Long before Europeans arrived in what would become Canada, the land was far from empty. Thankfully these days we do have a record of the history of our region, passed down now only through the oral history of those peoples and archaeological evidence. Here in Milton we still maintain that link to the pre-contact past in the form of a 15th-century village built by the Haudenosaunee or People of the Long House. If that name seems strange to you, that’s okay, you better know them as the Iroquois. Archaeological digs discovered in 1971 the remains of this village after the area once home to the Crawford family and where the lake gets the name today. What makes this most interesting is that the village existed before any contact from Europe. No Europeans saw this village while they were exploring. Like many first nations, the village was abandoned as the tribe moved on, although the area remained in their possession, even after the establishment of Upper Canada in 1791. While the British did conduct colonisation, they focused mainly on land along the lakeshore. It wasn’t until the end of the War of 1812 that the British Indian department began to negotiate a more extensive purchase. Sadly, the influx of settlers but much strain on the Mississaugas who saw their lifestyle and population decline. And in 1818 the land was ceded to the Crown. Okay, so you’re probably wondering why I kept this image in place, it has a lot of flaws. The trouble was that while I arrived at the area before the village itself opened. And while I didn’t get people in the shot, which was my intention. I also didn’t count on a sudden burst of wind catching my camera and tripod. Which resulted in the image you see in this post, but life is full of imperfections. Also, a lesson learned to find some way to weigh down the tripod better.