Touring My Town…#2.

Our town “mascot” Husky the Musky.

Hello everyone and welcome back to our continuing series “Touring My Town”!  Today we will continue a bit with more history of our town and local area.  As previously mentioned, mining (mainly gold), and lumber, were the two main industries here after the initial fur trade era.  Many gold mines opened in the late 1800s but didn’t last more than a few years since the gold didn’t go deep into the rock.  But some did last longer going for a few decades.  The Sultana gold mine was the largest and remained productive the longest of all the gold mines.

Sultana Mine 1897
Sultana gold mine, 1890s
CPR tracks Kenora, early 1900s
From early 1900s, looking east toward the main area of the town.

Gold was shipped by boat to Rat Portage (Kenora), and from here was shipped out by train.  One interesting bit of news occurred in the late 1800s.  A large gold shipment was being shipped by boat to Rat Portage and a storm came up.  The boat hit some rocks and sank, but the captain and crew survived by swimming to a neighboring island.  Oddly, the captain and crew couldn’t remember where the boat went down and the gold was never recovered.  The captain and crew all left the area not too long after.  People have looked for that gold shipment for many years without success.  Should be an easy guess where the gold went however.

Kenora Ont2
Our train station was built in 1900, but passenger trains no longer come through town.

The Canadian Pacific Railway was built through the area, and right through town, being finished in 1882.  Having the major Canadian railway, at the time, coming through town really helped this town to grow quickly.  Right from it’s early days Rat Portage was a rough frontier type town.  The gold and lumber made this a very thriving, prosperous town in those early years.

oldKenricia fix
Once a thriving hotel in town, built around 1910, the Kenricia, still stands but is vacant and in poor repair.

One oddity of this town back in the late 1800s was that Rat Portage was claimed by Ontario and our neighboring province of Manitoba.  At one time the provincial boundary between the two provinces ran right down our main street.  The east side was Ontario and the west side was Manitoba.  Both provinces had their own government offices, police force and jail.  Finally the dispute was settled in Ontario’s favor around 1900.

kenora early 1900s 2
About 1900
Keewatin9
One of the 3 flour mills

There were 3 major flour mills that located here, due to the fact of having the railway and abundant water needed by the mills.  These mills were instrumental in getting the name changed from Rat Portage to Kenora.  The flour mills just didn’t think a name like Rat Portage would give a good image to the mills, and the new name of Kenora was adopted in 1905.

Next time we will move ahead to what Kenora is like today and I will show you around my little town.  I hope you all have a fantastic week and God bless!

Steve and Muffin.

© 2020 Steve McLeod.

68 Comments on “Touring My Town…#2.

  1. Enjoyed the old photos of Kenora ! That hotel would look beautiful if it was restored…that would be VERY expensive though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading. Yep, it would be nice restored, but as a heritage building it must be done a certain way, which would definitely be expensive. Too bad as it’s looking terrible now.

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  2. Good Evening Steve, So this is the place you live in right ✨🤔 I love the old pictures, felt like i did a time travel. Well, I’m and we are travelling in time already, but to the future. Good to know about your town. Looking forward to explore more, your town indeed have so much of surprise for us. ✨ Wish i could buy that big hotel and renovate 😉 Canada govt not going to let me do that.😁 plus they don’t give it for free 🤪 Have a beautiful evening Steve ✨🤗💐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simon! Glad you enjoyed this part of the tour.😀 That would be a great hotel to renovate.👷‍♂️👨‍🔧 The present owner wanted to do that, but it’s a heritage building, so it must be renovated a certain way, which was too expensive for the owner. So it sits there falling apart and looking worse every year.😕 Too bad really. I hope you have some fun on your holiday today which is tomorrow making this yesterday even though it’s today. 😵🤯😳😜🙄

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      • Okay, i am not okay when i started to spin at the end between today and tomorrow, like where we are really🙄 🤔 Mission accomplished for this man from Canada. i Am Confusion 😂😂🤪🤪

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tell me what you think when you have to interact with people damaging your language ✨😋 someone like me with tons of grammatical errors 🤪

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wasn’t me, I didn’t take it.🤪 Honest.😜 I let Muffin do all the important thinking around here anyway.😽 That reminds me, any good mysteries out your way that Muffin and I could come and solve?😀😺🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️ I’ll soon be at the end of this mystery, then we will be heading over to Europe to solve a mystery at an old castle and…oops,😳 I wasn’t supposed to say anything.🤔🙄 Don’t tell anyone. I better put my shoes on before Muffin finds out.😬😾

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      • 😜😜😜 definitely not worth taking it Steve 😂😂😂 so i got a clue about your mystery already 😋 no I’m not going to say to Muffin 😸 she is been calling me 😉 let’s keep it between us 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      • Whew, good, Muffin doesn’t like when I give away secrets.😾 And I don’t like sore feet.😳🤪😬😼So that’s why she keeps wanting to change the story, she’s getting ideas from you.😹😜🙄 Now I know. Hmm, it has started to snow again, sigh. Oh well, it has been a nice winter really.😁😸🌨☃

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      • Are you sure it’s snowing already, because in my world i haven’t seen a sun since morning 🙄 strange 🤔 why😒 ohhhhhh, that means i was inside the house whole day thinking what to write. After doing this much thinking I still write like a garbage 😂😂😂😂 Can’t help, that’s all my brain efficiency is🤪

        Liked by 1 person

      • On a beautiful warm and sunny day you stayed inside instead of sitting under that palm tree?😎🌞🌴✍ I like to sit outside in summer and write,😎🌞✍🌳 I get good ideas when I’m outside. The ideas never work, but they are good anyway.😂😹🙄

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      • 😂😂😂 That happens, i write lot of stories and i never publish it, because the story is worst like me🤪🤪😂😂 Yeah, i happen to forget things happening around when thinking deep. And today is one if the day.😉🤪

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s what I need to do when I write, think!🤔😜 What a great idea Simon!😃😺 I’ll try doing that.😁🤪 Best thing to do when writing, forget what’s going on around you. I think.🤔 Right, that’s what I’m supposed to do, think.😄 Must remember. Well, you had a productive and fun day then!😁😸⛄

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      • Think🙄🤔 Did i Said that, Sigh… One whole day wasted just by thinking 😳🙄☺️ Sometime it’s injurious 😋 it’s productive indeed, washed my shirts and pants and a little cleaning inside house 😉 I’m a Workaholic 😜😜 Don’t need to praise me 😸😸

        Liked by 1 person

      • You need to learn about relaxing Simon!😁😂 Oh, oh, just lost a bird,😕😬 nasty old shrike came by again, he never misses. He only comes when the blue jays are not here. The jays hate the shrike and will attack it which protects the smaller birds. Oh well, house work needs to be done too, I did that yesterday. Now was that tomorrow for you or today?🤔🤪 Or maybe it was the day after yesterday making tomorrow only yesterday today so that today can then be tomorrow. Right?😂😹🙄

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      • Perfectly clear, i understood nothing 🙄 Thanks for the Nothing Tips🙄😒 🤪 Learn to relax 🙄 No that’s Hard, i keep cleaning and I’m used to it, day sleeping or relaxing never, except on Sundays. Now I’m on tomorrow as you are now still in Yesterday on this beautiful evening i Wish you a peaceful sleep and travel to my day ASAP ✨😉 Have a good night Steve✨🥂

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      • I feel like that sometimes too.🙄 People talk to me and I don’t understand a word they say, all tech talk, totally foreign language. I just stare and nod my head up and down.😳🤪 Yep, sleep time soon, just finishing a few things and I’m gone.😀😀😴😴

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha that happens a lot, when I’m with my team, everyone would be busy talking sports and I’ll stare at them what the hell they are talking 🙄🤪 Good Steve, finish your light works as soon and to bed ✨😋 Good night 💐

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m like that with sports too, I know nothing about sports except a little, Hockey=guys walking on knives carrying sticks and hitting a burned hamburger. American football=guys running around carrying a weird shaped ball that they call a pigskin, one guy tackles the guy with ball and 40 more jump on him.

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      • Hahaha that’s the best way to explain the sports from our point of view, here the men talks about Cricket, i know only one cricket and that comes in insects species..one guy stands with a stick and 11 people will wait for him to hit the tiny hard ball so that they can catch it and send him out 🙄 crazy games around the world.

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      • Hmmm,🤔 maybe I should write a funny post about different sports games.😄😄😜 Might get some people mad though, people can real serious about these things.🙄 But I might do it anyway, nice to have fun.😂😹🤣🤪

        Liked by 1 person

    • I did think about it one time, but it’s a long trip from that mine to town and several different ways the boat could have traveled between the islands, plus the water is quite deep all through that area, so it would be tough to find. Most likely the captain and crew unloaded the gold on an island, then sunk the boat further away, coming back for the gold later before leaving the area. It is a fun bit of interesting history though. Thanks for reading Ribana!😁😸⛵

      Liked by 1 person

    • For a town not very old there really is a lot of interesting history, too much to write about. Amazing some of the things that have happened in this little town. Thanks for reading Michelle!😁😸

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading this Sara, always nice to have you here! Yes, the town has developed and changed so much over the years. I would like to have seen it back when it was a more prosperous town. Have a great day Sara!😁😸⛄⛵

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    • Yes, same here, I was never interested in history in school, but when I started collecting that sure changed. Thanks for stopping by Sheree, hope you have a great evening!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my god! You have such a cool town steve! And that gold mine looks fascinating! Good job on the photos!!!😁😁😁

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow such rich heritage your town has! I loved hearing about the rich historical stories of sunken ship/ lost gold, trains, mills, town name-change, industry, etc! I loved it! History is so awesome!!! 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Renee! Yes, I like to read up on history of different places, it can be very interesting indeed. There has been a lot of stuff happen in this little town over the years, shoot outs with police, daring bank robberies, etc. Have a great day Renee!😁😸⛄

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those are mostly more modern day events, 1950s to present, one at least is quite famous and got national attention. Maybe I will, but I need to find a copy of our Kenora history book first to make sure I get all the facts straight. It’s out of print but I have my name down at our local used book store in case one comes in. Enjoy your day Renee!😁😸⛄⛵

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