Following is a transcribed article from the July 17, 1921 edition of the Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftan newspaper. The article from a special section of the Sunday paper espouses the charms of the Mississauga River canoe adventure, which culminated at the Slate Falls portage up to the north-east shore of Big Basswood Lake.
This article from a Colorado paper demonstrates the breadth of the notoriety of this outdoor pursuit arriving at our charming lake, and indicates that the popularity of the trip was still going strong almost twenty years after the Clubhouse was first conceived by an influential group of New Yorkers.
The two hundred and seventy miles of canoeing down the Mississauga River between walls of dense forest, slipping into one exquisite lake after another and making 35 portages, is accounted the acme of out-door pleasure by those who have been so fortunate as to have travelled this Ontario water trail.
The start is usually made from Biscotasing, 80 miles north-west of Sudbury where outfits and guides can be obtained. This route passes through Bisco and Spanish Lakes, then into Spanish River where one is likely to see a dozen moose in the course of a day's journeying. Spanish and Canoe Lakes and several lakelets intervene ere Mississauga Lake, the source of Mississauga River is reached. From here the travel is all downstream through wildly beautiful scenery.
Tall spires of pine reach heaven-ward above the solid wall of forest that lines either bank. Moose, deer, and other wild animals often emerge from the dense woods to gaze at the passing strangers. They are seldom molested and are quite fearless and present splendid targets for the camera. Excellent fishing is at hand the whole distance – speckled trout, lake trout, bass, pike and muskies are so plentiful that one seldom casts without getting a bite. Pretty little streams come stealing through the forests to pour their silver offerings into the Mississauga and to coax travelers to leave the big river and seek the hidden charms of the hinterland. The side trips lead to waters over which white men have never fished.
The majority of the portages are just long enough to give you a chance to get the kinks out of your calves and are a pleasure rather than a hardship. The portage at Aubrey Gorge affords a wonderful sight, that of a river surging and swirling through a quarter-mile gorge and then making a 107-foot leap over a cliff. It takes one and a half hours to shoot the Forty-mile Rapids, which is done with no more effort than reclining in the canoe and using the paddle now and then to keep it in the channel. The portage around the Mississauga Tunnel is made by team over a good road that parallels the narrow cut in the solid rock through which the river churns its way for three miles.
The route really ends at the Candian Camp Clubhouse (on the north-east shore of Big Basswood Lake), one half hour above Sowerby. From the latter it is a 45-minute motor run to the railway at Thessalon.
Thanks to Bobby Swain for once again transcribing an extremely interesting essay on the history of Basswood Lake. We encourage all of our members to spend some time browsing his blog on the Basswood Outfitters website.