Growing up spending summers on Canoe Lake, the tales of Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s famous painters and a predecessor to the famous Group of Seven, ran deep around the campfire.
“In 1970, Judge William Little’s book, The Tom Thomson Mystery, recounted how—in 1956—Little and three friends dug up Thomson’s original gravesite, in Mowat Cemetery on Canoe Lake. They believed that the remains they found were Thomson’s. In the fall of 1956, medical investigators determined that the body was that of an unidentified Aboriginal. Utilizing, in part, the Great Unsolved Mysteries site transcriptions, Canadian newspaper columnist Roy MacGregor has described his 2009 examination of records of the 1956 remains unearthed by William Little (the remains have been reburied or lost) and concluded that the body was actually Thomson’s, indicating “that Thomson never left Canoe Lake.” – Wikipedia, Tom Thomson.
You can read the account from William T. Little and the adventure with Jack Eastaugh, Frank Braught and Leonard “Gibby” Gibson on “A Sketching Expedition and a Bizarre Development”.
In all my summers on the lake, I hadn’t yet had the chance to seek out the Mowat Cemetery and visit the site I believed to be the true resting place of the famous painter. Last weekend was my first chance to paddle over, hike the trail, and make it to the top of the hill with the picket fence and 130 year old birch tree.