The minerals found at the Gertrude Mine located (14 miles west of Sudbury near Lively, Ontario) were discovered in 1892 by William McVittie and George Jackson. Since that time it had been the site of a nickel producing mine.
Elsewhere, Lake Superior Power Corporation had its hands in many different industries. It was involved with hydro generation, pulp and paper production, iron and steel production and railways.
The company, owned by Francis Hector Clergue of Sault Ste. Marie, required large amounts of sulphur for use in making wood pulp as well as nickel for use in their steel products. The company approached The Canadian Copper Company (INCO) about supplying them with sulphur, but were turned down.
As the ore from Gertrude contained large amounts of sulphur, The Lake Superior Power solved their problem by deciding to purchase the Gertrude and Elsie Mines in 1899. The company then built a smelter and converter on the site. It is of interest to note that the mine along with the Helen Mine in the Algoma area was named after Clergue's sisters.
Clerque would require the sulphur to be shipped to his paper mill in Sault Ste Marie as well as ore for his furnaces. To facilitate this he took over the Manitoulin & North Shore Railway (incorporated 1888), and in 1900 construction began on the railway in Sudbury. Within a year the railway had stretched its rails to the Gertrude Mine.
Clerque was now able to ship out the sulphur and nickel to his mills up north. At the mine, a town was built for the workers who numbered almost 200 men. Along the railway a station was constructed for the passengers arriving and departing. A post office was established in 1902 and was operated by J.T. O'Connor.
The mine and railway continued to ship out sulphur and ore until 1903 when the company's financial difficulties caught up to them. The company had been spending money on expansions and was now broke. The Gertrude and Elsie mines closed. While railway construction was halted, it did continue to operate on the existing 14 miles of track as the town site remained active.
By 1907 the financial difficulties were resolved and Lake Superior Corporation was back in business. Clerque was no longer owner of the company and the construction of the railway continued to Espanola and from there to Little Current. While original plans called for the railway to extend to Owen Sound it would never extend beyond Little Current.
In 1911 the Manitoulin & North Shore Railway changed its name to the Algoma Eastern Railway (AER). In October of 1913 the swing bridge was completed and the railway now extended to Little Current.
In 1918 the company would succumb to the depression. It was bailed out by the British American Nickel Company but the company's new life was short lived. In 1921 debt once again caught up to the mine. It was purchased by INCO and alll remains of the town were removed.
Directions: Take Regional Road 55 to Lively. As you pass through the town you'll drive by Creighton Mine. Continue down the main road until the road becomes a T-intersection with Highway 144. The Gertrude mine was located on the first road you encounter on the left hand side of the road, should you turn right at the T-intersection. The road to the town site is blocked. This area is private property.