The harbour©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Michipicoten Harbour began as a facility to ship ores from the nearby Helen Iron Mine in Algoma Region. A rail link on the Algoma Central Railway (ACR) was added quickly and became operational in 1900. The facility included both ore and coal docks.
Following the closure of the Helen Mine in 1918, the harbour remained in use to supply coal for the railways. These included the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the ACR, and later Canadian National (CN). The facility was also used to boom lumber.
The harbour contained a small town site that consisted of a sawmill, offices, store with post office, a three-storey hotel, and a number of private dwellings. By the 1930s, another 25 homes had been added along with a one room schoolhouse. New ore docks were constructed after the revival of the Helen Mine in 1937.
The coal facilities were closed, following the conversion to diesel in the 50s and 60s. The Helen Mine lasted until 1996.
Michipicoten Harbour is one of those places that always seems to reinvent itself. Today there is renewed activity at the harbour by Superior Aggregates, which is building a trap rock mine near the wharf. When last seen, four original structures were still standing, all of which were in use.