The Opemican Site

Log-rafting on Lake Timiskaming

The middle of the 19th century witnessed new development in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region: the logging industry. The early 1860s marked the beginning of steady exploitation of forestland in the Temiscamingue, and Opemican played an important role in the development of that industry.

The site, known and used by Aboriginal peoples for several hundred years before colonization, had served in the early 19th century as a fur-trading relay for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

With the development of the logging industry, the Opemican site was operated as a timber depot, rafting camp, and supply centre for logging operations in the region. In 1883, new settlers were flooding into the region, and timber harvesting intensified, which led to an opening of an inn and a general store. In 1888, a second store was opened along with a post office.

The Upper Ottawa Improvement Co. acquired the facilities in 1904 and installed its administration centre, as well as a repair shop for its tugboats. The site discontinued its activities in 1970 with the end of log-rafting on Lake Timiskaming.

In 1983, Tte Opemican log-rafting relay was designated as a historic site by the Quebec government.

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