Illinois played its part in the World War I

The Fair of 1893 opened its doors in the worst depression of the nineteenth century. During the first eight months of the year, 24 local banks failed; pig-iron production fell from 949,450 tons in 1892 to 405,261 in 1893; business failures increased 50 per cent; only 62 miles of railroad were laid in that year. Mills, factories, furnaces, and mines throughout the State closed down; unemployed workers crowded the streets of the cities begging food or work, while laborers from the farms and mines fled in desperation to the cities. Suffering continued until 1898.

With recovery Illinois achieved third place among the manufacturing States of the Nation. By 1914 Chicago was the greatest slaughtering and packing center in the country, first in production of farm implements, second only to New York City in printing, and its steel furnaces had the largest capacity in the United States.

By the turn of the century Illinois was able to record a phenomenal growth in population. In 1810, an outpost in the wilderness with only 12,282 inhabitants, it had grown to 2,539,891 in 1870, and by 1900 to 4,821,550. In 1910, 62 per cent of the State was urban, with Chicago housing one-half of the population.

Important changes were also taking place in the character of the population. At the end of the great wave of European immigration in 1910, Germans ranked first among the foreign-born population in the State, with 26 per cent (319,182) ; Austrians and Hungarians next, with 16 per cent; Russians and Scandinavians, about 12 per cent each; Irish 8 per cent, and Italians 6 per cent. Because of the exhaustion of cheap lands by the time these people arrived, and the greater immediate opportunities in the manufacturing centers, they settled largely in the cities and towns in the northern part of the State. Half the population of the cities of Chicago, Joliet, and Rockford was foreignborn. Negroes also began to settle here, mostly in towns of the southern counties; in 1870 they numbered 28,762; by 1910 there were 109,049; in that year Negroes comprised 37 per cent of the population of Cairo.

Notwithstanding the repeated victories of the Republican Party in State elections, Populist sentiment, born in the 1880's, remained strong in Illinois. In 1896, at the Democratic national convention in Chicago, William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous "Cross of Gold" speech, which was warmly received by the workers and farmers of the State; but in 1896 elections Bryan and Governor Altgeld were defeated by the Republicans. A Democratic governor was not again elected until 1912, when the Bull Moose campaign split the Republican Party, permitting the Democrats to take the major offices of the State.

Dissatisfied with Populism as an ineffective political movement, some workingmen turned to more radical politics. In 1901 the Socialist Party of the United States was organized in Chicago by Eugene Victor Debs, Seymour Stedman, and other well-known radicals. The party grew; by 1915 there were 44 Socialists holding political offices in the State: one mayor, 18 aldermen, 2 State legislators, 5 school officials, and 18 others. In 1916 William Cunnea, law partner of Clarence Darrow, ran on the Socialist ticket and was almost elected State's Attorney, losing on a recount. Another radical organization was the Industrial Workers of the World; organized in 1905, with Chicago as its center, its doctrine of "One Big Union" spread throughout the West. Chicago, too, was to see the demise of the 1. W. W. in the famous trial of a hundred leading members before judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis on charges arising out of their opposition to the war.

And it was at Chicago in 1919 that the Communist Party was organized by the left wing of the Socialist Party, which split on the question of support of the Russian Revolution.

In the first twenty years of the new century Illinois was one of the most progressive States in the Union in the field of social legislation. After the passage of the first mining law in 1872, it continued to provide for the safe operation of mines by enacting supplementary legislation in 1899, 1910, and 1913. Child labor legislation was adopted in 1891; a law fixing the maximum hours of labor for women was passed as early as 1893; the first workmen's compensation acts of 1911 were improved in 1913 and 1917. Many other measures were adopted; governmental reforms were undertaken, among which were the establishment of civil service, and the act of 1910 providing direct primaries in the State elections. After the 1907 local option law was adopted, dry areas spread throughout the State, until Illinois became at least technically "dry" by the Volstead Act. An attempt to redraft the antiquated Constitution of 1870 was made by a constitutional convention, which assembled in 1920 and labored for two years, only to have its draft repudiated by the voters in 1922.

Illinois played its part in the World War I. By June 1917, less than three months after the declaration of war, 351,153 Illinois men were in uniform. Illinois was one of the three States to furnish an entire National Guard Division. Officially designated the 33rd, it was popularly called the "Prairie Division," and saw action at St. Mihiel, Verdun, Chateau Thierry, and Meuse-Argonne. At the conclusion of the war the 33rd came home to be cheered and welcomed. Parades were reviewed by the Governor upon the arrival of each contingent. But missing in the demobilization were more than five thousand men from the farms, offices, and factories of the State.

After the war Illinois, along with the rest of the Nation, enjoyed a boom, an extraordinary period of construction and speculation. Politics, prohibition, crime, and the high cost of living filled the headlines of the newspapers. Governor Len Small launched an extensive program of building hard roads throughout the State. His political ally was the colorful William Hale Thompson, serving his second term as mayor of Chicago, who called himself "Big Bill the Builder." There followed the reform administration of Mayor Dever in 1923, but in the next election in 1927 Thompson was returned for a third term.

In 1931 Anton Cermak was elected mayor of Chicago. Then came the Democratic landslide of 1932, which turned the Republicans of the State out of office. Henry Horner, judge of the probate court of Cook County for five years, was elected Governer. Mayor Cermak was fatally wounded on February 15, 1933, when an assassin made an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt in Florida. Democratic policies again triumphed in 1934 when 22 additional Democrats were elected to the State House of Representatives.

During the twenties Illinois ranked as the third State in the Union in population, manufacturing, and wealth. It continued to lead the country in meat packing and slaughtering. Because of the State's strategic position between the iron mines of the Upper Lakes region and the large coal mines in its southern counties, foundry and machinery products ranked second in Illinois manufacture. Chicago remained an important center for printing, the making of men's clothing, farm implements, and electrical machinery. Railroad coaches were manufactured at Pullman and Chicago Heights. Important national centers for agricultural implements were Moline, Rock Island, and Canton.

By 1928 about 65 per cent of the children of school age were enrolled in public schools, requiring an annual expenditure of 143 million dollars. In addition, more than a thousand private schools were scattered over the State. Enrollment at the State university began to average fourteen thousand a year. Northwestern University and the University of Chicago recorded similar gains. Catholic parochial schools and universities, notably Loyola and De Paul in Chicago, also grew in importance. Greater care for the health of school children was provided with the introduction of regular medical and dental examinations.

As the cities expanded in the twenties with their skyscrapers, automobiles, electrical goods, chain stores, department stores, radios, and movies, there was another decline in agriculture in the State. From 251,872 farms in 1910, the number fell to 214,497 in 1930, and acreage fell from 32,523,000 to 30,695,000 in the same period. By 1935 the former had risen slightly to 231,312, and the latter to 31,661,000. Although the ox, the flail, the cradle, and the scythe were replaced by the combine, the four-plow cultivator, and the tractor, prices of farm goods continued to fall, and more and more people left the farms for the cities. This protracted agricultural recession of the twenties was regarded by economists as responsible, at least in part, for the devastating financial depression that began in 1929.

Under conditions strikingly similar to those of 1893, the Century of Progress Exposition opened in 1933. The times were critical: unemployed descended upon the State capital to demand relief; the coal fields were torn by a factional war between rival labor organizations; court dockets were clogged with foreclosure proceedings and evictions. To add to the suffering of the farmers came great droughts to parch their fields. The collapse of the Insull utilities empire and the widespread closing of banks impoverished thousands.

Despite all this, the fair opened with a note of hope and optimism. The exposition contained 84 miles of scientific, cultural, industrial, and commercial exhibits, seen by 39 million people, who came from all over the world. Its massive architecture of futuristic design was made brilliant at night by a dazzling revelation in new electric lighting.


WHEN THE FIRST WHITE MEN came to Illinois, they found large mounds of earth rising up out of the prairies, usually near navigable rivers. Because these mounds contained burials, pottery, stone implements, and the ruins of buildings, and were sometimes shaped like birds and beasts, various legends arose about the people who built them. One story had it that they were a lost tribe of Israel. Another described them as a people related to the Mayas and the Aztecs. A third told of an ancient race, of much vision and beauty, with large cities and widespread commerce and trade, that flourished in the Mississippi Basin about the time of Christ. For many years the mound builders captured the imagination of story-tellers.

Today, however, these myths have been exploded, and the mystery of the mounds has been solved, at least in part, by archeological expeditions. Archeologists have been able to show clearly that the mound builders were simply Indians who built mounds.

These mounds were not all of one period, nor were they all built for the same purpose. Some, like the effigy mounds in the northwestern part of the State, were of a ceremonial nature; many were built primarily for burial purposes; others were sites for buildings. Those of the latter type seem to show influences which came from the Lower Mississippi, and possibly from the higher cultures of Mexico and South America. With the great tribal unrest among the Indians during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, largely due to the incursions of the Iroquois from the East, a great shifting of tribes occurred, so that by the time the first explorers came to Illinois, there were few mound-building Indians left in the region.

More than 10,000 mounds are scattered throughout the State. Because Illinois was situated at the confluence of the great highways of primitive travel--the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Illinois Rivers --various mound-building cultures shuttled back and forth across the State. Here are found obsidian from Yellowstone, Catlinite from Minnesota, copper from Michigan and Minnesota, mica from the Alleghenies, and shells from the Gulf of Mexico. And in the mounds of other States are found the kind of flint mined only in the ancient quarry in Union County, Illinois.

Archeologists have found two major culture patterns in the State, of which the Woodland is the older and more basic. One phase of this culture is represented by the effigy mounds in northwestern Illinois; this came down from Wisconsin. Another is the Hopewell phase which probably had its origin farther east. The other major pattern is known as the Mississippi culture, and is divided into Upper, Middle, and Lower phases; it runs up along the Mississippi, the Illinois, and other rivers, as far north as Astalan, Wisconsin.

Woodland pottery is crude and unevenly colored; textiles and shell work are absent; and only its stone work is definitely well-fashioned. Houses of the period were circular and temporary. The mounds themselves are round, are generally smaller than those of the Mississippi culture, and were not used as substructures. The dead were usually buried in the mounds in flexed positions; a few of the remains found had been cremated. In the Hopewell phase of this culture--so-called because it probably came to Illinois from the vicinity of the famous Hopewell mounds in Ohio--copper and mica ornaments occur. One of its chief characteristics is the frequent use of log tombs, over which the mounds were built.

In the more recent Mississippi culture, the pottery work is wellfired from carefully prepared clays; it is evenly colored and of many forms. Shell work is highly developed. Finely woven textiles are frequent. The dwellings were square or rectangular, of a permanent or semi-permanent nature, and the mounds were often used as substructures for these houses. In the cemeteries near the mounds the dead were buried in extended positions, together with projectile points, pottery, charms, and amulets.

One of the richest archeological areas in the Middle West is at the junction of the Spoon and the Illinois Rivers in Fulton County. Expeditions from the University of Chicago under Professor FayCooper Cole found as many as three cultural manifestations of the two basic patterns existing in the same mounds. In the eight hundred mounds in Fulton County, six different cultural manifestations have been discovered, with the Middle Mississippi and the Hopewell phases often existing side by side, although different in time. Thus, though the religious practices and beliefs among the mound builders apparently differed, they continued to use the same spots for their burials.

In the same area, near Lewistown, on a high bluff overlooking the two rivers, is the Dickson Mound Builders Tomb. Here a museum has been erected over a mound of the Middle Mississippi phase containing more than two hundred skeletons, the largest and most interesting display of its kind in the country. The remains, together with their accompanying artifacts, are exposed in their original positions. With the skeletons are pottery vessels, mussel-shell spoons, L-shaped pipes, bone needles, beads, and fish hooks, flint arrowheads, stone adze blades, and effigy forms. The mound itself, originally crescent-shaped, with the points toward the east, measured 550 feet along its outer curve, and was 35 feet high. A reproduction of one of these burials, contributed by Mr. Don Dickson, explorer of the mound and owner of the museum, is exhibited at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

Fifteen miles southwest of Joliet is the Fisher Group, explored by George Langford, a local engineer. Three successive occupancies were revealed here: under the original surface, buried in the limestone gravel below the base of the mounds, were skeletons, with medium and long skulls, interred in a flexed position, and unaccompanied by relics; this complete absence of pottery, and the difference of physical type, probably indicate an extremely ancient culture. In the middle levels of the mounds were found burials of a short-headed people; with them were many pottery vessels, and artifacts of stone, bone, and shell. The upper levels held mixed types and mixed artifacts. In one of the smaller mounds of this group occurred skeletons of a short-headed people, extended on their backs with their heads to the west; in these graves were iron, brass, and silver utensils and trinkets, of white man's manufacture, indicating that some of the mound builders lived here down to historic times.

In the American Bottom, near East St. Louis, are the mounds of the world-famous Cahokia Group, known throughout the archeological world. Here the mounds of the Middle Mississippi phase were used as substructures for ceremonial buildings. The pottery is highly developed and sometimes, in form and design, indicates southern connections. Near the center of the area, which contains eighty-five smaller mounds, stands the largest earthwork in the world, the Cahokia or Monks' Mound. A truncated pyramid, rectangular in form, with a broad terrace or apron extending from the south side, it covers sixteen acres. Its greatest height is 100 feet; the east-west width is 710 feet, and the north-south length, including the terrace, 1,080 feet. The general similarity of mounds of this type to those found in Mexico has often been noted. The herculean labor involved in their construction denotes either the existence of slavery or an almost fanatical religious belief. Though there is much evidence that a large community, equal in size to a modern small city, existed in the vicinity of these mounds, no cemetery, strangely enough, has been found.

Also belonging to the Middle Mississippi phase are the four Kincaid Mounds near Metropolis, in Massac County. The largest, a truncated pyramid, rises 32 feet above ground, and covers 2 acres at its base. The nearby village site comprises more than 100 acres. The whole area has been made available to the University of Chicago for archeological research.

Effigy mounds, belonging to the Woodland culture, occur in the northwestern part of the State. They possibly represent totems or clan symbols; usually no burials are found in them. Near Galena is a mound shaped like a serpent, which strikingly resembles the famous Serpent Mound of Ohio. At the junction of Smallpox Creek with the Mississippi is the effigy of a bird with outspread wings. Also belonging to the Woodland culture are seventeen conical mounds on the bluffs overlooking East Dubuque and the Mississippi River, the largest of which is 70 feet in diameter and 12 feet high.

Thousands of small mounds, usually called bluff mounds, line the Illinois River. In culture they are of two types, for here again the Woodland and the Middle Mississippi, separated by considerable lapses of time, are found in the same area. Among other larger mounds of the State are the Montezuma Mounds near Pearl and the Beardstown Mounds in Cass County.

Illinois topography has its explanation in the State's glacial history

The level aspect of Illinois topography has its explanation in the State's glacial history. As late as 25,000 years ago--a tick of the clock in geological time--there was still to be found in Illinois the last of the great ice sheets that had crept down from the North and with a leveling action comparable to that of a road-scraper, effaced hills and valleys carved by centuries of erosion. Ninety per cent of the State's surface was covered by ice; the only unglaciated areas are Jo Daviess County in the extreme northwest, Calhoun County in the west-central section, and the seven southernmost counties. In these areas the rugged terrain, sharply dissected by valleys, indicates the probable appearance of the whole of Illinois before the ice age. Elsewhere, save for sporadic outcrops, the uneven relief lies beneath a mantle of drift averaging 75 feet in depth.

The four ice-sheets that invaded the United States are definitely known to have reached Illinois. The next to last of these covered so great a portion of the State that it has been named the Illinoisan by geologists. Occurring approximately 150,000 years ago, it pushed south to the northern edge of the Ozark Range, and there, halted by increased melting and the barricade of hills, piled up rock debris 20 feet deep on the hillsides. This was the greatest southern penetration of any of the North American glaciers.

The Wisconsin Glacier, which moved into Illinois 50,000 years ago and receded 25,000 years later, covered only the northeast quarter of the State., but because of its geological lateness its effects are more obvious to the layman. The great central portion of the State which was covered by the older Illinoisan sheet, but not overlaid by the Wisconsin, is much more nearly even in relief and mature in drainage. The terminal moraines--ridges of drift piled up where the glacial front stopped--are low and inconspicuous. Those of the last glacier, however, are among the largest known to geologists. Sharply defined and extensive in length, they comprise the chief topographical relief of the northeast portion of the State. The major ones are named for cities that have been built upon them; the Shelbyville, Bloomington, Marseilles, and Valparaiso moraines are four of the most important.

Marked with the characteristics of recent glaciation, the land bordering Lake Michigan near the Wisconsin State line is poorly drained, with many lakes and marshes formed by the melting Wisconsin glacier. Thus was created the lake region of Illinois, major recreational area for the metropolis of Chicago. At the time of recession, the waters of the glacier were impounded between the Valparaiso moraine and the receding edge of ice, forming Lake Chicago, ancestor of Lake Michigan. The site of Chicago lay deep beneath the surface of this ancient lake, and deposition from its waters accounts for the table-top flatness of the city today. In successive stages the water receded north and east.

Glaciation and climate largely explain the agricultural distinction of the Illinois country. The average growing season varies from 160 days in the north to 211 days at Cairo, in the south. The drift laid down by the ice had been gathered from so great a variety of bedrock that an ample percentage of essential minerals was assured. Lying at the southernmost reach of the ice-sheets, Illinois was not strewn with the boulders and heavy débris that pock-mark the land further north. Much of the State is veneered with a layer of loess, the finer particles of drift that were sorted out by the wind and spread across the land. Enriched by prairie grasses during thousands of years, it possesses an even texture which, with the regular terrain, fits Illinois admirably for mechanical cultivation.

Buried beneath the glacial drift, the rock strata of Illinois effect little influence upon the topography, but their minerals yield to the State an income placing it tenth in the country in mineral output. All of the substructure that has been explored by geologists is sedimentary in nature, with the exception of a deep-lying mass of red granite encountered at 3,700 feet near Amboy, in the northern part of the State. At an unknown depth, the entire State is underlain with igneous rock, mother-rock of all formations, but vast processes of sedimentation have buried it beyond reach.

Of the five geological eras, the third, the Paleozoic, was by far the most important both geologically and economically. Beginning some 600 million years ago, it was characterized by repeated submergences and uplifts. What is now Illinois was then covered by a series of shallow seas. In great cycles, the seas advanced, covered the land for millions of years, and then retreated to expose the surface again to weathering and erosion. The strata laid down during each submergence differ sharply from each other, the degree depending upon the depth of the sea and the nature of the land at its shoreline.

The oldest period of the Paleozoic Era was the Cambrian, during which thick layers of sandstone and dolomite were deposited over the entire State. This, like the igneous rock, does not outcrop in Illinois, but slants upward from the south to come to the surface in Wisconsin. Rainfall in the latter area, seeping through surface soil to the sandstone layers, follows these to northern Illinois, where it serves as a reservoir for the wells of many municipalities.

The second period of the Paleozoic Era was the Ordovician, which saw a series of submergences of long duration. Its first deposits, the Prairie du Chien group, included a limestone which was the basis of Utica's natural cement industry, important in the last century but now abandoned. Another of the early Ordovician deposits is a layer of St. Peter sandstone, which outcrops in Ottawa and nearby in a remarkably pure form that has achieved national industrial importance as a source of silica sand used in glass-making and a hundred other processes. St. Peter sandstone also forms the picturesque bluffs that comprise Starved Rock State Park. Platteville limestone, likewise an Ordovician deposit, is used in the manufacture of Portland cement. Late in the period a layer of Galena dolomite was laid down. It bears the lead which gave Galena its name and its early mining boom. Related to this formation is the Kimmswick limestone, source of petroleum in the southwestern field at Dupo.

The third period, the Silurian, laid down several strata of dolomite and limestone. The latter is quarried extensively near Chicago and Joliet for road material, aggregate, and soil replenishment. The following period, the Devonian, is likewise chiefly important for its limestone. Among the Mississippian deposits are the sediments that store the southeastern oil pool, long a steadily producing field and lately the scene of a spectacular boom of revived activity.

Near the end of the Paleozoic Era occurred the Pennsylvanian period, when Illinois' great coal measures were deposited. The coal strata, but a small portion of the Pennsylvanian deposits, far outstrip all other geological periods in the wealth they have yielded. The land at this time was low and marshy, a few feet above sea level. A favorable climate encouraged the growth of giant trees and ferns that subsequent eons compressed into the coal veins that underlie two-thirds of the State. Despite a half-century of extensive mining operations, not more than 2 per cent, it is estimated, of Illinois' coal reserve has been tapped.

Following the close of the Pennsylvanian period, the greater portion of Illinois remained above sea level. Great land movements that raised the Appalachians in the east, folded the land of Southern Illinois into the present Ozark range. The work of the seas was done, and now rain and wind attacked the surface to erode and crease it with great valleys and ridges. But then, following a vast climatic change, snow began to fall in the northern region, year after year, deeper in the winter than the brief summer sun could melt.

So began the glacial period, the deus ex machina in the making of Illinois. Even as the curtain descended upon the State's geological drama, the ice sheets appeared, effaced the ruggedness, and retreated-so recently that Indian legends make awed mention of the Ice God that once came down from the North.

The land of Illinois reveals graphically the agricultural importance of the State

SEEN FROM THE AIR, the land of Illinois reveals graphically the agricultural importance of the State. Carved by intensive cultivation into an intricate mosaic of squares and rectangles, the level prairie resembles nothing so much as a vast stretch of modernistic linoleum. In the grainfields no land is wasted; pasture adjoins field, farm fits snugly against farm, and between them is nothing but the straight line of a fence or hedgerow of osage orange.

Lying between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Illinois enjoys a drainage system extraordinarily complete and extensive. Water from 23 of the 48 States crosses its surface and flows along its boundaries, eastward through Lake Michigan to the Atlantic Ocean and southward in the Mississippi to the Gulf. Although its topography presents no striking contrasts of surface contour, the State is separated into seven gentle but distinct basins, bearing the names of Lake Michigan, the Illinois, the Rock, the Kaskaskia, the Big Muddy, the Wabash, and the Ohio Rivers. The arteries and branches of these six great rivers serve 87.2 per cent of the 56,665 square miles of the State's surface. The largest, the Illinois, runs from northeast to southwest and drains an area 250 miles long and 100 miles wide, comprising 43 per cent of the State.

The conception of Illinois as an unrelieved table-top admits pleasant and unexpected contradictions. A portion of the hilly Wisconsin driftless area projects into the northwest corner; there, at Charles Mound, is the highest spot in the State, 1,241 feet above sea level. An extension of the Ozark Range, with several hills exceeding a thousand feet in altitude, crosses southern Illinois. The Mississippi and its tributaries, especially the Illinois, have carved long ranges of bluffs, the more rugged portions of which have been enclosed in State parks.

Elsewhere is prairie, but its original extent and appearance have been greatly altered. The earliest settlers found almost half the State in forest, with the prairie running in great fingers between the creeks and other waterways, its surface lush with waist-high grasses and liberally bedecked with wild flowers. Here occurred the transition from the wooded lands of the East to the treeless plains of the West.

Since this was the pioneer's first encounter with the prairie, Illinois came to be known as the Prairie State, although westward lay lands more worthy of the title than the semi-wooded surface of Illinois.

The pioneers admired the grasslands, but clung to the wooded waterways. At the time of early settlement the fertility of the prairie was not known nor was it available until the invention of plows capable of breaking the tough sod. The waterways furnished timber for fuel and building, a convenient water supply, and protection for the settlers' jerry-built cabins from prairie fires and windstorms. Fires invariably swept the grasslands in the late summer, when the Indians burned off the prairie to drive out game. When the settlers at last began to venture cautiously out from the groves, they took the precaution to surround their homesteads with several plowed furrows as a fire check.

The fame of the great stretches of treeless grasslands spread eastward, even to England, and magazines carried articles of description, speculating upon their origin (which is still unexplained) and the possibilities of their cultivation. Dickens, while visiting St. Louis in 1842, especially requested that he be shown the "paroarer," as he noted it was pronounced locally. A rumbling, ancient coach took him out to Looking Glass Prairie, near Belleville, and he returned to write:

. . . . there lay, stretched out before my view, a vast expanse of level ground; unbroken, save by one thin line of trees, which scarcely amounted to a scratch upon the great blank . . . . a tranquil sea or lake without water, if such a simile be admissible . . . . and solitude and silence reigning paramount around . . . . I felt little of that sense of freedom and exhilaration which a Scottish heath inspires, or even our English downs awakens. It was lonely and wild, but oppressive in its barren monotony.

Lumbering activities and the pioneer's early preference for the woodland reduced the forests from their original extent, 42 per cent, to little more than 5 per cent. What is now commonly thought of as prairie is often the increment gained from the clearing of woodlands. Given over now almost wholly to farms, the prairies are constantly in flux as the landscape alters with the agricultural season. April transforms the Illinois country into a vast patchwork quilt of fresh color. Spring planting brings forth teams and tractors that comb and dress the land with geometric nicety. By summer the contours of the prairie are soft and round with ripening crops. July ushers in three months of intense industry. Crops are gathered, threshing machines build mounds of chaff, trucks and trains loaded with grain begin to move toward the cities. When autumn comes, the prairies, gashed by plows and stripped of their harvest, have a worn, desolate aspect that is heightened by the somber browns and yellows of the season. The prairies are dull throughout winter save for intermittent snowfalls, and then, in late March, the land stirs, splotches of green appear, and farmers turn again to the soil.

Quebec Fauna

Climatic conditions have less influence on wild life than on vegetation, but a real picture of the vegetation cover would be incomplete without a short reference to "hosts of the forests". Game, fur bearing animals, water fowl live in more or less close association with one another in the wildest parts of our forest. Their fear is the presence of man, looked upon as a common foe. Quebec has four main wild life zones.

The Arctic Life Zonea

Its extent is the same as that of the tundra. Typical land mammals are: the Barren Ground caribou, on which the natives depended largely for food and clothing, but that is decreasing greatly, and could perhaps be replaced by domesticated reindeer in Ungava peninsula; polar bear, whose meat is used as dog food, and fur for bedding and robes; and Arctic fox, chief fur bearing animal of the native hunters. The fox is a scavenger along the coast and its chief prey is lemming and other small rodents. Sea mammals are walrus, hunted mostly for its ivory tusks (a practice that is discouraged), two kinds of seals: the ringed seal and bearded seal, which affords the staple diet of the Eskimo (skins are used for clothing and boat building, blubber for heating and cooking lamps), white whales and narwhal in certain coastal areas. The most common food fish is the Arctic char; and among the various species of birds, the snowy owl and ptarmigan are to be mentioned.

The Hudsonian Life Zone

It extends from the timber limit to the south of James Bay, Lake Mistassini and Pointe des Monts on the North Shore. There are few animals limited to this zone; but it is visited and becomes the habitat of more southern species, seeking refuge away from the settlements. The mammals of the Arctic meet with those of the woodland. The caribou is a typical example of a migrating species. Brown bears are seen in the interior, while the polar bear does not leave the arctic shores. Ptarmigan overlaps the range of spruce grouse. Fur bearing animals are plentiful in places. Indians from the North Shore and from Mistassini posts wander in winter time over the whole area; their annual catch includes, in order of importance: beaver, mink, muskrat, marten, foxes (specially red), lynx, ermine, otter and seals.

The Canadian Life Zone

It extends over most of Southern Quebec both sides of the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Here is the typical habitat of the many fur-bearing animals mentioned above and others such as fisher, skunk, squirrel, porcupine, hares and rabbits. The moose is the largest mammal (pride of the sportsman); smaller deer, black bear and wolves are also to be seen occasionally. The number of bird species is greater than northward: sparrows, warblers, thrushes, jays and woodpeckers, but the hunters look specially for the spruce and sharp-tail grouse. Migrating water fowl, ducks and geese, have two of their main flyways in North America over Quebec; the Atlantic flyway and that of the Mississippi.

The Transition or Alleghanian Life Zone

Quebec has a very small extension of this zone, which is more widespread in Southeastern Ontario. The Lowlands being wholly settled, few species of wild life are to be found here: gray and red squirrels, cottontail rabbit, wood-chuck, striped skunk, racoon and wild cat. The birds are all those familiar to settled areas: sparrows, bluebirds, woodthrush, vireos, etc.


It has already been shown in a previous section that several soil zones cross the province of Quebec. Further detail is possible only in the southern part of the province where soil surveys have been carried on for a number of years, although no general map on a provincial scale has yet been published. While not perfect, there is a strong correlation between land form region and soil region. The St. Lawrence Lowland is characterized by deciduous forest and a type of soil development which normally produces Grey-Brown Podzolic soils. The Appalachian Highlands and the Canadian Shield, on the other hand, normally have Podzols and Brown Podzolic soils.

Quebec Vegetation

Climatic conditions are best reflected by the natural vegetation of a country. Except for the tundra region in Arctic Quebec, the whole of the territory is covered by a large portion of the great Canadian forest: mostly composed of conifers, although the small southern part had a forest of hardwood, before it was partly cleared for settlement.


The treeless tundra formation covers a large area in the Ungava peninsula, north of a line running from Richmond Gulf on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay to near Hopes Advance on Ungava Bay, and along the shoreline to the Labrador border. Mosses and lichens prevail over a vast swampy area, where only a thin layer of soil is not permanently frozen. In the more sheltered places some woody plants can grow, including dwarfed willows and shrubby birches. Bleak as it may appear, that region of 50,000 sq. miles is not a completely barren land. Over 200 species of flowering plants have been identified there. 3 Eskimo groups along the shores live almost entirely on the products of the sea. It might be possible to improve their way of life by the introduction of reindeer here as elsewhere in Northern Canada.

Coniferous Forest

The great coniferous forest, known also as the Boreal forest or Taiga, extends over the most of Quebec. Its northern limit is the southern edge of the Tundra while its southern boundary runs from the northern end of Lake Timiskaming to Baskatong Reservoir and to St. Zenon in Berthier county, thence northward beyond La Tuque to include the forests of the lower part of the St. Maurice valley, thence southeast again, skirting the Laurentide Park to the shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, north of Beaupré. Outlying patches of this forest are found on Anticosti Island, in Central Gaspé and in the highlands between the Matapedia and Temiscouata valleys. The forests of the Lake St. John Basin, however, belong in the mixed class.

Black spruce is found throughout the region. Other conifers including balsam fir, white spruce, tamarack and jack pine are of wide occurrence and characterize some sections. A few deciduous trees are present, including aspen, paper birch and, sometimes, balsam poplar. White and red pines may be found along the southern border.

The Ungava Forest

From Lake Mistassini northward lies an area of poor forest which Halliday terms the "Northeastern Transition Section". It is an open woodland composed of stunted black spruce and balsam fir with scattered birch, and jack pine interspersed with treeless moors. The surface vegetation is composed largely of white lichens. Trees of commercial size occur in sheltered valleys on the eastern side of James Bay and in the Koksoak valley far to the north.

The southern portion of the coniferous forest constitutes a large reserve of merchantable timber, the various sections of which have characteristic associations.

The Clay Belt Forest

The poor drainage of the Clay Belt favours an association with black spruce as the dominant species, mixed with tamarack and some northern white cedar. With better drainage the podzol soils carry a mixed stand of white spruce, balsam fir, white birch, aspen and balsam poplar.

The North Shore Forest

Here black spruce and balsam fir are of equal importance, jack pine and white spruce are the secondary species, associated with white birch and aspen on lake shores and bottoms of valleys. The latter species are likely to take a predominant place after forest fires. The same trees are found on Anticosti Island.

The Laurentian Forest

It extends from Lake Timiskaming to the Upper St. Maurice River and the Laurentide Park. It may be looked upon as a transition region, where climatic conditions, differences of soils and exposure of the slopes influence the vegetation. Here species are more numerous and growth is more luxuriant. Black spruce and balsam fir are dominant species, but other associates differ: white birch is dominant on high, southward facing slopes, Jack pine on the sandy terraces of the St. Maurice, white pine on sandy plain and red pine on gravel ridges. In the Laurentide park, the cool and moist climate, podzol soils and higher altitude are responsible for the typical association of black spruce and balsam fir.Gaspé and the South Shore Highlands. Surrounded by the mixed forest in lower altitudes, there are patches of the great Boreal forest on the highlands of Central Gaspé and on the South Shore of the Estuary. The heavy precipitation of Gaspé favours pure stands of black spruce and balsam fir, mixed with white spruce, aspen and white birch on slopes and valley floors. Farther south, black and white spruce become predominant, associated with balsam fir and white birch.

Mixed Forest

Higher temperatures and a longer period of vegetation are responsible for the transition from the coniferous forest of the north to the mixed coniferous and deciduous stands of this intermediate belt which extends from Lake Timiskaming to the estuary of the St. Lawrence. Because of local differences, four different sections may be described.

The Timiskaming section is the western portion of the belt. It has clay soils and relatively higher summer temperatures. The predominant tree species are black spruce and balsam fir, aspen and white birch.

The Laurentian section, besides the four species just mentioned, carries white pine, hemlock, maple, red and jack pine. Its "pineries" formed the source of much of the timber which came down the Ottawa River.

The Lake St. John and Saguenay section forms an enclave in the coniferous forest where warmer summers and more favorable soils have permitted the growth of maple, white birch and aspen among the conifers.

The St. Lawrence Estuary section, due to its proximity to the sea as well as its marine clay soils, also has a favorable environment. Here additional broad leaved species such as black ash, balsam poplar and white elm are found with the conifers. Here, also, is found the northern range of the white cedar.

Hardwood Forest Region

In the warmest regions of Quebec, the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Valleys and the Eastern Townships, hardwoods are predominant. Before it was cut for the purpose of settlement, the virgin forest was the finest in Quebec and included a great variety of species: white and yellow birch, sugar and red maple, aspen, associated with white pine (the best timber tree of Eastern Canada), balsam fir, hemlock and white spruce. Species of a warmer climate are to be noted also, such as red oak, beech, white ash, butternut, cottonwood and balsam poplar. Rare species in the upper St. Lawrence are basswood and rock elm.

Quebec Climate Temperature


Quebec has a great variety of climatic conditions due to its geographical position, large area and complex physiographic relations.

Climatic Controls

The main factors regulating the distribution of climatic influences are not to be sought in latitude or proximity to the ocean only. The position of the great masses of cold and warm air over the North American continent have a direct influence on the Quebec weather. Fox: instance, the succession of cold waves in winter, and that of warm and humid ones in summer are logical results of air mass movements. The St. Lawrence valley happens to be one of the regular paths followed by cyclonic storms between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Those are disturbances that account for the irregularity of our climate, for the rapid changes in the weather and for the many departures from "normal conditions". In fact, as far as temperature is concerned, Quebec has a rather continental climate, in spite of its nearness to the sea board. The climate is very severe in wintertime, even in the south, and very warm and humid in summertime.


Amongst the various elements of the climate, let us first consider temperature. The mean annual temperature ranges between 42° around Montreal to 36° in the northmost inhabited parts except on the North Shore of the Gulf. Of more significance are the isotherms for the extreme months of January and July. In January the coldest inhabited regions are located in the Laurentian Upland. The average temperature there stands between 8° in the Ottawa Valley and 4° in the region of Northwestern Quebec and in the Lake St. John area. In the south, January mean temperatures range between 12° in Montreal and 10° at Quebec and in the Eastern Townships. The marine influence also raises the average temperature to 10° on the Gaspé shores and to 12° in Anticosti and Magdalen Islands. Some features worthy of observation on the January map are the following: the 8° isotherm skirting the outside edge of the Laurentians from the Ottawa Valley to Tadoussac, the contrast of lower temperature on bolder reliefs (Laurentide Park and Shickshocks) with the higher temperature in the low Lake St. John district. These temperatures are easy to explain. The inland parts of the province are more likely to be covered by polar continental air than the southeast, where low pressure storms bring milder temperatures in wintertime.

In July, none of the inhabited parts of Quebec fall below 60°. Montreal averages 70° and the whole St. Lawrence Lowland nearly as much. Most of the other settled parts average between 64° and 66°. The coolest parts are on the shores of Gaspé (62°), except Chaleur Bay (64°), and the North Shore of the Gulf (60°).

In summer Southern Quebec is invaded by warm air currents from the southwest. Temperatures over 90° are frequent; and if the air mass has a high relative humidity, as is often the case, the weather is not pleasant for city dwellers. They find cooler places along the shores down the St. Lawrence where breezes of more northern latitudes dissipate the heat, and where a cold marine current keeps the water at a lower temperature than that of the air.

The number of frost-free days is very important for agriculture. Around Monttreal the average is 150 days per season; it is 130 at Quebec and along the south shore as far as Matane. Here the influence of the wide estuary is important. The average length of the frost-free season is well over 100 days in all sections where agriculture is practised. This correlates rather closely with the isotherm of 60°F. average temperature for the four months of June, July, August and September. It extends from Abitibi in Western Quebec to the Isle of Orleans and along the south shore to Lake Temiscouata. It also forms a closed circle around the Lake St. John district.

Hudson Bay Watershed

The area of Quebec, draining into James Bay, Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait, is even larger than the St. Lawrence watershed. It covers approximately 350,000 square miles. There are ten rivers on that watershed that exceed 200 miles in length and the largest lakes of the Province are at the headwaters of those rivers. The Fort George River and Koksoak River are more than 500 miles long; Lake Mistassini, 1,243 feet in elevation has an area of 840 square miles. Their economic use is very limited, except as hydroplane bases in summertime. Some are free of ice only from the end of June to the end of September. In Western Quebec, at the head waters of the Harricanaw and Nottaway Rivers, settlement is progressing in the mining district and the Clay Belt.


The drainage pattern of Quebec is still in a stage of youth, following the interruptions of the glacial period. There are thousands of lakes, ponds and swamps; waterfalls and rapids are common along most of the stream courses. The flow of these rivers is naturally very irregular; winter freezing, spring breakup and summer drought cause the rate of discharge to vary enormously. Navigation is possible only on the St. Lawrence and on a few short stretches of its tributaries; but water power is abundant, logging may be organized with proper devices, and the canoe offered a good means of transportation until the advent of the hydroplane.

The St. Lawrence Lowlands

The smallest physiographic region of Quebec is a triangular lowland bounded by the edge of the Canadian Shield to the northwest, the great Champlain fault, bordering the Appalachian Highlands to the east, and the Adirondack Mountains in New York State, to the south. The underlying rocks are sandstone, shale and limestone of the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian periods. The strata are gently dipping, or lie in low, broad, dome-like folds, traversed by faults, some of which are of considerable throw; but compared with the highly folded measures of the Appalachians, they seemed relatively undisturbed. The present surface is low and flat, especially around Montreal (100 feet), but it rises in the neighbourhood of Quebec City to about 300 feet. This uniformity is broken by the Monteregian Hills extending in a line from Montreal to the Appalachian Highlands: Mount Royal (769′), St. Bruno (712′), Beloeil (1,437′) Rougemont (1,250′), Yamaska (1,470′) and Johnson (875′). They are extrusions of igneous rocks that forced their way up during the Devonian period, when orogenic movements were active.

There need be little wonder that the relief is so low. The unfolded sediments were easily removed by the numerous cycles of erosion, the base-level being furnished by the antecedent St. Lawrence River. The hard igneous rocks of the Monteregian Hills stand as monadnocks. But here also glaciation left its marks. The course of the St. Lawrence was altered. Upstream from Montreal, the river forms a series of impounded waters: Lakes St. Louis and St. Francis, and many rapids: Lachine, Cedar, etc., Downstream, the glacier excavated a deep trough on the site of lake St. Peter, now being filled by river deposits. In front of Quebec City, the St. Lawrence had to find a new course and its cliffs are still very steep. After the melting of the ice the whole area was invaded by the Champlain Sea, whose deep clay deposits form valuable agricultural soils.

The Appalachian Highlands

The Appalachian Highlands, extending from Alabama to Newfoundland, include South-eastern Quebec. They reach their widest extent in the Eastern Townships and their greatest relief in Gaspé where the Shickshock Mountains have many summits above 3,500 feet.

The rocks here are different from those of the Laurentian Upland. They are mostly sediments of the Paleozoic Era, ranging from Cambrian to Carboniferous. The Cambrian rocks are mostly altered sediments: quartzites, argillites, schists and slates; the other formations contain limestones, sandstones and conglomerates as well as schists and slates. The strata have been folded, broken and crushed by mountain building. In the process igneous rocks were intruded. Bodies of serpentinized peridotite date from the earliest period; basalts, granites, diabases and syenites appeared later. The intrusive rocks are harder than the sediments and stand out now as the highest summits.

The Appalachians became ridges of high mountains during the latter part of the Paleozoic Era. Two chief periods of mountain-building are known: the Taconic revolution at the close of the Ordovician; and the Acadian during the Devonian; other disturbances occurred later. Then came cycles of erosion lasting for more than 200 million years, until glaciation happened here as in all other parts of the Province. So, it is no Surprise to find in the Appalachian Highlands a smooth relief of plateaus and deep valleys with only a few ridges.

The highest summits are seen in the Gaspé peninsula. Mount Jacques-Cartier, Quebec's highest peak, rises to 4,160 feet and is surrounded by twenty others ranging from 3,500 to 4,000 feet. Westward the serpentine mass of Mount Albert is 3,775 feet high, and southwestward the bold range of the Shickshocks stretches for 55 miles towards Matapedia valley. Its highest summits are: Logan (3,700′) Bayfield (3.470′), and Mattawa (3,370′). There is a great contrast in relief between the northern and southern shores of the peninsula. The first one is bold; in some places shore cliffs rise 800 to 1,000 feet; the other is low and irregular; the 1,000 foot contour lies some 25 miles away from the Chaleur shoreline.

Between the Matapedia and Chaudiere Valleys, very few summits rise above the old peneplain of 1,200 feet. Valley floors afford easy passages from the St. Lawrence estuary to New Brunswick. In the Eastern Townships the relief becomes bolder. From west to east, three parallel ranges are to be found: the Sutton range, extending from the Green mountains of Vermont into Canada, the Stoke range, from west side of lake Memphremagog to lake St. François and the Megantic range, close to the New Hampshire and Maine border. Amongst the highest summits are: Sutton (3,200′), Orford (2,860′), Chapman (1,800′), Gosford (3,875′) and Megantic (3,620′). Between the ridges, the deeply dissected plateaus seldom exceed 1,200 feet in altitude.

The Pleistocene glaciation is nearly as evident here as in the Laurentian plateau. Ice erosion has deepened the long lakes such as Memphremagog in the south; Temiscouata and Matapedia in the north. A mantle of glacial drift covers the underlying rocks. The rivers were ponded back of the glacial ridges forming high level lakes. The moraines have yielded better soils for agriculture than in the Laurentians, especially when buried by more recent clay and sand deposits.

Laurentian Upland The Ice Age

Even a casual observer cannot doubt that the Laurentian area, like the other regions of Quebec, was covered by gigantic glaciers in the Pleistocene period. The evidence of such action is given by features of glacial erosion such as U-shaped valleys, grooved and striated rocks, rounded hilltops, called roches moutonnées; by glacial deposits including terminal, recessional and ground moraines, eskers and drumlins, and other morainic deposits. Above all, proofs are shown by innumerable lakes of glacial origin, sediments in icefront lakes, sand and gravel deposited by streams which issued from melting ice, and lastly by a pattern of rivers newly organized after the retreat of the glaciers.

The Labrador ice-sheet that covered Quebec is estimated to have been more than 7,000 feet thick. It spread slowly from the center outward, until warmer weather melted away the ice from the south to the north. The enormous weight of the icecap had lowered the surface of the plateau, and as soon as the burden was removed, the surface began to rise to its former level. The process being slower than the retreat of the ice, the sea invaded the land. The Champlain sea occupied the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Hudson and James Bays expanded inland also at a slightly lager time.

Two depressions were filled by freshwater in front of the northward retreating glacier: the lake St. John basin, which still contains a large body of water, and another much larger one in Western Quebec known as Lake Barlow-Ojibway, of which Lake Abitibi is but a tiny and shallow remnant. Proofs of such a marine invasion and lake formation are of two kinds: elevated beach lines and shore features, and deep deposits of clay. Much more arable land is available in those basins than on top of plateaus where the glacial moraine is too rough for the plow.

Another result of the glaciation from which men have taken opportunity is the new pattern of drainage. The valleys could not regain their normal gradients at once. Lakes and swamps were formed on the height of the land. Rivers and streams tried to regain their former valleys, but were often deviated by the glacial deposits and forced to find new paths. Local glacial erosion also caused changes in their profiles. All the tributaries of the St. Lawrence, flowing across the Laurentians, have a great number of rapids and falls, due to glacial action. Thus water power is cheaper than it would be if artificial dams had to be built on rivers with more regular profiles.

The Canadian Shield or Laurentian Upland

By far the greater part of Quebec, more than 500,000 square miles, is underlain by the hard old Precambrian rocks of the Canadian Shield. Because its nature was first known and studied in the rugged plateau-like highlands north of the St. Lawrence River, the name Laurentian is often used for the whole region. The rocks are, largely, granites, diorites, quartzites, gneisses, schists, and slates. Except on rounded hill tops and in stream gorges, however, the surface material is mostly of glacial origin, or the sand, gravel and clay deposits of the post-glacial period. The skyline as seen from the air is "monotonously even". The main trend of relief is a plateau-like surface arising from the sea-level, on the shore of James and Hudson Bays, to 1,000 feet in Abitibi, 1,500 feet in the Laurentian mountains, and above 2,000 feet along the Labrador boundary. Scattered monadnocks rise a few hundred feet above the upland in the interior, but the most conspicuous summits are found toward the eastern edge of the Shield in the Laurentide National Park north of Quebec City (3,900 feet), and Mont-Tremblant Park west of Montreal (3,150 feet).

Numerous cycles of erosion have reduced the Laurentian Upland to its present level. The history of peneplanation dates back to Precambrian Times. On the western margin of the Shield, fragments of old peneplains are buried beneath the Paleozoic sediments. Then a marine invasion occurred over most of the Laurentian Upland, and several hundred feet of Paleozoic sediments were accumulated. As the land was uplifted at the close of the Paleozoic period, a new series of erosion cycles, lasting for some 500 million years, removed the overburden of sedimentary rocks. But before the last glaciation, the region was uplifted again, and the rivers were rejuvenated. The active streams deepened their valleys, and with their tributaries have excavated large basinlike areas. Those cycles of erosion that took place before Quaternary glaciation shaped the basic features of the present physiography of the land. The three main peneplains of Quebec, referred to later, were formed before the occurrence of ice sheets.

The Province of Quebec

Physical Background

QUEBEC is the largest province in Canada, and is surpassed' only by Ontario in population and economic development. Its shores were discovered more than four centuries ago and have been settled for nearly 350 years. The St. Lawrence is still the main gateway to a large section of North America.

Position and Extent

Quebec extends from the international boundary at the 45th parallel of north latitude, to Cape Chidley on Hudson Strait at about 62° N., a distance of almost 1,200 miles. It thus spans several climatic and vegetation zones, from the deciduous forest to the Arctic tundra. Its greatest eastwest distance is over 1,600 miles, from the 57th meridian, at the Strait of Belle Isle, to the Ontario boundary at 79°33′ west longitude. Quebec thus has two time zones. The North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Gaspé Peninsula fall in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, four hours later than Greenwich Mean time, while the rest of the province has Eastern Standard Time which is one hour later.

The area of the province is 594,860 square miles, 15.5% of the area of Canada. It is a land of great diversity, 71,000 square miles being occupied by fresh water lakes and l60,000 square miles by treeless tundra, waste land and unproductive forest. An area of approximately 70,000 square miles is occupied by agricultural settlement and somewhat less than 300,000 square miles by productive forest, half of which is still untouched.


Quebec has the advantage of a lengthy shoreline. The uninviting coast from Cape Chidley to the southern part of James Bay is 2,550 miles long. The north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the estuary have a shoreline of 1,160 miles from Blanc Sablon to Quebec while it is nearly the same distance along the south shore and around the Gaspé Peninsula to the New Brunswick border at the head of Bale de Chaleur. The seaway is prolonged inland by the navigable waters of the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. The largest cities of Quebec are located on the waterway and settlement has extended from its shores.

The province of Quebec falls naturally into three distinct but very unequal physiographic regions: (a) the Canadian Shield, sometimes called the Laurentian Plateau; (b) the St. Lawrence Lowland; (c) the Appalachian Highlands.

Maritime Provinces Settlement Periods and Patterns

The scattered settlements of the French regime in Acadia, at their climax held about 15,000 people; but, a great number of these settlements were dispersed and the people removed to other territories as a de fence measure in 1755, hence they have little significance in the present day pattern. Port Royal ( 1604) was the first settlement. The densest Acadian population was found in the vicinity of Minas Basin, Cobequid Bay and Chignecto Basin, where the presence of tidal marshes formed the basis of the agricultural economy. Other settle ments existed on the St. John River, on Prince Edward Island and on Cape Breton Island where the fortress of Louisbourg afforded protection. Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton remained French until 1758, but the mainland was ceded finally to the English in 1713.

During the first decades of English rule no new settlements were founded, the only English in the land being the garrison, governing officials and a few traders at Annapolis Royal and a summer colony of New England fishermen at Canso.

Halifax was founded on Chedabucto Bay by Lord Cornwallis in 1749, to offset the growing power of the French at Louisbourg. In 1750-2 some German immigrants, together with some French and Swiss Huguenots, came to Halifax but, in 1753, they removed to Lunenburg to found a settlement of their own.

After the final capture of Louisbourg in 1758, many settlers came from New England. Fishermen and whalers established colonies at Yarmouth, Barrington, Port Mouton, Liverpool and other South Shore points in 1759. The "Planters" established agricultural colonies in 1760-1 at Truro, Onslow, Newport, Falmouth, Windsor, Horton, Cornwallis, Annapolis, Granville, Amherst and Sackville, for the most part on lands formerly occupied by the exiled Acadians. New Englanders also established settlements around Passamaquoddy Bay, at Portland Point in St. John Harbour and at Maugerville on the St. John River.

Other early settlers were the Yorkshiremen who came to Sackville and Amherst, the Ulstermen of Londonderry and the English settlers of Gagetown, Miramichi and Restigouche. Scottish Highlanders settled in Pictou and Prince Edward Island in 1773.

Within a few years the government of Nova Scotia granted over 18,000,000 acres, more than six times the present total of improved land.

In 1767 Prince Edward Island became a separate province and in 1769 it was divided into 67 townships of 20,000 acres each and granted to persons who had claims on the home government. This system of landlordism persisted until Prince Edward Island became a Province of the Dominion of Canada.

During this period, also, many Acadians returned and established the settlements in which their descendants still live.

At the close of the American War of Independence, more than 30,000 Loyalists came to Nova Scotia. Many of them went to previously established settlements, but the majority established new ones in the territory north of the Bay of Fundy. This was the origin of the Passamaquoddy Bay parishes including St. Andrews, St. George, Black's Harbour, Grand Harbour and Lepreau. Saint John was founded in 1783 as. two settlements, Parrtown and Carleton, but by Royal Charter became the city of Saint John in 1785. Other settlements along the St. John river and its tributaries included Rothesay, Hampton, Sussex, Kingston, Gagetown, Oromocto, Cambridge, Marysville, Fredericton, Kingsclear and Woodstock. So great was the influx of new settlers, and so far did they feel themselves to be from the capital at Halifax, that, in 1784, a new province called New Brunswick was established and Fredericton was chosen as the capital.

The Loyalists founded new settlements at Clementsport, Digby and Weymouth in Western Nova Scotia, Wallace on the North Shore, Sydney on Cape Breton Island and Shelburne on the South Shore. These latter form an interesting contrast.

Sydney, first settled in 1784, soon had a population of about 4,000. Land was cleared by community effort and a townsite laid out, lots being given to those who had helped clear it. Agriculture was begun immediately and in addition Governor De Barres caused the opening of coal mines nearby which brought in large revenues to the colony. On that beginning the region around Sydney has grown to contain about 20% of the population of the whole province.

In 1783 there arrived at Shelburne about 10,000 Loyalists from New York to found a new town under the British flag. Some of them engaged in lumbering, shipbuilding and fishing, but in this rocky region extensive agriculture was out of the question. The region could not support so large a population and most of the inhabitants soon moved away. Shelburne, today, is a village of about 2,000 people.

There could be no better object lesson in the importance of geographical control upon the development of human enterprise.

The pattern of settlement in the Maritime Provinces crystallized fairly early in the nineteenth century. Many immigrants arrived, but the process of settlement, in the main, consisted in the expansion of the earlier sites, and, with the exception of a few places in the interior of New Brunswick, no new ones were established. Among the newcomers were a great many Scottish people who settled in Cape Breton Island and the eastern parts of Prince Edward Island and the Nova Scotian mainland. There were also many Irish who came to the southern part of New Brunswick and to Prince Edward Island.

During this period lumbering, shipbuilding and fishing became major industries. Eastern Canada had the highest per capita tonnage of merchant shipping on earth. Coal mining expanded with consequent increase of population at Joggins, Springhill, New Glasgow and, above all, in the Sydney area. Except in certain favoured localities, agriculture did not expand very rapidly but became a subsidiary or parttime occupation. Thus New Brunswick developed a race of farmer-lumbermen, and a race of farmer-fishermen arose in Nova Scotia.

The first railway in the Maritime Provinces was a short line from Albion Mines to Pictou Harbour opened in 1839 to provide for the increasing export of coal. Other lines followed and in 1876 the Intercolonial was Completed to River du Loup, thus linking the Maritime Provinces to Canada.

In 1840, also, Samuel Cunard, a native of Halifax, inaugurated his transatlantic steamship service. Henceforth the wooden sailing vessel was rapidly displaced.

These changes in transportation had a profound effect upon population. Seaport sites declined in favour of locations upon the railway. Halifax and Saint John, rival outlets for overseas trade, especially in the winter months, grew rapidly. Charlottetown, as the chief port and trade centre as well as the capital, maintained its ascendancy in Prince Edward Island.

Many areas, counties and smaller divisions alike, reached their maximum population figures in 1881 but the linking up of railway lines to central Canada and the building of the C.P.R. to the west put a definite check upon the growth of the Maritime Provinces. Prince Edward Island, with its greater dependence upon agriculture underwent serious decline. The natural increase of population was attracted by the opening west or to the expanding cities of Central Canada and the United States. The population of even important centres such as Saint John and Charlottetown remained static for many years.

During this general decline, however, certain areas showed outstanding increases. Cape Breton county grew from 31,000 in 1881 to 73,000 in 1911 owing to the development of the coal and steel industries. Other mining centres also developed, but more slowly. Halifax, Lunenburg and Yarmouth had notable increases which can, in part be attributed to developments in the fishing industry. Large increases took place in the northern counties of New Brunswick which began to develop its forest resources. The Acadians of this region had a high birthrate and were disinclined to join the migration to the Prairies. In contrast, the southern part of New Brunswick lost population except for Moncton which continued to grow because of its importance as a railway centre.

Maritime Provinces Soils

Practically all of the maturely developed soils of the Maritime Provinces are Podzols, similar to those of Scandinavia, Northern Russia and the northern parts of Quebec and Ontario. The environmental factors favouring the formation of Podzols are: abundant precipitation; long, cold winters: short, cool summers; a natural forest vegetation composed largely of coniferous trees such as pine, spruce and balsam fir. In addition, as has already been pointed out, the surface geological deposits of much of the area have been derived from sandstones or from acidic crystalline rocks such as granite. Consequently, the soils tend to be acid, leached and infertile.

The characteristics of the Podzol environment represents conditions in the Annapolis Valley. Under the dark coloured, partly decomposed forest litter which is designated as the A 0 horizon, the mineral soil is slightly darkened by an admixture of organic matter to form a shallow A 1 horizon. Below this is a white, or very light grey horizon of variable depth which is known as the A 2. These horizons constitute the portion of the soil from which the mineral nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been leached by action of the acids released from the decomposing forest litter. Along with these, other substances, particularly the oxides of iron and aluminum are carried downward to be redeposited in the subsoil. The material left in the upper horizons, which often has the appearance of white sand, is, in fact, quite largely composed of quartz or silica (SiO 2 ), and therefore of very limited fertility.

The B horizon, or zone of accumulation, is usually reddish or brownish in color from the iron oxide which it contains. Sometimes it is somewhat compact and even cemented by iron and humus compounds.

Not only is the surface soil usually quite acid, but an acid reaction persists throughout the whole of the weathered soil profile.

It is not yet possible to present a complete regional summary of the soils of the Maritime Provinces because, to date, only five soil survey reports are available. They cover the Fredericton and Woodstock sections of the St. John Valley in New Brunswick and the Annapolis Valley, Cumberland and Colchester counties of Nova Scotia. From them some ideas of the variation in soil from place to place may be obtained.

In the Woodstock section, almost ninetenths of the area is covered by till derived from sandstones and calcareous shales or slates of Paleozoic age. On the well-drained upland areas, the soil is weathered to a depth of 18 to 24 inches. In spite of the high percentage of lime in the parent material, the surface soils are acid (pH 4.00 to 5.00) and a leached horizon 2-4 inches deep has developed. The potato is the dominant crop. By the use of large amounts of commercial fertilizer, often a ton per acre, potatoes are made to yield about one hundred barrels per acre. This is the best yield in Canada, and the adjoining section of Maine holds the record in U.S.A. The upland ridges are separated by low areas of the same material. These soils are not nearly so acid and have a much greater natural fertility but they are usually left uncleared because of poor drainage.

In the Annapolis valley, only about half the area is based upon glacial till, and water deposited materials are widespread. Moreover, both classes of material are predominantly sandy, because of their derivation from the underlying Triassic sandstones and, in spite of the fact that this type of rock contains a certain amount of calcareous cement, all parent materials of the soils are distinctly acid. The soils themselves are much more so, ranging from pH 4.00 to 5.00. It is notable that in this area, with its abundance of water-worked drift, that there are a very large number of soil types so that soils vary greatly in productive capacity even on the individual farm. As a rule, the loams and sandy loams are rated best for orchards and potatoes, while the clay loams are rated best for hay and pasture. Careful soil management is necessary, the natural fertility of the Podzols is low and the orchardists of the Annapolis Valley are nearly as heavy users of commercial fertilizers as the potato growers of the St. John Valley.

Northern Nova Scotia, as represented by Cumberland and Colchester counties, has considerable contrast in soils. The lowlands, derived in large measure from Carboniferous sandstones and shales, have typical Podzols developed under coniferous woodland. The process of leaching has affected both sands and clays and, especially in imperfectly drained areas, the grey A 2 horizon is quite pronounced.

The soils of the Cobequid uplands, on the other hand, developed from harder igneous and metamorphic rocks under mixed deciduous forest, are not so highly leached. Nevertheless, since they are shallow and stony, they are of little value for agriculture.

The soils with the greatest natural fertility in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are those of the river bottoms or "intervales" and of the dyked marshes bordering the headwaters of the Bay of Fundy. The fertility of the latter was thought to be inexhaustable and they have been cropped continuously for two or three centuries without the addition of fertilizer. Needless to say, they now show signs of exhaustion. Under a recently instituted program of marshland rehabilitation, dykes are being rebuilt, drainage improved and the fertility of the soil is being restored. In the past many thousands of tons of mud from the tidal flats were hauled and spread upon the upland fields of adjoining farms, but this practice is now too expensive.

Maritime Provinces Vegetation

The natural vegetation of the Maritime Provinces is forest. As might be expected from the variation in rocks, land forms and climate, the forest cover also shows considerable variation. The forests of the higher parts of the Gaspé Peninsula are essentially like those of the northern parts of Quebec and Ontario, spruce and balsam being the dominant trees. The higher parts of the Northern Plateau of New Brunswick have similar forests.

The Restigouche Forests, are also similar to those of large areas in the province of Quebec. The area contains a mixture of hardwoods and softwoods, although the latter dominate over large areas. Cedar, white spruce, balsam fir, black spruce, tamarack, red and white pines occur in the order given. White cedar reaches its best development on the continent in this area. The chief hardwoods are sugar maple and yellow birch.

The forests of the New Brunswick Uplands, are essentially coniferous; balsam fir, black spruce, and red spruce are the leading trees with some white pine and cedar; the hardwoods are represented by sugar maple and yellow birch. Swampy areas contain tamarack and black ash.

The Miramichi forests, occupy the drainage basin of the Miramichi River and its tributaries. The sandy soils, derived from the Millstone Grits, are highly podzolized. Red and black spruce, balsam fir, aspens, white and wire birches, white pine, and hemlock are found. It is probable that hemlock was much more plentiful in the area before the Miramichi fire which swept it more than one hundred years ago. White and wire birches and jack pines are trees which tend to occupy burned areas.

The Northeast Coastal Forest occupies an area of sandy, and often poorly drained, soils. Peat bogs and barrens are common. Poorly drained areas carry black spruce, cedar and tamarack; white and wire birches and jack pines occupy the sand flats. Better sites carry a well developed forest of red spruce, yellow birch, beech and sugar maple.

The St. John Valley, Southern New Brunswick, Northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are all included in the central section. Here the mixed forest of the Acadian type attains its fullest development. Sugar maple, yellow birch, beech, red maple, elm, black and white ash, are all common or abundant, while red oak, basswood, ironwood and butternut are found in some localities. This is the area in which red spruce reaches its greatest development, but white spruce, white pine, balsam fir and hemlock are also found. This is the area too, in which agriculture has made greatest progress and/even where not cleared, the forests have suffered severe culling. Prince Edward Island is practically all occupied by farms and no extensive tracts of forest remain.

The Atlantic Slopes, includes not only the southern half of the mainland of Nova Scotia from Cape Sable to Cape Canso, but the southern shore of Cape Breton Island as well, which, like the mainland, is situated on the hard granites and Precambrian metamorphic rocks. Climatically much more moist than any other area, and with a drainage system still suffering from derangement during the glacial period, we are not surprised to find many bogs in this section. Many of these are treeless and are locally known as "savannas". Black spruce bogs are common, so also are swamps containing red maple, black ash, tamarack and black alder. The hard rocks such as granite and quartzite often have little or no soil covering, consequently rocky barrens, either natural or induced by fire, cover very large areas in the interior. Where soils are sufficiently deep, however, red spruce, hemlock and white pine grow well, while to the northward considerable balsam fir occurs.

In Cape Breton balsam fir is the predominant species, but in the central lowlands, some red spruce occurs together with such hardwoods as yellow birch, sugar maple, elm and red oak. The Cape Breton Plateau, is elevated, cold and wet. The dominant tree is the balsam fir in almost pure stands, but in some locations white and black spruce, paper birch and mountain ash are found. A large part of the plateau (some 300-400 square miles) consists of barrens with heath or bog vegetation. Raised bogs are common here, as in other wet districts.

Sable Island is cited as possessing a rather unique type of climate. It is also unique in that it possesses no forest growth, the extremely sandy soils and high winds being inimical to tree growth, beach grass being the most abundant plant.

Maritime Provinces Climate

Having an east coast mid-latitude location, the Maritime Provinces have a strongly continental climate with considerable variation in the seasonal temperature regime. Nearness to the ocean, however, modifies the continental influence and the Atlantic shores have lower summer temperatures and greater rainfall than inland areas.

At most stations January is the coldest month and July is the warmest, although in some parts of Nova Scotia February and August hold the honours, the reason being nearness to the ocean whose waters are slower to take on or give up heat than is dry land. Two important facts stand out. One is the great cooling effect of the elevation of the New Brunswick Highlands upon summer temperatures, the other is the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean upon its shores in the winter. Another function of temperature which is of importance, particularly to the farmer, is the occurrence of frosts. Notice how short it is in Northern New Brunswick. In fact, in the Central Highlands, frost may be expected in any month in the year. On the other hand, the Bay of Fundy, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean, by minimizing the difference between night and day temperatures, serve to prolong the frost-free season along their shores.

There is over twenty inches difference between the wettest and driest localities, the South Shore of Nova Scotia receiving more than 55 inches per year, while Northern New Brunswick receives only 35 inches or less. The effect of the oceanic influence is just the reverse, the South Shore of Nova Scotia gets only 70 inches or less while Northern New Brunswick gets more than 110 inches of snow. As a rule, ten inches of snow is counted as the equivalent of one inch of rain; therefore, in Northern New Brunswick over 30% of the precipitation falls as snow, whereas in Southern Nova Scotia only about 12% is snow, with a resulting very great difference in winter conditions. It is worth mentioning here, although no corresponding map is shown, that, in Northern New Brunswick, slightly more than half the yearly total falls in the warmer six months of the year, while, in Nova Scotia, the cooler half of the year is wetter. Worth noting too, is the number of rainy days per year, on the South Shore, it rains on two out of every five days, while, in the interior of New Brunswick, the proportion is one out of three. Moisture deficiencies may occur in the central and northern regions but seldom on the South Shore.

The Bay of Fundy and the South Shore are among the foggiest coasts on earth, while the Strait of Northumberland is relatively free from fogs. In the south and west most of the fogs occur in the summer, every other day in July usually being foggy. Toward the northeast, and especially in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, more fogs occur in the spring months.

From a study of these charts, the Maritime Provinces can be divided into eleven minor climatic regions. Two areas, the Central Highlands of New Brunswick and the Plateau of Northern Cape Breton, are elevated enough to warrant their separation as distinct climatic regions, although systematic data as to their characteristics are not available.

The peculiar location of the Maritime Provinces is the cause of considerable regional variation. The weather is controlled by cyclonic storms which in winter tend to pass along the southern border, inducing invasions of cold polar air, while in summer they pass to the north, drawing in warm air from the south and west. It is worth noting, too, that landward regions usually enjoy an earlier spring than marine locations, while the latter have a more prolonged and open autumn. In general, New Brunswick may be said to have a continental climate, while marine influence, in particular a much higher rainfall, characterizes Nova Scotia. Prince Edward Island, though surrounded by water, is more continental than marine.

The tides of the Bay of Fundy

The tides of the Bay of Fundy and its headwaters are among the highest in the world. Twice each day the waters of this funnel-shaped basin rise and fall. The variation in water level is greatest in the narrow headwaters where the normal range is from 30 to 40 feet, but at high tide it may be from 50 to 60 feet between high and low water. Along the protected parts of the shoreline, and in the river estuaries, extensive deposits of silt were laid down similar to deltas and flood plains. These wide alluvial lowlands, protected by dykes, now form some of the best farm lands of the region.

Tides occur on all coasts in the Maritimes but those of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coasts do not have a range of more than ten feet.


Compared with those in other provinces, the rivers of the Maritime region are rather small. The heavy rainfall and wooded character of their drainage areas give them a more reliable flow, however, and many of them are harnessed for the development of hydro-electric energy.

The St. John River, rising in the state of Maine, has a length of 400 miles and a drainage basin of over 20,000 square miles in Maine, Quebec and New Brunswick. Draining a forested country, this river and its tributaries have long been used for the transportation of timber. The lower course of the river, between St. John and Frederic ton is navigable for small steamers. A large power generating station is located at Grand Falls.

Other rivers in New Brunswick include the Restigouche, Nipisiguit, Miramichi, Petitcodiac and St. Croix.

In Nova Scotia there are many short rivers, including the Annapolis, Tusket, Liverpool, Lahave, Musquodoboit, Sheet Harbour, St. Mary, Pictou and Shubenacadie.

North Mountain, Cobequids, Cape Breton Plateau, uplands in New Brunswick

It has been shown that the land surface of the Maritime Provinces is readily divisible into systems of uplands and lowlands; moreover, on looking at the maps, we see that the grain of the country, that is, the direction of the rock strikes, is mostly in a N. E.S. W. direction. The long axes of the basins or synclines, already mentioned, are similarly oriented. Examination of a physiographic map of North America, shows that a similar condition prevails over the whole eastern margin of the continent. The Maritime Provinces form part of the folded Appalachian Mountain region which has undergone modification during several mountain building epochs. Faulting as well as folding has had important effects. The scarps bordering the Cobequid Mountains, the Pictou-Antigonish Uplands and the Cape Breton Plateau indicate some of the important fault lines.

The present surface, however, does not bear a great deal of resemblance to the old folds, it truncates or cuts straight across them all. How was it developed? Why do we see such long level skylines on the North Mountain, the Cobequids, the Cape Breton Plateau, or the various uplands in New Brunswick?

Starting at sea level on the south shore of Nova Scotia it rises steadily to the crest of the South Mountain (600 feet A. T.). Across the Annapolis Valley the North Mountain reaches 700 feet A. T.; the Advocate Mountains are between 800 and 900 feet high. The Southern Uplands of New Brunswick are about, 1,200 feet A.T. Further north and fully 200 miles from the Atlantic we encounter a skyline slightly above 2,000 feet A.T. in the Central Highlands. In other words, the general elevation of the uplands increases at the rate of about 10 feet per mile. A similar section may be drawn from south to north on Cape Breton Island.

Old Erosion Surfaces

The logical explanation is that these uplands are the remnants of an old erosion surface preserved on the harder rocks. The mountains, mentioned in a previous paragraph, were, over a long period of time, completely eroded by rain and rivers and reduced almost to sea level. This condition was very widespread, pieces of this erosion surface or peneplain (almost a plain) being found all the way from Georgia to Northern Labrador. This immense lowland did not, however, remain at or near sealevel. A new cycle of mountain building was initiated and the peneplain was raised and warped. The rivers on its surface took on a new lease of life and began to cut down their valleys, erosion being most effective on the belts of weaker rocks. It would seem that a second base-level was also established, since the great plateau of northwestern New Brunswick is about 1,000 feet below the skyline of the Central Highlands. It too was raised and a third cycle of erosion has carved out the present lowlands while still more recent tilting has allowed the sea to advance over large areas that were once dry land.


The last major event in the shaping of the surface features of the Maritime Provinces, as in most of Canada was the Ice Age of the Pleistocene period. Great ice sheets spread over the land, and, when they melted, a great mixture of unconsolidated material was left upon the bed rock.

The wooded nature of the Maritime landscape has prevented complete systematic mapping of the glacial features but they are known to include moraines, drumlins, kames and eskers similar to those described in detail for other parts of Canada. In particular it is worth noting that there are many hundreds of drumlins in Nova Scotia. Halifax, Chester, Mahone Bay, Guysborough County and the interior of Queen's county all have these oval hills of drift in abundance.

Glaciation has completely disarranged most of the previously established drainage patterns causing the country to be dotted with swamps and lakes. Rivers, forced to carve new courses, have many interruptions in the form of rapids and waterfalls. Both the Reversing Falls and Grand Falls on the St. John River are of this type.

The Chaleur Bay region, The Maritime Basin, Cape Breton Lowlands

It has been emphasized that the uplands are all underlain by hard crystalline rocks. The lowlands, on the other hand, are found on the weaker sandstones, shales and limestones; sedimentaries in large part belonging to the Carboniferous system.

The Chaleur Bay region was a basin of deposition as far back as Devonian and Carboniferous times. The present lowland, developed on these rocks, consists of a narrow coastal strip both north and south of the Bay.

The Maritime Basin

The central feature of the structure of the Maritime Provinces is, of course, the broad syncline or depositional basin in which the great areas of Carboniferous or coal-bearing rocks were laid down. It underlies the whole southwestern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence as well as the whole of the Province of Prince Edward Island, nearly one half the area of New Brunswick, and the Northumberland Coastal Lowlands of Nova Scotia. The most prevalent rocks in the Central and Eastern Lowlands of New Brunswick are the Millstone Grits, sterile sandstones of the Pennsylvanian or Upper Carboniferous system. Coal is found in the central portion near Minto, and a few thin seams are also known along the shore of Chaleur Bay. Much of the area is flat and swampy, the drainage having been deranged by glaciation. Much of the plain is covered with deep sandy drift, but in places the rock lies almost at the surface over broad areas. In general, the plain is below 500 feet A. T., but around the edges of the basin the limestones of the Lower Carboniferous system come to the surface in ranges of rocky hills, 500-600 feet A. T. More or less to be considered an outlier of this system, is the Petitcodiac-Kennebecasis valley carved in Carboniferous rocks preserved in the syncline between the Kingston Hills and the Southern Uplands. The eastern end is floored by Pennsylvanian sandstones while the western end is underlain by Mississippian limestones.

The North Shore or Northumberland Coastal Lowland of Nova Scotia is the eastward extension of the Carboniferous lowland of New Brunswick. Here, however, the beds are of slightly different character. While the Millstone Grits still appear in the crests of the long low anticlines, which cross the country in a direction slightly north of east, the coal measures occupy the synclines, giving rise to the productive mines at Joggins, Springhill and Stellarton. Gypsum, salt and oil shales are found in the Windsor beds of the Carboniferous system. By far the greatest area, however, is underlain by the red beds of Permian age which characterize the northern part of the coastal plain and the whole of Prince Edward Island where boreholes have proven them to be more than 2,000 feet thick.

The Antigonish-Guysborough Lowland is also underlain by Pennsylvanian or Upper Carboniferous rocks, mainly sandstones, shales and conglomerates. In the lowest part of this basin around Antigonish, however, are found the Windsor beds containing limestones and gypsum.

Cape Breton Lowlands, involving almost half the area of the island, are also developed upon Carboniferous rocks, both the sandstones and the gypsum-bearing limestone beds being in evidence. The coal measures are preserved only in broad, pitching synclines with outcrops near the shore in the Port Hood, Inverness and Sydney areas so that the greater part of the coal reserve lies beneath the sea.

The last system of lowlands, with which we must deal, is that connected with the Bay of Fundy and its head waters. Here again, we have a great syncline in which are preserved rocks of Triassic age, the youngest rocks in Eastern Canada. While the outcrop of Triassic lava stands out as the North Mountain ridge, the underlying red shales and sandstones are eroded to form the Annapolis-Cornwallis Valley, Annapolis Basin and St. Mary's Bay. This long lowland is generally known as the Annapolis Valley. Further east the syncline contains Minas Basin and the red sandstones outcrop around the shores of Cobequid Bay. The greater part of the Hants-Colchester Lowland, however, is developed upon rocks of Carboniferous age, the limestone and gypsum beds in the vicinity of Windsor being extensively worked.