• Voices from the Gathering PlaceSault Ste. Marie: 1622 - 1870

Die Stromschnellen von St Marie (The Rapids Of St Mary), Frank Buchser, 1868

By kind permission of the Kunsthaus Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland

This website was created by teacher Peter White for the Algoma District School Board

Mananowe c. 1775-1850


Around 1800 Charles married the daughter of the Ojibway chief Katawabidai (Broken Tooth).


Charles was about 20 years old and Mannanowe (whose name means "pleasing voice"), was about 15.  Do you know anyone who was married at age 15? If you marry, how old do you think you will be?


Charles gave her the English name "Charlotte". Mannanowe and Charles had twelve children but only seven of them lived until adulthood.


To the left is a painting by William Armstrong of what their home looked like in the late 1800s.


It was a great advantage for Charles Ermatinger to be married to Mannanowe.


As the book, “The Ermatingers : a nineteenth-century Ojibwa-Canadian family” tells us, "The Native wife had many skills beyond normal housekeeping. She interpreted and acted as guide, trapped small animals for food and furs, and made moccasins and snowshoes. She often made life bearable and even possible for her husband: possible because he often lacked her survival skills, while family relationships with her people helped ensure a steady supply of furs."


How do you think you would do if you had to hunt and trap for your food as well as make your own clothes and shoes?


Detail of William Armstrong painting showing the Old Stone House. Image courtesy of the City of Sault Ste. Marie