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Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Update 9

Indian Village

Sun, 30 Mar 2008

Hi Wayne and Sandy

I used Google to take a look up the creek. Approximately 1950 feet north-north west of the bridge, the creek empties from a wider and more shallow valley which has a light coloured field on the east side of the creek. Many trails are visible but what caught my attention are the clear lines of poles from a couple of longhouses. The measurements match very well with the ones over at Crawford Lake Conservation, (33 feet wide by 183 feet long, with three lines of posts running parallel, the center line supporting the ridge of the longhouse). There are signs of a pallisade, another smaller long house to the south of the main one, and three large circular shapes which may have been other buildings. The coordinates for this if you want to look them up on Google, are 43D 41M. 41.18 S. North x 79D. 58M. 32.23 S West. This puts you right in the middle of the main longhouse. I have asked Heather Henderson, and Archaeologist to comment on this site because she will have data on the village and references.

I meant to ask why the Catholic School Board is running a facility out of the arch frame building at the east end of the farm? This is clearly a CVC interpretive center with classrooms, so how do they decide that this is important but ignore the heritage building already on the site? (Obviously dumb question, they know it will cost money to fix.) However, it is possible to take the tack that running an interpretive center on the site, but ignoring the historic heritage of the site, is illogical.

Regarding the millrace, I have been checking timber cribs and recall that a millpond in Stockdale, that I visited in 1968 had replaced the original timber cribbing with concrete piers but still used heavy hardwood planks as the dam to hold back almost 15 feet of pond. the water spilled continuously through the joints in the timbers, which I found visually fascinating. I did one of my earliest serious sketches of this dam and mill, but the drawing is long lost. What I do remember clearly is watching kids swim in the pond from the top of the dam. I had never learned to swim, coming from the dry prairie, where the only thing we called a swimming hole, was a green smelly pool on Eagle Creek where the Herefords left patties every few feet in the pasture. (Looking back on it, kids in Africa don't seem to have it so bad with their swimming holes.) While standing by myself, I suddenly felt a huge push and found myself heading straight to the bottom of the pond. I watched the many pairs of legs treading water above me, before realizing that someone had pushed me into the pond. I realized that it might be a good idea to try to get back to the surface, and had kept my mouth closed, so broke the surface in time for my older cousin to haul me out on the shore. She chewed out the Dutch girl who had pushed me in. (Perhaps she was trying to be friendly, but she had never considered that somebody might not know how to swim, because everyone she knew in Holland could swim.) So I survived my first millpond, and paid special attention to how it functioned in the community.

I feel fairly certain that a 6 foot wide millrace across the road would have been bridged with a few heavy planks allowing wagons to cross the water before it fell on the overshot wheel. If so, the mill would have been constructed on the east bank of the creek at the inside bend where the road bends from the east abutment of the bridge. A high rubble wall has been laid against this embankment to hold the soil back.

What are your thoughts?


Tom Murison

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