Homecoming History: Roots of a mining town – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – May 2, 2017)


Accounts of local history often begin in 1927, the year Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited (HBM&S) and Flin Flon were founded courtesy of the Flin Flon ore body. In actual fact, the area’s history – and the events necessary for the eventual formation of Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach – date back further.

Amisk Lake, situated along present-day Denare Beach, has at least two important historical stories to tell. The serene lake has been utilized since the days of the Canadian fur trade. In the 1950s, explorers Harry Moody and Tom Welsh journeyed to the north side of Amisk Lake, where they found artifacts such as steel-bladed scissors and metal utensils.

Moody saw this as evidence that the famed fur-trading Frobisher brothers had set up a winter camp there in 1774-75. He later helped discover the actual site of Fort Henry Frobisher, an independent British post. Saskatchewan’s first gold-rush mining town was located on the southern shore of Amisk Lake, within driving distance of present-day Denare Beach.

Beaver City, as the town was known, was established in 1914. Early residents lived in a row of tents and stayed nourished thanks to a couple of adjacent cookhouses. One imagines a cold, lonely existence for these pioneers.

While Beaver City was practically a ghost town within four years, the dollars and excitement it generated captured the imagination of prospectors during the heady days of the 1910s. Tom Creighton, a prospector from rural Ontario, and his partners had discovered the Beaver City deposit. Creighton’s decision to remain in the area after the Beaver City mine opened would prove auspicious.

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