Town of Milnet

Milnet was a small lumber town located nine miles west of Capreol back in the early 1900's.  Serviced by the CNR railway line, which ran alongside the settlement and connected to the mainline in Capreol, the people of Milnet received general store supplies, a preacher, and a doctor.

The men of the town would work in logging camps located up the river from the village where they would harvest trees and set them afloat along the river towards Milnet.  Saw mill workers would then take the logs and cut them up into usable lumber.  The lumber would be loaded onto the CNR boxcars (which came right up to the sawmill) and the boxcars would then be transferred to the mainline of the CNR for shipment by freight train.

The financial lives of the Milnet settlers revolved exclusively around the lumbering industry.  It was the main source of income for almost all of the men in the town.

The people in the community enjoyed partaking in leisurely activities in their community hall and attending masses offered by visiting priest, Father Williams.  Since Milnet was such a small town, almost every celebration was a community celebration.  A local bank would hold weekly dances at the hall and the people would dance jovially well into the night.

Despite their isolation from other communities, Milnet was a self-sufficient town by the 1920's and the people were happy and comfortable in their lives.  Though a water system was never installed, there was a community pump located beside the boarding house at the centre of town.

When the Depression struck in 1929, the town of Milnet was hit extremely hard.  The massive unemployment levels meant that the lumber-based community was facing great hardships.  In 1933, the saw mill mysteriously burned down, forcing almost all of the workers on relief.  In those days, as now, relief was not enough to live on and those who were dissatisfied with the lack of opportunity in the settlement opted to move on in search of employment, although some chose to stay and hope for the best.

By 1940, the Town of Milnet was almost empty.  Today, the only remnants of the town's existence is the old company houses with patches of white wash still embedded in the clapboard.

For more information on the Town of Milnet, consult the Ontario Ghost Town website.


Material compiled from Capreol: The First 75 Years, 1918-1993.

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