Stephen Lafricain The Grand Old Man of the River Available as an EBook here.

Stephen Lafricain
The Grand Old Man of the River
by Bruce W. Taylor

Stephen Lafricain was born in 1837, the same month and year that Queen Victoria ascended the throne; and died in 1936, the year that King George VI was proclaimed king. He was a part of our history; not just of Canada, but of the United States as well. He was a part of the settlement of the Labrador coast; he lived in the city of Montreal in its formative years. He was a took part in the US Civil War and in the campaign against the Fenian Invasion of Canada.

He witnessed the treaty negotiations with the native people of Northeastern Ontario. He saw the decline of the fur trade in northern Canada, and the discovery of the vast mineral wealth of northern Ontario.

He was there.

Bruce W. Taylor

He knew and counted as friends some of the most influential men in Canadian history, men such as Lord Strathcona, and Governor Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company. He saw Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, General Ulysses Grant, and the ill-fated General Custer. And, although none of the wealth of the land accrued to him in his wilderness homes, he lived with and even guided some of the famous prospectors who discovered the gold and silver mines in the north.

Living for most of his life at the Fort Matachewan Hudson Bay Post, he befriended the native community, the prospectors, the hunters, trappers, the priests, and community leaders who came through the area with their various pursuits.

This is his story.

Short-listed for a 2019 Northern Lit Award!

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Go Here for Table of Contents | Go here for the Index.

Logo, Northern Lit AwardsShort-listed for a 2019 Northern Lit Award.

ISBN: 978-1-927541-81-4 | WMPub#1157 | 5½" x 8½"
156 pages, 29 photos/ diagrams; index; trade paperback | $14.95

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It has come to light, on page 142, the Michel Batisse (Jr), born on August 16, 1877, was NOT the elected chief of the Matachewan Band at the time of the Treaty No 9 negotiations. It was his father also named Michel Batisse (seen on page 89). Michel (Jr in 1877) was actually the son of Michel Batisse (Sr) and Annie Batisse (née MacDougal).

Table of Contents




13PART 1: Labrador Beginnings

17Ancestry Chart - Stephen Lafricain

17The Jourdain Family

18The Broomfield Family

20Hudson's Bay Company Trading Post at Rigolet

22Map of Rigolet Area

23Donald Smith Takes Over at Rigolet

26The Wreck of the Marten

28Definition of Occupations in the HBC

31PART 2: Montreal Roots

31Montreal-1850s and 1860s

32Tracing the Lafricain Family Genealogy

36Pedigree Chart for ;Eacute;tienne (Stephen) Lafricain

37PART 3: The U.S. Civil War

37Becoming a Soldier

39112th Regiment- New York Volunteers

42The 3rd New York Veteran Volunteers

43The Fenian Invasion of 1866

46PART 4: A Servant of "The Bay"

46Fort Temiskaming-1866-1869

49Map of Lake Temiskaming Area

50Fort Temiskaming

50Robert Hamilton, Chief Factor

52Hunter's Lodge, Lake Kipawa 1867-1868

53James Hunter, In Charge at Hunter's Lodge

54Paddling His Own Canoe 1869-1889

54Lake Nipissing

56Charles Stuart, Chief Trader-Fort Temiskaming

56Point McMartin Post, Lake Temiskaming

57Colin Rankin, Chief Factor-Temiskaming District

58Life as a Farmer

62PART 5: The Montreal River

62Historical Background

64Fiddler's Point HBC Post

65William Fiddler

66Map of Bay Lake and Area

66James Mowat

69Malcolm McLean

70Stephen Lafricain's Sojourn at Fiddler's Point

77PART 6: Fort Matachewan 1896-1906

79Stephen Lafricain at Fort Matachewan

80Plan of Ft. Matachewan


83Ontario Government Survey 1900

86The 1901 Census

91C. C. Farr's Fishing Trip to Fort Matachewan

931906-1912 James Bay Treaty No. 9

99The Discovery of Silver at Elk Lake 1906

101The Missionaries

106PART 7: Fort Matachewan 1907-1920

106Death of Marie Josee Lafricain

107The Gowganda Silver Rush of 1908

1081911 Census

110Mining in Matachewan Area

116Stephen Lafricain's Quest for a Pension

119Closure of Fort Matachewan 1920

121Marriage to Sabeth Roundeye

123PART 8: Fort Matachewan 1921-1936

126The "Electric Girl"

127Stephen's Spirituality

131Birth of the Town of Matachewan

136Death of Stephen Lafricain

140PART 9: Lafricain's Legacy