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Francis Charles Crean discovered nickel ore in the Worthington and Elsie areas in 1884. Some of the other areas he would stake out were in what would become the Howland, Totten, and Crean Hill Mines (Nov. 7, 1885).
Crean sold the land to the Dominion Mineral Company who then began operations in 1892. As with mining operations came the townsite and amenities for the workers. These included approx. 35 homes, The Mining Store, post office, train station, siding and bunkhouses. The population grew to approx. 400 people as operations were in full effect.
In 1889 the mine was renamed after James Worthington who has a large shareholder in the business. A note of interest, James Worthington also gave Sudbury its name choosing the birthplace of his wife.
By 1910 a social hall and two storey hotel were also in operations. The Mond Nickel Company purchased the site in 1915 to use the nickel for war productions.
William Mumford became superintendant of the mine in 1923. Four years later on October 3, 1927 he would notice that rock was shifting. A shaft pillar was 400 feet below was about to give way. Mumford called for the mine to be evacuated. At 5:50 AM the following morning the mine collapsed.
The mine caved in to the fifth level (750 feet) and took 500 feet of the CPR railway, telegraph and telephone lines, the powerhouse and a workman's home. There were no deaths. The only injury was a pig with an injured limb. Mond Nickel decided not to open the mine again, leaving the employees out of work.
In the 1950's, the Totten Mine brought new life to the area. This renewal did not last long though and the mine closed again. The mine became operational again in mid-2006 after INCO re-evaluated the viability of re-opening.
Both the original and new Worthington townsites became part of the town of Walden in 1973, and were in turn amalgamated into Greater Sudbury in 2001.
Location: Head to Whitefish (past Lively, Ontario) which is 15 kms West of Sudbury. Turn North onto Regional Road 3, go for 4.5 km and turn north again onto Regional Road 4 until you come to Worthington.