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Ocean to Ocean
From Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Thunder Bay, Lake Superior


Halifax.—Intercolonial Railway.— Moncton.—Miramichi. — Restigouche.—Matapedla.— Caoouna.—Lord Dufferin—Rivière du Loup.—Quebec—Montreal.—Toronto-—Colling wood.—A man overboard— Owen Sound.—Steamer Frances Smith.—Provoking delays. —Killarney. — Indians. — Bruce Mines. — Sault Ste. Marie. — Lake Superior.—Sunset.—Full Moon.—Harbor of Gargantua.— The Botanist.—Michipicoten Island.— Nepigon Bay. — Grand Scenery. — Sunday on Board.—Silver Islet.—Prince Arthur's Landing.

1st July, 1872.—To-day, three friends met in Halifax, and agreed to travel together through the Dominion from the Atlantic to the Pacific. All three had personal and business matters to arrange, requiring them to leave on different days, and reach the Upper Provinces by different routes. In these circumstances it was decided that Toronto should be the point of rendez-vous for the main journey to the Far West, and that the day of meeting should be the 15th of July. One proposed to take the steamer from Halifax to Portland, and go thence by the Grand Trunk Railway via Montreal; another, to sail up the Gulf of St. Lawrence from Pictou to Quebec, (the most charming voyage in America for wretched half-baked mortals, escaping from the fierce heat of summer in inland cities) ; and it was the duty of the third—the chief of the party—to travel along the line of the Intercolonial Railway, now under construction' through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to its junction with the Grand Trunk in the Province of Quebec. This narrative follows the footsteps of the Chief, when more than one path is taken. But, though it was his duty to make a professional examination of all the engineering works in progress on the Intercolonial,—the Eastern link of that great arterial highway which is to connect, entirely through Canadian Territory, a
Canadian Atlantic port with a Canadian Pacific port,—the reader would scarcely be interested in a dry account of the culverts and bridges, built and building, the comparative merits of wooden and iron work, the pile-driving, the dredging, the excavating, the banking and blasting by over 10,000 workmen, scattered along 500 miles of road. The Intercolonial is to link, with rails of steel, the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with the Province of Quebec; the Grand Trunk unites Quebec and Ontario ; and the Canadian Pacific Railway is to connect the latter with Manitoba and British Columbia, as well as with the various unborn Provinces which, in the rapid progress of events, shall spring up in the intervening region. But the work of actual railway-construction is an old story; and, if told at all, must be served up at some other time in some other way. The object of the present narrative is to give an account of what was observed and experienced in out-of-the-way places, over a vast extent of Canada little known even to Canadians. It will be sufficient for our purpose, therefore, to begin at Toronto, passing over all that may at any time be seen on the line from Halifax to Truro, and northerly across the Cobequid Mountains to Moncton. From Moncton, westward, there is much along the line worthy of description, but thousands of Railway tourists will see it all with their own eyes in a year or two;—the deep forests of New Brunswick, the noble Miramichi river with its Railway bridging on a somewhat gigantic scale, the magnificent highland scenery of the Baie des Chaleurs, the Restigouche, and the wild mountain gorges of the Matapedia. But, without delaying even to catch a forty or fifty-pound salmon in the Restigouche, we hasten on with the Chief up the shores of the great St. Lawrence, hearing, as we pass Cacouna in the second week of July, a cheer of welcome to Lord Dufferin, the new Governor General, who had just landed with his family, escaping from the dust and heat of cities and the Niagara Volunteer Camp, to enjoy the saline atmosphere and sea bathing, which so many thousands of Her Majesty's subjects seek along the lower St. Lawrence at this season. At Rivière du Loup a Pullman Car receives us. Passing the cliffs of historic Quebec, we cross the broad St. Lawrence by that magnificent monument of early Canadian enterprise, that triumph of engineering skill, " The Victoria Bridge," opposite Montreal. Two days are necessarily spent at Ottawa in making final arrangements, and Toronto is reached at the time appointed for the rendez-vous.

July 15th.—To-day, the various members of the overland expedition met at the Queen's Hotel the Chief, the Adjutant General, the boys, Frank and Hugh, the Doctor and the Secretary, and arranged to leave by the first train to-morrow morning. On the Chief devolved all the labor of preparation. The rest of us had little to do except to get ourselves photographed in travelling costume.

July 16th.—Took train for Collingwood, which is about a hundred miles due north from Toronto. The first half of the journey, or as far as Lake Simcoe, is through a fair and fertile land; too fiat to be picturesque, but sufficiently rolling for farming purposes. Clumps of stately elms, with noble stems, shooting high before their fan shape commences, relieve the monotony of the scene. Here and there a field, dotted with huge pine stumps, shows the character of the old crop. The forty or fifty miles nearest Georgian Bay have been settled more recently, but give as good promise to the settlers. Collingwood is an instance of what a railway terminus does for a place. Nineteen years ago, before the Northern Railway was built, an unbroken forest occupied its site, and the red deer came down through the woods to drink at the shore. Now, there is a thriving town of two or three thousand people, with steam saw-mills, and huge rafts from the North that almost fill up its little harbor, with a grain elevator which lifts out of steam barges the corn from Chicago, weighs it, and pours it into railway freight-waggons to be hurried down to Toronto, and there turned into bread or whiskey, without a hand touching it in all its transportations or transformation, Around the town the country is being opened up, and the forest is giving way to pasture and corn-fields. West of the town is a range of hills, about one thousand feet high, originally thickly wooded to their summits, but now seamed with roads and interspersed with clearings. Probably none of us would have noticed them, though their beauty is enough to attract passing attention, had they not been pointed out as the highest " Mountains " in the great Province of Ontario!

We reached Collingwood at midday, and were informed that the steamer Frances Smith would start for Fort William, at two P.M. Great was the bustle, accordingly, in getting the baggage on board. In the hurry, the gangway was shoved out of its place, and when one of the porters rushed on it with a box, down it tilted, pitching him, head first, into the water between the pier and the steamer. We heard the splash, and ran, with half a dozen others, just in time to see his boots kicking frantically as they disappeared. "Oh it's that fool S------," laughed a bystander, "this is the second time he's tumbled in." "He can't swim," yelled two or three, clutching at ropes that were tied, trunks and other impossible life-preservers. In the meantime S------rose, but, in rising, struck his head against a heavy float that almost filled the narrow space, and at once sank again, like a stone. He would have been drowned within six feet of the wharf, but for a tall, strong fellow, who rushed through the crowd, jumped in, and caught him as he rose a second time. S------, like the fool he was said to be, returned the kindness by half throttling his would-be deliverer; but other bystanders, springing on the float, got the two out. The rescuer swung lightly on to the wharf, shook himself as if he had been a Newfoundland dog, and walked off; nobody seemed to notice him or to think that he deserved a word of praise. On inquiring, we learned that he was a fisherman,—by name, Alick Clark—on his way to the Upper Lakes, who, last summer also had jumped from the steamer's deck into Lake Superior, to save a child that had fallen overboard. Knowing that Canada had no Humane Society's medal to bestow, one of our party ran to thank him and quietly to offer a slight gratuity ; but the plucky fellow refused to take anything, on the plea that he was a good swimmer and that his clothes hadn't been hurt.

At two o'clock, it being officially announced that the steamer would not start until six, we strolled up to the town to buy suits of duck, which were said to be the only sure defence against mosquitoes of portentous size and power beyond Fort William. Meeting the Rector or Rural Dean, our Chief, learning that he would be a fellow-passenger, introduced the Doctor to him. The Doctor has not usually a positively funereal aspect, but the Rector assumed that he was the clergyman of the party and a D.D., and cottoned to him at once. When we returned to the steamer, and gathered round the tea table, the Rector nodded significantly in his direction : he, in dumb show, declined the honor ; the Rector pantomimed again, and with more decision of manner ; the Doctor blushed furiously, and looked so very much as if an "aith would relieve him," that the Chief, in compassion, passed round the cold beef without " a grace." We were very angry with him, as the whole party, doubtless, suffered in the Rector's estimation through his lack of resources. The doctor, however, was sensitive on the subject and threatened the secretary with a deprivation of sundry medical comforts, if he didn't in future attend to his own work.

At six o'clock it was officially announced that the steamer would not start till midnight. Frank and Hugh got a boat and went trawling; the rest of us were too disgusted to do even that, and so did nothing.

July 17th.—The Frances Smith left Collingwood at 5.30 A.M. "We're all right now," exclaimed Hugh, and so the passengers thought, but they counted without their host or—captain. We steamed slowly round the Peninsula to Owen Sound, reaching it about eleven o'clock. The baggage here, could have been put on board in an hour, but five hours passed without sign of even getting up steam. In despair, we went in a body to the captain to remonstrate. He frankly agreed that it was "too bad," but disclaimed all responsibility, as the Government Inspector, on a number of trifling pleas, would not let him start, nor give him his certificate,—the real reason being that he was too virtuous ever to bribe inspectors. The deputation at once hunted up the Inspector, and heard the other side. He had ordered a safety-valve for the boilers and new sails a month before, but the captain had "humbugged," and done nothing. The valve was now being fitted on, the sails were being bent, and the steamer would be ready to start in half an hour. Clearly, the Inspector, in the interest of the travelling public, had only done his duty, and the captain was responsible for the provoking delays. We told him so, without phrases, when he promised to hurry up and get off quickly to and from Leith,—a port six miles from Owen Sound, where he had to take in wood.

Leith was reached at 6.30, and we walked round the beach and had a swim, while two or three men set to work leisurely to carry on board a few sticks of wood from eight or ten cords piled on the wharf. At ten P.M., there being no signs of a start, some of us asked the reason and were told that the whole pile had to be put on board. The two or three laborers were lounging on the wharf with arms a-kimbo, and the captain was dancing in the cabin with some of the passengers, male and female, as unconcernedly as if all were out for a pic-nic. He looked somewhat taken aback when the Chief called him aside, and asked if he commanded the boat, or if there was anybody in command; but, quickly rallying, he declared that everything was going on splendidly. The Chief looked so thundery, however, that he hurried down stairs and ordered the men to "look alive;" but as it would take the two or three laborers all night to stow the wood, half a dozen of the passengers volunteered to help, and the Royal Mail steamer got off two hours after midnight.

An inauspicious beginning to our journey this! Aided all the way by steam, we were not much more than one hundred miles in a direct line from Toronto, forty-four hours after starting. At this rate, when would we reach the Rocky Mountains? To make matters worse, the subordinates seemed to have learned from their leader the trick of "how not to do it."

Last night a thunder storm soured the milk on the boat, and though at the wharf, and within a few hundred yards of scores of dairies, it did not occur to the steward that he could send one of his boys for a fresh supply. To-day, after dinner, an enterprising passenger asked for cheese with his beer, and of course did not get it, as nobody knew where it had been stowed. In a word the Frances Smith wanted a head, and, as the Scotch old maid lamented, "its an unco' thing to gang through the warld withoot a heid."

June 18th.—To-day, our course was northerly through the Georgian Bay towards the Great Manitoulin Island. This island and some smaller ones stretching in an almost continuous line, westward, in the direction of Lake Superior, form, in connection with the Saugeen Peninsula, the barrier of land that separates the Georgian Bay from the mighty Lake Huron. These two great inland waters were one, long ago, when the earth was younger, but the water subsided, or Peninsula and Islands rose, and the one sea became two. Successive terraces on both sides of Owen Sound and on the different islands showed the old lake beaches, each now fringed with a firmer, darker, escarpment than the stony or sandy flats beneath, and marked the different levels to which the waters had gradually subsided.

The day passed pleasantly, for, as progress was being made in the right direction, all the passengers willingly enjoyed themselves, while on the two previous days they had only enjoyed the Briton's privilege of grumbling. Crossing the calm breadth of the Bay, past Lonely Island, we soon entered the Strait that extends for fifty miles between the North shore and Manitoulin. The contrast between the soft and rounded outlines of the Lower Silurian of Manitoulin and the rugged Laurentian hills, with their contorted sides and scarred foreheads, on the mainland opposite, was striking enough to evoke from a Yankee fellow-passenger the exclamation, " Why, there's quite a scenery here!" The entrance to the Strait has been called Killarney; according to our absurd custom of discarding the musical, expressive, Indian names for ridiculously inappropriate, European ones. Killarney is a little Indian settlement, with one or two Irish families to whom the place appears to owe very little more than its name. On the wharf is an unshingled shanty—"the store"—the entrepot for dry goods, hardware, groceries, "Indian work," and everything else that the heart of man in Killarney can desire. As you look in at the door, a placard catches your attention, with

LOOK HERE GENTS.

English and Irish Vocubulary,

for sale here;

and, further in, another placard hangs on the wall with the Killarney Carpe Diem motto of

TO-DAY FOR CASH AND

Tom-morrow for Nothing.

The Indians possessed, until lately, the whole of the Island of Manitoulin as well as the adjoining Peninsula; but, at a grand pow wow, held with their Chiefs by Sir Edmund Head, while Governor of Qld Canada, it was agreed that they should, for certain annuities and other considerations, surrender all except tracts specially reserved for their permanent use. Some two thousand are settled around those shores. They are of the great Ojibbeway or Chippewa nation,—the nation that extends from the St. Lawrence to the Red River, where sections of them are called Salteaux and other names. West from the Red River to the Rocky Mountains, extend the next great nation of the Algonquin family,—the Crees. The languages of these two nations are so much alike, that Indians of the one nation can understand much of the speech of the other. The structure is simple, there being about a hundred and fifty monosyllabic radical roots, the greater number of which are common to Ojibbeway and Cree, and on these roots the language has grown up. Most of the Ojibbeways on Manitoulin are Christianized. At one point on the Island, where the steamer called, we met Mr. Hurlburt, a Methodist Missionary,—a thoughtful, scholarly man—who has prepared, with infinite pains, a grammar of the language, and who gave us much interesting information. He honestly confessed that there was little, if any, difference in morals between the Christianized Indians around him and the two or three hundred who remain pagan ; that, in fact, the pagans considered themselves quite superior, and made the immorality of their Christian countrymen their great plea against changing from the old religion.

July 19th.—This morning we entered a beautiful island-studded bay, on the north shore of which is the settlement round the Bruce and Wellington Copper Mines. The mines have been very productive, and give employment now to three or four hundred men and boys, whose habitations are, as is usually the case at mines, mere shanties. One, a little larger than the others, in which the "Gaffer" lives, is dignified with the title of "Apsley House." From the Bruce Mines we sailed westerly through a channel almost as beautiful as where the St. Lawrence runs through the "thousand islands." A "silver streak of sea," glittering in the warm sun, filled with rounded islets of old Huro-nian rock, that sloped gently into the water at one point, or more abruptly at another, and offered every variety and convenience that the heart of bather could desire; low, rugged, pine clad shores ; soft bays, here and there, with sandy beaches : all that is required to make the scene one of perfect beauty is a back-ground of high hills. Everywhere, through Ontario, we miss the mountain forms, without which all scenery is tame in the eyes of those who have once learned to see the perpetual beauty that clothes the everlasting hills.

St. Joseph, Sugar, and Neebish Islands, now take the place of Manitoulin; then we come to the Ste. Marie River, which leads up to Lake Superior, and forms the boundary line between the Dominion and the United States. At the Sault, or rapids of the river, there is a village on each side; but, as the canal is on the United States side, the steamer crosses, to go through it to the great Lake. The canal has two locks, each three hundred and fifty feet long, seventy feet wide, twelve deep, and with a lift of nine feet. It is well and solidly built. The Federal Government has commenced the excavations for the channel of another. Though the necessity for two canals, on the same side, is not very apparent, still the United States Government, with its usual forethought, sees that the time will soon come when they shall be needed. The commerce on Lake Superior is increasing every year ; and it is desirable to have a canal, large enough for men-of-war and the largest steamers. We walked along the bank, and found, among the men engaged on the work, two or three Indians handling pick and shovel as if "to the manner born," and probably earning the ordinary wages of $2.25 per day. The rock is a loose and friable calciferous sandstone, reddish-colored, and easily excavated. Hence the reason why the Sault Ste. Marie, instead of being a leap, flows down its eighteen feet of descent in a continuous rapid, wonderfully little broken except over loose boulders. The water is wearing away the rock every year. As it would be much easier to make a canal on the British side of the river, one ought to be commenced without delay. The most ordinary self-respect forbids that the entrance to our North-west should be wholly in the hands of another Power, a Power that, during the Riel disturbances at Red River, shut the entrance against even our merchant ships. In travelling from Ocean to Ocean through the Dominion, more than four thousand miles were all our own. Across this one mile, half-way on the great journey, every Canadian must pass on sufferance. The cost of a canal on our side is estimated, by the Canal Commissioners in a blue-book, dated February 2nd, 1871, at only $550,000. Such a canal, and a Railway from Nepigon or Thunder Bay to Fort Garry, would give immediate and direct steam communication to our North West, within our own Territory.

At the western terminus of the canal, the Ste. Marie River is again entered. Keeping to the north, or British side, we come to the Point aux Pins, covered with scrub pine (Pinus Banksiana) which extends away to the north from this latitude. Rounding 'the Point aux Pins, the river is two or three miles wide; and, a few miles farther west, Capes Gros and Iroquois tower up on each side. These bold warders, called by Agassiz "the portals of Lake Superior," are over a thousand feet high; and rugged, primeval Laurentian ranges stretch away from them as far back as the eye can reach. The sun is setting when we enter "the portals," and the scene well worthy the approach to the grandest lake on the globe. Overhead the sky is clear, and blue, but the sun has just emerged from huge clouds which are emptying their buckets in the west. Immediately around is a placid sea, with half a dozen steamers and three-masted schooners at different points. And now the clouds, massed into one, rush to meet us, as if in response to our rapid movement towards them, and envelope us in a squall and fierce driving rain, through which we see the sun setting, and lighting up, now with deep yellow and then with crimson glory, the fragments of clouds left behind in the west. In ten minutes the storm passes over us to the east, our sky clears as if by magic, and wind and rain are at an end. The sun sets, as if sinking into an ocean; at the same moment the full moon rises behind us, and, under her mellow light, Lake Superior is entered.

Those who have never seen Superior get an inadequate, even inaccurate idea, by hearing it spoken of as a 'lake,' and to those who have sailed over its vast extent the word sounds positively ludicrous. Though its waters are fresh and crystal, Superior is a sea. It breeds storms, and rain and fogs, like the sea. It is cold in mid-summer as the Atlantic. It is wild, masterful, and dreaded as the Black Sea.

July 20th.—Sailed all night along the N. E. coast of the great Lake, and in the morning entered the land-locked harbour of Gargantua.

Two or three days previously the Chief had noticed, among the passengers, a gentleman, out for his holidays on a botanical excursion to Thunder Bay, ands won by his enthusiasm, had engaged him to accompany the expedition. At whatever point the steamer touched, the first man on shore was the Botanist, scrambling over the rocks or diving into the woods, vasculum in hand, stuffing it full of mosses, ferns, lichens, liverworts, sedges, grasses, and flowers, till recalled by the whistle that the captain always obligingly sounded for him. Of course such an enthusiast became known to all on board, especially to the sailors, who designated him as 'the man that gathers grass' or, more briefly, 'the hay picker' or 'haymaker.' They regarded him, because of his scientific failing, with the respectful tolerance with which all fools in the East are regarded, and would wait an extra minute for him or help him on board, if the steamer were cast loose from the pier before he could scramble up the side.

This morning the first object that met our eyes, on looking out of the window of the state-room, was our Botanist, on the highest peak of the rugged hills that enclose the harbour of Gargantua. Here was proof that we, too, had time to go ashore, and most of us hurried off for a ramble along the beach, or for a swim, or to climb one of the wooded rocky heights. Every day since leaving Toronto we had enjoyed our dip; for the captain was not a man to be hurried at any place of call, and, annoyed though our party were at the needlessly long delays, there was no reason to punish ourselves by not taking advantage of them occasionally.

Half a dozen fishermen, Alick Clark among them, had come from Collingwood to fish in Superior for white fish and salmon trout, and having fixed on Gargantua for summer head-quarters, they were now getting out their luggage, nets, salt, barrels, boats, &c. We went ashore in one of their boats, and could not help congratulating them heartily on the beauty of the site they had chosen. The harbour is a perfect oblong, land-locked by hills three or four hundred feet high on every side except the entrance and the upper end, where a beautiful beach slopes gradually back into a level of considerable extent. The beach was covered with the maritime vetch or wild pea in flower, and beach grasses of various kinds. When the Botanist came down to the shore, he was in raptures over sundry rare mosses, and beautiful specimens of Aspidium fragrans, Woodsia hyperborea, Cystopteris montana, and other rare ferns, that he had gathered. The view from the summit away to the north, he described as a sea of rugged Laurentian hills covered with thick woods.

From Gargantua, the captain, who now seemed slightly conscious that time had been lost, steered direct for Michipicoten Island. In the cozy harbour of this Island, the S.S Manitoba lay beached, having run aground two or three clays before, and a little tug was doing its best to haul her off the rock or out of the mud. For three hours the Frances Smith added her efforts to those of the tug, but without success, and had to give it up, and leave her consort stranded. In the meantime some of the passengers went off with the Botanist to collect ferns and mosses. He led them a rare chase over rocks and through woods, being always on the look out for the places that promised the rarest kinds, quite indifferent to the toil or danger. The sight of a perpendicular face of rock, either dry or dripping with moisture, drew him like a magnet, and, with yells of triumph, he would summon the others to come and behold the treasure he had lit upon. Scrambling, puffing, rubbing their shins against the rocks, and half breaking their necks, they toiled painfully after him, only to find him on his knees before some "thing of beauty" that seemed to them little different from what they had passed by with indifference thousands of times. But it they could not honestly admire the moss, or believe that it was worth going through so much to get so little, they admired the enthusiasm, and it proved so infectious that, before many days, almost every one of the passengers was bitten with 'the grass mania,' or 'hay fever,' and had begun to form "collections."

July 21st.—Sunday morning dawned calm and clear. The Rural Dean read a short service and preached. After dinner we entered Nepigon Bay, probably the largest, deepest, safest, and certainly the most beautiful harbour on Lake Superior. It is shut off from the Lake by half a dozen Islands, of which the largest is St. Ignace,—that seem to have been placed there on purpose to act as break-waters against the mighty waves of the Lake, and form a safe harbour; while, inside, other Islands are set here and there, as if for defence or to break the force of the waves of the Bay itself; for it is a stretch of more than thirty miles from the entrance to the point where Nepigon River discharges into the Bay, in a fast flowing current, the waters of Nepigon Lake which lies forty miles to the north. The country between the Bay and the Lake having been found extremely unfavourable for Railway construction, it will probably be necessary to carry the Canadian Pacific Railway farther inland, but there must be a branch line to Nepigon Bay, which will then be the summer terminus for the traffic from the West, (unless Thunder Bay gets the start of it) just as Duluth is the terminus of the "Northern Pacific."

The scenery of Nepigon Bay is of the grandest description ; there is nothing like it in Ontario. Entering from the east we pass up a broad strait, and can soon take our choice of deep and capacious channels, formed by the bold ridges of the Islands that stud the Bay. Bluffs, from three hundred to one thousand feet high, rise up from the waters, some of them bare from lake to summit, others clad with graceful balsams. On the mainland, sloping and broken hills stretch far away, and the deep shadows that rest on them bring out the most distant in clear and full relief. The time will come when the wealthy men of our great North-west will have their summer residences on these hills and shores ; nor could the heart of man desire more lovely sites. At the river is an old Hudson Bay station, and the head-quarters of several surveying parties for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Chief, therefore has business here, and the Doctor also finds some ready to his hand, for one of the engineers in charge is seriously ill; but the captain can spare only an hour, as he wishes to be out of the Bay by the western Channel, which is much narrower than the eastern, before dark. We leave at 5.30, and are in Lake Superior again at 8.30. The passengers, being anxious for an evening informal service, the captain and the Rural Dean requested our secretary to conduct it. He consented, and used, on the occasion, a form compiled last year specially for surveying parties. The scene was unusual, and perhaps, therefore, all the more impressive. Our Secretary, dressed in grey homespun, read a service compiled by clergymen of the Churches of Rome, England and Scotland; no one could tell which part was Roman, which Anglican or which Scottish, and yet it was all Christian. The responses were led by the Dean and the Doctor, and joined in heartily by Romanists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians; for there were sixty or seventy passengers present, and all those denominations were included in the number. The hymns were,—" Rock of Ages " and " Sun of my Soul;" these, with the "Gloria Patri" were accompanied on a piano by a young lady who had acted for years as the leader of a choir in a small Episcopal Chapel, and she was supported, right and left, by a Presbyterian and a Baptist. The sermon was short, but, according to the Doctor, would "have been better, if it had been shorter ;" but all listened attentively, and no one could tell from it to what particular Church the preacher belonged. The effect of the whole was excellent; when the service was over, many remained in the saloon to sing, converse, or join in sacred music, and the evening passed delightfully away. The ice was broken ; ladies and gentlemen, who had kept aloof all the week, addressed each other freely, without waiting to be introduced, and all began now to express sorrow that they were to part so soon. It was near the "wee sma' hour" before the pleasant groups in the saloon separated for the night.

At one, A.M., we arrived at "Silver Island,"—a little bit of rock in a Bay studded with islets. The most wonderful vein of silver in the world has been struck here. Last year, thirty men took out from it $1,200,000; and competent judges say that, in all probability, the mine is worth hundreds of millions. The original $50 shares now sell for $25,000. The company that works it is chiefly a New York one, though it was held originally by Montreal men, and was offered for sale in London for a trifle. Such a marvellous "find" as this has stimulated search in every other direction around Lake Superior. Other veins have been discovered, some of them paying well, and, of course, the probability is that there are many more undiscovered; for not one hundredth part of the mineral region of Lake Superior has been examined yet, and it would be strange indeed if all the minerals had been stumbled on at the outset. Those rocky shores are, perhaps, the richest part of the whole Dominion.

During the halt at Silver Island we went to bed, knowing that the steamer would arrive at Thunder Bay early in the morning. So ended the first half of our journey from Toronto to Fort Garry, by rail ninety-four miles, by steamboat five hundred and thirty miles. The second half would be by waggons and canoes;—waggons at the beginning and end; and, in the middle, canoes paddled by Indians or tugged by steam launches over a chain of lakes, extending like a net work in all directions along the watershed that separates the basin of the great Lakes and St. Lawrence from the vast Northern basin of Hudson's Bay. The unnecessary delays of the Frances Smith on this first part of our journey had been provoking; but the real amari aliquid was the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. The United States own the southern shores of Superior, and have therefore only done their duty in constructing a canal on their side of the Ste. Marie River. The Dominion not only owns the northern shores, but the easier access to its great North-west is by this route; a canal on its side is thus doubly necessary. The eastern key to two-thirds of the Dominion is meanwhile in the hands of another Power; and yet, if there ought to be only one gateway into Lake Superior, nature has declared that it should be on our side. So long ago as the end of the last century, a rude canal, capable of floating large loaded canoes without breaking bulk, existed on our side of the river.* The report of a N. W. Navigation Company in 1858 gives the length of a ship canal around the Ste. Marie rapids on the Canadian side as only 838 yards, while on the opposite side the length is a mile and one-seventh. In the interests of peace and commerce, and because it would be a convenience to trade now and may be ere long an absolute national necessity, let us have our own roadway across that short half mile. Canada can already boast of the finest ship canal system in the world; this trifling addition would be the crowning work, and complete her inland water communication from the Ocean, westerly, across thirty degrees of longitude to the far end of Lake Superior.

(*) May 30th (1800) Friday, Sault Ste. Marie. Here the North-West Company have another establishment on the North side of the Rapid. * * * Here the North-West Company have built locks, in order to take up loaded canoes, that they may not be under the necessity of carrying thorn by land, to the head of the Rapid, for the current is too strong to be stemmed by any craft.—Harmon's Journal.


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