Robertsville, located in Frontenac County (now Township of North Frontenac), was a company town that began as the site of an iron mine venture around 1880.
The mine officially went into operation in 1882. Owned by the Mississippi Mining Company, the iron from Robertsville Mine was of such high quality that it was the preferred choice for the production of Bessemer steel. They mined most of the ore either from open cuts or from pits ranging from 50 to 100 feet in depth and also from the main production shaft and pit. They bottomed out at the 200-foot level.
The company townsite contained 28 duplex houses, a boarding house, and a store. There was also a shoemaker, two wood dealers, a carpenter, blacksmith shop, and a school. Daily mail delivery along with telegraph service covered all communication needs. At its height, they estimated the population as high as 300 but that likely included transient or temporary workers.
The mine thrived until 1885 when a depression in the American iron market put an end to the operation. The company closed the townsite and most of the residents left. Mining resumed again for two brief periods in 1900-01 and then again in 1918-19. After that the mine closed for good.
Today nothing remains of the townsite except for the cemetery, which still sees occasional use. A number of newer homes have been built in the area. Learn more