The Canadian Copper Company purchased the Dome site back in 1909 with a down payment of $75 thousand. The following year, they added a small mill which produced 24 ounces of gold. The mine was on its way.
A small townsite grew around the mine. The majority of employees commuted from nearby South Porcupine until the townsite opened. The mining executives had exactly one week to enjoy the railway’s arrival before tragedy struck in the form of the infamous Porcupine Fire. The forest fire destroyed the communities of Cochrane, Porcupine, South Porcupine and most small mining camps (including the Dome’s), and resulted in a devastating loss of life.
A few months later the mine was back in operation with a 40-ton stamp mill. Soon it was producing 400 tons of ore a day. In 1915, they purchased another mine along with 3,000 more acres of land to produce the Dome Extension. Development continued without stop until 1929 when fire struck again. They shut down the site for several months until cleanup and rebuilding was complete.
The layout for the mining townsite was quite attractive. The same for the Dome Extension townsite which included both single and double dwelling houses. Another townsite popped up directly south of the mine. It appears this was a random settlement without much in the way of town planning techniques. Despite that it contained the usual amenities of a school, station and stores.
Unfortunately, like many company towns the Dome townsites had shelf lives. During the 1980s residents were ordered out due to mining expansion. The company bulldozed both the Dome and Dome Extension townsites and then used the land to build Dome’s super pit. The bulldozing continued through the 90s with the original Dome Mine site, now reduced to a dump for mine tailings. Learn more