We begin this week’s examination of Timmins history by correcting a popular misconception.
The building that the Chamber of Commerce has up for sale was not the McIntyre Mine manager’s house.
Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann did some digging, contacting a former mine manager’s wife who researched its history. It was built in 1935 to provide health care to mine employees in the pre-OHIP days. Drs. Bissonnette and Templeton were the first to work there.
“There was a separate suite area as well that initially had been used by one of the mine accountants of superintendents – she wasn’t quite sure what his position was with the mine – but he and his family lived there,” says Bachmann.
Later on, another doctor used the building for his clinic and his home.
Bachmann adds that other mines had similar facilities.
As Hollinger was building its townsite, it put up a hospital, which eventually became St. Mary’s.
“And in the early points of that, the employees of the mine could use that hospital,” Bachmann recounts. “But it was only for the employees, so the employees’ families were not included.”
In the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at other hospitals that sprang up around the Porcupine Mining Camp, in the days before universal health care.