A History of the Rice Lake Indians by Mary Jane Muskratte Simpson

Indians of Alnwick mark Centennial

Alfred Simpson 1875-1969

Centennial: The Indians of Alnwick township marked their Centennial in October 10th; and 11th; 1937; commemorating their migration to Alderville from Grape Island in the Bay of Quinte.

Two special services of commemoration were held: the Chalice used was originally presented to the Rev. John Sunday by Queen Victoria. The Rev. L. W. Scott presided, and Dr. F. Stephenson of the Home Mission Board of Toronto was a guest speaker. Psalm 103, on which Elder Case preached at the London Conference in 1855, was the text chosen. Mr. William Macklin presented an oil lamp which had belonged to and been used by Elder Case, and it is planned that this historic lamp will be wired and used in the church.

A pageant was held, "One Hundred Years of Progress"; a musket over one hundred years old was carried by Mr. George Beaver, the oldest in the parade. A miniature replica of the church, complete even to the weather vane, was built by Mr. Everett Simpson and Mr. Clifford Smoke, and attracted much interest. A large birthday cake trimmed with tiny flags and canoes of tinsel was cut by Mrs. William Loukes, 87, and the oldest lady resident; and sold by Mrs. Delany and Mrs. Fred Simpson.

Mr. Johnson Paudash of Hiawatha, grandson of Chief George Paudash, who was pilot of the boat which carried the Prince of Wales across Rice Lake in 1860, spoke of the traditions of the people of Alderville. While historians wrote of three tribes, he felt, there were in reality only two; the Iroquois, and two branches of the Algonquins, one part of whom had been named "Hurons" by the early Jesuit missionaries. From this branch stemmed the Mississaugas, who traditionally came from the south centuries ago, and were found by the Jesuits in Algoma. In 1615 Champlain accompanied them on a raid from Lake Couchiching to the Talbot River, Balsam Lake, through the Kawarthas and Rice Lake to the Iroquoian territory south of Lake Ontario.

They later settled on Rice Lake, and a part on islands in the Bay of Quinte. They were moved to Alnwick by Elder Case in 1837 assisted by "Shaw-wun-dais", Chief John Sunday, who was first chief at Alderville. He was succeeded by Chief John Simpson who toured England with his wife and others, singing before Queen Victoria and large audiences in the old country. An earlier Chief at Grape Island was Mr. James Howard, whose son Henry Howard was adopted by Sir Francis Bond-Head, then Governor-General. He was educated in the best schools of the day. Two great-granddaughters of Henry Howard are now resident at Alderville; Mrs. Alfred Simpson and Mrs. Fred. Simpson.

The many visitors from other towns and cities included Mrs. Herman Gendt of Lindsay; Mrs. Isaac Beaver, Hamilton; Mr. and Mrs. Albert Whetung, Curve Lake; Mr. and Mrs. George Dixon, Milton; and Mr. and Mrs. F. Simpson, Akron, Ohio.

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