Initial surveys for a new Gold mine in Northern Ontario near the sleepy village of Ramore took place on July 18th, 1934 according to the notes of vetrin mine foreman JJ Caty of Hollinger Gold Mine Inc from Timmins Ontairo. It wasn’t long before they struck gold, high quality gold at that. Hollinger setup camp as did fellow Timmins mining company MacIntyre and a town sprang up around the two mines taking it’s name from both companies.
The town became home to the mine employees and those who worked in the Smelter in town as well. High quality gold and other precious metels were soon being pulled from the Earth, and the town was riding high. A couple hotels, schools, stores, and families made the small town just off Highway 11 a vibrant place.
Then Conrad Black Happened. I don’t know when the MacIntyre Mine shut down, but in 1970 Hollinger Gold Mine Inc was purchased by the mighty Argus Corporation, headed by the young Conrad Black. It is said, when Argus purchased Hollinger, one of the first things they did was raze the smelter, and the gold dust that had collected in the building’s structure was melted down and was enough to pay in full the purchase of Hollinger, with a tidy profit left over. But it wasn’t gold that Conrad Black wanted, he wanted to make a media empire, so he took the Hollinger name and sold off the properties. The Ross Mine was sold to Paramore Porcupine in 1985, only to be shut down three years later, and siezed for back taxes.
Lexi, Brind, TRAINS, and myself rolled into the almost ghost town under a cloud heavy sky, we could see the Ross Headframe in the distance over the trees and parked at first in an old baseball field, but ended up moving the car behind the community centre. There was no one around. There was evidence of them, but we didn’t see any people.
Through the bushes and brambles we saw the ruins of another old hall, and several houses probably for non-married workers.
The Headframe just stood out against the sky, covered in sheet metal, I couldn’t really get a bead on when it was first built, maybe it dated back to the 1940s or even older? Or newer.
The place was fairly complete, most of the buildings still standing, and many of them fully accessible.
The place was a gold mine (sorry), after the mine closed they just locked the doors and walked away.
Out behind the main property the tailings streched out as far as the eye could see. Fifty-Three years of work does add up.
Plus it offered a great view of the site.
The mine itself is long flooded, it’s resources mostly stripped (although the third trip there I did see people working way back in the tailings trying to recover materials left behind)
And one final shot of the head frame from my first trip…and our signal to leave because the rain had stopped…but the temperature dropped to below zero and there was no way we were going to camp there that night.