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Henry Gauen, 1822-1899

Mary Fanny (Soffe), 1831-1873

This is the fascinating story of a sailor who escaped the clutches of the Arctic ice during a fateful search for the lost Franklin Expedition. He took up farming in central Hastings, far away from the sea.


Henry Gauen served as Carpenter's Mate on HMS Investigator, under Captain Robert McClure RN, during the ship's last voyage into the Canadian Arctic in search of Sir John Franklin.

The Investigator departed England in January 1850, and after passage around South America, entered the Western Arctic.

In the summer of 1850 the ship became trapped in ice at Mercy Bay and spent two harsh winters there before being rescued by HMS Resolute in 1853. The Resolute also became trapped in ice and was abandoned in 1854.

The remaining crew of the Investigator then returned to England on HMS North Star. This voyage was notable for mapping the North West Passage and the crew for being the first Europeans to transit the Passage.

The crew of the Investigator was awarded the Arctic Medal and shared in a 10,000 pound reward in recognition of their accomplishments. The Investigator was located by Parks Canada in 2010 in Mercy Bay and is now a major historic site.

Henry married Mary in 1855 and immigrated to Canada settling in Ivanhoe in September of 1868 using his share of the reward to buy a farm that is behind the Gauen Cemetery.

Henry became the first president of the Ivanhoe Cheese Factory in 1870 (which became the Beulah Cheese and Butter Co-operative in 1889 and back to Ivanhoe Cheese in 1983) and has been owned and operated by Gay Lea Food Co-operative Ltd. since July 2008.

Mary passed at age 39, 1873 in childbirth.

Henry remained an active member of the Ivanhoe community until his death in his 77th year.

Gauen Cemetery adopted by the Madoc Lions Club in partnership with The Municipality of Centre Hastings and Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. September 26, 2015.

A detailed report of the McClure Arctic Expedition can be found in Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McClure_Arctic_expedition

GPS co-ordinates: 44º 24' 00.37" N 77º 28' 13.59 W (44.40000000, 77.47027778)

Street Address: West side of Highway 62, just south of Ray Road, south of Madoc.

Look for a white enclosure, like a farm pen, on the west side of the highway.

Gauen marker stones are found inside roadside enclosure.

Gauen marker stones

Information Last Updated: Sunday July 26, 2020