Will there be a “reform” Ward 5 (Midhurst) candidate for councillor in Springwater Township in the next municipal election on Oct 27, 2014?

December 5, 2013

History suggests that this perception is useful for the 1 per cent.

Springwater ward 5a

Relatively few people will make hundreds of millions of $ because of the presently defined and future sprawl resulting from the Midhurst Secondary Plan and annexation stays as a “Done Deal”.

  • One family stands to lose $4,000,000  if it is defeated.

If the economic/political elite act as gatekeepers primarily for their self-interest as some have written,  Does township chief magistrate history suggest the next very, very charming Midhurst councillor will be able to deliver the Necessary Illusion of the trying to defeat the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

Last 4 mayors of Springwater Township (present to 1994).

Linda Collins mayor

Linda Collins

Tony Guergis

Tony Guergis *

John Brown

John Brown *

helen coutts

Helen Coutts *

An asterick (*) means they also served as Warden at the County of Simcoe.


Cross posted on  and iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca .


Whatever happened to the human remains of 300 First Nations men, women and children that were discovered in 1865?

August 1, 2013

Two published sources.

Dr. Coutts’ paternal grandfather was named Duncan (see D. Coutts on the south west corner of Pooles Road and Concession 2).

(1) Century Farms

An Indian Village On the Coutts Farm

In the Midhurst area, several villages of the Huron branch of the Iroquoian Family have been located. The Willow Creek area probably still contains sites yet undiscovered. Waterways, such as the Willow, were good means of travel for these people.

Indians of several nations lived in the Mistrust area. Some lived only a short time and moved on. However, the Huron lived here for some time in palisaded villages.

On the Coutts’ farm on Conc. 2, there must have been a village. About 1902, when my father ploughed the east field, we boys followed and found many clay pipes, broken stems, wampums, and utensils for skinning animals. On Fall, when our hired man left, he took a full box of our best artifacts.

Descendants of Ojibway and Hurons from Rama and Christian Island visited Willow Creek and Little Lake in the early 1900s. They would come in the warmer months and build several wigwams. The men would hunt and trap and the women would make baskets and napkin holders and come up the concession to sell door-to-door.  They sometimes camped in the pastures. Some of the men, for a while, would work as hired hands.

I remember on Indian man coming to our farm and asking my father for Kish-Kosh, which meant ‘pig’. Another Indian was Julie Ann Simcoe, whose father was a preacher. She sang in the choir at the local church.

I also remember an old Indian from the Rama Reserve, who used to sit on a bench at the market place in Orillia on Saturday, shopping day. Here is the order he classified people: ‘white man, Indian dog, nigger!” Guess he didn’t know about discrimination.

About the year 1865, my oldest uncle, and his father, Duncan Coutts, opened a large Indian grave about a half mile west of the old village. Three hundred skeletons were found men, women and children. Some had beads around their necks. The bones were well-preserved. On Sunday, horse and buggies stretched for a mile almost, to see the grave.

— Dr. Wallace Coutts, 1984

Excerpt: A History of Vespra Township, The Vespra Township Council, Allan Anderson & Betty Tomlinson Anderson, Editors, 1987, p. 68.

(2) Chapter Nine: The People of Midhurst


Duncan Coutts married Margaret McHardy. They came to Canada in 1856 and bought Lot 20, Concession 2, Vespra Township from Mr. Michie. Fifteen acres were cleared at the time. A log cabin also existed…

In the year 1865 a large bone pit was discovered and opened on the farm. About 300 skeletons were counted. There were not only warriors but it included women and children also. At another field many Indian relics were found when the field was ploughed. Skinning bones, wambum (sic) and many clay pipes were among the finds. This farm is now operated as a dairy farm by Ron and Helen Coutts, the 4th Generation to work the farm…

Second Excerpt and Map: Pioneer History of Midhurst, The Midhurst Historical Society, 1975. (Dr. Coutts, Editor, p. 3, excerpt p. 80, Map inside back page)

We needed them to win the War of 1812 for us and repaid them with biased history, land theft and planning their very extinction.

July 6, 2013

Chief LaForme: They promised us a lot and the end result was we got squat. The loss of land, that’s what we got.


Elder and storyteller Gary Sault performs Friday at Fort York in Toronto during a War of 1812 commemoration. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

In the Globe and Mail print edition, the byline reads: Original Toronto-area residents were crucial to fending off the Americans in 1812, but lost their land and feel betrayed by Canada.

Chief Bryan LaForme is unhappy with the War of 1812.

The rest of Canada may consider the conflict a thing of the past, and be largely immune to government-sponsored commemorations meant to boost the war’s image.

But on the Mississaugas of the New Credit reserve near Hagersville, Ont., within the confined 2,500-hectare homeland of an Ojibwa people who once roamed much of Southern Ontario, history persists in the present tense.

“For me, the war is a disappointment,” Mr. LaForme says over a morning coffee at the native-owned Country Style Bistrodeli, as Stanley Cup highlights flash on a nearby TV. “It’s always about the British and the Americans, with no mention of the First Nations. So we were virtually invisible until a few of our people made this a focal point for us and got some recognition for our contribution – which is nice, but about time.”

Two “mutually incomprehensive” views of land use.

This aboriginal view of shared land tenure has never squared with the non-native idea of real estate exclusivity. “It all starts from a basis of mutual incomprehension,” says historian Donald Smith, who is launching his book, Mississauga Portraits, at the New Credit community centre. “The First Nations believed they were lending the use of their land. The newcomers felt it was an outright handover. The expectation was that these people would eventually disappear: They would either be brought into the larger society or perish.”

Let’s repeat that last bit: The expectation is these people would disappear.

Relation to Springwater Provincial Park land dispute?

The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation is nation that the Province of Ontario continues to insist “surrendered” the Williams Treaties (Treaty 16) lands that the disputed Springwater Park sits on. New Credit elders consider this odd because they had never considered the land in Springwater Township theirs by ownership or sustained use (too far north). They’ve also stated that even if they were the legitimate party to contract with, they never, ever ceded topographically high land because they knew that was were the ossuaries (bone pits) were placed by their up to 10,000 year old ancestors.

The Minesing First Nations Trail follows the ridge of an ancient inland sea and cuts straight through Springwater Provincial Park. Highway 26 is well-documented by European historians as an “Indian Trail” starting from what was called the Old Flos Road (current Bayfield Street North and Spence Avenue). Please see A History of Vespra Township map below and Andrew Hunter’s 1906 map (56 native sites).

I felt especially honoured to be able to help show Site #19 to an Anishinabe grandmother last fall and tell her what I knew of its story.

When you walk into Springwater Park – Camp Nibi, you are walking on sacred gound.

Many treaties of that era are falling apart publicly in court and privately in confidential deals.

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