Life Along the Opeongo Line
The Story of A Canadian Colonization RoadBook - 2004
Life Along the Opeongo Line is a carefully researched and richly entertaining social history of this unique Canadian heritage settlement road running from Farrrell's Landing below Renfrew on the Ottawa River to Bark Lake near Barry's Bay in the Algonquin Park region of Ontario. During the nineteenth century, the Canadian government set forth a policy to settle the hinterland of the province, surveying roads through the wilderness, recruiting immigrants with promises of resource-rich land for farming. Perhaps the most rugged of these colonization roads was the Opeongo Line. While the early settlers may not have found great wealth in farming on the rocky Canadian Shield, they faced the challenges of pioneer life with wit and wisdom, leaving behind a legacy of wonderful stories, told in the distinctive Ottawa Valley style that has become world-famous. Featured in Life Along the Opeongo Line are the original diaries of surveyor Hamlet Burritt; Crown Land Agent T.P. French's "Tract for Intending Settlers," written to entice immigrants; and scores of tales told by descendants of the first settlers, Irish, Scots, Germans, Poles, and Canadiens. Celebrated storytellers Dr. Jeremiah Bigsby, Charles Thomas, Tom Murray, Johnny Kielly, Father Tom Hunt, and Jenny Yuill tell tales of Opeongo legends Alexander MacDonnell, The Last Laird, Archibald McNab, J.R. Booth, Taddy Hagerty, and others, who once lived larger-than-life in such thriving villages and towns as Castleford, Second Chute (Renfrew), Dacre, Esmonde, Clontarf, Brudenell, Balaclava, Rockingham, Mount St. Patrick, Newfoundout, Wilno, and Barry's Bay. The book is fully illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs capturing the beauty of the rugged Opeongo landscape and the sturdy log houses and barns erected by the early settlers.
Publisher: Manotick, Ont. : Penumbra Press, 2004.
Branch Call Number: 971.381 F514
Characteristics: 269 p. : ill., maps, ports.