Ernest Carl Oberholtzer was born in Davenport, Iowa in 1884. He attended Harvard University and received a BA but after one year of graduate study in landscape architecture he left and made his first trip to the Minnesota-Ontario border lakes in 1906. In 1909 he made his first canoe voyage through primarily uncharted territory of the border lakes of Minnesota and Canada, traveling 3,000 miles that summer. Oberholtzer wrote a number of articles and short stories, some under the penname Ernest Carliowa.
In June 1912 Oberholtzer and Billy Magee, his Ojibwe canoeing partner, made a canoe voyage over 2,000 miles through Manitoba to Hudson Bay and back. They set off from end of the railroad line to explore rugged, unmapped territory. The journey made Oberholtzer a prominent spokesman in the wilderness conservation movement.
On July 27, 1912 he made this entry in his journal as they landed in the small town of Du Brochet, Manitoba:
Du Brochet, with its picketed cemetery and church and numerous clay-covered [colored] houses the south side of a sand ridge, looked a considerable village. On closer inspection, however, most of the buildings especially the Hudson Bay Company store which had a pair of caribou antlers on the gable, proved pretty dilapidated.
Supplies purchased at Du Brochet, Manitoba
4 lbs. beans, $1
10 lbs pork, $4
15 lbs hard tack, $3.75
5 lbs sugar, $1.25
We found an Indian encampment- the best one I have ever seen.
Excerpts from Oberholtzer’s journal, reprinted and recently published in :
Bound for the Barrens: Journal of the Ernest Oberholtzer & Bill Magee 2,000-mile Canoe Voyage to Hudson Bay in 1912 – Edited by Jean Sanford Replinger with Nancy Paddock
courtesy of The Ultimate Canoeing Guide.com :http://www.canoeing.com/nature/feature/oberholtzer.htm
Chipewya Indian camp, northern arm of Reindeer Lake
July 27, 1912