Fur Trade in Ontario and Quebec in the 1800's
from Montreal to Thunder Bay

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

New January 5, 2021:

Photograph Source: Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry - A History, 1784 - 1945, by John Graham Harkness, K.C., 1946, 
Printed by Mutual Press Ltd. Ottawa, Reprinted in 1972 by the City of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, page 396.

Keywords: Williamstown, Glengarry County, (Thompson was Welsh, not Scottish). He worked for the Northwest Company.

David Thompson fur trader in BC

December 5, 2020: Here are two well-known executives of the North West Company from the book The North West Company, by Marjorie Wilkins Campbell, Macmillan Company of Canada, Toronto, 1957, page 97 (Simon McTavish) and page 177 (Sir Alexander Mackenzie). Top picture is Simon McTavish. Second picture is Sir Alexander Mackenzie.
Picture of Simon McTavish
Picture of Alexander Mackenzie

October 23, 2020: Source for this drawing by E. Roos is from page 131 in the book William E. Logan's 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa, by Charles H. Smith and Ian Dyck, 2007, Canadian Museum of Civilization, ISBN 978-0-660-19662-6.
Keywords: Timber Trade
Hudson's Bay Fort at Mattawa in 1885

September 4, 2009 (picture of a canot de maitre):
Image Source: A Historical Atlas of Canada, Edited by D.G.G. Kerr, University of Western Ontario, Thomas Nelson and Sons, Second Edition, 1966, page 44 picture of a canât de maitre
December 17, 2019:
A Flotilla Birch Bark Canoes used in the Fur Trade

Map Source: Preface to the book The Voyageur, by Grace Lee Nute, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1931, ISBN 0-87351-213-8

March 3, 2020: added photo of more silver foxes (1913) at Fort Smith, NWT The photo of the Silver Foxes is from page 119 of The Canadian Fur Trade in the Industrial Age by Arthur J. Ray
Lawrence Burns (Larry the Trapper) my Grandfather's brother married to Bridget McCabe
Fur Trapper, Lawrence Burns, late 1800's Silver Foxes worth 36000
See the following references at our bibliography:
There is an excellent account of the fur trade in the Bytown area in the article Bytown and the Fur Trade by Michael Newton. The Fur Trade in Canada, by Harold Innis, is a must for every history library. Since Time Immemorial by Stephen McGregor has a lot of information regarding the Algonquin Nation's role in the fur trade of the Ottawa River Valley Watershed.
Thanks to Ellen Paul for this photo of some artifacts from Fort Coulonge on the Ottawa River. Hudson Bay Company Artifacts at Fort Coulonge, Quebec, Canada

August 18, 2004: In August 2004 I made a trip to Minnesota, USA to do historical research on the substantial migration from the Ottawa area to Minnesota during the 1880's. We ended up finding out mostly about the French Canadian voyageurs who were active in the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan areas long before the emigration of farmers and lumbermen from the Ottawa area. The great fur trade route started at Montreal and followed the Ottawa River past the Chaudiere Falls, the Chats Falls, Allumette and Calumet Islands and Fort Coulonge. The Mattawa River was followed, upstream to North Bay and Lake Nipissing. From there it was downriver along the French River to the north shore of Lake Superior. We visited Grand Portage at the head of Lake Superior where we set new records in an all-you-can-eat walleye restaurant in Grand Marais. Many of the towns have French names -- called after the voyageurs. The records of Notre Dame Cathedral in Bytown prior to 1855 list the occupation of many French Canadians as "voyageur". The books, The Voyageur, by Grace Lee Nute of Minnesota and Freshwater Saga by Eric Morse (deceased) of Ottawa, are two excellent works regarding the canoe routes and the fur trade. See our bibliography. ... Al
August 22, 2004: Hi Al Here's a picture of the Ottawa River, 1 1/2 hour East of North Bay, in Stonecliffe. On the right is Quebec, and these lands have been untouched for 200 years. What we see today, is what the Fur Taders and Settlers saw back then. If you land on the Quebec side and start walking inland, the first road is 45 miles in. Quebec has reserved this land, and has stayed that way this long. What I found interesting, was the depth. The deepest part of the Ottawa River is over 200 feet. Thought it would add a view to your Fur Trade story, but like I stated, what you see in this picture is the view our ancestors had 200 years ago. Take care
Bye for now Taylor ___________________ And here's one of the north shore of Lake Superior (Old Woman Bay).
Old Woman Bay, Lake Superior
The wind was called "La Vieille", or the Old Woman. La Vieille led to layovers of up to a week until she subsided. This is a very powerful lake which can turn from flat calm to six foot rollers in an hour. Eric Morse and his wife canoed from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie in a 17 foot Grumman canoe. ... Al
February 2, 2005: See also the lumber industry in the Ottawa and Gatineau Valleys.
February 12, 2005: Friday afternoon. February 11, 2005. Sun shining. Winds light. Playing hookey, not hockey.
Following the trail
A modern day voyageur

Islands in a bay along the Ottawa River, west of the city

February 23, 2005:
Mattawa, Ontario, Canada - An Important Junction during the Fur Trade
Hi Al I snapped this picture on my way back from Stonecliffe. It is a Jesuit burial site, and was possibly used as a landmark during the Fur trade. It is situated directly across from the mouth of the Mattawa River coming unto the Ottawa River. Located high on the Quebec mountain. On the attached map, the {Tree Symbol} shows the approximate location of the Three Crosses. Take care Taylor Kennedy

There is a village named Bonfield on the above map. James Bonfield migrated from Huntley Township to Renfrew County c. 1850. ... Al St. Anne's Church and Hospital at Mattawa, Ontario. Thanks to Taylor Kennedy for the photo Church at Mattawa, Ontario - St. Anne's RC There is a village named Bonfield on the above map. James Bonfield migrated from Huntley Township to Renfrew County c. 1850.
February 8, 2009:
Andre St. Amours' Fur Dealer Sign, painted by Henri Dufour Thanks to Denise who is researching her Payette dit St. Amour and Dufour ancestors Maniwaki, Quebec Andre St. Amour. Fur Dealer Sign, by Henri Dufour
Andre St. Amour, Fur Dealer Sign in French, painted by Henri Dufour Maniwaki, Quebec (this picture includes a beaver) Andre St. Amour. Fur Dealer Sign in French, by Henri Dufour

September 6, 2009: Later in September, I'll be travelling from Kanata, Ontario (Ottawa), to Thunder Bay, Ontario. My tickets on Greyhound Bus Lines are in the mail. Since ordering the tickets, I've learned that Greyhound plans to soon cease providing bus service from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to my destination, formerly called Fort Kaministiquia -- Fort William / Port Arthur / Thunder Bay. This will be a tremendous loss to folks who live in Northern Ontario and who travel the route along the North Shore of Lake Superior. See the newspaper article on our Fort William web page.
Overview of Lake Superior and the Lakehead Map Source: A Historical Atlas of Canada, Edited by D.G.G. Kerr, University of Western Ontario, Thomas Nelson and Sons, Second Edition, 1966, page 20
August 23, 2020: Same Source as above, but page 45. Kaministiquia Route Plus Hudson's Bay Company York Boat York Boat and Kaministiquia Trade Route
September 13, 2009: The Museum of Civilization is beginning a one-year exhibit called "Profit and Ambition: The Canadian Fur Trade, 1779-1821" The exhibit will run until September 12, 2010. Information can be found at the Museum of Civilization web site. Here is an article by Steven Mazey which ran in yesterday's Ottawa Citizen: Canadian Museum of Civilization Fur Trade Exhibit Canadian Museum of Civilization Fur Trade Exhibit
October 19, 2009: Hi Al: I've transcribed the 1847 Diary of Hugh Falls, a Provincial Land Surveyor with his survey of Bennett's & Bissett's creeks. He refers to a few men he hired as well as a few he encountered during the survey. I thought these names might be of interest to anyone researching these families. Feel free to post any of the diary that might be of interest. I'm not certain that I've transcribed all of the place names correctly as I'm not too familiar with the geography of the area. Perhaps you can correct any mistakes I've made if you notice any. I was surprised that it only took Hugh Falls one day to travel from Bytown to Montreal-thought it would take longer than that. I think he was paid 114 pounds for this survey. Linda Falls
November 23, 2009:
This map shows the original fur trade post called "Chats House" manned by Joseph Mondion of the Hudson's Bay Company c. 1810. Also shown are the route of the Horse Railway built c. 1850, by John Egan, to take steamboat passengers around the Chats Rapids. Map Source: The Upper Ottawa Valley, by Clyde C. Kennedy, page 141. Horse Railway in Pontiac County, Quebec, c. 1850

March 7, 2016: Joseph Mondion and Marguerite Charlebois had a daughter baptized at Oka in 1811 18 March 1811, Baptism of Marie Angelique, born today of the marriage of late Joseph Mondion and Marguerite Charlotte Charlebois, habitants of Vaudreuil, Lower Canada. Sponsors: Michel St. Julien and Elizabeth St. Denis. July 10, 2010:
Source: Colonial Identities - Canada from 1760 to 1815, page 53. Hudson's Bay Company Recruitment Advertisement, early 1800's

December 17, 2010: Source: Ottawa Citizen, December 15, 2010, page A6 Keywords: Birch Bark Canoe, John Enys, Canadian Canoe Museum at Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Birch Bark Canoe - 250 years old in 2010
April 24, 2011: Voyageurs in Bytown Here are some records of voyageurs from the records of Notre Dame Cathedral, Sussex Street, Bytown (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada): Source: Ellen Paul's transcription of the Notre Dame records 11 May 1843 Baptism of Marie Pomerin, born yesterday of the marriage of Paschal Boucher, voyageur, and Justine Meilleriller (Meilleur) of Bytown Godparents: Francois Desloges & Marie Meilleur 17 Feb 1846 After one publication of banns, marriage of Jean Marie Tambeau, voyageur (occ) and adult son of Paul Tambeau and the late Marguerite Murray, to Emilie Ouellette, minor daughter of Gabriel Ouellette and Francoise Brazeau of Bytown Witnesses: Gabriel Ouellette, father of the bride, and Paul Tambeau, the groom's brother 13 Apr 1847 Funeral service for Esprit Masson, voyageur, who died the day before, aged almost 30 yrs. Witnesses: Louis Tasse & Francois Filiatrault 17 Jul 1847 Baptism of Sophie, born today of the marriage of Godefroi Gareau, voyageur, (occ) and Madeleine Desboyaux dite Laframboise of this town Godparents: Jean Baptiste Desboyeaux dit Laframboise & Marie Choquet 31 Aug 1847 After one publication of banns, marriage of Maxime Minaut / Mineault, voyageur (occ) and adult son of Edouard Minaut and Angelique St. Louis, to Esther Depocat, adult daughter of Francois Depoca and Josephte Bloirere Witnesses: Louis Rainville & Vincent Depocat Another Voyageur was Joseph Labreche who came from the Argenteuil Seignory to work on the Rideau Canal. (Sometimes spelled LeBrush).
May 17, 2011: The village of Maxville is located in what was called the "Indian Lands". The following photograph shows Angus MacRae, a descendant of ancestors from the Scottish Highlands combining modern technology - the baseball cap, a twentieth century import from the USA, with the ancient Native Persons' hand-made woven basket. These hand-made baskets are still being made and sold by the people at the St. Regis Reserve near Cornwall. The best back pack you'll ever use for canoe trips.
Angus MacRae, Trapping Beaver in Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada Photo Source: Maxville - Its Centennial Story, page 372 Angus MacRae, Trapping Beaver in Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada

January 13, 2013: Fort Coulonge, on the Ottawa River in Pontiac County, Quebec, Canada, was an early Northwest Company and Hudson Bay Company post.
January 20, 2013: There is a very good article by Arthur J. Ray, "Fur-Trade History as an Aspect of Native History". This appears in the book Aboriginal History: A Reader, edited by Kristin Burnett and Geoff Read, Oxford University Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-543325-0, pages 110-119.
March 23, 2013: I'm interested in the relationship between the Cree Nation and the Fur Trade in the James Bay area. This area is covered by Treaty Number 9 of 1905-06. ... Al
July 11, 2013: Thanks to Taylor Kennedy who has sent along a write-up and photographs commemorating Fort Rouillé (Fort Toronto), 1750-1759. For Search Engine: Fort Rouille .
August 13, 2014: Well we finally made it to the French River, one of the early fur trade routes and also a potential location for the proposed (in the 1850's) for the Georgian Bay Canal.
November 26, 2014: In the year 1901, a man went wilderness-crazy in an area south of North Bay, Ontario and west of Algonquin Park. James McConnell was known as the Mad Trapper.
July 19, 2015: Some Descendants of John Hodgson and his First Nation wife, Ann This is an interesting genealogy of a Hudson Bay Company employee whose famiy migrated from Hudson Bay to the Red River Settlement in Manitoba and then to Pontiac County on the Ottawa River.
February 27, 2016: There is a new database of Voyageurs' Contracts during the fur trade. ... Al
January 27, 2020: Keywords Oka, John George McTavish Source for this text is Footnote 13, page 39 in the book William E. Logan's 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa, by Charles H. Smith and Ian Dyck, 2007, Canadian Museum of Civilization, ISBN 978-0-660-19662-6.
Text Block about John George McTavish - fur trade and Oka

E-mail Allan Lewis

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