Photographer's Note

The York River which flows through the town of Bancroft, Ontario (Hastings County) originates from a group of lakes in the southern extension of Algonquin Park. The river continues on through the Conroy Marsh, a 24 km² wetland and empties into the Madawaska River and eventually into the Ottawa River.

Hastings County was the eleventh county of Upper Canada established in 1792. The town of Bancroft is located in the heart of North Hastings.

Between 1858 and 1872, the government was offering 100 acres of free land to any pioneer if they could construct a building in which to live an till three acres of the 100 within three years. When the three years was up, the person was given the deed.

The deal came at a good time, as the potato famine was occurring in Ireland and many Irish were immigrating to Canada. As well, United Empire Loyalists were fleeing from the American Revolution and settling in this area. They came with nothing and worked very hard in a country that was all bush. They lived off the land and carved a living from the lumber trade. Many men would go off into the bush and not be seen for months at a time. In the second half of the 19th century, the river was used to transport logs out of the forests surrounding its watershed. Often the York River would be clogged with logs from the many logging operations in those days, the largest being Rathburn, J.R. booth, and Bronson & Weston Company.

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Additional Photos by Brendon Hicks (Brendon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 81 W: 9 N: 61] (289)
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