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The Way We Were

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the December 21, 2011 issue. Reprinted with permission.

There's gold in them there Hills...

If he could only remember where he buried it

foreword by Louise Schwartz

Although the following reprints have little in common, they both have Gatineau Valley connections, and end this last "The Way We Were" column of 2011 on a lighter note. The first story reports on the tale of Patrick Farrell's quest for his lost gold. It's not known whether he was connected to the Patrick Farrell for whom Farrellton is named. There is also no further report of whether Farrell found his misplaced gold. The second story is an anecdote about Senator William Cameron Edwards, a wellknown lumber merchant of the day.

"Hidden Gold: Sum of $50,000 Buried up the Gatineau" in The Evening Citizen of August 2, 1900

Another hidden treasure legend has come to the surface, Hull being the point at which it bobbed up.

The Way We Were
There may not be gold in them thar Gatineau hills but there are significant deposits of minerals and ore such as mica and phosphate, as well as bauxite and uranium. The Borden Mica Mine in Ladysmith, Quebec, pictured above, was founded and worked by Samuel Ernest Wilson and produced high grade mica for a number of years. (circa 1910). Photo courtesy Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

High Constable Groulx was this morning approached by Patrick Farrell, of Ottawa, who desired to enlist the officer's services in the search for hidden treasure located in a sequestered nook near Meech's lake and many feet below the surface.

According to Farrell's story, he lived in bygone days with his father on a farm in the vicinity mentioned. Farrell states he engaged in the carrying business with the Hawkesbury Lumber Co. and by shrewd business ethods managed to acquire wealth amounting to $50,000.

To still further improve on his fortunes, however, he staked a claim in Uncle Sam's domains. Before leaving he took precautions to place his wealth in a place where neither thieves nor mice could make dents in it.

That is, he buried it safely beneath the sod.

In the absence of the canny son, Farrell, according to the story, disposed of the farm, including the treasure plot, to one McGraw. Farrell is evidently an Absent-Minded Beggar, as he forgot the location of his novel banking institution and when he returned to the old haunts from abroad he was unable to strike on the hidden gold.

This naturally troubled him, the wealth being so near and yet so far, and he probably spent many sleepless nights worrying about the wealth that wouldn't reveal itself to the glad sunlight.

Evidently Farrell slept one night at least and had a dream. Anyway the location of the hidden treasure has been revealed to him. Now he is positive all he has to do to place himself beyond the pangs of possible poverty is to remove his coat and dig into Mother Earth at the locality pictured in his mental vision.

Farrell sought the advice of Constable Groulx to find what legal complications if any stood in his way. Groulx advised him to get a permit from the owner of the property before he went a-digging for his dust and he left with that intention.


"Canadian Lumberman's Mistake about Victoria's successor" in the New York Times of May 3 1903.

Senator and Mrs. W.C. Edwards of Ottawa were the recent guests of Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Robinson. Senator Edwards is Vice-President of the RobinsonEdwards Lumber Company and has extensive lumber interests in Canada. He was appointed Senator last Winter and has been prominent in political affairs in Canada for years. The following story about Senator Edwards is circulating in the lumberman's papers.


W.C. Edwards, one of the newly appointed Senators, is a lumberman who operated far up the Gatineau River, and he tells this story in the Toronto Globe of a shantyman who had spent a couple of seasons working for him in the bush and was coming out again shortly after the death of Queen Victoria

At Maniwaki the shantyman made his first stop on the way down and in a chat with the hotel keeper asked what was the news since he had gone to the woods. "Oh, there's nothing much new. I s'pose you heard up there that the Queen was dead?" "No, you don't tell me that the Queen was dead. I'm sorry to hear that. She was a good woman, the Queen, and a good Queen too. Well, we'll all die sometime, even the Queen." After a respectful pause, he asked, "And who's got the job now? Who's the head now?"

"Oh, Edward's the king now. It's King Edward for the last three months."

"Edwards the King! Well, well, you don't tell me Edwards the King. He's a big man in the lumber business but I never expected to hear of him become the King. What a pull that man Edwards must have with Laurier!"


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