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Mindoka and South Mindoka

History

Town site photo

Summer rail crew

Source: ONR

From 1905 - 1913, a small settlement formed in the newly opened clay belts of Temiskaming District. Situated on the Ontario Northland Railway, the settlement was simply known as mileage point 151.1. First the name Minaki was chosen. Since that name was already being used in northwest Ontario, the name Mindoka was created.

The railway established a station, siding, water tower and section gang. The section village contained half a dozen buildings and a bunkhouse. A number of farm homes were built near the right-of-way.

In 1918, the closest school was opened in Boston Creek a mile and a half north. A schoolhouse, situated one and a half kilometres south, was finally built at South Mindoka in 1926. A general store and post office opened that same year by Fred Green.

The hamlet's demise came quickly once the great depression struck. Fred closed up his store in 1947, and the post office followed suit "for want of a postmaster." Most of the residents had moved on by the 1950's.

South Mindoka, the hamlet's twin sister, was situated approximately two kilometres south, at mileage point 149.5.

The first residents arrived around 1905, about the same time as the railway. A lumbering spur was added as well as a station. As more farmland was cleared, another rural settlement became established and by 1914 took the name of South Mindoka. The settlement included a small a sawmill, run by the Orsen family. It produced enough lumber to meet local needs while the surplus was shipped out by rail.

By the 1920's there was so much activity concentrated in the area that other services sprang up, notably Hendrick's general store. A bunkhouse was built to house the numerous lumbermen transients who worked in the surrounding bush. The schoolhouse, Pacaud S.S.#4, that served both Mindoka and South Mindoka, was built in 1926.

South Mindoka's shared a similar faith to Mindoka. By the 1940's the decline was apparent and the last store closed followed by the school in 1949. By the 1960's all the residents had left the area, except for a few farms, and South Mindoka also faded into obscurity.