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European Contact in the York River Valley

European Contact in the York River Valley

Extracts from
(Bancroft- A Bonanza of Memories by Nila Reynolds 1979)
(Wee Bit of Wicklow by Wicklow Research Committee 1973)
(Algonquin Park, the human impact by David Euler and Mike Wilton 2009)

1615- French Explorer Samuel D. Champlain reputed to have traveled in the north part of what is now Hastings County while traveling on the frozen waterways enroute to Lake Nipissing

1640- Jesuit Priests (Father Claude Pijart Father Leonard Garreau ) served Algonquins displaced by Iroquois invaders teaching them the techniques of burning lime for plastering found on the east bank of the York River in Bancroft. Discovered in the 1860’s by new settlers

1650s- Fur Trade spawned French Voyaguers to trade with the First Nation Algonquins traveling nomadically up the Ottawa, Madawaska and York River Systems

1776-1778 – Loyalists to the British monarchy flee the USA and travel into Southern Ontario as part of a UEL promise of free land. As the areas along Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River fill up colonization northward is promoted by the British Government.

1837- County of Hastings request district Status and is separated from Midland district July 25 1839

1850- First Session of Hastings County Council January 25 1850

1851- Publius V. Elmore surveys Land north of Lake Township in Hastings County.

1853- Depot farms being built by timber barons John Egan, Robert Conroy, JR Booth and others that started the timber industry in the Bancroft Area. Bronson and Weston (Harris and Bronson) , Hilliard and Dixon and later the Rathburn Company employed settlers and First Nation Algonquins in lumbering with bush crews, river drivers all living camboose and shanty life with over 72 years of river drives in the York and Madawaska River systems,

1854- Winter Road ordered to be opened by surveyor Robert Bird as the Hastings Colonization Road and 100 acres lots could be granted to settlers under agreement to maintain the road in exchange as statute labour.