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Northern Farm Country

As with many northern Ontario towns, the Town of New Liskeard was shaped by geography and geology. In the wake of the glaciation era, some 10 000 years ago, rich deposits of clay and top soil settled on the north shore of Lake Temiskaming in what has become known as the Little Clay Belt. The geography of this agricultural landscape forms a large inverted triangle with its apex at the town of New Liskeard.
Despite its northern locale, the Little Clay Belt is a rich agricultural area producing excellent yields of grains and other crops, and supporting a large dairy and beef cattle industry. Thus, New Liskeard is ideally situated as the commercial and industrial hub for farming areas north of Lake Temiskaming. Haileybury, its neighbour to the south is the administrative centre for the region with a court house, jail and government offices, and nearby Cobalt has become a mining town since silver was discovered there in 1903.


Staking a Claim

The Town of New Liskeard is situated at the mouth of the Wabi River where it flows into Lake Temiskaming, a location long known as a haven from storms. This was once the seasonal home of the Wabigigic family of the Alonquin nation who hunted and trapped in the area and gave their name to the river. However it wasn’t until 1891 that two former surveryors from Haliburton, Irwin Heard and William Murray, staked their claim to farm lots along the Wabi River, making them the first European settlers. The town’s first mayor was John Armstrong, a provincial Crown Lands Agent appointed in 1893 to dispose of newly surveryed townships in the Little Clay Belt agricultural area.
First known as the Wahbe Settlement, in 1894 the community was named Liskeard by members of the ‘Huntsville Syndicate’, then renamed Thornloe after an Anglican bishop. Finally, when the town incorporated in 1903, the name New Liskeard was chosen.
Although the fur trade first brought European settlement, and lumbering and mining soon became and continue to be important factors in the local economy, it was agriculture that sustained settlement in Temiskaming and by and large supports the community of New Liskeard today.