From Quadeville deer runways to Vimy Ridge

BARRY’S BAY – The names of deer runways at a Quadeville-area hunt camp has always fascinated Barry’s Bay’s John Madigan.

One in particular, Paddy Shea’s Stump, inspired Madigan to start researching the history of how the name came to be.

It all started in the early 1900s, when James Edward “Red Jim” Ryan and his wife Mary Ellen (nee Madigan, John Madigan’s great, great aunt,) adopted Patrick “Paddy” Shea.

Paddy and his family lived in Latchford Bridge and went to the hunt camp every deer season. He would be alongside his brother Tommy, who was a leading hunter in the group.

As many hunters know, deer follow the same path, or runways, through the bush from generation to generation.

Paddy became familiar with the runways in the area and would stand on a tree stump to watch for the perfect opportunity. His persistence paid off and he managed to shoot a deer many years ago.

Afterwards, the hunters in the group referred to the runway as Paddy Shea’s Stump, immortalizing Paddy’s feat.

In March 1916, Paddy enlisted in the 130th Division in Renfrew and went off for training to camp Val Cartier in the summer. By the end of October, he left for Montreal, then onto England on his way to France.

In April of 1917, he took part in the famous Battle of Vimy Ridge, which was the Canadian Corps’ effort to take control of German-held high ground during World War I.

It would be the place that Paddy would take his last breath.

Get your November 5, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.