Les Erables was a small colonization and freighting community, settled in the mid-1800s. The goal was twofold. One group, “La Societe de la Colonization du Lac Temiscamingue,” was established by Catholic priests from Quebec to encourage settlement. A second group, “La Compagnie de Chemin de fer de Temiscamingue,” obtained a charter to enable construction of freighting tramways to be built around the Long Sault Rapids.
Once everything was established, a small community came to life. The settlement included a stopping place, small store, post office, a few dwellings, and a number of freighting buildings and a depot.
The tramway was purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1891. In 1893 the CPR began to replace the tramway with standard gauge track. The following year, they completed a line that ran directly to Lake Temiskaming, bypassing the portage. With the portage gone, Les Erables slowly began to fade into history.
The entire area was inundated in 1948 when the Otto Holden Dam went into operation. Learn more