The Towns and Cities of Northern Ontario
Matheson- James Bay Frontier
The best way to describe the Black River � Matheson area is to call it an outdoor lover�s delight. There are more than 150 lakes and rivers within the region, full of pike, pickerel, and trout. The bear, moose and waterfowl population make Black River Matheson an ideal sportsmen�s hideaway. The most attractive natural attractions include the nearby wilderness of the Abitibi. Camping, canoeing and hiking enthusiasts will revel in the abundance of things to explore.
The Matheson area has been affected many times by the ravages of fire. In 1910, 42 people lost their lives in a forest fire. The following year, one of Ontario�s largest fires, the Porcupine fire, killed an estimated 73 people and burned 200,000 hectares. Then again in 1916, a fire in the region took 244 lives and involved the neighbouring villages of Kelso, Val Gagne, Porquis Junction and Iroquois Falls.
The Harker Holloway gold fields just east of the community are some of the most promising recent gold areas.
The Thelma Mines Museum houses authentic room settings of the early 1900s, including a hospital room, trapping display, farming equipment, an outdoor mining display with a life-like mine tunnel. It represents the history of the communities of Val Gagne, Wavel, Ramore, Holtyre, Shillington and Matheson.
If you are in the Black River Matheson area for a few days or if you're just passing through visit the historic Watabeag Log Church. For a peaceful picnic, Hough Lake and the Riverpark Park and Boat Launch are ideal spots.