Joe and Ellen (Slack) Baye lived on the 12th line of Lanark Township in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They made a home in a cabin they built on the shore of Taylor Lake in the community of Lloyd by the Narrows.
Their grandson, William McIlquham wanted his grandfather’s violin and a canoe paddle to return to the area where his grandparents lived and raised their family. William is the son of Joe and Ellen’s youngest daughter, Julia Baye McIlquham. The violin had been found in an attic trunk belonging to Ellen’s family at Lansdowne, Ontario and passed down in the family to William. The story included with the violin indicates that it is the instrument that Joe learned to play on and had been given to him by his father, Peter Baye from the Cornwall Island area probably around 1868. Close inspection reveals a label inside the violin that reads: 'Antonius Stradivarius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 1716'
It was made from the Stradevarius patterns.
Hear a 'Antonius Stradivarius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 1716' play by clicking this link.
This beautiful instrument will be of special interest to local community members who recall hearing stories of Joe Baye’s musical talent. He was renowned in the area for his ability to play a tune and often delighted audiences.
A canoe paddle donated at the same time is an exact match to one made by Joe that has been on exhibit in the Museum for many years. The distinctive curve and craftsmanship is indicative of Joe’s woodworking skills.
Included in William’s donation to the Museum were a few family photographs and old publications containing stories about his great uncle, Joe’s brother, Johnny Bay (Bey) who is credited with discovering gold at Bey’s Mine at Bey’s Point. Johnny travelled to the lower end of the Mazinaw River and raised his family there. Johnny Bay was also known for his musical and woodworking abilities. He was reportedly friends of the Whiteduck family of Ardoch, Ontario. The Museum has baskets on display that were made and sold by the Whiteduck family to area settlers. The Museum also has a genealogy for the Whiteduck family in its Family History Library.
A second publication found in the donation was published by the Tyendinaga Council in 1960-61 in Deseronto, Ontario. A history compiled by Eleanor Herringtonin, 1921, gives information about Captain John Deserontyou and the Mohawk Settlement at Deseronto. These publications may be of interest to researchers looking for history of that area.
A comprehensive genealogy was produced for William for both paternal and maternal sides of his family. He has donated a copy to the Museum. It complements the Baye family history already included in the Museum’s Family History Library.
Be sure to drop by to see this exquisite new addition to the Museum’s Indigenous Exhibit featuring the Baye and Whiteduck families.
This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.