Mark Robinson Journal July 18

Wednesday July 18

About 1.30 am Martin Blecher Junior brought Dr Ranney and self up Joe Creek in yacht to Portage from where we walked to Joe Lake Shelter House arrived there about 2.30 am up at 6 am and Dr. Ranney took train to North Bay I met trains as usual. Later in day we S Fraser received telegram that a steel casket was being sent in and Thom Thompsons body was to be exhumed and taken out By whose Orders I am not at Present aware.

There is Considerable Adverse Comment regarding the taking of the Evidence among the Residents.


Toronto Globe, July 18, 1917

Body of Tom Thomson Found in Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park

Standing as Landscape Painter Was High – To be Buried in Park

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Mr. Tom Thomson, the Toronto artist at Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park on Sunday July 8, was solved yesterday by the finding of his body. Word which reached the city last night indicated that he had been drowned. His canoe was found adrift a few hours after Mr. Thomson was last seen and the fate of the artist was a mystery until yesterday’s gruesome discovery. His brother, Mr. George Thomson of New Haven, Conn., also a painter, who had been visiting the family at Owen Sound last week when the news first came, went to the scene and joined for a time in the search. The body, it was stated in last night’s telegrams, will be buried in Algonquin Park, which had been the artist’s happy sketching ground for years.


Mr. Thomson, who was about forty years of age, was a landscape artist of rare charm and promise. His work steadily grew in esteem among art lovers for it represented on who not only saw, but felt and understood nature in her varied moods. His pictures were steadily sought for the collections of the Ontario and Dominion Governments.


“Critics”, said Eric Brown in a recent article in the The London Studio, “look to him to carry forward the Canadian Landscape painting far beyond anything at present realized. Wandering alone the best part of the year in Algonquin Park, inured to hardship and reputed the best guide, fisherman and canoe man in the district, he lives with these wonderful seasons and they live by him. Here, again, is the decorative sense strongly developed and visible in every composition. There is no loss in character; the northland lies before you, whether it is a winding river fringed with gaunt black pines, or whether the green blocks of melting ice float on blue liberated waters of the lake.”

JS Fraser, Letter to John Thomson, July 18

Best Trout Fishing in Ontario
Several good Bass lakes

Mowat P.O., Ontario July 18, 1917

Mr John Thomson
Owen Sound

Dear Sir:

We found your son floating in Canoe Lake on Monday moring about nine o clock in a most dreadful condition the flesh was coming of his hands. I sent for the undertaker and they found him in such a condition [illegible] he had to be buried at once he is buried in a little grave yard over looking Canoe Lake a beautiful spot. The Dr found a bruse over his eye and thinks he fell and and was hurt and this is how the accident happend.

Yours Truly
J. S. Fraser

Mark Robinson Journal July 17

Tuesday, July 17

Morning fine.

Undertakers Dixon and Flavell came in last night Roy Dixon staying with me. This morn Supt Bartlett ordered me to await arrival of Dr. Ranney Cor. from North Bay should he not arrive to have body taken out of water and put in casket. This we did Dr. Howland examined Body at my Request. We found a bruise on left temple about four inches long Evidently caused by falling on a Rock otherwise no marks of Violence on Body Dr. Howland and Undertakers advised having Body Burried. I reported to Supt Bartlett by phone and he ordered him Burried which we carried out at little cemetary at Canoe Lake Mr Martin Blecher Sr Reading the funeral service Miss Winnifred Trainor and Miss Terry went out on the evening train. About 8 PM Dr Ranney arrived and took the evidince of Mr. Edwin Colson at Joe Lake we then went to Canoe Lake and met at Martin Blechers Home where I had assembled Dr. Howland. Mr and Miss Blecher Hugh Trainor Geo Rowe and self Evedince was taken etc.


July 17, 1917

Warrant to Bury After A View

Province of Ontario

To the person in charge or control of burying grounds in the at
Canoe Lake . Algonquin Park. Ont
and to All Others Whom It may Concern.
Whereas an Inquisition hath this day been held upon view of the body of Thomas Thompson
who now lies dead in your Township

These are therefore to Certify that you may lawfully permit the body of the said Thomas Thompson to be buried

Given under my hand and seal this 17th day of July 1917

Coroner’s Finding – Death by Accidental Drowning

“Body of Tom Thomson, artist, found floating in Canoe lake, July 16. 1917. Certified to be the person named by Mark Robinson, Park Ranger. Body clothed in grey lumberman’s shirt, khaki trowsers and canvas shoes. Head shows marked swelling of face, decomposition has set in, air issuing from mouth. Head has a bruise over left temple as if produced by falling on rock. Examination of body shows no bruises, body greatly swollen, blisters on limbs, putrefaction setting in on surface. There are no signs of any external force having caused death, and there is no doubt but that death occurred from drowning.”

Dr. G.W. Howland’s Affidavit of July 17, 1917

Canoe Lake
July 17-17.

Dr. G. W. Howland qualified medical practitioner of Toronto, Ont., Sworn, Said:

I saw body of man floating in Canoe Lake Monday, July 16th, at about 10 A. M. and notified Mr. George Rowe a resident who removed body to shore. On 17th Tuesday, I examined boyd and found it to be that of a man aged about 40 years in advanced stage of decomposition, face abdomen and limbs swollen, blisters on limbs, was a bruise on right temple size of 4” long, no other sign of external marks visible on body, air issuing from mouth, some bleeding from right ear, cause of death drowning.

(Sgd.) Gordon W. Howland,
M. R. N.A.C.P.