400th Anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's Trip up the Ottawa River
(Algonquin Chief Tessouat makes First Contact with Europeans in 1613)
also the Diary of Sir William E. Logan from his 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa Valley
May 18, 2013:
Source for excerpt from newspaper article below: Ottawa Citizen, May 18, 2013, page A2.
Thanks to Ellen for the following photograph!
Last summer my husband, and I did a driving tour of Normandy. Tom is a WWII buff and so we did the Normandy beaches, but we were
also in Honfleur, the port of embarkation for Champlain et tous les colons. I’m attaching a photo of the plaque in the little chapel
of Notre Dame de Grâce. My St-Denis line comes from Caen, but there was not very much left of the faubourg St-Julien after the war.
Plaque in France commemorating Champlain and other early travellers to North America.
January 15, 2013:
The year 2013 marks the anniversary of Champlain's canoe trip up the Ottawa River. In 1613, he travelled up the Ottawa River from
Hochelaga, present-day Montreal, past what today is the City of Ottawa and proceeded upriver to the Pembroke, Ontario area. Morrison Island, near Pembroke,
was inhabited by the Algonquin Nation of the Ottawa River Watershed. Morrison Island is (adjacent to Allumette Island);
it was a longstanding meeting place for aboriginal peoples and the Algonquins, under Chief Tessouat, collected tolls from persons
passing their island on the river. Morrison Island became a commercial and social centre for the Kitchesipirini Band during the Fur Trade.
A terrific book about the Ottawa River from the time of Samuel de Champlain to the mid-twentieth century is Ottawa Waterway
by Robert Legget - there is a small park at the corner of Main Street and Clegg Street in Old Ottawa East named after him.
Here is a map from page 24 of his book:
Keywords Pembroke, Renfrew, Riviere Noire (Black River), Coulonge River, Champlain, Cobden, Muskrat Lake.
Below, right: Muskrat Lake at Cobden, Ontario
The history of the Aboriginal people has been mainly written by European settlers in Canada. Stephen McGregor has written a
wonderful book and as he says in the Introduction to his book:
In the end, this book is a learning experience for all of us. Simply, it was time for the Algonquins to share their story with you.
You Canadians have given many great history books for us to read and now we are giving you one back.
Source: Since Time Immemorial: "Our Story" - The Story of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinàbeg
Read a biography of Chief Tessouat at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
This web page is being created to record the 400th Anniversary celebrations in the Ottawa area and to serve as an Internet portal to
local aboriginal history and fur trade history. Also, since the voyages of Champlain and Sir William E. Logan covered much of the same geographic area, I plan
to use the following four books as a framework for this summer's work and play: The first book is Since Time Immemorial: "Our Story" written
by Stephen McGregor in 2004, ISBN 0-973-4910-1-9. It documents the history of the Algonquin Nation at Riviere Desert (Maniwaki area)
and in the Ottawa River watershed, including Pitwakanagan, previously called Golden Lake, in Renfrew County.
The second book contains the diary of Samuel de Champlain who came as far west as Morrison Island in 1613.
The third book is William E. Logan's 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa Valley, by Charles H. Smith and Ian Dyck, 2007, Canadian Museum of Civilization,
ISBN 978-0-660-19662-6. Sir William Logan made a detailed geologic and topographic survey of the area from Montreal Quebec to Lake Temiskaming.
Finally, Clyde Kennedy's book The Upper Ottawa Valley: A Glimpse of History was written in 1970 and
documents the history of the area from the Chats Falls to Lake Temiskaming and beyond.
Here are the four books:
Both Champlain and Logan (who recorded his geological Survey of the Ottawa River in 1845) had early experiences when the Ottawa River
area was mostly unspoiled. By the time of Clyde Kennedy's book in 1970, the developmet of the River was similar to the state as it
exists today in 2013, 400 years after Champlain's initial trip.
Ottawa City Councillor Stephen Blais is interested in the upcoming events of 2013.
Unfortunately he suffered a heart attack a few months ago we wish him well on his road to recovery.
I can't recommend enough the Pulitzer Prize-winning book entitled "CHAMPLAIN'S DREAM" by David Hackett Fischer. Champlain is my hero -
what an utterly amazing man, centuries ahead of his time. How unbelievably fortunate we were to have this man settle in what is
now Canada, especially when compared to what was happening at the same time south of the border. He was a true visionary and
deserves much of the credit for the stability on which much of our country was built. I learned an awful lot about our history
through this book and it has given me a true appreciation for our beginnings.
March 4, 2013:
Sue: I have just finished reading Champlain's Dream. This is a terrific book and has some of the best descriptions of Champlain's
friendly and respectful relationships with Amerindians. Champlain's Dream, by David Hackett Fischer, Simon and Schuster, Toronto, 2008,
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-9932-4, 834 pages. Champlain's trip from the Lachine Rapids to Morrison Island (at Pembroke, Ontario) in 1613 is
described on pages 305-310.
Also, we have now obtained for the Bytown or Bust Library, the two volume set called The Voyages and Explorations of Samuel de Champlain,
narrated by himself, translated by Annie Nettleton Bourne, Toronto, Courier Pess, 1911.
Champlain's trip from the Lachine Rapids to Morrison Island (at Pembroke, Ontario) in 1613 is described in Volume II, pages 1-42.
March 7, 2013;
In the summer of 1615, Samuel de Champlain camped overnight at Mohr's Island near McLaren's Landing in Torbolton Township on the Ottawa River.
May 15, 2013:
The Ottawa Valley Historical Society is presenting several interesting talks regarding the early history of the Upper Ottawa Valley as
part of their commemoration activities for Champlain 400.
This is short notice but the following talk is offered for tonight, May 15, 2013:
Professional archaeologist Dr. Ken Swayze will be speaking about Algonquin Archaeology in the Ottawa Valley. His talk will
start at 7 pm and admission is by donation. This talk is part of a May Speakers Series for the Champlain 400th.
Location: 1032 Pembroke St. East, Pembroke, Ontario
May 17, 2013:
Last night's talk by Dr. Ken Swayze was very informative.
According to Mr. Dave Lemkay, "The Ottawa Valley Historical Society is going to have on display the original Champlain astrolabe
for a short time in June at the Champlain Trail Museum in Pembroke. There are two active groups that will be able to provide you
some good information. One is the McNab-Braeside Township committee that has, for the past two years, organized our steam boat
flotillas from Norway Bay Quebec to Red Pine Bay near Braeside. (We had the last remaining operating Alligator Steam Warping Tug Boat up here in the
Valley from Simcoe Ontario). This was the focus for two great cross-river activities in 2011 and 2012. The committee is underway
with plans again for waterfront activities planned for the third weekend in June.
Over at Bristol QC the other half of the flotilla committee has robust plans to celebrate the 400th. Among others, Peter and Barb Haughton,
fine folks who have a wonderful private museum, are well into organizing everything from a voyageur canoe flotilla (if that's the proper term)
and much more. Their Bristol township and maybe more through the Pontiac are going to do it up right."
... Dave Lemkay
(Pontiac County and Renfrew County are accessible by water or by road from Pembroke).
May 22, 2013:
The Champlain Trail Museum will be the centre of celebrations at Pembroke and Morrison Island.
The web site of the Champlain Society contains many very good digitized books, including some of the documents written
by and about Champlain and digitized material from the records of the Hudson's Bay Company. A very good resource!
Also, several high-quality, hard-cover books are for sale, quite suitable for purchase as gifts for this fast-approaching Father's Day.
May 30, 2013:
Thanks very much to Mr. Ron Bernard who has sent along the following wonderful photograph of a canoe built by members of the
Algonquin Nation at Pikwàkanagàn (formerly called Golden Lake). Last week Mr. Bernard gave a very interesting talk at the
Champlain Trail Museum in Pembroke. He explained the history and techniques for building a birch bark canoe.
Included in his presentation was the photograph below. This canoe was built in 1956 by Mr. Bernard's then 81 year old Grandfather, Mr. Matt Bernard.
It is now stored in the Canadian Museum of Civilization but will be moved to Pikwàkanagàn in the future.
Source below: May 10, 2013 Newsletter from the Pikwakanagan Web Site.
(This notice is well said, reflecting strength and pride on behalf of the Algonquin Nation ... Al)
June 13, 2013:
Take part in the largest ever canoe flotilla on the Upper Ottawa River on June 16, 2013.
Here is more information. There will be up to 400 canoes in the flotilla this Sunday!
June 17, 2013:
The Ottawa River Heritage Designation Committee provided 21' Scott Canoes and
guided some modern-day voyageurs from Pembroke to Morrison Island.
If you are interested in supporting this cause, contact Mr. Larry Graham
August 17, 2014:
The following poster was created by the talented students from the Merivale High School Fine Arts Department,
led by Mr. Irving Osterer. Student Daniel Cohen Collier is Samuel de Champlain, below.
February 17, 2015:
Here is another very good book for researching the story of Samuel de Champlain. This book
is part of the Carleton Library series # 4.
Champlain, The Life of Fortitude, by Morris Bishop, McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1963, 307 pages, (no ISBN).
E-mail Sue, Ellen, David Lemkay, Diane Burnett, Champlain Trail Museum, Larry Graham, Irving Osterer and Allan Lewis
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