Kelso Roberts, ALGONQUIN PARK BONES NOT THOSE OF THOMSON, Toronto Daily Star, Oct. 19, 1956

A Mysterious skeleton dug from an unmarked grave on a lonely hill in Algonquin park three weeks ago is not that of Canadian painter Tom Thomson, Attorney-General Kelso Roberts said yesterday.

Mr. Roberts said it has been determined the bones are those of a male Indian or half-breed of about 20 years of age. He said officials are continuing their investigation of a hole in the skull.

Thomson, one of Canada’s greatest painters, died 39 years ago under unusual circumstances and was buried near the spot where the skeleton was found on the shores of Canoe lake. He was 39 when he died.

Official records state, however, that the body was moved from its unmarked grave at the park to Leith, near Owen Sound.

The skeleton was found Oct. 1 in a wilderness grave by four men investigating a local legend that Thomson’s body had never been moved.

One of the men, William Little, superintendent of the Ontario reformatory at Brampton, said he had been told 25 years ago by a forest ranger who investigated Thomson’s death that the body was in its original grave.

The ranger described the grave as near a towering old birch tree standing on a hilltop close to the lake. He said it would be close to two marked graves, one of a child who died of a fever, the other of a lumberjack.

Mr. Little said Ranger Mark Robinson told him the body was not moved to Leith, that the undertaker hired to transfer the body took an empty coffin to the new grave.

Mr. Little and three others, Jack Eastaugh of Etobicoke and Leonard Gibson and Frank Braught of Guelph decided after many years to “prove to our satisfaction that Robinson was wrong.”

The men visited the burial ground on a hill near the lake and found the two marked graves and near them three depressions in the ground. They were about to give up after digging in two and finding nothing. In the third they came upon a cedar board. A little more digging and they found the skeleton in a cedar coffin.

Source: Kelso Roberts, "Algonquin Park Bones Not Those of Thomson," Toronto Daily Star, October 19, 1956

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