Etienne Augustin Rocbert de la Morandiere
First white settler of Shebahonaning, Upper Canada, now Killarney, Ontario
The following is from a newspaper clipping dated 15 May, 1920. The source of the clipping is unknown.
The 28th day of June next will be one hundred years since the first settler cast his tent in this place, and began this little village, then called by the Indians "Shibaonaning", which means "CANOE CHANNEL" and which was at that time a thick forest from the west to the east side of this channel; and the only camping place of the Indians at that time was at Flat Point at the east end of this Channel.

It was Mr. Etienne Augustin de la Morondiere (sic) who founded, and the first to sow the good seed of religion in this place. Mr. de la Morondiere was born at Varennes near Montreal on the 2nd day of May 1767, he left his mother, a widow, at the age of 17 years and engaged with the North American Fur Co. as a clerk and fur trader, and travelled through several states, especially Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Mississippi. He lived for some time at Kalamazoo and was married there where his two oldest children were born; he then moved to Mackinaw, Michigan in 1805 still carrying on the business as a Fur Trader. When the War of 1812 broke out, Mr. de la Morondiere took an active part under the British Flag, holding the rank of ensign, and stood by the old flag from the beginning to the end of the conflict. For his services he was offered 400 acres of land near Penetanguishene, but he did not accept it. After the war, Mr. de la Morondiere opened up a very large provisions and dry goods store on Drummond Island, Michigan, and went into business on a large scale. In 1817 while he was away from home, trading and erecting a fur trading post at Flat Point in the North Channel of Lake Huron (White Fish Bay), a fire completely destroyed all his property consisting of a dwelling house, dry goods warehouse and provision store. This left him almost completely ruined, but fortunately he had enough goods saved and with what he had saved at Flat Point continued his business through and lived and traded at Flat Point until the spring of 1820, and on the 20th (sic) day of June of that year moved and settled at Shibaonaning (Killarney) and established a trading post and made this his permanent home. He cleared land, planted potatoes and corn, and in 1823 sowed wheat with a hoe and hand rake, from which he had a nice crop. He took his wheat to Penetanguishene to have it ground into flour. He brought the first pair of cattle to Killarney in a bateau in 1823 from Penetanguishene.

He often told his family of the long and cold winter of 1818 when he crossed on foot on the ice from La Cloche Island to Strawberry Island on the 21st of May and the ice was only beginning to get bad. The first mass celebrated in this place was in 1834 by the Reverend Father J.B. Proulx in Mr. de la Morondiere's home. In 1845 Mr. de la Morondiere retired from business and moved to St. Joseph's Island where he lived for some time. He then went on to Ontonagon, Mich. to live with his son-in-law Capt. S. Peck, and was there over a year, then re returned to live with his son Charles in Detour Michigan. Though he was very happy at Detour, his heart was always for his old home Shibaonaning (Killarney) and in 1856 he returned to this place and lived the rest of his days with his oldest son, Mr. Alexis de la Morondiere. Mr. de la Morondiere died in this village on the first day of May 1859 and was buried at Wikwemikong. His wife died on the 20th day of November 1868 and was buried at this place.

This old couple -- the father and mother of our village enjoyed a very happy life together. They raised ten children of their own, six sons and four daughters and also raised several orphan children. There are now living scattered all over this country and Michigan, about 300 descendents of Mr. and Mrs. de la Morondiere. The people of Killarney ought to be proud to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of their little village on June 28th, 1920, the oldest village between the Soo and Penetang -- even Wikwemikong is 13 years younger than Killarney.