PA Club Mysteries

by Ralph Martone

On our recent trip to the Pa Club (June 2009), Bill Hasely and I found several interesting points of interest I thought members & guests might enjoy. Here is a brief description of each one:

Georgian Bay Thermostat

If you ever wonder why your week at the Pa Club is cold, rainy and the next person's week is bright and sunny, the reason may be that the other group knows the location of the Georgian Bay Thermostat.

During the Haas/Devido week in July, PA Club members, Bill Hasely and Ralph Martone were musky fishing when something caught their attention on a nearby tree. A quick look through Ralph's binoculars showed what appeared to be an electronic device.

Curiosity got the better of the two fishermen and before they knew it Bill was scrambling out of the boat. Upon closer examination, the strange device turned out to be a modern programmable thermostat.

Now that Bill and Ralph know the location of the thermostat that controls the temperature of Georgian Bay, they have assured their wives of excellent weather during their annual trip to the Pennsylvania Club.

The Not-So-Lucky Horseshoe

There is a pine tree (of course) marked with the remnants of a horseshoe. I will offer two possible stories behind the significance of the horseshoe's location.

The first tale involves a French trapper, Pierre Haasmyass, who insisted on riding his horse across the frozen ice of Georgian Bay while checking his trap line. One particularly cold winter's day, with temperatures nearing 40 below, Pierre set off to look for beavers, and figuring he may as well check his traps while he was out. So he saddled up his horse, Sinkslikearock, and set off for far away Pennsylvania Island, known in those days as CooksTooGood Island.

Unfortunately, along the way the pair ran into a patch of thin ice and fell through. Haasmyass climbed onto the back of Sinkslikearock and jumped onto a nearby rocky point. The sinking horse made a huge lunge toward a nearby pine tree where one of his well-worn horseshoes froze to the tree before he lived up to his name and sank like a rock.

The horseshoe's mark remains there to this very day as a testament to Sinkslikearock's sacrifice and Haasmyass's poor judgment when it came to finding beaver.

The second possible story involves a drunken fisherman, a bunch of walleye and a stupid horseshoe which doesn't even compare to the Haasmyass story.

Anyway's, do you know where the pine tree (what a shock, a pine tree on a rock) with an old horseshoe on it, is located?

The Indian Mailbox

Many people don't realize that the tribe of Indians that lived in Georgian Bay were a very happy people. The source of their happiness can be attributed to their invention of a system of mail delivery and the large number of beavers they saw everyday.

The Indian Mailbox is one of the last remnants of the Georgian Bay Indians mail system. Cut about eye level into a high rock face, the mailbox opening and depth are almost identical in size and shape to a modern mailbox. Indians would paddle their canoes to the mailbox and leave a birthday card, letter or an overdue bill for the scalp, cousin Menges borrowed but never returned.

Unfortunately, Indians would occasionally find bird poop, snake droppings and even muskrat crap in the mailbox. This proved to be the earliest known form of junk mail.

Later the slow and inconvenient Indian mail system was replaced by a more modern system where fishing nets were hung from trees and messages could more quickly be tossed into the nets from passing canoes. This was the first known application of the internet.

Well, does anyone from the PA Club know where the Indian Mailbox is?

On next year's trip Bill and Ralph will be happy to locate these and possibly more landmarks and provide the longitude and latitude of each item. In the meantime, if you know of a unique and interesting feature in the vicinity of the PA Club, record its location and drop Tony a note.