Benny Station got its start as a railside mill town on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) near Cartier. It began with the first lumber mill, built around 1903. Shortly afterwards, the Strong Lumber Company took over and enlarged the mill. The local name for both the station and community was “Benny.” Despite that, the community’s official name was actually “Pulp Siding” after the post office, first opened in 1909.
Once the Strong Company arrived, the townsite expanded quite rapidly. To that end, they added a number of homes, bunkhouse, cookery, store, two section houses and the station. At first the mill experienced the usual ups and downs, but things began to pick up around 1913 with the arrival of the Spanish Pulp & Paper Company. By the early 1920s, the population had grown to around 150. A Catholic Church and small cemetery, added around 1923, completed the community.
Unfortunately by the late 1920s, things began to spiral downwards rapidly. The lumber mill shut down in 1928 and the paper mill followed suit one year later. A zinc mine, built in the 1930s, operated for a few years during World War II, but then shut down. All hope for a revival of the sawmill ended when it burnt to the ground in 1943. By the mid-50s, the school and store had closed and most of the residents left.
Today a small handful of residents still remain in Benny. The community contains a few original and newer cabins. The CPR is still active in the area. Learn more