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Dane

History

Town site photo

An early town view

Source: Private collector

Dane still exists today, mostly however as a rural community. Today along Highway 112 and the junction of Highway 650, numerous homes can be seen lining the highway or dotting the surrounding fields. However the Dane of yesterday lies not in here but 1.5 kilometres east of Highway 112, at the crossing of the ONR and of Highway 650.

Initially, the little parcel of land in Otto Township was first settled in 1906 when the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway arrived and established a temporary construction yard for crews and equipment. With the influx of settlers canvassing the fertile land west of the line, a town plot was laid and named Boston after a nearby township. Boston in turn was named after an MPP who hailed from Middlesex County during the 1890's. Although an attempt was made to name the station Jardine, the name Dane was finally chosen to honour Frederic Dane a T&NO commissioner.

The little hamlet contained a few homes, a siding, a flag station and J.J. Corbeil's general store and post office, both opened in 1906. In 1907 the Larder Lake rush was at its peak and the government decided to build a shorter tote road from the gold camp and the rail line. The following year the government completed the Dane Road, a short 12-mile bush road. Following the road construction, Dane experienced a mining boom. Freighting and cartage firms established their base in Dane and then other structures were added. A school was built in 1908. There were also two hotels, and numerous boarding houses to accommodate the influx of miners and prospectors. A station was finally completed in 1909 and Dane's population temporarily swelled to about 600 residents.

By 1910 the Larder Lake camp had waned and the mining boom subsided. Dane settled back to the more leisurely pace of a pioneer farming village of 200 residents. By the 1940's local farmers consolidated their small plots into larger farms and many others had relocated to Kirkland Lake or Larder Lake where they could find employment at the gold mines. The station was removed in the 1958 and the siding renamed Jardine during the 1950's. The school closed about the same time.

In 1955 an iron deposit just a few kilometres away was rediscovered and by 1964 the Adams Mine was in full operation. The government built Highway 560 to transport workers to the mine. The new boom didn't rejuvenate Dane and by 1964 the store, the remaining hotel, and even the post office had closed. Although a few residents remained in the town site, there was very little left.

During the 1980's a number of newer homes were built along the Highway 112. All that remains of the original Dane are nearly a dozen homes and the crumbling hotel. Only three of these homes remain occupied.