Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cordova Mines

I grew up in a small hamlet in South-Eastern Ontario, called Cordova Mines. It currently supports a population of approximately 100 people, quietly nestled in the pines. When I was small, it was the ultimate place to grow up. We fished, we hiked, we climbed enormous rock shelves, and played cowboys and Indians among the hay bales. When we first moved there from the city of Hamilton, we lived in a old, lumbering duplex on the edge of town. Behind the house, the old mining property began. Cordova used to have a gold mine you see. We would wander back there and play miner. Many of the old buildings, train tracks, and enormous piles of ore are left like worn souvenirs of the past. We would scoop up pieces of shiny iron pyrite and gloat about how rich we were going to be when we found the gold that the miners left behind. There are still open shafts that were never filled in on the site. Looking back, I'm surprised my mother let us play there as I'm sure she was quite nervous about us slipping to our doom. It was a great place for adventure!

My great-uncle used to own the original Cordova General Store. After he sold it, the owners converted it into a home for them and their 8 children.

I used to play with their kids and I remember much of the old stock was still there for years. Old dress patterns, yarn, and other supplies. A house next door to the original was converted into a general store after the sale, but has since been closed. A brand new log-home store was built a few years ago and now serves the remaining population.

In years gone by it was a booming town with post-office, bakery, butcher, and craftsmen. Now mostly deserted and overgrown it's hard to believe it was ever such a bustling place. Two churches still stand, and the local fire hall, but it is a shell of it's former glory. Forgotten in time like many other mining communities in the same area. The spirit and pride of the town is still going strong though. The residents come together to help one another in times of need, times of sorrow, and times of celebration.

Every time I go back, I am surrounded by friends and family in a town where everybody knows your name. It is a simple life, but a good life.

photo General Store borrowed from http://www.ghosttownpix.com/ontario/towns/cordova.html

Thanks to David for the inspiration! http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/2009/05/doorway-to-gold-rush.html

11 comments:

jinksy said...

Sometimes Havant begins to look like a ghost town, with more of the small shops 'morphing' into different usage. But somehow we survive !

Carolina said...

It sounds like a charming little place. Your mother was probably torn between the fear of losing you in those mines and the hope of you returning with a large clump of gold ;-)

Your comments to my posts made me LOL And don't you just love the wordverifications?

Carolina said...

Hehehe, OK, you must be thinking 'huh?' about my wordverification comment. I didn't mean to leave that at your place, Pictureeachday left me a comment about a very suitable wv and with that still in my head I read your post. That, and not having had coffee yet (it was early morning over here), well....
Although wv's are sometimes very loveable of course ánd your comments always make me laugh, so it wasn't totally out of place, just a bit weird LOL

Jewels said...

LOL. You crack me up. Go forth and drink coffee!

The Things We Carried said...

Sometimes simple is rich!

Jerry K said...

Wait a minute. Did you know a guy named John-Boy?

travellingman said...

I've stood on the Great Pyramids, floated down the nile, stepped foot in Asia, Africa, Europe, had tea in Havana, shopped at the Grand Bazaar in Turkey, got lost in London (Soho at 3am), seen Athens, Germany, China and even Russia! Lived in Cordova until I was 10 and to this day, I am yet to find a more peaceful place! Still, all in all, we got out just in time!

sandi anthony said...

My family moved to Cordova Mines in the 1920's.My great grandfather owned the island between the two bridges and my grandmother owned the other side of the river.He built the red brick house on the tip of the island.My family name is Anthony

sandi anthony said...

My family moved to Cordova Mines in the 1920's.My great grandfather owned the island between the two bridges and my grandmother owned the other side of the river.He built the red brick house on the tip of the island.My family name is Anthony

Anonymous said...

My family has a cottage in Havelock and we're curious how to get to the old Cordova mines. It seems as though it would be an interesting place to explore! Is it accessible on bike?

Angela Travers said...

My grandparents, Evelyn and Charles Arthur Steenburgh, owned the general store until 1968 or 1969. Several generations of my ancestors attended the one room school house, including my mother.

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