Geology and First Nations

Our history is valuable

  • Geological History Through to First Nations
  • Confederation Era Settlers
  • From Fishing Club to Cottage Association
  • Early Cottagers and their descendants

Geological History Through to First Nations

Lake Bernard is nestled nicely among the beautiful Gatineau Hills with a history dating back to the formation of the Canadian Shield! The hills are part of a geological formation where the southern tip of the Canadian Shiels meets the St., Lawrence lowlands. The Grenville Orogeny over a billion years ago was the mountain building event that led to the hills we see today. The Gatineau park is home to the Eardley Escarpment, which is the fault line that provides rock climbers and hikers with endless thrills!

Lake Bernard is located on the unceded territory of the Algonquin people who settled in the Ottawa valley over 4000 years ago, part of the Anishinaabe first nations. The Anishinaabe were, indeed, the first settlers, and the Association is now starting to work with local first nations leaders to capture their stories and to learn more about how the lake and our area was part of that ancient culture. French explorers arrived in the early 1800’s with the Gatineau River being their highway to the interior of Canada and the rich natural resources therein. More to come on this foundational part of our lake’s history!

Confederation Era Settlers

This section is to record the histories of the early settler families around the lake, including the Mitchell’s‘, McClellands‘, Woods‘, Brooks‘, Higgins and farmers from elsewhere on the lake, from the time of first settlement. Most, if not all of the early settlers around the lake arrived after immigrating to Canada. The first cottagers later bought land from these farmers and the two groups began relations that continue to this day. Just about every deed on the lake can be traced back to these earliest settlers.

Please inform us of original settler families on the lake that should be included and contribute historical information to: