In the 12th century, large forested areas began to be settled in the region south of present-day Jindřichuv Hradec. In 1175, monks of the Order of Hospitallers founded a community along the Vistricz River. The first parochial church began this way. Bystřice is considered to be one of the early cities of Bohemia in the 14th century thanks to its position along the trade route.
The Hussite Wars and the Thirty Years War led to major setbacks. However, thanks to the abundance of wood, cottage workshops were built for the production of glass and iron. Starting in the 18th century, home weavers worked for textile factories. With the rise of the railway, the region of Česká Kanada was in threat of being marginalized. But the long struggle for the rail line to Jindřichov Hradec/Neuhaus paid off. In 1894 the emperor himself delivered the ‘certificate of concession’ for the local rail line Neuhaus-Neubistritz.
A cross-border extension to Litschau was impeded first by World War I and then starting in 1918 by the new national border. Thanks to the political changes in the 20th century, borders could once more be overcome. In 1997, the future of this narrow gauge railway line was hanging on a thread due to its poor physical state. But just one year later, the successful efforts of the local rail operators already started to pay off and the line underwent a revival.
Today a trip with the railway through the forests of Ceská Kanada counts as a special touristic attraction in South Bohemia.