Kaministiquia River, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
A Major Fur Trade River
Also Kakabeka Falls

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
October 17, 2013:

The "Kam" River area, at the head of Lake Superior, was important in our history, beginning 
in the 1600's. The Ojibway First Nation Band lived along the river and it was the main highway 
to the northwest country for many generations. This web site (www.bytown.net) is mainly
concerned with the early history of the Ottawa, Canada, area and from the earliest days of 
European exploration, there developed connections between what are today, the cities of 
Thunder Bay and Ottawa, the Capital of Canada.

Kaministiquia River Sign
Kaministiquia River, west of Thunder Bay (was Fort William and Port Arthur), Ontario, Canada
The voyageurs, explorers and coureurs de bois travelled from the fur trade headquarters in Montreal, along the Ottawa River to Mattawa, Ontario. From Mattawa they headed west to Lake Nipissing (North Bay, Ontario), into Georgian Bay, then along the shore of Lake Huron (Sault Ste. Marie) to reach the wild and magnificent northern shore of Lake Superior. Their destination was Grand Portage, which since 1803 has been part of the State of Minnesota. One idea about the origin of the name Kaministiquia is that it is derived from the Ojibway word meaning "River of Many Islands". The picture below shows an examply of the sort of long and narrow islands which dot the Kam along it's length. According to the book Life in a Thundering Bay: Voices from Thunder Bay's Past, a steamship was running from Fort Kmministiquia at Lake Superior inland along the river for ten miles in 1873.
Kaministiquia River, west of Thunder Bay (was Fort William and Port Arthur), Ontario, Canada
Among the connections of the Ottawa River system and the Thunder Bay area was through the Lumbering industry in the 1800's. The Gillies brothers from the Ottawa Valley (Arnprior / Braeside) began lumbering along the tributaries of the Ottawa River in the 1840's. By 1870, they had extended their operations to the Thunder Bay area. Gillies Township there is named for them.
South Gillies Township, south of Thunder Bay (was Fort William and Port Arthur), Ontario, Canada
New October 18, 2013:
Sign for Kakabeka Falls In 1882, Lucius O'Brien, one of the foremost painters in Canada, painted this picture of Kakabeka Falls, on the Kamanistiquia River (the Northern Niagara) Source: National Gallery of Canada Kakabeka Falls Painting by Lucius O'Brien, 1882

E-mail Allan Lewis

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