Settlers began to populate Buchanan in the first half of
the nineteenth century, drawn there by the square timber industry that
was expanding up the Ottawa Valley. These hearty pioneers struggled to
cultivate their farm plots, and had to make up their own rules to live
by in a world that lacked formal government administration.
The early settlers faced unyielding swampy, sandy, rocky
soil and survived on very few material possessions.
Early Farming Conditions in Buchanan
The amicable relationship between the area Natives and the early
white settlers was important to the first residents of Buchanan’s
The relationship between the Natives and the white settlers in
Beginning in the 1850’s, Buchananites were able to
supplement their farming incomes by selling wood to the steamboats that
passed down the Ottawa River.
Early Steamboats Brought Extra Income
Before Buchanan was officially land surveyed, Joseph
Nadeau had to win a boxing match in order to claim his desired plot of
Fighting For—and Against—the Land
in Buchanan Township