Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ontario, Canada: Oromocto Spring

In the Waterloo Region of Ontario, Canada two early aboriginal Indian tribes lived in what is today known as Homer Watson Park * in Doon. Doon is just southeast of the city of Kitchener.

Winter on the Grand River
This area including Cressman’s Woods is on the banks of the very picturesque Grand River.

A young maiden named Nashwaaksis was a member of the Attiwandron tribe. She was in love with a warrior, Oromocto who was a member of a neighboring tribe--the Petuns.

Because these lovers were from two different tribes they had to keep their love a secret--they could not meet openly.

When Nashwaaksis heard that enemies of the Petuns, the warring Iroquois where going to attack she walked on foot from Doon to a site near Elmira where her lover’s tribe was camped for the season.

Nashwaaksis motive was to save her lover, she also knew her “reconnaissance mission” to warn would be of service but would also allow her cover so she could meet with Oromocto out in the open.

Tragically, the last time these two lovers met they stumbled upon the encroaching Iroquois near Doon.

Oromocto fought gallantly but was quickly killed in the battle. Nashwaaksis was inconsolable. It is said she was not able to recover-- she died of grief.

The Attiwandron tribe claimed both bodies and honored these two young people for their valiant effort.

The legend states as the tribe did a spring gushed forth from the earth on the spot where Oromocto was killed and where later Nashwaaksis was found dead.

The Attiwandrons took this spring as a great sign. They believed the water from this it was “as clear as the beautiful character of Nashwaaksis… and as cold as the heart of the Iroquois.”

They named this it Oromocto Spring after the brave young warrior.

Since this time many visitors that walk the area nearby state that Nashwaaaksis can still be heard crying for her lost love.

There have been many sightings of the young aboriginal woman. She is seen wondering and crying as she walks along the banks of the Grand River. It appears she is looking for someone.

Other accounts mention that her crying can be heard on the blowing wind--a low, soft mournful sob. Yet another more fanciful account states her grief can be heard in the water itself--as it babbles over the stones and rocks.

This legend that has endured, it first appeared in a local newspaper in 1917. Some state that at this point it was used to promote the “new park” and to boost the local WWl war effort.

Skeptics state it was invented just for this purpose. They have not succeeded in convincing witnesses to this phenomenon.

Regardless, it is a great story.

* The area renamed for Homer Watson a Canadian painter who was born in Doon was originally known as Attiwandron Park and was then named Cressman’s Woods.

Here is a nice video that shows the park and mentions how Homer Watson saved the area from logging. It is still pristine today because of his efforts.

No comments: