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(8)Jake E Stewart - Janet Allan

 

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Jake (centre) and his Father Jacob (left)

 

 

Jake E. Stewart

Interviewed by Mr. Bill McNeil from the C.B.C. 1974.

Aired on the C.B.C. "Voice of the Pioneer" Sunday morning's.

 

Background on Jake

Jake E. Stewart, Born 1897, Petawawa Twp., Died 1986.

Married Janet Allan, Born 1900, Pt. Alexander, Died 1973.

Jake's Father & Mother

Jacob Stewart, Born 1864 Ireland, Died 1937.

Married Elizabeth Knox, Born 1863 Ireland, Died 1940

Jake's Grandfather & Grandmother

Jacob Stewart, Born 1826 Ireland, Died 1900.

Married Margaret McCauley, Born 1826 Ireland, Died 1903

Janet's Father & Mother

Alfred Allan, Born 1838 Picanok Que., Died 1940.

Married Ellen McKinley, Born 1870 Pembroke, Died 1955

Owner & General manager of Jake E. Stewart Ltd.

Rolph Township, R.R. # 1 Deep River, Ontario.

Jake E. Stewart Lumbered in this area for more than 60 years.

from as early as 1919, to his retirement in 1981.

His stamping hammer No., registered July 27 1927, as JES.

Box Factory, Pembroke, Ont., Petawawa Twp & Bass Lake, area.

Consolidated Lumber Co., Pembroke, Ont. Province of Quebec.

Canadian Splint and Lumber Co., Bronson twp.& Rolph Twp.

Herb Shaw & Sons. Pembroke, Algonquin Park area.

Owned Timber limit and operated a Saw Mill in the Mattawa Area

Owned Timber limit and operated a Saw Mill in the Maniwaki Que.

Owned Timber limit in Rolph Township.

Owned and operated the "Ottawa Valley Inn" Meilleurs Bay,

Tourist Resort & Dance Hall. From this resort he operated

his Hunting Lodge and a Fishing Lease in the Province of Que.

Lived in Pt. Alexander, Lumberman, Fisherman and Hunter.

 

 

In 1984 a request to Mr. McNeil was made to obtain a copy of the

following taped recorded conversation he had with Mr. Jake Stewart.

After giving his approval, with the promise of sending us a copy

Immediately. He inquired of Jake's health, and made the following

statement, "I have probably Interviewed over 200 people from coast

to coast for my program, "Voice of the Pioneer", and I must tell you

that Jake ranks right at the top with the best, just a great Guy,

say Hello to Jake and give him my best regards".

A great compliment to receive from such a well known broadcaster

and Author, Mr. Bill McNeil, Toronto, Ont.

 

 

 

Introduction;

M; I am Bill McNeil and this is the Voice of the Pioneer.

When Jake Stewart's father came to Canada from Ireland back in the last Century he didn't have very much to call his own except a wife and a growing family. He came to Ontario and at that time they were building the C.P.R. Railway and like a lot of other immigrants, Jake Stewart Sr.

wanted a job, any job.

J; When he came to this country the CPR was between Petawawa & Pembroke and when it came up this far, he worked for about 5 years or so for the Railway a Dynamite man, well he got to be one anyhow and when they came to Thistles siding there were Oxen. Thistles had Oxen drawing Square timber that had been cut and hewed in the bush with the broad axe and was drawing it what was later known as Mill Lake, back in on the Little Tucker, and he drew down to the Ottawa River and he used to float it from there to Quebec. Afterwards he put up a "Drag Saw" to saw I suppose the smaller stuff or the tops of the big square timber and he put it up at, that is where it got its name Mill Lake. It was called Mill Lake then, that's on the east branch or what is known as the Little Tucker, the head waters of the little Tucker. Dad worked on the Railroad till it went near Mackeys, Mackeys is about 15 miles west of Chalk River,they've changed it there now since the Hydro come in, changed the railroad, and the railroad is quite a bit south of the old Railroad. And when he left there he went prospecting and he and another old lad well known in the town of Pembroke, Sam Bromley, prospected for years and one of the claims and I don't know the name of the claim but one of the mines they staked was sold for a half a million dollars.

M; Did your father have a hand in that?

J; No, all he got was a dollar a day for prospecting and fighting flies, that's all he got out of it. There was no fly dope at that time but a pork rhine, salty pork you know!

M; (Comments) Well salty pork may have helped to keep the flies away but also helped the generations who grew up in the Ottawa Valley. Jakes father and the children who followed him were men of the forest, cutting down trees and floating them down to the Mills on the Ottawa River. They worked in Lumber Camps and sometimes they operated them themselves. Beans and Pork were a major part of the diet.

J; There was what we used to call sow belly, it was the length of the pig and what we call pork chops now, the was cut of it, it was just the fat you might say and that's what you fed the LumberJacks on even when I started. Known as SowBelly.

M; SowBelly and Beans?

J; Sowbelly and beans yep that was the main food in the Camp, Pork and beans, Pea soup for the Frenchman. But the Irishman liked Pea soup too, if it was well made but a hell of a lot of trouble in the Lumbering camps was Cooks. If you had good cook you were pretty sure and safe of keeping your gang.

 

M;(Comments) The cook was indeed an important man in the old time lumber camp and he knew it too. He was an aristocrat among lumbermen he'd quit at the hint of an insult about his food he demanded and got quiet when the men were eating and he expected them to leave the room when they were finished and they did. Nobody argued with the cook. There are other men in the Lumber camp too who may have been forgotten with the passage of time and these were known as the sand hill men.

J; Now I'm not too long at it, 50 to 55 years since I started. But I can remember well our old sand hill men in fact I saw an old sand hole place today back of MooreLake.

M; What's that, a Sand hole?

J; Well you see the sleighs hauling down the hill you had to put sand on it to keep the sleighs from running up on the horses you see, that was the sand hill man that was a very particular man a sand hill man, a good one, some fellows would put on too much and stick the team on the sand the other fellow would,t put on enough and they would get what they called a run on the hill maybe kill the team, see. And those old lads would dig a hole on the side of the hill and keep digging it out and digging it out till they would have a real hole in there, there would be about two feet of frost over them, you see and they would have some hay in there and a few poles and when the teams weren't coming they would have a snooze in there, and they'd boil a pot of tea in there and all that, that was their home and I've had fellows, old lads, yes seven years in the one hole and they didn't want to change holes oh god no they didn't want to change holes. That became their place and not like now, well looked now, you don;t know where to hell you are with the men now, but, then they'd cut wood this winter for next winter and have it nice and dry, for next winter. Well you couldn't very well take that sand hill from him when he cut a half a cord or a cord of wood there and piled it there, could you? And they got so damed well used to those sand holes and things and curves on the road and things you know that they could just put enough of sand on there that the teams could just walk down there. I remember one time I had an Englishman we use to hire a bunch of horses from a fellow in Ottawa and he had to send a man up with the car load of horses you see, the CPR would let you send them unless there was some one in the van in charge they sent this Englishman up and the lads got him fixed anyhow up with clothes and one thing and another, he didn't anything at all about driving horse they got him all fixed up and put on what they called the dryass, a bag of hay that you sat on, in place of sitting on the cold logs, you sat on the bag of hay,

M; So what did you call it?

J; Dryarse, ya ya, (Big Laugh) they got him all fixed up him and he got on the sleigh and he says to the horses, Go forward, now a man would chirp at the horse or say giddy-up or some damn thing like that but he said go forward. And he missed the sand hole, the first load he missed the sand hole, he got going too quick at the top of the sand, before he hit the sand and he left the road and went right over the sand hole and the old lad in it, ya Landry was his name, some of his sons I guess are around Pembroke yet, and he (Landry) ran him (The Englishman) down the road for about 200 yards with the axe but he never caught him. That finished the lad with the team, we fired him that night, took him out to Bass Lake and let him go. All Finished.

M. Would you get many Green Hornes in the woods?

J; Oh not at that time, there would be maybe a man and his son, maybe the boy would be a young lad or something like that but in no length of time he'd be right on the Button. No, No, you couldn't be bothered with them.

M;(Comments) Despite all the hardship, Jake Stewart thinks those were better days when everyone pulled together.

J; Everybody was so happy then, Take myself, I had camps with 150 men, maybe two or three camps and had close to 150 to 200 men sometimes in the bush. And every Saturday night they danced what they called a Buck Set. See there were no girls so the men would fill in, there would be five or six Fiddles, and three or four WindJammers, you know what Wind- Jammer are eh?, Accordions and maybe one fellow with a mouth organ or maybe a dozen fellows with mouth organs, and maybe a flute or something and they would get all going in the sleep camp and they'd dance a Buck Set. Have a hell of a Time.

M; A Buck Set? never herd tell of it.

J; Well it was all men, all Bucks, you used to call them Buck Sets.

M; Never herd tell of them!

J; Oh yes a Buck set, sure.

M; This was the usual thing then in the old Tyme Lumber Camps.

J; Yes, yes, But everybody was the best of friends, the best of friends.

M; (Comments) No one had to do their work for them and women too. But the way Jake Stewart see's it life is not nearly so good. Jake lives in the Ottawa valley, always has and around the Lumber Camps which he used to operate a half a century ago and around the small farms that everybody had, there was real co-operation.

J; Your going to build a Barn or a Stable or something you never paid out any wages, If I was your neighbor, Paul Jones, JIm Smith and all them fellows, we'd all go and help you maybe help you for three or four days till you got the Barn up, not now eh.

M; And you would do the same thing for him?

J; Oh yes, Certainly, oh yes, Certainly, If he had a bunch of grain or something he had to get in, at that time they done a lot of what they called the cradling, not too many of them had Binders and they cradled the grain you know, well when my grain was ripe, five or six would come and help me and when his grain was ripe, we'd go and help him and so on like that, all tied by hand.

M; How did you do that Cradling?

J; Cradling was a blade like a scythe but was a bigger affair and there was four fingers on it and that held the grain you see and when they routed it around they dumped the grain, the heads were all the one way on the sheaths, the heads of the Grain, you know, what I call the heads that,s the part not the part next the ground, the part where the grain was thats all headed the one way and then they would hand rake it all the one way and tie it with more grain take two, maybe five or six straws or maybe ten straws I guess and they'd turn them together and put that around that sheath that they had piled up there you know and take a couple of twists on that and put on what they called the Farmers knot. They shoved one end in under the other end and you could throw that sheath from as far as here to the corner there a half a dozen times, put the fork in and never let go. And they would thrash it with a Flail.

M; I guess you never went to the store very much in those days?

J; No, No, there were no middle men all Irishmen, all us Irishmen you know, (Laugh) Ya!

M; You lived pretty faraway from everything, you had to be independent really?

J; Well there wasn't Highways and so on you know, well I'm talking 55 years ago and so on, well there was just a horse and Buggie or something like that, thats all.

M; (Comment) A horse and Buggie was an important piece of equipment then it took the family on rare shopping expeditions, it took them to Church on Sunday mornings and to Baptisms, and parties at neighboring farms and when election campaigns rolled around the candidates took to the hustings first by train to get to the nearest point and then it was horse and Buggie all the way.

J; I drove to Deux Riviere to meet the speakers, that's pretty near 50 miles from here, with a team of horses in the winter time, late in the fall, drive up there go to the meeting, take them to the meeting, put them on the midnight and drive back home, they wouldn't do that today,

M; Nobody would!

J; No, nobody would at all, No.

M; (Comment) Well when Jake wasn't working on his farm or running around on election campaign, time was spent in the woods taking out Lumber under contract to the big Companies. In those virgin forests the big Pine trees reached for the sky.

J; All pine here was cut here by Booths and McLaughlins and Thistles and so on, there was no local set up here for a long time, and when Thistles, I think and I can't name them but I think the Bromleys were in that because they were some of the first Lumber residents, and McLaughlins, they formed the Pembroke Lumber Company, and at that time there was some law was passed or something or they brought it up between themselves I just don't remember that there had to be a bark mark on the logs to drive them, to claim the log. The bark mark claimed the log and there was a hammer mark on the end you see, well you couldn't see a hammer mark very well but you could turn the log over and get the bark mark you see.

The Pembroke Lumber Co. Bark was and I guess still is if they still use it I.T., Issac Thistle. Talking about bark marks, I remember the first war 1914 I worked a little while on the Swisha Boom up here and Dick Stewart had got word to arrange a sorting boom that this big shot had been sent over from Ireland, from England, I think his

father held a controlling interest in some pulp company, I think it was Ryrdan, I'm not sure, but I think it was Ryrdan Pulp Co. and to keep him out of the trench's he had to manage a mill in Canada, you see. So we got word up there, Dick got word up there that he was coming up and to arrange a sorting Boom, he wanted to see how these logs were sorted, he landed up on one of the big Alligators there, got off and Oh he was in an awful hurry there and somebody, I guess it was Wallace or somebody in Pembroke had give him a new pair of Calk Boots, Oh a brand new pair of Calk Boots, (Big Laugh) we were sorting the logs there, he was telling us, roll that one over, what about that log, that might be our log there, roll that one over, no, maybe one of Booth's or somebody else's log, looking the Bark Mark you see, I bet we were at it for 20 minutes or a half an hour or so and he said That's enough boys, that enough now he said, He said now I'm President of this Upper Ottawa Improvement Company now and he said I'll change all this, there will be no more of this next year he said, I'll have them logs coming down the rapids with the Bark mark on top. (BIg Laugh). He knew what he was doing, Eh. (Laugh)

M; You said there were no green horns!

J; Yep, he was going to have them down the rapids with the Bark Mark on Top, it was a hell of a good Idea all right, to keep a log from turning in the rapids would be pretty hard, Eh.(Laugh).

M; How did you put those Bark Marks on?

J; With the Axe, take Booths for instance, now take Gillis, Gillis's mark was I X X I, on both ends, about 16 or 18 inches from the end, on the opposite side, that was their bark mark, then they had a stamping hammer, a big V and in the Butt logs, any contractor that I know, his contract read, A V, cut in the end of the log from the heart to the

Bark, that was your contract. A V in every Butt log, in the butt end of log and it was to run from the Heart to the Bark, in some places it was a hell of a good thing for Gillis's, the scaler would come along and maybe one end of the V maybe didn't go right to the bark and when you got settled up, they would deduct you for that.

M; Well that must have been hard to put a V from the Heart to the Bark?

J; Ya, From the heart to the Bark, some times those big butt logs would be that long you know.

M; Well who did that?

J; The fellow in the Bush, yep with his axe. You see there were five men then to a gang, 2 log makers, a roller, a trail cutter and a Teamster and the roller maybe stamped the Logs, the other lads would put the Bark mark on. Booths, their bark mark was a turtle, you knocked a slab off about 2 or 3 feet from the butt, knocked a slab and a piece of the Timber off and you put four legs on, that was the Turtle.

All done with the Axe. You put the four legs on, say this was the log, put a blaze on here, cut through the Bark, and then put a leg that way and one this way one that way and that was the Turtle.

M; (Comment) The bark mark was important because after the log joined the others in the River it was the only way anyone had of telling who owned it and without that information nobody got paid. Of all the skilled jobs in the old time Lumber Camps that of a cooks was the most Important without him the camp just didn't operate. Then there were the men who fell the Trees dropping them just where they were needed and the Sand Hill men who just the right amount of sand to put down on the hill so the horses could operate best and then as Jake Stewart remembers there were the men who made an art of putting the Companies mark on the log using just an Axe these marks were sometimes numbers or letters or sometimes a mark that took a particular shape of a fish or an animal one Company had a Turtle Mark this was a slice off the logs Bark four feet radiating out from the sides.

J; A fellow named Culhane, Paddy Culhane, Paddy must have been a Scotch Man because Paddy was no good for nothing. (Laugh) And this gang was a gang from Otter Lake, Quebec and a damn good gang of men four of them, Good men, and they had Paddy with them and all about Paddy was carry water for the Horses in the Bush and get things ready for the lunch in the Bush and maybe get some dry wood keep the fire going and all that and rig a seat and put some brush down to make a seat when they would go to have lunch, you see. This day it was raining like hell and I guess somebody said to Paddy to put on the Bark Mark, the Turtle, we were cutting for Booth's, I came along and Paddy had a blaze about a foot and half or more and one leg was almost ahead of him and the other one was just about the Tail on the opposite side he just about a V, So I said to Paddy what have you got there Paddy, what to hell have you there Be Jases don't you know the Bark Mark, The Turtle, The Turtle, I said that a hell of a looking Turtle all right, it was raining all right, he says he's all right, hell be all right when it dries up, see, he's swimming there Swimming on top of the Log and it raining out, Poor Paddy!

M; What would you do in those days, would you take a Contract with a Lumber Company?

J; Oh ya.

M; Is that the way it was done, Then you would hire a group of men?

J; Then you would hire your own men, Oh, one winter you'd make money and the next one you'd lose it.

M; It was easy to lose money was it?

J; Oh, ya, and damn simple too, there was every damn hook up that these big Companies had to beat you if need be, they were on the safe side all the time, they could shut you down anytime if things didn't look and so on but you had nothing on them.

M; How did the Contract read?

J; Well, we hereby agree to cut and skid so many logs in such a territory and deliver it to such a point and when you cut them and skidded them they scaled them we didn't go that time by the Department of Lands and Forest scale we went by the companies scale they'd scale and give you an advance in the Bush. The Contract generally read that you usually got 85% or 90% with the advance you got in the Bush was what they give you when you hauled them and then when the thing was all over

then they would give you the other 15 % but we damn seldom ever coming.

There was always something in it to hold that 10 or 15 %.

M; And you'd never get it?

J; Very often you didn't get it, No, very often you didn't get it.

M; You had to be a pretty sharp operator then to make money!

J; Oh ya, but you had good men, Oh you couldn't do it today, couldn't do it today, because you don't know where you are and you were tied up pretty well, A lot of them did. I dealt a lot at the first with Canadian Splint, but I had dealt of course before that with other people too, But the Canadian Splint, I contracted for I guess for about 25 to 30 years with them, Ya, I took the first Contract out with the Canadian Splint that was ever wrote in Pembroke, It was wrote on a Box outside and A.G. Woodrith was the general manager, he signed it and Miss Way witnessed it

and who after became the Timber man looking after the Bush Alex Bathgate Alex was on a wheelbarrow that day wheeling cement, they were just starting to build the building then.

M; You did it all outside?

J; Ya, write it all outside on a box and that was for 12 cord and that was the first experience we ever had in the Ottawa River, driving Timber. And I signed that contract for 12 cord and everybody said I was crazy, it would never float and all this but we dogged it at that time.

Put it in Cribs and drove dogs through it and run a cable through the dogs.

M; What's a Dog?

J; It's a steel rig with an inch hole in it and you drove the dog into a Log and run the Cable through it, put a whole bunch together, maybe 65 or 70 logs together, towed them to Pembroke, I went back down to Pembroke and signed another contract,

M; That would come down as a raft?

J; Yes, something like a raft, yes something like a raft, but when there is enough of them together and I guess the Towing of them kept them floating anyhow. Oh,I drove logs from Angeliers, that's a long piece Eh.

M; How would you tow them what kind of a boat?

J; You used Alligators, we had big Boats on here we had two big Boats, we had the Bronson and the Powell on here,they were big Boats by God.I bet them Boats were 125 or 150 feet long.

They were side wheelers, wheels on the side, and then we got the Alligators, the bigger ones. We had a fellow come out here to fish and he was going to fish up the River here I guess up near the Swisha Rapids and somebody talked about seeing the Alligator this morning, He packed up and pulled out, haven't seen him since.

M; He thought there were Alligators around here?

J; Oh ya he pulled out,(Big Laugh)

M; What is the Alligator like?

J; It's a steel Boat, pretty powerful, I saw one going down yesterday and I guess he had 30 thousand logs in the Boom, going right along,

M; Diesel?

J; Diesel now but originally wood fired, oh ya. The farmers used to , all along the river cut wood in the winter time, draw it out to the warfs, dry it and split it, put it close for the Bronson, the Powell and all the others.

M; That was an extra source of income for the farmer!

J; Ya, he done his chores and then put in maybe 3 or 4 hours in the Bush, and he didn't get too much money for it either. I cut wood and piled it on the shore one winter, the first pair of long pants I ever had I got them made at Demers's, in Pembroke, the suit cost me 12 dollars, and I cut enough wood and drew it down and piled it on the dock

down at Barrs Point, you know what Alex Barr did, Oh, he was a crooked old you know what, he seized it, he didn't own the Limit at all, someone said or they got the cry going that Barr owned all those Government lots that wasn't needed, and he seized my wood, you know what I done, I cut another 12 cord and shot 3 steers on him that summer, he didn't gain a hell of a lot, did he? (Laugh) See what he used to do, at least this is what they claimed he did anyhow, and I guess he did, He'd bye wagons and sleighs and stuff in Pembroke, and then he'd sell me a wagon or a set of sleighs or something and he wouldn't bother too much about the payment till the spring, then just when you had no money coming in at all he wanted the payment, so if he didn't get it he'd take a steer or a cow

from you and that was not too bad, at his price, then he'd bring them up there on a Boat and let them go anywhere, anywhere al all, he had the run of the two Townships.

M; (Comment) He was a crafty old lad, but he was dealing with someone just as crafty. Around the turn of the century the Government wanted and sometimes it was no easy way to get them off for a fair price, they had cleared the land built their houses and it already was home to them, who could blame them for not wanting to stay, but always the price wasn't fair even from the Crown.

J; They'd go to you to bye your property, we'll say for 2,500.00 and in about two weeks or so they'd come back and tell you it wasn't satisf- actory to the Queen or the King or who ever in hell was running things at that time, but here is another one, maybe it was down 3 or 4 hundred dollars, well you accepted that, I guess they kept the difference Eh?.

M; (Comment) So what these Crown agents were actually doing was stealing part of the fair price agreed upon by the settler,Jake Stewart remembers how his father reacted to being swindled!

J; They bought our property, my Dads Property, Dad was an Irishman he was pretty quick, and they bought for I don't know how much, 3 or 4 thousand dollars, and they came back in about 2 weeks about the same thing, well Dad said if this isn't satisfactory to them then this isn't satisfactory to me, so old Colonel Andrew said, well, we'll look after you, we'll "Sheriff" you out and old Tom Dixon said something, I don't know what he said, but Dad hit him anyhow and knocked him down on the floor, I can see him yet, my Mother run out with a glass of water to old Tom Dixon.

M; The Constable?

J; Yes, And we stayed there three years after that,no school no nothing.

I never got to school, we had no school to go to. The schools were all bought and the Farmers were all gone and then they come up, Alex Morriss was the Sheriff, and My Dad knew Alex Morriss well, they prospected together and so on, my Dad knew him well and we noticed this covered buggies a couple of times driving up and driving back down again so this day my Dad was seeding some grain with my brother with a little team of horses covering it with the spring tooth harrow, I guess, and they drove up along the fence and Morriss shouted at Dad, Dad went over and Morriss said any haywire?, Dad thought something was broke on the buggie or something, so he jumped the fence, and when he jumped the fence, immediately they arrested him. He got from there, I'd say he got 150

feet closer to the house and it's a good job he didn't get in for he had a No 12 double barelled shot Gun loaded with Buckshot for two years sitting in the corner. Yes he had, and there were about six or seven wagon loads of soldiers rushed in and I can see my Dad yet, covered with blood laying on the grass, and what happened, I had a dog, I don't know what kind of a dog he was, he was middling to heavy dog and he had only short legs long dog and short legs and he was helping Dad too, he bit a half a dozen of them. (Phone rang in the background) Is that the Phone?, Oh to hell with it, maybe the preacher wanting me to take the pulpit tomorrow,(BIg Laugh) they fell over him and they got him down and Mother pleaded with him to go to Pembroke, in the Buggie with them and he did and had two set of Handcuffs on the left hand, he had broke the two of them, and when he was crossing the bridge, the Muskrat River Bridge in Pembroke, he asked Morriss where he was taking him, well we'll have to put you in for the night Jake, He said there's not enough men alive in Pembroke to put me in, he jumped out of the Buggie, and Sheriff Morriss unlocked the handcuffs and he went out and stayed at Alex McGahens

a friend of Mother and Dads from years and years back come from Ireland I think too, and he stayed there overnight and come back in the next Morning, they fined him 10 dollars for hitting the Constable, he asked what the 10 dollars fine was for and the judge told him it was the fine for hitting a Constable, he threw down another 10 dollars, turned and hit Tom Dixon and broke his jaw in two places.

M; He was a tough customer!

J; Right in the witness Box.

M; Why did they want him off the land?

J; Well they wanted the range, you see, when you went by Thistles there is a crossing, not the first one, the second Crossing is Stewarts Crossing and on the right hand side there is a bit of an old field there and you'll notice the sand piled up where the house was built, and that was our place. Many's the pail of Blueberries I helped carry down to Selkirks store in Petawawa, many's a one. We used to have to get the cows when we came home, I was only a wee lad, milk the cows, turn the separator, feed the pigs and the calves and all that and any time between then and dark we picked potato bugs. Everybody worked and everybody was happy and contented and your neighbors were your best friends and still are. At that time we could all talk German you know, we were the only English people speaking english going to that School, there was the Radkes' and the Brums and the Garr's and the Brindles' and all went to that School, that same School, big School eh? there were 50 or 60 kids went there, darn good people they were, good people, there was a few of them, a couple of the Families that the rest of didn't seem to get along too well, but you take the Radkes' and Gusts' and them people, they were the very best, Prangs', they were a rougher Family, fight in a minute, so onget a few drinks of Moonshine, that Moonshine that was the stuff you know.

M; (Comments) Those were the days when Moonshine was a way of life in the Ottawa Valley, the Woood's was full of stills and it was not only an extra income for a lot of farmers, Moonshine provided the extra fuel for a lot of good parties and also Jake remembers well when he was running an election campaign, you just had to have it.

J; An old lad up here used to make me about 3 gallons of Moonshine for every election Campaign, a fellow wasn't sure if I put more water in that or not, it got a bit weaker, Oh Yes, well you seemed to know where you were going, if a fellow at that time told you he wasn't voting Conservative, he told you he wasn't voting Conservative so it was no use in bothering with him with the Moonshine you know, there was a lot of votes picked up with Moonshine.

M; There was?

J; Oh you damn right, you damn right, see the old lads could see you change the bottles in your pocket you know, take it out of this pocket, put it in the other pocket, you'd see them rolling their eyes you know. (Laugh)

M; Would you go to them?

J; Oh we'd go to them, walk past, when your going out you know, Yep, he'd come to the door with you, open the door and stand there, we knew what he wanted, he wanted a bottle of Moonshine, drink of Liquor, a bottle of Moonshine, You Know. Liquor was damn dear then, you couldn't bye it then. It was illegal to sell it, Eh , but the Moonshine was O.K. The old lad used to make it out of Rhubarb, I don't know what to hell he put in it but it had a hell of a kick to it.

M; Jake has to take somebody else's word for that, this lovable rascal never smoked or drank in his life!

J; I never drank or never smoked in my life, the only time I ever tasted wine was on communion Sunday, I never had time to learn too busy, too busy. Well I made a lot of money, I lost a lot of money, I have a lot of Property and I haven't got a hell of a lot of moneybut I'm happy anyhow, if you can't pay somebody, its the other fellow that doing the worrying, not me. I have a good family, good boys, and the Grandchildren carry me around every one of them, I like company, just like men working for me, I never figured a man was working for me,I always figured he was working with mew, and if he wasn't with me, I didn't want him. But times have changed so much now, now you know you can't tell a man you go and do that, you ask him, will you do that? He's in control, but we had no trouble with the men, the only thing is they don't come back but you can't blame the poor fellows for that, they've worked like hell in the bush and they make maybe 35 to 40 dollars a day and they go to get settled up and look what's taken off them, you can't blame them, they can go to the Hotel every afternoon and draw 92 dollars a week, you can't blame them. I think there (The Government) going to give us old lads a lot more now, well that's what I hear them talking about, the last raise they give us it was 92 cents, maybe they'll make it to the dollar this time, (Big Laugh).

M; (Comment) Jake Stewart the Lumberman, farmer, the hunter from the Ottawa Valley, he was the master of the hunt for a lot of City people and he used to get a lot of fun out of the Green Hornes as he did out of the hunt itself.

J; Somebody reported that we were hunting in the Park, this fellow landed down and I said to him, the best way to show you is to come out where we are hunting and I said were not hunting in the Park. He said I think that's a good Idea, he stopped me and he said Mr. Stewart tell me now, I was told in Toronto that I could pretty well go by what you tell me and does your dogs ever run in the Park, now I said I'll be honest with you, a young dog or probably a strange dog might cross the line here or run the Deer close here, and he might cross and run the Deer in the Park alright but when he comes back our old hounds will beat the Pis out of him. We were down a piece from the lunch place and where a Buck had scratched on the Park Line, cleaned off about 3 or 4 feet square, He siad now Mr. Stewart whatwould do that, now that's the old hounds here when we run from the North side and when he comes to the Park Line they'll throw the brakes on, Now is'nt that wonderful, he said, It must take an awful lot of training Mr, Stewart. He went down to Pembroke there, you know,and told them about the co-operation he got up here and the Chief told him, I know damn well who you were talking to up there. You didn't have to tell me.

M; You had a reputation as a Rascal.

J; We had a lot of fun, ya, fun with a preacher, come here from the States, he thought when he crossed the border down at Windsor or where ever he crossed he was going to the North Pole. Because they sold him a

long sheep skin coat, remember the big sheep skin coats they used to sell years ago, and a big cap and a pair of long felt Boots. He were hunting this morning and had a pretty good hunt too, they were hunting up on the Park Line and they got 4 or 5 deer that morning and killed 3 Moose, so Mel my second oldest boy was in charge of that gang and a French fellow who used to work for me here, Arbour, Ernie Arbour, stout, hardy and about two thirds crazy and if someone noticed that he done more than the other fellow, he'd do twice as much and the sole-saver got in with him, the Preacher you see, on this Buck, a damn good size of a Buck, six or seven spikes you know, and Arbour bull'ed it through the alders and over the rocks, you know and down the other side and you could see the steam off the Sole-Saver when he was a couple hundred feet back in the Bush and when he l landed out at the lunch place he couldn't eat for 5 or 10 minutes, Oh my god, he was saying and he was taking long breaths, you know, and was having a hard time to breath, Doc. Pern from Brockville, Doc. Pern was quite a lad, every fall when Doc. came up to hunt he would bye a dog and this fall he bought a female, a damn good one she was, a black and Tan, and we had an old mongrel here, Pete, and he was pretty handy with those females, he could talk them into a lot of fun you know, for Pete, Doc knew that and he went to the vet down there

and got some tablets so she wouldn't get to chummy I guess with Pete,

I herd the Preacher gulping again so I winked at Pern and I said to the Preacher, Are you having trouble sir?, Oh yes, he said, I shouldn't have pulled so hard on that Buck Mr. Stewart, my Doctor warned me that I shouldn't do any heavy pulling, and again he grunted and took some kind of a turn they were coming faster you know, so I said to him, I take them too so I don't do any pulling, I noticed that he said back, (Laugh)

but I have some tablets I take, will you take one, Oh Mr. Stewart he said I'll take anything, all the time he was getting worst, you see, so I said to Doc. Pern give me the keys to your car, I want to get some of them tablets, so I got two tablets and put them in a Tea Dish they dissolved in the water and I give them to the sole-saver, I don't think it was more than 2 or 3 minutes till his eyes started to roll, like a Rock Bass in the Rapids, and he made for the Bush,(Big Laugh) he didn't make it about the second jump he made from the fireplace he left the big coat and he still didn't make it, he sat out most of that night in the outhouse and the next morning right after Breakfast he pulled for home. I guess he'd never forget that hunt, Eh. Lots of fun then, lots of fun.

M; (Comment) One of Jake Stewarts greatest treasures is a poem that one of his customers wrote, called;

 

The Master of the Hunt

There's a place for good cheer where we go every year

To an Inn on the shore of the Bay

Where the Dogs on the run and the Crack of a Gun

Are the sounds that you hear every day

It is there every fall that King Jake gives the call

To all hunters to take up their stand while

With the Blue Tick and Teddy, the Black Bitch and Reddy

He hikes for the packed timber land

He's the master of Hounds on his own Hunting grounds

And God help the unfortunate Guy who in any way shirks

Or buggers the Works or let the Buck on the Runway go by

Young and old Big and small he is loved by them all

Let the boys come up with a Toast to the son of Good Luck

Nursemaid to a Buck and a perfect generous sole.

Charlie Ratrey

M; By the Calendar some might think Jake is getting old, after all he is pushing 80.

J; I don't feel much different, No, I can walk ten hours yet in the Bush, the one thing that might be against me is my eyesight, I can't see as good as I used to see, I can see all right yet, I still drive my car, keep the white line of the left, that's where you are supposed to keep it, Eh? I guess your only as old as you feel, Eh? Imagination has a lot to do with the old fellows, it has a lot to do with the young ones too, but it has a hell of a lot to do with the old ones, I know. I know people six months ago, there was nothing wrong with them, and they Imagine they are sick, but they are walking around yet and doing the same thing they used to do, so there can't be very much wrong, Eh? They Imagine they are finished, I guess. It must be an awful thing to figure your done, My Mother lived to be 85, my Dad died young, he was only about 73 or 74. I've got 12 boys and three girls 49 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren and 5 or 5 more started. I had one of the finest wives that any man ever had,I don't think she ever had an enemy, I'm quite sure she never had.

M; She's not long gone either, Is she?

J; No, 12 months on the 25 day of Aug. You know, you don't know what you had until you lose it, this was a happy home here, I'm telling you and it was full every night neighbors, people and it was a jumping off place for them all. The other house that burnt, it had an upstairs in it you see, our Kitchen table was 22 ft. long, always had a couple of girls helping Janet, Janet was my wife and I always had a couple of men around looking after the horses or some damn thing or driving a truck.

M; Kitchen table 22 ft. that wasn't a kitchen table, that was more like a Banquet table.

J; Yep, 22 ft long, a lot of lies told around that table.

M; (Comment) Jake Stewart seems to be indestructible, he farms a little, fishes and hunts a little and a whole lot of Laughing.

J; Well no one will tell me when I'm done, I'll do that myself. If the good lord spares me, Oh, I'm good for a while yet, I hope anyway. Thank you, it has been my pleasure, Sir.

 

 

 

 

 
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