Etc. -- Ernest Messecar's 1901 excursion
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A lighted edited page 1 article from the 13 Jun 1901 issue of the Waterford Star newspaper.

Townsend Man Went to Temiskaming

After careful 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 Liskeard.

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.


Copyright 2016 John Cardiff