The Towns and Cities of Northern Ontario
Iroquois Falls - James Bay Frontier
Iroquois Falls, nestled in the northern boreal forest, once had the distinction of being the largest pulp and paper mill in North America . Situated just off Hwy 11 between Cochrane and Kirkland Lake, Iroquois Falls can also trace its origins in Ojibway legend.
The myth has the fierce Iroquois massacre an Ojibway village, leaving only a few alive to serve as guides. These guides convinced their capturers that a rich village was located just up the river and the best way to overtake the people was to travel at night and ambush the village in the early morning when the villagers were still asleep. The Iroquois agreed and the raiding party set out on the mighty Abitibi River. As the Iroquois slept, the Ojibway guides slipped out of the canoes with the paddles and set the canoes on their final journey over the falls. This is very reminiscent of the legend of Kakabeka Falls.
Many notable historical figures are prominent in the local history especially the French military strategist Pierre Chevalier de Troyes. A main street in town is named after De Troyes.
Another modern figure played a closer role in the establishment of the region. Frank Anson�s vision was sparked by a report of the area and he established what was known at one time, the largest pulp and paper mill in North America . The twin community of Ansonville takes its name from this man.
The Iroquois Falls Pioneer Museum includes the story of De Troyes, artifacts from the early settlers and traces the history of Abitibi-Price Pulp and Paper. An early steam engine, a well preserved 70 ton three truck Shay locomotive, is on display as well as an early woodlands era sleigh.
Iroquois Falls is a great host. Some of its activities attract participants from all over the north. In March, snowmobilers enter the Jackpine Snowmobile Club 50-50 Rally. In July, music lovers can attend the annual Porquis Blues Festival and in August, the Porquis Agricultural Fall Fair draws exhibitors from all over.