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Vintage Photos: Boyne River

The Boyne River is a major feature of the Carman/Dufferin landscape. It also is one of the common threads running through our local history.  With its heavily forested banks, the river was a source for fresh water, fuel, wild fruit and small game for early indigenous camps. Later, as the Riviére aux Îlets-de-Bois, it became an oasis where hunters and fur-traders following the Missouri Trail repaired their Red River carts or come in springtime to harvest the syrup of maple trees. After 1870, the river and its environs became a prime destination for an influx of Anglophone homesteaders who renamed it the ‘Boyne’. 

In more recent history, the river has powered a flour and lumber mill, served as a source for town water and as a popular, well-used swimming hole. Until a diversion was built around the Town of Carman, floods periodically devastated the town.  In the process, flood waters destroyed many early records; they also provided striking images of the power of Mother Nature.

The swimming hole site now has a commemorative sign, and local groups are working to restore recreational use of the river.