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Post Number: 13
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 4, 2009 - 4:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

While reading the field notebook of the geologist Robert Bell, I found what must be one of the earliest thoughts about diverting rivers in the Ontario-Quebec region.
Bell had arrived by steamer at Fort Temiscamingue. He spent a few days assessing the area before paddling over to Lake Temagami.
Bell provides a nice description of the post and its gardens. Brackets [like this] are my clarifications.

"Page 9 Reverse
Lake Temiscaming, Friday 22d July 1887
At H.B. [Hudson's Bay Company] post besides common root crops, fine Indian corn (grows), also beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, citrons, musk & water melons, cucumbers, onions, flowers ec. Wheat ripens well every year all over this country. Climate better than at Quebec.
Timber, besides northern trees are red & white oak, hard & soft maple, elm, black ash, cedar, wt. & red pine, thorn, rowan, plumb, wild grape.
A great (profusion) of strawberries, red raspberries, thimble or black berries, June berries ( ) ec.
After ascending the cliffs on either side of the lake the country is nearly level & land good both sides. No hills can be seen from the lake or above it.
Country near lake much burnt on both sides.

Page 10
Lake Temiscaming, Sat. 23d July 1887
Strong wind from the north all day. Trying to secure Indian (Francois). Mr. Farr expected by the steamer tomorrow will assist. With Mr. J. Mann of H.B. Co. visit R.C. Mission {Oblate}. Those here at present are Fathers De Ro(nier) superior just from France, (Portious) of Mattawa. ( ) & (Th ).
In garden at Mission are 2 kinds of imported grapes in fruit {wild grapes & plums grow here}, an apple tree with apples on it.
Father ( ) says at the source of the Ottawa [River] a small lake above L. Traverse many other rivers start also = a singular ( ) = the birth place of rivers = hgt. [height] of land from many directions.
At L. Barriere are 3 lakes & by raising one 5 ft. the whole Ottawa wd. [would] be turned down the Des Moines."

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