the close of the 20th century, the company town was a fading memory on the
Canadian landscape. Dwindling mineral deposits and hard times devastated
some company towns, while mine owners in others areas, like Creighton, dismantled
towns when they no longer wanted to shoulder the expense of supporting
an entire community.
The town of Creighton was built in the early 1900s by INCO, a short time after they began to mine nickel in the region. By 1916, war demands for tanks, ships, guns and bullets had the mine thriving and the ranks of its employees were doubled to 1200. World War II and the Korean War gave the town similar boosts and, at its peak, Creighton's population numbered 3,000. By 1986, Creighton was INCO's most productive mine, but nevertheless, the company gave residents one year to vacate.
Maureen Kelleher/Leigh Badgley
In Sight Film & Video Productions
| One of Ontario’s oldest
and largest company mining towns is also a modern ghost town. Modern in
the sense it became a ghost town as recently as 1988. Creighton was built
by the Internal Nickel Company of Canada to serve the nickel boom of the
early 1920s. It was home to more than 400 families until 1986 when the Company
announced it was closing not only the mine but also the town itself. By 1988
the town was deserted, bulldozers razed buildings and homes leaving only
the foundations and roads of what was once a town called Creighton.
Submitted by: Henry Chenoweth
|Creighton Mine was discovered haphazardly
by surveyors on the 1850's and 60's. Staked around 1883, the claim would
be patented to the Canadian Copper Company, January 24th 1887, after persuing
the Metcalf and McAllister's claims. Though initially developement began
around 1898, it would not be until two years later when actual mining commenced
at the mine. 1900 would see much activity at the site where 900 miners
were stationed in boarding houses.
The company spent a total of $30, 500.00 on developing the site, first as an open pit mine then underground. The number one shaft was sunk in 1903, #2 in 1905, situated 350 feet apart. By 1913, the pit stood at 400 feet wide and 190 feet deep, engulfing the first shaft. As demand for nickel substatially grew within the first year of the Great War (1915), an additional shaft was added (#3) and swelled the number of employees from 540 to roughly 1200-1300.
As the war ended and boom and bust cycles passed, production continued steadily at the mine (except in 1921 when workings were shut down for the year), by 1924 the number three shaft reached a depth of 1900 feet, while the #4 was the first underground shaft sunk that same year from 1200 feet to the 2600 level. From 1934-36 the #5 underground shaft was commenced at the depth of 4075 feet, while the #6 was sunk from the 3800 foot level to 4400. Other workings were the number 7 shaft which reached 1700 feet and sunk in 1951, while five years later the #8 shaft was sunk from an internal level 4800 feet and pushed deeper down to the 6600 feet. By 1969 the #9 shaft driven down and the property became the deepest continous mining shaft in the western hemisphere at the 7137 foot level. Later the numbr ten and eleven were errected the later one strictly for aeration purposes. The ore body was primarily situated in Creighton and Snider Townships. It is also interesting to note that geoligist had a rather hard time mapping the ore body. For the first quarter century, on three occasions, workings were winding and petering out. Each time, however, more exploration and underground work proved more ore. Since 1930, no doubts has remained as to the mines reliability, some forcasts suggest strong minning for at least another twenty five years (2025-30). Wages were good at the mine. In 1900, when production first began, minning captains received $145 per month, a master mechanic $90, teamster $45, blacksmith $75, and a miner received $42.50. As the site expanded, hydro electricity was strung in from High Falls in 1904, producing 25 cycle power. (MORE)
Valley, Ontario, (Toxic Ghost Towns) Happy Valley Ontario is a truly modern
Ghost Town. It was levelled in the 1960's because it was said the smoke
and toxins from the Falconbridge Refinery were killing the towns' people.
The town of Creighton, Ontario was closed in the mid 80's, because after
just a couple townspeople complained of unsanitary water, Inco decided
to demolish the town rather than upgrade the sewer system.