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The Shawashkong River Story

(6000 to first European contact) The York River established its present form about 4,700 years ago and has been used by the Algonquin for thousands of years. The York River was called the “Shawashkong”, meaning “crooked to the treetops” in Algonquin.  It flows into the Madawaska River (meaning “reeds at the fork in the river” […]

The Lonesome Life

Built I 1938, the 100-foot steel fire tower atop Eagles Nest, providing a view of about 1,800 square km, where smoke could be detected from as far away as 24 km, was one of approximately 325 wooden and steel towers built across Ontario by 1947. Each tower was situated to overlap with at least two […]

The Legend of the Last Eagle on Eagles Nest

Oral history recounts that in the summer of 1883 a family was alerted by the screams of a small child playing outdoors at the base of Eagles Nest. The great eagle that had nested on the brink of the precipice in a large pine as long as anyone could remember had snatched the child from […]

Hardwood Forests – Not quite as it seems

On the downhill slope from the Hawkwatch, the soil depth enables healthy tree growth.  Compare the healthy red oak trees here to the stunted red maples and red oaks growing on the granite bedrock above.  The white pine was logged from here in the 1800s and now the soil supports a thriving deciduous forest mixed […]

Tourism – Settlement Continues

TOURISM- SETTLEMENT CONTINUES Following the influx of the railway lines and the eventual improvement of the road networks that accessed Bancroft and North Hastings, tourism gained a foothold as another wave of settlers found our area. The affluence of the industrial revolution created employment and success in business that gave disposable income to some searching […]

Mining Industry on Bancroft District

1866- Gold discovered in Eldorado area of Centre Hastings 1882- William Coe and Harry Johnson form company to work iron ore finds in Coe Hill /Salem area. This discovery may have triggered the extension of the railway to North Hastings 1900- Bessemer and Childs Mines open on further iron ore deposits 1900 -1901- Corundum discovered […]

Wild Wild West Image of Shanty Boys

1887- In the years of the river drives, media reports found their way into city newspaper print of the “Wild West” type activities as the shanty boys made their way through Bancroft on the annual spring log drives. Lawlessness, excessive alcohol consumption and vigilantly justice were presented as commonplace that local policing had trouble controlling. […]

New Settlers Encounter Indigenous People

1865- As settlers build a life on the Free Grant land in North Hastings interaction with the First Nations Algonquins was inevitable. A well documented encounter in the summer of 1865 by settlers Andrew O’Neill and wife Catherine (Kitty Otterson) published as a story in the Bancroft Times by great grand-daughter Marlene Parkinson shows how […]