Map: Lady Evelyn River location

WATERFALLS

Lady Evelyn's South Channel

By Brian Back and Hap Wilson

There has been some confusion over the names of waterfalls on the South Channel of Lady Evelyn River. The southern route is longer and, some would say, more rugged than its northern sister. It gets less canoe traffic and has few places to camp. The topographical maps have no names for the falls, unlike the North Channel. So it isn't surprising that the names are either not known or inadvertently mixed up. 

A year ago we decided it was time to clear the fog, and do it objectively by looking at historic names and surveying widely. First, we found there are no known aboriginal names. We went through treasures from the past: journals, logs, photo albums and maps; and surveyed old-timers, guides and camp directors. Here's the proper names. 

 

Map: canoe route on South Channel, Lady Evelyn River

Cabin Falls 

Famed as the location of Hap Wilson's Cabin Falls Eco- Lodge (formerly Eskakwa Lodge). The most widely-used name for this falls is Hyde's Cabin, commonly shortened to Cabin Falls.

The original log cabin was built in 1931 by a group, mostly consisting of Lake Temagami cottagers, led by Adrian Newcomb. Katharine Hyde was the last surviving member of the group. The falls have been less commonly known as Twin Sisters, and sometimes confused with Bridal Veil. 

 

Photo: Bridal Veil Falls, Lady Evelyn River 

Bridal Veil Falls

There are two falls, but the name applies collectively to both. The right-hand falls going downstream resembles a bridal veil. We were able to document the first usage of Bridal Veil, by far the most common name, to 1953. The Newcomb group and their successors, the Lathrops, called it High Falls, but the name never caught on. Other less common names have been Twin and Twin Sisters.

Fatman's Falls

Fatman's originally referred to the portage. The short, treacherous trail drops through a fissure just wide enough for a canoe, bumping the walls on the way down Fatman's Misery or Fatman's Squeeze. An 18-footer would probably not make it. This is the only falls name for which there was no confusion.

       
  Slide Show  

  CANOE ROUTE:  Hap Wilson's Route 2

Photos: Brian Back

 

Trout Streams

Both the South and North channels have been known as the Trout Streams from the days when they were teaming with speckled trout. Menjamagosipi or Menjamagossippi, the aboriginal name of the Lady Evelyn River, means speckled trout river. The Trout Streams extend from Gamble Lake down to Sucker Gut and Willow Island lakes. But the heart is the cascades below Divide.

North Channel

The North Channel with Frank's, Centre and Helen's falls had its share of name confusion, too. Centre Falls has often been called Golden Stairs or Golden Staircase. Those names also referred to the entire North Channel but are rarely used today. 

 

Divide Lake

Divide Lake is now marked on government maps as Katherine. As often happens in bureaucracy, there is a disconnect from those who know the land. It is obvious where Divide came from, but it had another name before that. It was Lily Lake, a translation from the aboriginal name.

 

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