Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Healing Stone

Note by Michelle: I find these stories quite fascinating and am thrilled that my father-in-law wants to catalogue them for their safe-keeping. It is interesting how a simple object can tell us a story and be a link to historical events, people and places. Here is another short story written by my father-in-law.

Picture of my dear friend, Warren Hastings

During one of the many happy interludes with my friend Warren Hastings, he once asked me if I had ever seen a ‘healing stone‘. “I doubt it very much”, I replied. At that time we had been discussing interesting artifacts which we found fascinating. With a little smile on his face, Warren crossed the room and opened a drawer of a wonderful seventeenth century cabinet, he returned with a round stone object and handed it to me. It was approximately four inches (10.16 cm) in diameter and had the patina of an object which had been handled a great deal over time. Warren told me an employee, by the name of Quantrill, found it on the beach at Ganges, Salt Spring Island, where Warren owned a marina at the time. He told me it was a healing stone. Quantrill never did elaborate why he thought it was a healing stone or if he had ever seen another one. Before I left, Warren noticed my interest in the stone and insisted I have it and said that maybe I would be able to find out more information about it.

Over the years, I have shown the stone to a few very knowledgeable people. It has stirred curiosity and caused a few raised eyebrows. Is it possibly a cannonball, left by a Spanish explorer ship during one of their expeditions through the Pacific Northwest? The Spaniards did use stone to make cannonballs during that time. If the local natives had witnessed a cannon being fired, they may have assumed the object had great power and used it as a healing stone. A stone cannonball would shatter into pieces if it struck a hard object but would remain intact if it landed on the beach or an embankment.

Is this a stone cannonball, or, a native healing stone?

A small cannon shot (on right)

Another interesting part to this story is the name Quantrill. Could there possibly be some connection to the famous raider from the American civil war - William Clarke Quantrill? Quantrill, if the story was true, ended up on the west coast of Vancouver Island and was later murdered by two men who arrived by ferry to the island, then left immediately.

Here is an interesting story on William Clarke Quantrill, written by F.W. Lindsay, from his book 'The B.C. Outlaws", 1963. Click on this link below to see Lindsay's story which was based on headline news from the Victoria Times Colonist, August 9th, 1907. It leaves much to the imagination. CLICK HERE TO VIEW STORY

Photo of William Clarke Quantrill, Confederate Guerilla Fighter, about 1863
from the book "The B.C. Outlaws", by F.W. Lindsay, 1963
Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society

1 comment:

Sheila said...

The fact that you take the time to research an object like this is wonderful Michelle. Have you checked at the museum? I hope that you solve the mystery one day. While suntanning on Gonzales Bay beach as a teenager, I found a hand sized flattened stone with a round hole drilled through and was told by someone it could have been a fishing net weight. I kept it for so many years but wonder if I still have it... someday I may find it.

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