Halfway to Basin – A Good Place to Stop
Archaeological evidence indicates that for over eight hundred years people have stopped over at this scenic site.
When the Township of Burns was surveyed in 1874, this was the only dwelling place in the entire municipality. It was recorded as the residence of Francis and Frances Currier on what’s become known as Currier’s Lake. Here, they had cleared land where they farmed and ran a stopping place, providing food and shelter for the lumbermen traveling up the Old Bonnechere Road. Their homestead had a “very good house” in which they raised a family of nine.
In about 1900 the farm passed into the hands of one Charles Lafleur and it was around this time that the existing log house was built. Within these solid square-timber walls Charles and his wife Martha raised three children: Bella, Josephine and William. Here, as in many homes along the road, travelers were always welcome to warm up by the original Forest Beauty stove. Once inside, the scent of Bella’s fresh baking was enough to convince most visitors to accept her invitation to the dinner table.
Agents of Change
A few paces away from these buildings, the Lafleur Homestead preserves a stand of old pine and other tree species that reflect the forests of the past. Surrounding the homestead you can see evidence of this forest trying to make a comeback, and like the loggers of the past, you will recognize many of these agents of change.
Perennial shrubs grow where park mowers leave grass uncut. Serviceberry is making a go of it where it manages to avoid the branch-breaking black knot fungus. Pin cherry is taking hold only to be attacked by eastern tent caterpillars. Fast-growing poplars are certainly rebuilding the forest, but the voracious appetite of the local beaver population slows their progress. Just like humans, these species are all agents of change along the Little Bonnechere River.
Now look across the river for an example of what the Lafleur homestead would become if it were left alone for several decades, then seek out a healthy pine sapling growing up next to the drive shed as a sign that nature has already started to set its course.
- preserved pioneer homestead
- old tote road corridor
- original farm field
- barn foundations
- log house and out-buildings
- ideal for birding and vegetation identification