Sunday, 11 March 2012


High - Rises of the Nipigon
Department of Lands and ForestsMacDiarmid DivisionGeraldton District
1963 Report:


Compiled by :

Joseph W. Auger, February, 1963

The Compiler of this report wishes to express his gratitude to:
Reverend John McHugh S.J. MacDiarmid, Ontario
Mrs. Mary Netamgesic MacDiarmid, Ontario
Mr. Ted Morriseau MacDiarmid, Ontario
Mr. Joe Hardy Sr. MacDiarmid, Ontario
Mr. James Graydon Beardmore, Ontario
Mr. Alex Salem Beardmore, Ontario
Mr. Moses Nokanagos Sr. Beardmore, Ontario
Mr. Robert Hardy Sr. Jellicoe, Ontario
Mr. Dan Morriseau Nipigon, Ontraio
These people were consulted and gave generously of their personal recollections.

The application of the name is correct and is used locally to identify this stream to its entry into Pijitiwabik Bay.

Pronounced "Wie Kwe". "Pinjtawabikang" translated to English means "precipitous shore line" or "rock cut entrance". The MacDiarmid Indian Reserve was recently (1961) named Rocky Bay Band derived from Pijitiwabik Bay.

The name Orient Bay is not of Indian origin. The Indians called this portion of Pijitiwabik Bay "Obod-tawnga" literally translated, "sand bars forming into narrows". The name refers to the waters within approximately one half mile north of the present Orient Bay Railroad Station.

These mountains were never called by this name by local inhabitants. Names of parts of the features are given in eight separate locations. Details as the length of these cliffs or bluffs can not be given because there is no general name in use for this feature. The name is not known locally.

Apparently the name McKirdy was used in honour of the late Mr. William McKirdy Sr. who came to Nipigon during the C.P.R. Railroad construction in 1882. He was a general merchant at Nipigon, Ontario and was the original producer of McKirdy's Fly Repellent which was patented in 1906 and is still (1963) in production by a son Mr. Jack McKirdy.The McKirdy name has been used for several landmarks.Example: McKirdy Station; McKirdy Lake; McKirdy Siding; McKirdy Pit. Evidently the mountain's name originated from this same man's name.

These mountains are presently and originally called and recorded as "Kefkatikgwan Mountains" supposedly to mean "water fall".The proper spelling for water fall is 'Kabikedjiwan" meaning "there is a strong rapid in a river over rocks or a little cascade".

This high-rise feature is located east of Reflection Lake and south of COve Inlet and is referred to as Mackie Mountain by local residents who know about its background history.There seems to be a repetition as to exact location of Mackie Mountain and Mefinstasin Mountain as this location is broken only by a small brook. During spring run-off this creates a water fall and is called "The Cascade Falls" by local tourist outfitters.History of Origin:According to information received Mr. Wallace Mackie was a contractor for the C.N.R. Railroad between Hogarth and MacDiarmid. Later he came back to build a short section of Highway #11 near Reflection Lake. Apparently a large Masonic emblem, 20 feet from tip to tip, was erected on the face of this high-rise by Mr. Mackie. THis marker is still evident from Highway #11.Location: Mackie Mountain is located east of highway #11Size: The size is not known. Height: It is extimated around 1,350 feet above sea level.

According to Baraga's dictionary this should read "Misinatabegisin" meaning, "images reflecting over calm waters". This confirms the name "Reflection Lake" situated south of Kilkenny Township adjacent to Highway #11, south of Mackie Mountain separated by a small overflow brook.

or "Big Mountain" is situated east of Highway #11, north of MacDiarmid. Local residents do not have a name for this elevation. The Indian meaning for "Big Mountain" when translated is "Kitchi - Ojiw".The exact location is in Kilkenny Township. The elevation is estimated at 1,000 feet to 1,050 feet above sea level.

Information received regarding this high-rise feature is that this mountain was originally named "Wasowko Ojiw". The literal translation is "Brown Bear Mountain". This name was given to this feature by Indians. A hunter named Onakonagos witnessed the killing of a Brown Bear there which is a rare species in this territory. Local information does not substantiate Hedley's remarks re: origin etc. The estimated height is 1,200 feet above sea level.


These three high-rise features extend north-east and south-west starting at Sandra and Irwin though Summers and McComber Townships. The Forest Fire Detection Tower (Jackpine), Department of Lands and Forests is situated in the north-west extremity of McComber Township. The estimated elevation is from 1,200 to 1,450 feet above sea level. This range of hills cross Highway # 11 and the C.N. Railroad roughly at 45 degree angles.

The part between Highway #11 and the C.N.R. is called Moose Mountain and is referred to and used by local residents as a ski resort. The origin of the name Moose Mountain is apparently not derived from Indian origin. It is suspected that this feature was given its name by surveyors Phillips and Benner during the location of Highway #11.

Dillabough and Barnum Mountains can not be substantiated from local information as per Hadley's remarks re: origin.

Mr. Sam Dillabough was the original staker of Mining Claim T.B. 4880, District of Thunder Bay, Township of Summers. Subdivision and surveying were performed by J.W. Kilkenny, O.L.S., July 27th, 1935 and at present is Beardmore Improvement District.(1963)

Apparently Mr. Ross Barnum came to this area around 1924, original staker of Mining Claim T.B. 10370, Thunder Bay District, Summers Township. Subdivision and survey was made by J.K. Benner O.L.S., June 15th 1938 known then as Barnum addition and presently part of Beardmore Improvement District.(1963)

Moose Mountain is approximately one and one quarter miles long by half a mile wide. The height is estimated around 1,200 to 1,250 feet above sea level.

Barnum Mountain cannot be ascertained because map reference is not available.

The location of Dillabough mountain can not be either.

These mountains were referred to as the Northern Mountains in 1755. The Nipigon or Northern Mountain name is not referred to collectively by any such names in local usage.

To be continued:

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure when Highway 11 was surveyed, but the name for Moose Mountains appears in the 1894 survey map of Ledger Township, north of Nipigon