Born in 1793, Charles Thomas was an important figure along the Bonnechere River. His life spanned 80 years, partly spent in the north and partly at Golden Lake. Thomas came to Golden Lake in 1832 as a Certified Agent of the Hudson Bay Company. After the expiration of his contract with the Hudson Bay Company, he started his own stopping place which he called Charlie’s Hope. Maps of the Golden Lake area shows that the point at the end of the McMillan Road bears the name, “Thomas Point”.
Charles Thomas’ diary is a valuable resource for information on the lives of people travelling along the Bonnechere in the 1850’s. He recorded the weather, the traffic on the river, the various visitors and lumbermen who stayed at his stopping place, the seasons, celebrations, family events, hunting and fishing tasks, and business trips.
Obituary of Charles Thomas in the Renfrew Mercury, Friday, Mar 14, 1873:
“At Golden Lake, on Saturday, the 8th quite unexpectedly, at the advanced age of 80 years, Mr. Charles Thomas. He had resided at Golden Lake for a number of years, and was one of the oldest pioneers on the Bonnechere River. His father was formerly Governor of one of the Hudson Bay Company’s Posts; and Mr. Thomas being possessed of a good education, held different trusts under him. In all his dealings with the public, he earned the respect and esteem of all. He was upright and independent, honest and honourable generous and a fast friend. For his years he was a hale hearty man, and in the best of spirits; and his sudden decease has cast a gloom upon the village of Eganville, where he was better known. He was a gentleman of most kind and pleasing manners much respected in his walk of life. For the past thirty years he kept an accurate Diary and was preparing it for publication. It contains thrilling excitements and perilous adventures in the Northwest, and pleasing reminiscences that took place on the different chains of lakes on the Bonnechere, Madawaska.”