A Whispered History:

 The Women of Buchanan Township

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The early female residents of Buchanan Township overcame situations that are difficult to imagine. From braving the wild animals and seasonal elements of the Upper Ontarian wilderness to having to raise a family alone in these harsh conditions, women met the challenges of settling Buchanan Township with extreme courage and determination.


Throughout the 1800s, many of the wives of the lumber workers were left on their own for the winter months while their husbands were working in the lumber camps. This left the women to fend for themselves in the unforgiving wilderness of the Upper Ottawa Valley. 

Mrs. Richard tries to recover the family pig from a bear

Work in the lumber industry was often dangerous and on many occasions men from Buchanan lost their lives. In an era before social security, the wives and children of the deceased had to scrape out an existence.

Emmy Chequen

In 1937, a young Viola McCarthy (nee Blimkie) began delivering mail in Buchanan. Using horse and cutter in the winter and a 1931 Model “A” Ford in summer, Viola dutifully delivered the mail to the 37 families along her route for a quarter of a century. 

Viola Blimkie, rural Postmistress of Buchanan


The Eatons Catalogue brought temporary comfort to the early female settlers.

The Eaton’s Catalogue


Follow the whisper below to hear more stories about life in Buchanan Township....

Follow The Whisper....It Will Tell You All You Want To Know

The Early Settlers

The Women

The Vagabonds

The Outsiders

The Lost Community

Copyright 2008, E. Bond and F. Chunara, All rights reserved.

Prepared for School House Museum  Last updated: April, 2008 Hosting and Support donated by BRIGHT IDEAS Software