Carolinian Forest and the Grand River


In 1791 after the American rebellion and the ensuing flood of displaced persons arrive into the upper country, Great Britain took it upon itself to divide Quebec into Lower and Upper Canada. Upper Canada, which the British claimed but did not own and did not conquer – actually Upper Canada was the territories-depending-thereon part of Quebec –  held a treasure. Embedded in the southern part of the province was woodland. A section of the colossal Carolinian forest tipped as far north as Toronto and ran through the Carolinas and dipped as far south as Savannah. It encompassed Tinaatoua or the Grand River, which marked its western beginning and connected the north and south of the Great Lakes.

In variety and abundance the arboreal wilderness must have been breathtaking. There were chestnut, honey locust, nannyberry, sassafras, wild crabapple, willow, witch hazel, black maple, walnut, sweet birch, staghound sumac, beechnut, shagbark hickory, blue ash, sycamore and white pine trees and many more varieties but perhaps because of the work of clearing them and stumping them the inconvenience to Europeans must have been equally breathtaking. Nonetheless it took a mere fifty years for the magnificent woodland to give way to meadows, grassland, scrub oak and macadamized roads. Forest gave way to concrete. Towns and cities popped up. And farm after farm after farm.

American sycamore, photo credit, JJMK

Sky Walker  Tehawennihárhos and the Battle of Vinegar Hill, p367.

Stories that feature Carolinian Forest and the Grand River

Trumpeting the Mohawk trilogy

SKY WALKER TEHAWENNIHÁRHOS: CHARTER “Another highlight comes in the minor characters, who are brought to life in a multidimensional way that makes the . . . universe immersive and realistic. All characters leave a lasting impression, even those as tertiary as Miles Finlen, the tall, gruff barkeep who works tirelessly to maintain respect for his bar... Read more …

The Grand River Navigation Company Swindle

This story is about a scandal – a scandal of incredible proportion. By the time the digging stops on the Grand River Navigation canal system, the Crown will have, once again, robbed and left destitute its Indigenous allies.   Upper Canada’s William Hamilton Merritt and David Thompson 1 are entrepreneurs and visionaries and they catch a bug.... Read more …


BOOKLEA! Davis Hamlet or Davisville is on the farm of Mohawk Chief Thomas Tehonwawenkaragwen Davis. Currently the site of Laurier University and Professor Gary Warrick’s archaeological dig, Davisville is situated northwest of Ohsweken and Brantford, and south of Paris. Davisville is there some time before the European villages of Brantford or Paris exist. And before Davisville,... Read more …

The Markham Gang Ontario

“Gang members took an oath of secrecy. They vowed to support each other in any way possible. They pledged to provide alibis in case they were arrested, and to back each other in court. This was a homegrown, nineteenth century Canadian ‘Mafia,’ a ‘mob,’ one of the earliest known cases of organized crime in British... Read more …

“Canajoharie Joseph Brant” and Thayendanegea’s mansion

There is much to love in James Paxton’s Joseph Brant and his world: 18th century Mohawk warrior and statesman (2008). Exceptional writing and heart-rending illustrations and even the book’s silky pages. More to love is Paxton’s thesis: Joseph Brant is an 18th century Mohawk warrior and Pine Tree Chief who understands as well as any modern Canadian the necessity... Read more …