Thursday, 7 June 2012


Port Arthur - Fort William - Westfort - Schreiber - Nipigon
November 11, 1938  page 9

From: The Fenwick papers - Nipigon Museum Archives

Soo Star Editor Addresses Toronto Service Club on Norsemen in North America

By Canadian Press

Toronto - Nov. 11 - Belief the Norsemen landed in North America more than 1,000 years ago and visited the area about the Great Lakes was advanced again today by J.W. Curran of the Sault Ste. Marie Star. Mr. Curran has made extensive study of relics, thought to be Norse, found in Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The usual belief among historians, he told a Toronto service club, was the first Vikings had settled on the Atlantic coast somewhere between Florida and Labrador. This was contrary to Norse writings, which located the Norse "Vineland" southwest of Greenland. That bearing would touch James and Hudson Bays, from which there was an easy water passage to the Great Lakes regions.

Other excerpts from Norse sagas tell of country similar to Manitoba and the river regions near James Bay, he said. "Self-growing" wheat, of which the Vikings spoke was in his opinion Prairie grass, because wheat was unknown in North America until the conquest of Mexico by Cortez centuries later.

Another point Mr. Curran stressed was the naming of a Norse battleship, launched in 1027, with the Norse word for Bison. He argued if the Vikings had landed on the Atlantic coast instead of penetrating the lakes region, they would never have heard the Buffalo mentioned.

The relics found in the Great Lakes area were a suit of armour, said by authorities to be of 11th century stamp, found near Lake Nipigon in 1930, a spear-head found in Sault Ste. Marie in 1938, and a runic stone found in Minnesota in 1898.  (F)our axes were also unearthed in Wisconsin, some 360 miles from the suit of armor.

Every evidence of the Norse visits, Mr. Curran said, has been found in the Great Lakes areas.

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