? Well better leave that to the conviction of my hearers. Here I will introduce to you Mr X. Mr X had the deer all skinned, he kept all the coverings of the game, at least I saw none of them afterwards. The meat was cut up, piles of it were made, and so many pounds given to each, Mr X retaining for his trouble in separating same, all good hindquarters and allowing hindquarters only in such quantity as weight demanded. The balance of the party being given the fore quarters or shoulders and the rib part as that weighed well for his purpose. This to the writer seemed unfair, but as I was only a guest, I deemed it wise not to offer any objection and what was given to me was taken and again given away to some less fortunate people of the community.
The following year, at about the same time as the previous one, the writer was informed that he was now a full fledged member of the party, and that he was entitled to all the privileges having been duly elected a member thereof, and was therefore entitled to a say in all transactions taking place.
My first request was to be permitted to invite as his guest, Mr John Anderson, – our genial President-, and a life long friend of mine. This request was granted, and the mails at once carried the invitation to Montreal. Acceptance of the invitation was received in due course, and at the appointed time he arrived.
He at once endeared himself to all present. During this season, a circumstance occurred which is responsible for the formation of the present Shahwandahgooze Hunting Club. But of this later on.
The writer was called down to Mattawa, to attend a lady taken sick. This necessitated my remaining at home for some five days. On my return to camp, the season was completed so far as I was concerned, and as I had missed the time above stated, Messer’s Sam Tongue, John Tongue then a little boy, W.C. LeHeup and John Anderson remained some days longer than the rest in order to give me a few extra days.
A sudden cold snap developed, we were frozen in, and this party experienced great hardship coming out.
On our arrival home, the division of the spoils were on a more equitable basis. Whole deer were apportioned to each and all as well.
Some time during the winter following, it came to my knowledge, that my friend and guest, had shot a most beautifully furred mink, and on exhibiting his trophy in camp, Mr X stepped up, asking the owner of the coveted prize, what he intended doing with the skin, for said he, “ If you have no special use for it, I would like to get it to complete or assist in completing a set of furs for Mrs X. Mr Anderson, true sportsman that he was, and a guest at camp, at once proffered the trophy to Mr X. Much as he would have liked to have taken it home. The sequel is the worst of all. On the arrival home, Mr X sent his son down the street and sold it for $1.25, the then price of Mink skins of that grade.
This action, so contrary to all the rules of sport, made such an impression on me, that I decided then and there never again to hunt in any party of which Mr X was one of the party.
I at once wrote Mr Anderson, who confirmed this report, and although he asked me to forget it, I had made my decision, which I communicated to Anderson, stating that even if we two had to go it alone, we would spend our outing in true sportsman like manner, and deer or no deer we would separate. To this he consented.
My next move was to ascertain in a very guarded way, the feelings of others. I first went to Mr Sam Tongue, working hammer and tongs at boat building. He was agreeable, next I approached Messer’s D.A.Dunlop and W.C.LeHeup, who also were willing to assist in the formation of a new group of hunters. They all agreed and the new party was launched.
Mr Anderson then asked permission to propose the names: Mr Gordon Anderson, his brother and Mr Edward Barry, both of Montreal, and little Johnnie Tongue was added by the Mattawa party.
Our first fall was spent on Beauchene Lake, and although minus that warhorse of a hunter Sam Tongue, we had a very pleasant time and success. Finishing the year at the foot of the Long Sault.
Owing to the fact, that nearly all the territory adjacent to Mattawa was being leased by the Quebec Government, and that those of us living close by and possibly desiring to do some fishing or shooting there, would be in the nature of poachers, it was decided to try and get a convenient lease for ourselves.
Again Sam Tongue was consulted, and he advised us that if possible to obtain Timber Berths Nos 213 and 217, containing as per Government measurement 61 square miles.
After interminable difficulties Mr Anderson succeeded, in getting the promise of the Government to this lease being granted through the kind offices of Hon W.A. Weir now Judge Weir. We were informed however that we must first become an incorporated Club under the laws of the Province of Quebec, under which we would get the lease.
It now became a question as to by what name we would be known and under which we would register. The desire being that we register under a name truly expressive of our condition and desire. The ordinary English language, known to all would let the outsider know our inner feelings, so that in this case a Strange language had to be sought, or at least one not known so generally. Mr Leheup came to the rescue with an Indian Dictionary and the word “Shahwandahgooze” was found meaning “Happy Meeting Place”. This was appealed to us at Mattawa and it was sent on to Montreal for their approval. Their approval reached us without delay. In this way Shahwandahgooze it became and Shahwandahgooze, in other words Happy Meeting Place I trust it will remain until time shall be no more.
This occurred on the 6th of March 1903, and John Anderson, Gordon Anderson and Edward Barry of Montreal Quebec, and Dr Charles William Haentschel, David Alexander Dunlap. William LeHeup, Samuel Tongue and John Tongue of Mattawa Ontario were duly incorporated under the above name. It was not until the 30th of July of that year that the first lease was finally signed.
The Charter Members were as above indicated, and the first board and its officers were as follows:
John Anderson President & Director
David A. Dunlap Vice President & Director
C.W.Haentschel M.D. Secretary-Treasurer & Director
Edward Barry Director
Samuel Tongue Director
During the early years of the Club, the grounds were not used by any of the members, a suitable and commodious camp being built near the narrows on Seven league Lake of the Ottawa River, close by a rippling brook, whose gentle murmurings, were the pleasant lullaby’s to the members for several years and where truly happy seasons were spent.
In 1903, Mr Frank Cochrane, now the Hon Frank Cochrane became a member but who resigned from membership in December 1906.
In 1911, Dr W.R.Patton of Toronto was taken into membership, resigning on October 26th 1914.
It was not until 1909, that the Club grounds were actually used by any of the members. If the date is correct, in that year Messer’s Dr Haentschel and Sam Tongue, during that latter part of November went up and camped on the Snake Creek between Lakes Clear and Foley, pitching their tent hunter like on the north shore of the creek. It required about 8 inches of snow to be removed to come to the bosom of mother earth. The weather was clear and very cold.
They hunted for Moose tracks for three days before any were found, then they were discovered at the north end of Indian Lake. The tracks were followed for some hours, and at last left to be taken up again on the following morning. For another three days the tracks were followed, and at last on the fourth day the moose were sighted about one and half miles north east of Williamsons Lake. The country open hardwood. Sam was the guide without a rifle, the shooting being left to the Doctor. As above stated the country was open hardwood, and there they were in full view. The Doctor took down his rifle to shoot, when lo and behold you there appeared between him and his prey, an innumerable number of small hard Maple, with cracks so small between them to almost hide the Moose or at least so it appeared to him. However, he fired and fired again, and again, and again and once more again, and then Mr Bull walked off in disgust at not being hit. The rifle was at once blamed for this want of success, and sold to the first bidder on his return to Mattawa. Little more need be said from this date to 1912.
In Sept 1912 through the canvass of Mr E.O. Taylor of Toronto, Messer’s Reuben Millichamp, T.D. McGaw, David Henderson, W.P. Gundy, C.N Candes, C.H. Muntz and S. Bradley Gundy of Toronto were added to membership, and the real life of the present Club began, up to this time it had rested in its cocoon state.
In 1913, Henry M Auden and Newton Candee of Toronto and the late A.T. Hodge, Wm M Hall and William H Paul of Montreal were added to the role of members.
Messrs Millichamp and Candee were the only ones of the Toronto party to make their first visit to camp. They were so impressed with the sylvan beauty and the possibilities for Big Game that others followed in the following year.
In 1914, Esca Brooks Daykin bought the interest of Mr Newton Candee and became our next addition.
In 1916, J Watson Anderson of Pembroke Ont, R.C. Harris of Toronto, H.F. Hardy of Ottawa and R.H. Combs of Toronto graced the Club by becoming members thereof.
In 1918, the present year, those sterling sportsmen and true mem, Alfred Wood and Lawrence Anderson of Montreal and DR Campbell Meyers of Toronto, were added to the band of faithful and honoured devotees of the Rod and Gun.
During the fifteen years of the existence of the Club the following resignations have taken place. Namely: Gordon Anderson, Edward Barry, John Tongue, Frank Cochrane, Dr W.R. Patton, David Henderson, W.P Gundy, G.H. Muntz, S. Bradley Gundy, Henry M. Auden, Newton Candee, W.H. Sears, and Rebuben Millichamp. I am sure that it is no digression of the worth of others, when the resignation of Mr Millichamp is sincerely and genuinely deplored be all. A more sterling character, a more genial sportsman, a truer friend, or a finer gentlemen it would indeed be hard to find, and I know that I voice the thoughts and feelings of all, when I say, “ We regret that physical conditions and his physicians advice compel him to say to us, ‘Good Bye’. We trust that he may be spared many years of usefulness to gentler callings, and that he may be watched with kindly interest by an All Wise Father, who does all things well.
In this resume, I cannot allow the name of the late and esteemed friend and member Alfred T. Hodge to be left unnoticed. His sudden passing away of the 4th of July 1917 is still keenly felt, and genuinely regretted by all who knew him, a Man in all that the word implies.
I would indeed be remiss in my duty to the task allotted me, did I not refer in a special manner and in most grateful terms to two members, whose kind offices and handsome contributions to the Club have made for comfort for its members, in the persons of Messer’s D.A. Dunlap and T.D.McGaw. Words of praise and thanks from me are such poor messengers, to give expression to their munificence, that I can only say “Thank you Gentlemen” for your many kind acts and thoughtful contributions, and will you take the will for the deed, as the expression of a grateful membership.
Nor would it be proper did I not specially mention the name of John Anderson, our almost constant President. His interest for the care and comfort of the members is a household word to all. He has ably piloted The Shahwandahgooze Club through all these years and we owe him a deep debt of gratitude.
As for the others, they are all MEN, every inch of them, and truly component parts of an Organization as the translation of the name implies.
As for myself, I am as I have been since its inception your Secretary-Treasurer, General Factotum, and I trust Handyman about camp.
Fort Eddy Camp
November 7th 1918