Ghost Towns https://mikeonline.ca/category_Ghost_Towns en Salton Sea https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Salton_Sea <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Salton Sea</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 04/23/2018 - 16:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">I arrived in my nice, clean, white, rented Equinox.  The windows were up, and the cool air was coming from the air conditioner.  The sun was shining, and I was loving being away from the cold and snow of Canada.  When I arrived, first at Salton City, I drove close to the beach and stopped.  I looked out over the shimmering water, turned off the engine and got out...  THE STENCH!  Nothing had prepared me for the smell.  Like seaweed and rotting fish, yet somehow much, much worse.  I looked around, noticed that some of the houses were actually occupied and thought, "how do they live with the stench?".</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Salton Sea began as an accident, and it's potential as a vacation resort ended as an accident.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="One of many abandoned buildings" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e36f613d-afaa-468c-bf87-e7b4c0676a0d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0154.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1905, the California Development Company attempted to increase the water to the area for farming.  Canals were dug from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley.  These canals began to fill with silt, restricting the water flow, so the engineers made a cut in bank of the river to divert even more water.  It was too much.  The canal was overwhelmed, and the river flowed freely into a basin for two years before repairs were completed.  This was the birth of the Salton Sea.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I wandered the deserted streets of Salton City, and then Salton Sea Beach, it was surreal.  The streets were all there although they had few stop signs, or other types of traffic control.  You could tell that this area was much more built up than it is now, but it was hard to imagine.  Between the heat, the desert sand, and the smell, it was almost impossible to imagine this as it once was; a busy, thriving vacation spot.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Sign for a golf course that was never built." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dff9f6f6-b220-442a-b70b-c0804a600cca" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0175.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The area began development during the late 1950's, early 1960's.  The streets, power grid, and other infrastructure were planned for a population of over 40,000.  With rising water, salinity, and pollution from farm run-off, most properties were abandoned by the 1980's.  It wasn't the end of a dream, because the dream simply never materialized.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">i noticed that Salton Sea Beach seemed to be more about trailers and what most would consider cottages than what I saw in Salton City.  A number of fires appear to have destroyed some of the remaining structures, and graffiti and vandalism are everywhere.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Tires inside an abandoned garage." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ccd75efb-c1c1-49a7-a301-fa525ff286ee" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0198.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">With property costs so high in California at the moment, the lure of lots priced from $4,000 each is clearly attractive as the number of permanent residents appears to be on the climb again.  Much will depend, of course, on the nearby employment opportunities, beyond the casino located across the highway.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As the sun disappeared behind the mountains, I was keenly aware that my time was up.  It was time to head back to San Diego after enjoying my opportunity to check a place off my bucket list.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=37115&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="Tv95u33WoTVUqkfWXgbvzobUhe9l7NcUXL5u5aG6AH0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:00:00 +0000 Mike 37115 at https://mikeonline.ca Jackfish Ghost Town https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Jackfish <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Jackfish Ghost Town</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/28/2017 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">As is often the case with these things, I wasn't completely sure as to the exact location of this town when I arrived.  In fact, I wasn't completely sure there was even anything left to see.  However, we were on vacation, we were in the area, give or take a few hundred kilometres, why not go take a look.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When we were close to the spot, I decided to park the truck and consider two possible directions we could begin hiking.  One seemed most likely, so I chose to eliminate the other first.  As it turns out, both were right.</p> <p><img alt="Max inspecting the trail." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5e5bb72d-b0bc-40b0-9a6e-fb4b915b0db8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8888.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Nearing the tracks, we saw a well-beaten path on the far side, so often a clue when exploring.  We crossed over and followed it, only to emerge on a beautiful section of beach and a tent...  Someone was camping here, although not currently at home.  Clearly this wasn't where we wanted to be, so after giving the dog a chance to swim a bit on a warm day, we backtracked up the path to the railway.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">People had arrived in a car, and a second vehicle was approaching.  When I spoke to the first, I found out that this was the person camping on the beach, and that the place I was looking for was a little ways down the rail line.  By this time, the second group of two people arrived.  The man indicated that he had spent time here in his youth and was here to see what was left.  We were advised that there were a few narrow rock cuts along the track, and that there were frequent trains.  We would need to be careful.</p> <p><img alt="Old car in the woods." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="64d048e4-c250-45b2-a84e-7bf2c33c1458" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8916.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Jackfish existed before the <a href="http://www.cpr.ca/en" target="_blank">CPR</a> came along, mostly as a small fishing community.  It was the railway, however, that caused it rapid and immense growth.  Between 1883 and 1885, the railway, and a siding, were constructed here allowing the passing of trains in opposite directions.  After almost a decade, a port was established for the unloading of coal, building Jackfish up into a recoaling and watering station for the CPR's steam engines, here and in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schreiber,_Ontario" target="_blank">Shreiber</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_River,_Ontario" target="_blank">White River</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">We began our westward hike along the track and came quickly upon a large collapsed concrete structure on the south side.  It appears to have been a coal tipple that fell over.  Given its size and weight, I could just imagine the sound it must have made.</p> <p><img alt="Remains of an old house." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a1e96245-9818-43e8-a1c4-1a37aca8422f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8924.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">A little further along, on the north side of the track, we encountered the remains of a water tower.  Not yet knowing the history of this place, I came to the conclusion that coal and water were the most likely reason for this town's existence.  As we continued along, we began to notice other details.  A ramp to raise a car for repairs.  An old car.  Open foundations with old furnaces cold and covered in moss.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the 1930's, things continued just as busy as a local lumber company began using the port to ship wood to US pulp mills.  In the 40's, the war made its impact known as those of Japanese decent were placed in internment camps including one here at Jackfish.  The men were used to build the nearby Trans-Canada Highway.</p> <p><img alt="Steps up to a foundation in the woods." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="46efc5ab-36aa-4ad6-a768-a88e34336e64" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8947.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">With the rise of the diesel engine, coal began to give way, and so did Jackfish's importance to the CPR.  Things began to wind down, and people began to close up and move away as fortunes here began to diminish.  In 1960, the town's hotel burned down, and by three years later, only two families remained living here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">We watched a few of the new trains go past along the tracks as we explored.  No one seemed surprised we were there.  A couple of camps were still occupied, probably on a seasonal basis, and the signs of the town's former glory and becoming ever more difficult to find.  Still painted in relatively small white letters on the rock face, however, was "Jackfish Ontario". </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=8&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="y06zzPyLr_ZZKapL-Bs_GL7apmqwU5Rs0pED5YVHxJs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 28 Aug 2017 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 8 at https://mikeonline.ca Goldfield and Victor, Colorado https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Goldfield_Victor <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Goldfield and Victor, Colorado</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 03/01/2017 - 06:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">Fairness requires that I give each of these towns their own, individual stories.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Goldfield, Colorado</strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Established in 1894 by the Portland Town and Mineral Company, lots of land were sold, many for $25, to the employees of the various mines that opened in the surrounding area.  The town grew quickly, and houses continued to be built.  By 1900, the town's population was over 3,500, and it featured a fire department, running water from a reservoir, arc street lights and a "Pest House" for transients or people with contagious disease like TB.  Churches, schools and a City Hall also sprung up as new services continued to be provided to the growing population.  Even an electric streetcar system was established linking Goldfield to the towns of Independence and Victor nearby.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Violent strikes occurred in 1903 the required the intervention of the National Guard.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When World War I began, many men were shifted from the gold mines to mines of more essential metals in other towns.  During this time, a housing shortage in Wyoming caused a number of homes in Goldfield to be loaded onto flatbed rail cars and moved away.  Men returning after the war would discover their homes gone.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The town continued to decline and the post office closed in 1932.  By 2010, the population was just 49.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Victor, Colorado</strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Founded in 1891, Victor was named after the nearby gold mine.  It grew so quickly, because of the surrounding mines, that it achieved city status in just three years.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In August, 1899, the entire business district was destroyed by fire in a mere 5 hours.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1903, Victor felt the effects of the same strike action as Goldfield.  Unionization against the work conditions of the mines brought about a period that would be called the Colorado Labour Wars.  The union hall is still standing and allegedly features some bullet holes from that time.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Mining in the area continued to decline steadily until full closure in 1962.  From 18,000 residents at the turn of the century, the town reported a population of only 397 by 2010.  Renewed mining operations have helped in that regard, but it will never see its days of past glory again.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=88&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="Bswn6wRkqO28mOtKs6HQ_eGXeOnNL_CjAtRNLUAzxuA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:52:40 +0000 Mike 88 at https://mikeonline.ca Fort George, Quebec https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Fort_George <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fort George, Quebec</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/24/2016 - 11:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="My hotel in Radisson, QC" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f33dadb2-d0af-4001-bcad-7c180bde4ba4" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/radison_01.JPG" /></p> <p><small><i>My hotel in Radisson, QC.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After two days of driving, experiencing the James Bay Road, and eventually falling asleep under the blanket of Northern Lights, I awoke Tuesday morning excited and raring to go. I was to meet Roger, my contact, at his business in Chisasibi, a First Nations community about 100 km west of Radision, QC.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I arrived a little earlier than scheduled, and took the opportunity to drive around and soak up the atmosphere. What I saw was a growing, apparently vibrant community. Houses were popping up in a new extension of the town, showing that the population was clearly on the rise. The heart of the town was already bustling with people driving and walking around with no notice of the absence of cross-walks, lights or signs that might be taken for granted elsewhere.</p> <p><img alt="Downtown Chisasibi, QC" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="74bc7f38-c696-44b8-8c18-3ba805f94706" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/chisasibi_01.JPG" /></p> <p><small><i>Downtown Chisasibi, QC.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I noticed an older section of town where the houses, in contrast to the new construction I had just seen, were in some need of attention. I imagined that the weather conditions during the winter must exact a toll on any structure over time. Many other buildings including the school, the police station, the museum, etc. all had the appearance of being quite new and showed the strong native influence on their architecture.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I circled around and made my way to the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Chisasibis-Retro-Daze-Caf%C3%A9-577795929024951/" target="_blank">Retro Daze Cafe</a>, the business belonging to Roger, my gracious host for my two-day stay in Northern Quebec. I was greeted by a quick smile and out-thrust hand and before long, we were on our way to Fort George Island, just down stream in the middle of the La Grande River.</p> <p><img alt="Hudson Bay Post" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="73d5c592-68c0-454d-a898-4a447b2aeba0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/a053623-v8.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>1888 - Hudson Bay Post, Fort George. Photo courtesy Library and Archives Canada.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1803, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson%27s_Bay_Company" target="_blank">Hudson's Bay Company</a> set up a trading post near the north shore of the La Grande River. In 1837, it was decided to move onto the island and establish Fort George. Aside from the main trading post, it included warehouses, and permanent houses for those who worked there.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1852, the Anglican Church began a mission here. Before long, the nomad Cree began to take up roots and by the early 1900's, were establishing a permanent settlement.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1907, the Anglicans built a school, and 20 years later, the Catholic Church did the same.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2017-01/a133229-v6.jpg" /><img alt="Oblate Fathers Mission" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a65aa833-eef4-4042-87ca-855a7e19f81b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/a133229-v6.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>January, 1946 - Oblate Fathers Mission. Photo courtesy Library and Archives Canada.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1940, the population stood at around 750 people, and by 1980 had grown to over 2,000. Hydro Quebec began the James Bay Hydroelectric Project, part of which called for the diversion of additional rivers into La Grande. In effect, this drastically increased the speed of the water passing both sides of the island. It was feared that this would cause massive erosion, and it was observed to be preventing ice from forming properly during the winter. A decision was made to move the town to a new location on the south bank of the river, further upstream.</p> <p><img alt="La Grande 1" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c6927fa3-8ce3-4c91-bac5-afcb95bde412" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/lg1.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>The LG-1 Generating Station.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">From 1978 to 1980, over 200 buildings were moved, including the church, by barge to the new townsite. Many more new houses were constructed as well, and by 2011, the population had more than doubled.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Roger and I went over onto the island via the ferry that operates here during the summer months. He told me stories from his childhood growing up on the island. There were good stories and bad but you couldn't miss the tone of nostalgia in his voice. A longing for simpler, in many ways better, times.</p> <p><img alt="Cemetery in Fort George." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a28ae897-1f25-4be7-90ef-b1c59b5a9d55" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_7972.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>Cemetery in Fort George, QC.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We walked through the cemetery noting with sadness that many sites that were clearly occupied were no longer marked with names or information of those interred there.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">We crossed to the church and entered, moving quietly in its almost oppressive silence. Roger stood at the pulpit looking out at the rows of pews once filled by the faithful.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Leaving there, we continued on to look at the mixture of old and new on the former townsite. While most of the original houses had been removed, some still remained. Two wooden storehouses from the original trading post also remained.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Mixed in with this, however, were newer structures, some meant as summer shelters for the celebrations that took place there, and some looking more permanent than that.</p> <p><img alt="One of the last remaining original buildings." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="43bcc317-6dff-45e9-8619-4b412a71c1b3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_7991.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>One of the very few original buildings remaining.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We looked at the remains of the piers at which ships laden with goods once stopped to exchange them for furs to be taken south. The rusting remains of a boat on the sandy embankment was a mute witness to more prosperous times here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As we moved further along the island, a mast stood out from among the trees and Roger brought me to an even larger ship that was surprisingly far inland, standing straight on her keel. A pipe came over the side and down ending at a valve.</p> <p><img alt="A grounded ship, apparently used to store oil." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2486eaeb-7cff-4be2-9a80-7d5c9e872e4e" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8046.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>A grounded ship apparently used to store furnace oil.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We walked around the other side to a ladder that had been welded to the hull. We climbed to the top of the superstructure and looked all around us. An open hatch invited us for a closer look. Quickly, however, the smell of what we believed to be furnace oil assailed our nostrils and we were forced topside before getting very far. We now knew the reason for the pipe and valve.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When Roger had shown me everything on the island, we crossed back to the south bank and he drove us out to the mouth of the river, where the fresh water of La Grande meets the salt water of James Bay. Rows of boats stood waiting on the beach as the wind blew salt air into my lungs. It was an interesting reminder of my own childhood in Nova Scotia.</p> <p><img alt="Boats along the beach of James Bay." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="10eaaab4-e4ef-419c-a254-461f35a0f77d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8047.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>Boats along the beach of James Bay.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After this, Roger returned to his business in Chisasibi, and I returned to Radisson. As I got into town, however, I noticed a fox in a parking lot I had passed. I prepared my camera before circling back in the hopes it would still be there. He was.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I pulled into the parking lot and rolled down my window. He maintained his distance initially, but I when I clicked my tongue at him, as we all do when calling animals, he immediately came running closer. Clearly the locals feed him.</p> <p><img alt="One of three little friends I made." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e140898c-9420-4d96-b4f3-d0445ead101c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/fox.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>One of three little friends I made before going back to the hotel.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I took bread out and tore off some small pieces. Instantly, another fox appeared. Neither seemed keen on coming that close to me until a third came from across the road to see what was happening. Now, with competition, everyone was interested in what I had to offer. I sat and tossed bread and filmed them for some time before they'd had their fill, and I decided to head back to the hotel.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The following morning, with a text from Roger, I returned to Chisasibi to join him for a visit to the town's museum. Just finishing construction, it wasn't completely ready for prime time, and so they didn't charge us admission. We went in and looked at the various items they had on display, and as I read, I began to learn more and more about Cree history and culture. More is to be added to the displays in the near future, but I enjoyed what was there so far.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">On this trip, from things Roger told me, to things I observed while looking around, it was clear that the First Nations people have many issues facing them. Many are well known to the Canadian public, through news and politics, but some are not. Many of their challenges come from an outside world that doesn't clearly understand them. Other challenges, however, come from within.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Thankfully, I get the sense that there are many, like Roger, who see and understand these challenges. Perhaps with time, and with the vision of the right leaders in and out of the First Nations communities, they will find their way in the world again.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After lengthy discussion, and expression of my appreciation for his time, Roger and I parted ways and I returned to my hotel for the evening to rest up for the long drive home.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-external-links field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">External Links</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/james-bay-cree-experience-dramatic-change">James Bay Cree Experience Dramatic Change - November 11, 1985</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-linked-to-trip-story field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Linked to Trip Story</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/article_Fort_George_The_Trip" hreflang="en">The Trip to Fort George</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep03 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=86&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="Jkr8DgpMev0nbcd5NHVK4N1R61wAzekMODtBxsqavmc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:00:00 +0000 Mike 86 at https://mikeonline.ca Balaclava https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Balaclava <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Balaclava</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/13/2009 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History:</strong> </p> <p class="text-align-justify">Balaclava was started with the sawmill in 1855 on Constant Creek. By the 1860's, a blacksmith and hotel had joined the permanent residents. The sawdust burner was constructed in 1903 to avoid polluting the river.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1936, the mill had to be almost completely rebuilt after a fire.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The mill remained in operation until 1959 by which time, much of the available timber had been depleted, and it closed. The store closed at about the same time.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">A few residents still remain in the area.<br /> -<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaclava,_Renfrew_County,_Ontario" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a> and other sources.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I decided to stop here as a side trip while on the way to Ottawa. I can't say that it was exactly what I had expected. I think the term "ghost town" has been thrown around a little too freely, as, in my mind, this did not really qualify as such.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Certainly, Balaclava is not what it once was. But people do live here, and several vehicles drove by during my brief tour suggesting a lot of life for a dead community.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=634&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="a3L1DEumY8VYJ4BE84JxlIHFQf5rHTA5W0dStwEqnqw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 13 Mar 2009 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 634 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Balaclava#comments Depot Harbour https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Depot_Harbour <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Depot Harbour</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/19/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">Once a very important shipping port in the Great Lakes, and the westernmost point of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa,_Arnprior_and_Parry_Sound_Railway" target="_blank">Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway</a>, Depot Harbour is now little more than some concrete ruins hidden among the trees.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1895, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rudolphus_Booth" target="_blank">J.R. Booth</a> would use the law to take this land from the natives to open his port. At its peak, there may have been as many as 3000 inhabitants.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">With the reconstruction of the Welland Canal, the importance of this port began to dwindle by 1933. Aside from cordite being produced by <a href="http://urbex.mikeonline.ca/?q=gallery_CIL">CIL in Nobel</a>, little else was shipping through the town that was now beginning to fall into disrepair.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After a fire in the cordite storage silos in 1945, almost all of the port facilities were destroyed by fire. By the 1950's, Depot Harbour had become a ghost town.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1959, however, National Steel would begin using the wharf to load ore from the Sellwood mines north of Capreol. This would end in 1979 when the mine was finally closed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1987, the natives had once again regained control of their lands.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=84&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="yjyp2zZlHfUlq5JP_h2kvwG_kFzCHboU6UdCS2hyHgU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 19 Oct 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 84 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Depot_Harbour#comments Centralia https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Centralia <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Centralia</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/23/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Settlement here began as early as 1841, but it wasn’t until 1854 that the town, then known as Centerville, would be formally laid out. In 1865, the Post Office would open, changing the name to Centralia as it would be officially incorporated the following year.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Coal mining was the principal employer in the region until the 1960’s when many of the companies would begin going out of business.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In May, 1962, five members of the volunteer fire department were hired by the town council to clean up the landfill site. They set the dump on fire and let it burn. Unfortunately, this fire would ignite a seam of coal, and carry the fire underground into the abandoned coal mines beneath the town. Attempts to extinguish the fire failed, and it continues to burn to this day.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The population in 1981 was cited as being over 1,000 people. In the census of 2007, only 9 people remain.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I don't really know what I was expecting as I neared this location, but I was certainly looking forward to it. The rain was pouring down so hard, the windshield wipers couldn't keep up, and I had to pull over to let it subside.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I entered the town, I was reminded of the former town of Creighton Mine back home. Streets criss-crossing each other for no apparent reason. Concrete curbs, and random fire hydrants the only suggestion that a town really did flourish here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I stumbled upon the dump site where it all started. A hole in the ground spewed noxious smoke that was only slightly deterred by the falling rain. The smell of this smoke was like nothing I'd ever encountered before. The smallest breath of it was enough to make you cough.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I continued around the town site, I noted the last hold-outs trying to hang on to the place that was their home. I couldn't imagine what some of the older people who'd seen so much change here must feel.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I left, I realized that while some may believe visiting here is boring, I had enjoyed this as much as any other site I had visited during this epic trip.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=193&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="nHBK9361iZION_0ZKekXxl9rD_dzLGASlYCz_vyri7Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 23 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 193 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Centralia#comments Milnet https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Milnet <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Milnet</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/07/2007 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Milnet (originally named Sellwood Junction up to 1916) began as a stop along the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Northern_Railway" target="_blank">Canadian Northern Railway</a>. In 1917, after the railway was laid down, the Marshay Lumber Company built a mill and began a 22-year process of cutting trees from the area. Men from logging camps upstream would let the Vermilion River carry the logs to the mill in Milnet.<br /> -<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capreol#Ghost_towns" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a></p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The first time I arrived here, I couldn't help but notice one of Milnet's most prominent features, the stone fireplace and chimney. When you see this, especially first hand, you can't help but be impressed by the craftsmanship that must have gone into this. Not only has it survived the test of time, but also survived the demise of the house to which it belonged, and the elements it's endured since. You don't see that quality of work much any more.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">That aside, as I began to explore this small hamlet, I started to understand why those few who are still living here continue to do so. This is a pretty quiet corner of the world, with small lake behind that just seems the very definition of serene.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The foundations and the depressions in the ground suggesting the sites of former buildings are evidence of what once was, but amid that quiet solitude, it's difficult to imagine Milnet for the bustling centre it once was.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=637&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="pMtbq31Sn9aX2hFu6Ic5c2O9QS0c1zsZlxrmnHu4tB0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 07 Oct 2007 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 637 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Milnet#comments Worthington https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Worthington <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Worthington</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/07/2007 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Worthington was incorporated as a mining town in 1892. On October 4, 1927, at 5:50 am, the mine, and part of the town collapsed into a fault line. There were no deaths, however, thanks to the vigilance of the foreman who evacuated the town the night before, having noticed abnormal shifts in the rock.</p> <p>Some additional information available at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worthington,_Ontario#Worthington" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a>.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=628&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="AETiuj84qmZ9toHWnJV_Qm9k6KG-vtTqKpS2TNN5xKY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 07 Aug 2007 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 628 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Worthington#comments