The Ottawa Daily Citizen
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12th 1894.
IN A GREAT UNKNOWN LAND
EXPLORATION IN THE "BARREN GROUND" OF THE WEST.
Mr. Tyrrell's Tour of Exploration - Perils of Travel by Land and Water - Immense Herds of Rein-deer - Geology and Zoology of the Far North Country.
Mr. J. B. Tyrrell, of the Geologica Survey, and party, arrived home yesterday after completing the first survey ever made in that portion of the northern part of Canada, knows as "The Barren Ground." This is a territory over 100,000 square miles in extent. While no white man had ever traversed the country. Samuel Hearne made a trip into it with a wandering band of Indians in 1760. However, the map of the route, with the latitudes of points of interest, taken then, were very inaccurate and proved entirely useless to Mr. Tyrrell and his party in making their observations.
Mr. Tyrrell looks the picture of health for all his trying hardships experienced in the journey.
THE JOURNEY OUT.
"We left Ottawa," he said yesterday to a Citizen reporter, "in the beginning of last May and prceeded to Edmonton. Besides myself, there were in the aprty, my brother, J.W. Tyrrell, three Coughnawaga Indianas, Peter, Louis and Michel French; a native of the Peace River country, and a native of Prince Albert. From Edmonton we went to Athabaska Landing, a distance of some 90 miles. here we made our final purchase o supplies, and putting our canoes in the water we had a beautiful run down the Athabaska river to ghe Grand Rapids. At this point our Iroquois Indians from Coughnawaga had a surprise in store for the party, in the shape of an exhibition of skilful paddling, for they
RAN THE RAPIDS
with loaded canoes, only portaging in few yards at the bottom. This feat had never been accomplished befoer that I could learn of. Then we had seventy miles of heavy rapids which we ran with fairly good success. When the rapdis had been gone over, we wer obliged to wait for the Hudson Bay company to bring down our supplies. Here we were joined by five men from Isle ala Crosse, at the head of the Churchill river. They had a number of canoes with them that completed our equipment. With the canoes we paddled to Fort Chippewyan. Our regular survey work began from this place, and the staff we had then, remained with us throughout.
We surveyed the north shoer of Lake Athabaska and ascended the Black river to Black Lake. This shore had already been imperfectly known for a number of years, but no definite survey had ever been made of it. From Black Lake we started northward into an entirely
following for about 100 miels a route which the Indians only had travelled in search of reindeer. This route leads to the height of land beyond which a river was known to flow northward, but no one had ever ascended to its mouth, and we could gain no idea where it emptied, whether into Hudson Bay or the Arctic Ocean. However, we followed the river, running down its numerous rapids and crossing its many beautiful clear lakes unti we came to within about seventy miles of Sir George Back's Great Fish river, which had been discovered and traversed sixty years ago. But just as we made up our minds that we were on a tributary of that stream we turned sharply to the east and after crossing numerous lakes and descending heavy rapids for about two weeks we found ourselves.