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Arpin was a small farming settlement sponsored by the provincial government. The goal was to encourage settlement along the newly built government rail lines of the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway (later Ontario Northlands), and the National Transcontinental Railway (later CN).

By 1916 the terminal at Cochrane was firmly established. The government built roads that branched out from various stations along the line. During the 1920s and 30s, a number of settlers moved into the area to farm the rich clay belt and a small service hamlet, known as Pyne (after the township) was formed. The settlement included a general store and school. The hamlet's name was changed to Arpin after a post office opened in the store in 1927.

The small settlement was beset with problems from the beginning. Although the soil was rich, the growing season was short. If frost came early, the farmers could only survive by selling pulpwood. Unfortunately the Great Depression led to a collapse in the pulpwood market. After two consecutive years of early frosts, farmers began to abandon their property.

Arpin shut down slowly. The migration outward that begin in the mid 30s lasted until the 60s. The store and post office closed in 1961. By 1971, the community was completely abandoned.