Sunday, 11 March 2012


Compiled by: Joseph W. Auger
February 1963
in consultation with: Reverend John McHugh S.J.; Mrs. Mary Netamgesic; Mr. Ted Morriseau: Mr. Joe Hardy Sr.; Mr. James Graydon; Mr. Alex Salem; Mr. Moses Nokanagos Sr.; Mr. Robert Hardy Sr.; Mr. Dan Morriseau.

The following sections refer to othr high-rise features in MacDiarmid division, Thunder Bay District. The sections include the original Ojibway names with explanations and historical facts related to the localities.

Present name: Chisel Point
Original Name: "Eshgan - Nabik"
Translation: Rock slab shaped like a chisel
Location: Chisel Point is located on the east shore of Pitjitiwabik Bay on Lake Nipigon, a quarter mile north-west of MacDiarmid village, Kilkenny Township.

Present Name: MacDiarmid Tower
Original Name: "Jaganaski Oshtigwan"
Translation: The translation is not known but see "Frenchman's Head".
Location: It is located approximately two miles west of Kilkenny Township line.
Height: It is estimated at 1,400 feet above sea level. A vertical altitude survey was made by helicopter during 1962.

Present Name: Frenchman's Head
Translated from: "Wemtigoji Ostigwan"
Origin: When viewed from the east it has the outline of the French Military helmet of Napoleon's time.
Location: It is located on the left shore of South Bay entrance, Lake Nipigon.

Present Name: Otter Head
Translated from: "Nigig Oshtigwan"
Origin: There was a considerabel amount of discussion as to the origin of this high-rise feature. Apparently it was known as "Nigig - awaj - ka", literally translated, "abundance of Otter dens". Preference "Nigig Oshtigwan" was given. (Otter Head)
Height: The estimated elevation is 1,200 feet above sea level.

Present Name: Tchiatong Bluff
Origin: An elderly Indian resided across from the bluff known as Tchiatong Point. This bluff and point were named in honour of this man and his family. The meaning of the name can not be determined.

Present Name: Caribou Island
Origninal Name: "Adik - Onok"
Translation: Caribou Island - In earlier years Caribou yarded, grazed, and sheltered on this island.
Height: The height is estimated at 1,350 feet above sea level.

Present Name: "Gros Cap" - The French called this point Gros Cap because it was a large Cape. It is also known to local inhabitants as "Kitchi Neiashi" meaning "very big point".
Apparently names were chosen independently. THe French name was given in preference.

Present Name: "King's Head" - Abeki Point - map reference. We cannot relate this reference to any Indian terms.
Origin: The Indians originally named this feature "Ananaii Ajibika" meaning "cliff submerging under water".
Location: It is the north-east part of the Shakespeare Islands on Lake Nipigon
Height: It is the highest portion of the Shakespeare Islands and is estimated around 1,200 feet above sea level.

Present Name: High Hill Harbour
This name is derived from high hills on both sides of the harbour. Indians refer to these hills as a sacred land and named it "Tchibai - iag Kebabekipkishknowad" meaning when translated to English, "dead people piled in on heap covered over with rocks and boulders". Many people were killed here in the Battle of Lake Nipigon when the Sioux Indians and Ojibway Indians fought with bows and arrows, cudgels and spears. Signs of fox-holes or trenches were still evident as recently as 60 years ago (1963 time).

Present Name: Red Willow Islands
Original Name: "Miskobimaga Miniss"
Translation: Red Willows
Origin: These high-rise features were used by early Indians as identifying this part of Lake Nipigon because of a thick growth of red-barked shrubs. The northerly aspect is precipitous.
Height: The elevation is approximately 1,000 feet above sea level.

Present Name: Undercliff Mountain
Original Name: "Kijikabika" meaning "Precipitous mountain submerged under water". Note - Water depth is 40 fathoms, four feet from the shore. This was once called Echo Rock and later changed to the present name, Undercliff.
Height: These mountains are approximately 1,200 feet above sea level.
Location: They are located on the west shore of Lake Nipigon

Present Name: Jack Fish Island
Original Name: "Odissanake Miniss"
Translation: Brisket Island
Origin: It was called this because of the view from the Mountain Island. It has the outline of an animal's brisket or breast bone.
Height: The height is estimated approximately 1,400 feet above sea level.

Present Name: Barn Islands 1. Inner Barn 2. Outer Barn
Origin: In a southerly direction the islands have the appearance of barns from a distance. It is not recalled by any Indian origin. Its high-rise feature and oddity makes it of worth while interest.

Present Name: Mount St. John
Orignial Name "Mons Onok"
Translation: Moose Yard
Origin: "Ga-Wabi-Twanga" means "White sands". The White Sand Indian Reserve No. 81 was named after these sands but this has no definite bearing as to the reason for it being called MoutSt. John. The Indain name was only used to identify the area.
Height: The mountain rises approximately 1,200 feet above sea level.

Present Name: Haystack Mountain
Origin: There are 3 origins for this high-rise feature:

  1. "Mashkossiw ojiw" meaning "grassy Mountain".

  2. "Ga badik adenak" meaning "up-right object" or "standing object".

  3. Appearance of a large haystack from any direction.

When conversing with Mr. Bob Hardy Sr. he related that this was used as a means of an enemy lookout for the Sioux or Blackfoot tribes coming from the west and that there were always two men posted up there as watchmen. At that time he related that this area was untimbered and barren like an extensive meadow.
Height: This area is estimated at 1,400 feet above sea level.
Location: It is located a short distance from the C.N.Railroad, Kowkash Subdivision Mileage 89.9.

Present Name: -
Original Name: "Agose Abawineng Ojiw"
Translation: Looking-out place mountain
Local inhabitants do not use this high-rise feature or refer to it any longer. There is exceptional aesthetic value in this feature, especially during tourist season, it being adjacent to oour Blacksand Provincial Park Road (1962) The Junior Rangers have made several trips up this mountain and have placed a marker there.
Location: It is located in Kilkenny Township, between Highway #11 and the C.N. Railroad.
Height: It is estimated at 1,000 feet above sea Level.

Present Name: Cedar Mountain
Origin: This mountain is not of any Indian Origin. It was named Cedar Mountain because of the exceptionally valuable highland cedar stands.
Location: It is located three miles east of Highway #11, two and a half miles south of Ledger Township's boundary line. It is in the Limestone Lake area.

Presnt Name : -

Original Name: "Na-tawnga Agose aba wineng ojiw"
Translation: Sandy Lookout Place Mountain. The name is no longer referred to by local inhabitants.
Origin: It is said it was to have served as an Indian Lookout in the late 1800's during "Mushsash Kode Wa Sinong" which means, "when large meetings took place, area trampled over by the party". Presntly it is used by the Department of Lands and Forests Blacksand Provincial Park (1963) as a scenic lookout. It has excellent aesthetic potential. It is ideal for this purpose from its standpoint of view of Lake Nipigon. It has a good stand of Red Pine (Pinus Resinosa). Selwyn Dewdney looked for pictographs here in 1962. He found none.

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