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August 26 , 2018

Almaguin Chronicles

Memories of the Past
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The Almaguin Highlands is a region that was once coveted for its game, silver birch and majestic white pine. For centuries this area stretched up to the shores of Lake Nipissing and embraced an unbroken forest that remained largely intact save where lakes, streams and beaver meadows punctuated the forest floor. In 1900, the northernmost areas of the District of Parry Sound were still not accessible by even a conventional roadway. Homesteaders, their claims precariously strung along the Pickerel River, relied on the waterway as their transportation route. What must it have been like at the outset for the lumbermen who cut down the white pine? And how did the settlers-those intrepid folk who trekked across the district with only the lumberjack’s blazed trails for a guide-cope in the wilderness?

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The Almaguin Highlands, an extensive territory covering a 90 km corridor from Huntsville, north to Callander, west to Dunchurch and east to the Algonquin Park border, is a land rich with lakes, rivers and a lively history. Once considered as a possibility for a government Indian Reserve in the early 1800s, Almaguin became a centre for lumbering…

Almaguin Chronicles explores the relationship between lumbering and settlement throughout the Parry Sound District-the last frontier of this part of Ontario. Throughout, rare archival photographs and excerpts from unpublished memoirs augment the text.

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