Keating farm Discovery Harbour

Royal Naval and Military Establishment, Penetanguishene, Ontario – 1822-1855, units first from the Royal Navy and then the British Army occupied this site.

an interesting historic site to tour on beautiful Penetanguishene Bay, about 100 miles north of Toronto on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron)

camera Pentax K10D, 2008

RAM Tank – Canadian Cruiser Tank World War II

Ram Tank

When it was decided to build a cruiser tank type, the plan was to base it on the American M3 tank.  The Ram tank had a cast hull and in some variants carried a 75mm gun.   The odd thing is that these tanks never saw combat, but instead were used for training of tank crews in the UK.  At a certain point the Allies decided to put all their production force into the production of M4 Sherman tanks.  There are hints in several articles about the stupidity of American policy makers who left Allied armoured forces with the inferior M4 Sherman and its 75mm gun to face the superior Panther and Tiger Tanks with main gun up to 88mm.  The mismatch resulted in many unnecessary deaths.  The slowness and stupidity of tank development in World War II is astonishing when it is examined in comparison to the speed, ingenuity and results of aircraft development of the same period.

Ram Tank, both photos taken at CFB Borden Military Museum, Angus, Ontario, Canada

Controversial Canadian World War One Ross Rifle detail of action

Controversial Canadian World War One Ross Rifle detail of action by gnawledge wurker

photo taken at the Base Borden Museum near Angus, Ontario,

The Ross rifle was a straight-pull bolt-action 0.303 inch calibre rifle produced in Canada from 1903 until the middle of the First World War.

Although the Ross .303 was a superior marksman’s rifle, it performed poorly in the dirt and mud of trench warfare and often jammed. After numerous complaints by troops it was replaced in the three Canadian Divisions by the Lee-Enfield. Some Ross rifles remained in use by snipers.

The Ross Rifle was selected for use by the Canadian Army by Sam Hughes.

Sir Samuel Hughes, KCB, PC (January 8, 1853 – August 23, 1921) was the Canadian Minister of Militia and Defence during World War I. Hughes was often referred to as Mad Sam Hughes.


Col. Samuel Hughes, M.P. (Victoria-Haliburton,...
Col. Samuel Hughes, M.P. (Victoria-Haliburton, Ont.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


17th century cross found at Ste. Marie

This iron artifact was found I believe back in the 1940s or 50s at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons, the fortified French mission c. 1640-50, now reconstructed. This cross is in the collection of the Museum/Archive of Martyrs’ Shrine, the shrine to the Canadian Jesuit Martyrs located west of Port McNicoll, Ontario, Canada

my photo taken today, I was fortunate to hold this cross in my hands today

rained out photo jaunt

my camera icon

The rain stopped after overnight steadiness and I headed off along Highway 12 for the Fall Fair at Orillia but soon after I began the monsoon avalanched heavy rain.  So I stopped partway to Orillia and had lunch at Tiffany’s Restaurant in Coldwater, Ontario.

I ended up in conversation with a senior couple and their daughter.  He is 88 years old and was a truck driver for Canadian Ordnance Corps in Northeast Europe.  He described meeting a school buddy in Ghent who was too embarassed to admit he that he was shot in the buttocks during the Battle of the Hochwald Forest (Operation Veritable and Operation Blockbuster).

from the wikipedia article “After the war, General Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, commented this “was some of the fiercest fighting of the whole war” and “a bitter slugging match in which the enemy had to be forced back yard by yard”.”

This gentleman weighed 140 lbs when he went in the Army and weighs that today. It was a great pleasure and privilege to speak with a World War Two veteran.  This gentleman has a razor sharp memory.  We talked about lake levels in the Great Lakes and fierce local weather. He has an avid interest in weather and runs his own home weather station.  He remarked on the extreme low pressure that followed a harsh storm that blew through on Friday, barometric pressure was as low as that experienced with hurricanes.

Tiffany’s Restaurant, Coldwater, Ontario
wood detail of store front in Coldwater, Ontario
old signs on side of store front in Coldwater, Ontario

photo of a very old Huron/French fish trap

This fish trap hangs inside the blockhouse near the entrance to Ste. Marie Among the Hurons, reconstructed fortified French mission 1640s era. Midland, Ontario, Canada. It measures about 3 feet in diameter at its widest point and here is collapsed, in use it would be pulled out to its full length, placed in the river or lake and the fish would enter the wide mouth and end up trapped in the narrow end. Of wood stick construction.

camera Nikon 5700, handheld.

July 2 2012: when I put my brain to think about one of my better photos, one I would be proud for anyone to see with my name attached, this comes to mind.

1640s Huron Village St Ignace II altar

Saint Gabriel Lallemant
Saint Gabriel Lallemant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DSC_5553 St Ignace II altar by gnawledge wurker
DSC_5553 St Ignace II altar, a photo by gnawledge wurker on Flickr.

description by T. Fegarty “In 1649 St. Ignace II, as named by the Jesuit missionaries who visited or lived there, was a relatively new Wendat village on a plateau about 50 feet above what is now known as the Sturgeon River in Tay Township. The village proper comprised 29 buildings, including a chapel – priests’ residence, occupied some 6 acres, and was surrounded by fortifications measuring some 2,000 feet in the round, including 2 main gateways. About 2 thousand people lived there.

The Wendat chose village sites for their defensive advantages: high ground, surrounding river and/or ravine and nearby year-round spring. Villages were fortified by palisades of pine trunks, some 15 feet tall. The people lived in long-houses, about 20 feet in width and up to 100 feet in length, with 20-100 people per house. These dwellings were constructed of saplings, their pointed and charred ends planted in holes in the ground. A census of the Huron nation by the Jesuits in 1639 reported 32 active villages, consisting of about 700 lodges and 20,000 people.

1649 saw the culmination of the war between the Wendat and their French allies against the Iroquois confederacy based in what is now upper New York State. A large Iroquois war party attacked and overran several Wendat villages, including St. Ignace II. At nearby St. Louis, on the Hogg River, the raiders captured two Jesuit missionaries, Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant, and brought them to St Ignace II, where they were tortured and killed. These events led the Jesuits to abandon and burn their headquarters at Ste. Marie on the Wye River, after burying the remains of Brebeuf there. They then retreated with their remaining Wendat converts first to Christian Island and then to Quebec in the following year. They took with them relics (small bone fragments) of the martyrs.”

some War of 1812 bicentennial events in my area

War of 1812 Bicentennial Event: April to September Church and Cemetery Tours -St. James on the Line,

War of 1812 Bicentennial Event: May to June and September: War of 1812 Education Programme – Discovery Harbour Historic Site, Penetanguishene –

War of 1812 Bicentennial Event:  May to September: Daily activities, Video Presentations and Guided Tours (by request) Nancy Island Historic Site, Wasaga Beach Provincial

May to September: Binational 1812 Travelling art Exhibit & War of 1812 Themed Tours – Discovery Harbour Historic Site, Penetanguishene –

May to December: Native Involvement and the Origins of the War of 1812 – Huronia Museum, Midland

May 4: Second Annual War of 1812 Feast-Fundraising Dinner for Nancy Island Historic Site –

May 4: 22nd Annual Huronia Museum Heritage Dinner – War of 1812 theme – Huronia Museum

May 24 Official Opening of the Wasaga Beach Welcome Centre – Nancy Island Historic Site –

June 1, 2, 3 City of Barrie War of 1812 Celebrations – Heritage Park, Downtown Barrie

June 10th Christening of 1812 Gunboat H.M.S. Lynx (The Ship’s Company) – Town Dock, Penetanguishene

June 18th General Hunter Exhibit Opening – Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, Southampton

June 22nd Grand Opening of the Bernie Longson Memorial Pavilion – Historic Fort Willow, Minesing

June 23rd to September 16thMuseum of Civilization Travelling War of 1812 Exhibit – Penetanguishene Museum and Archives, Penetanguishene

July and August – Thursday evenings – Spirit Programs – Nancy Island Historic Site –

July 1st: War of 1812 Encampment and Displays – Canada Day Celebrations, Little Lake Park, Midland, Ontario

July 28th War of 1812 Encampment and Displays – Innisfil Beach Park, Innisfil

August 17th, 18th, and 19th Wasaga Under Siege -Nancy Island Historic Site –

September 14 and 15 Festival at the Fort -Willow Creek Depot Historic Site, Minesing

September 29th Celebrating the Descendants of the War of 1812 and Settlers’ Day Event and Dance – Penetanguishene Museum and Archives, Penetanguishene