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A View of the Valley
Wylie Township

The following report is a newspaper account taken from the Pembroke Observer of 20 December 1867 as submitted by the Crown Lands Department.

Wylie is situated in the County of Renfrew. It is bounded on the north by the township of Rolph, on the east by the township of Buchanan, on the south by the township of [Mc]Kay, and on the west by unsurveyed land. In 1864, Provincial Land Surveyor W. J. Macdonald surveyed 39,977 acres (including water and roads) of this township. The following is an extract from Mr. Macdonald's report of survey.

"The township is admirably supplied with brooks of excellent water, having their sources in springs, beaver meadows and lakes, and are not affected by the driest weather in summer. The two principal streams are the Petawawin [sic] and the Chalk Rivers. Lakes are numerous, some of them are large, abounding in trout and other varieties of fish. I may mention Corry's Lake on Chalk River, Lake Cartier on Creek Cartier, Green Lake on Beeman's Creek, and Trout Lake, emptying into the Petawawin.

In the vicinity of the Petawawin the land is very much broken by hills and gullies, and a very small portion fit for agricultural purposes. There are quite a number of beaver meadows scattered over the township, which will be of very great service to the intending settler. The timber in the southern portion of the township.consists primarily of red and white pine, mixed with hardwood; nearly all the timber fit for market has been taken off. I could not recommend any portion of the township to be reserved for lumbering purposes. The timber in the northern part of the township is either burnt, or dead from other causes.

The soil is a yellow sandy loam, and generally free from stones, particularly the portion of the township east of Chalk River, which will be quickly settled, as it is so conveniently situated with respect to the Mattawan road, access to the remaining portion of the township will be by Chalk River. There were nine settlers in the township at the tie I executed the survey; they boast of the richness of the soil on which they are settled, all kinds of crops thriving well and yielding largely.

The township possesses numerous water privileges, where machinery could be efficiently worked. The great body of the township is a tract of high rolling land, being a succession of hills and ridges; in the intervening valleys the soil is deep, rich and fertile. Geologically speaking, the formation is entirely granite, which crops out on the sides and tops of hills. During the progress of the survey indications of iron were met with in several places. No limestone to be found, although it was sought for whenever an opportunity offered. I have no doubt but this township will be settled rapidly."

Articles of this nature were planted into local papers by the government in the hopes of attracting settlers to the townships where the government had already removed most of the trees suitable for lumber sale. Wylie Township, today part of the joint municipality of Rolph, Buchanan, Wylie and McKay, was named after James Wylie of Almonte who was an early member of the legislature of Upper Canada.

"A View of the Valley: Wylie Township", Timberline (UOVGG), vol.2 no.1 February 1991

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