Carolinian Forest and the Grand River

stand

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.

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

Stories that feature Carolinian Forest and the Grand River

The Grand River Navigation Company Swindle

Upper Canada’s William Hamilton Merritt and David Thompson 1 are entrepreneurs and visionaries and they catch a bug. They catch “canal fever,” which, along with malaria, is running rampant on this continent in the 1830s. “Canal fever” is an unhealthy obsession with building canals – a pun on the mosquito-born illnesses that plague the navvies who do the... Read more …

The Markham Gang, 1845-46

“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 …

Being Canajoharie – James Paxton

There is much to love in 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 of... Read more …

Trumpeting the books

Muriel Kuchison: Susan Minsos has written a most thoughtful, well-researched, descriptive, entertaining, pre-Confederation Canadian historical novel. In Charter, the third book in her Mohawk trilogy, she explores the struggle between the Indigenous peoples and the land-seeking settlers. She documents and contrasts the competing interests of the affluent, and often corrupt lives of those who are selling... Read more …

Death of Huronia. Arrival of United Empire Loyalists (1784). Jennet’s Uxbridge

“When the first white settlers arrived in Pickering and Whitby, Uxbridge and Reach, nothing of two hundred years of Huron, Iroquois and French occupation remained. Only the Mississauga ‘stood in the way’.” Leo A Johnson Disease and civil war smash and forever destroy Huron’s great civilization covering the upper country–variously Québec, Upper Canada, Canada West,... Read more …