03 March Times in Longlac

Clearing the site of the mill and community of Red Rock in 1937. Note the haze in the air. The inspiration for the founding of Red Rock may be indirectly ascribed to Pulpwood Supply Co. of Longlac. All photos by E.C. Everett, courtesy of Thunder Bay Public Library.

03 Reports in the Port Arthur News-Chronicle in 1937

Refer to introductory remarks in post 01 January Times in Longlac.

Tue Mar 2R. Gauthier and son Romeo left on Sunday for Nakina. / Harvey Tough of Tashota spent Sunday in Long Lac. / Miss Anne Allan of Little Long Lac Gold Mines spent Sunday with her parents. / Bill and Harvey Tough were Sunday visitors to Geraldton. / Arvi and Allan Pontynen spent Saturday in Geraldton with friends. / Frank Rupert of Hornepayne was relieving operation during the week-end. / R.R. Davis returned from Orillia on Thursday after spending the past two weeks with relatives. / Lou Roberts of Port Arthur spent Thursday in Long Lac. / BIRTHDAY PARTY A birthday party was held in Long Lac on Friday in honor of Walter Allan. Many friends were at the party. Games were introduced to the children, with Miss Trimble entertaining them. Lunch was served by Mrs. W. Allan. / T.J. Gaffney returned from Port Arthur on Wednesday. / Buster Caouette of Geraldton spend Monday in Long Lac with his parents. / Edward Joanis of Long Lac left on Sunday for Geraldton. / Constable Blair of Port Arthur spent Sunday in Long Lac while en route to Port Arthur. / Urpo Allan spent the week-end in Geraldton. / Donald MacMaster of Long Lac spent Saturday in Geraldton. / MACFARLANE GOLD MINE Diamond drilling operations at MacFarlane’s have been halted, due to the lack of dog teams. An airplane is transporting goods to the property.


“Excursion Tickets on sale for 7.40 p.m. train from Longlac Fri. March 12 and 7.00 P.M. from Longlac Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13; also from 7.30 A.M. from Jellicoe Sat. March 13.” . . . “Tickets sold by Agents or Train Conductors. Good to return not later than following Monday. See handbills.” . . .

From                 To Port Arthur

CAPREOL  .  .  .  .$11.00

WESTREE              10.60

GOGAMA             10.20

TIONAGA               9.40

FOLEYET                8.95

ELSAS                     8.25

OBA                        6.75

HORNEPAYNE      6.00

LONGLAC            $4.00

GERALDTON         3.60

JELLICOE                3.00

BEARDMORE        2.55

NIPIGON                1.35

Tickets good in Coaches only. No Baggage Checked . . . Children 5 years and under 12 Half Fare . . .

Proportionately Low Fares from intermediate Points.”

Add 10 cents to fares to Fort William.

Mon Mar 8 – extract – TIMBER INDUSTRY QUESTION (editorial)

“An announcement of some weeks ago that the Ontario Government had entered into an agreement with a group of United States pulpwood users1 to give them rights in the Long Lac area in order that they might have material for their mills, located across the line, has stirred up considerable discussion since.” / The people of Ontario have been happy enough to receive orders for wood by the U.S. / “In this connection it was pointed out that a cord of export wood was worth $4 to $6 to the province but when manufactured here was worth $30 to $40.” / However, the Long Lac arrangement may have been against the interests of the province because this combination of U.S. pulpwood users have been contracting with timber operators of the Port Arthur district. The result will be considerable loss of business for local contractors.

Tue Mar 9T.J. Gaffney, manager of the Long Lac Hotel, left Thursday for Port Arthur on business. / Miss Betty McMahon left Sunday for Fort William. / John Taylor and Arvi Pontynen of Long Lac spent Friday in Geraldton. / Frank Rupert, of Hornepayne, was relieving operator during the week-end. / Robert Landrie, of Long Lac, flew in by plane to Port Arthur on Friday to spend a few days on business. / Rev. W. Bradbury, of Hornepayne, spent Monday in Long Lac, holding service in the Public School. / Jeff Gauthier, of Nakina, spent Sunday with relatives. / Mrs. J. Boisseneau and daughter, Velma, of Long Lac, spent Saturday in Geraldton. / Misses Ottie Wright, Mildred Taylor, Edith Taylor and Norma Alto spent Saturday in Geraldton with friends. / Duncan Finlayson returned from Port Arthur, Friday, after spending a few days with friends. / Buster Caouette, of Geraldton, spent Monday in Long Lac with his parents. / Mrs. Charles Johnson and family spent Saturday in Geraldton with her brother, Mr. Raunio. / Urpo Allan, of Long Lac, spent the week-end in Geraldton. / Mr. and Mrs. S.R. Tough, of Long Lac left for Toronto, Friday. / Jack Burns of Tashota goldfields, spent Sunday in Long Lac with friends. / W.J. Bruce, engineer of the Department of Lands and Forests, spent a few days in Long Lac on business. / W. Thomson, of Jellicoe, spent Sunday in Long Lac with friends. / Miss Irma Alto, of Long Lac, left Monday for Hornepayne to spend a few days with friends. / Bill Tough returned from Tashota, Monday, after spending the week-end with relatives. / Bill Lowery left Friday for Fort Frances, after spending six months in Long Lac working on mining properties.

Tue Mar 9 – Mrs. S.A. Taylor of Long Lac left on Monday for Hard Rock to visit friends. / T.J. Gaffney returned from Port Arthur on Tuesday after spending the past week with friends. / Mr. and Mrs. A. Caouette left for Montreal on Tuesday, to visit relatives for a week. / Philip Award of Long Lac left for Quebec City on Saturday to spend a few weeks on vacation. / Robert Landrie returned from a holiday to the Lakehead on Monday. / Bill Tough returned from Tashota on Monday. / Duncan Finlayson left on Tuesday for Toronto to attend a prospector’s meeting.


 R.O. Sweezey, of the Lake Sulphite Pulp and Paper Company had a mill based in Nipigon village3. He proposed a larger mill in a new townsite. In negotiations with the Hon. C.W. Cox4, Minister Without Portfolio, and the Hon. Peter Heenan, Minister of Lands and Forests, he alluded to Long Lac. / “[To Mr. Cox he remarked that] arrangements had been made to give export rights to an American concern, covering timber in the Long Lac area. Mr. Sweezey remarked to Mr. Cox that it was too bad to see all this wood going out of the country when it might as well be manufactured at home. / ‘What can we do about it? We can’t get anyone to manufacture it here and there is no use allowing it to go to waste,’ said Mr. Cox. / ‘Give me some of it and I will manufacture it,’ said Mr. Sweezey. / In short order Mr. Sweezey came up with the capital, and asked Mr. Heenan to look over the proposed timber concession. “He came and, after waiting a few days for favorable weather, was flown over the territory by Al Cheesman. He found what he wanted and the order-in-council giving his [Sweezey’s] company sufficient wood for their purpose went through almost immediately. ‘Mr. Cox in still working night and day on this thing so that it may be of greatest advantage to Port Arthur,’, said Mr. Sweezey.5” / “The mill . . . is to start on a rate of 200 tons per day, employing about 325 men at the plant, exclusive of those in the woods. It may later be increased to 400 tons, employing 600 men. Limits totalling 2,000 square miles in the Nipigon area have been allocated.”6

Some of the work crew at the site of the Lake Sulphite Pulp Co. in 1937. Bunkhouses in the background.
Burning the brush and cut trees at the mill site on May 19, 1937. Burnt Island in background. CNR tracks in foreground.

Thu Mar 18 – Mr. and Mrs. H.G. Tough of Tashota spent Monday in Long Lac with friends. / Bill Lloyd and Kenneth Pritchard of Tashota arrived in Long Lac on Monday to work on mining properties in the Suicide River area. / T.J. Gaffney and Master Gerard Slattery of Long Lac left Saturday for Port Arthur. / Mr. and Mrs. W. Allan and son, Walter, left Monday for Port Arthur to spend an indefinite period with friends. / Les Martin of Long Lac left on Friday for Geraldton. / Miss Marjorie Trimble of Long Lac spent Friday in Geraldton with friends. / Mr. and Mrs. C.R. Smith and son, Kenneth, spent Saturday in Geraldton with friends. / Victor Maron, chief ranger, left on a business trip to Geraldton. / Wilmot McFarlane returned from Haileybury on Friday, where he spent a few days with his relatives. / Constable Nelson of Toronto arrived in Long Lac on Monday to take Constable Blackwell’s place. The latter has been transferred to Toronto. / Mrs. C.W. Taylor of Kaginagami is spending a few days in Long Lac. / O.W. Jolly of Nezah arrived in Long Lac on Friday to spend a few days with friends. / Irene and Anna Hebert left on Friday for Port Arthur.

Wed Mar 24 – extract – TRAINS 79 AND 80 TO RUN DAILY

Improved passenger and freight train service will commence April 25. “Trains 79 and 80 will run daily between the Lakehead and Long Lac. No. 80 will leave Port Arthur at 1.35 a.m., making close connections with the Continental Limited at Long Lac, and Number 79 will arrive in Port Arthur from the East at 1.40 a.m., also having made connections with the Continental Limited at Long Lac. These trains will handle mail, express, baggage and sleeper passengers, as well as day coach passengers, and will make stops at all intermediate points.” A daily mixed service will run between Port Arthur, Jellicoe, and Long Lac until that date. “After [April 25], a speed freight will leave the Head of the Lakes at 7 p.m. daily except Sunday, and run through to Long Lac, making speed freight connections there . . . “

Wed Mar 24 – FIRST CROWS ARRIVE The first flock of crows was seen in Long Lac on Sunday, flying around the town, and cawing loudly. The crows arrived here much earlier than usual. On Wednesday the temperature dropped to 22 below zero, which is very unusual for this time of year. / Duncan Finlayson left on Thursday for the Lakehead, where he will resume work for Birchbay Gold Mines. / Urpo Allan and William Laponen were visitors in Geraldton on Monday. / Mr. and Mrs. T.J. Gaffney and family returned from the Lakehead on Monday. / Mr. and Mrs. W. Allan and son Walter spent a week in Port Arthur with friends. / Mrs. Daisy Grasser and family returned from Nakina on Monday after spending the past month with relatives. / Misses Theresa Caouette and Eileen Gervis returned home from Parry Sound to spend the Easter vacation with their parents. / Archie Hurner spent a few days in Port Arthur on a holiday. / S.A. Taylor and daughter Lorna spent Thursday in Geraldton with friends.

Wed Mar 31Miss Mildred Taylor, of Long Lac, spent the week in Tashota with friends. / Robert Howell, of Bankfield Gold Mines, spent Sunday in Long Lac with friends. / Miss Anne Allan was a visitor in Long Lac on Sunday with her parents. / Mrs. S.A. Taylor, of Long Lac, left Sunday for Port Arthur, to spend a few days with friends. / Miss Olive Tomlinson, of Winnipeg, arrived here on Friday to spend the Easter vacation with her parents. / Wally Jolly, “Scotty” Gould and Ernie Lefore, of Long Lac, spent Saturday in Geraldton. / Miss Laurie Cardinal of MacLeod-Cockshutt Gold Mines is spending a few days in Long Lac with Miss Tess [?] Caouette. / Jeff Gauthier, of Nakina, spent a few days in Long Lac with his parents. / Les Martin of Long Lac spent Good Friday in Geraldton. / Clement Nabigon of Bankfield spent the Easter week-end with Mr. and Mrs. J. Boisseneau. / Miss Marjorie Trimble, teacher, spent Friday in Geraldton with friends. / Buster Caouette of MacLeod Gold Mines spent Easter week-end with his parents. / Bill Lloyd of British American Mining Co. is spending a few days in Tashota with Harvey Tough. / EASTER DANCE An Easter dance was held in the Public school on Saturday. The dance was well attended. Prizes were distributed, to Mrs. Wallan for lucky door prize, and Mrs. C.R. Smith and Urpo Allan in the spot dance. The music was supplied by Les Martin. At 12 o’clock lunch was served by Miss Alto and Mrs. Smith. / Miss Bertha Gascon of Hardrock spent Thursday in Long Lac with friends. / Miss Maimie Weilio of Geraldton spent the week-end at the home of Mrs. J. Herbert. / T.J. Gaffney was a recent business visitor to Geraldton.


1 Pulpwood Supply Company (not named in the article) was the creature of four American pulpwood companies: Hammermill Paper Co., Meade Corp., Nekoosa-Edwards Co., and Kimberly-Clark Corp. The company was granted cutting rights to 2,574 square miles, up to the northern line of the CNR at Nakina. Robert W. Lyons of Kimberly-Clark Woodlands Department oversaw operations.

2 This article suggests that the competition posed by Pulpwood Supply Co. actually resulted in more business for local contractors in Port Arthur district by the creation of at least one new company, Lake Sulphite Pulp Company.

3 The existing mill in Nipigon village was Nipigon Corporation Limited. It was first established in 1922 by James Arthur Little as Nipigon Fibre and Paper Mills Ltd., a ground wood mill (not a paper mill). Logs were shipped by rail to the mill. In 1924, J.A. Little partnered with N. A. Timmins to form Nipigon Corporation Limited. Here is a serendipitous link to the N.A. Timmins Corporation mining property at Longlac. As it happens, Noah Anthony Timmins made his millions in Cobalt and Timmins (a community named after him) and subsequently became an investor and partner in sundry other enterprises. This helps explain why no expense was spared on extensive infrastructure during a few months in 1936.

4 Charles Winnans Cox worked as a timber contractor in Port Arthur district, becoming the most prominent timber operator in the early 1920s. In the Ontario provincial election of 1934, he ran as a Liberal, won handily, and was appointed in 1936 as Minister Without Portfolio. Also, in 1934, he was first elected Mayor of Port Arthur, and Charlie (as he was known by his friends and hordes of voters) served for 16 years in that office. His political and business connections served him well, and he achieved notoriety as one of the timber wolves named by J. P. Bertrand, a local historian. Bertrand wrote a lengthy manuscript titled Timber Wolves, copies of which were passed hand to hand in brown paper wrappers. This author, also a local historian, was one of the lucky recipients. Now the manuscript has been published as a book.

5 This article suggests how politicians and businessmen and people with deep pockets contributed to a series of scandals and exposes in the ‘20s and ‘30s about corruption in the Ontario forest industry. One merely has to read between the lines.

6 Robert Oliver Sweezey was an enterprising engineer and promotor operating out or Montreal. He acquired Nipigon Corporation Ltd., formed a new corporation called Lake Sulphite Pulp Company Ltd., and used them to leverage a timber concession in the Nipigon district. Here is an extract from an M.A. thesis by A.J. Hacquoil, submitted to Lakehead University. “In 1937, [Oscar] Styffe and other operators had been operating in the Jackpine River area for two years. However, in that year a new company, Lake Sulphite, was given 1,981 square miles of limits by the Department of Lands and Forests because the paper company’s investors had agreed to construct a mill at Nipigon [actually Red Rock] to produce bleached sulphite pulp . . . Styffe recalled that ‘I was told [by the government] that his particular territory was to be included in the area allotted to the Lake Sulphite Co. and that we had to get out.’” Styffe, although he had legally acquired the Jackpine River concession,was frozen out. As it happens, Styffe had a link to Longlac, having worked as a contractor on the Martin Falls Indian Reserve starting in 1929. He had shipped the logs by rail. In 1937 Lake Sulphite Pulp Co. constructed a mill and townsite on the northwest shore of Nipigon Bay. It was called Red Rock.

Constructing the CNR spur to the mill site in May 1937. Note the smoke from fires.


03a Clearing the site of the mill and community of Red Rock in 1937. Note the haze in the air. The inspiration for the founding of Red Rock may be indirectly ascribed to Pulpwood Supply Co. of Longlac. All photos by E.C. Everett, courtesy of Thunder Bay Public Library.

03b Some of the work crew at the site of the Lake Sulphite Pulp Co. in 1937. Bunkhouses in the background.

03c Burning the brush and cut trees at the mill site on May 19, 1937. Burnt Island in background. CNR tracks in foreground.

03d Constructing the CNR spur to the mill site in May 1937. Note the smoke from fires.

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View of the N.A. Timmins Corp. property in 1937. Annotations “Lumber Camp . . . I hope” on the front suggest the photographer was not sure what he was capturing. Another notation on the back says “Timmins mine” and “LATER BECAME THERESA MINE”. All photos Greenstone History.

02 Reports in the Port Arthur News-Chronicle in 1937

Refer to introductory remarks in post 01 January Times in Longlac.

Editor’s Comments: Most of the Port Arthur News-Chronicle articles were social notes, describing the comings and goings of residents and visitors. Personal names are highlighted in boldface, courtesy of the editor. A heading in boldface and CAPS is an insertion by the editor. An extract is a summary of the article with exact wording in quotes.

Tue Feb 2J.D. Gervis of Long Lac spent Friday in Geraldton with friends. / George Reesor of Long Lac returned from Geraldton on Saturday after spending a few days on business. / B. Martinson and Joe Stanek were week-end visitors in Geraldton. / Onne Willman of Long Lac, spent Saturday in Geraldton. / S.A. Taylor of Long Lac spent Wednesday in Geraldton on business. / Mrs. G. Grasser and Mrs. C.R. Smith of Long Lac left on Sunday for Tashota, due to the death of their father, Mr. MacIntosh. / Mr. and Mrs. S. Tough of Long Lac spent Thursday in Nakina with Mr. and Mrs. Swanton. / Those who left for Little Long Lac on Saturday to see the hockey game between Big Long Lac and Little Long Lac were Misses Marjorie Trimble, Lorna Taylor, Mildred Taylor, Edna Swallowel, Jeanne Gauthier, Messrs. R. Gauthier, Les Martin, John Taylor, Bill Lloyd. / K. Pritchard returned from Minden on Wednesday. / Gordon Oliver of Elk Lake arrived in Long Lac on Friday after spending the past month in Elk lake with his parents. / Walter Jolly of Toronto, spent Monday in Long Lac with friends. / Extract – CHIEF STAN CHAPAYE Two hundred citizens of Fort William gathered at a civic banquet to pay tribute to the former mayor, R.B. Pow. Pow will be visiting the provost of Fort William, Scotland. “[Pow] was also deputized to confer the honor of chieftainship in the Ojibway tribe of Fort William upon the Scottish provost. As Chief Blue Sky, Mr. Pow received from Chief Stan Chapaye of the Long Lac tribe, a bucksKin parchment bearing greetings to the provost and naming him Chief Across the Big Waters. He also received a ceremonial Ojibway headdress, made of eagle feathers, buckskin and Indian bead work, which will also be presented to the Provost [Simon] McDonald. W. Russell Brown, who holds the rank of Chief Clear Sky, presided at the ceremony, introducing the full-blooded Ojibway chieftain to Mayor B.C. Hardiman . . . “

Fri Feb 5George Reesor, chief ranger at Long Lac, left Monday for Sault Ste. Marie to visit his family. / Mrs. S.A. Taylor of Long Lac left Tuesday for Tashota, where she will go by plane to Kaigenagami to visit her son, who is manager of the Hudson’s Bay post. / U. Allan returned from Geraldton Monday after spending the week-end with friends. / FLU SPREADING Several of the neighbors are being laid up with the ‘flu, which has been spreading in the district. / Mrs. Gilbert Grasser returned from Tashota Monday after spending a few days with relatives. / Mrs. C.R. Smith of Long Lac left Monday for the East, where she will attend the funeral of her father, who died in Tashota a few days ago. / Rev. Father Couture of Long Lac left with his pilot by plane to the North on missionary work and will be away for a few days. / Wilmot MacFarlane of Haileybury arrived in Long Lac to resume work on the MacFarlane Long Lac Gold Mine1, where a diamond drill will go in in the near future.

Tue Feb 9Mrs. J. Oby of Nakina spent Sunday in Long Lac with her husband. / Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Tough of Long Lac spent Thursday in Geraldton. / Misses Lorna Taylor and Ottie Wright of Long Lac spent Sunday in Geraldton with friends. / Jeff Gauthier of Nakina spent Thursday in Long Lac with his parents. / George Dean Taylor of Long Lac spent Sunday in Geraldton with friends. / Lou Roberts of Port Arthur spent Thursday in Long Lac on business. / Rev. W. Bradbury of Hornepayne spent Monday in Long Lac, holding a church service in the Public School. / FLU EPIDEMIC The Indian Day School and the Public School were closed on Friday, due to the epidemic of ‘flu. / T. Phillips of the Forestry survey party left Sunday for Geraldton on business. / Urpo Allan spent the week-end in Geraldton with friends.

Rear view of Martin Falls Indian Reserve schoolhouse at Longlac, not dated. Annotation: “The Indian’s own this building and all Indian labour built it. They imported a carpenter to boss the job.”
Front view of Martin Falls Indian Reserve schoolhouse at Longlac, not dated. Annotation: “This is the Martin Falls Indian school where Otti Wright taught.” The annex was the teacher’s quarters.

Sat Feb 13Mr. and Mrs. R.R. Davis, left Thursday for Orillia, where they will spend a few days with relatives. / Mrs. C.R. Smith, returned from Renfrew Tuesday after spending a week with relatives. / Lou Roberts and J. Nutrill of Port Arthur, spent a day in Long Lac on business. / Mrs. R. Gauthier, of Long Lac, is spending a few days in Nakina with friends. / S.A. Taylor of Long Lac, left on a business trip for Jellicoe, Tuesday. / Don Cockburn and G. Brooks of Toronto, are spending a few days in Long Lac on business. / Urpo Allan, of Long Lac, was a recent visitor in Geraldton. / Mrs. S.A. Taylor returned from Kagenagami, Friday, after spending a few days with relatives. / T.J. Jaffrey, of Long Lac, spent a few days in Port Arthur on business. / M. Kobiereski, of Nakina, spent a few days in Long Lac on business. / VALENTINE PARTY Miss Marjorie Trimble, teacher of the Long Lac Public School, held a Valentine party for her pupils Friday afternoon. Lunch was served. The school was decorated with streamers of red and white, and with pictures of hearts and broken hearts on the walls.

Tue Feb 16Bob Prouse of Tashota spent Sunday in Long Lac with friends while en route to the West. / Don Cockburn and Mr. Brooks of Toronto left for the East Saturday after spending a few days in Long Lac on business. / Ken Pritchard and Gordon Oliver of Long Lac left Sunday for Tashota, where they will be employed on some mining properties2. / Duncan Finlayson of Long Lac spent the week-end in Port Arthur with friends. / Frank Rupert of Hornepayne spent the week-end in Long Lac as relief operator. / Shorty Mawn of Long Lac left Sunday for Geraldton on a business trip. / Omar Groulx of the forestry survey party spent Saturday in Geraldton. / Misses Carmen and Annette Agenesse of Tashota spend Sunday in Long Lac with Mrs. A. Caouette. / VALENTINE DANCE A Valentine dance was held in the Public School Saturday with a small crowd in attendance. Bingo was played and prizes were given. Those who won in the bingo contests were as follows: Bill Tough, Norma Alto, Norma Alto, Ethel Taylor, Bill Tough. A lucky number dance was also held with the prize going to J.D. Gervis and Miss Irma Alto. A spot dance prize was won by Mrs. W. Allan and Mrs. K. Tuominen. Lunch was served at midnight. Music was supplied by Les Martin.

Sat Feb 19Lou Roberts of Port Arthur spent Tuesday in Long Lac on business. / S.A. Taylor spent Tuesday in Beardmore on business. / George Cory of Port Arthur spent Wednesday in Long Lac on business. / Harvey Tough of Long Lac left on Monday for Tashota, where he will take charge of some mining claims. / Willie Gascon of Hard Rock spent Tuesday in Long Lac on business. / Mrs. Daisy Grasser and family of Long Lac left on Tuesday for Nakina to spend a few days with relatives. / Mr. Shaver of Sault Ste. Marie spent a few hours in Long Lac while en route to the East. / Mrs. F. Perry of Nakina spent Tuesday in Long Lac with friends while en route to Arrowland.

Wed Feb 24John Taylor spent Saturday in Geraldton with friends. / Bill and Stanley Pyne were visitors to Geraldton Saturday. / C. McLeod of the N.A. Timmins Corporations3, spent Saturday in Geraldton on business. / Jack McKirdy of Orient Bay spent Sunday in Long Lac. / Harvey Tough of Tashota, spent the week-end with his relatives in Long Lac. /  J.D. Gerves, Charles Smith and Allan spent Saturday in Geraldton. / Robert Landrie of the Forestry survey party spent Friday in Geraldton. / Mike Kobierski of Nakina spent Sunday in Long Lac on business. / Duncan Finlayson returned from Port Arthur on Thursday after spending the past week with friends. / MINE WORKER INJURED Tom Otiquan of the Ojibway Indian band, employee of the N.A. Timmins Corp., cut his foot with an axe on Saturday while at work. He is in the Red Cross hospital in Little Long Lac.


1 MacFarlane Long Lac Gold Mines Ltd. was incorporated in 1934 with F.J. MacFarlane as president. It was a promising property, a prospect, and not a working mine. The nine claims were located on the east side of Long Lake, 12 miles south of the CNR station. By 1936, a considerable amount of diamond drilling had been carried out.

2 Tashota was 45.5 miles west of Nakina on the CNR. In 1915, a gold discovery set off a rush that soon ran out of steam. Another major discovery revived the rush in 1923-24. The most promising property became Tashota Goldfields Ltd. in 1932. The mine was 16 miles south and east of the railway station, accessed by canoe in summer and by winter road. In 1936 explorations continued, the most promising properties being Wascanna Mines Ltd. (a prospect, not an actual mine) and Edgelake Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (another prospect).

3 The N.A. Timmins Corporation had optioned the thirty-seven claims owned by A. Caouette and located southeast of the Indian Reserve on the Making Ground River. Between June and December 1936, the company sank a two-compartment inclined shaft by hand. It constructed a bunkhouse, cookery, supply house, office, core house, powder magazine, dry house, blacksmith shop, oil storage, pumphouse, and two residences. By 1938, the option was dropped and the property was incorporated as Theresa Gold Mines Ltd. With A. Caouette as President and Manager.

Pupils at Martin Falls Indian Reserve school in July 1936. Annotation: “Steven Echum, Frank Chapais, Jimmy Davis, Georgina Davis, Sophie Taylor, Rita Echum, Alice Taylor, Rose ‘back row’, Mary, Irene, Katherine, Clara, Arthur Chapais ‘front row’, Ray Echum, Jane Echum, Sinclaire Chapais, Martin Dick, Maggie Taylor”.


02a View of the N.A. Timmins Corp. property in 1937. Annotations “Lumber Camp . . . I hope” on the front suggest the photographer was not sure what he was capturing. Another notation on the back says “Timmins mine” and “LATER BECAME THERESA MINE”. All photos Greenstone History.

02b Rear view of Martin Falls Indian Reserve schoolhouse at Longlac, not dated. Annotation: “The Indian’s own this building and all Indian labour built it. They imported a carpenter to boss the job.”

02c Front view of Martin Falls Indian Reserve schoolhouse at Longlac, not dated. Annotation: “This is the Martin Falls Indian school where Otti Wright taught.” The annex was the teacher’s quarters.

02d Pupils at Martin Falls Indian Reserve school in July 1936. Annotation: “Steven Echum, Frank Chapais, Jimmy Davis, Georgina Davis, Sophie Taylor, Rita Echum, Alice Taylor, Rose ‘back row’, Mary, Irene, Katherine, Clara, Arthur Chapais ‘front row’, Ray Echum, Jane Echum, Sinclaire Chapais, Martin Dick, Maggie Taylor”.

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October Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Sat 1 Oct 350 MEN WORKING – “About 350 men are working on the 43-mile section of highway from Nipigon to Beardmore, said Eric Smith, district engineer of the highways department, today.” John Brothers of Toronto are filling grades and taking out rock immediately west of Beardmore, and Emil Anderson is doing the same immediately east and north of Nipigon. Anderson has a power shovel working. Gangs are mostly cutting and clearing timber. After Christmas, work will consist of heavy rock and earth cuts.

Sat 1 Oct ORIENT BAY TUG – The second steel tug of the Abitibi company will be launched tomorrow. “Orient Bay” is 97 feet long, has a 25-foot beam, and draws 7 feet of water. Each tug cost about $200,000.

Sat 1 Oct NEW FLAG – The Beardmore Women’s Institute elected Miss Laura Snell secretary to replace the acting secretary. Poppies will be ordered for Nov. 11. The Institute displayed the flag bought for the school. “Inspector W.J. Judd visited at the Beardmore and Empire schools on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. He also acted as one of the judges at the school fair on Monday.” Norman Kelly, student minister, left for Toronto to continue his studies.

Mon 3 Oct TUG LAUNCHED – In news datelined Macdiarmid, the “Orient Bay” was launched at Cove Inlet on Sunday. “The day was glorious, calm and warm and at 3:30 p.m. Mrs. R.J. Askin, wife of R.J. Askin, manager of the Thunder  Bay Paper mill. Broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow, naming her ‘Orient Bay’.” “The ceremony took place on a platform decorated with flags and bunting.” “It is electrically operated throughout, is equipped with electrical refrigerators, foodwarmers, dishwasher and dryer, an oil cooking range, shower baths, etc.” It also has a wireless telephone and an echo sounding device to measure depth of water.

Tue 4 Oct CGIT MEETING – Following a “devotional period”, the 13 members decided on an initial fee per member of 10 cents, and 5 cents a meeting thereafter. The club decided on a name: Gold Nuggets. The club uniform and motto were displayed. It was decided to hold a wiener roast on Thanksgiving Day. After some community singing, the meeting closed with “taps”. “A Junior Red Cross branch was organized at the local school on Friday afternoon”. Elections: president, Kent Montgomery; secretary, Helen Duguay; treasurer, Olga Makasymow. “It was decided to keep the name of the Gold Diggers branch.”

Wed 5 Oct NORSE RELICS FIND – J.W. Curran, publisher of the Sault Daily Star, and two reputable investigators are preparing a report. James E. Dodd of Port Arthur, a railway conductor and prospector, claimed to find the relics near Beardmore. “Mr. Curran asserted the newly gathered evidence might possibly prove that Norse sailors came to Ontario by James Bay before the year 1100, or 400 years before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, and reached Lake Nipigon by way of the Albany and Kenogami rivers.”

Fri 7 Oct DR. SUTTON LEAVING – At a banquet at the Beardmore Inn, Dr. N.H. Sutton said goodbye to many older residents as he left for a position at a mine [Uchi Lake] near Sioux Lookout. The Beardmore Badminton Club, at its first meeting at the school, chaired by its president W.W. Allen, decided to charge 75 cents a month. “The school board will now be paid for the use of the school and the janitor will also be paid removing and replacing the seats.” “Rev. Mr. Cass, of the Anglican church, Nipigon, had evening services at the school.”

Sat 8 Oct HIGHWAY REROUTED – Employment preference to men working on the highway will be given to the unemployed in Thunder Bay district first. The highway has rerouted. “At first the survey took the road through the Indian village* near Nipigon, but in order to avoid disturbing the Indian residents, the route has been placed several hundred yards to the east.”

Sat 8 Oct NEWS FROM MACDIARDMID – “Daily mail service to and from Macdiarmid commenced on October2.” “J.G. Burks, Indian agent, Port Arthur, visited Gull Bay on Tuesday, on F.F. Sykes boat Bonnie Margy. He was accompanied Separate School inspector W.J. Greening, who will visit the Indian reserve schools on Lake Nipigon.” “The Vedette plane, with Joe Heaven pilot, and Joe Finnigan, mechanic, stationed at the local forestry branch air base throughout the summer, left for Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday.” Tomlinson Construction company put a motor truck in operation, the first licensed vehicle on this section of the Nipigon-Beardmore highway. “The Atibiti Paper company put 11,000 cords of pulpwood through the Virgin Falls dam in 14 hours this week.”

Fri 14 Oct TEACHERS’ CONVENTION – “The four teachers from Empire and Beardmore left on Wednesday evening to attend the teachers’ convention which is being held on Thursday and Friday of this week at the lakehead.”

Tue 18 Oct NEWS FROM TASHOTA – “Eric McConnel, assistant [telegraph] operator at Tashota, while on a hunting trip a few miles east of here, became lost in the woods. He spent a trying night in the forest. Volunteer searchers were out, but next day he found his way out to the railway tracks.” “Edward Best and William Reichert have arrived at Tashota having been at Ara Lake for a couple of weeks building fish camps for Mrs. S. Cashaback.” “Mr. and Mrs. A. Spooner, accompanied by Andy Spooner, have arrived here to take up fishing operations on Meta Lake.” “Mr. and Mrs. Alex MacKay, accompanied by daughters Jean and Doris, arrived here to take up residence for the winter. Mr. MacKay has fishing interests on Onaman Lake.” “Mabel McLeod, Tashota school teacher, attended the teachers’ convention in Fort William.”

Thu 20 Oct TEACHERS RETURN – “Miss Laura Snell, Sheila Brooks, Helen McKinnon, and Wilfred Allen have returned after attending teachers’ convention in the city.” At a meeting of the Home and School Club, Mrs. Mackie was appointed treasurer to replace Mrs. Kilby.

Thu 20 Oct MORE FROM MACDIARMID – A young man, 22, was severely injured while trying to board a CNR fast freight going east. He was walking on top the cars when he fell, struck the coal car, and was thrown clear. He suffered a broken collar bone, a crushed arm, and severe cuts to the head. He walked back two miles to Orient Bay where the section foreman, Joe Pilon, gave first aid. He was taken to the Red Cross Hospital at Jellicoe.

Thu 20 Oct CHICKEN FARM – “E.M. Jones, cook at the [Northern Empire] mine, is building a large chicken house. Mr. Jones already has one of the largest chicken farms in the district.” “Albert Hemphill and Howard Hemphill today started laying the foundation for a recreation building, size 30 feet by 50 feet, on the Empire subdivision, opposite the Northern Empire mine.”

Fri 21 Oct MORE FROM MACDIARMID – Tomlinson Construction company has installed rock drilling equipment to begin rock cuts. Clearing and grading is progressing well. Work has begun on a culvert. “The Abitibi company’s alligator is taking lamp [?] supplies to Humbolt Bay.” Construction is finished for the camp of DOH engineering department staff on the “Pustagoni” river.

Fri 28 Oct BEARDMORE DAIRY DESTROYED – The fire siren shrieked at 6:30 a.m. but no pumps were available. Flames broke out in the boiler room when the staff were at breakfast. The three buildings, owned by W.C. Broughton of Dorion, were destroyed although the volunteer fire brigade and townspeople made strenuous efforts.

Fri 28 Oct MORE MACDIARMID NEWS – The Abibiti Power and Paper company’s tug “Orient Bay” made trial runs under Captain J. McIvor. The company is building camps at Humbolt Bay, Onaman River, and Stewart Creek., and the tug “Nipigon” is taking up supplies. There is a brief reference to S. Webster, local teacher. “The village was shaken when cut No. 1 east was blasted by the Tomlinson Construction company on Tuesday.  Forty cases of dynamite were used in the one blast.” Several flocks of geese were spotted flying over the lake.

Sat 29 Oct FIRE CHIEF RESIGNS – Fire Chief Balderer resigned over criticism that the local fire pump was in Port Arthur being repaired during the dairy fire.

Sat 29 Oct HIGHWAY WORK TO STOP – B. Mitchell, President of Beardmore Chamber of Commerce, informed Mayor Chisholm M. Ross of Fort William by letter of a work stoppage ordered on the Nipigon-Beardmore highway. The DOH informed Tomlinson Construction to close down its camps on the 13-mile link from Orient Bay to Beardmore on Oct. 31.  The Provincial appropriation has not been approved although Tomlinson is willing to proceed another 3 weeks anyway until this road section is finished.

[Note * > The unnamed “Indian village” is the community of Lake Helen Reserve 53A, just north of the junction of Hwy. 11 and 17. It’s been there longer than either highway was, or the community of Nipigon.]

Photo 1 > View of highway construction at Reflection Lake, looking towards Pijitawabik Bay in the fall of 1938. The talus slopes from the Palisades are being incorporated into the road foundation. Photo MTO.

Photo 2 > Canadian Vickers Vedette II biplane flying at Orient Bay ca. 1930. This flying boat was used for spotting forest fires and for aerial photography. This aircraft carried a crew of 3. Length, 22 ft. 10 in.; wing span, 42 ft.; 187 h.p.; cruising speed, 47 mph, with a two-bladed push propeller (note the propeller is mounted behind the wings with the blades facing backwards).  RCAF reg. no. G-CYYF, photo Library and Archives Canada MIKAN no. 3650434.

Photo 3 > The CGIT middy blouse was white with navy collar and cuffs, worn with a navy tie in a square knot.

Photo 4 > A sister tug to the “Nipigon”, the “Orient Bay” was acquired in October 1938 from Marine Industries Ltd. It operated on Lake Nipigon until 1975, when it was bought by Kimberly-Clark of Canada Ltd. It was transported along Highway 11 to Long Lake where it was launched under the name Guy M. No. 1. The unmoored tug is the “Nipigon”. Photo Nipigon Museum.

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September Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Tue 6 Sep H&S CLUB ELECTIONS – Home and School Club officers: Mrs. A. Hanson, president; Mrs. J.G. Baby, vice-president; Mrs. C. Dickison, secretary; Mrs. H. Kilby, treasurer. “School reopened September 6th. With Mr. W.W. Allen and Miss H.L. McKinnon as teachers.”

Wed 7 Sep MINERS LEAVING HOSPITAL – “Kenneth Murphy and Joseph Karpuik, who have been in St. Joseph’s hospital since the accident at Northern Empire mine last April which killed two men and injured five others, were discharged from hospital today, their many fractures and other wounds healed so that they could resume fairly normal activities. William Dobie was able to leave hospital a few weeks ago. Still in hospital as a result of the accident, which happened on April 20, are Stanley White and John Karpuik.”

Thu 8 Sep FATALITY ON NIPIGON BOAT – “Arthur Donio was struck on the head by the handle of a winch and received injuries from which he died. Donio, an Indian from the Grand Bay reserve, was on the boat[“Keego”], together with his family, and was being taken across Lake Nipigon.” The crew had put a cable ashore to winch the boat off a shoal when the crank flew back and fractured his skull. The steamer “Keego”, owned by the Dept. of Indian Affairs, was used to tow ties, cut by the reserve, to Orient Bay [Macdiarmid] for shipment. “Donio leaves his wife and four children. Burial will be made in the cemetery at McIntyre Bay.”

Fri 9 Sep TELEPHONE CONNECTION – With the inauguration of the Beardmore phone system last week, already 15 phones are linked to Fort William. The Bell Telephone line runs along the CNR right-of-way. Northern Empire mine will have a connection later this week. Geraldton got its [Head of the Lakes] connection last year.

Sat 10 Sep MACDIARMID NEWS – “D. Gapen of Nipigon Chalet Lodge and a party of friends are making a little trip down the Nipigon River.” “Albert Belanger (Joe the Ghost) will be employed as wheelman on the Abitibi Paper company’s tug Nipigon.” “N[orman] Kelly, United church student minister, held service in the school house last week.” The Dept. of Works will be arranging work on the Macdiarmid breakwater with A.O. Mauro in charge. “The Tomlinson Construction company headquarters will be established at Macdiarmid.”

Mon 12 Sep TEACHER AT EMPIRE – Miss E. Snell of London will take up duties as teacher at Empire school. Beardmore school opened Tue. with over 90 pupils and classes working in shifts. The Women’s Institute is sponsoring the districts first school fair this month with participation of schools from Empire and Beardmore. Miss Sheila Brooks hosted “a gay group of young people” on a scavenger hunt. The community park officially opened on Labour Day. Leitch and Empire mines played a hard-fought baseball game with Leitch being victors.  There were also children’s races and refreshment booths serving hot dogs, ice cream, and soft drinks.

Sat 17 Sep MORE MACDIARMID NEWS – “The Tomlinson Construction company’s camp is being erected near Macdiarmid. W. Tobin, P. Droubney, and H. Marsh are in charge. Tractors are being used to haul materials to the camp site. It is expected the cookhouse will open next Tuesday. An immediate start will be made on the building that is to house the engineering staff, department of highways, of which H. Phipps is in charge.”

Mon 19 Sep LARGER SCHOOL NEEDED – Nearly 100 pupils attend the school in two shifts, under two teachers. “Building activity continues unabated here.” “There are about 500 men working at the mines in the district, including 105 [?] at Sand River mine, 125 at Leitch and more than 150 at the Northern Empire mine.”

Tue 20 Sep DOH BUILDINGS – “The department of highways is building new quarters just at the edge of town on Main street. They include an office, cook house and quarters for the staff and men.” The Dept. of Forestry is building an office on Walker street to house staff, and plan to build a hose tower and several other buildings. Registered guests at the Beardmore Inn hailed from Toronto, Port Arthur, Fort William, North Bay, Winnipeg, Geraldton, Orient Bay, Montreal, and Armstrong.

Thu 22 Sep NEW SCHOOL QUARTERS – “The school board has decided to rent Kroback’s hall and make use of it for a classroom for the senior classes for the winter.” The Home and School Club will hold a card party every week at the school for bridge and whist, after which a lunch will be served.

Fri 23 Sep MORE FROM MACDIARMID – Road-building machinery and supplies have been arriving for Tomlinson Construction including four tractors and two Le Tourneau machines. The CNR will make arrangements for a loading platform to facilitate unloading machinery. H.F. Phipps and the DOH will erect buildings near the Forestry headquarters on the “Pustagonie river”. “The Abitibi Power and Paper company’s tug ‘Nipigon’ towed its first raft of 6,000 cords of pulpwood to Virgin Falls on the Nipigon river.”

Wed 28 Sep CGIT. ORGANIZED – “A C.G.I.T.* was organized on Thursday evening at the home of Mr. Kelly, student minister. Elections of officers: president, Pauline Erechook; vice-president, Margaret Dodd; secretary, Elsie Shear; treasurer, Faun Hanson. Meetings will be held every Friday. Three women volunteered to be leaders.

[Note * – Canadian Girls in Training was founded by the Young Women’s Christian Association in collaboration with major Protestant churches. Their goals:

As a Canadian Girl in Training
Under the leadership of Jesus
It is my purpose to
Cherish Health
Seek Truth
Know God
Serve Others
And thus, with His help,
Become the girl God would have me be

CGIT combined non-denominational religious training with physical, creative, and intellectual pursuits, and leadership skills. By 1933, 40,000 girls were enrolled in 1100 communities.]

Photo 1 > The “Keego” began its career in 1909 as a wood yacht owned by Temagami Steamboat & Hotel Company. It serviced tourist resorts on Lake Temagami in NE Ontario. A more accurate description is a 23-ton yacht 63 feet long powered by a 2.4 HP diesel engine. It was bought in 1938 by the Indian Affairs Branch and transferred to Lake Nipigon to service reserves. Photo from http://www.ottertooth.com.

Photo 2 > This map accurately portrays the location of McIntyre Bay Indian Reserve No. 54 at the bottom of McIntyre Bay. It was also known as the Grand Bay reserve. Research has not yet produced a reason for this local name.

Photo 3 > Two miners at Northern Empire mine on July 3, 1936. The man on the right is William Dobie, who was severely injured when the cage fell down the shaft on April 20, 1938. Photo Charles Dobie personal collection.

Photo 4 > The headframe and associated buildings at Northern Empire in May 1939. The lady at the extreme right is the wife of William Dobie and the lady in the centre is her mother. Photo Charles Dobie personal collection.

Photo 5 > The traditional CGIT uniform was a middy blouse, white, with navy collar and cuffs, and a navy tie with a square knot.

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August Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Tue 2 Aug WI EXECUTIVE – The Women’s Institute elected Mrs. W. Mitchell to fill the vacancy of the president. Mrs. Pleson was appointed to take over as secretary after a resignation.

Fri 5 Aug LAUNCH TUG IN LAKE NIPIGON – The 300-ton steel tug named “Nipigon” was launched at Orient Bay [more accurately, at Cove Inlet]. The Abitibi Power & Paper Company* will use the boat to tow log booms to the Nipigon River. The 94-foot boat uses twin diesel engines producing 660 horsepower. A sister boat, “Orient Bay”, will be launched in October. The logs will then be towed through Lake Superior to Lakehead mills.

Mon 8 Aug WI QUILTING BEE -At a special meeting, the Women’s Institute reported progress on the quilt and called a quilting bee for Wed. The school fair committee was instructed to draw up a full program for next regular meeting. “The park situation was to be financed by holding a barn frolic and floor show.” “V. Strachan, Geraldton, is relieving T.C. Edwards as station agent.”

Tue 16 Aug OFB HEADQUARTERS – The Ontario Forestry Branch plans a headquarters in Beardmore consisting of a building 24 x 34 feet (with 4 or 5 rooms for staff accommodation) plus a warehouse. OFB is looking for a building lot.

Wed 17 Aug AUTOGRAPHED QUILT – The WI project will consist of 22 blocks, the first in the district, with autographed names of pioneers. It is being prepared for display at the Lakehead Exhibition. The children at Empire Mine presented a program at the Roxy Theatre which included the Empire orchestra, “Three Blind Mice”, solos “Gypsy” and “Military Soldier”, “Irish Jig”, “Juba”, “Satan Takes a Holiday”, piano solo “Sailor’s Dream”, and “The Donkey Serenade”, and others. The Junior Boys’ Club under Mr. Kelly [student minister] returned from a week at Lake Nipigon.

Wed 24 Aug FIRST AID COURSE – The miners of Sand River and Leitch are taking a St. John’s Ambulance Association program every Tue. and Wed. under Dr. McDonald, assisted by Alex Elliott, manager of Richgreen mine. “The first ball game was played in the recreation park on Sunday.” Leitch gold mine played Sand River gold mine and won. Then Empire gold mine played Beardmore Pioneers and won. The grounds are still not in first class shape. The Women’s Institute will have an open meeting at 2 p.m. on August 29 with Miss Petty of Toronto, a specialist on sewing and nutrition.  She has been addressing WI meetings at the Lakehead Exhibition. In the evening there is a banquet at Davidson’s Hotel.

Thu 25 Aug HIGHWAY WORK TO BEGIN – Seven contracts have been let for the 45 miles between Nipigon and Beardmore. “Emil Anderson of Fort William . . . received a contract for five miles of the highway; the Hewitson Construction company for five miles; Storms Contraction company seven miles; MacKay company seven miles; Tomlinson Construction company seven miles; Raynor Construction company six miles; and Johnson Brothers six miles. The road will leave the Trans-Canada highway [now Hwy. 17] just east of the new bridge across the Nipigon river and will go north . . . “

Mon 29 Aug BEARDMORE SEEKS CHARTER – At a meeting, about twenty businessmen and community leaders decided to apply for incorporation. A resolution will be forwarded to the Ontario Municipal Board. Plans are drawn up for a $30,000 new school, the present school being inadequate. Classes are held in two groups, forenoon and afternoon. “Present population of Beardmore is about 500.”

[Note * – In 1937, Abitibi Power and Paper Company began operations on Lake Nipigon. In the fall, they made improvements on the Nipigon River to facilitate drives from the lake to Lake Helen. In the fall of 1938, the company made the first drive down the full length of the river. Some 14,000 cords were ready to be towed across Lake Superior to mills in the Lakehead (now Thunder Bay city).]

Photos 1 – On August 5, 1938, a crowd attended the launch of the “Nipigon” at the Abitibi dock. The facility is still located in Cove Inlet, just south of Orient Bay, just metres from the highway, where some boat owners store their vessels over the winter. Nipigon Museum photo.

Photo 2 – Just moments after the launch, the “Nipigon” is afloat in Cove Inlet, banners flying.

Photo 3 – In the fall of 1938, the first river-length log drive began on the Nipigon River. This photo, taken on the river, is undated and undescribed, but it seems to represent a warp tug (aka an alligator) working among the logs. Note the cable extending from the stern. Don Evans photo.

Photo 4 – The Beardmore Hotel in 1936, built and operated by Bob Davidson. Apparently an alternative name for this 20-room hotel was the Beardmore Inn.

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July Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Tue 5 Jul HIGHWAY TO GERALDTON – “The Dominion and Ontario governments jointly . . . appropriated one million dollars for the construction of a highway from Hydro [Cameron Falls] to Geraldton . . . Beardmore is approximately half way from Hydro to Geraldton, or, roughly, fifty miles from Geraldton. The Beardmore-Geraldton section is frequently spoken of as ‘fifty miles of gold’. Eight producing gold mires which this year will have an output of $8,000,000 will be serviced . . . There are scores of other properties in various stages of development . . . Beardmore is a thriving town of about 1,000 population, the business center of a group of mines including the Northern Empire, built on the Empire townsite, three-quarters of a mile east of Beardmore. Seven miles northwest are Leitch and Sand River Gold Mines, into which a road has been constructed from Beardmore . . . Six miles east of Beardmore the highway will pass through Jackpine, a thriving hamlet from which mining and timber operations radiate to the north and south . . . Nezah is another busy hamlet, lying between Jackpine and Jellicoe . . . Eight miles of highway have been constructed west of Geraldton terminating in the Jellicoe Consolidated Gold mines property . . . This road would be part of the new highway.”

Wed 6 Jul PROGRESS OF THE ROAD – Raynor Construction was awarded a contract last year for $150,000 to construct the highway west of Bankfield mine [towards Jellicoe]. Tomlinson Construction has a contract for $70,000 to complete the construction of 16 miles between Beardmore and Nezah.  When these projects are finished, that will leave 11 miles to construct from west of Jellicoe to east of Jellicoe.

Fri 8 Jul BARBER SHOP OWNERS – Mr. and Mrs. N. Ruttan of Geraldton purchased the equipment from M. Powers’ barber shop and is now open for business.

Thu 14 Jul FIRST WEDDING – Beardmore’s first wedding was solemnized on June 27th. Miss Sally Esther Sanelma, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. Leppanen of Empire, married Mr. Robert Ernest Smallwood of Winnipeg. Officiating was Rev. E.G.D. Freeman.

Thu 14 Jul DOH BUILDINGS – “J. Baby has been busy the past week erecting department of highway buildings.” The Roxy Café, managed by E. Prete, is now open for business.

Tue 19 Jul BRIDGE ROUTE – The bridge at Cameron Falls cannot carry highway traffic, which suggests that the bridge at Nipigon may be used.

Tue 19 Jul SUNDAY SCHOOL PICNIC – The annual picnic was hosted on someone’s lawn, and 40 children and adults sat down at tables. The program included awards, a piano solo, a guitar-vocal solo, a duet, a recitation, a step dance, a highland fling, and a speech.

Tue 26 July WAFFLE SHOP – A new shop managed by Miss Wiebe opened for business.

Sat 30 Jul SEVEN CONTRACTS – Seven contracts have been let for the highway between Nipigon and Beardmore.

Photo 1 – 1937 Sep 7th View looking south at newly completed TransCanada Hwy. bridge over the Nipigon River. Motorists could now drive to Schreiber. The road to the Soo would not be completed till 1962. E.C. Everett photo.

Photo 2 – 1938 Grading on the new Nipigon-Beardmore highway, location not specified. Ministry of Transport photo.

Photo 3 Not dated – Leitch Gold Mines. Robb Swanson collection.


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June Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Thu 2 Jun NAME QUILT – Mrs. H. Smith of the Home and School Club resigned due to ill health. Mrs. R. Elliot was named convenor “to look after the name quilt”. It was decided to make a baby’s layette. “Two members are helping out the children in view of the coming school fair. Mrs. Cameron is directing two choirs. Mrs. Smith is directing a sewing class. Mr. Evans is also giving manual training lessons to the boys.” W.W. Allen, school principal, “gave a splendid talk on the new curriculum”. The Institute has decided to purchase a bubbler fountain for the school with the board’s cooperation. “Constable Luliava [?] of Nipigon is in town replacing Constable Warren, who is holidaying in the east.

Wed 8 Jun TWO NEW TOWERS – “Two new steel detection towers will be erected in Thunder Bay district by the department of lands and forests this summer.” One will be just south of Watson Lake near Jackpine to serve the Beardmore-Jellicoe area. Another will be placed near Saganaga Lake on the U.S. border. Each tower is 30 feet high.

Thu 9 Jun DEPT OF HIGHWAYS (DOH) – Moss [?] Barr has been transferred to Port Arthur where the new branch office is located. Dr. W.S. Elliott has opened his new office in Nugent’s Rexall drug store in the addition were the telephone exchange will be located. C.D. Nugent has added more counter space and stools for a soda fountain. A party of local people took a fishing trip to Realty Lake near Nezah. At the Home and School Club monthly meeting, Mrs. A. Hanson presided as president. There will be a farewell dance for the two teachers. Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Baby returned from Port Arthur after their marriage. Mr. Baby is the engineer in charge of the Beardmore branch of DOH. The girls’ softball team ordered sweaters in the club colours of blue and white. Telephone poles are being strung along the main streets. Norman Kelly, student minister, has arrived for the summer. Services in the school Sunday evening at 7 p.m.

Mon 13 Jun MISSING MAN’S BODY – “Missing since April 17, when he started out from Beardmore to walk to the camp of the Abitibi Power and Paper Co. at Jackpine, the body of Allan Emil Mickelson, 23, was found on Saturday in the Blackwater river near Beardmore.” He had been preparing camp for a car loading crew. He had had to cross the ice on the river. He had lived in Nipigon almost all his life.

Wed 15 May W.I. MEETINGS – The Women’s Institute has published a program for June, July, and August. Topics: your favourite flower, if you had $500, nursery rhyme, home economics.  Papers: child welfare, historical research. Demonstrations: bandaging, “tabloid on the topic”. Novelty: guitar selection, children in costume, exchange of supper recipes. Current Event. Beardmore Chamber of Commerce fielded questions about gargage disposal. “It was decided to write Bill Stevens to burn up the old garbage dump and he would be paid for same.” Decision to take up a collection to ditch some of the side streets. Two ball games played on “the ball ground”. Empire vs. Sand River, 20-1 for Empire. Leitch vs. Beardmore, 22-13 for Leitch.

Fri 17 May L & F BUNKHOUSE – The deputy chief ranger’s headquarters at Beardmore will erect a bunkhouse for 10 men and a warehouse. The detection tower at Jackpine will be erected on the highest hill; concrete foundations now being laid.

Mon 20 Jun NORTHLAND CAFÉ – “The Northland Cafe, owned by Rolfe and Wingland [?] has been taken over by Joe Jim of Port Arthur.” “The Red River Shows held a circus in Beardmore for three days last week.” “The O.K. barber shop has moved to new quarters on Main Street.” “Dr. Sutton, assisted by Mrs. W. Elliott, inoculated the school children for the third time on Thursday. Smallpox vaccination is to be given the latter part of the week.” A ratepayers meeting was held at the school and the tax rate has been set at 32 mills; notices are being mailed out.

Fri 24 Jun SOFTBALL – In the first game of the men’s summer series, Empire beat Beardmore 15-13. In the second game, Beardmore beat Empire 16-7. Sewing classes are being held for school girls in preparation for the school fair at the end of September.

Wed 29 Jun CHURCH SERVICE – Rev. E.D.G. Freeman of Port Arthur held services at the school, assisted by student minister Mr. Kelly. Several children were christened. The girls’ softball team have been practicing twice a week in preparation for the July 1st game against Jellicoe in Beardmore. They have received their royal blue and white sweaters, sponsored by Best [?] and Sons. “The boys’ softball team have also purchased new sweaters in orange and black with the Pioneer Athletic club crest on the front.” School closes on Wednesday for the holidays. “Miss McKinnon and Mr. Allen, teachers here, are both planning to go to Queen’s University for summer courses and are returning to Beardmore for another term.” “Mr. Kelly, student minister, has organized a Trail Rangers’ class for the younger boys.” The club meets every Friday evening at the school.

Thu 30 Jun CONTRACT AWARDED – Tomlinson Construction has the highway contract between Jellicoe and Beardmore.


Photo 1 – View looking north at the CNR trestle over the Nipigon River on Sept. 29, 1936. Below is the early construction phase of the TransCanada Highway bridge. Work was already underway for what became Hwy. 17 between Nipigon and Schreiber. There were no plans for construction of what became Hwy. 11 from the east side of the bridge and northward towards Beardmore. Photo E.C. Everett.

Photo 2 – Very few original fire lookout towers remain in Ontario. This is one on Caribou Mountain at Temagami, a tourist attraction.

Photo 3 – An old-fashioned school water fountain, a bubbler.

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May Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Wed 4 May EASTER PROGRAM – The Sunday school held a successful program under the direction of their [Sunday school] teachers. Dr. N.H. Sutton read the Easter message; superintendent J.C. Dean conducted the service. Home and School Club met to make paper flowers to be sold on Mother’s Day. Beardmore Women’s Institute held its monthly meeting. The sick committee reported making two visitations. Mrs. A. Fummerton replaced Mrs. H. Gustafson as treasurer. A committee recommended spending on a bubbler fountain for the school. Dr. MacDonald of Kingston has arrived to replace Dr. Kunkle. D. Rukvin has opened a grocery store in front of Allard’s house. Dr. N.H. Sutton is busy inoculating the children of Empire and Beardmore against diphtheria.

Tue 10 May FISHING FLEET DELAYED – “Heavy ice fields in Lake Nipigon have kept the MacDiarmid fishing fleet tied to the dock.” Ten tugs are ready to sail, comprising three steamboats, two diesel motor boats, and five gas boats.  During the past four years, annual catches average 500 tons of whitefish, lake trout, pickerel, and siscoes, shipped to Eastern markets. The fishermen’s own company puts 50 pounds in a box packed in ice and shipped in refrigerator cars. About 3,000 tons of ice are stored in the winter. Founded in 1917, MacDiarmid has about 150 people, with 21 children in school. Most of the population arrives in spring for the fishing season. During the winter many winter fish or work in woods operations.


Wed 11 May BARRISTER ARRIVES – “Gordon T. McMichael, barrister of Geraldton, has opened an office in F.A. Ross’s office and will be in town Mondays and Tuesdays.” “On Friday evening the Home and School club held a gay dance at the school . . . Three pupils of Mrs. M. Hall gave a smart dance routine . . . Mrs. Hall also gave a tap dance.” Favors, hats, and balloons were given out to the large crowd. Seventy dollars was cleared on the dance and the raffle of a chesterfield cushion. Home and School Club held a tag day on Saturday. “The little school girls were the taggers and they were dressed colorfully in red, white and blue crepe paper costumes and carried decorated boxes . . . Boxers of flowers were sold at Davidson’s hotel and Erechook’s pool room.” Total take: $28.

Mon 16 May CHAMBER ELECTION – Beardmore Chamber of Commerce election result: Pres., Beryl Mitchell; VP, Art Hanson; Sec.-Treas., Mr. Cummings; Executive, A. Salem, A. Chadwell, E. Robinson, J.D. Baby. The garbage contract was awarded to Wm. Stevens. A committee was struck to raise funds to fix the roads.

Mon 16 May BUSH FIRES – “Three small bush fires during the week-end have been extinguished, forestry officials said. The fires were at the mouth of Sucker creek on the Black Sturgeon river, between Empire and Beardmore, and at Ripple. Airplane strength of the branch was brought up to summer level Saturday with the arrival of two more machines at Port Arthur and one at Orient Bay.”

Tue 17 May HIKE TO THE LAKE – A group of young people got a lift in Bob Gardner’s car to Leitch mine and then hiked three miles to Lake Nipigon. “Mr. Coons, lawyer, and Mr. Downs of Toronto are in town in connection with the installing of a telephone system in Beardmore. C.E. Nugent plans to enlarge his drug store and the addition will be the headquarters of the new phone system. A new election of the Home and School Club replaced members leaving: Treas., Mrs. M. Powers; Sec., Helen McKinnon. “It was decided to give a parcel of clothes to a needy child.” A girls’ softball team has been organized with H. McKinnon as captain, and it accepted an invitation to go to Jellicoe to play. Practices every night at 7 p.m.

Wed May 18 FISHING AT NEZAH – “Walter B. Bell and A.E. Cummings of the Imperial Bank spent Saturday and Sunday at Nezah on a fishing trip.” Sunday school on Sunday had 41 present. “Several new houses are being built in town and also two stores. Prospects look very good for a busy summer.” “The huge piles of pulpwood which have been piled close to the C.N.R. tracks all winter are now being loaded into box cars to be shipped west.” “Mrs. (Dr.) MacDonald and daughter of Kingston have arrived in Beardmore. Mrs. Dixon, wife of the new manager of Leitch Gold Mine has arrived at the mine from Toronto.”

Fri 27 May BAKE SALE – The Home and School Club held a bake sale and tea at Davidson’s Hotel. Twenty-five dollars was realized. “Teacup and card reading was also an additional feature.” Arbor Day was observed at the school and the grounds cleared and much improved. A men’s softball team has been organized with B. Mitchell as captain. Practices held every other night. Both the girls’ and the men’s teams, accompanied by locals, made the trip to Jellicoe “to take in the celebration there”*. Jellicoe teams won, 5-4 for men, 15-13 for “ladies”. “Dr. W.S. Elliott has opened a dental office at the Dodd’s residence. Fire practice was held on Thursday.”

[Note* > The Jellicoe Red Cross hospital celebrated May 24th (Victoria Day) with ball games and field events, ending with a dance in the schoolhouse. The seven-bed facility, including nurses’ living quarters, was equipped by local donations and served Jellicoe and Beardmore.]

Photo 1 – Macdiarmid village in 1934, a popular jumping off base for prospectors leaving for the country around Sturgeon River. Toronto Star Archives photo.

Photo 2 –Nugent’s Drug Store in Beardmore. Note the News Stand. In a matter of a day or two, the CNR could deliver news spanning the country. Ken Johnson collection photo.

Photo 3 – Red Cross Hospital in Jellicoe, a picturesque derelict building snapped by Brian Hussey on June 10, 2019.

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April Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Fri 1 Apr HOME RAZED – Fire broke out at 12:45 a.m. Mrs. Fred Turebyko injured her hand while climbing out a broken window with her daughter Olga. Her husband was at work. When the volunteer firemen arrived, the fire was out of control. Only a few bedclothes were saved.

Tue 5 Apr BEARDMORE BADMINTON CLUB – Held a tournament for its members with an enthusiastic crowd as witnesses. Mr. Erechook purchased a lot next to the theatre and planned to build a billiard parlour. Home and School Club raised $32 at a very successful dance. “Hats, balloons and noisemakers added to the gaiety of the affair.” Earl McIlroy of Geraldton has arrived and “accepted a position” at the Northland Hotel. “The Educational School of Music has begun a class for pupils in guitar.”

Fri 8 Apr WOMEN’S INSTITUTE – The first meeting on March 29th was held with Mrs. H. Smith in the chair. Convenorship appointments: “Mrs. Cameron, education; Mrs. C.E. Robinson, current events, assisted by Mrs. Kowalchuk; Mrs. K.C. Noble as home economics; Mrs. Donnelly, home and child welfare; Mrs. McKenzie, Canadianization; Mrs. Bennett, legislation. Mrs. A. Pleson was appointed as secretary in charge of publicity.” A sick committee was chosen, as well as Mrs. Gustafson appointed in charge of finances. Plans called for a bake sale on Sat. Apr. 9th at Mitchell’s Supply Store. Mrs. A. Chadwell gave a short talk on “Neighborliness”.

Thu 14 Apr EASTER CONCERT – Sunday school are practicing for Sunday, Apr. 17th, at the school. Guests at Beardmore Hotel during the week including the following addresses: Winnipeg, Port Arthur, Haileybury, Toronto, Fort William, Geraldton, Nezah, Jellicoe, New York, Murillo, Renfrew. Lorne Gryts crushed his finger while working at “Empire Mine”. On Sunday afternoon some young people hiked to Buffalo Beardmore Mine. On their return they enjoyed “a delicious dinner” at the Northland Hotel.

Thu 14 Apr LOSS OF LIFE – “A snowmobile belonging to J.G. Burk, Indian agent, and driven by John Hardy, carrying a passenger, David Laidlaw, of Wolsey, Sask., broke through the ice at the gap of McIntyre Bay, on Lake Nipigon.” Mr. Laidlaw drowned about thirty feet offshore in twelve feet of water. J. Hardy made his way ten miles to Grand Bay Indian Reserve to seek help. Laidlaw was in charge of the sawmill and woods operations for the Indian Department at the reserve, where he also had a brother. Pilot F. Hawthorne of Port Arthur happened to be at Grand Bay and immediately took off for “MacDiarmid” to arrange for recovery of the body and salvage of the “snowplane”.

Sat 16 Apr SUCCESSFUL BAKE SALE – The Women’s Institute raised $25. The winner of “a log cake . . . guessed the nearest correct number of matches on a bottle”. Two other winners got boxes of chocolates.

Wed 20 Apr NORTHERN EMPIRE MINER KILLED – Seven miners fell when the cage plunged as the clutch on the hoist gave way at the 400-foot level. One was killed, six seriously injured. One miner, Steve Sami, had a narrow escape. “Just as I stepped off I felt something brush my back and before I could turn around the cage was out of sight.”

Wed 20 Apr MINERS RUSHED TO HOSPITAL – Arthur Kendall, manager of Northern Empire Mine, said the hoist mechanism passed inspection three weeks prior. Canadian National Railways formed a special trail to rush the injured to Port Arthur hospital. A baggage car was converted into a hospital by the mine’s Dr. G. Hogg and three nurses. “The faces of the injured were battered almost beyond recognition.” One was not expected to survive.

Tue 26 Apr ACCIDENT INQUEST – Two deaths, Joseph Barr and Tony Krill. The inquest officials examined the headframe and hoisting machinery. “The steel cable had ripped a portion of the roof from the head-frame housing when the cage went wild.”

Wed 27 Apr HEAVY RAINS –“Rain has fallen every day for the last two weeks in the mining country east of Nipigon, and the roads and streets in the mining towns are almost impassable, with the exception of the road to Leitch and Sand River mines, which was built by the Department of Highways during the last two seasons and which is in good condition, and in regular use by a bus line and private automobiles.” A washout between Nipigon and Orient Bay put 80 feet of track out of commission. A Longlac-Port Arthur train was stalled two hours while section men and train crew worked in driving rain to fill the hole with ties and timbers.

Thu 28 Apr WASHOUT ENLARGED – About one mile from Orient Bay, the washout has deepened and widened due to a raging creek. The regular train from Port Arthur and a special train from Hornepayne met at the washout and passengers walked from one train to another.

Fri 29 Apr TEACHERS RETURN – After the holidays, W.N. Allen from Fort William and Helen McKinnon from Duluth and Fort William. Women’s Institute had a successful tag day, raising $28 for equipment for the school. “A farewell party and dance was held at the Empire hotel hall on Friday evening in honour of Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, manager of Leitch Gold Mine, and Dr. and Mrs. Kunkle, who are leaving shortly.”

Photo #1 > Not dated, n.s. Snowplane at Beardmore – “Bob Vera That’s my dads snowplane and he is the third guy on the right with the salt and pepper hat”

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March Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Sat 5 Mar ROUND TRIP FARES – From Port Arthur by Canadian National > Orient Bay (Nipigon Lodge) $2.70; Beardmore $3.30; Jellicoe $3.70; Geraldton $4.45; Hardrock $4.55; Longlac $4.85.

Sat 5 Mar FAREWELL PARTY – Given in honour of Miss Isobel Perram, leaving for Toronto. Activities were badminton, taffy pull, dancing, and “delicious refreshments”. Home and School Club held its regular card party with bridge, whist, and cribbage.  Proceeds went to the school. Pioneer Athletic Association held its first dance at Krokback’s hall. Leitch Community Club held a whist drive with proceeds turned over to Beardmore School, followed by lunch and community singing. At a special meeting of the Chamber, two guest speakers from Toronto discussed the prospects of a telephone system. Home and School Club will host the district organizer of Women’s Institute on March 15th, followed by a cooking demonstration and a banquet.

Tue 8 Mar URGE HIGHWAY – Port Arthur city council urged Hon. C.D. Howe, minister of transport, to issue a contract for the highway between Hydro [Cameron Falls] and Beardmore.

Thu 10 Mar CHANGE OF NAME – Beardmore Winter Club voted to change its name to Beardmore Badminton Club with membership fee of $1.00. Report of S.S. No. 1 Beardmore: Senior Room, Gr. 9 to 5, 31 pupils, Principal W.W. Allen. Junior Room, Gr. 4, 3 pupils; Gr. 3, 5 pupils; Gr. 2(a), 3 pupils; Gr. 2(b), 10 pupils; Gr. 1(a), 8 pupils; Gr., 1(b), 11 pupils; Gr. 1(c), 7 pupils. Teacher Helen McKinnon.

Sat 12 Mar SCANDINAVIAN CLUB – Held its second dance at the Empire hall. Mrs. Russel of Port Arthur and Mrs. J. Cooper of Fort William will be here to organize a branch of the Women’s Institute at Empire Hotel, followed by a cooking demo using whole wheat flour, and a banquet. “J. Nicholson of Armstrong  has leased the National hotel formerly operated by Y. Ming Gee.” Father O’Donnel of Nipigon celebrated mass here on Sunday. “Dave Rosemand, former manager of the Roxy theatre, has left for Winnipeg.”

Mon 14 Mar BEARDMORE TELEPHONE CO. – Has been formed to provide 24-hour service from Hogarth to Jellicoe.

Wed 16 Mar LOCAL TELEPHONE OFFICE – Beardmore Telephone Co., under the management of H.A. Coon and E.T. Down of Toronto, will erect a building for the exchange. Report of S.S. No. 1, Empire, for February: Gr. 9, 1 pupil, Gr. 8, 3 pupils; Gr. 7, 4 pupils; Gr. 5, 1 pupil; Gr. 3, 2 pupils; Gr. 2, 3 pupils; Gr. 1, 6 pupils. Teacher Sheila Brooks.

Tue 22 Mar HYDRO-BEARMORE ROAD PLANNED – R.M. Smith, deputy minister of highways, informed Port Arthur council that construction “is under advisement”.

Image 1 >  Women’s Institute crest.

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