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Gertrude Mine

History

The Lake Superior Power Corporation, owned by Francis Hector Clergue, needed cheap sulphur for his paper mill in Sault Sainte Marie. After failed negotiations with the Canadian Copper Company (later renamed INCO) for a steady supply of sulphur, Clergue then settled for purchasing mining properties to the west of the Murray Mine.

As with the Helen Mine in northern Algoma, the Elsie and Gertrude mines were both renamed to honour Clergue's sisters. The Gertrude had been a producing nickel mine since 1892 and its ores contained a large amount of sulphur.

To both ship sulphur to his paper mill and, later on, ore for the Sault's blast furnaces, Clergue took over the charter for the Manitoulin & North Shore Railway and began construction as the Algoma Eastern Railway. The Elsie was situated near the Murray Mine site about 7 kilometres (5 miles) west of Sudbury and The Gertrude approximately 18 kilometres (13 miles) west of there or alternately 2.8 kilometres west of Creighton.

Superior Power fell upon hard times and the mine closed in 1903. It was reopened around 1909 and a smelter was added, however post war markets killed the mine once again in 1918. That same year the British American Nickel Company purchased the Gertrude, along with the Elsie, but the new company was crippled by debts and limped to its demise in 1921. After that Inco purchased the site and it has seen only brief activity since then.

It is known that a sizeable town site, containing a nearly 200 hundred residents, once existed. Even after the mine closed for the first time in 1903, the area continued solely as a town site until about 1905 and possibly later. Residents lived in the town site and merely commuted to their jobs in other areas. A station was also present and kept open to serve the profitable passenger stop. A post office was opened by J.T. O'Connor in 1902 and lasted until 1909 when it was closed forever.