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One Last River Run

One Last River Run


Timber cribs used to be a common sight on the Ottawa River. Cribs were large rafts, made of white pine, squared and notched and sailed to Quebec City where they would be broken apart and the timber sold to the British Navy.

Squared pine was the primary industry in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley for much of the 19th century. The last timber crib to sail down the Ottawa River was 1908 the British Navy having long ago stopped making wooden ships.

One hundred years later, some lumbermen in Pembroke Ontario set out to build one more raft, and take one last trip down the Ottawa River. One Last River Run chronicles the amazing, often implausible journey that followed.

How do you build a timber crib? No one could remember. How would you sail a raft past the hydro dams now on the river? They would figure that out as they went. Where exactly are we going? They would figure that out on the river as well.

Part history, part adventure, with historical photos and a re-telling of the first timber crib journey taken on the Ottawa River – by Philemon Wright in 1806 – One Last River Run is a rollicking tale that shows just how deeply connected to the forests and rivers of the Ottawa Valley its people remain