The University of Victoria and various partners have launched a new phase of the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History, including three new mysteries and more webquests on the educational portal MysteryQuests.ca.
The three new mysteries now available are:
Where is Vinland?
Viking stories tell of several voyages to an Eden-like “Land of Grapes” in North America 500 years before Columbus. Artifacts, ruins, and land forms have been offered as evidence to locate Vinland anywhere from Florida to Labrador. In 1961, Norwegian Helge Ingstad found an ancient Viking village on the northern tip of Newfoundland, but was it Vinland? No grapes grow on this rugged peninsula. Use archaeological, historical, climatic and environmental clues with a new 3-D reconstruction to solve one of the most intriguing mysteries in world history: where did Europe first meet America? Thanks to scanning by Arius 3D, site visitors can examine some of the Viking artifacts found at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site.
Research Director Birgitta Wallace, Senior Archaeologist Emeritus, Parks Canada
Jerome: the Mystery Man of Baie Sainte-Marie
"Jerome" is all the tombstone says. The marker in the cemetery at Meteghan, in Clare, Nova Scotia, is silent about who he was and where he came from, but the local folklore is not. On September 8th, 1863, a stranger was found on the beach of nearby Sandy Cove, alive but legless and mute. He lived nearly another fifty years, cared for by the people of Baie Sainte-Marie, and his story grew to include the mafia, pirate tales, European nobles, Civil War deserters.... Who was this “mystery man” and how did he come to the shores of Acadia? The website features two original songs created by the acclaimed musician Patrice Boulianne of Blou.
Research Directors Caroline-Isabelle Caron,Queen's University, and Lise A. Robichaud, Les Éditions de la Piquine
Who Discovered Klondike Gold?
At first they didn't believe George Carmack, when in August 1896, he burst into a saloon in Fortymile loudly proclaiming that he had found gold lying "thick as cheese" further up the Yukon River. Then he tipped a spent shotgun shell and out poured the gold dust! But did George make the discovery that started the Klondike Gold Rush? George, an American, had been prospecting with three First Nations people: his wife Kate, her brother Skookum Jim, and their nephew Dawson Charlie, on a creek suggested by Canadian Robert Henderson. For a century, controversy has swirled around the question of who deserves the credit for the discovery that set off the greatest gold rush in the history of the world and a turning point in Canadian history!
Research Directors Ken S. Coates, University of Waterloo, and William R. Morrison, University of Northern British Columbia
The MysteryQuests are a growing collection of web-based activities for intermediate and high school classrooms based on the “Mysteries.” Building on the important contributions of the WebQuest format and the successful work in critical thinking of The Critical Thinking Consortium, these rigorous and highly interesting critical challenges develop skills in working with the primary documents. There are now 21 mysteryquests available.
To access all the new sites visit:
Sponsors include the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Program.
Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History
Department of History
University of Victoria
PO Box 3045
Victoria, British Columbia
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