Thomas Walter Edwin Sowter

Popular Publications

n 1926, Sowter published a series of short articles in saturday evening editions of the Ottawa Citzen, known as the Saturday Evening Citizen.  These articles appeared in a regular saturday evening feature titled Old-Time Stuff, a page which presented reminiscences and information about Ottawa's past, as compiled and presented by George H. Wilson.  When Sowter's first article appeared in the February 20, 1926 edition, Wilson's presentation of this full page spoke of the importance of leaving a legacy of the past to the students of the future.  Whithout a doubt this was a prime motivation behind Sowter's contribution:

In the three years (almost) of its existence the Old Time Stuff has gathered and spread on the O.T.S. page a large variety of old time material relating to the history of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.

Much of this material has been first-hand stuff in the nature of personal recollections of old timers; some of it has been dug by the editor from records in the archives; some of it has been found in old newspaper files and old directories; some of it from scrap-books kindly loaned by interested readers; some of it in sparsely circulated official documents and records of various historical societies; some of it from old books; some of it from here and there, so to speak.

Practically none of the matter has been available to the average reader.
When the announcement of the O.T.S. was made nearly three years ago, the (Dominion) Archives (on Sussex Street) secured a special bound volume and began to file it away.  It will thus be seen that the Archives will contain a full quota of early Ottawa matter for the use of the investigators of the next century and later.

And now the O.T.S. comes to another phase, as it were, of its records.

Today it gives a story of the times when the Indians roamed in this district, paid tribute to the "Spirit" of the Chaudiere Falls, fought battles in the vicinity of Aylmer, and generally made history in these parts.

Even in Ottawa, ossuaries, or Indian bone heaps, were found in earlier years.

For the intensely dramatic stories which are printed on "The Page" this week the O.T.S. is indebted to the researches of Mr. T.W.E. Sowter, of Aylmer, archaeologist and amateur palaeontologist.

Sowter would eventually contribute to at least eight issues of Old-Time Stuff.  The inaugural issue took up almost the entire page while subsequent issues were comprised of more focussed and limited topics.  All of the Old-Time Stuff contributions reproduced text contained in earlier articles published in more scientific publications, namely his 1900 article "The Archaeology of Lake Deschnes", his 1909 "Algonkin and Huron Occupation of the Ottawa Valley" and finally, his 1915 "Highway of the Ottawa".

February 20, 1926 
Almost complete, full page of Old-Times Stuff; essentially all Highway of the Ottawa, 1915. 

February 27, 1926
"Weird Drama on Aylmer Island; A "Feast of the Dead" Re-Pictured"; mostly taken with very slight modifications from Algonkin and Huron Occupation of the Ottawa Valley, 1909.

June 12, 1926
"When Hurons and Algonquins Occupied the Ottawa Valley"; taken from Algonkin and Huron Occupation of the Ottawa Valley, 1909.

June 19, 1926
"How Great Algonquin Nation Began to Fail; Ruthless Foes"; taken from Algonkin and Huron Occupation of the Ottawa Valley, 1909.

June 26, 1926
"Feast of Dead was Ghastly Yet Grand Huron Ceremonial"; taken from Algonkin and Huron Occupation of the Ottawa Valley, 1909.

July 3, 1926
"Huron Ossuary was Found in Ottawa in Year '43 When Men Were Digging Sand for Bridge";  taken from Algonkin and Huron Occupation of the Ottawa Valley, 1909.

July 10, 17 and 24 issues did not have Sowter articles.

July 31, 1926
"How the Indians Made Their Pottery" and "Cache of Bullets was Found in 1897"; taken from The Archaeology of Lake Deschnes, 1900.

August 7, 1926
"This Indian Had Tools Made from the Bones of a Human"; taken from The Archaeology of Lake Deschnes, 1900 with a short introductory text.

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