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Signed, 9 x 6 inch hardcover book of 169 pages. In 1830, an elderly Donald MacKay calls his family and relatives together. He will tell his life story. His grandson Seumas Mackay is at this cèilidh. A heavy question rests on his mind. What happened to his half breed grandmother, Hannah MacKay?
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    On any fine day you can see the old brown tombstone on the graveyard knoll at the Kenzieville Cemetery in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Here,  lie the long forgotten remains of ‘Mad’ Donald MacKay the notorious  18thcentury fur trader. His one hundred and eighty year old grave  marker of faded  sandstone so coated with tenacious lichen and years of winter weathering that his name is only partly legible. On the bottom of the quarried stone, barely readable, is an inscription, “Behold all ye that do pass by, remember that you all must die.” With the MacKay’s of Barneys River attending he was set there in an eternity box on a brilliant sunny June day in 1833. Some of his present ancestors say Donald was an angry man all his life. ‘Mad’ Donald, the fur trader and explorer lived eighty summers. Many would say that a man who had crossed the North Atlantic Ocean on sailing schooners nine times between 1773 and 1820 was just plain lucky. The number of times Donald MacKay faced death in the fur trade country in disputes with Indians and competing traders from the North West Company was allayed only by the ferocity of his passionate Highland temper. He would face every challenge, once threatening to fire his pistol into barrels of gunpowder to hold threatening Native trappers at bay. Starting his fur trade career with Gregory McLeod and Company in 1779, he would later become an independent trader then, labour for the North West Company before joining the Honourable Hudson Bay Company. ‘Mad’ Donald would spend 18 years exploring and trading in the American and British northwest. His travels with his country wife, the young Metis woman, Hannah Sutherland saw Donald range from the Mandan Country on the Missouri, west to Pine Island on the Saskatchewan River and north to the HBC coastal ports on Hudson Bay. Dòmhnall MacAoidh, as known to his Gaelic tongued peers, was a rugged tough man. He was a sturdy  Gael . He once walked in the freeze of a snow-bound winter from Halifax to Montreal in 1788-89. It took 69 exhausting days on snowshoes to accomplish the task. In the annals’ of Hudson Bay Company fur traders, Highlander ‘Mad’ Mackay was aggressive, feared and despised by many in his own Honourable Company as well as voyageurs from Quebec. Mackay, a former soldier was ever ready with his sword and pistols to challenge danger or any affront to his Scottish sensibilities.

    In 1830, an elderly Donald MacKay calls his family and relatives together. He will tell his life story. His grandson Seumas Mackay is at this cèilidh. A heavy question rests on his mind. What happened to his half breed grandmother, Hannah MacKay?    



    “I have seen some of their women about as white as any Canadien woman. They came very often to see my breast and skin and were surprised to see my skin so white.”
    “I was in bed and their Chief came with a princess to present her to me to keep that night to congratulate my arrival in his Dominion. He found himself happy now to assist me in anything I might be in need of.”  HBC E223/1

    “Mr. Holmes began to curse and swear that I should be kept there till I would give a  better account of myself. I had my cutlass. I told him he would not keep me. He challenged to box my eyes out. I told him as he was a gentleman I would not deny him with any weapon he would choose. He said, ‘Donald, a sword or a pistol would not soon heal as a black eye, if a sword would get into a man’s heart, he would never heal’. HBC E223/1

RED LAKE, 1789

    “Mr. McKay’s behaviour this evening give me no favourable idea that I shall pass a very agreeable winter with him. His launching out into such gusts of passion without the least provocation make me think at times he is deranged in his mind.”
    “Mr. McKays behaviour this evening shew’d evident symptoms of an unsettled mind, parading in the yard with his sword and pistols challenging the whole Factory to fight him.”
1798-1799 HBC B 33



James R Stevens

James R. Stevens is originally from St. Marys, Ontario. He attended Cornell University on a hockey scholarship from 1960 to 1967 where he obtained a BSc degree in Agriculture  and a Master of Arts degree in English history. For the past forty years he has lived on the shore of Lake Superior in the Municipality of Shuniah, Ontario, just east of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Stevens is a member of The Writers Union of Canada. He is the author of fifteen books, two which have been funded by Tel film Canada for dramatic movies. He has worked extensively in partnership with First Nation artists and elders to produce books for First Nations students in colleges and universities. As an educator-a long term counsellor at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario-he was motivated by the lack of appropriate reading material for all students interested in Aboriginal history and culture. His 2012,  ‘Wild on the Superior Frontier: A Romance of Settler’s Lives 1845-1900’ won the Gertrude H. Dyke Award for non-fiction. He says of his writing:
    “I enjoy researching and writing previously untouched northern topics. With this approach most of my book adventures result in volumes that have enduring value. The ‘Wild on the Superior Frontier’ volume is the first book, of hundreds written on Lake Superior, that treats the Great Lake as a frontier of western civilization. My 1971 book, ‘Sacred Legends’ done with the late Cree Artist, Carl Ray has been in print for over forty years. The book, Killing The Shamen,  co-authored with the late Chief Thomas Fiddler has had nine editions printed. Not many authors can claim this longevity in their writing.”



Aboriginal Art

 Aboriginal Paintings Canada

Canadian Aboriginal Paintings depicting the rich indigenous culture of the First Nation People's Woodland style of art. Living north of Lake Superior and south and west of the Hudson Bay coast. 

Eugene Morriseau, Moses (Amik) Beaver, Francis Esquega


 Canadian Aboriginal Art, Moccasins

 Aboriginal Art Moccasins depicting the hand beaded designs of a rich indigenous culture of the First Nation people, living north of Lake Superior and south and west of the Hudson Bay coast.



Lake Superior Books

Lake Superior Books  

A selection of books by local authors from around the Lake Superior Region. 

Stories about Canadian and Lake Superior history, it's people and their culture.

Wayne PettitRon Wrigley, James R Stevens




 Bamboo Luxury 1900 Series Sheets

 Bamboo Luxury Sheets

Wrinkle Free Silky Soft Feel Deep Pocket Sheets 4 Piece Sheets -
•Machine wash in cold water with similar colours

•Tumble dry on low heat
•Do not bleach, dry clean or iron


Shipwreck Maps

Attractive, fascinating and historically accurate shipwreck posters, available for all five Great Lakes plus the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

A double-ink printing technique is used to create the dark navy blue on cream paper. The result is a stunning, rich effect. For anyone interested in shipwrecks, these maps offer the very best information regarding when, where and what. “Portholes of History” give you insight, facts and figures.

24 x 30 inches, shipped rolled in a tube.

Shipwreck Map Lake Supeiror
Lake Superior

Shipwreck Map Lake Huron
Lake Huron

shipwreck map Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan

Shipwreck Map Lake Erie
Lake Erie


Shipwreck Map Lake Ontario
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Lake Superior Coffee

Lake Superior Coffee, a craft coffee specially roasted on the shores of Lake Superior. We use only the finest Arabica Coffee Beans.

 Lake Superior Coffee

12 oz & 8 oz bags of
Lake Superior Coffee

Lake Superior Coffee Free Trade

Porphyry Lighthouse

Rock Of Ages Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Oliver Oil and Balsamic Vinegars

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oils Balsamic Vinegars
750 ml         375 ml     200 ml