A Canadian Family

Natives, French Canadians & Acadians

White River (The Coldest Spot in Canada) And Birthplace Of Winnie The Pooh

White River – The Coldest Spot in Canada

Algoma Ontario | Roadside Attraction | The Coldest Spot in Canada | Vintage sign | giant Thermometer Text from back of postcard


Severe winter temperatures have given White River the reputation of being Canada’s Coldest Spot. This electronically operated thermometer, probably the largest in the world, stands 25 feet high and gives constant accurate readings. Located at Bagdon’s Esso Service Station on Highway 17 at White River, it is a must for every sightseer.  Color by Russell Romanick, For William.


Winnie The Pooh

What many of you may not know is that White River is actually the “real” Winnie The Pooh’s birthplace.

White River had been founded by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1800s, and at the beginning of World War I it was an important stopover for trains carrying soldiers and horses.

In 1914 one of these trains stopped in White River and let the horses off for watering and exercise. The man in coverall charge of these horses – Lieutenant Harry Colebourn – saw a bear for sale and bought it. Colebourn brought the bear with him to Valcartier (Quebec) and then on to his posting on the Salisbury Plains en England.

After Colebourn (now a Captain) was stationed to France, he placed her temporarily at the London Zoo. Colebourn survived the war and returned to Canada, but decided to leave Winnie at the London Zoo. This was where author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin eventually discovered him and re-christened him Winnie-the-Pooh  – which became the inspiration for these beloved tales.

And finally – a little genealogy!

Surnames extracted from the 1901 census for White River (Algoma, Ontario district)

Ass(e)lin  –  Barker  –  Begley  –  Blais  –  Bruno  –  Cameron  –  Casault  –  Chisholm  –  Clark  –  Collins  –  Commiso  –

Cottom  –  Coughlin  –  Crysler  –  Cunningham  –  Depew  –  Doditts  –  Domley  –  Edwards  –  Fritz

Furgeson  –  Gesvard  –  Gitche-Ogmai  –  Green  –  Gunn  –  Hansen  –  Heartson  –  Hodgins

Hunter  –  Jackman  –  Johnson  –  Jolicouer  –  Kremin  –  Lawson  –  Lindsay  –  Linklater

Louttit  –  Lundgren  –  Matcheinni  –  Matchingoose  –  McCuaig  –  McDonald

McDougall  –  McElroy  –  McLeod  –  McQuarrie  –  Milani  –  Miller

Minoletti  –  Missourino  –  Moore  –  Morley  –  Moronno

Murray  –  Nelson  –  Neve  –  Oberg  –  Otowassins

Peterson  –  Peurtense  –  Pononish  –  Poto

Potter  –  Racco  –  Robinson  –  Sheedy

Sheehan  –  Shors  –  Slattery  –  Smith

Starr  –  Swanson  –  Swords

Tookenay  –  Tookisa

Vincent  –  Walker

Wesean  –  Whitehead

Willoughan  –  Wilson

Winn  –  Zanni(e)


Further Reading:

White River Official Website

History of Winnie the PoohWhite River

July 26, 2010 - Posted by | . | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Looking for information on the geneology of my father Reginald Nelson ,he was from Oka , Canada off St. Regis Reservation . Any information on this I would appreciate . Thank You . Uno !


    Comment by Barbara Fletcher | January 23, 2011 | Reply

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