Algonquin Park holds many secrets. Close to the Little Bonnechere headwaters near a large marsh lies a clearing among the pines. An 1868 map shows at least four buildings at this location and old-timers spoke of a village there. Marsh hay supplemented the crops grown in this small clearing. In the 1870s, brothers Henry and James McIntyre occupied the clearing, then Dennis McGuey. William McIntyre, Henry's son, and his family were the last inhabitants; they moved away in 1904. Today, the foundation of the McIntyre house is barely perceptible, but other older foundations lie scattered nearby.
In an archaeological site, how far away from identifiable structural remains can artifacts be found, and how much buffer is needed to protect these heritage resources? Extensive archaeological sampling of a test site - a rumoured lumber camp older than the farm deep in the woods - helps to provide answers to these questions. A professional archaeological crew and archaeological volunteers spent many days digging 487 test pits in this site. Twenty-two percent contained artifacts. A small coin lost by one of the first loggers who cleared the site, a scythe used later to reap its bounty - a lost button, a bit of pipe, the stove that baked their bread. Pits and berms and ruins. Still more questions.