William E. Logan’s 1845 Survey Of The Upper Ottawa Valley
Edited By Charles H. Smith and Ian Dyck

Canadian Museum of Civilization

William Logan was a self-motivated learner, one of Canada’s great scientists when geology was in its infancy. Among his many accomplishments was laying the foundation for the modern Geological Survey of Canada. Logan is here allowed to speak in his own voice, and a very entertaining one it is too. The sense of immediacy is palpable. His field journal, written as his party explored and mapped the Ottawa River from Lachine to Lake Timiskaming, and from the Mattawa River to Lake Nipissing, covers the months from the end of June, when Logan set out from Lachine, to the middle of November, when he returned to Bytown.

This admirable addition to the Mercury Series History Papers gives much supplementary information, including annotations to the field journal, appendices with Logan’s biography, a potted history of the Ottawa Valley, and notes about Logan’s mineral finds. There is a note at the beginning of the book explaining that “in the interest of making information available, normal production procedures have been abbreviated. As a result, grammatical and typographical errors may occur.” This caveat is unnecessary, as there don’t seem to be any obvious mistakes in this little treasure of a volume.

It is a “must’ for geologists, lovers of Canadian history, and genealogists with roots in the Ottawa Valley. mRb