A History of the Rice Lake Indians by Mary Jane Muskratte Simpson

"Our Forest Home"

"Our Forest Home", by Mrs. Stewart, March 1832

"Two sleighs full of our party set off; it was dark when we reached Oaklands, but even then we could perceive its beauty to some degree. It is a farm of Mr. Falkner's at Hamilton Plains, near Rice Lake. The plains are beautiful, but the name is misleading for they are all hills and valleys. A great quantity of oak copsewood gives the farm its name. On the day of our arrival, we went in sleighs across the lake to visit Captain Anderson, and to see the skin of a curious specimen of deer which had been shot by the Indians sometime before the winter. Captain Anderson had been for many years an Indian trader and had, of course, lived among the Indians. He received us most kindly in his parlour, a very neat room with carpet, stove, sofa, and pierglass; everything was neat and nice. All it wanted was heat. He then gave us wine and cake and showed us a number of curiosities and relics with which the room was ornamented.

Then he took Mr. Stewart into another room, and after a few moments came back and beckoned us to follow; we found there a warm comfortable apartment which reminded me of Count O'Halloran's room, though there was not so much live lumber (as Heathcock called the pets) in it. There was, however, a large hound lying under the table; deer's horns and a large stuffed squirrel against the wall. There were two tables covered with all sorts of tools, particularly those used by a gunsmith, for Captain Anderson is famous in that trade. A great many fishing nets added to the effect.

From this, we went to see the Indian village and school where we heard a number of children read and repeat their lessons".

The school referred to would be the Indian school at Hiawatha.

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