Cantley 1889 Articles

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The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 24 no 6, December 2012. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.

The Haycock Mine: Then and Now

by Wes Darou

In the September issue of the Echo, we spoke of the history and geology of an 1873 iron mine totally inside the boundaries of Cantley today. In October, we had presented an amazingly artistic sketchbook made of the mine at the same period. This month, in the last of the series, we present three of the sketches and show to the right what they look like today.

The first sketch is where the mine tramway passes the "McGovern's Farm". It took an eternity to discover Farrell McGovern and learn where he built his farm. When we did find out, it was an EUREKA moment! Its location today is a farm at the Northeast corner where Taché meets Gatineau Ave., a site where many of us pass every day.

The second sketch is from the mine itself, looking South along the start of the tramway. The tramway gradually winds South through the hills and swamps, and becomes today's Gatineau Avenue.

The third sketch is entitled, "Gatineau River from the Home of M. A. Wright, Esq., M.P.". Yes, THAT Alonzo Wright. The image was taken from what is now the Tim Horton's parking lot. Unlike any of the other sketches, the scene is almost identical today.

As part of our history, the Haycock Mine is fascinating, strange and at times even beautiful. Anyone wanting more details about it can contact the Cantley 1889 website, the Gatineau Valley Historical Society or Library and Archives Canada.

Wes Darou is co-author of the Echo's bird column and a member of Cantley 1889.


Many discoveries... enthusiastic crowds... glorious weather...

On Oct. 11, Wes Darou and Professor Donald Hogarth shared their fascinating research with 60+ people gathered at La Grange de la Gatineau, telling stories of the history of the area and its people, using slides of the lovely drawings from "A.M. Edmond's 1873 Sketchbook" of the 140-year-old mine, tramway, its village and local scenes of the area. Renowned geologist, Prof. Hogarth also described the minerals of the area with samples, charts and maps.

On the following Saturday morning, 50+ people were led on a guided walk through the Haycock Mine area. Many collected interesting samples of iron ore and other minerals, testing their magnetism, as they listened to more stories about the Haycock Mine and "Village" and its people. Wes Darou and Prof. Hogarth guided the hikers to the mine pits, tunnel, and near remains of the tramway trail through the forest glowing with fall colours.

Many thanks to Prof. Hogarth and Wes Darou for making history come alive for those who attended one or both of these highly successful events.

Margaret Phillips, President, Cantley 1889


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