|Bobcaygeon, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario|
Bobcaygeon and the Trent-Severn Waterway
|Municipality||City of Kawartha Lakes|
|• Total||5.48 km2 (2.12 sq mi)|
|• Density||645.3/km2 (1,671/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Bobcaygeon was incorporated as village in 1876, and became known as the "Hub of the Kawarthas". Its recorded name bob-ca-je-wan-unk comes either from the Mississauga Ojibwa word baabaagwaajiwanaang "at the very shallow currents", giishkaabikojiwanaang "at the cliffed cascades" or obaabikojiwanaang "at currented rocky narrows", or from the French beau bocage "beautiful hedged farmland". The first lock in the Trent-Severn Waterway was built in Bobcaygeon in 1833.
By the early 1830s, the government of Upper Canada had completed its survey of the Township of Verulam and the area began to attract settlers. Thomas Need, who arrived in 1832 is recognized as one of the earliest settlers of the Township of Verulam and is the founder of Bobcaygeon. With his purchase of 3000 acres (12 km²) of land, Need built a sawmill, gristmill, and the first store.
In 1833, the provincial government began construction of a lock and canal at the narrows between Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes. Soon a community began to develop around the lock and the Thomas Need's sawmill and gristmill. In the 1850s, the economic development of Bobcaygeon was stimulated by Mossom Boyd's lumbering business.
The provincial government had reserved and surveyed a town site on the north bank of Bobcaygeon River between Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes, which was named Rokeby by visiting Lieutenant Governor Sir John Colborne. Need laid out streets and plotted lots on the island, which was named Bobcaygeon. Today, Bobcaygeon designates both sides of the Bobcaygeon River, after the post office was established on the island by the first postmaster, Thomas Need.
In 1844, Thomas Need sold his profitable business interests to Mossom Boyd, and returned to England. Boyd and his sons built up a logging enterprise that was recognized as the third largest logging operation in Upper Canada. In addition to timbering, the Boyds also operated a system of steamboats under the name Trent Valley Navigation Company as well as an experimental beefalo herd on Boyd Island. Descendants of this herd remain in Alberta.
By 1869, Bobcaygeon was a village with a population of 800 in the Township of Verulam County, Victoria County. There was a good trade in lumber, limestone, hides, grain and the GalKay lead mine. There were stages to Lindsay, Peterborough and Minden. In summer, boats travelled to Lindsay and Peterborough. The average price of land was $20 per acre.
Bobcaygeon, with a population of about 1,000, was incorporated as a village by a Victoria County by-law of 1876. During a series of restructuring moves, the village government joined with the Township of Verulam in 1999, and then was ordered amalgamated the other municipalities of Victoria County by the Kitchen Commission in 2000. Now Bobcaygeon exists as a community within the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Today, Bobcaygeon's chief industry is tourism, particularly related to recreational fishing. Bobcaygeon is a hub for the region, providing many of the services unavailable in the smaller neighbouring communities.
- Bobcaygeon Public School
Facts and figures
- Samuel de Champlain passed through Bobcaygeon with a band of Hurons during his 1615 military expedition.
- Bobcaygeon was the site of the first lock constructed on the Trent-Severn Waterway, construction first began in 1832.
- The town itself is situated on three islands, along with the main land.
- A group of local businessmen worked for many years to bring a railway into Bobcaygeon. Sir Sam Hughes sat on the board of the Lindsay, Pontypool & Bobcaygeon Railway. The line was leased to the Canadian Pacific Railway on completion. In July 1904 the first passenger train steamed into town. The service lasted until 1957, the railway lands becoming the Beach Park.
- The "Boyd Arch" still stands, after being transferred stone by stone to its new home in front of the Boyd Museum.
- In 1998, the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip immortalized Bobcaygeon in their Juno Award-winning hit single that takes its name from the small village. The band played this song for the first time in the village on June 25, 2011 as part of Big Music Fest.
- The Bobcaygeon Independent was the local newspaper, established in 1869. Its last issue was printed in December 2004.
- The Central Ontario Visitor (another local publication) was printed and released weekly with the Bobcaygeon Independent between the months of May through October from 1985 to 1999.
- The Promoter (another local publication) and one of the few remaining independent newspapers, published its first issue on March 15, 1991. *The Promoter
- The village's Canada Day festivities are held at Tommy Anderson Park, and its fireworks display is held at Beach Park.
- During the last weekend in May or first weekend in June, Bobcaygeon hosts an "Unlock The Summer" Event, as a kick off for summer, and the first opening of the locks of the season. For the summer of 2009 "Unlock the Summer" will be held on June 6 and 7.
- In 2001, Bobcaygeon played host to an episode of the OLN reality television series Drifters: The Water Wars as they passed through the Trent-Severn Waterway.
- Bobcaygeon hosts the annual Ontario Open Fiddle & Stepdance Competition during the last weekend of July. The first was held in October 1970, as part of the annual Fall Fair. It became the Ontario Open Fiddle Contest in 1971, and became a separate event with a July event date in 1973. In 1974, with the addition of stepdancing to the contest, it became the "Ontario Open Fiddle & Stepdance Competition".
- The annual Bobcaygeon Fall Fair takes place during the last weekend of September. The first being held in 1858.
- Bobcaygeon hosts an annual cruisefest for classic and custom cars in the second week of September. The first was held in 1996.
- The Kawartha Settlers' Village in Bobcaygeon holds the towns annual Festival of Trees in the second week of November. The first was held in 1997.
- Sponsored by local churches & merchants, the annual Bobcaygeon House Tour takes place in mid-June, where six Bobcaygeon homes are toured, along with an art show at the Trinity United Church. The first was held in 1992.
- The Boyd Heritage Museum depicts the life and times of "Lumber King of The Trent", Mossom Boyd, his family and empire. The Living History runs July and August 2008 and is a live, theatrical, fully interactive performance based on Mossom, his empire and his family.
- The Bobcaygeon Music Council, Inc., will for the first time be presenting a summer concert series. The series starts on 2 July 2009 and runs every Thursday evening from 6:30 – 8pm in the Gazebo by the Bobcaygeon locks.
- InBobcaygeon.com, launched in July 2010, is the area's first daily online news and event website. A resource for locals and tourists, it contains local businesses, events and activities, sporting information and contact information.
- http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_5532_1.html Ontario Heritage Trust Founding of Bobcaygeon
- The province of Ontario gazetteer and directory. H. McEvoy Editor and Compiler, Toronto : Robertson & Cook, Publishers, 1869
- Playback Magazine 9 August 2001
- Bob Goldham
- Bobcaygeon & Area Chamber of Commerce
- Bobcaygeon Community Services
- Bobcaygeon Music Council
- Bobcaygeon Photo Gallery by Anne Panter and friends
- Bobcaygeon Travel Photos by Galen R Frysinger
- Kawartha Settlers' Village