10 Sep

Travelling Down the Joseph River

Another scene from a Jestski –  I left Lake Joseph and found my way into the Joseph River headed towards Lake Rosseau with the sun sinking on my back. I did a little spin-o-rama to try and catch the sunset at the top end of the river.  There is an interesting boathouse here and I think maybe I will return on another day to capture it in more detail.

I have always wondered if the Joe River is a real river? It seems to be a rock cut that connects Lake Joseph to Lake Rosseau. I have  heard Lady Eaton had the rocks blasted out many moons ago so she could have her steamship navigate through the rocks instead of traveling down to Port Sandfield. If you know the story please set me straight.

In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water

10 Responses
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  1. Jenn Jilks says:

    How beautiful, Ed!

  2. Rob Dares says:

    Great picture. I don’t know the story of Lady Eaton, sorry, but it seems to me that in days gone by people did things that even today with our modern technology etc, we would find amazing. So perhaps the blasting story is true.

  3. ScottW says:

    Regarding the Little Joe River Rock cut, I’ve been told as well it was a man-made passage – Both at the ‘narrows’ & the entrance to Lake Joseph. What is interesting is there is no official mention anywhere that I can find online referencing the Little Joe, or Joe River, as an actual river.

    When you pass through both, the signs of dredging and work to widen the cuts are present – I’m just as curious as you are to determine if that body of water was self contained, or at worst you could only travel as far as where you took this image.

    Side note : The Quad Jetski lifts on that place are quite interesting to say the least!! Always a place I check out when taking a tour from our place through the Lil Joe

    Best wishes Ed!

  4. Bev says:

    I found this information (there appears to be a book) in the seguin and area library site….

    Memories of Humphrey Township

    1985 …. Sir John Eaton paid $25,000.00 to have the “Joe River” blasted out so he could get into Lake Joseph with his houseboat without taking the long way around through the locks in Port Carling. …





  5. Ed Boutilier says:

    Hi Bev, that’s interesting info on the Joe River. I had heard it was blasted out for their boat. I discussed this with a local historian last summer on the 100 Mile Cruise and he had never heard this information. Sir John Eaton was around from 1876 to 1922.

    I wonder where the Eaton’s place was on Lake Joe? I am familiar with the ones on Lake Rosseau now belonging to Martin Short and Steve Yzerman. Also the cabin on the Indian River but not familiar with their Lake Joseph location.


  6. Bev says:

    This info about the blasting was a short entry in the book “Memories of Humphrey township” found at the Seguin library in Humphrey,
    You can see what the book looks like online if you search the above

  7. Eileen says:

    I believe Kwandag on Lake Rosseau by the town of that name was the summer home of the J. C. Eaton family. The property is now Rosseau College. The Joe River Cuts were blasted out the winter of 1876/77 with the new invention by Mr Nobel of TNT. Both the cuts were water falls . The Ames Cut [the one closest to Lake Joe] was done first and horses were used to pull the huge rocks out. I have no idea how they grappled them out but probably man and beast. The Second Cut was delayed as it was down stream and the water rose making it more difficult. The sand area between Lake Joe and Rosseau was dredged at Post Sandfield lowering Lake Joe about 18 inches. [ That is why Lake Joe shoreline looks rockier]. This is info gleaned from my grandfather about 70 years ago so the actual dates may be out a few years.

  8. Ed Boutilier says:

    Eileen – Thank you for this information on the Joe River cutouts. I have asked a number of people including a local historian and never got clear answers. It seems this is not documented very well.

  9. heather says:

    the joe river is never called the little joe river. the eatons owned the property near Rosseau. no houseboat.

  10. Ed Boutilier says:

    Hi Heather – Yes you are correct. I think people confuse the Joe River with Little Lake Joe sometimes 🙂

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