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Prospector pro-tip: Make sure to eat beans for breakfast every day

In this edition of Remember This, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre looks back on the prospector’s diet
A pail of beans cooks away on the fire at the Sociate Mine camp in June 1911. Timmins Museum photo

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre:

Many intrepid people have been attracted to the prospecting career over the years, but it especially required a hearty disposition to take on the challenge at the turn of the 20thcentury, especially when the only food you had access to is that which you carried on your back or that which you caught.

An article written in the Canadian Mining Journal in March 1910 offered suggestions and “pro-tips” for those looking to undertake a season of prospecting in the Porcupine. Their suggested supply of food is 75 pounds per person per month, which contains one third pork, one third flour, and the rest beans, rice, dried apples, oatmeal, tea, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

If anyone can’t imagine eating beans, toast, and fish for weeks at a time, the prospectors certainly did not seem to mind. Charles Auer wrote in his diary in 1907: “we had bacon, tea and cold applesauce and if anybody tells you that isn’t a lunch fit for a king just tell them to start real early on a cool morning after a night spent on a balsam bed … and paddle about 17 miles and he’ll know something about lunches and kings.” 

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins Museum has to offer at and look for more Remember This? columns here.