Rice Lake (Ontario)

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Rice Lake (Ontario)

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Rice Lake was formed by glacial activity. It was Samuel de Champlain who was the first European to see Rice Lake which at that point was surrounded by forests. The first people to settle near Rice Lake were the Mississaugas and, later, emigrants from Scotland, Ireland, Germany and America. In 1793 a trading post was established by Jacob and Lawrence Herkimer at the mouth of the Otonabee River on Rice Lake. The next person to settle near Rice Lake was Charles Fothergill. In the 1800's the Natives started to harvest rice from the lake for trade. However it was not until 1818 when settlers were allowed to settle in the area of Rice Lake. Most of the business carried on at the Lake was trade and ferrying people across the Lake. Eventually farming took precedence as more and more settlers arrived. Communities such as Gore's Landing sprang up around the Lake with churches, schools, taverns, hotels and other businesses becoming established as well. (Taken from: Martin, Norma, Donna S. McGillis and Catherine Milne. Gore's Landing and the Rice Lake Plains. Cobourg: Haynes Printing, 1986.)

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