Students will investigate the importance of stopping places along Canada's frontier in terms of food, shelter, transportation and communication.

After examining images and reading excerpts from historical interviews that relate to stopping places in Eastern Ontario in the late 1800s, students will answer critical thinking questions.

Students will investigate the importance of stopping places along Canada's frontier in terms of food, shelter, transportation and communication.

After examining images and reading excerpts from historical interviews that relate to stopping places in Eastern Ontario in the late 1800s, students will answer critical thinking questions.


© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

If you are going to be a historian, you have to be part puzzle solver. Only in a secondary historical resource, such as a book, textbook or magazine article, has someone put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of the past, to provide access to the whole picture without much effort on the reader's part.

Historians must decide which puzzle pieces go where, and guess about information that goes missing on pieces that are lost through time. The type and number of puzzle pieces that make up each historical story vary widely.

In determining the story of stopping places along the Bonnechere River, there are almost no pieces to the puzzle that were recorded in real time. This may have been because they were not thought of as significant at the time, just as the history of your local bed and breakfast remains unrecorded. If so, in years to come a curious historian might be lucky to find the odd advertisement for your local B & B and little else.

One valuable source of information is the oral history interview, in which a history student asks questions of someone who can share something of the experience of a time or place. Often such information Read More

If you are going to be a historian, you have to be part puzzle solver. Only in a secondary historical resource, such as a book, textbook or magazine article, has someone put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of the past, to provide access to the whole picture without much effort on the reader's part.

Historians must decide which puzzle pieces go where, and guess about information that goes missing on pieces that are lost through time. The type and number of puzzle pieces that make up each historical story vary widely.

In determining the story of stopping places along the Bonnechere River, there are almost no pieces to the puzzle that were recorded in real time. This may have been because they were not thought of as significant at the time, just as the history of your local bed and breakfast remains unrecorded. If so, in years to come a curious historian might be lucky to find the odd advertisement for your local B & B and little else.

One valuable source of information is the oral history interview, in which a history student asks questions of someone who can share something of the experience of a time or place. Often such information can be gathered in no other manner, and is most certainly lost once that interviewee dies. These are indeed special puzzle pieces.

The passages that follow are excerpts from interviews of people who lived at, visited or were acquainted with stopping places, mostly along the Bonnechere River in eastern Ontario, about 1900. As you read these memories of days past, you will find that the recollections differ. This may add a complicating dimension to assembling your puzzle. In your own experience, you are probably more conscious of people and things that affect you daily, while less-important elements in your life are not as memorable. Your brother, sister or neighbour probably remembers these same things differently. What might you be able to recall about your neighbourhood sixty years from now, when a young historian comes to ask you to describe the era of your youth?

Excerpts from publications, original documents and old photos are other valuable research tools you will use in researching this project.

Activity
Part 1: STOPPING PLACE RESEARCH

Before you begin your research, read Part 2 below to better understand what is required. Once you understand what you will be doing, study the following primary resources to learn about the sights, sounds and tastes of stopping places in early Canada.

1. Read the following interview excerpts:
Passage 1: Hannah Hyland tells Rory MacKay about Stopping Places, 1976 & 1977
Passage 2: Michael Garvey tells Rory MacKay about Stopping Places, 1977
Passage 3: Mary Garvey tells Rory MacKay about Stopping Places, 1976
Passage 4: Henry McGuey tells Rory MacKay about Stopping Places, 1976

2. Read the following publication excerpts:
Excerpt 1: from Life in the lumber Camps of McLachlin Brothers, Arnprior, Ontario by Charles Macnamara, 1940
Excerpt 2: from A History of Killaloe Station by Martin Garvey, 1967
Excerpt 3: from Report, Field Notes and Diary of the Township of Burns by Thomas Bolger, 1874

3: Study the following images and make notes:
Photo 1: Lafleur Stopping Place, circa 1950
Photo 2: McLachlin Brothers Way Order, 1905

Part 2: CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS
Use your research to answer the following questions.

1a) List foods traditionally eaten at stopping places.
b) What foods from nature were used to supplement the food grown on farms and at stopping places?

2. Explain with examples how there was variety in some parts of the meals served, but not in other parts.

3. Explain why there was such a high concentration of stopping places at the Basin. Hint: Think about the locations of these stopping places relative to nearby Killaloe and the logging camps in Algonquin Park.

4a) List five differences between spending the night at a present-day bed and breakfast and overnighting at a traditional stopping place, circa 1900.
b) List two similarities.

5. The meal and lodging tickets ("Way Orders') that men presented at the stopping places as payment for services were printed on blue paper. Why?

6a) Explain why is was difficult to prepare and serve food when one was never certain how many guests would be staying at the stopping place on any given night.
b) List tasks the stopping place family could do to handle this uncertainty.

7a) What was the preferred time of year for buying and hauling food into the Basin?
b) What was the preferred form of transportation?

8) In what quantities were food purchased?

9) What beverage, not available in the lumber camps, might also have attracted men to the stopping places?


© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

Part 2: CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS

1 a) The foods traditionally eaten at stopping places would be beans, salt pork, potatoes and turnips, with tea as a beverage and sometimes with molasses for dessert.

b) Natural foods that might be used to supplement the foods grown at the stopping place might include wild game (meat of deer, moose, rabbit, duck, fish ), partridge eggs, and likely berries for pies (raspberries, blueberries).

2. The basics such as bread, beans and potatoes were served at every meal, but there was some variety in the foods eaten, mainly with respect to meats, because both wild meats and domestic meats were used. There might be some variety between stopping places with respect to vegetables, as some were on farms that grew turnips and carrots in addition to potatoes grown there or store-bought.

3. There was a concentration of stopping places on the Old Bonnechere Road at Basin Depot as it was a day’s travel from the train station at nearby Killaloe. The traffic on the road was described as "immense" and "ten teams at a time". All men traveling to the lumber camps of Algonquin Park had to pass this way Read More

Part 2: CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS

1 a) The foods traditionally eaten at stopping places would be beans, salt pork, potatoes and turnips, with tea as a beverage and sometimes with molasses for dessert.

b) Natural foods that might be used to supplement the foods grown at the stopping place might include wild game (meat of deer, moose, rabbit, duck, fish ), partridge eggs, and likely berries for pies (raspberries, blueberries).

2. The basics such as bread, beans and potatoes were served at every meal, but there was some variety in the foods eaten, mainly with respect to meats, because both wild meats and domestic meats were used. There might be some variety between stopping places with respect to vegetables, as some were on farms that grew turnips and carrots in addition to potatoes grown there or store-bought.

3. There was a concentration of stopping places on the Old Bonnechere Road at Basin Depot as it was a day’s travel from the train station at nearby Killaloe. The traffic on the road was described as "immense" and "ten teams at a time". All men traveling to the lumber camps of Algonquin Park had to pass this way and just above Basin several roads diverged in different directions.

4 a) Stopping places were primitive, crowded, and the men all slept in one room on simple beds or on the floor. Today’s B&Bs accommodate guests – both male and female – in private bedrooms and nicely appointed dining and sitting rooms.
Stopping places had no mattresses, showers or bathing facilities.
Stopping places were the only places to stay and eat in many areas of frontier Canada; today’s B&Bs are one accommodation option among many that a couple or family can choose from on their journey.
The food served at a stopping place was basic farm food and guests ate whatever was served. Today’s B&Bs have more variety.
Out of necessity, the stopping places would generally provide lodgings and food for horses, whereas today’s travelers are usually offered convenient parking for their vehicles.
It could be argued that it was more expensive to stay at a stopping place, because 25 cents was about a quarter of a day's pay!

b) Traditional stopping places and B&Bs are similar in that guests usually stay, eat and visit with the host family in their home.
Both stopping places and large B&Bs do serve meals such as breakfast at different times (in shifts) if the dining room is too small to accommodate all guests in one sitting.

5. The meal and lodging tickets were printed on blue paper so that the men who could not read would be know which piece of paper was their Way Order.

6 a) During the stopping place era there were no phones and mail delivery was irregular, thus communication was limited. This meant that travellers were not able to make reservations ahead of arrival, and host families had to prepare food based on experience. They had to be ingenious in their food preparation because if they made too much it would spoil and if they made too little, hungry men would have to wait for their meals. It was likely handy to have preserved meat, such as salt pork, available for emergency situations when the fresh meat that had been cooked ran out. Potatoes or other root crops cooked in quantity one day could be reheated the next day if too many had been prepared.

b) The host family would prepare foods that stored well (canned, dried, smoked) to have on hand for unexpected crowds and also have well-rehearsed plans for feeding large unexpected numbers of visitors (who would peel turnips, who would make biscuits – everyone pitched in).

7 a) Most times of the year, the Old Bonnechere Road was a winding, rough trail for a horse and wagon, but in winter it was a firm base of packed snow and ice. The roads were maintained by the logging companies (ploughing, rolling, icing) to ease the travel of supply sleighs. This made life easier for the stopping place families as well. In winter the frozen lakes and rivers added alternative travel routes.

b) Horse and heavy sleigh; for shorter distances a smaller sleigh or cutter would be used.

8. Food was purchased by the crate, sack, barrel or sleighload.

9. At the stopping places men could drink alcohol or high wines; alcohol was forbidden in the logging camps.


© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts from interview of Hannah (McGuey) Hyland (daughter of Dennis McGuey) by Rory MacKay

“Well, there was…that salty pork, and they fried that. And they had beans in the morning. Roasted beans. And they’d make pies sometimes, sometimes not. But the main food was pork and potatoes and molasses, dessert pretty most all of the time, there was hardly anything else ever put on the table, only molasses… Oh yeah, once they got the land cleared and got the gardens going they had vegetables part time. But they never could grow enough to keep going all winter, you know. They’d have to buy…

And then [my mother] used to have 40 men sometimes, when we were kids you know, when mother was there then after my uncle left…she used to have over 40 maybe 50 men there at night… Yeah, they all had their shanties, you see, in the bush. And then Basin was a [company] stopping place, you see, be a stopping place for the lumbermen… A gang would come up to the Basin, there’d be 50 or 60 men in one gang and they’d stay at the Basin. From the Basin, then they’d go to the camps. Well, th Read More

Excerpts from interview of Hannah (McGuey) Hyland (daughter of Dennis McGuey) by Rory MacKay

“Well, there was…that salty pork, and they fried that. And they had beans in the morning. Roasted beans. And they’d make pies sometimes, sometimes not. But the main food was pork and potatoes and molasses, dessert pretty most all of the time, there was hardly anything else ever put on the table, only molasses… Oh yeah, once they got the land cleared and got the gardens going they had vegetables part time. But they never could grow enough to keep going all winter, you know. They’d have to buy…

And then [my mother] used to have 40 men sometimes, when we were kids you know, when mother was there then after my uncle left…she used to have over 40 maybe 50 men there at night… Yeah, they all had their shanties, you see, in the bush. And then Basin was a [company] stopping place, you see, be a stopping place for the lumbermen… A gang would come up to the Basin, there’d be 50 or 60 men in one gang and they’d stay at the Basin. From the Basin, then they’d go to the camps. Well, then the McIntyre place was six miles above the McGuey place and when they come that eight miles from the Basin – they’re walking, you know – it was dinner time. And then if they had to go too far, they’d stop and have supper at the McIntyre place. Or if they come out from the camp, maybe some of them stay at the McIntyre's overnight, sometimes a bunch would come into McGueys, stay there…

Yes, my father sold liquor and my uncle Bill McIntyre sold liquor…

Oh, all along the Bonnechere [River], a lot kept stopping places.… Down the Bonnechere Road towards Killaloe. It was just the one road and everybody build alongside the road…

[My mother] had a dining room, and she served the men. And after the men was all done eating, us children would go in the dining room and have our meal. We’d have practically the same as the men and because what was left from the men’s dinner, you see. The kiddies would clean it up…

She used to grow a lot of turnips and when she run out of potatoes, you had to buy potatoes by the sleighload. So go down a mile down by Wilno and somewheres and get a load of potatoes. They had the cellar under the house and they had a roothouse where you keep potatoes and stuff from freezing, you see.

Well, when I was a kid they used to get it from Eganville. They’d go down to Eganville and get a couple of sleigh loads and they’d get flour and sugar and, it was mostly brown sugar that time, and tea. They’d get sixty-pound crates of tea. Chest they called it, tea chest. Sixty pounds at a time. And flour and sugar. They’d get bags. Whatever they want and all that. But there was no canned goods…

She used to pack her butter in fifty pound tubs and sell them to the camps… We never sold anything else. Just the beef and butter…

The cost [for staying at our stopping place] was twenty-five cents, but if they were paying out of their own pocket they’d have to give mother the twenty-five cents, but if they were working for McLachlins [logging company] she’d just mark it in the book. And she got paid at the Basin. She’d send her bill to the clerk at the basin and then when he got settled the man they’d take it off and if he was paying for his own board and if McLachlins was paying for the meals she just sent the bill to McLachlins and they paid her.”


© 1976, Algonquin Park Museum Archives. All Rights Reserved.

“Oh, at the farm we were capable of keeping…people there. We were able to stable, well, maybe ten team of horses… It was a day’s trip from Killaloe to our place you see…

There was always a lot of venison, because the game rules were not strictly observed, I don’t think… Oh, they grew oats and barley and everything that would be grown. Turnips and all kinds of vegetables and all. Potatoes. Potatoes, and the livestock, of course. We had some sheep, and we kept cattle…

But the house, it was big. You come in the front door, and on the left was a parlour and behind it was a bedroom. And all this side was one big room... with a big long table for to feed people and this end was cooking… Now the bar-room was in there, just off that room… There were several rooms upstairs… [with] one big room… for the overnighters.”

“Oh, at the farm we were capable of keeping…people there. We were able to stable, well, maybe ten team of horses… It was a day’s trip from Killaloe to our place you see…

There was always a lot of venison, because the game rules were not strictly observed, I don’t think… Oh, they grew oats and barley and everything that would be grown. Turnips and all kinds of vegetables and all. Potatoes. Potatoes, and the livestock, of course. We had some sheep, and we kept cattle…

But the house, it was big. You come in the front door, and on the left was a parlour and behind it was a bedroom. And all this side was one big room... with a big long table for to feed people and this end was cooking… Now the bar-room was in there, just off that room… There were several rooms upstairs… [with] one big room… for the overnighters.”


© 1977, Algonquin Park Museum Archives. All Rights Reserved.

“Sligo house was where all the men used to stay, you see, when they’d be going to the camps…

Sligo House was the first, then McDonald’s. There was only just a few yards, you see, beside the house which was built to see for stopover and eating place, when my Dad owned it…

But the priest that wrote this book, you see, he said that Paddy Garvey kept a stopping place for 150 or 200 men.”

“Sligo house was where all the men used to stay, you see, when they’d be going to the camps…

Sligo House was the first, then McDonald’s. There was only just a few yards, you see, beside the house which was built to see for stopover and eating place, when my Dad owned it…

But the priest that wrote this book, you see, he said that Paddy Garvey kept a stopping place for 150 or 200 men.”


© 1976, Algonquin Park Museum Archives. All Rights Reserved.

“Well, I’ve seen lots of times that my Dad had fifty teams of horses there overnight. We kept a stopping place and he had a big shed made, you see, and all he charged them was twenty-five cents to put the team up overnight…it was lots of money in them days… It was hard to make that twenty-five cents in them days. You worked a long time…

We had a building for various fowl, you know, like a hen house… [There was also] a milk house. There was no separators in them days. You had to milk your cows and put your milk in pans. And the cream came to the top. You take the cream and put it in a dasher churn, and then you must churn with the handle…[to make butter]. My mother had her own butter… She made too much, more than we could use, and sold it to the camps.

Well the dining room was set up, a long table… and then there was benches on the side here where you sit down and… that table, now that I tell you, it could be twenty feet long because sometimes maybe you won’t have maybe fifteen men, sometimes you have twenty-five. You didn’t know what was coming or going, so you had to have it big. And sometimes you ha Read More

“Well, I’ve seen lots of times that my Dad had fifty teams of horses there overnight. We kept a stopping place and he had a big shed made, you see, and all he charged them was twenty-five cents to put the team up overnight…it was lots of money in them days… It was hard to make that twenty-five cents in them days. You worked a long time…

We had a building for various fowl, you know, like a hen house… [There was also] a milk house. There was no separators in them days. You had to milk your cows and put your milk in pans. And the cream came to the top. You take the cream and put it in a dasher churn, and then you must churn with the handle…[to make butter]. My mother had her own butter… She made too much, more than we could use, and sold it to the camps.

Well the dining room was set up, a long table… and then there was benches on the side here where you sit down and… that table, now that I tell you, it could be twenty feet long because sometimes maybe you won’t have maybe fifteen men, sometimes you have twenty-five. You didn’t know what was coming or going, so you had to have it big. And sometimes you had to serve one meal and then serve another one after…

At the stopping place you could serve you pretty near any steak you want. If you want moose meat we could give you it. If you want venison, we’ll give you it. If you want beef, we could give you it, and if you wanted rabbits, it makes no difference. We had all kinds of stuff and no laws against us doing it… You got what was cooked. That’s right. If you want good homemade beans, that’s the time you got them… They didn’t have to bring their own plates. They were already there for them…

The company they were working for paid my dad. He, my mother used to mark it down when they stayed and send the bill into the camp…

Oh, well, my sisters and mother done the cooking… Oh we had enough for ourselves. But that’s all except turnips and carrots. We grew all that stuff for ourselves… Yes we had chickens. And we want our own eggs and we want, you know, we could get all the partridge we want. The bush was full of partridge. But we wanted eggs you see. So we had our own eggs…

Yes, sure they got turnips. At that time you growed so many of them. You just had to give them to the cattle. And a lot of them liked turnips, and we, my mother, used to have a big pot of that cooked too, you know…we say be at breakfast at six… If they wanted it earlier they could have it, but six o’clock was the time they’d be up.”


© 1976, Algonquin Park Museum Archives. All Rights Reserved.

"The teamsters were not trusted with money to pay their expenses as many of them would spend it for drink at the first stopping place. They were given "way orders", small forms laboriously filled out in triplicate (each copy written separately) by Peter Tait, the store man, entitling them to meals and accommodation for themselves and their horses. As some teamsters could not read, the "dinner, hay, and stabling" order was printed on blue paper. Supper and breakfast were supplied with the "lodging" although they were not mentioned on the order. Indeed on some examples that information was supplied. The charge for man and team at noon was 50 cents, overnight $1.00. No charge was made for a bed; very often the teamster slept on the floor in his own blankets."

"The teamsters were not trusted with money to pay their expenses as many of them would spend it for drink at the first stopping place. They were given "way orders", small forms laboriously filled out in triplicate (each copy written separately) by Peter Tait, the store man, entitling them to meals and accommodation for themselves and their horses. As some teamsters could not read, the "dinner, hay, and stabling" order was printed on blue paper. Supper and breakfast were supplied with the "lodging" although they were not mentioned on the order. Indeed on some examples that information was supplied. The charge for man and team at noon was 50 cents, overnight $1.00. No charge was made for a bed; very often the teamster slept on the floor in his own blankets."


© 1940, Ontario Archives. All Rights Reserved.

"Since at this time the writer was a resident of Mount Pleasant, in the Township of Guthrie, in the District of Nipissing, he experienced and counted as many as forty teams of horses from about 4:00 p.m. until dark, going by with supplies for the existing lumbering operations. While those forty teams would be only a portion of the teams that would be moving on the Bonnechere Road in one day, the reason why the writer would start to count at 4:00 p.m. was that it was more exciting to see so many of them at one time, sometimes as many as ten teams at one time coming on the scene."

"Since at this time the writer was a resident of Mount Pleasant, in the Township of Guthrie, in the District of Nipissing, he experienced and counted as many as forty teams of horses from about 4:00 p.m. until dark, going by with supplies for the existing lumbering operations. While those forty teams would be only a portion of the teams that would be moving on the Bonnechere Road in one day, the reason why the writer would start to count at 4:00 p.m. was that it was more exciting to see so many of them at one time, sometimes as many as ten teams at one time coming on the scene."


© 1967, Martin Garvey. All Rights Reserved.

"There is a very fair traveled road leading through the township along the margin of the Bonnechere used by the lumbermen in transporting supplies into the interior. There is one settler (Francis Currier) living in the Township on lot 8 Conc. 11 who keeps a hotel or stopping place and who has a very good house and out buildings. There is an immense amount of travel along this road during the winter months."

"There is a very fair traveled road leading through the township along the margin of the Bonnechere used by the lumbermen in transporting supplies into the interior. There is one settler (Francis Currier) living in the Township on lot 8 Conc. 11 who keeps a hotel or stopping place and who has a very good house and out buildings. There is an immense amount of travel along this road during the winter months."


© 1874, Thomas Bolger. All Rights Reserved.

Photo of Lafleur Stopping Place, originally established in the mid-1800s by Francis Currier.

"There is a very fair traveled road leading through the Township along the margin of the Bonnechere used by lumbermen in transporting supplies into the interior. There is one settler (Francis Currier) living in the Township on lot 8 con 11 who keeps a hotel or stopping place and who has a very good house and outbuildings. There is an immense amount of travel along this road during winter months"
~ Thomas O. Bolger, PLS, 1874 Survey of Burns Township

Fred Gossard
c. 1958
Ontario, CANADA
© 1958, Fred Gossard. All Rights Reserved.


Photo: McLachlin Brothers way order, 1905

Reproduction of a typical way order for food and lodging for one man and his horses. Issued by McLachlin Brothers, Arnprior, September 6, 1905.

McLachlin Brothers
c. 1905
Ontario, CANADA
F209 MU1957_1
© 2007, Archives of Ontario. All Rights Reserved.


Hanna (McGuey) Hyland tells Rory MacKay about the Stopping Place, 1976

R: What kind of meals did they serve in the stopping place?
H: Well, there was generally fried — that salty pork, and they fried that. And they had beans in the morning, roasted beans. And they’d make pies sometimes, sometimes not. But the main food was pork and potatoes, and molasses was the dessert pretty much all the time. There was hardly anything else ever put on the tables, only molasses.

Hanna (McGuey) Hyland, Rory MacKay
c. 1900
Ontario, CANADA
© 1976, Friends of Algonquin Park. All Rights Reserved.


Martin Garvey tells Rory MacKay about the Garvey House, 1976

R: What was the farmhouse like on the inside?
M: On the inside? Well, it was big. Maybe looking back at it now, maybe it looks bigger than it really was, as I would see it, eh? ‘Cause, as they say, the old swimming hole always looks back bigger in memory, but when you went back there again, it had become a lot smaller.
R: Right.
M: But the house, it was big. You come in the front door. And, on the left, there was a parlour and behind it was a bedroom. And all this side was one big room. And it was pioneer, pioneer days, you see. All this was one big room with a big long table, for to feed people, and this was a cooking…and people ate. Now, the bar-room was in there, just off of that room.
R: Off the big room?
M: Yeah. Off the big room. The bar-room was in the middle.
R: Okay. What was the outside of the house like?
M: It was a log house, see, but you would never know it from the outside because it was shiplapped. And they’re using that again now. That’s the boards and then a narrow board on the joint.
R: On the joint.
M: Yeah.
R: And was that nailed together — pegged together?
M: Oh, yeah, it was nailed on.
R: Nailed on.
M: And painted, they painted it white and green.

Rory Mackay, Martin Garvey
c. 1900
Ontario, CANADA
© 1976, Friends of Algonquin Park. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

* organize, interpret, and communicate the results of their inquiries, using a variety of methods (e.g., graphs, diagrams, oral presentations, newspaper articles, hypermedia presentations, and videos)
* correctly use food and nutrition terminology (e.g., nutrients, food heritage, indigenous foods, food traditions)
* use research derived from a variety of primary sources (e.g., interviews, observations, statistics, demographic research, and original documents) and secondary sources (e.g., print materials, Internet articles, CD-ROMs, and videos)
* evaluate print and electronic resources on food and nutrition for validity, reliability, accuracy, bias, and relevance.
* demonstrate effective speaking and listening skills in a small group;
* demonstrate an ability to perform a variety of roles in small groups (e.g., chair, recorder)
* demonstrate an understanding of our Canadian food heritage;
* demonstrate collaborative problem-solving, conflict resolution, and planning skills (e.g., relating to division of labour, time management, equal participation, taking responsibility for one’s component of the group’s activity), and be able to explain the need for these skills by referring to organizational theory
* demonstrate appropriate use of social science research methods in the investigation of food-related issues


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