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Georgian Bay Timeline

The formation of the Historic Georgian Bay Métis Community largely resulted from the migration of Métis families from Michilimackinac to Penetanguishene, and is based on the following brief timeline of historic events:

1670-1761 The French hold forts at Michilimackinac on south side of Mackinac Straits. In 1761 the British military gains control of Fort Michilimackinac, and a civilian population begins to develop around the Fort that includes many families of mixed First Nation-European ancestry.

1779-1781 The British military moves the fort from Michilimackinac to Mackinac Island and the garrison town was relocated as well.

1796 The Jay Treaty of 1794 comes into force and Mackinac Island comes under American control. At this time the British garrison moves to St. Joseph Island, taking part of the garrison town population with it.

1812 In the War of 1812, the British (assisted by 180 voyageurs) re-take Mackinac Island.

1814 The Treaty of Ghent cedes Mackinac to Americans; Americans burn down a British fort on St. Joseph Island; the fort along with its civilian population moves to Drummond Island.

1828-1829 Drummond Island is ceded to Americans and the British military, along with a civilian population of approximately 288 (75 families), including many Métis families, relocate to Penetanguishene Bay.

1830s Tiny Township became home to a number of the Drummond Islanders, many of whom were known to be Métis.

1840-1850s This decade saw a migration of the farming class French Canadians (habitants) from Quebec into the Penetanguishene area, however, they remain separate from the Drummond Island Métis families and take up local lands for farming, adjacent to the Métis population. During this period, some members of the Métis population petition for lands because of increasing settler encroachments.

1850s This decade is the beginning of the lumber boom in the Penetanguishene area, leading to rapid settlement and development.

1869 Parry Sound is connected by road to the south, and is surveyed and subdivided ahead of a large influx of settlers between 1870 and 1877.

1873 The Guelph Lumber Company moves into the Parry Sound area with resulting increase in settlement and development.

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