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The way in: A brief history of the Porcupine Trail

In this edition of Remember This, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center, tells us how those in search of gold found their way here via the Porcupine Trail
Several wagons up to their axles in mud on the Porcupine Trail. Tomkinson photo #36, c. 1910. Timmins Museum

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center:

Since gold was found in the Porcupine, there have always been prospectors. Getting to the Porcupine was a feat in itself. According to Alex Miller, the Porcupine Trail transportation business owner, to get to the camp you would start in Kelso and move down to the Porcupine Trail.

Hundreds of horses were used to move provisions and provide transportation on this journey. The road was tight and one-way only – in the spring it was a mess. You would then make your way to Frederickhouse and then transfer to boats at Frederickhouse Landing. From there, you set sail to Nighthawk Lake then into the Porcupine River.

Following the river to Hill’s Landing (Hoyle) where Mr. Hill owned a boardinghouse, you could rest and recuperate by enjoying good food at 50 cents a meal. From there you were still a good 12 miles away from Golden City.

Most travelled by foot from Hill’s Landing. Hill’s Landing had a small community and travel station for turn-of-the-century mineral exploration during the gold rush days. All the mining equipment and machinery for the big mines would have been dragged through the terrain by horse and cart. Once the government saw the activity and opportunity for gold, they used prison labour from southern Ontario to build roads into the area.

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.