December 8, 2023

Professional Archaeologist Guest at October Hastings Historical Society Meeting

An Introduction to the Guest Speaker

Interesting Facts about the Rice Lake Trading Post

Hastings – Fri., Sept. 22, 2023 – The Hastings Historical Society (HHS) is extremely pleased to welcome Robert (Bob) Pearce as its presenter on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 7 pm at the Hastings Civic Centre.

Bob is a professional archaeologist with an incredible career including 30+ years at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology in London, instructing at Western University as well as his extensive field work. Following his retirement, Bob and his wife took the opportunity to settle in the Rice Lake area in 2016.

Subsequently, he has been no less active in his research of the rich archaeology and history of this area.  He will be sharing with us, in his words:

“In 1896, Ontario’s first professional archaeologist David Boyle visited the Rice Lake area and documented several important archaeological and historical sites. One of those was the “Old Bay House”, a trading post at the mouth of the Otonabee River first established in 1793. In regard to that site, Boyle (1897:97) stated that the story of the trading post “forms an interesting episode in the local annals and should be written by someone”.

This talk will respond to that challenge by documenting the people and events surrounding the Rice Lake trading post. This especially involved brothers Jacob and Lawrence Herkimer and their families, their nephew Captain Charles Anderson and his family, and Joseph and Rachel Harris. Closely tied to this story and its people was the formation and growth of the Rice Lake Reserve (now Hiawatha First Nation), and indeed the story of eighteenth-nineteenth century Otonabee Township in Upper Canada.

These stories touch upon an incredibly large number of topics, including the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mackenzie Rebellion, British royalty, Downing Street, Lieutenant-Governors and Governor Generals of Upper Canada, Methodist missionaries, the North West Company, the Hudson Bay Company, the New England Company, “two kegs of rum and two carrots of tobacco”, 100,000 muskrats, a sniper, a craft store, a bowling alley and much more.”

We hope you can join us for his presentation and the opportunity to reconnect as we kick off our 2023/2024 meeting season.

Books, past calendars and 50/50 draw tickets will be sold to support the HHS. 

All welcome, free admission.  Light refreshments will be served after the presentation. 

The Hastings Historical Society gratefully acknowledges the support and participation of the Hastings Public Library.

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