Train Story For Mining Story

In the early part of the 1900’s there was a major interest and plan to put a railway through to the corundum mines in Craigmont and Burgess. The plan was to establish a rail line from approximately halfway between the Barry’s Bay railway - the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway and follow roughly the Old Barry’s Bay road, cross the Madawaska River just below the present day site of Madonna House and onto the Lower Craigmont Road.

In fact the latter road is still on the blueprints of the area in the Township of Madawaska Valley and show it being owned by the railway at 33’ wide in some sections rather than the normal 66’ for a highway.

The line would follow the old Craigmont road to the mine and then wind it’s way to the Burgess Mine and travel cross country to the Bessemer iron ore mine just east of L’Amble below Bancroft. At the time the idea sounded good. Picking up the corundum at two mines and the iron ore at and other. Unfortunately as the years went by the corundum mines were having many major problems and markets evaporated as well as Bessemer had a high sulphur content and was a very low grade of iron ore. The plan was eventually scrapped. The railway was going to be called the “Bessemer and Barry’s Bay Railway”. There is even a photo of the locomotive and tender in the museum with this name on it.