Fort Monuckamee holds a special place in the history and hearts of our town. It was so named because of the tribal chief that had
to be killed in order to build the fort. And you might also be interested to know that it was from Chief Monuckamee that the town
of Monagami got its name. Of course, it had to be anglicized a bit but eventually it was all resolved "peacefully". (Or as the native
people would pronounce it... Peezfally.)
Fort Monuckamee was eventually burnt to the ground in 1895 by a large and superior force of the nearby Iroquois. (It's
interesting to note that the Iroquois had been largely decimated by this time and, in reality, there were only three of them)
However, it was re-built in 1896 but again burnt down owing to errant use of the fort's stove. It then burnt down again in 1897 during
experiments in the new science of hydro-electricity. Then a group of drunken fur-trappers burnt it down in 1898 just for the hell
of it. After some discussion, the government decided that it wasn't worth re-building the fort and instead decided to let the land
go in the so-called "Wagons West" event that involved pilgrims in covered wagons racing against each other over 400 miles of rugged
terrain and claiming worthless patches of the area that is now modern-day Monagami.
In 1899, 350 wagons containing
just over 875 immigrants (mainly from Ireland and Botswana) set off on the four-month journey. Of these, only 13 survived. The "Lucky
Thirteen" as they are now known, are the forefathers of our wonderful town and their preserved remains can be seen today at the Monagami Historical Museum andWater-slide Park. Some say the "Lucky Thirteen" should have been named the "Thirteen Cannibals" but the point is, they won.
The fort was originally built as a centre for collecting the over-exaggerated wealth of the surrounding area. A short-lived gold mine
was built at the junction of the Great Queer River and Lake Runamuck. After just over 1,100 men died trying to dig through the solid
granite of the Canadian Shield, it was found that approximately .0001% of the resulting sludge contained trace elements of gold. This,
in turn, gave rise to the Great Queer Gold Rush of '89. Many a young man (mostly young men, actually) turned his sights on the Monagami
area with dreams of instant wealth and minor diseases. Many think that this eventually gave way to the incredibly fast rise of alternate
life-style bars in the Monagami area.
Of course the government, under the leadership at the time of Prime Minister Sir William (Two-face) Redington (1888-1910), decided
that a contingent of the Canadian armed forces should establish a presence and attempt to form a protective buffer between the feverish,
drunken gold-miners and the gentle local indigenous population, the Comonsowat. The Comonsowat at the time were led by a medicine
man by the name of Whooboy who had come to govern the tribe when their previous leader Shobowtiman, got his head stuck in a beaver
trap and died at the hands of an army surgeon by the name of Captain Dingus Fraud. Whooboy, at first leery of the white intrusion,
eventually came to understand the wisdom of the governments intentions and even today his ancestors reside in comfort in what is now
known as Monagami Heights.
Gold Rushers trying to find the gold that "was just lying in the river".
Prime Minister Sir William Redington, Aged 18
Six of "The Lucky Thirteen"
The Fort burns, once again.