October 28, 2003

A bit about Mazinaw

I've been doing a bit of looking around about Mazinaw, Bon Echo Park and the stuff in and around here. For a decent look at what the park surrounding the lake is all about check out this site.

It turns out that the The Mazinaw Lake Monster isn't named Mazzy after all. The Indian name for it is Mishipashoo, which is both more impressive and somewhat more sneeze-like as far as names go. Here's a pic of the beastie:

As some of the meanings of the pictographs are not known, it is believed that the image in the lower right depicts a canoe carrying people across to the Rock. The larger image above the canoe figure is believed to be that of a Great Water Lynx, termed Mishipashoo in Ojibway. Native legends say that this water spirit inhabits large bodies of water, like Mazinaw Lake. Natives would offer tobacco to this spirit before embarking on a journey across such waters. The tobacco was offered with a prayer to appease this spirit with the hope that it would not whip up its great spiked tail and tip their canoe.

Oddly, there isn't much on the Indian drawings that are all over Bon Echo Rock. They are mentioned all over the place but finding pictures of them are near to impossible and except for the tourist blurbs I haven't found any mention of them. The one of Mishipashoo above is one of the very few I've been able to locate.

The woods around here are ancient.

Bon Echo Rock has been admired for centuries. A new discovery has given the Rock even more importance. In 1990, the University of Guelph discovered Eastern White Cedar trees on the cliff which are upwards of 1,000 years old. This makes the trees here among the oldest in Eastern North America!

This whole area was viewed as a place of power by the Oglala and Ojibway tribes but, unlike many sacred places, they did not contest for it or try to stop the white man's advance into it. Maybe they know something that we don't?

Posted by Charles at October 28, 2003 10:54 AM

You know, they say writers should write what they know--maybe you could use this stuff in a story.

Posted by: Susie at October 28, 2003 12:40 PM

I was thinking that same thing, which was one of the reasons I started researching it (the other being that it peaked my interest). I'm having an awful difficult time getting info about it though. I think I might go back to civilization tomorrow and interview some of the locals.

For now, I've got my cheater bait and I'm off fishing.

Wish me luck!

Posted by: Chuck at October 28, 2003 01:06 PM

Got any cigarettes? You may need to keep a tobacco offering in reserve...just in case.

Posted by: King of Fools at October 28, 2003 03:28 PM

Im really glad someone has commited their time to make a website explaining and detailing the history of Mazinaw and its surroundings. As someone who has spent a good portion of their life as a cottager there, with family who was there many years before i was building our cottages by hand, we are all very greatful for this

Posted by: Kellie at August 20, 2004 12:04 AM

Love can damage more than you can heal with drinking.

Posted by: Meehan Keely at October 1, 2004 03:06 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?