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Exploring Manitoulin

Exploring Manitoulin

Shelley J. Pearen
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Exploring Manitoulin
    Book Description:

    Completely updated to include two new provincial parks created on the island in the last decade, new hiking trails, museums, and attractions, and a number of unique activities and events often missed by visitors.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7473-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Maps
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Using This Book
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-2)

    Manitoulin, situated in Lake Huron, is the worldʹs largest island in a freshwater lake. It is 129 km (80 miles) long, varies in width from 4 to 48 km (2.4 to 30 miles) and has more than eighty inland lakes. Its north shore forms one side of the North Channel, and its east coast, together with the Bruce Peninsula, forms Georgian Bay. Georgian Bay was originally named Lake Manitoulin by Captain William Fitzwilliam Owen, who charted the waters in 1815. It was later declared part of Lake Huron and named for King George IV by Captain Henry W. Bayfield during...

  7. ONE Early Manitoulin Settlement
    (pp. 3-10)

    Anthropologists believe that North Americaʹs first people originated in Asia and migrated from Siberia across the Bering Sea. The migration occurred at least 10,000 years ago; excavations made in the past 40 years have indicated it may have occurred as long ago as 40,000 years. These first inhabitants of the glacier-covered continent were hunters. They flourished, hunting huge animals like the mammoth and the giant sloth. When the glaciers began to melt and retreat northward they remained hunters, but of smaller game.

    Ontario prehistory is broken down into four periods covering 11,000 years, beginning with the Palaeo-Indian Period (9000 BC...

  8. TWO A Century and a Half of Touring Manitoulin
    (pp. 11-24)

    Exploring Manitoulin is not a recent phenomenon: the island has been a popular destination for more than 160 years. The first ʹtouristʹ was Mrs Anna Brownell Jameson, who visited Manitowaning in 1837. Others had visited before, but for religious, trade, or government purposes. Mrs Jameson was an Irish-born writer and the wife of Upper Canadaʹs attorney general Robert Sympson Jameson. She travelled from York (Toronto) to Chatham, then by steamboat to Detroit and Mackinac Island, by bateau to Manitoulin, and by canoe to Penetanguishene. Her adventures were published asWinter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada.

    When she arrived at...

  9. THREE The Powwow
    (pp. 25-30)

    According to theGage Canadian Dictionary, a powwow is, ʹamong North American Indian peoples, a celebration or ceremony, usually featuring feasting and dancing and certain rites, held before an expedition, hunt, council, or conference.ʹ A powwow is the rhythmic pounding of a drum, the sounds of unified voices singing and feet striking the earth, a swirling rainbow of colour, the scents of campfires, cedar, sawdust, and sweet grass.

    The powwow experience is being rediscovered by both natives and non-natives. It is a truly mesmerizing event that all visitors to Manitoulin should make time to attend. To visit a powwow is...

  10. FOUR Manitou-miniss, the Spirit Island
    (pp. 31-32)

    The word Manitoulin means ʹSpirit Island,ʹ based on translations of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatamie languages. Manitoulin is believed to be the home of the Great Spirit, or Kitche Manitou. The Algonquian-speaking peoples tell similar versions of the story of the Creation. (On this subject, books by Basil Johnston beautifully re-create the traditional legends.) The story of the Creation and Great Flood became lore in my own family in 1865 when Peter Ahwunagwud of Manitowaning related the story to my great-great-grandfather Jabez W. Sims, an Anglican missionary. Here is the Creation:

    Kitche Manitou (The Great Spirit) had a vision of the...

  11. FIVE Manitoulin Architecture
    (pp. 33-36)

    The first settlersʹ homes were built of logs. There were plenty of trees to be cleared and a log home, whether of round or squared logs, could be constructed quickly. The logs were usually peeled, as unpeeled logs held vermin and could catch fire when their bark dried out. Peeling the logs also made them easier to chink (fill the spaces in between) with a mixture of hay and daub or with mortar. Sometimes the logs were covered with lath and plaster for insulation and aesthetics. As soon as time and money allowed, the settlers erected wood frame homes, and...

  12. SIX The La Cloche Mountains The northern entrance to Manitoulin Island, through the La Cloche Mountains to Little Current
    (pp. 37-42)

    Highway 6, from McKerrow on the Trans-Canada Highway to Little Current on Manitoulin Island, is often termed Ontarioʹs most scenic 50 km (31 miles). It runs from the granite and quartzite Canadian Shield landscape of the North Shore to the limestone land on Manitoulin, two landscapes adjacent yet extremely different in terrain and vegetation.

    Espanola, with a population of about six thousand, is the largest community in the Manitoulin area. Located between Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury about 5 km (3 miles) south of the Trans-Canada Highway, it was established because of the Spanish Riverʹs waterfalls, which were harnessed for...

  13. SEVEN Little Current
    (pp. 43-55)

    In Little Current, the tourist information building near the bridge is a good first stop to obtain information on accommodation and current events for the entire island. Then it is a good idea to drive downtown and park. Parking on the main thoroughfare is at a premium in the summer, but side streets should be relatively empty. You may wish to walk through downtown and along the harbour. The ambitious tourist can walk for several kilometres to the west, below the churches on Robinson Street, to Spider Bay Marina and the ruins of the former mills west of Spider Bay....

  14. EIGHT The Scenic North Coast (Tour 1) Little Current to Mississagi Strait lighthouse, from the islandʹs northeastern entrance to the western tip
    (pp. 57-119)

    This is the longest tour (134 km or 83 miles), and the most varied. You may wish to give yourself two days, or more if you really like to meander and savour the sights. There is a half day of hiking on this route, as well as numerous beaches. If you have less time, follow only a portion of this tour, perhaps as far as Gore Bay. Only part of the tour will actually be spent driving; exploring the pioneer cemeteries, lookouts, historic farmsteads, native reserves, ghost ports, hiking trails, boardwalks, waterfalls, communities, lighthouses, and fishing stations is best accomplished...

  15. NINE The Southern Route (Tour 2) Evansville to South Baymouth
    (pp. 121-137)

    This tour follows the 4,000-year-old shoreline of Lake Nipissing, which lay about 1.5 km (1 mile) inland from Manitoulinʹs south shore. Lake Nipissing was one of several lakes which resulted from the melt-water of the glaciers as they retreated after the last Ice Age. According toLegacy: The Natural History of Ontario, by John Theberge, Lake Nipissing was formed about 8,700 years ago and lasted until about 6,000 years ago. The formation of the present Great Lakes occurred 2,000 years later. The tour passes through farming country and several small villages to the islandʹs longest sand beach, past sand dunes...

  16. TEN The Eastern Bays (Tour 3) South Baymouth to Little Current, from the islandʹs southeastern ferry port to the northeastern tip and bridge
    (pp. 139-183)

    The eastern tour is 63 km (about 38 miles) long. Allow half a day to enjoy this route, or longer if you wish to explore the east coastʹs century-old farmsteads, museums, waterfalls, native territory, and lighthouses.

    The tour begins at South Baymouth, or Zaagdawaang, meaning ʹthe outlet,ʹ as it was known by the original inhabitants. Located near fishing, sugarbush, and water transportation, it was a natural native camp-site. Between the 1840s and 1860s there was a small settlement on South Bay (fifty-three persons by 1860) who joined the main reserves in the late 1860s. By 1867 only about thirty people...

  17. ELEVEN Mindemoya Lake (Tour 4) The central shortcut from the village of West Bay (MʹChigeeng) through Mindemoya to the islandʹs most beautiful beach at Providence Bay
    (pp. 185-195)

    This scenic route connects the northern and southern tours mid-way, and is ideal for those who have limited time to tour. From either Little Current or South Baymouth visitors may follow a shortened circle tour which includes the eastern bays; the north coast as far as West Bay or MʹChigeeng, a native cultural centre; Mindemoya, the centre of the island; Providence Bay and its beach; then back to South Baymouth or Little Current (160 km or 96 miles). The central shortcut from West Bay to Providence Bay is only 26 km (15.5 miles), although you may wish to spend more...

  18. TWELVE Around Manitou Lake (Tour 5)
    (pp. 197-212)

    This tour through picturesque farm communities circles Manitoulinʹs largest lake. It provides many glimpses of and opportunities to visit the lake. It takes half a day to drive this route equipped with a picnic lunch; otherwise allow a little extra time for a meal in Manitowaning, Sandfield, or Mindemoya. Manitou Lake is a good spot to catch smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and lake trout.

    This tour begins in Manitowaning, although it is possible to start at Sheguiandah, West Bay, Mindemoya, or South Baymouth. From Manitowaning head north on Highway 6 for 3.5 km (2 miles), then turn left towards Bidwell...

  19. References
    (pp. 213-216)
  20. Index
    (pp. 217-228)