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The Peoples, Their Places

Through the Mackenzie Basin: On the Trail to Peace River

On the Slave River"We had now to descend the river, and our first night in the boats was a bad one. A small but exceedingly diligent variety of mosquito attacked us unprepared; but no ordinary net could have kept them out, anyway. It was a case of heroic endurance, for Beelzebub reigned. The immediate bank of the river was now somewhat low in places, and along it ran a continuous wall, or layer, of sandstone of a uniform height. The stream was vast, with many islands in its course, and whole forests of burnt timber were passed before we reached Battle River, 170 miles down, and which, on the 25th, we left behind us towards evening. Next morning we reached Wolverine Point, a dismal hamlet of six or seven cabins, with a graveyard in their midst. The majority of the half-breeds of the locality had collected here, the others being out hunting. This is a good farming country. Eighteen miles north-west of Paddle River there is a prairie, we were told, of rich black soil, twenty-five miles long and from one to five miles wide, and another south-west of Wolverine, about nine miles in diameter and thirty-six in circumference - clean prairie and good soil, and covered with luxuriant grass and pea-vine." [continue]

Reprinted from Through the Mackenzie Basin: An Account of the Signing of Treaty No. 8 and the Scrip Commission, 1899 by Charles Mair.

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