Gaston Bridge

The Magpie River

The Gaston Bridge crosses the Magpie River. Weaving its way in and out of Dubreuilville, this river has played an important role in the sustainability of businesses and residents in the community.

Centuries along the Magpie

The Magpie River flows south for 125 km from Esnagi Lake, through Dubreuilville and Wawa, and into Lake Superior. Like many lakes, streams and rivers in North America, the Magpie has been an important source of food and water for thousands of years. 

Long before the arrival of Europeans, native peoples occupied the area. Artifacts from a 4,000 year old native village have been found near Manitou Mountain.  The area, located about 14 km east of Dubreuiville, was inhabited by the ancestors of the Missanabie Cree First Nation.

Stone tools, spears and scraping implements were also found at the mouth of the Michipicoten River, just outside of Wawa.  This is where experts have found evidence that the area has been occupied by native people for over 7,000 years!

The Magpie Mill

It's no surprise that the first permanent settlement of the logging company, Dubreuil Brothers, is even named Magpie. The river was used to float logs to the mill and as a landing strip for the Dubreuil Brothers' float plane.

Floatplane

It was in 1959, during a floatplane flight, that the Dubreuil brothers first saw the site of their operations and their village.

Faith and conviction

Two of the brothers, Napoleon and Augustin, landed the plane on the Magpie near the Algoma Central Railway to examine the area. The next day, Napoleon returned to the site with his two other brothers, Joachim and Marcel.

Once there, Marcel dug a hole in the ground with his hand and buried a medal, symbolizing the brother's faith and conviction in the location and future of the company.

Essential to survival

In the early days, the river was essential to the survival of the people.  Not only did it provide much needed fish and water, but it also served as a source of refrigeration.

In the winter, families would cut large cubes of ice from the river and store them in cabinets filled with sawdust, creating makeshift refrigerators.

Work and play

A gathering place and destination, the Magpie is a popular place for fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and snowmobiling.



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Excerpt of
Historic Tour of Dubreuilville

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