By the mid-1800’s, logging operations were in full swing in the area where log booms would float down Lake Temiskaming and the Ottawa River System. To speed logging operations, in the spring of 1882 the steamer “Mattawan” departed from the town of Mattawa travelling upstream on the Ottawa River. It was winched over four sets of rapids before finally making it to the bottom end of Lake Temiskaming. As one of the only inhabited areas of the region, the Old Mission was poised to welcome this first steamboat on Lake Temiskaming as the Mattawan arrived on its shores June 4th, 1882 – literally with steam whistles blowing!
Over a period of 80 years, more than 50 boats steamed on Lake Temiskaming. Some, like the Mattawan and Lady Minto, were for towing log booms. Others, like the Meteor and Temiskaming, were used to transport freight, mail and settlers to the region or chartered for sightseeing and picnic excursions. Some others, like the Silverland and the Scotchman, were used during the Cobalt Silver Rush days and as a fishing tug respectfully. Together, these steamships started endless opportunities for the Temiskaming District.
Today, Old Mission Resort pays tribute to these important steamboats and much of our theme is developed based on them.