Thursday, 29 March 2012

New Evidence of Norsemen

From the Nipigon Historical Museum Archives
The Fenwick "papers"
The News-Chronicle, October 5, 1938
page 1

New Evidence of Norsemen Will be Made Public Soon, Soo Editor Says; Believes Relics Story

By Canadian Press

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario, Oct 5 -

New and important evidence that Norse adventurers were the first white men to set foot on North America will be made public soon, J.W. Curran, publisher of the Sault Daily Star, said today in an article in The Star.

He and two other investigators are prepared to report that three Norse relics were actually found in 1931 near Beardmore, in Northwestern Ontario. They were produced in 1935 by James E. Dodd of Port Arthur, who sold them to the Royal Ontario Museum.

Mr. Curran said he investigated with little hope at first that the weapons could be proven to have been found in Ontario. He was assisted by Judge Alexander McComber, senior judge of Thunder Bay District, and Dr. George E. Eakins of Port Arthur.

The Relics sold by Dodd, a railway conductor and amateur prospector, were proven to be genuine Norse weapons of the 11th century but their discovery in Ontario was disputed. Dodd said he dug them up while prospecting for gold.

"I accept Mr. Dodd as a truthful man, and so accept his story as true and exact. There is no question in my mind but that he found the Norse relics where he says he did."

"There are important facts, to be revealed in due time, which will heighten very greatly the interest in the episode and widen its significance. The evidence concerning these now is being gathered with care. More than (page 2) the museum's three pieces have been unearthed."

Mr. Curran asserted the newly gathered evidence might possibly prove that Norse sailors came to Ontario by James Bay before the year 1100, or 400 years before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, and reached Lake Nipigon by way of the Albany and Kenogami Rivers.

Recently Mr. Curran supported a theory that so-called "white Indians" living on the west shore of James Bay might be direct descendants of Norse sailors.

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