Cordova Mines, probably the most well-known of all the Hastings gold rush communities, began in the 1860s as a community named Wariston. It’s actually located in Peterborough County, close to the county line.
Gold was first discovered in the area during the mid-1860s, but at the time it was too difficult to mine. Nevertheless since a number of people remained in the area, a general store and post office opened in 1880. Other business included a cheese factory, carriage shop, two churches and a school.
By the 1890s, technology had improved and a number of other mining companies were ready to take a crack at Cordova Mines. These included the Cordova Exploration Company in 1897, and Cordova Mines Limited in 1911. Other mining companies, such as the nearby Ledyard Mine, used the townsite as their home base. During those years the community grew to include a butcher, baker, two general stores and a sawmill.
By the time Cordova Mines Limited arrived in 1911, the community had a population of about 200. Unfortunately the mine was not financially successful and the company pulled out after the plant burned down in 1917. The last mining effort took place from 1938-40. Following that, they closed the mine and dismantled the buildings. Today Cordova continues to support a small year round population, with a boost from cottagers during the summer. A few small vestiges of Cordova’s mining years still stand. Learn more