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Where was Cache Lake
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Author:  cobain_lg [ December 18th, 2010, 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

If it's any help at all "Manitou" is a algonkin word for spirit.
There was also a Ojibway band called the "manitou peepagee".

A few tidbit's to hopefully help.

To add" Fictional or not the artist done a wonderful job. I love books that inspire people to research the outdoors...and maybe launch into various parts of oue great wilderness in search. :thumbup:

Author:  Watersong [ December 18th, 2010, 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

WoodNCanvas wrote:
Interesting thread....and theories of where Cache Lake might be....but I always understood that it was a fictional lake....possibly based on actual places....but a fictional location all the same

Based on .....???

Author:  Voyageur [ December 20th, 2010, 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

Ah! just the title of this book brings back fond memories of endless hours of speculation as to the location of Cache Lake.

If memory serves me correctly, the author claimed to have recently retired as an area forester and was offered a paid position to live on the forest in order to monitor its health.

Author:  WoodNCanvas [ December 21st, 2010, 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

Watersong wrote:
WoodNCanvas wrote:
Interesting thread....and theories of where Cache Lake might be....but I always understood that it was a fictional lake....possibly based on actual places....but a fictional location all the same

Based on .....???


I understood from reading the book that it was not an actual place....likely based on actual places....but most likely a "composite" of several's what I found further online:

From Outdoors Magazine’s review of Cache Lake Country comes this, ... wlands.pdf:

Here is how Rowlands found Cache Lake in Portage to Contentment:

"After I cleared the thoroughfare and came out on the small lake, I stopped paddling like a fellow will when he sees new water for the first time. The sun had come up and mist hung motionless like a big cobweb just above the surface. "Ghosts breath" we called it when we were young. Over to my right, to the eastward, the shore was lined with jack pines and in one place close down by the water I could see a natural clearing. On the west was part of the great swamp I had passed coming up from Snow Goose Lake, but going north on that side the land lifted up and the white boles of big canoe birches showed on the low ridge.

I have seen maybe a thousand northern lakes, and they all look alike in many ways, but there was something different about that little lake that held me hard. I had sat there perhaps half an hour, like a man under a spell, just looking it over......

This was the lake of my boyhood dreams! This was the lake I used to picture when I camped with my chum by a little millpond near a meadow on a farm...

Then for no reason that I understood, I paddled ashore, built a fire and made myself a pail of tea. And there was the big tree, not the elm that stood by the old millpond, but a tall white pine just where it ought to be. I knew then I had found the place I had always wanted to be."

He names this place Cache Lake, as in this cache, the best of the North was stored. Rowlands, in a piece of incredible fortune, is able to live on this lake at the behest of his timber company. He builds a lakeside cabin, finds Chief Tibeash, a Cree who he had known as a child living nearby and begins living the life of his dreams. From January, Long Nights and Deep Snows through December, Blizzards and Wailing Winds, Rowlands entertains and educates the reader with small essays and innumerable projects related to living in the North Woods. From logging camp stories to canoe camping with the Chief and Hank (the illustrator), from building an outdoor clay oven, making bean hole beans and long-tailed pie, we have pieces of daily life on this lake in the woods.

Cache Lake, as a physical entity, is never actually defined by Rowlands, but is used as a metaphor of finding the ideal place to live your chosen life. Many have speculated as to where Rowlands actual Cache Lake is, but in reality this book is more about making or finding your own Cache Lake, rather than finding his. In his opening chapter, Rowlands defines Cache Lake this way:

"On most maps Cache Lake is only a speck hidden among other blue patches big enough to have names, and unless you know where to look you will never find it. But a place like Cache Lake is seldom discovered on a map. You just come on it---that is if you are lucky. Most men who travel the north woods sooner or later happen on a lake or stream that somehow they cannot forget and always want to go back to. Generally they never do go back."

From the Amazon book review, ... B0006AW4VM:

"He named the place Cache Lake because there was stored the best that the north had to offer--timber for a cabin; fish, game and berries to live on; and the peace and contentment he felt he could not live without. Cache Lake Country exemplifies the classic American notion that what is most worth finding lies far from the tracks of civilization, and that what is most worth doing demands resourcefulness and wit."

Don't know if that really answers anything or just complicates it further.

Author:  Watersong [ December 21st, 2010, 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

Yeah, I get all that..."the place where the best part of the North is Stored"...that's well put!

2 things, though...

a) He does imply that you can see it on a map
b) On the Map included with the book, we shows `Shining Tree`...which is an actual place.

Why include that if Cache lake was fictionalépurely metaphorical?

Food for thought!!!

Author:  WoodNCanvas [ December 22nd, 2010, 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

Great points....but still a bit of a reach I think if we try to say "Cache Lake" is in Temagami....surely there is more than one "Shining Tree" or a name that could have been simply thought up (possible reference to "land of the shining birch"?????)....was James Rowland ever in Temagami???? He was supposedly a timber cruiser, so are there records of him in the Temagami area????....surely somebody would have already found that out (someone like Craig Macdonald when he was doing oral history gathering)....great question and intriguing if Rowland lived in Temagami area....but I still feel he was talking about a Cache Lake that was more a place in the mind than a place on a map....a composite of several places....but I would love to be proven wrong....Cache Lake Country was a book I devoured as a young lad

Author:  D Burgess [ December 27th, 2010, 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake


Do you know where the manitoupeepagee band lived? I have seen the name but have been unable to find out anything about them.

I remember noticing the word in Grey Owl's writings somewhere, but I have failed to find it again.


There quite a few place names found in both the book and the Temagami area (please see my initial post), but the geography doesn't quite work in detail. I suppose that Cache Lake is a composite.

Author:  WoodNCanvas [ January 3rd, 2011, 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

This discussion on Cache Lake Country got me returning to a post I wrote on my blog entitled Cache Lake Country Revisited….Part Of A Journey Through More Than The Bush, ... -the-bush/. I thought I'd share what I wrote:

I have always loved reading….as a kid, the local library was nearly as often a haunt as the woods out across the fields at the bottom of our street. Actually the library and my tramping through the bush usually went hand in hand. I would come across something out in the woodlot like various animal tracks or signs….a bird or a plant I couldn’t identify….or hear an animal call that not only I couldn’t recognize but might have sent shivers up my spine. And whenever I needed information on any of this I was almost certain to find it in the pages of books at our local library.

This doesn’t mean all my learning of the natural world was from reading. More often it was from direct observation or doing. Catching tadpoles or crayfish in local streams or wetlands. Finding a robin’s nest and watching the heads of the young craning for food….or seeing young Mallard ducklings paddle around the pond. Following animal tracks in the snow and learning how to tell the stories they told….like the tracks of a rabbit or squirrel ending in a number of imprints of an owl’s wingbeats. Sometimes just merely listening….maybe to the wind in the tall pine….or the slithering of garter smakes through dry grass as they came out of hibernation….the chattering of a squirrel….or a bird song.

Actually one birthday I convinced my folks to buy me a crow call….a hard rubberized call by the Olt Game Call company that sounded like a crow if used properly. Of course, I never did quite get the hang of it. Especially at the beginning stages of my crow calling efforts, the sounds I emitted were downright awful even possibly terrifying (come to think of it, maybe those unknown animal wails, mentioned earlier that I found spine tingling, might actually have beeen others trying out various artificial animal calls LOL LOL). Though eventually I got a reasonable “caw” out of it, I scared off more wary crows than I attracted….a buddy told me if I wanted to really ”call” crows maybe I would be better off yelling “Here crows! Here crows!” LOL LOL.

I guess I was a bit of an odd kid….I loved to watch birds so much I once dragged my folks down from the local rural countryside to the “wilds” of Toronto’s High Park for a trek with the Toronto Field Naturalists. On weekends and holidays, I loved to hike through the woods for hours, even in winter (actually more so in the winter as there weren’t any bugs)….usually I was out all day. Strange or not, I just loved being outdoors.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my love for canoeing was initiated by my Dad buying a Peterborough wood canvas canoe for the family. The two of us would frequently head up to the town of Bradford and paddle up or down the Holland River…..either heading towards Cook’s Bay and Lake Simcoe, while avoiding the wakes of large motorboats….or paddling through the wooded fringes of the river skirting the Holland Marsh all the way to Highway 400. Back then my paddling prowess wasn’t quite what it is today….OK, I’ve admitted already that I sat in the bottom of the canoe handing out the sandwiches my Mom made for us or pouring the lemonade or orange drink we had…..but this was an important job (even tiring for a 7 year old LOL LOL). Whatever my position in the canoe – whether bow man or just first mate – these jaunts with my Dad did open up another view of the out of doors….from the canoe. Somehow silently gliding along, we seemed to get closer to all sorts of wildlife than I could’ve imagined. Watching a great blue heron hunt for fish along the river bank….turtles sunning on logs….a muskrat swimming by….even the rustling of the carp through the reeds in the shallows.

One of the books I read as a boy was Cache Lake Country: Life In The North Woods by John J. Rowlands. This book was originally put out in the late 40s and is best described on, ... B0006AW4VM, as:

"A vivid and faithful chronicle of life in the great Northern Forest and a storehouse of valuable information on woodcraft and nature. Over half a century ago, John Rowlands set out by canoe into the wilds to survey land for a timber company. After paddling alone for several days–”it was so quiet I could hear the drops from the paddle hitting the water”–he came upon “the lake of my boyhood dreams.” He never left. He named the place Cache Lake because there was stored the best that the north had to offer–timber for a cabin; fish, game and berries to live on; and the peace and contentment he felt he could not live without. Cache Lake Country exemplifies the classic notion that what is most worth finding lies far from the tracks of civilization, and that what is most worth doing demands resourcefulness and wit. Here is folklore and philosophy, but most of all wisdom about the woods and the inventiveness and self-reliance they demand. The author explains how to make moccasins, barrel stoves, lean-to shelters, outdoor bake ovens, sailing canoes, and hundreds of other ingenious and useful gadgets, all illustrated in the margins with 230 enchanting drawings by Henry B. Kane."

Well this book was all of that and more. For a young lad interested in the outdoors….learning how to make things for use out in the bush….the woodsman’s lore involved….even just putting himself in similar adventures….well, this book was the perfect vehicle to so much for me. Maybe some of the information wasn’t complete….but the notion was there. I couldn’t wait to get out to my own Cache Lake Country someday. And I did eventually spend time in such places. Like Algonquin, Killarney, and Temagami to name a few.

Years later….after lots of time spent on canoe trips….sharing and teaching others about the environment and the outdoors….writing about or painting or attempting to photograph….going on several long hiking expeditions….running whitewater….skiing or snowshoeing….camping out in summer heat and hordes of bugs….or the cold of snowy winters….just going for a walk….or a leisurely paddle….after all this and so much more, I find myself thinking about what it is that set me on this wonderful journey. I’ve tried to relate some of these thoughts here. I’ve even talked about the freedom I feel out there….the joy it brings to me. But one thing I do know is that like Rowlands I have found that I’ve been able to store experiences and memories….and even look forward to adding to them….because there is stored in the north country (and other such wild places) some of the best that Mother Nature has to offer. This is my “cache” for so much. And for me, it’s a place I hope to end my journey as happily as I began it. Out in the bush….paddling a canoe….or tramping through the woods.

I apologize if I've hijacked this thread in any way....but this talk on Cache Lake really did cause me to reflect on how important this book was to matter where the lake is.

Author:  cobain_lg [ January 5th, 2011, 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

No I don't know right off hand. Once I get a chance I'll fire off a few emails to a few friends who would know.

Author:  graycenphil [ February 6th, 2018, 8:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

I don’t think it’s the one we are looking for, but this is still kind of interesting:

Author:  Algonquintripper [ February 7th, 2018, 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Where was Cache Lake

littleredcanoe wrote:
You guys are looking in the wrong country! ... e-country/

And the name Cache Lake is fictitious.

That is corrected and acknowledged by the blogger in the comment section.

There is also mention in the comments that it is near Cree territory. In Ontario, this would be along the southern shore or Hudson Bay.

Never read the book. Will add it to my reading list.

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