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Town site photo

The Wilbur Mine from around 1900.

Source: Private collection

The Wilbur Mine was one of Lanark County's biggest success stories when it came to iron mining. First established in 1880, the mine went on to be a steady producer during its tenure which ran from 1886 to 1911.

The mine was initially leased to the Bethlehem Iron and Manufacturing Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Later on it was taken over by the Kingston & Pembroke Iron Mines.

Following the arrival of the Kingston & Pembroke Railway (later CPR) in 1884, a spur was run directly from the main line to the mine. A small post office named Wilbur Station was opened at the same time.

By the late 1880s, Wilbur had grown to a sizeable community of about 250 people. It contained a Union church, a school, a blacksmith shop, carpenter and a shoemaker. In addition to the mine, the Caldwells, who owned the property, operated a sawmill that provided employment to 50 hands.

The Wilbur mine remained in production until 1911. Shortly after it closed, the community was vacated. Later flooding have removed many traces of the old community.