Albert Faris 1888-1970 & Margaret Mary Asseff 1904-1988 - both buried St. Patrick's Cemetery, Thunder Bay, Ont
..........Norma Mary Apr 27-Dec 14, 1932
Said Faris died Rep. of Lebanon Late Aug/Sept 1945 & Miriam Mosey born Syria, 1893-July 15, 1921 & is buried St. Patrick's Cemetery, Thunder Bay, Ont
..........Victoria born Oct 1, 1909 Fort William, Ont
I received the following information from Larry & Dawn Ann Faris
It is my husband who is related to the people we have been talking about.
..........George of Lawrence, Mass.
..........William of New Guinea
My husband is Larry (Lawrence) J. Faris one of three children of Margaret and Albert Faris. Larry is a twin and his twin is Eugene.
They have an older brother Albert. The
three boys were all raised in Fort William. Margaret Faris was an Asseff before she married Albert Faris.
Albert had an older brother known as Said Faris/Syrian Sam.Mary/Miriam Faris was the wife of Said Faris/Syrian Sam.
I am taking the name Said from the information you have sent me. The only name I have heard him called was Syrian Sam but I will check with other relatives.
If you come across anything about Said Faris/Syrian Sam other than what I have sent you I would love to hear about it. It seems he was a very interesting man.
You might want to check this out but it is my understanding that the rights to trade with the Indians had been granted to the Hudson Bay Co. and anyone else
so ......well....was on his own so to speak. That is part of what I think makes Syrian Sam interesting.
Said Faris/Syrian Sam's children were all born in Fort William, Vicky, George and Bill all of whom are now deceased. Syrian Sam was known as a merchant and when
in Fort William he built a home for his family at 545 Simpson Ave. Said Faris went back to Lebanon and took his children with him. At some point he must of returned to Canada
or the U.S. as all three children as adults settled in Lawrence, Mass.
First of all the extra name you found Mary Faris is related as I have just received the following information from our
cousin in the states.
"Mary Faris is my mother's mother but her first name was not Mary but Miriam. Mom had her name on her stone changed from Mary to Miriam.
We noticed the error when we attended Auntie Margaret's funeral.
This was my grandmother.....
Here is the historical information of interest. This Mary or Miriam was the wife of a man called Syrian Sam who traded with the Indians.
Taken from the Fort William times Journal around 1965
"For instance at hand today is an interesting note from Albert Faris, 2645 Isabella St."
"I was very interested in your column of last week about George Jennings Gale's account of a man called Syrian Sam, a trader, " he writes.
"It could almost have referred to my brother," said Faris, "who came to this area about 1906 and went peddling in the outlying district and amongst the Indians about that
time. He related to me many tales of his experiences with the Indians and some of the mishaps that occurred."
Mr. Faris went on to say that his brother presumable the same Syrian Sam launched into fur trading with the Indians and later operated a confectionery and pool room
at Simpson and Ogden Streets, now occupied by Jessop's Drug Store.
"In 1918, his wife died and he took his young family of three back to Lebanon, where he died about 15 years ago. Thanks for bringing fond recollections of this stay in
Canada," concluded Mr. Faris.
George Jennings Gale, an early-day railway telegrapher now living in Olympia, Wash., recently wrote us about a trading trip he made into the north in 1912 as conoe man
for Syrian Sam, a portion of which we carried in a recent column.
Syrian Sam is Albert Faris's older brother
Taken from the Fort William Daily Times Journal
Mr. Gail, who boomed up and down the line when the Grand Trunk Railway and Canadian Northern were under construction, has a fund of interesting recollections from
which he occasionally types out and sends us an item.
In his latest missive the old telegrapher recalls a trip he made by canoe with a trader in 1912, back in that era when the Northwestern Mounted Police were creating
"Back in 1912," writes Mr. Gale, "I hired out to a free trader whom we will call Syrian Sam. I was to paddle the trader just behind a treaty party all the way through."
The idea was that the trader was to be on the spot with his wares to see the Indians as quickly as they were given their treaty money. This boodle amounting to $5 per
Indian might by today's standards be considered a pittance, but what it lacked in purchasing value was offset by the grand ceremony with which the generous white man
made the presentations.
Accompanying the treaty party was a Mountie Sgt. Bromley "who went along to pick up moonshiners (who made liquor illicity and furtively by moonlight) and bootleggers
(who sold it furtively and illegally)."
Mr. Gail recalls that the Indian canoemen, experts at the paddle, who conveyed the treaty party "were dressed in London high - society suits, unpressed and pretty dirty
and all wore see captain's caps."
The treaty party traveled in seven canoes - followed closely by George Jennings Gale and free - trader Syrian Sam. Their first stop was at Frenchman's Bead reserve, five
miles north of the CNR north line "where the Union Jack was raised and several small trials were held in court." After a three day celebration the party continued on its way.
It was at Lac Seul, the next top that things happened.
Here two canoes were freshly beached. Sgt Bromley greeted the occupants cordially, but when he insisted on searching the canoes for liquor, the owners, a rough
character names "Bull Dog Red." Threatened the policeman and waved his canoes out into the water, Sgt Bromley drew his .45 Colt, leaped into one of the canoes and
ordered both to put ashore.
The Canoes were loaded with whiskey. Bromley arrested Bull Dog Red and took him across to another island to the tent of the justice of the peace who it turned out,
was camping there for the summer. Now things really became complicated.
It was revealed that the booze belonged to the justice of the peach, who conducted a profitable sideline.
The JP came sauntering down to the beach to meet them: "Do you know whose whiskey you're handling?
"I certainly do," said Sgt Bromley. When cornered the JP tried to bluff his way out of the predicament. This didn't work. He tried bribery. "A letter from me will get you a
promotion…" he told Bromley, who remained calmly unconvinced.
In the end this man was forced to pay a $500 fine for his agent, Bull Dog Red, and the party moved on to the next reserve with their sergeant the imperturbable Bromley.
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