The town of Leeblain was founded in 1893 and was intended to be a major point on the newly constructed Port Arthur, Duluth and Western Railway. It was located 83 miles from Port Arthur, on a small bay on the Canadian side of Gunflint Lake. It was named after two of the principal investors in the railway, Toronto businessmen Arthur B. Lee and Hugh Blain. It is often incorrectly referred to as “LeBlaine.”
Located at Leeblain was a two-storey “hotel,” which measured 40 x 24. There were also several “rock ovens” which were used by Italian immigrant labourers to bake bread. Unfortunately Leeblain never became the metropolis that the railway promoters hoped it would become. The failure of the Paulson Mine caused financial hardships and left the railway with little business on this portion of the line. There were few residents at Leeblain and fewer visitors as most people living on Gunflint Lake gravitated toward Gunflint Narrows.
In 1903 Canadian Northern, the new owners of the line, stopped running trains to Gunflint due to a lack of business. In 1915 all steel west of North Lake was lifted, apparently shipped off to war-ravaged France to be used for railways there. Leeblain dropped off the map and was forgotten.
Today there is very little visible at Leeblain, except for the railway siding and the rock ovens. I often wonder what the town would have looked like today had it survived; it certainly would have been very picturesque. It certainly makes for a worthwhile visit, but don’t forget your RABC! For more information, visit:http://www.ontarioabandonedplaces.com/u ... entry=1924