[ Fraser's Lodge (Mowat Lodge) ]

Fraser's Lodge (Mowat Lodge), Tom Thomson, 1915, Art Gallery of Alberta, 77.30, Oil on wood, 21.9 x 27 cm. Gift of Mrs. Gertrude Poole, 1977

Mowat, a small community on the edge of Canoe Lake, in the southern half of Ontario’s Algonquin Park, grew out of a logging camp abandoned by the Gilmour Brothers Company in the 1890s. By 1917, the community had a much different focus than logging.

During the time Tom Thomson used Mowat as his ‘home base’ in the Park, residents there included visitors from as far away as Europe, cottagers from the United States of America, as well as from Canadian cities such as Ottawa and Toronto. The population of Mowat also included those people who serviced tourists’ needs, such as hotel operators and guides. Park staff watched over all of them, maintaining the safety of the area, and enforcing Park regulations.

What were the different needs of these people, and what role might their needs have played in the mystery surrounding the death of Tom Thomson?

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