Tom to Dr. John McRuer, October 17, 1912

Dr. M. J. McRuer, Huntsville

Hello Doc,

I have at last got back to civilization and came down by way of the Soo to Owen Sound, so did not make a call at Huntsville as I said I might do. We started in at Bisco and took a long trip on the lakes around there going up the Spanish River and over into the Mississauga [Mississagi] water we got a great many good snapshots of game — mostly moose and some sketches, but we had a dump in the Forty-Mile Rapids which is near the end of our trip and lost most of our stuff — we only saved 2 rolls of films out of about 14 dozen. Outside of that we had a peach of a time as the Mississauga is considered the finest canoe trip in the world. Dr. Hicks told me of a man who was through the trip last year and who had a fine lot of photos-will you ask him where to find that man and let me know.

The weather has been very rotten all through our trip, never dry for more than 24 hours at a time and sometimes raining for a week steady. How are you feeling? Did you have good fishing out at Jackson’s this summer? I have to thank you people for the good time I had while in Huntsville and hope that sometime we may have a fishing trip where the fish bite.  All the fishing there is up in the north country is pike and they are so thick there is no fun in it. Hoping yourself, Mr. Mc & Dr. Hicks are well and everything lovely. 

I remain,
Yours truly,

Tom Thomson

P.S.  If Dr. Hicks can remember that man with the photos he may save a life.

(LAC, MG30 D284 'Tom Thomson collection', Vol. 1 File 2)

Huntsville,  Nov. 1st, 1912
Thom. Thomson, 
Toronto, Ont.
Dear Tom –
[…]
I am very sorry to hear that you should meet with such an unfortunate accident when your trip was near complete & the opportunities from obtaining further “snaps” nil. However you might have been drowned you devil, & that was not the first time you were bumped. Eh!!
[…]
We would have been very glad to have seen you again this summer, but hope you will stay much longer next season. Did you sit down on any more paint boards? I had a lovely time at Jackson's & the fishing was immense.
[…]
Yours sincerely,


J. M. McRuer
(LAC, MG30 D284 'Tom Thomson collection', Vol. 1 File 2)

"Thomson first met John M. McRuer shortly after arriving in Toronto from Seattle — probably in 1905 — and before McRuer's graduation from the University of Toronto in 1907. They remained close friends until Dr. McRuer's death in June 1917, just before Thomson's drowning. Dr. McRuer practiced medicine in Huntsville, from 1907 until late in 1913. He had by then become seriously ill with tuberculosis and moved to Denver, Colorado, where he died."  -Dennis Reid, "Photographs By Tom Thomson", "National Gallery of Canada Bulletin" 16/1970, pgs. 8-9