Lake Iroquois


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Last updated
24 August 2012



Lake Iroquois

Our area lies on a glacial geological feature called the Lake Iroquois shoreline. Lake Iroquois was a lake formed at the end of the glaciation by melting glacial ice in the Lake Ontario basin. At that time, the St. Lawrence River valley was blocked with ice and the lake level rose above present day Lake Ontario, actually draining southeast near Syracuse, New York. The shoreline is typified by washed sand and gravel beach bluffs, lying on the flanks of the prehistoric Bowmanville Till plain. As the melting ice water entered the lake, the courser and heavier soil particles settled out first leaving a band of sandy soils in shore area. Further offshore the soils become progressively more fine grained. There is less coarse sand and the soil materials grade to a silty fine sand and even to a fine sandy silt. In the deeper water areas, where there was little water movement, there are deposits of fine grained clays and silts. All of these area overlie the former till ground surface. The shoreline did move with time as more material was deposited and the lake receded, so these same coarse materials can be found at differing distances from the present location of the beach bluffs . With each recession of the shoreline to the south the "nearshore area" also moved south. What this means is that coarser, nearshore soils were deposited over the finer grained materials from earlier deposition when the lake was higher. This results in the finer grained sediments found at greater depth (overlying the till) grading to coarser materials above. (Gartner Lee Assoc. Ltd., 1997) Study for this area done this year by the above company differs from 1981 study regarding its protection and sensitivity. The fact that this watershed unlike all the other watersheds doesn't rise at Oak Ridges Moraine makes it susceptible to unsuspected changes.

Six stages in evolution of the Great Lakes

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One result of this complex history of changing lake levels and area extents is that today there are broad marginal zones of lake plains along the shores of the Great Lakes. These plains are intensively developed as agricultural lands and have absorbed the urban expansion of major cities around these lakes. Many serious environmental problems beset the Great Lakes. One reason is that the water supplies for all of us living there is that we all draw from the same lakes which are fed, in return, enormous quantities of pollutant wastes. (J. L. Hough, 1958)

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Lake Iroquois bluff at Hancock Rd.-the only one left untouched by human hand that should be preserved for future generations.

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From Oshawa "The Crossing between the Waters" by M.McIntyre Hood:

Our watershed according to Hood ..." was covered by a dense forest, through which there ran a broad streams.. Up to about the beginning of the 18th century, the Indians were the only people who traversed the shores of Lake Ontario. There were Indians of the Mississauga tribe, part of the Ojibway nation...the Indians travel on foot through dense forest, along trails trodden bare by their feet, and in canoes on the lakes and waterways...carrying furs ,first to Port Credit...there they met the French, and later the English traders...around 1750. ...the French established a trading post near the mouth of the Oshawa Creek... The district was left undisturbed by the white man for about 30 years, until about the year 1790. It was then that the white man was to make his first strong imprint on this area in and around Oshawa, Whitby, Darlington. About that time, a road, known then and to this day as the Kingston Road, was Governor-General Sir John Graves Simcoe...and the district was beginning to be settled by the first white settlement. The first settlers, Wilsons came from United States. They settled in the old abandoned log cabin left there by the French traders.... It was the place later called Farewell Marsh (today Second Marsh) and the Oshawa Creek (Oshawa harbor). These abounded in fur-bearing animals....creeks were full of salmon...The location also appealed to B. Wilson as a place of great beauty, although the passing of time has removed the forest and with it much of the natural beauty of the scene...his daughter, Nancy Wilson, the first white child to be born in the district... was also the first bride to be married to a settler...About 1794,...John Pickell...arrived from Vermont to join the settlement,...other family...was the Farewell...they came here after the American Revolution. One of them, Moody Farewell, who was the pioneer of this family...farmed in Harmony district and opened a tavern there. He carried despatches from Lynde's Tavern (Whitby) and Hartwell's Tavern (Newcastle). In 1816/17 Methodists began to evangelize the district; Moody became a member...he was a Reformer, or Liberal, in politics; and was active, energetic from the time the party was formed in 1824." After this family the Farewell Creek and Farewell Valley (formerly called Toad's Hollow) was named.

References: Oshawa, "The Crossing Between The Waters" by Hood Historical Atlas of Northumberland and Durham Counties by Belden

see Cabins - History below for more local history

Cabins - History

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