I Killed Tom Thomson

Ok, so maybe my ancestors did… or rather their exploits. Canadian Mysteries has opened a web page dedicated to the mysterious death of the Group of Seven painter over 90 years-ago at Canoe Lake in Ontario’s Algonquin Park.

I don’t personally believe in any conspiracy regarding Thomson’s death, I ascribe to the theory that the lake did him in:

“Could it be that Algonquin Park, and Canoe Lake, were more dangerous than they appeared in Thomson’s paintings? As investigators began to consider the artist’s mysterious death, popular ideas of a peaceful, harmonious, natural parkland began to evaporate. The region bore the marks of intensive logging – treacherous stumps and logs lurked under the water’s surface. Could one of these have tipped Thomson’s canoe, resulting in his drowning? “

logging boat on Canoe Lake

I have long been a bona-fide nut over Thompson’s work, and the circumstances surrounding his death. Even more of a fanatic when I discovered some years ago of the person connection my family had to this story. Turns out the Allores were the loggers who harvested the area. The Allore ancestors worked for the Gilmore lumber company, and were stationed at Canoe Lake around the turn of the century. Later, Gilmore went bust and my great-grandfather bought the assets forming Allore Lumber.

So was Thompson the lumber camp cook? Did my great-gran bear a grudge, and ultimately do him in?

(If he did I apologize to Canadian Impressionist fans everywhere.)


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