LAKE TEMISCAMINGUE DISTRICT`,
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, CANADA.
A DESCRIPTION OF ITS SOIL, CLIMATE, PRODUCTS, AREA, AGRICULTURAL CAPABILITIES AND OTHER RESOURCES,
INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE SALE OF PUBLIC LANDS
C. C. Farr
TORONTO: PRINTED BY WARWICK BROS. & RUTTER, 68 AND 70 FRONT STREET WEST. 1894.
In writing this short pamphlet, 1 have endeavored to treat the subject as dispassionately as is consistent with one whose heart is in the work, and who believes in the great future of Lake Temiscamingue.
I have only stated what I know to be facts, and in relation to agricultural possibilities I write from an experience that extends over a period of about twenty years.
I have not quoted the words of others, believing that my own experience should teach me best what information is most needed by intending settlers, and that one whose manhood has been spent in any particular portion of a country, has more real knowledge of its conditions than could possibly be gained by a hurried visit, or from unreliable hearsay. I have sacrificed the artistic, the literary and the romantic, for the practical, everyday questions of common sense.
Nor is this a guide book for tourists. I speak to men with whom the question of the day is how to live and make money, not how to spend it; for by such men is the bush subdued, and the forests turned into farms.
I wish it understood that I do not advise men enjoying comfortable homes to exchange them for the bush. Bush farming is not a pastime nor a pleasure, it is hard, uncompromising work; nor would I care to take the responsibility of advising any man to undertake it, but I can assure those who wish to try it, that the land in the Lake Temiscamingue district is good, and that all the other conditions are such that the making of a comfortable home, and the gaining of an independence, are merely questions of energy and time.
Twenty five years ago, school children were taught that Lake Temiscanaimgue was the source of the River Ottawa, a fallacy that was disproved on closer examination by competent men, who found that it was merely an expansion of the Ottawa, the source of which must be looked for between three and four hundred miles further north and east. In those days, however, little was known of our vast possessions north of the line of settlement, they being generally considered rough and unfit for cultivation, and with a climate so rigorous as to preclude all ideas of agricultural possibilities, fit only as the habitation of fur bearing animals, or of the Indians who hunted them.
The last few years have proved that this was all a grave mistake, and that geographically Temiscamingue is further south than many countries famous for their cereals - south of London, of Paris, of Vienna, and of the best wheat growing sections of European Russia, whilst on our own continent Manitoba and the great North West are to us in latitude as is the North Pole. Even Rainy River, lately proved suitable for agriculture, is north of Temiscamingue, while Minnesota, Dakota, and parts of Michigan are away north, and yet people will talk of almost perpetual snow and ice in these regions, when a glance at the map will show those who know anything of geography, latitude and isothermal lines, that Temiscamingue lies in the very centre of the best wheat-producing belt in the world. Therefore, having proved geographically and logically that the climate is all that could be desired, practical demonstration of which will be found further on, let us now consider the nature and quality of the soil.
Contrary to all geological theories and expectations, there has been deposited at the northern or upper end of Lake Temiscarningue an extensive bed of limestone exceedingly fossiliferous, and, geologically speaking, of the Silurian epoch. This limestone has been worn away in most places by the action of the ice during the glacial age, ground to powder, in fact, and the resulting sediment mixed with that of other rocks has been deposited in the basin of that sea where the limestone was originally formed, thus making a magnificent subsoil of calcareous clay, upon which age after age the black mould formed of decayed vegetable matter has gathered and accumulated until it has become perfect for the use of man, nature's heirloom to her children, prearranged and preordained, a farm factory started hundreds of thousands of years ago, silently and wonderfully manufacturing farms for a generation only foreseen by the all-foreseeing One.
Why waste further words in describing the soil? Those who run may read, and reading know that such a soil so made must be the very best for agriculture. Geologically speaking, therefore, Temiscamingue is undoubtedly suitable for agriculture, and it only now remains to prove by practice what has been proved by theory; but this comes under another heading and will be found further on.
This is the least attractive, because the most misleading feature of the country. It has often been said that the quality of the soil can be judged by the timber. This may be true, but the locality must also be reckoned with. Once learn what kind of land to expect under certain kinds of timber in certain localities, then the rule holds good; but to expect to decide the quality of the soil in north-eastern Ontario by the same timber test that holds good in south western Ontario is apt to lead one astray.
The timber here on the best land is small, and as a rule composed of poplar, balsam, spruce, birch. balm of gilead and tamarack. In places cedar is very plentiful and grows to an enormous size on comparatively high ground. The small size of the timber is not the result, of the soil, but on account of being comparatively a young growth. Over one hundred years ago a mighty fire must have swept these forests bare, and the present covering is but an overgrown second growth.
The advantage of such light timber is obvious. Logging becomes a possibility to a man not made of iron, or who does not jjish to become prematurely old; while the land can be stumped so much the sooner. Five years after chopping, any ordinary team will tear out most of the stumps, and consequently new farms soon take the appearance of old ones.
The Oltawa River is famous for its pineries. Lumbering operations on a large scale are carried on every year. The shanties consequently are the principal markets, and prices of prodube, as a matter of course, fluctuate according to the supply and demand. Oats have started in the fall at 60 cents per bushel and reached $1.25 by the spring Hay has been sold as high as $50 one year, loose in the barn, and in the following year offered for $15, pressed. But of late years the prices have become more steady, which is a better sign and indicative of a general improvement both in the supply and demand.
The present prices are about a fair sample of what to expect, though of course the nearer approach of the railroad will have a modifying effect on them, and in most cases, though insuring a more steady market, the effect will be to lower them.
The following are the quotations of the fall of 1892 : Hay, per ton, pressed at farm, $20 ; oats, per bushel, 60 cents; barley, per bushel, $1 ; peas, per bushel, 60 cents; wheat, per bushel, $1.50 ; beans, per bushel, 83 ; potatoes, per bag, 60 cents; turnips, per bag, 25 cents ; butter, per pound, 25 cents; pork, green, per pound, 8 cents ; beef, per pound, 7 cents.
WHAT THE COUNTRY WILL GROW.
Anything that can be grown in a temperate climate can be grown on Temiscamingue soil, even to some of the tenderest vegetables, as the following will show:
Vegetables: Beans, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumbers corn, lettuce, inclons, onions, parsnips, peas, pumpkins, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, squash, tomatoes, tobacco, turnips.
Cereals: Barley, oats, peas, wheat.
Fruits: Apples, plums, grapes, gooseberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries.
Everything included in the above list has been successfully grown, and it is probable that if anything else yet remains to complete those lists it would prove equally successful.
The wild fruits are unusually plentiful, and Temiscamingue blueberries are famous. Its wild plums are more famous for their quality than their quantity, though even they are more numerous than in most bush countries, and are wonderfully ]urge,and sweet - better in fact than many garden sorts.
Wild strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries are also plentiful, and in some spots on the broken limestone of the lake shore the wild grape grows and ripens in a manner that would do credit to the sunniest slopes of Southern Ontario.
To say there are no summer frosts would be misleadig. August is the month in which they are most dreaded, but they certainly do not occur every year, nor indeed once in three years. When they do come, the grain as a rule escapes injury, only the tenderest vegetables suffering, and then in isolated clearances at considerable distance from the lake. Provided that the grain is sown early enough even in the worst years, farmers can afford to laugh at the summer frosts, for the grain ripens before they are possible. In a new country farmers have not the conveniences for early seeding that they have in other places ; apart from the fact that they have not, and can not use, machinery, their time is taken up in the spring with logging, picking roots and preparing the land when they should be sowing their grain; consequently the grain is late, and if it gets touched with the frost they complain of the climate, whereas if they thoroughly consider the matter they would remember that on the farms where they formerly lived they would never have thought of sowing anything but buck wheat as late as they sow oats or any other grain on their new farms, and yet if their crops fail to ripen, they throw the responsibility of their own thoughtlessness and necessity on the. climate, which in truth had nothing to do with the matter.
Every new settlement in Canada has been abused and condemned in its time by the older settlements immediately south of it, on account of its frosts. " Too cold," they have said, "and to far north, nothing will grow there," and when it has been proved to the contrary, history again repeats itself, and the new settlement becoming old, prophesies evil of its younger neighbor, still further north. It is another proof that each man thinks that the world was created especially for himself and that the other fellow has no right to the same good things that he enjoys, and so it will be forever, until we reach the arctic regions. But to return to the subject of summer frosts, about which enough has been said to convince anyone reading this that there must be grounds for all this talk. As a matter of fact, Temiscamingue is less afflicted in this respect than were many parts of southern Ontario when first opened for settlement. It is possible that the height of land may have a sheltering effect upon this low-lying valley of the Ottawa, or perhaps such frosts are purely local and the result of local causes, such as swampy land and dense green forest growth. Be what it may the chances of such frosts will be yearly lessened by the clearing of the bush, and in the future Temiscamingue will enjoy more certain immunity from them than some of the most favored spots of Ontario.
Seeding time commences about the first week in May and ends, so far as oats are concerned, about the fourth of June, though oits have been sown as late as the 20th of June and have done fairly well. Potatoes can be planted as late as the 20th of June, and it does riot profit much to put them in before the 24th of May. Corn, cucumbers and melons can be, sown about that date. The snow begins to melt about the 12th of April and is all gone by the first week in May, sometimes earlier. Navigation opens not later than the 10th of May.
Haying commences about the 14th of July, harvest the 15ch of August. The fall is open, and the large lake is seldom frozen before the second week in December. The steamers ran in the fall of 1892 until the 12th of December.
In winter the cold is not so intense as would be expected, arid the lowest readings of the thermometer give Temiscamingue the advantage over many other places further south.
When Sir William, Logan first passed through this section many years ago, he recognized the importance of its minerals. fie is reported to have said that the day would come when the wines of Temiscamingue would employ more men than the pine forests. It seems that Sir William was right, for the mineral discoveries of late years have been of considerable importance, showing the existence of minerals of nearly every description - silver bearing galena, Copper, iron, nickel, mica and asbestos - while through it all run traces of gold, giving promise of important discoveries in that respect in the future.
So far only a few of these "finds" have been brought before public notice, chief of which are the Wright galena mine of Temiscamingue, the Guay or Girard nickel mine also of Temiscamingue, the Klock galena or copper mine on Montreal river, the Gilligan copper mine oil the same river, the Ferguson copper and gold mines on Temiscamingue, the Cockburn Gross Lake Mine on the same lake, and sundry other "finds" all through the district, all awaiting better means of communication for their development, and indicative of the fact that though these first finds may riot prove bonanzas, at least minerals are plentiful in the country, and when by fires or otherwise the district shall have been denuded of its forests, the words of Sir,William Logan will be verified and mining will be one of the chief industries of Temiscamingue and its neighborbood. A glance at the geological map will show that Sudbury is on but a narrow arm of the great Huron inn belt stretching diagonally through the Districts of Algoma and Nipissing. The developments at Sudbury were made possible only by the Canadian Pacific Railway. A new railway will also be the means of developing a greater than Sudbury here.
The Geological Survey Department at Ottawa have paid more attention to this section than to any other. Their reports constantly call attention to the possibility and likelihood of immense mineral deposits being found on Lakes Temiscarningue and Temagamingue and the Montreal River, and their testimony is valuable because they are not privately interested in the country.
On the Quebec side of the lake much timber has already been taken off and still they are busy at it; but on the Ontario side, ten miles west of the lake, the limits are as yet unsold. In spite of serious fires, the result of criminal stupidity on the part of men who should have known better, there is yet a considerable quantity of pin~ awaiting the axe, the cutting of which will insure a market and employment for this settlement for many years to come.
In the townships to be opened for settlement very little pine is found. It apparently was destroyed by that great fire which swept through it one hundred years ago, as proved by the long low mounds of rotten wood, moss-covered and obscure tombs of the mighty giants of the forest, who towered over the rest in by-gone centuries.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES.
There are none. Temiscamingue civilized is a condition of the future. It is essentially a new country. Were it otherwise, this pamphlet would not now be sent abroad to proclaim the fact of its existence. If schools and churches abounded there would be people occupying the land ; otherwise, how could they have been built and supported ? No, there are no schools nor churches, but let the people come and they will quickly follow. At this stage of development, so embryonic and primitive, the question of most interest to men is whether the land will support them and their families, and if it will, then the question of schools and churches is one that they themselves can solve.
For fear lest it should be imagined that the few Protestants forming this community are altogether left to their own devices in the matter of religion, be it said that for the last three summers a student from Wycliffe College in Toronto has looked after the adherents of the Anglican persuasion, while the Presbyterian minister from Mattawa has also paid periodical visits in the interest of his denomination. The Roman Catholic Church is well represented on the Quebec side, there being a large church, convent and missionary house at Baie des Peres, besides other churches, such as on the Indian Reserve at the head of the lake and at Gordon Creek at the foot.
At present the nearest railroad is the Canadian Pacific Railway at Mattawa, a distance of one hundred miles from Haileybury. The C. P. R. intends pushing a branch line from Mattawa which, following the valley of the Ottawa River, will emerge on Temiscamingue at, the head of the Long Sault rapids, or foot of Terniscamingue Lake.
It will bring the railroad thirty miles nearer, and by the help of the steamers on the lake enable the traveller to leave Mattawa in the morning and arrive at Haileybury the same evening.
It will also considerably lessen the costs of fares and freight. In winter, however, it will not benefit much, for there will still remain about seventy miles of sleighing between the C.P.R. terminus, and the new settlement.
It is not alone to the C. P. R. extension that we eventually look for the development of this country, but to the Nipissing and James Bay Railway, which, following the line of the Grand Trunk from Toronto to North Bay, will cross the C. P. R. there, and after touching at Temiscamingue Lake will head straight for and probably come out on Temiscamingue Lake somewhere at the north western extremity. Thence it will pass northwards through the heart of the fertile belt to which the attention or the public has been called in these pages. It will cross the height of land and head straight for James Bay, its proposed terminus, building tip the country as it passes, and being itself supported by the country in its turn. Such has been the history of all colonization lines their financial success being assured by the nature of the country through which they pass, or at their objective point.
For a distance of seventy miles from North Bay, or less, the country through which the line will pass is not wholly an agricultural country, but is bristling with pine and rich in minerals. It has been suggested that to run a line through such broken land in order to reach the fertile belt would he an unprofitable speculation. The answer to this objection is that in proportion to the length of line, to be constructed, the extent of good land eventually to be reached is greater than the great north west in proportion to the length of the C. P. R. constructed through a far rougher country, and that the minerals and timber alone are sufficient to warrant the enterprise, and moreover that the tourist traffic which will spring up between Temiscamingue Lake and Toronto, will be greater than that which to clay helps to pay the expenses of a line through Muskoka.
So far little has been said of Lake Temiskamingue, for it is not nor will be a settlers' paradise; but summer tourists will rejoice in it and be glad, for a greater than Muskoka is there. Thirteen hundred islands studding an immense lake where water is as clear as crystal and abounding in fish, will make such a resort for city-choked, sun-scorched, dustladen tourists as Canada never saw before. When this lake is opened up for the public, nearly every man of leisure can become for a few months in each year an inhabitant of his own island, an amateur Robinson Crusoe. Not the least advantage to Ontario of railway connection with the lake will be the placing of Toronto and other large cities of Ontario in direct communication with the lumber trade of the Ottawa River, an advantage that has for some time since been enjoyed by keen business men. The bringing of this railroad, as it were, to the settlers' doors, is merely a question of time, and a very short time at that.
No man with a family should land here without a few dollars in hand for emergencies, Work is plentiful and the shanties convenient in the winter. Once get his family housed and with enough provisions on hand to last until he can earn more by his work, he can count himself fairly well started. His house. hold effects he should bring with him, for he would lose more by selling at a sacrifice than the cost of the freight to bring them with him. Regarding live stock, such as horses, cows and oxen, unless a man is prepared to pay high prices for their keep until he can raise fodder of his own, they are better left behind, sold even at a sacrifice, for after all their expenses, are paid, their cost would be greater than their value here.
1 believe that a man is better without stock of any kind for the first year, and even after that it is best not to have too many animals to feed and look after, for such chore~; take up much valuable time which would be better spent in increasing the size of the clearance.
The above hints apply even to men who have considerable substance. Suppose, for example, a man is able to buy and support a team immediately on his arrival, he would have no use for it except to draw a few building logs. He would need to chop first, nor could he reasonably expect to log before the following spring. If, then, he has the money to buy a team, and needs one, as he would do for his logging, every year farmers from the lower settlements send teams into the shanties to work during the winter, and they are often anxious to sell just about the very time in the spring that the new settler wishes to buy, when good bargains are often made and teams bought for a figure far less than they would cost to bring up.
Cows can also be procured in the country at a lower figure than they would cost to bring up. A good cow giving milk can be bought for forty dollars. Oxen can also be bought, though if the demand were very sudden and large it might be hard to get them.
Speaking of stock reminds one of the great advantage the country affords on account of its abundant supply of excellent water. It is a perfect network of creeks, both large and small. The water in them is unusually clear and cold, and as a, rule not the result of surface drainage but of perpetual springs. What effect the clearing of the bush will have on them it is hard to say, but the geological formation of the country would imply that there is not much likelihood of their running dry, for springs welling up through a clay soil are as a rule not much affected by surface changes.
GAME AND FISH.
All kinds of deer, such as moose, caribou and red deer, are plentiful, as are fish of the ordinary kinds, such as bass, pike, pickerel and trout, wherever there are small lakes, but as a rule in the best townships there are very few small lakes which is a good sign, for many small lakes mean much rock. Large tracts of good clay soil are generally free of lakes.
It may seem strange that a certain locality should have any effect upon the temperament of the people dwelling therein, yet such is the case, and the effect of Terniscamingue is to call forth the very best attributes of humanity, charity, offhandedness, and extraordinary hospitality. This has been universally recognized by all who have paid a visit to this lake, and though this distinctive feature may apply to the whole length of the Ottawa River, Temiscamingue prides herself in it, and the general hope is, that long may she retain that reputation.
SAW MILLS, GRIST MILLS AND STORES.
There is at present one saw mill in the settlement, also a grist mill and a good store. The name of the post office is Haileybury, close to the mill, on the lake shore, in the third concession of the township of Bucks.
There are two other mills on the Quebec side of the lake, and a number of stores, so that everything required in reason by settlers can be procured at about the same figure that it would cost to bring it up.
HOW TO GO THERE.
Mattawa, on the C. P. R., is the nearest railway station. The journey from there is made at present by means of small steamers playing on the stretches of still water between the rapids on the Ottawa River. Tramways have been built at these rapids across which the passengers walk, and their baggage is carried over on a track drawn by a horse. At the Long Sault Rapids, however, a small engine does the work instead of a horse, the distance being about sever, miles. This is the last portage, and at the head of the Long Sault Lake Temiscamingue commences.
Here the little steamers are replaced by good, large vessels, comfortably fitted up for passenger traffic. The principal one is owned by Mr. A. Lum3den, and bears the name of the " Meteor," the other is owned by Mr. D. Gillies, and is called the "Clyde," and is also a good boat, though somewhat smaller than the "Meteor." Besides these steamers there is the" Argo," a large sidewheel steamer especially devoted to towing the rafts and booms of saw logs. The head of the Long Sault is about thirty miles from Mattawa, and it takes a day or so to get there. Haileybury can be reached the following evening.
Of the intended extension of the C. P. R. to the head of the Long Sault I have spoken under the heading of railroads.
Fares and freight rates are as follows
Fare from Mattawa to Haileybury ... $4,50
Cost per 100 Ibs. for all freight ...$0,85
A wise man leaving home with his family, bound for Temiscamingue, carries his own food. It is true that meals can be procured on the road, but 25 cents for every man, woman and child soon mounts up, and the money can be better spent in other ways.
At Mattawa, a man would be obliged to pay for his meals, but from there up, he can have a picnic out of his own basket, though if lie is so inclined good meals can be had on the way for the paying.
Temiscamingue signifies "deep water". The Indians called it so and we have adopted their name.
It has been a great fur-trading centre of the Hudson Bay Company, and before them of the North-West Company. The fort, or trading post, still stands, though no more used for trade. It has become a popular resort for summer tourists, being one of the most picturesquely situated spots on the lake. Upon a point opposite it, and with it forming a narrows, stands the first Roman Catholic mission house, now also abandoned and falling into ruins, new buildings having been erected at Baie des Peres on the Quebec side, the nucleus of the French settlement in that Province.
The boundary line between Ontario and Quebec follows the Ottawa River, and passing through Temiscamingue Lake to its northern extremity leaves the river Ottawa and heads straight north to the height of land between James 13ay and the river system of the St. Lawrence, throwing into Ontario the fertile valley of the White River, the future homes of thousands, where are farms or the making of farms through which the plow will run from end to end, level and clear of stones, and so lightly timbered that a man can log and yet not die, nor bend himself double as our forefathers have done before us.
HINTS FOR SETTLERS ON THE WAY UP.
Possess your soul in patience, for the way of the small steamers is slow and wearisome for one in a hurry, but the employees are civil and obliging.
Should the means of transport appear to you rough, primitive and inadequate to the prices charged, remember that ten years ago, and less, canoes were the only conveyances on the river and freight was carried over the portages on men's backs.
Let not the appearance of the land from Mattawa, up vex the soul of any man, nor fill him with despair, as it has no connection with, nor similitude to that which he is bound for. Believe nothing unfavorable to Temiscamingue until you see it.
Let those who can afford it leave their families behind them until they have first spied out the land, then if it does not suit the loss is not serious.
If children accompany you arrange that there shall be sufficient wraps and blankets to make the little ones comfortable on the way up, and should the little steamers be delayed, and part of the journey made at night, the rugs and wraps do not come amiss to those who are grown up.
Do not forget or leave behind the package containing some food, for the air of Temiscamingue, is bracing, and nothing disheartens like hunger.
When you arrive at the head of the Sault and are safely on board the "Meteor", the captain of which, Mr. W. Percy, is fatuous for his courtesy and kindness to his passengers, your troubles of the journey are about at an end. You can commence to look at and enjoy the scenery which is without, doubt striking, and in some spots grand. At first the lake is narrow, hemmed in by forest-cald hills, and of unpromising appearance to all but the lover of the picturesque.
Alter passing the Opemican Narrows, about thirteen miles from the starting point, a change takes place, the lake becomes more like a lake and the scenery grander, but still unpromising to the seeker of farms, who is liable to exclaim, " I have been deceived." The shores are precipitious and inhospitable to look upon from this point of view.
At long intervals be sees a farm perched up in an impossible place or nestling between hills that would strike terror into the hearts of the most enthusiastic. The country seems to him made of rock, and the river or lake let down into it. He sees on the. eastern shore the Keppewa River come tumbling into the lake in spring a mass of yellow foam. On the west, further up, the Beaver Mountain rises above the rest, the King of Beavers watching for its mate, and at its foot lie a few farms, earnest of better things above.
On the eastern or Quebec shore, though still rough, signs of agricultu7al possibilities begin to show between the hills, but still the lover of the picturesque has more to be enthusiastic over than the seeker of land.
Straight before him looms the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort, pretty in its whitewashed buildings with their dark setting of second growth pine.
Opposite, on the Ontario side, stands the old Roman Catholic mission building, tumbling down in picturesque decay.
Passing through the Narrows, the land-seeker sees before him his destination. Fifteen miles to the north-west is Haileybury, the nucleus of Ontario's colonization scheme.
Before pushing straight on, however, to Haileybury, the steamer runs into Baie des Peres, the first village on Temiscamingue. Here are several stores, a sawmill and a hotel. The post-office has lately been turned into a money order office, and Baie des Peres is pushing ahead. Leaving Baie des Peres, the steamer again beads tip the lake, making gradually for the western shore, which, for the first eight miles, is of the roughest description. The lover of the picturesque is jubilant. Be sees a magnificent lake, whose shores rise up precipitously to a height of three or four hundred feet. The "Frog Rock," where the Indians cat the enchanted frog, rises tallest of them all, while away to the north and east the lake stretches and widens until the shores appear blue in the distance. But suddenly the scene changes, the high rocks give place to gentle slopes dotted by & few prosperous looking farms, owned by men who have been fortunate enough or wise enough to secure situations suitable for them, while away north and west the shore line appears as straight and level as if laid down by level, square, and compass.
This is the commencement of the good land, and there are about half a million acres of it in one continuous block. The seeker of land enjoys the prospect, while the lover of the picturesque revels in the scene. Soon the steamer has blown her whistle for Hailybury, and in a few minutes the prospective settler will have landed in a country wherein he expects to make his home, a land full of possibilities and his future all before him, himself the fashioner of his own destiny, subject alone to one higher power.
TOWNSHIPS OPENED FOR SALF
On the 29th of May, 1891, the following Order in Council was passed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council:
Upon the consideration of the report of the Honorable the Commisioner of Crown Lands, dated 27th May instant, the Committee of Council advise that the Commissioner be authorized to place such of the lands in the Townships of Lorrain, Rocks, Hudson, Dymond, Harris, Casey, Farley, Kerns, Henwood, Bryce, Beauchamp, Armstrong, Hilliard, Brethour, lngram, Evanturel, Dack, Robillard, Sharpe, Savard, Chamberlain, Marter, Pacaud, Marquis and Blair, as he may deem advisable upon the market for sale to actual settlers, at the price of fifty cents per acre, one half cash, and balance in two yearly instalment's, with interest, subject to the following conditions:
Actual residence upon the land purchased for four years from the date of purchase, clearing and having under cultivation and cro~ at least ten acres for every hundred acres, and building a habitable house at least sixteen feet by twenty feet, such conditions to be fulfilled before issue of patent; also subject to the following regulations respecting pine timber: All pine trees growing or being upon the said land so sold shall be considered as reserved from such sale, and such lands shall be subject to any timber license covering or including such land in force at the time of such sale, or granted or renewed within four years from the date of such sale, or granted or renewed prior to the filing of the proof of the completion of the settlement duties in the Department of Crown Lands, and such trees may be cut and removed from such land under the authority of any such timber licenses, while lawfully in force, but the purchaser at such sale, or those claiming under him, may cut and use such trees as may be necessary for the purpose of building and fencing on the land so purchased, and may also cut and dispose of all trees required to be removed in actually clearing said land for cultivation, but no pine trees, except for the necessary building and fencing as aforesaid, shall be out beyond the limit of such actual clearing, before the issuing of the patent for such lands, and all pine trees so cut and disposed of (except for the necessary building and fencing as aforesaid), shall be subject to the payment of the same dues as are at the time payable by the holders of licenses to cut timber or sawlogs. Provided, however, that this order shall not apply to any land to be sold as mining land under "The General Mining Act of 1869," and amendments thereto.
In accordance with the foregoing Order in Council, the Commissioner of Crown Lands hag opened for sale the lands in the Townships of Bucke, Hudson, Dymond, Harris ,and Casey, bordering the western shores of Lake Temiscamingue, at fifty cents per acre, upon the terms and conditions mentioned above. The position of the townships named may be seen on reference to the map of the district attached hereto.
HOW TO PURCHASE PUBLIC LANDS.
In case a party should desire to purchase public land, in one of the five townships named, lie should make big application to the Crown Lands agent, John Armstrong (whose address will be, after June let, 1894, Haileybary P.O.; until then Novar P.O.) and support it by the affidavits of at least two credible and disinterested persons. These affidavits should set out all facts in connection with the land which he seeks to purchase, and egpecially whether it has ever been occupied, whether occupied at the time the application is made, and if so, by whom, and when such occupation commenced ; whether any improvements have been made on said land, and, if so, the nature and extent of the same, and by whom and when they were made; and also, whether there is any claim made thereto adverse to that of the applicant, and based on the ground of occupation or improvements. If the applicant has acquired the interest or claim of some previous occupant, heshould show the fact and file an assignment.
SURVEYOR'S REPORT OF THE TOWNSHIP OF BUCKE.
Mr. C. D. Bowman, O.L.S., who surveyed this township in 1887, reported as follows:
"I am glad to report that the greater part of this township is adapted for agricultural purposes - being a good clay soil, comparatively free of stone and rock. Roads could easily be made to nearly any lot in the township, and, as it is well watered with beautiful spring creeks, it will make a very desirable location for settlement. There are no large streams in the township, the main creeks being a branch of Wahbe's Creek, called the ' Little Wahbe's Creek,' and Mill Creek.
"There are only two small lakes in the township, which are traversed and. connected with the lines of survey. The timber generally along Lake Temiscamingue, on concessions two, three and four, is cedar of excellent quality; the balance of the township is timbered principally with poplar, whitewood, tamarack, spruce and balsam, with, in places, a thick maple undergrowth.
"Along Lake Temiscamingue a number of settlers have entered and taken up claims for settlement. On lots twelve and thirteen, in the third concession, C.C. Farr has a clearing of about thirty acres. with a very substantial hewed log house and barn on it. The crops on this clearing looked very well. C.C. Farr has also purchased the mill property and lot fourteen in the second concession. This property is a grist mill in good working order, and also a sawmill, which will be a great convenience to settlers."
SURVEYOR'S REPORT OF TRE TOWNSHIP OF CASEY.
Mr. H. B. Proudfoot, O.L.S., reported as follows in 1887:
"The Township of Casey is bounded on the north by the Township of Brethour, on the east by the Inter Provincial boundary, on the south by the Township of Harris, and on the west by the Township of Harley. The south boundary of this township is about three miles up the Blanche River from its mouth, at the head of Lake Temiscamingue. The river traverses it in a southeasterly direction, entering at the north-west angle and leaving about threequarters of a mile west of the south-east-angle.
"With the exception of a few hundred acres of high land in the southeasterly portion of the township, the land is a level flat, mostly spruce and tamarack swamp, in some places very wet and in others nearly dry ; but all excellent agricultural land, as 1 did not see any that could not be easily cleared and drained. In fact, I think that most of the swamps are caused by the extra height of the land on either side of the present drainage outlest - the Blanche River and its tributaries - into which the whole township could be easily drained. The subsoil is clay, with good clay loam and black muck overlying. The hills shown in the first and second concessions are very stony, with a slightly sandy soil, the top of the bill in the second concession being almost bare rock. I consider the township well adapted for agricultural pursuits, and with the facilities afforded by the Blanche River, one of easy access to intending settlers."
SURVEYOR's REPORT OP THE TOWNSHIP OF DYMUND.
Mr. T. B. Speight, O.L.S., reported as follows in 1887:
In general terms, 1 may say that this township is admirably adapted to agricultural purposes, the soil being chiefly good clay, and in places sandy loam, with clay subsoil. Fully ninety per cent. of the land in the whole township is of excellent quality. All that part lying to the north-east of Wahbe's Creek, with the exception of the stony ridge, shown on the accompanying plan, may be considered superior farming Jandit being fairly level. The portion of the township lying southwest of Wahbe's Creek is somewhat rolling, with.a wet tamarack and spruce swamp in the northwest portion thereof, and a few small, stony tracts in the vicinity of the south boundary. With these two exceptions all this part may also be considered excellent for farming purposes. Wahbe's Creek, which enters the township near the northwest angle, and crossing it in a southeasterly direction, enters into Lake Temiscamingue, and has banks varying from ten to twenty feet in height, thus affording a fine channel for carrying off the water from the numerous smaller streams which drain the township. Chief among its tributaries is a stream of about equal volume, though riot more than one third its width, entering Wahbe's Creek about three miles from the lake. This steam has a good water power on lot number four, concession three.
Judging from the character of the timber, the labor necessary in clearing would be comparatively light, and from the physical features of the country, the expense of opening up roads for settlement would be small, so that we may reasonably hope to see this township at no distant day the home of prosperous farmers, who will find a ready market for their produce among the lumber merchants of the Ottawa.
SURVEYOR'S REPORT OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HARRIS.
Mr. H. B. Proudfoot, O.L.S., reported as follows in 1887:
The Township of Harris is situated at the north end of Lake Temiscamingue on the Upper Ottawa River, and immediately adjoining the boundary line between the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and bounded on the west and north by the townships of Dymond and Casey respectively.
With the exception of the low lands at the mouth of the Blanche River and the lowest portions of the lands on the creek emptying into the head of the lake about two miles northwest of the mouth of the Blanche River, the township of Harris is composed of first class farming lands, being timbered with spruce, tamarack, birch, balsam, excellent cedar, a great many of the latter being three feet in diameter and of very fine quality, some hard maple and red and white pine. Wahbe's Point, which runs out into the lake between Wahbe's Bay and the bay at the mouth of the Blanche River, is very high and steep on the east side, one hundred and seventy-five feet in some places, and falls gradually to the west, where the bill on the east side of Wahbe's Bay is not more than thirty feet in average height. The soil is clay loam and a clay subsoil Huronian rock underlying, sand loam overlying. Clay subsoil is found in the northwest portion. Numerous springs are found along the shores of, the lake, and some creeks run westward into Wahbe's Bay.
The township of Harris is, I consider, admirably adapted for agriculture, and timbered with such woods that render the land easily cleared.
The lake and rivers abound with fish, and the forests are full of game, so that at present the country is a sportsman's paradise.
THE TOWNSHIP OF HUDSON.
Mr. P. W. Hermon, O.L.S., reported as follows in 1888:
This township is divided by a series of rocky ridges running northwesterly from the southeast corner. These ridges rise to a height of from 150 feet to 200 feet, and often afford very fine views far over the outstretching forest northward to the height of land, and eastward over the Terniscamingue valley.
In the southwestern portion of the township are several beautiful lakes, with an abundant supply of excellent fish. Here the soil is a sandy loam, and the country is attractive as a point for new settlements. North of the ridges the soil is white clay, the surface generally level, and the general appearance of the country rather flat and swampy.
The timber is not large, being a second growth, probably about 75 years old. The remains of an older and heavier forest are often seen, and in a few localities the fires have left it untouched. The most valuable timber is the Cyprus or pitch pine, which grows thickly and is smooth and tall and averages from 6 to 18 inches.
As to the best mode of development: Probably a waggon road extending from the Long Sault to the head of the lake, with a short road from that to the lake region to the westward. would lead to the early occupation of these lands. But the construction of the projected railway from North Bay would be far better.
CIRCULAR LETTER FROM MR. JOHN ARMSTRONG.
Mr. John Armstrong, the Crown Lands agent fop Lake Temiscamingue, issued, in December, 1893, a circular from which the following extracts are taken:
I visited the District in October of 1893, and on my arrival there was glad to find that Mr. C. C. Farr had not exaggerated in his description of the new District and its possibilities, and in penning this circular 1 do not presume to add very much to what he has written, but rather to confirm and endorse, after a personal examination, what he says. I found that he knows the District well, and has a farm of eighty acres of as good clay land as can be found in Ontario, and is thoroughly qualified to write upon the subject. In calling attention to this new part of Ontario, I do not specially invite those who are comfortably settled on good lands in the Province to migrate to this new settlement, but my object is to recommend such a change to those who are living on rented farms, to young men (married or single) desirous of making a start in life, or to any who may be contemplating removal from the Province, or making a change, to first inspect these rich lands now open for sale at the small price of fifty cents per acre, payable in three payments, and subject to settlement duties. The District promises to be one of the best wheat growing parts of the Province, as the soil is composed of rich clay, with a large percentage of lime and about nine inches of black muck on the surface, and is free from stones or rock. While in the District 1 had a good opportunity of seeing how the different cereals and roots had matured, and taking them as a whole, they compare favourably with any part of the Province. Summer frosts do not seem ' to injure the crops so much as 1 have noticed in other new countries. 1 was there on the 10th of October last, and the frost had not then injured the potato or tomato vines.
The District is also one of the greatest lumbering regions in the Dominion, thus creating a good market for all the farmers can produce and wages for all who require work in the winter months. The timber (apart from the pine lands) consists chiefly of large spruce and white wood, but there is money in it for the settlers, as pulp wood, which is now in great demand throughout the Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound, selling at three dollars per cord for shipment to the United States. It.does not need to be split but is shipped in the round. On account of the vast quantity of timber situated near the Lake and Rivers, some enterprising company will, no doubt, take advantage of it and establish a paper manufactory there and thus save the cost of shipping the mood to the United States. In that case the timber will be more valuable and will more than pay for clearing the lands.
The fare from Toronto to the head of Lake Temiscamingue by rail and steamboat is $13.50. I will move to the District as soon as navigation opens next spring (1894) and will open a Crown Lands office there. In the meantime my Post Office address is Novar (District of Parry Sound), Ontario. Any communications or information respecting the sale and locating 9f lands for the District will be promptly attended to. In conclusion I might say that a number of people have already 'signified their intention of going up with me in the spring to take up land and form a colony. It is very desirable that as many as possible go at the same time. I should like to see at least 100 families locate in one settlement next spring. That number, with a little money and willing hands, would make a good settlement, and besides benefiting themselves, would hasten the settlement of the whole District. Come at least and see the country; the scenery on the way there, if nothing else, will compensate you for the outlay.