"A Man Died Down That Road." - The Root of That Lonely Cross

I have always felt the need to dig deeper into stories and find their roots...

     As a child I remember taking rides down to the old dam with my parents. Us children excited to go walk along the flat rocks and stand under the clear water flow, and cool off in the summer heat. On one particular occasion as we drove, I remember hearing my mother and father talking, and as we passed a particular wooded road, my father saying "A man died down that road." I remember not being able to take my eyes off it as we slowly snaked down the bumpy trail wondering what was down there and what happened.

     Over the years since then many tales have surfaced with slight details added or taken away. No one local seemed to have recalled his name properly, but I as an investigator of sorts, on the quest to dig deeper into these stories eventually found out, through death record research. In fact I have been fortunate enough to cover the death records for the local area and submit the amended and amassed records taken from various sources to make an all in 1 comprehensive report of deaths, including names, dates,  missing, natural, murders, accidents, or suicides from 1890 to the present. All of which has come in handy over the years for my own research field.

     The man was named by locals, though not everyone knows his story or even where this had happened, but ones that did called him Mozzle, Mozo, even as far deviated as Mozer. No one knew his first name, though one man speculated it was Jim. But older residents who knew the story, or the variations definitely knew where it was he was buried. Right down that old road I so vividly remembered from childhood. In fact today, a rusty old cross is erected with blue tape wrapped around the small covering of trees to cordon off his burial site.

     Back in 2012 after a visit to his resting place, I had become very curious with this story and began to ask all over... The one story I present to you (Verbatim) before the variations go like this:

"Yeah, Mozzle's hole... Mr Mozzle (as pronounced) was a bushman. He lived by himself in a small cabin in the woods. As men came and cleared land for hydro lines, they found his house would be too close to the electrical towers. They came and wanted him to move to an old folks home in town. At this time he was old and sick. When the time came that he had to move, he took a bottle of wolf poison, and dug a hole. He dug a shallow grave, sat down and drank the poison. The next day, he was found sitting up, half buried with a bottle of wolf poison at his side. They buried him in his grave the way they found him." - Quote Anonymous.

     As I began to ask more older folks of this story, some were reluctant to tell me anything, but a few also added little variances like, "He was a prospector." "He found gold, and didn't want to move away." "He was found with a gold nugget in his pocket. Where he got it from, I don't know." "He found gold in that creek" which has been dubbed Mousseau's Creek. I did talk to a prospector in 2013 about the story, and was told a creek is a good place to look, but most likely that one won't bring any finds. Maybe up in those rocks in the area." - As the creek runs into the river which meets up with the dam, and the river is found winding it's way through a fault line.

     In 2013, a friend and I decided to go for a walk to the gravesite to both visit and see if there are any visible signs of his settlement. Looking at the layout of the grounds, we think his home stood right where a hunting tree-stand is, which overlooks the gravesite, and down the tower line in both directions. We did not find a house, which we think was bulldozed over the hillside down into the creek. In fact what we did find were pots, pans, a cook stove and moonshine jugs which by my definition is good enough to say, his home stood atop the hill, and WAS bulldozed over the edge as theorized.

     In March of 2014, I used the death records and armed with name variances, I was thrilled to finally find his information. His name was Oswald Mousseau, Age 60 - Of Hurkett -  Died September 6, 1932 - Body Found. Right along that area where he lived is part of the Hurkett Township Line. So I finally had a first name, death date, could derive a birth year of 1872. I finally had the satisfaction of knowing this information which seemed so elusive over the years which garnered so much of my interest in the root of that lonely cross. From what I have been told, the original cross which was erected, was a wooden one fashioned from branches which were lying about. Eventually it was replaced with the iron cross which stands in it's place today.

     Also another story from one of the locals, is that after he was buried, wolves came and dug his body up twice. It is very ironic that he had wolf poison to kill the wolves, was killed by wolf poison, and was eaten by wolves.

     Since 2012 I have been to his resting place a quite a few times to say hello. In June 2013, I began production of a Dark History episode for Mr. Mousseau's story in a similar place which had an old house in the woods, and a field, everything resembling the area which was perfect. For the shoot I even had to dig my own grave and dress up like a person of that era. I should have liked to speak to the man himself regarding his personal situation, but I could not capture any EVP's, which leads me to believe his spirit has left for good, though I have never done an SRC session yet, which always gives answers. Eventually in June 2014 I released the short film presentation, and re-released December 25, 2014. You will find the link at the bottom.

     The episode was never released - as an episode - as the EVP's were just not there. So I presented it as a Dark History short feature presentation, which my friend John Russo (of Night of the Living Dead fame) liked as well when shown to him. For the most part, I would like his story to be known as it is quite a sad one in the annals of the region. And for myself as a Dark Historian, Mr. Mousseau's story will never vanish from memory, and I am certainly glad to share it with those willing to listen. One day soon, I may return and introduce an SRC Session, and hopefully gain some more information directly from the source.

If no answer could be found, he is truly gone... But not forgotten.

Dark History Reel - Short Film Presentation 2013 - Link Below
The Oswald Mousseau Story

Dee McCullay- Dark History


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