Townsend Man Went
preliminary organization upon the part of the Director of Colonization,
Mr. Thomas Southworth, a trainload of prospective settlers left Toronto on
Tuesday, 28 May 1901.
Picking up excursionists on the
way, the train at noon on Wednesday reached railhead, the station of
Temiskaming, at the point where the Ottawa issues from the long narrow
lake of that name.
Transferring to a steamer, they on
the same evening arrived at the present starting-point of settlement, the
hamlet at the mouth of the Wabi River, variously known as Thornloe and New
Here also arrangements had been
made, and on Thursday morning the land seeking began.
Divided into small parties, each
lead by a local guide, the excursionists plunged into the country, ploded
along the miry roads which penetrated the fringe of pioneer farms lining
the lakeshore, threaded their way through forest trails, and inspected the
land for themselves.
By Friday they were streaming
back, making for the office of the Crown land agent, to register the lots
of their choice.
On Monday a considerable number of
the excursionists left for home, and after three days of continuous
traveling arrived in Toronto on Wednesday evening, 5 Jun 1901.
Most of the remainder on Monday
left Thornloe for a further inspection of the country by making a
leisurely voyage up the fine river, indifferently style the Blanche
and the White, which runs into the northern end of the lake.
The number of landseekers who went
on the excursion was 162. By Monday morning, 107 locations had been taken
up by member of the party, and Crown lands agent expected to receive about
25 more applications from the excursionists. Thus the immediate result of
the experiment has been about 130, or 81 per cent of the men who went upon
this tour of inspection took the affidavit that they would purchase land
for bona fide purposes of settlement.
Mr. Ernest Messecar, who lives
just north of this place, was the Townsend man who went on this excursion
and took up land.
He arrived home on Thursday last
and speaks very highly of that fine country and of the trip. He says the
wood upon the land is composed mostly of balsam, spruce, pine, cedar,
hemlock, tamarack, white birch and white wood.
The land is mostly composed of a
rich clay loam. On top of this clay is about one to two foot for muck,
which is burned off after the timber is cleared. The clearing of the land
is very easy compared with the work it requires in this district. The
roots of the trees only reach through the muck and do not penetrate the
clay. The timber ranges in size from four inches to three feet and is very
tall and straight.
There is considerable cleared land
there now and excellent crops can be grown if the land is properly
cultivated. The wheat hat that took first prize at the Paris exhibition
was grown in this district and Mr. Messecar saw the land upon which it was
grown. The man also showed him the diploma.
Wild huckleberries, blueberries
and strawberries grow in abundance. There is lots of gae in the region.
Mr. Messecar states they roused up to moose, also saw a bear and cub. Deer
are plentiful and the creeks abound with fine speckled trout.
Settlers get 160 acres of land on
payment of $5 and registration fee. They are required to clear 16 acres in
four years and build a habitable house 16 x 20.