A Recollection from the Past

The following account was relayed to me by my mother; Myrtle Jackson as told to her by her mother-in-law; Melissa Thibodeau Jackson. They lived at the Jackson Homestead at the Head of the Rapids. This is on the St. John River above the Big Rapids.

Myrtle married Aaron IV in 1941, and the following account occurred before that. Melissa and Aaron III moved from St. Francis to the Head of the Rapids in the mid 1930’s. Melissa’s husband Aaron worked in lumbering and quite often she was called upon to feed hungry men, as her home was in an isolated area on the river between the village of Allagash and other settlements upriver, such as Bishop’s, Castonguay’s, Big Black, 7 Islands and Nine-mile. There were comings and goings on the river all the time, as it was the roadway of the day.

One spring day, her visitors were an older Native American woman and her grandchild. She related to Melissa that during the previous winter the rest of her family members who were living at the mouth of the Big Black River, had died during the winter.

They were susceptible to white man’s diseases. She was on her way to Edmundston, New Brunswick where other members of her tribe resided. No one knew her name and I have been unsuccessful in learning that.

During the summer of 1964, Aaron IV and his son-in-law John Bourgoine were on a fishing trip and Aaron pointed out the burial sites to John. They were slight depressions in the soil, at that time.

John and I have tried, in later years to find them without success. The trees, alders and raspberry bushes have reclaimed the land.

Over the years my mother has told the story many times and the story never varied.