Land Grants

Beginning at the boundary of Cardwell and Monteith Townships, 100 acre (approx.) lots facing the road were surveyed along its length, East side of the road being Con A and West side Con b, with every fifth lot being designated for the suede of the churches. During this time, the Government passed the Free Grand Land and Homestead Act of 1868. Under this act, a person 18 years or older, could claim 100 acres and procure a patent (deed) within five years, if he built a cabin twenty feet by sixteen feet, cleared at least two acres a years to a total of fifteen in five years, and stayed there during that time. If the land was too rocky or swampy, or there was a large family, he might get 200 acres.

These grants were not only intended to lure people to the north woods, but to attract immigrants. Canada advertised extensively for fit, prospective pioneers in preferred countries like the British Isles, even to the extent of offering reduced passenger fares. One such campaign was in Switzerland where the Baroness Elise Von Koerber, who had lived here for sixteen years, went back to her homeland to entice Swiss settlers to Canada. As a result of her efforts, on group arrived in 1875 and in July 1877 a large party of Swiss immigrants passed through Rosseau en route for the Magnetawan area in Chapman Township. One early census showed some 200 Swiss and German settlers.