Leeblain, Ontario (Ghost Town)

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Leeblain, Ontario (Ghost Town)

Postby padwrr » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:12 pm

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

ab lee1.jpg
Arthur B. Lee Sr.
ab lee1.jpg (75.29 KiB) Viewed 701 times

hugh blain.jpg
Hugh Blain
hugh blain.jpg (49.96 KiB) Viewed 701 times

DSC_3322.JPG
Railway siding, Leeblain, ON 2011
Port Arthur, Duluth and Western RR on the web.
www.padwrr.ca
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Re: Leeblain, Ontario (Ghost Town)

Postby padwrr » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:25 pm

Some video of the ghost town shot over the last few years. Features the railway grade, rock ovens and archeological finds.
http://youtu.be/q4Lj-8gzSGA
http://youtu.be/cDQnyjJ-x9Q

A public lecture about Leeblain at the Thunder Bay Museum from September 2013.
http://youtu.be/ml1vDE2_BWA
Port Arthur, Duluth and Western RR on the web.
www.padwrr.ca
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