View topic - Smith House and Wolf Island Lakes - Which is which?

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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 12:59 pm 
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In reading Sleeping Island and Distant Summers it appears that Downes' identification of Smith House and Wolf Island lakes don't agree with current day maps. Cockburn's notes in Distant Summers don't make any mention of a discrepancy and he doesn't contradict Downes.

What all current maps (that I can find) list as Smith House Lake are referred to by Downes as Wolf Island Lake. The northernmost of the esker lakes, just before reaching Fort Hall Lake, is the one Downes refers to as Smith House Lake. I don't find any maps that give that lake a name.

Downes says Windy Smith once had a cabin at what he calls Smith House Lake and that Wolf Island Lake got its name because Windy would travel down to that lake (now called Smith House on maps) to buy/trade wolf pelts with indians on the island.

Just wondering if Downes has it wrong or if somewhere along the line it got switched on the maps.

Of the two I would have chosen what the maps refer to as Smith House Lake for a cabin. A couple very enticing spots.

Alan


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PostPosted: December 22nd, 2017, 7:10 pm 
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The maps rely upon sources, so the maps are not sufficient unto themselves.


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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2017, 3:20 pm 
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I always appreciate the opportunity to pull Geographical Names of Manitoba off the bookshelf. It’s full of interesting information.

Smith House Lake
Official name i.e. may be found on a current map
Map 64 N/4 north of Lac Brochet
1972 records name was proposed by Dr Jacobsen after trapper I H “Windy” Smith who had a permanent camp here in the 1920s.

There is no Wolf Island Lake entry.

The wolf and wolfe entries (bay, creek, island, lake) appear not to be related although this is a Wolfe Lake on the same NTS map.

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PostPosted: December 24th, 2017, 12:18 pm 
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Paddle Power wrote:
I always appreciate the opportunity to pull Geographical Names of Manitoba off the bookshelf. It’s full of interesting information.

Smith House Lake
Official name i.e. may be found on a current map
Map 64 N/4 north of Lac Brochet
1972 records name was proposed by Dr Jacobsen after trapper I H “Windy” Smith who had a permanent camp here in the 1920s.

There is no Wolf Island Lake entry.



That's interesting. Nice resource to have. But how do we know Dr. Jacobsen got it right? Downes was there 10 years after Windy Smith had his permanent camp and also met Windy and talked to him at length about the North. He traveled the route multiple times and was very interested to know the names of the places he traveled and the history behind them. No doubt he sometimes got things wrong and maybe this is one of them but it seems like he should have gotten it right.

I don't know who Dr. Jacobsen is but maybe he's right. Does anyone know of any other historical references to these lake names? Oberholtzer wouldn't have any info since he predated Windy Smith. Mallet travelled the area and wrote about it but rarely mentioned lake or location names.

I guess no matter what the original names were the map is correct now since there's no one left to argue with it and even if there were it's probably not worth it. There were a lot of names used in Downes' time (and earlier) that are different today. It was just something that got my curiosity up; especially since Cockburn seemed to corroborate rather than contradict the names and locations of these lakes. He seemed to be working on Downes' journals in the early/mid 80's so maybe he was using older maps that didn't have the updated information on them since it didn't appear to be official until 1972.

Alan


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PostPosted: December 24th, 2017, 2:25 pm 
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The entry information is from the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names records (1972).

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PostPosted: December 24th, 2017, 9:13 pm 
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quote: "The entry information is from the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names records (1972)."

I wonder if the indigenous had a sense of 'permanent' that the ' Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names records' I know of a body of water in Maine that was called Drury Pond for the longest time until it became Santa Clause Lake.


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PostPosted: December 24th, 2017, 9:42 pm 
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Alan: " The northernmost of the esker lakes, just before reaching Fort Hall Lake, is the one Downes refers to as Smith House Lake."

Downes (pg 141 of the '43 edition): "This lake, sometimes called by the Indians as Smith House Lake..."

Perhaps a correction on Downes: Pg 135 "In the northeast corner we found a small stream entering from the north" Since the next lake was Wolf Island Lake (Downes) or Smith House Lake ( Dr Jacobsen ) and since I have used that stream four times, I can attest that it is a headwater and not an entrance because I had to drag up as it emptied into the Cochrane . It was a significant drop with rapids. I'll post some photos soon. Since I am leading the boat I am going uphill.

Image


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PostPosted: January 3rd, 2018, 11:30 am 
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Read The Old Way North by David Pelly this weekend and, again, another reference to Wolf Island Lake as being the present day Smith House Lake.

Alan


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2018, 4:07 am 
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"There is no Wolf Island Lake entry." Reviewed Mowat's "No Man's River" Mowat references Wolf Island Lake but not Smith House Lake. pg 179 or thereabout.


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