Developing the Mine

In 1913, Frank Eager, a mining engineer for the Mond Nickel Mining Company, went to Levack Township to prepare the land that the company had purchased for use as a mine. The Mond Nickel Mining Company had made arrangements with CP Rail that when the main railway line was completed, CP would create a spur line to service the claims of Mond Nickel.

When Frank Eager arrived in Levack with his friend Jack Norrena (a miner from Sellwood) they began the process of surveying the Mond Nickel Company's claim. Two weeks after first traveling to Levack Township, Frank and Jack returned with Jack's wife, two sons, and two daughters. They were also accompanied by five other men. These individuals would establish the beginnings of the first village in Levack in the spring of 1913.

The men had a busy summer ahead of them. They were required to clear the trees and bush surrounding the future mine site, prepare the trenches, procure mineral samples to send to the lab in Coniston, and build log cabins to house stores and offices. All of this work had to be completed before the fall when work on the railway spur line would begin.

Immediately after the spur line was established, supplies and equipment were shipped to the mine site in preparation for its construction. Many carpenters, some of them Finnish, arrived in Levack Township to help build the mine and the settlement. They assisted in the creation of two bunkhouses to house the workers and later, in the building of larger two-storey structures to provide services to the community. In 1913, Bolton's General Store was opened and it sold everything that a pioneer could need or want. If they didn't have it, they could order it and have it delivered on the next train.

By the end of 1914, the mine was in operation and some company homes were built. Because of the large number of workers and the lack of accommodations, tents were put up to provide shelter for those without. Throughout the First World War, there were so many tents in Levack, that it could have passed for a makeshift town and the early streets (Copper Street, Main Street, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues) were growing each year to include more and more homes.


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