Exerpt from "History of The Corporation of Westmeath Township" (1984) by Evelyn Moore Price.
A student who had his roots in Westmeath township and attended S.S. No. 9, Westmeath, was Abe Patterson, who went forward to become internationally famous as Pembroke's wood carver. Born in this section of Greenwood, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Patterson After moving to Pembroke, this native son of Greenwood worked at his hobby of wood carving during the summer months at the rockcut at Meath near the bridge, made when Highway 17 was reconstructed and rerouted at Meath to avoid the excessively steep grade on the old road from Meath station. Many tourists seeing him working there near his small parked truck, would stop to converse -observe - or purchase. Conversation never distracted him - not even when with his display at Beachburg Fair. People were beseiging him with queries about his craftsmanship - Abe talked and whittled at the small animal he would be fashioning at the time.
His skill in wood carving began as a boy, walking through neighbouring woods making friends and observed the habits of a host of animals - Squirrels - deer - foxes - then carved birds in flight on his gunstock - whittling bows and arrows - sling shots and darts for the sheer enjoyment of making them albeit not for use on the wildlife in their native habitat. Although he thought farming was the life, yet he turned to lumbering for he knew his typical woods and this knowledge served him as a text book.
In lumber camps he developed and perfected his ability to create the Life-like forms of animals. He was employed as a lathe man at Canadian Splint , Pembroke. The times were far from prosperous in 1934, but he had enough orders from friends and more than enough faith in himself to give up his job and build a modest workshop beside his home in Pembroke
One of his finer pieces of work was to fashion an exact replica of the first Greenwood Methodist Church, which he carved before the Church was dismantled This work of art is in the vestibule of the Greenwood United Church and is a fitting memorial to those rugged pioneers of this community. The pulpit seats and collection plates in both the Greenwood and Perritton United Churches are further evidence of his skill. He carved sandwich trays - with mounted models of tiny animals -small incisions in their backs for toothpicks on which olives could be placed
His moose carvings became famous and small models would be presented to dignitaries visiting Pembroke Making a study of Indian art was accomplished before he carved larger works, one being a totem pole for Garfield Weston's summer home on Victoria Lake, 11 miles from Madawaska. In 1956 a mammoth totem pole, largest Patterson had ever carved, attracted many visitors before it was completed to be transported by truck and floated by water to Weston's home. This totem pole was 36' 4" long. (After Garfield Weston s death, a member of Weston's Foundation, Toronto wrote me for more data on a feature of mine they had seen on the Weston totem pole and they wished to include it in their research.) The huge totem pole at the Tourist Bureau, Pembroke, depicts more of Patterson's art. His customers included a number of prominent figures in the film industry and sportsmen. "Red" Horner of Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team purchased one of his deer, George Selkirk, Canadian born New York Yankee outfielder, wakened him up one night to purchase two hand carved moose. He shipped two pieces of his artistry to a high Nazi official in Germany, this man's son being enrolled as a student in a Canadian University. Patterson had shipped wood carvings to other European countries such as Finland and Czechoslovakia. for more data on a feature of mine they had seen on the Weston totem pole and they wished to include it in their research.)
The huge totem pole at the Tourist Bureau, Pembroke, depicts more of Patterson's art. His customers included a number of prominent figures in the film industry and sportsmen. "Red" Horner of Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team purchased one of his deer, George Selkirk, Canadian born New York Yankee outfielder, wakened him up one night to purchase two hand carved moose.