Timmins mining activity created a buzz in 1915 – by Karen Bachmann (Timmins Daily Press – October 22, 2011)

The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper.

Karen Bachmann is the director/curator of the Timmins Museum and a local author.

HISTORY: Social activities also made big news in the Porcupine Camp

Out and about in the Porcupine in 1915 – here are a few items (OK, some serious, some gossip) that made the papers that year. Front page news for June of that year included the exciting announcement that the mill at Schumacher Mines was to be completed by July, and that they were very quickly sinking another 200 feet at the mine (they had already sank 300 feet).

Fifty men were working underground with another 14 on the surface, but it was predicted that many more men could look forward to steady employment at the site.

Not to be outdone, Pike Lake Gold Mines in Deloro Township, run out of New York City, was actively exploiting their six claims. A bunkhouse, kitchen, blacksmith’s shop and office were built. Twenty men were hired to sink the initial shaft by hand and to build the road into the property, located about four miles south of South Porcupine.

At the McIntyre, work was progressing on a regular basis; 250 men were working, the no. 5 shaft was in development and the fireproof boiler house was being constructed.

The Porcupine Miracle Mine, in the south-west portion of Langmuir Township, was getting back into gear after a fire destroyed the mill. A new hoist was being put into place and heavy crushers were being moved in with a workforce of twenty five men.

What makes all of this relevant? Well, since this was 1915, many young men were joining the army and leaving the camp. Local mines were having a hard time keeping their workforce, so announcements that the mines “were in operation and things were progressing” were vital to the survival of the camp.

The social calendar was always full in the Porcupine. For example, a grand ball to celebrate the reopening of the Connaught Hotel attracted over 150 invited guests, including many of the town’s socialites. Music was provided by W. Wilson and B. Donaldson, a sumptuous lunch was provided at midnight, and the festivities continued well into the next day.

If you didn’t make the guest list for that little affair, then maybe “those interested in the scientific study of palmistry will be further interested to know that Madame Greenwood is holding receptions at the Goldfields Hotel during this week and probably all next week in connection with that art and profession.”

If that did not interest you, a benefit dance was given at the Miner’s Union Hall for John Jacobs, who lost his arm at the McIntyre Mine. The proceeds collected would be turned over to Mr. Jacobs for the purchase of an artificial arm.

Does this not seem like an odd way to announce a birth? “WILSON: At Timmins, May 25th, the wife of A.G. Wilson, a son.” “PIGEON – on May 25th, at Timmins, Ont., the wife of Amable Pigeon, a daughter.” “LEBLANC – On May 24th at Timmins, ON, the wife of Osias Leblanc, a son.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3342785