masthead image



Town site photo

The Indian Lake Lumber Company in Osaquan.

Source: Mrs. E.A. Lunam

Osaquan was a lumber community and company town founded around the Indian Lake Lumber Company, established in 1909.

Osaqaun was a bush community and transportation was very poor. The 10 kilometre road trip from Ignace took about 40 minutes. As a result, the community became highly self sufficient. They established a vegetable garden, small pig farm and even obtained a commercial fishery licence.

In addition to the lumbering operation, mills and the commercial ventures, the town site included a bunk house, dwellings for the employees, a cook house, blacksmith shop and company store, said to be very well stocked. Lumber was transported along a spur line that connected to the main CPR rail line.

Overall the mill was well run, however as with most lumber mills, there were always setbacks. These included floods and two fires, one in 1911 and another in 1915. In the early 1920s the mill was upgraded and a schoolhouse was added.

The community thrived until 1930 when the mill was badly damaged by a forest fire. Rebuilding during the height of the depression was not an option. By the mid 1930s, the community was largely abandoned. Most of the buildings were later salvaged or burnt down.