Madawaska Village, Ontario, Canada
A Nineteenth Century Murder in a Missing Ghost Town
November 24, 2012:
Glad to have you back. Liked your link in the What`s New link, the one that linked us to Stompin Tom.
I have a question about the Madawaska area but not sure what page it should go on in your website.
I`m pretty sure there was a village called Madawaska either on the Madawaska River or on Calabogie Lake. I have looked at two old maps and can`t
find the village mentioned. There was a murder there in 1888 or 1889, can`t remember just now.....at the Burns (aka Byrnes) Hotel.
I am trying to find a photograph of the hotel. Don`t know if it exists today or not.
This sounds like something Taylor Kennedy would know about.... I have cc:d him. I also cc:d Catherine Johnston, who is a descendant
of the murdered man Robert Ferguson. We know the story of the murder, but are just trying to find a picture of the Hotel,
or at the least a picture of the village of Madawaska.
Thank you very much
Karen and Taylor:
OK, here is the expert on the Madawaska area. His name is Bill Graham and he is the editor of the Madawaska Highlander, a history guy
and he has lots of contacts in the Madawaska Highlands area.
Three of us, Karen, Taylor and myself are interested in finding the location of the old village of Madawaska. You submitted some material
regarding the history of your area to our web page at www.bytown.net/mountpat.htm a couple of years ago and maybe you can help us
out with this material. One source says that the village was located at the north-west end of Bark Lake. Is this correct? Here is its location
today according to Google Maps:
On the map above, Madawaska Village is shown as the Letter A, halfway between Whitney at Algonquin Park and the town of Barry's Bay.
Clyde Kennedy's book "The Upper Ottawa Valley" confirms that this was the location of the village. Here is an excerpt from page 157:
For some reason, I thought that the village was farther east, in the Griffith / Calabogie area.
We have a general history of the Madawaska River. That page shows some maps of the Madawaska River System.
However, I'm not convinced that the village on Highway 60 is the village where the murder occurred. In the 1820's, the name given to
Arnprior was "Madawaska". Also, here is a reference to what seems to be another village with the same name, closer to Calabogie: (from Karen)
Excerpts From the Perth Courier, Aug. 23, 1889
Tragedy at Calabogie Lake
..."I`ll fight that fellow or I will be in hell tonight". These were the remarks of an enraged river man in the village of Madawaska
on Tuesday night......Madawaska is a small village on the Kingston & Pembroke Railway (the K and P) fourteen miles from Renfrew.....
both men were employed at High Falls (Barrett Shute?)...On Tuesday Ferguson and McLaughlin went down from High Falls to Madawaska...
Almost an hour afterwards he found McLaughlin quietly sitting on the verandah at Burns' Hotel......He (McLaughlin) was advised to
give himself up, but first to go to his home at High Falls and see his wife and two children. Jamieson helped him out with his boat
and he started up the lake. ....The thriving village of Madawaska, Calabogie Lake, is located on a very romantic and pretty spot
on the line of the Kingston & Pembroke R. R......When the wind is high and the log drivers in the employ of E. B. Eddy, Hull, P. Q. ,
cannot work at Calabogie lake they take their head quarters at Madawaska. ....six men are located at the village to urge the logs
on their way down the river....McLaughlin, who lives at the head of the lake, and Robert Ferguson....were two of the men stationed
at the village....On Tuesday the weather was not suitable for the drivers to work so they gathered at Madawaska....They with
others met in the bar room of Byrnes Hotel with others......"
The above is a story about Ferguson and McLaughlin who got in a fight, and McLaughlin ended up shooting and killing Ferguson.
So I am trying to locate on a map where this `village of Madawaska' on Calabogie Lake was, or rather where the Burns Hotel was.
Thanks to Taylor Kennedy for the following article from the Ottawa Citizen of 1952: I have a book here about the history of the K&P Railway
and when I locate it, I'll add more material to this discussion. ... Al
The large McGlaughlin Lumber Company had a mill at the village of Madawaska as did the Murray Brohers who moved from Richmond to Pembroke.
And thanks to Taylor Kennedy for the following article from the Ottawa Citizen of 1952:
November 26, 2012:
From what I researched this morning, the Calabogie Station of the K & P railroad was actually called Madawaska, which had three hotels,
Moran Hotel, Legree Hotel and another ( May have been The Byrnes Hotel). High Falls is situated by the Barrett Chute. In early documents,
Calabogie name was used not because of a village but the name of the Lake. The Madawaska Station was renamed to Calabogie Station when
the CPR took over because they had another Madawaska Station at Barry's Bay.
According to Karen's story, the road that led from High Falls was called High Falls Road now Mill Street and was the main thoroughfare.
The locations mentioned in the story would be these locations with Burnstown a short distance away. The "Thriving Village of Madawaska,
Calabogie talks about the location O'J' O'Brien built a causeway to bring the K & P across the lake and was renamed in the 1930's.
McLaughlin went to High Falls to see his family not a long journey around the lake.
In short, this is the location of the story.
I will tidy the information up as I jumped all over the place
PS See below. The picture is taken from the old K & P lake crossing looking at Calabogie Lake, west. The Kingston & Pembroke railroad
was also called by some as the Kick & Push railroad. (Map and photo sent in by Taylor).
Hmmm. In the photograph on the right, above, the white church in the village of Calabogie can be seen. Barryvale Lodge and the causeway are around the corner,
on the left side of the lake. See picture below.
The Causeway at Calabogie, Ontario, Canada, built by M. J. O'Brien
I'll be back to this later this morning.
E-mail Karen Prytula, Taylor Kennedy and Allan Lewis
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