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Pages 1 to 4
Rediscovery of Hubbard's Rock

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Picture Galley (place cursor on pictures to read captions)

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Comments by Rudy Mauro on NL Studies papers, The Naming Compulsion and The Language of Faith and American Exceptionalism

Remains of letter L in white leadForgie soon appeared, wearing a broad grin. "Beats me this place wasn't washed away long ago by the spring freshet. You fellas are pretty lucky. But we'll have to get going soon." As Dillon and I hurriedly scraped and repainted the carved letters, I realized the notes we planned to deposit beneath the rock contained the names of military personnel who had never seen the stone. With no time left to draw up a new calling card, I hastily scrawled Wallace's, Forgie's, and my name on the bottom of the misleading message and returned it to the canister. Even the phlegmatic Forgie managed a smile as we piled into the chopper after sunset for the return to Goose. With one day left in the 21 days Wallace and I had allotted for finding Hubbard's rock, our quest had come close to failure.
Wallace III beside Hubbard's rock, 1973
Through patience and sheer good luck we not only succeeded in finding the only known physical evidence left on the ground by any of the participants of the famous Hubbard expeditions, but pinpointed several important features named by Wallace which would later be added to government maps of Labrador. The interlude between our two attempts to find Hubbard's camp provided an unexpected opportunity to explore, by floatplane, the little-known Hubbard portage trail betweenthe Susan and Beaver rivers. The finding of an ancient campsite with its moss-covered boiling pole still upright, at the outlet of Elson Lake, where Hubbard, Wallace and George Elson had camped in 1903, was a highlight of that excursion. When Wallace III and I boarded our jet for the return to "civilization", we had already decided that nothing less than the placing on Hubbard's rock of a replica of the tablet lost in the Beaver River would satisfy us.

In 1974, using Dillon Wallace's commemorative photograph of the lost tablet as a pattern for the replacement marker, I engaged Klassen Bronze of New Hamburg, Ontario, manufacturers of plaques for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, to cast a replica of Wallace's tablet. Wallace III pronounced himself quite pleased with the result, but complained that my name should have been included in the explanatory notes I had added below the words of the original. In July, 1977, with the generous assistance of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Wallace and I again found ourselves standing before the inscribed stone at Hubbard's last camp.  Appropriately, our assistant was Douglas Blake, a descendant of the legendary trapper and guide, Bert Blake, who had provided a similar service to Dillon Wallace in 1913, and helped paint the original letters.  (Go to page 4)

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