The Community Disbands

The fortunes of the village of Creighton mine rose and fell as the Canadian Copper Company's markets grew and shrank. By the late 1940's, construction space in the village was inadequate to accommodate the growing workforce resulting from the demand for nickel in the Second World War and the Korean war. The Company, now known as International Nickel, purchased a large section of land south of Creighton Mine and constructed the town of Lively. Lively was named for a long-time Creighton resident and mine employee, Charlie Lively. As homes in the new modern community became available, residents of Creighton began relocating. As the population bled away, the Company dismantled the older homes and sold off others. The United Church followed its parishioners and relocated to Lively. Businesses followed suit, as did the school.

There was no formal announcement that the village of Creighton would be closed until February of 1986, but the residents of the village knew well in advance that it was only a matter of time.

With the growth and improvements to the transportation system and the rise in the number of privately owned automobiles, the population became more mobile and chose to relocate away from Creighton.

ICreighton cairn.  It reads: "Creighton Mine 1900 - 1988.  Dedicated to the people of Creighton Mine who formed a community of love, labour and loyalty amongst these rocky hills. It is the spirit that lives on."  Photo courtesy of the Greater Sudbury Historical Database. n 1986, INCO announced that they were "getting out of the landlord business" and that the town would cease to exist by June 30, 1988. The reasons for this were strictly economic. It had become too expensive to maintain the community to modern regulations and standards.

In 1989, just a few years after the official announcement was made, the former residents of the village of Creighton Mine gathered from all over the world and staged a reunion at the site of the village. The Creighton Mine Reunion included the unveiling of a cairn located at the entrance to the former community. On the day of the cairn's unveiling, former residents of Creighton (now living in every province of Canada, forty American states, and a dozen European countries, as well as Australia) were present. They had gathered together to recognize what the community meant to them. They laughed, they cried, they remembered.

The organizing committee selected a slogan, "Creighton Shines in 89", and designed a logo for the reunion. The logo included images of the mine head frame, the school (represented by the children), the Catholic Church and the employee's sport club. These were the four pillars of life in Creighton Mine. While other communities had schools, churches, and sports clubs, they were built around the mines of the area. In Creighton, these elements worked together to create a community which lives on in the minds of the former residents. It was more than a town where a population shared geographical proximity, it was a family.


Material compiled from There Were No Strangers and Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums Archives.

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