Indian village No. 1

Extending north with the shore of lake Michigan from the portage river to Wilmette, fourteen miles is a sand ridge, the watershed between the north branch and the lake. This sand ridge, half a mile to the west, is paralleled by the High Ridge (Ridge Avenue) from Bowmanville to Evanston, seven miles. Continuing with the eastern edge of the valley of the North Branch there is also a ridge, but not sand (Lincoln Ave). The meeting point of the two last mentioned ridges was the center of Indian village No. 2, and later Bowmanville.

Indian village No. 1 was located in Sec 12 town Jefferson. Extending for two miles northeast from the river with Bowmanville Ave through the northwest quarter of Sec 7 and the east half of Sec 6 town Lake View. Through this space the high sandy ridge bends west, terminating in a gravel knoll, east of a small creek emptying into "Bowmanville lake," a widening of the river covering about thirty acres, with additional bayous.

On this ridge of red gravel and in line with Bowmanville Ave there were two principle chipping stations. One on Robey St south of Bryn Mawr Ave and one on Wenona and Francisco Avenues. An estimate of the number of stone weapons and implements from these two places would run into ten thousand specimens and includes all the known varieties and colors of flint, chert, waterworn pebbles, quartzite, sandstone, slatestone, chist, granite and basalt. Copper implements and weapons and decorated pottery from here can be seen in the collection of Phillip Schupp. No obsidian has been found but the omnipresent "paleolithic scraper" can be shown. The chipped marl-stones, some of which are identical with stone ax, found under the silt in the pond, range in weight from four ounces to fourteen pounds and proclude their use as either weapons, fishing sinkers or canoe anchors.

The Bowmanville sand ridge was covered with timber. East of the riverpond, to this day, there are large elm trees that would show a record of one hundred and fifty years. Canoe passage from the river, by way of the small creek, reached Berwyn Ave where at Francisco Ave there is a spring, to-day enclosed in drain tile. No symbolic Indian mounds are known to be at Bowmanville or Forest Glen. Any such find here may be classed as minor burials.

Indian tepee circles were found, near the Wenona Avenue chipping station, two hundred feet east of the southeast corner of Francisco and Foster Avenues, where the Allen house now stands, by the early settlers of Bowmanville, among whom are Daniel, son of John Gates and the late Charles Hedler. These tepee circles were visited during the Worlds Fair year, 1893, by a Chippewa Indian from the Reservation in Wisconsin. Although an ocatagenarian he desired to pay a farewell visit to his Sire's last resting place, as he explained to Mr. Hedler whom he met. The late Charles Hedler who settled in the northwest quarter section 12 town Jefferson in the early forties relates to his family and his grandson Ed that this little creek in Sec 12, before the bridge was built, was also used in drawing the seine when fishing in the creek.

Mr. Joe Budlong Jr. describes what is known as a French-oven, found years ago at the west end of the gravel ridge near the "Dingee" house. This oven was built of clay supported by sawed timber and found to contain kitchen refuse. The old copper penny, 1831, found here is still in his possession. The remains of a fire-place were also found on the west bank of the river one hundred yards south of Montrose Avenue.

The meeting point of Trail B with the Bowmanville Ave Trail (Lincoln & Berwyn Avenues) was the main part of the village and Bowmanville Ave running west through the village, on top of the sand ridge, as broad as a boulevard,was the village trail. At the Wenona Ave chipping station it was joined by the local trail coming up the river on the east side. this trail can yet be seen from Belmont Ave to Niles. Running west with Foster Ave the trail at Hamlin Ave forks at the river ford, one branch crossing as Trail F, the other following the river on the north side as the village trail through Forest Glen.

Bowmanville can show an almost continous record of occupation. Either with or after the Indians (1835) there were French occupants, as show by the French oven. In the thirtys came Mr. Roe, who kept a tavern or road house at what is now the southwest corner of Berwyn & Lincoln Ave. It was now called Roes Hill. After 1855, Jessie B. Bowman laid out the place in five acre lots and since then it has been called Bowmanville.

The remains of an old log hut were also found, two hundred feet west of what is to-day the southwest corner of Francisco & Foster Ave, in 1857, by John Gates who was the first settler on Wenona west of Lincoln Ave.