Ontario Abandoned Places

Documenting Canada's Abandoned Structures



Visitor Stories



Submitted: July 14, 2013

Hi there, I was just enjoying your website and noted Bear Lake Ontario and St Olaf''s on it. I''m a descendant of the first Norwegian Settlers in Jarlesburg Ontario (now Bear Lake). My Great Great grandfather arrived with a small contingent of Norwegians and a couple of Swedes in 1872.

They were supposed to receive $33 (quite a sum by 1872 standards) per family from the Government to become established, but the government agent who escorted them to their new holdings left them here and kept their money for himself. The indigenous people living in the area provided these early settlers with shelter and food to bring them through the winter alive.

My great, great grandmother bore twins in early February of the year they arrived, in a tent. Needless to say the infants succombed to the harsh conditions, but my ancestors survived thanks to the com passion of the native people in the area. They built the church St. Olaf''s which still stands today. St Olaf''s first opened it''s doors in 1876, making it the oldest church in the region... and it has not been abandoned:) There are still several permanent residents in Bear Lake all year round, we still enjoy the home built by our ancestors in 1901 (the first house built in the 1870s burned) and the church still holds services, although only a few a year. We just attended a lovely service today with 41 attendees:) Anyhow, keep up the good work. It''s very interesting to learn about the history of all these pioneer towns.

Lisa O.



Submitted: July 6, 2010

I will start with my name. It is Donna Spano...nee Porter.

Going back to September 1971, I was admitted to Whitby Psychiatric Hospital. I remained a patient until June 1972. I was first placed in the assessment building. Then later transfered to cottage #6. I was 14 at the time and 15 when i was released.

There are quite a few stories that went around back then. Yes there were procedures being performed such as frontal lobotomies, i saw the patients with their scars.

I remember the bowling alley, and back then there was a small school house for all teens. It contained 2 floors, with 2 teachers. I remember 1 teacher's name was Ken...I was in grade 8. In the cottages there were underground tunnels. I saw them in the basement where laundry was done, but the passage ways were locked.

In our cottage, there was a billiard room, a large lounge area which contained seating for visitors, and also had a piano i used to tinker with. upstairs was the sleeping quarters...as you go up the stairs, the dorms were on the left...there was a sitting area, and to the left was the boys dorm, and the right was the girls dorm...there was also a "quiet room" if one of us got out of control...I have good memories surprisingly enough, but also some bad...

Today i am 53 yrs old and still think about it at times. Donna Porter-Spano


Submitted: May 7, 2010

In my Google search for possible class action lawsuits against either the Government of Ontario or the Government of Canada or both, I stumbled onto www.ontarioabandonedplaces.com/huronia/hrc.asp.

There is something about the information contained within the site that inspired me to contact you or the webmaster. The comment left by bonita got me started in this direction.

I would like you to know that I was once a resident of the Ontario Hospital School (from Jan 28, 1963 to September 9, 1967).

I would also like you to know that I was assaulted and was the witness of many assaults numerous times by the staff in Cottage A3 (Mr. Jack Keen, Mr. Happenstalt, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. McNair, and Mr. Art Clark in particular). I was terrified of most of the staff there.

One time Mr. Art Clark pushed my head in and flushed a toilet that was full of human excrement, urine and toilet tissue. To my mind that was the grossest and most memorable of all the assaults I endured in my lifetime. I was about 11 or 12 at the time that happened.

For years I used to dream up many things I could do to torture that man if I would ever be granted the strength, the opportunity, and the permission to do so.

About ten years ago I took video footage of the place as well as some photographs. If you are interested I will try to dig them up and send them to you. The video may not be in the most viewable condition, mind you. But I am sure I can find it.

Also, if you know of some way that I might be able to get together with other ex-residents of the place for a class action law suit and if you know of some litigation barrister who will help me to file a class action lawsuit I would truly appreciate your sharing it with me.

Thanks for your thoughtful consideration,

Bob



For your information there were two mansions built by the Gillies. My family owned this property from 1939 until about 1984.. As a young child my older brothers took me up to see it. Even at that time (54/55), it had fallen into the basement. It was built on top of the hill to the north and east of the log home. Facing the rail road tracks and school house.

My dad Murray Watts borrowed $400.00 from his aunt in 1339 to buy the property and some adjoining property, about 350 acres in all. Although we lived in Toronto, the five oldest of my family spent summers there from the time we were born. If you need further information, do not hesitate in getting touch.

robert@wattsmech.com




Hi,

I was very happy to find your site and the page on Frood MIne, then heartbroken to learn that the buildings had been torn down since my last visit there. I sort of grew up there -my grandfather was the mine rescue officer at the local Mine Rescue Station and, after moving to Toronto at the age of 7, I continued to spend my summers there until the last of the houses were torn down or removed in the late 80's. The station was a large two-story building (well, small compared to the mine across the street) with a shop and training facility downstairs and a two bedroom apartment upstairs.

The line of rescue team supervisors -going back to the early 20th century - as I understand them were Tom Fee (?), Harry Moorehouse, George MacFail and lastly my grandfather John Hallows who continued to the end. We had a red "Bat Phone" in the hall, a direct line that rang, often in the middle of the night , in emergencies and a large red rescue truck parked in the shop below.

The ghost town hunter can locate the site of the rescue station simply enough: The remaining steps that everyone talks about on these sites are the steps to the Dellaire (?) house -the first on the right at the fence. The rescue station was the next one on the right. It stood back from the road on a raised bit of land and had a semi-circular driveway. If you reach the bend in the road past the giant poplars -you've gone too far (I'll forward a photo of it from the road soon). Gooseberry bushes and crab apple trees that my grandmother used to make jam were still standing as of 2004 - probably still there. The creek was redirected through the back yard after the house came down, but you can find my sand box against the black rock -in is now the planter for a second generation of poplars several stories high.

Up the hill away from the mine site are a number of forts and treehouses that my cousins and I built as kids...these have outlasted the town itself. Many were inherited from kids before us. The pond halfway up the hill was always called Fee's Pond, after the first head of the mine rescue team.

The white quartzite road on the left-hand side of the road at the fence was the site of the fancier executive homes -one of them was huge colonial thing with columns. It sounds like Barry (other writer) lived on that road (Richie Cres.) he may have known my family who first moved to Frood around 1970.

The last time I visited I found the plastic wheels of a large toy truck of mine - sitting there close to 20 years.

 



Have you ever heard of Delamere? I noticed it wasn't there. There was quite the little settlement there at one time. My mother grew up there in the 1930's and 40's. My parents got married in the Catholic Church there (I think it was called Sainte Clotilde de La Mere.)

When I was a youth in 1952 we used to camp nearby our gradparents farmhouse. We used to shop at the general store there owned by the Laforge family, and go to church on Sundays.

We went to a small restaurant for coffee after mass, run by Alice Martel. My mother showed me the original loghouse school she went until 1933. A new school was built in the summer of 1933 and in service by fall. Between the store and the blacksmith shop stood 4 homes, and acros the road stood the hall and the church. A rectory stood on the left of the church. beside that there must have 6 more homes there.

A small sideroad contained another three homes. When I visited the site last summer it was my first time in Delamere since 1967. How did things change! The schools, and store were there. But the church and most of the homes were gone or collapsed. No one lives out there anymore. Some homes were saved only by seasonal use as cottages.

There were still 6 of them in use last summer. However they are not well kept as they should be. The restaurant is a colapsed ruin 7 lots right of the church foundations.

My father's familly were a well respected lumber family. His grand father arrived from Perth County in 1867 at Smith Bay on Dollars lake in Blair Twp (It was named Stevenson Twp until 1962) Allen was the first settler in the area and enticed a dozen or so others from Chesterville to relocate there instead. By 1870 he had 46 acres under cultivation and he opened a store (McNicol's General Store), and built a sawmill in 1872.

A small hamlet called Allensville had emerged and a few "company shacks" housed a few other families that came exclusively to work at the mill. My 1880 he was doing a thriving business. A school was built with his financial assitance (and some lumber!). The majority of the residents were baptist and a log church was built on a nearby hill south of the mill. A new one
was built to replace it in 1892. A fire tore through the settlement around 1896-97. It wiped out the "mill shacks"; and created the first
interments in the community (Prior to this they were burried in Loring).

A new row of 8 sturdy frame homes were built to replace the shacks. My father left the familly business in 1941 after he married my mother and went off to war.

Upon his return in 1946 he took a good paying job at the Frood Mine
which is where I lived between 1948-1951. We also visited the site last summer, a number of old buildings still stand a number of them collapsed.

A school house stands nearby the mill site which is today only three large concrete walls (sunk around 1916). Over 8 homes are still there. a few foundation here or there. After the mill closed in 1954 the hamlet dwindled to nothing.

Farming was already unprofitable and abandonned by the 1940's and the little settlement was no more by 1960.

Hope this helps
Elovats@hotmail.com



I came across you site while searching for local abandoned places to explore. I was amused to find Effingham listed. The old storefront you have a photo of still operated as an ice cream parlor when I was a kid in the early 80's.

My sister and I used to walk down that windy road from our house to get sugar cones. Rumor has it that it was closed because a murder took place there. Thanks.


1/2 km from the grundy lake provincial park, is a small dirt road. when you get there there is a sign from the Ontario Real Estate Corporation stating no trespassing.

If you go down the road you come to a small community of 4 - 6 houses. all seem relatively new ie. 20yrs old or so. there is a street with street lamps. the houses are boarded up but brokern into by vandals. any idea what this place was??


Oh WOW! Your website and data is super great! A treasure!

I read with great interest about my great-great-great grandfather on your website. I have been searching for about 26 years, and I find on your website.

I am in great joy! Specifically, Cashmere and gravesites and portraits of David Allen and Harriet Gooderham (portraits courtesy of Jim Halley, Lenexa, KS). I, too, am a descendnat of David Allen and Harriet Gooderham.

I would like to make a special request - can you please forward this e-mail to Jim Halley (aka Jim 'James Allen' H.)?


(Editor: If Jim would contact me, I'll pass the message along)



Hi I was looking for information from the Scotia area, where I grew up. And when I typed Scotia your page came up. I also found a few other spots that I remebered from my youth, you really have a great site here.

My parents both come from the area and so does two of my grandparents. My father past away nearly ten years ago of alzheimers, and his mind had gone at least 6 years before that. It was unfortunate that I couldn't get all the history of those little place when he was alive! He knew so much. And that is why I was prompted to write to you.

I grew up in Scotia in the early fifties, my dad was a Baptist preacher who was based at the Church in Scotia. My dad also had to do what was called the circuit, which I often followed him on. Every Saturday he would leave and preach service in Kearney, Sand Lake, Chetwynd, and KAtrine. We were back by 6pm. Theses were small little churches. in Sand Lake services were held in a small log church, In Chetwynd the Baptists congregated in the school house there, I think there were only 6 families here.

On the Sunday my father would do his preaching at 9am on Sunday at the Scotia church, and then he would jump in the car (me included) and preach in the churches in Sprucedale, Midlothian, and Magnetewan.

In Midloathian there were well over 35 farms in the area, The last time I drove down 10 years ago I counted only 2. The church had been torn down and so had the school, and two stores, even the cemetary was unkept.

On the way back we often stopped for supper at my aunts house which was between Royston and Starrat. She operated from 1945-1968 the last 'variety' store in the whole area out there. After she passed away my father preached at her service which was done in the old Doe Lake school. My mother grew up there in a place called Beggsboro. My mother used to tell me that her grand father Magnus Beggs had opened a grist and carding mill South of Doe Lake. He arrived from Germany and married my great-grandmother Beatrix Gottenbat who was also a dutch immigrant.

His little mill proved a growing concern. He had opened a store, and a post office was apparently added. Before the 1900's a little village of sorts clustered around his mill. My granny as we called her also spoke of this mysterious spot. She remebered there were a few little 'cottages' as she called them. My family also had a large farm under cultivation there. She also told us of the little school house that was built out of an old hog barn. About 15 kids were cramed up in that small smelly place.

Around 1900 a large fire destrouyed the mill, and most of the buildings had gone up with it. He never rebuilt and moved to Burk's Falls to retire. Tragically the familly of Joe Fowler was completely wipped out in the fire. When I was young my father often brought us there picnicking nearby the ruins of the mill. It was a series of great big stone foundation and the remains of a partially colapsed stone chimney, and neat artifacts.

It's a breath breathtaking site. Last time I visited the place it was still there by no longer visible from the roadway. Recently I phoned up my mother and she found old photographs of her youth in the Royston Area. She had started her clean up and found theses old black and whites. Mom is 86 and moving to a retirement home, she was about to throw out the lot, hundred of pictures were in theses boxes. I finally salvaged the lot and found a few nice photos from the entire area, including some from my fathers preaching days. Which brought me out for my online search for stories of these places.

Thanx for the site
Franny L.



I came across your excellent website and have enjoyed it tremendously. Kudo's to you for the terrific work!

The station at Searchmont is no longer there, but you will be happy to know that it has not been destroyed. It was sold and relocated to be used as a cottage farther south, I believe on Upper Island Lake in Heyden.

As a point of general interest that you may or may not be interested in, when you first enter Searchmont there is a sharp turn that crosses the rail tracks. In 1986 (or 87?) I was working as a brakeman for the ACR and we had an unfortunate incident at that crossing. Eight rail cars left the tracks right at the crossing and closed the road for 3 days. You will note that was the only road into town! A 30,000 lb coil of rolled steel from one of the flatbeds rolled off into the bottomless muskeg there right next to the crossing and was unable to be retreived. It is down there still.

The Searchmont station was a busy place up until it was closed. Vacationers would drive from the Soo to Searchmont and board the train there instead of at the Soo, in order to save a few dollars on the fare. It was especially popular with the moose hunters who wanted to avoid unloading a dead carcass in the busier Soo station on the return trip after the hunt.

Skiers would also ride the rails to Searchmont from the Soo as an added experience for their ski trip. The lumber mill was purchased by GW Martin Veneer in the 70's. I do not know who owned it then, but I suspect it may have been Weyerhauser.

My ex wifes grandfather once told me that he "start the mill in Searchmont". I am not sure if that meant that he owned it in it's fledgling years, or if he was an employee there, but in either case he was there when it was there when it first started operation I believe in the 30's. Thanks again for the great site, it sure brought back alot of memories!

Warm Regards,
Greg S.

 


I am working as a night watchman and your site has helped make the lonley night go by quickly. The Lourdes Grotto did not have a church there per se.When l was a kid attending St.Thomas seperate school in the French section in the 40's,we used to go to church services at the grotto.It was all outdoors.There was a platform where the altar stood.

The last time l visited the site,the was a water line near the platform.I met Ernie Savard and we remenisced about the site.

I too went Burwash on a number of occasions.My father was a wholesale plumbing and heating salesman and he took me to Burwash in the early 50's.It was booming then.

The next time was a week after the last prisoner had been shipped out prior to it's closure.The Ass't Superintendant gave my friend John and l a tour of the whole complex.People were still living there but not for long.

The last time l visited was as an officer with the 2nd Bn Irish Regiment of Canada. DND had taken over the site and we were on winter exercises.We froze our butts off. I love old places and things.Part of our present home dates to 1867.It was expanded in 1895 and 1927.

Bob



I was born in a house at the Frood Mine, because my father was at work underground and no one was around to give my mother a ride to the hospital.

The lady next door (Mrs. Simpkinson) brought me to the world on a cold December night in 1938. At the age of five I started school. I was one of the the 40 or so pupils going to the Frood School at the time. The Stobie Mine had 12 homes by the rockhouse which were used exclusively for management, about 9 kids came from there, the rest were all Frood kids.

I think the Stobie homes were removed around 1953. Our school had closed in 1955, after that all the children were bussed to schools in New Sudbury, the French Kids all went to the newly built Felix Ricard school just off Lasalle Blvrd.

Mrs Doherty was another resdient we all remembered fondly. She bred Corgies, and a pair reputedly made their way to Bukingham Palace ( The Queen is a great fan of Corgie's). Mrs Doherty also had a large vegetable which ironically still produced as late as 1998 (I retired in the winter of 1999) when I walked about the site of her house. I had found a number of potato plants, rhubarb, peas, and poppies! this house was situated on the last street (Bolger Ave) which was nearer to the Stobie Mine. We lived on Ritchie Crescent or just to the left past the gate.

Murray Penzim was the mines assayer, I remember he had the largest family at the mine, counting 6 kids. The 6 streets in Frood were called (Bolger, Ave, Ritchie Cresent, Ballantyne Ave, Dome Ave, Turner Ave., and De Lamar ave) They were all founders of INCO except Dome Ave, which was a gold mine at Red Lake they opened in 1926.

After I started at the Frood Mine in 1957 I was offered lodging at the mine. the one vacant house left was reserved for me, apparently management did not enjoy living at the site, so production personnel were given the first bids after management. In the 1950's the company town site was not very popular since every body owned a car by then and most liked the suburban atnosphere better than the grey mine site.

For me However I grew up at the Frood and the Frood was home. My father had moved here from Shawvill, Quebec in 1929, and never looked back. He even died in the town site at the age of 62 (in 1963). Even the mining accident that killed hime (actually a rock burst which injured 5 employees and killed my father, thank god it was instantly) was sort of a good omen. He always said he wanted to be buried in the Frood.

Well the compnay, I doubt very much, would have allowed that, but he died there, so at least its partially a consolation, for him anyway.

So good to see someone interested in the old Frood's history.

Barry



Hello there, my name is Jeremy and i just swung past the site. i love it,i went through most of the ghost towns checkin the pics and the videos out.i live here in ottawa and was employed by a big heating and refrigeration company that got to work on the Horaceville site.we installed AC and a furnace into the main house in the attic, plus cleaned the duct work.when i found out about us doin work there i was extremely excited seeing as a child my father would take me metal detecting when i was young, and i would walk around the old and weathered buildings looking for relics.my father would let me metal detect, and yes i have found some nice old coins from the early 1800's.

at 1 church near shawville quebec we got something like 10-12 coins from one hole alone.we have alot of the old style pennies that are around the size of a loonie from the early 1800's , some worth a few dollars but all were fun to find. i walked around horaceville on break and check the place out,there is a lil stream by where it is said the old mail was.when i was there ifound a perfectly rounded stone with a square cog hole in the middle of it.i left it there but put it out in the open ontop of a rock for others to see.

i really wanted to go over by the church , but its on different property now ,and there was a bunch of people in suits over there (looked like wedding party,maybe for pics).all said it is being restored as we speak, so maybe go check it out if ya get a chance.

the thing I'm after right now...and am having trouble finding is old mining maps/ghost town maps of Renfrew county or in the Ottawa valley close to the Pembroke area. if u have any idea where i could find any of this stuff it woule be a great help.ill keep yas posted on my treasure hunting adventures. thx guys.




Hi, Love your site. I was going to check out the Nobel ghost town, but instead got a warning not to do so. My uncle used to work for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario and they were going to do some work in there but it is soo full of contamination that they had to scrap that idea completely.

Apparently, some of the chemicals that are leaking into the place get in the creeks and then if the creek dries up it can actually combust and start a fire. He was told do to a tox screen before and definately after going into the area.

Terrell




Really enjoyed looking over your site. Terrific and a trip down memory lane. As a young fella in the early 1950s and into the 60s was associated with many of the towns you cite..

Franz while in the employ of former Lands and Forests and if my memory serves me what you ID as Boarding House may have been a L&F Dorm for summer help. There was a Spadoni store o/o by Peter (Pietro) Spadoni.

Lands and Forests had a staff of Chief Ranger..fella by the name of Wayne Niemi, a resident Game Warden and his pack of dogs..his name was Pozo or Poso and a few summer Rangers and maybe a summer staff of twenty or so Jr. Rangers. They spent much of the summer doing L&F property improvement..landscaping, hauling much from a nearby swamp and spreading it over the property and then sodding it.

I worked later full timefor Marathon Corp, both mill and woodlands (up the Pic River from Heron Bay and back of Longlac.) The main depot in the woodland was Caramat..now a shell of its former self and further east on the railway (CNR) was a bustling townsite named Stevens.

Perhaps residence to several hundred sould..mostly season bushworkers but a number of permanent (?) homes. Shortly after I left the operations, the company transferred all the assets to nearby Caramat and fishing trip a decade ago revealed they'd done a first class at reverting the townsite back to nature. I couldn't even find a nail or pice of lumber to indicate it had been home to a small bustling community. In fact the last owners of the vast woodlands released their leases and pulled out lock, stock and barrel..npo more pulpwood harvesting in a former pice of crown land that was about the size of PEI. I have no pix of these years just warm memories. If you'd like official information on this once bustling community, am sure the Public Library of Marathon,ON. could help you out. They have an archive about the history of the area.

Another place you cite is Port Coldwell where so many Marathon mill employees called home and my last view of a place called Jackfish indicated what could best be described as a ghost town. Also there isn't much left of Heron Bay since the end of the logging era up the Pic River. For most of the productive years of Marathon Woodland, the logs came down the Pic in the spring..then boomed at Heron Bay and raftered to the mill for processing at Marathon. All this is Ontario History. Places like Little Longlac and Geraldton are now a shell of heir former glory days in gold mining.

While working at Camp 12 (Manitou Falls on the White Otter R. which flows into the Pic River), I was with the camp's recreation committee. At that time,we purchased all our ice cream, pop and sundries from the privately owned grocery store at nearby Stevens. I recommended we purchase directly from a supplier in Geraldton to cut-out the middle man charges. That was a teenager's rationale not thinking of Mr. Barret, a fine gentleman who owned the store in Stevens and I contributed to his economic downfall. Something I have had to carry on my conscience to this day and feel badly about.

However, as history would dictate, the interconnecting roadwork for logging purposes in the area soon didn't hold that private Company status. A highway was punched through connecting Caramat to Highway 11 and then it conected to the newly found

mining community to Manitouwadge and that eventually connected to Hwy. 17 between White River and Marathon. The area had a long history starting in the 1930s and the first "big time" woodlands operators was Marathon Paper Mills of Neenah, Menasha, USA. They became Marathon Corp of Canada in the Canadian area as described and about 1946 built the mill at Marathon (formerly known as Peninsula) Then they sold to American Can and later the mill's ownership seperated from the woodlands. The last woodlands operator was Buchanan Forest Products of Thunder Bay and the mill is presently a joint venture..Tembec and Kruger (I believe).

The mill is flourishing but receives all its raw material by rail and truck from jobbers and the woodland has reverted back to the Crown. In the former Woodlands lies the once booming Depot/Town CARAMAT..now just a tourist attraction and a few fish camps. At the far end of the limit and also along the CHR is Hillsport..once a thriving operating camp and townsite which housed homes (private) by the married camp workers. Now this too, once a town and depot of 200 souls is just a few residences and a small general store. The limit was laced with a number oif operating camps, designated by numbers and earch with dorms, a cookery, rec hall, camp office and a rec. hall and curling rink. Some had grade schools and some had married quarters for staff and privately owned shanties for married workers. My last vacation trip revealed no Camp Sites save the hamlet of Hillsport an Caramat. All the camps were torn down and not even a footing showed of the building sites. The biggest contributor to the downfall was the advent of the Tree Harvester which replaced hundreds of pulpwood cutter's jobs and the rest of the operation in the latter years became Hi-Tech. Operating camps and operations were consolidated and the camps disappeared as did most of the huge workforce..very shortly after I left in '63. As I said, Marathon Public Library (as well as a motortrip through the area to investigate) would help you if if wanted to add this sad story to your list.

Brad



 
Crean Hill Mine is nearer to Fair Banks Lake and was surrounded by marsh lands held up by a quite old but ellabarate miniture dam system.All that is left in Victoria Mines, is a Hydro electric power pole, situated near the lake. also held up by a dam built in the 1890's, (small dams)

Entering Victoria... Which is illegal and falls under tresspassing without a permit, one will see an old shell of an automobile on the right handside over the ledge of the road leading to the site. (Not much at the site)Before arriving at  Worthington one may see a semi small water falls at the side of the road... above that enscarpment is one of the old miniture dams from this lengthy network, and on the opposing side in the marsh, one can see the old concreate Worthington bridge Have fun getting to it, its not as simple as it seems. P.R. (The bridge is small)Another similar Bridge can be found off the beaten track, along Hwy 55 to whitefish... when going towards whitefish, at the top of Blueberry hill you have to go off to the right, at that intersection and just keep going strait, following the old highway. and yes that is the old highway 17 west. Which for a while was pretty much a Ghost highway.

Joseph


 


My name is Glenn. I am an amateur radio operator and have been
toying with idea of starting a series of "Ghost Towns On The Air"
expeditions to some of the many ghost towns in Ontario and elsewhere. What this would involve is one or more amateur operators going to a particular ghost town, setting up a temporary transmitting antenna, starting up a generator, or using local hydro, if available and approved by the residents, and making a few contacts.

This would serve to advance the spirit of ham radio, as well as perhaps bring in more tourism to these former towns and villages. I believe that it is a valid idea, and currently we have what we call "Islands On The Air", where similar groups of hams voyage to sometimes isolated islands and do much the same thing.

Some of these islands and indeed some of the ghost towns are
located in "rare Grid Squares", which means that there are no other ham operators in the area. This makes them a great source of extra points for the folks who are in the hobby to talk to as many rare places as they can, in order to get certificates from sponsors of these events.   

If you wish more information on IOTA, go to www.rac.ca and do a
search for IOTA. RAC stands for Radio Amateurs of Canada, which is our National organization.

It is with this in mind that I respectfully request access to this
site, which I have visited many times in the past. I would also request that access be granted to any other amateur operator who is doing research for this program.



Hello

After viewing the site- nice pics, there's one place that was left off the list, and really should be included. Jackfish, Ontario. It was mentioned, as "just down the road from Coldwell", which is true, but it's a thoroughly interesting place to roam around , and long held beliefs, that are a few "souls" that I've heard of, still make the rounds of Jackfish.I haven't ventured into Jackfish for a very long time, but I can tell you, between some of the old houses, and sheer "isolation", it's a pretty spooky place,especially at night. There are some "camps" located there,and because I haven't talked to any of these camp owners, to see if they've heard "anything go bump in the night", I can't relate any interesting "ghost" stories. When my husband owned a camp, many years ago, in the once-thriving village of Jackfish, you had to have "a strong-disposition" to stay there by yourself. I always felt it was an "un-nerving" place, and was quite happy to go back to my home-Terrace Bay.There's still quite a few folk that remember living,or working for, the CPR, which ran through the town of Jackfish.It's quite the place.

And I had heard an old story,passed down by a family member-that in the "port" of Coldwell- there was an old Russian, many,many,many, years ago- that had worked for CPR, lived in Coldwell?, and had buried his "fortune" somewhere within the village. It goes-that this old Russian,had immigrated to Canada, couldn't speak maybe 2 words of English, worked for the railroad, and did not trust the banks. It's alleged he buried all his "pay", somewhere-in the area of one of the "watch-towers?" that the CPR had back then, and that he died before he could re-claim his buried monies.It's been told-that the money is still there-buried in the ground,near the watch-tower(there was apparently an East tower,and West tower?), and it's never been found. The Russian never told anyone where to find his money, or so the story goes.

 I live in Terrace bay, and have, all of my life. 

   "A long-time Resident".
         
Hello,I thought you might be interested in another ghost town of sorts.It was called Kelso.

It was near Iroquois Falls and Timmins and in its heyday,it was the end of the railine from southern Ontario,when the Northeast was first being settled. The people and cargo headed for the  Timmins area goldmines left Kelso and travelled over the Porcupine Trail.

My grandfather worked on that trail. Kelso at the time had a bank,hotels,stores,a train station and several streets and houses,with about 1,500 people living there.The town burned in the 1916 Matheson fire.It was partly rebuilt,but was never the same again.

Today there are only 2 homes where the town used to be,with the bank,stores and hotals,long gone,although there are still the ruins of the foundation of what was once a boarding house. I thought it  might be an interesting addition to your list.

Doug P.



I was reading an article in the Sudbury Star today about the ghost town of Burwash. In the article it states that the old town is only used for military training, and there is nothing to see anymore.

Actually, the old jail is still standing as well as several garage areas to the left of the jail (as seen in picture on your website). I live in Sudbury and have been to the jail several times over the years.

The jail and garages are accessible through doors and windows that have been broken open. It was a low security jail which is why all the prisoner cells had windows and large wooden doors. I believe that there are three floors to the building, including the basement, which is flooded with a bit of water. There are isolation cells in one end of the building that have walls made of glass almost a foot thick. There is a gymnasium with stage on the second floor. There is a large diesel engine in one room in the basement that must have been used for back-up power during a power outage. There's also a few rooms in the basement that look like they were used as woodworking / manufacturing shops for inmates.

The jail itself is still fairly sturdy, but there are some things that are very dangerous, and are worth mentioning. All of the sinks, baths, toilets, glass have been smashed by people over the years making it dangerous to walk around inside. There is no light in certain areas of the basement, so if you don't have a flash light you won't be able to see where you're going. There are also several open manholes around the perimeter of the building that are hidden by overgrown grass, and are very easy to fall into if you're not careful.

The first time I went to the jail I was around sixteen years old. I was with a bunch of my friends, it was night time, and a full moon. We had a bunch of flash lights and were prepared to go into the jail at night. I have always enjoyed a good thrill, but on this particular night I got way more than I had bargained for.

We were standing in the field infront of the jail, the sillouette of the building was visible from the moonlight. It was looking really creepy, seeing such a enormous building totally empty, no light, in the middle of nowhere. Once we saw the building we had all pretty much decided that you would have to be crazy to want to go into that building at night with a full moon, even if we had falshlights. So we decided to investigate around the perimter of the building.

We were walking toward the right side of the building, me following my friend with the flashlight, when I fell into an open manhole, fell roughly 10 feet and landed on my butt in a small room which I later found out was the basement. It was pitch black, and I immediately began to panic, screaming and yelling for my friends to get me out, and to give me a flashlight so I could see where I was.

My friend threw his flashlight to me, I could see I was in a small room with pipes running along the walls and roof. There was also a grey styrofoam on the walls that was all scratched up.

My friends got a long stick and tried to pull me back up the manhole with no luck, the stick kept breaking. Some of my other friends were heading back to the truck to get a rope, but I decided that I would try to find my way up to the ground floor, and try to find a door or window that I could climb out of to get out of the building.

I walked out of the room and into a hallway. I continued down the hallway until I reached the part that was flooded with water. The water was about a foot deep, so I continued along carefully making sure I didn't fall into anymore holes, until I came to another room and peered inside. This is when things get kind of fuzzy because I was panicing really bad, I may have even been in shock for all I know.

I looked inside and noticed that it was a fairly large room, there were chains dangling from the ceiling, and there were wooden stools stacked on benches to the roof (it looked like some kind of crazy torture chamber). At this point my imagination went a little crazy, and I went completely nuts. I turned and ran up the flooded hallway, yelling, screaming, crying, and laughing all at the same time the whole way until I came to a flight of stairs which I went up. I remember seeing the cells with big wooden doors and toilets, and sinks smashed all over the place. I kept running up and down the hallways looking for a door or window to jump out of. I also remember coming out in the gymnasium, and I also recall seeing the huge diesel engine right before I found a door to the outside. It was bolted shut, but I kicked it open surprisingly easily (its amazing what you can do when your terrified) and started running to the truck still yelling, screaming, crying and laughing too. It was probably the scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my life.

I went back the next day to do some more investigating during the day, and retraced my steps. The crazy torture room, turned out to be a wood shop, and it wasn't nearly as scary above ground because light was entering the building through the many windows. It was still pretty creepy, but not as scary as the night before.

I can't remember exactly how to get to the jail (you can't drive to it, you got to walk a little ways), but if you happen to want to see it in person, I can show you where it is.

Kevin D. (Sudbury)



What a nice gift we were given today to find a photo of the Cashmere, Ontario graveyard headstones of my Great, Great, Great Grandfather David Allen and his wife Harriet on your website. We have photos of them and letters from them but descendents of our families fell out of touch some years ago and we did not know the location of their graves.

Thank you for the incredible amount of hard work that went in to creating this marvelous resource. I hope your "changing priorities" are satisfying. Perhaps a suggestion that comes to late: those who view your website might be willing to fund the renewal of your domain name.

Thank you,

Jim (James Allen) H.
Lenexa, Kansas



We llived in Creighton Mine for 18 years. My mom was born (in a house in Creighton) and raised there all her life. Our family moved out of town in March of 1988. We were one of the last families to leave. I wanted you to know that I love the information you have provided on your web site. I can now show my children where I grew up. I have some photos you might want to add to the web site. I have a picture of St Michael's church taken the year before it was torn down. (approx. 1983) and a picture of the post office. Thanks again for the wonderful memories.

Tina (Withers) R.


Hi There.... Just wanted to thank you for your story about the "Milnet" mystery. Wayne McNabb was a friend of my dad's....they used to be neighbours back in the 1980's. I can remember doing a lot of stuff with Wayne and his family (especially his son Dale) when I was a kid. Wayne was a great guy and I'm sure is sadly missed by many back in my hometown of Capreol, Ontario. Even though the tribute you found was actually for his canine pal, the page is a great memory to Wayne as well.

Regards, Ann, London, ON


Burwash



I am a frequent visitor to your ghost town site and I have never expressed my thanks for the work you do. Although I cannot locate it on your page at the moment, I recently read your entry regarding (and I am now working from a failing memory) an apparent drop in  visitor activity and a corresponding lack of appreciation of your work.

Please let me be "the tip of the iceberg".  It would be impossible to calculate the impact you have had on peoples lives, memories, sense of place and history.  Your earliest notations and entries regarding Burwash were critical to the renewed interest and activity in and around the Industrial Farm.  You have the same impact on anyone connected with each and every "ghost town" you include on your site. 

In many instances yours is the only history descendents have of a place in the family history at a particular point in time - and they cherish it.  You have provided a wonderful resource and a point of departure for others who, although are not associated with the places you have listed, share your passion and greatly value your contribution to "ghost town hunting".  Your guardianship of the history you have assembled is extremely important - children yet to be born will be accessing your work in some manner yet to be determined. I do hope you will find the energy and interest to continue your work. 

Regards MC
Manotick, Ontario

Creighton, Ontario


I lived in Creighton Mine, Ontario from 1966 to 1976 (age 8 to 18) . I thought you might be interested in the following info; Kelly's store (which also had apartments) was sold to B. Johnstone in 1940 and then to a Mr. Gorie who operated the store from 1944 and 1961. In 1962 my father (Clarence Spencer) bought it and converted the building fully to apartments. He sold it to Mr. D. Dubremant in 1978 who ran the apartments until the building was demolished in 1982.

There was an INCO Employees Club that I did not see mentioned. It was an important part of the community as it housed a bowling alley, pool tables, gym, badminton courts, lounge and library. We all hung out there shooting pool and bowling - bowling was an important pastime for all ages. (I was a pinsestter for the men's league - a job not for the slow or faint of heart.)

There is a small history book called 'There Were No Strangers' . It was put
together by Creightonites and may still be available through the Anderson
Farm Museum in Walden, Ontario, if you are interested.

Thanks for keeping the memory alive.

Jacquie S.