Town of Sellwood

The Town of Sellwood, which was located fourteen miles west of Capreol, can be traced back to before the mining days of the 1900's when early prospectors and Native Americans occupied the community.  They would live and hunt together, relying on the strength of their community for survival.

The settlement was a terminal along the CNR railway that housed a roundhouse for steam locomotives, a railway station, and a waiting room.  Two passenger trains to Toronto would depart daily from the station.

Even before the 1900's, Moose Mountain was known to contain large concentrations of iron.  In 1901, John W. Gates and Associates of New York began to mine the iron deposits.  Surveys were conducted in the area and by 1907, a crushing plant had been installed.  At this time, there was no method to transport the ore to market and it was stockpiled for one year, until in 1908, the first shipment took place.

Mining was a simple process in which tunnels were dug along the sides of the mountain and shafts were sunk to a depth of 350 feet.  In total, eleven ore bodies ranging in size from 80 to 250 feet wide by 400 to 6,000 feet long were uncovered.  Most of the miners in the community were immigrants of Italian, Polish, and Ukrainian descent.

By 1909, Sellwood was not strictly a mining town, it also boasted a healthy lumber industry in the form of Warren Lumber Company.


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