South Channel Area Lumbering

Up until the mid 1800s much of the area was covered with large stands of White Pine, hardwoods, and Hemlock. Timber rights were acquired (in Cowper, Conger, and Foley Townships) in the northern area of what is now The Massasauga Provincial Park and along the South Channel. The Conger Lumber Company and the Parry Sound Lumber Company were two of the first groups to harvest White Pine stands before 1900.

In 1903 Hemlock was harvested for its bark for use in the manufacture of tannin (a product for tanning leather) by the Breithaupt Leather Company. By 1915 the company had disbanded when a synthetic substitute for tannin was developed.


  • Parry Sound - At the mouth of the Sequin River
  • Until 1929 the Freeman Lumber Company from Midland operated in the Port Rawson area. Port Rawson Lumber Camp includes old foundations and an old steamer engine along the shores of the bay.
  • The Spider Bay Log Slide was located on the shore of Spider Lake. Evidence of this includes some logs at the base of the slide, and nails and spikes remaining after the logs decayed.
  • There is evidence of a pre-World War I camp near the outlet to Clear Lake. A depression of one building indicates a camp documented as the Sucker Creek Camp which may have collected tan bark.
  • Around 1900, in Blackstone Harbour, the Horseshoe Falls Camp was operated, likely by the Conger Lumber Company. Remains include deep depressions covered by dense vegetation.
  • Along the Blackstone River, above little Blackstone Lake, Jack Lovern, a 'jobber' for the Conger Lumber Company established a camp which lasted until 1908.