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Benny

Introduction

Town site photo

The main road

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Benny Station began as railside mill town near Cartier on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). The first lumber mill was built around 1903. Shortly afterwards it was taken over by the Strong lumber company and enlarged. Although the station and community were known as "Benny," the community's official name was actually "Pulp Siding," after the post office which opened in 1909.

Once the Strong company arrived, the town site expanded quite rapidly. It included a number of homes, bunkhouse, cookery, store, two section houses and the station. At first the mill experienced the usual ups and downs, but things began to pick up around 1913 with the arrival of the Spanish Pulp & Paper Company. By the early 1920s, the population had grown to around 150. A Catholic church and small cemetery were added around 1923.

Unfortunately by the late 1920s, things began to spiral downwards rapidly. The lumber mill shut down in 1928 and the paper mill followed suit one year later. A zinc mine, built in the 1930s, operated for a few years during World War II, but then shut down. All hope for a revival of the sawmill ended when it burnt to the ground in 1943. By the mid 50s, the school and store had closed and most of the residents left.

Today a small handful of residents still remain in Benny. The community contains a few original and newer cabins. The CPR is still active in the area.