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   Wemindji 

 Wemindji

Cree Nation of Wemindji

Pronunciation WEE-mi-jee
Population 1,100
Location Paint Hills Bay on James Bay @ mouth of Maquatua River
Other Names

Paint Hills, New Factory, Nouveau-Comptoir

The original community lived at Old Factory and moved to Paint Hills in 1959. This move pre-dated the James Bay Project, which was a factor in some other community moves.

 

 Old Factory

Former Home of Wemindji Residents

Pronunciation  
Population Summer use only
Location Mouth of the Old Factory River
Other Names Vieux-Comptoir, Factory River, Old Factory River
Founded at the site of a Hudson's Bay Company post. Only one building remains standing today. The HBC closed the post in 1959 and relocated it 30 miles north to Paint Hills Bay.

Sources: Cree Nation of Wemindji, Energy Mines and Resources Canada, Hudson's Bay Company Archives

Old Factory abandoned, 1974.

Photo: Dan Carpenter Jr.

Photo: Abandoned Old Factory post, 1974

Old Factory Description 1974 

"Island right in front [at mouth of river] which has three houses marked on it (large-scale map) would be a good place to camp. Was once island owned by a free trader and the Catholic Mission, but now looks to be used by Indians for goose hunt. There were once lots of Indian tents on island. Buildings furthest toward Bay were probably those of the trader. First two are now run down, third is used by Indians as a storehouse. House in center of island is a rambling dwelling with many rooms, now used by Indians for living. Building furthest another storage area. Others in poor shape."

"Second and larger island slightly to southwest has landing on south. Best approach to island is channel for the dock or boat landing area just at first building which looks to have been old HBC store. Next two buildings were Anglican church and Rectory, church red, and pretty well collapsed. Has a cross in front in a small stand of spruce. Rectory in better shape. Then there is a collapsed building that has a brick chimney and picket fence around it. Even an old lawn mower on wood walk to front door. Manager's house? Other buildings east of there also fallen down or almost so. Could make a good campsite if water could be found."

Heb Evans

Old Factory-Sakami Rivers Log, 1974

Camp Keewaydin Section A Expedition

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