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This article first appeared in the August 4, 2004 issue of the The Low Down to Hull and Back News.External Link Reprinted with permission. Search complete list of Low Down Articles.

o o o

This article appeared in the Valley Voices column.

Case of the missing sundial

By Preston Wilson

Whilst (a good historical word) a few of us were examining historical photographs and other items and entering them into the Image Bank at the Library, two items caught our inquiring eyes.

One was a 1930 newspaper account of the Meech Creek MacKelvie (married to Cross) family who brought their sundial from the Auld Sod to This Fair Land.

The other was a photo (c. 1930) of a group of rowdy teenagers (yes, they were just as baaad back then) climbing a cobblestone monument, onto which a sundial was affixed.

The monument
The monument.

One of the most intelligent of our research team said "......D'uh...wunner if it's de same sundial?" Slowly we all began to "wunner" about it.

A team of two, myself and a wildlife photographer just returned from her assignment on "The Strip" in Gatineau, accepted the challenge of ascertaining if it was indeed "de same sundial thing"

Our research indicated that the monument was on Kingsmere Mountain, the highest point in the area. It is now called King Mountain. With that troublesome fact sorted out, we set off. With no guides or pack animals we arrived at Ground zero, the O'Brien Parking Lot near Meech Lake. Immediately a feature struck our untrained eyes. In the corner of the lot, partially hidden by a tree, was a mound of cobblestones. Our expedition photographer approached to within a few feet and captured a fascinating shot. This could be the remains of that 12 ft. obelisk.

Next, near Carbide Wilson's Dam at the headwaters of the mighty Meech Creek, we saw a cobblestone and concrete structure, but soon discerned that it was part of a trestle that had supported a large pipe that fed water into a piece of machinery made in India - a Hindu turbine - and not related to the monument. We departed, much to the relief of the nude sunbathers, and over the vehement protests of our photographer, who had gone through most of her film

From the King Mountain Parking Lot (station No. 3) we climbed steadily through changing fauna & flora.

We climbed so high that the vultures, riding the thermals of the escarpment. were actually below us. Feeling safer now, being away from their potential grasp and halitosis, we stopped for lunch.

After many hours of humbling stumbling, and profane mumbling we achieved the Summit. And eureka...there it was. The cobblestone monument. All of 2.5 meters square, four meters tall, tapered like a pyramid. It was magnificent. On one side was a 50 X 30 cm. brass plaque that read, in part, "Geodetic Survey of Canada. Michael P. Mulvihill donated this site and erected this cairn (l93O)". But.... alas.. The sundial was gone. Crestfallen and with heavy hearts we sadly slunk down the trail to our vehicle. Historians do not take failure lightly. Besides, we had run out of snake medicine.

But, seriously folks, if any of you have seen an old sundial, or photos of one, or heard rumours of anyone else seeing one, please contact Preston Wilson - 819-827-0345, so we can see it and photograph it for future generations.

It is approximately 45cm.X 25cm.X lcm thick., and probably made of bronze or brass.

Preston Wiison fives in Cheisea.