I would love to see an article on this village where my grandparents lived in the 30’s. It is near Fitzroy Harbour. My grandfather Walter Bootland was a mine superintendent or supervisor for the mill there. He left there to work in the gold fields in Noranda but died of leukaemia shortly after, likely a result of lead exposure at Kingdon. Thank you!
Regards Sharon Malone
Here was the first one I wrote.. Kingdon Mine Led Galetta Area from a Boomtown to a Ghost Town now part 2
Less than 40 miles from Canada’s capital city there are 2,000 acres of undeveloped bushlands with some four miles- of waterfront. In that triangle of land bounded by the Ottawa, and Mississippi Rivers, and what is commonly known as the Mississippi Snye. I had no idea what that meant so looked it up. The Snye originates as a branch of the Mississippi River, which enters the Ottawa River at Marshall Bay, upstream of Morris Island
During the years of 1914 to 1930, Kingdon Mining and Smelting Company was among the greatest producers of lead in Canada. In those years the village of Kingdon Mine boasted some 40 homes, a school, community hall, arena, and produced some of the finest baseball and hockey teams in the district.
Tom Lauzon’s General Store was the focal point for evening gatherings when the sports program was not in full swing. It was a “boom” town and remained so until 1931 when the bottom fell out. The inhabitants moved out; some to the northern mining camps; some to the village of Galetta; and others to the industrial town of Arnprior eight miles away.
Within a few years, the place was a ghost town; the old unpainted fronts of the frame buildings that once dotted the main street began to come down; hydro lines were withdrawn; there was no water system left; and the few oldtimers who remained had to revert to the oil lamp and the old village well.
JOHN J. STANTON, retired Fitzroy Harbor farmer and noted historian, tells that his father who homesteaded lots 23 and, 24 on the 7th concession of Fitzroy, stumbled across the lead discovery prior to 1870. A haying bee was. taking place on the Stanton farm and the crew started a fire on a big rock to boil a pot of tea, and they noticed the moulten lead” seeping from the rock.
While the discovery of lead on Laflamme Island, now known as Chats Island, was made prior to 1870, the first work was begun by James Robertson in July, 1884. Some few hundred tons of “hand cobbed” ore (lead or galena cobbed from the calcite matrix) was shipped to Kingston for smelting.
A fire then destroyed, the buildings and equipment and nothing was done until 1914 – when the James Robertson Estate reopened the mine; the shaft was sunk, and under the direction of general manager A. G. Munich, a mill was built and a smelter- erected. By 1931 the main shaft had gone to a depth of 1,448 feet when the price of lead literally evaporated and the mine shut down.
From 1915 to 1931 some 905,000 tons of ore and waste was hoisted. Lead concentrates produced 76,-820,000 pounds along with 657,000 pounds of zinc concentrates. Pig lead amounted to almost 60 million pounds valued at more than $4,334,-000. In October, 1937 the Fort Rouiile Mining Corporation attempted a reclaim operation on the mine, but relinquished its option in 1938 when the price of lead again dropped.
Today, all that’s left is a great white calcite tailing pile looking much like a snowy desert with the ghostlike ends of sluice structures sticking from the huge piles. This fine glistening stone is in great demand for driveways, service station lots and decorative concrete work, but was found later to contain lead. Engineering reports say the Kingdon Mine was never exhausted of ore, but merely shut down due to the abnormally low prices of lead.