View topic - Wabakimi's Wendell Beckwith River Rat now on You Tube

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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 9:21 am 
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I thought everyone would want to know that I've started putting my old River Rat films on You Tube. The first is one Kip and I did in 1993 in Wabakimi, visiting Wendell Beckwith's hermitage on Whitewater Lake. Enjoy.


http://explore.outdoorsica.com/blogs/pa ... _universe/


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 9:36 am 
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While there is still a guestbook to sign in the Snail and a history in one of the buildings farther up the hill to read, many changes have taken place in the last 15 years since that video was made.

Sadly many of the buildings have had fallen chimneys, holes in roofs and rodent damage. Some of the artifacts have been removed for placement in museums.


The woods are taking over. The Snail is still OK though its front door hinges are gone and snow fence tries to keep people from climbing on the fragile roof.. its got a sizeable population of mice.

Blue tarps grace two of the other buildings roofs.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 9:46 am 
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I'm glad you added this. Your comments about the area had a lot to do with me asking the producer the rights to air the film on You Tube. There is even talk about the park burning the cabins. Does anyoneknow aboujt these rumours?


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 9:56 am 
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Fantastic … Beckwith sounds like a great book subject? He doesn't even have a Wiki page, and your film left me wanting to know more. Might be worth a trip to the Thunder Bay Historical Museum to have a look at his papers? Great subject, and excellent perspective and camera work to your trip and Wabakimi.

Extremely sad to hear about the current disrepair of the buildings.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 10:06 am 
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Kevin last year when my husband and I stopped my the MNR had just removed the birchbark canoe from the upper big lodge..the canoe that used to hang from the ceiling.

Blue tarps were evident on some of the buildings but no signs of renovation or repair.

I have suspicions that the MNR is letting the area go but no other concrete evidence.

The journals are in themselves priceless and my husband spent a lot of time reading them..they were still there.

Image

Image

Image

These were all taken in 2006 so its been a couple of years[/img]


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 12:30 pm 
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I (and my group) was lucky enough to visit the site a few years back with Uncle Phil, it will be a sure shame if it disappears :( It deserves to be saved so others can see how extraordinary and skillful Wendell Beckwith was.

jim


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 12:58 pm 
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As of this year, one of the local outfitters took the birch bark canoe not the MNR that hung in the rafters of one of the cabins. Not sure what they did with it. Who has property rights to the cabin and it’s contents? It's really too bad! It should be moved to Peterborough Canoe Museum.

Barry

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"Preservation of our waterways comes from those with little voices, big paddles, strong backs, weak minds and thick hides with which to ignore the bug bites." Organizer of "The Wabakimi Project"


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 1:34 pm 
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Thats interesting.. I think the outfitter was the one that put the onus on the MNR. I met one while I was there in 2007.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 1:40 pm 
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I heard that the non profit group that was looking after Beckwith's legacy, could not raise enough money to continue with the project. MNR has no funds available but put some tarps up in 2004, I think, to keep the water out.

Alas, I think the place is toast and will be allowed to disintegrate slowly ....back to nature.

Restoring and maintaining the buildings would require some megabucks and ..........for only a few visitors to see it every year.

As they say.... "It ain't going to happen."

Beckwith's genius was not his bogus science, but his ingenuity to adapt and use the resources that were available in the forest that he chose to live in.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 2:11 pm 
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I heard John Thomson(park super) on the CBC this morning and sadly mentioned nothing of this piece of history. Funny he mentioned nothing of the hundereds and hundreds of volunteer man hours put in to help maintain the parks campsites and portages.


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 3:13 pm 
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What was John's topic for the CBC, I am trying to down load it off their site?

It is sad the way the park can be neglected. Our guys last week ran into supposedly John's portage crew sitting around and had some small talk. They, first nations people, asked if they were part of Uncle Phil's group! Words out guys!

Thanks

Barry

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PostPosted: August 25th, 2008, 5:01 pm 
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Red Lake Rob wrote:
I heard John Thomson(park super) on the CBC this morning and sadly mentioned nothing of this piece of history. Funny he mentioned nothing of the hundereds and hundreds of volunteer man hours put in to help maintain the parks campsites and portages.


Sad to say I am not at all surprised but send us that link if you find it!

Also Bechwith never made any land purchase or lease easement. Essentially he was a squatter.

The result of the "negotiations" with the MNR are not spelled out regarding land use.

http://www.thunderbaymuseum.com/personal1.htm#A58


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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2008, 9:26 am 
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Here is a message I received from Tim Sullivan in Thunder Bay regarding the birch bark canoe.

“Good morning.

Under the parks direction, we had an MNR fire crew remove the canoe last year. It is being stored temporarily at Wilderness North until a suitable crate can be constructed and the canoe flown out. We will keep it in custody for safe keeping until a suitable location or park facility can put it on display”.


Barry

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"Preservation of our waterways comes from those with little voices, big paddles, strong backs, weak minds and thick hides with which to ignore the bug bites." Organizer of "The Wabakimi Project"


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PostPosted: September 5th, 2008, 1:48 pm 
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Lily Mills from CBC Radio One out of Toronto e-mailed me back on my request for the John Thomson podcast. This is what she wrote:

I would be happy to release that interview for you via the Listener's Choice podcast if you like. For those, we like to have the requesting listener voice an introduction over the phone.

Needless to say, I honored her request and they recorded my introduction over the phone today. The podcast will be aired next week Friday. This gave me a chance to do a little promo on "The Wabakimi Project" 8)

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"Preservation of our waterways comes from those with little voices, big paddles, strong backs, weak minds and thick hides with which to ignore the bug bites." Organizer of "The Wabakimi Project"


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PostPosted: September 5th, 2008, 5:00 pm 
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Boneli wrote:
This gave me a chance to do a little promo on "The Wabakimi Project" 8)


How cool is that! :clap:

Now I need to remember to listen. :D

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