Watch Emma Craig, Public Engagement Assistant and Summer Student at Glanmore, as she explains the relevance of the Moira River and the pike hook to Belleville’s early industries.
These days the Moira River is a habitat for a large variety of wildlife in the centre of the city. It also is an important feature in our community for recreational use and hydroelectric generation.
During Belleville’s early settlement the river was integral to the development of industry. One of the first businesses to be built here was a saw mill, built in 1790 by Captain John W. Meyers. By the early 1830’s, lumber was a booming industry for the area and promoted more settlement in the area.
The pike hook from our collection is a tool that was used by loggers on the river. During that time, transporting logs was done through log driving. This is when logs that have been freshly cut are transported from the forest to the mills down river by floating them in the river. The river’s current would then work to bring the logs downstream to the mills.
The pike hook allowed the logger control the logs as they were floating down stream. The pole allowed for a long reach while the hook grabbed onto the logs.
The large hook swings open to adjust in size. This would enable a logger to grab logs of varying sizes and control them as they floated in the river.
-written by Emma Craig, YCW Public Engagement Assistant