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A Northern Ontario Prairie c1910
Little Claybelt Homesteaders Museum
New Liskeard , Ontario

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   Nestled deep within
Northeastern Ontario's vast,
exquisite Boreal Forest,
terrain better known for its
wealth of timber and ore, is
a rich pocket of agricultural
territory known as the Little
Claybelt. Most first-time
visitors are taken aback to
see expansive wheat fields or

cattle grazing throughout the
region's prairie-like
landscape, which extends
south of Kirkland Lake to the
present-day city of
Temiskaming Shores. No wonder
they're surprised. Conditions
ideal for mining and farming
rarely coexist. Yet the
greatest silver strike in the

world took place in 1903 at
Cobalt, just a few kilometres
south. And this island of
arable land in a sea of dense
trees and rock outcrops is
set in the midst of the
Canadian Shield, where a
person can quickly get lost
in a wilderness of waterways
and bush.

   Loggers first began
noting the stone-free,
fertile terrain in the late
1800s, when the only access
to it was by boat up the
Ottawa River. Still, the
province recognized the
area's remarkable potential
as a farming site as the 20th
century unfolded. In a bid to

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