Land of the Spirits
Virtual Museum of Canada
life along the bonnecheretimelineinteractive archaeological digcollectionsteaching resources
Photograph of the big house at Basin Depot and artifacts

All Roads Lead to Basin

The Basin, as it was commonly known, was the most important logging depot on the Little Bonnechere River and the old Bonnechere tote road. Located on the sand flats at the confluence of Basin Creek and the Little Bonnechere, Basin Depot was the supply hub for the vast timber operations in the area. As early as 1852, several roads radiated out from Basin to logging camps on the Madawaska, Petawawa and Barron Rivers. For more than a century, beginning in the 1840s, successive companies built shanties, storehouses, stables, blacksmith shops, bunkhouses, root cellars, sheds and cabins at the Basin.

Let's Stop Here

Preliminary archaeological work at Basin Depot suggested that it would be worthwhile to focus on a sizable depression surrounded by a raised earthen rim. This feature was eventually interpreted as the stopping place, or house, shown on an 1890 map. A grid composed of one-metre squares was laid-in and every second square near the foundation was excavated. Answering a call for public assistance, volunteers excavated a portion of this former logging depot in Algonquin Park. Hundreds of fragments of glass windowpane are among the architectural remains recovered, while axes, bones, utensils, ceramic and clay pipe fragments, cut nails and personal items testify to the many domestic activities carried out at the site.

View Artifacts in the Basin Depot 1999-2000 Collection (92 Kb)