The nearby siding of Mulock, located near Osborne, ca. 1920sOriginal photo provided to us courtesy: Willy Yantha
Situated at mileage point 37.6 of the Ontario Northland Railway in Osborne Township, Osborne today is an isolated siding that has changed very little since the railway's construction in 1902. However Osborne was once expected to become a thriving pioneer town, not just bush.
By 1906 several town sites were surveyed along the line, some of the more notable being Cobalt, Latchford, Englehart and Temagami. Osborne was just one of several town-plots awaiting some form of development. All looked good - at least on paper.
The railway established a station, and a section village, numbering at about a half dozen structures. Section men brought their families and a permanent population of 25 residents was established by 1911. Local lumber camps shipped their timber through the siding, and kept the section crews busy. A post office was even opened in 1905 under the name of Link but it closed in 1914 when the boom failed to materialize. As the years progressed the population declined steadily from 18 in 1921 to 13 by 1941.
There were 10 section points along the line between North Bay and Cobalt. After the 1940's these were consolidated down to four. Osborne was effectively shut down. Some buildings were kept as bunkhouses, while others were simply burnt down.
During the 1950s a M. Lacombe, his wife and six children along with his two brothers, and two hired men ran a small sawing and veneer operation. Six pupils attended school in the school car that stopped regularly. However all 11 residents left a year later, and Osborne pounded its last heartbeat.