Manitoulin History

The Haweaters would not have been possible without an enormous amount of research, much of which didn't end up getting used in the book. So I had a choice to make: I could either let all of that information languish in bankers boxes or I could put it online for everyone to see. If you happen to be interested in Canadian history or 19th century murders, this is your lucky day.

The Beaumont-Adams Revolver

Drawing of Beaumont-Adams Revolver

(Patent No. 15,032 | United States Patent Office)

One thing that was clear from the outset was that a handgun figured prominently in the murders of William and Charles Bryan and yet nowhere in the court documents is the make and model of that gun ever specified. To make things more interesting, the trial transcripts contain conflicting witness testimony over whether the murder weapon fired bullets or balls. In the mid-1870s, it could have been either.

Can a Picture Really Be Worth a Thousand Words?

Credit: Alexander Henderson / Library and Archives Canada / PA-149763

(Photo Credit: Alexander Henderson / Library and Archives Canada / PA-149763)

When imagining what life might have been like on Manitoulin Island in 1877, I found it helpful to surround myself with photographs that dated roughly to that era, some of which were taken on the island, but most of which were discovered in books or archives dedicated to preserving images from mid-to-late 19th century rural Ontario.


Based on the real-life 1877 killings of two members of one family by two members of another, The Haweaters brings to life some of Manitoulin’s earliest European settlers as they struggle against nature, poverty, and each other in a collective quest to leave their dubious pasts behind them and attain the prosperity they know they deserve in this rugged wilderness community. Learn more.