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Early photo postcard of South Porcupine Ontario (1910-18)

Nice photo of South Porcupine in Northern Ontario. In foreground, railway tracks, man going down street in horse drawn-wagon. In background multiple people walking on wooden sidewalk, dirt road.

Town was founded where it was because its proximity to the mining camp. In 1911 the town was destroyed by fire, and quickly rebuilt. South Porcupine is now part of the mining town of Timmins.


Based on ‘AZO' photographic paper used, dates from 1904-1918.

Toning spot top centre of photo. Creases in all four corners. Very dirty back, smudges

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)


A.K. Tomkinson was born in 1888 into a family of foundry workers in Askam, a village on the west coast of England in the county of Cumbria. When he was about 16 years old, he emigrated with his family to Galt, Ont. Apparently, it was not until after he had arrived in Canada that Tomkinson became interested in photography…

The details of his life from 1904, when he first came to Canada, until 1910, when he definitely was in Golden City (Porcupine), are unclear. He seems to have served an apprenticeship with a photographer in Galt…Tomkinson followed the gold-seekers to the Porcupine. He worked in a tent drug store as a clerk and pursued his hobby of photography during his free time.

In 1911, he moved to South Porcupine. There he went into partnership with Mr. Sol Sky in the building that later became known as the Sky Block. The building contained a photographic studio where Tomkinson began his life-long career of taking photographs, developing them and selling cameras. The original site burned in the 1911 Porcupine Fire (which wiped out the town), but was rebuilt in 1912.



South Porcupine was founded on the southwestern shore of Porcupine Lake, due to its proximity to the mines. Locally, South Porcupine is traditionally known as "South End".

The arrival of the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway (T&NO) rail system in 1911 accelerated the growth of the area; until then, the trek to the South Porcupine was done by canoe and by foot from Haileybury. That same year, (two days after the first train arrived in the South Porcupine), the entire area was destroyed in the fire of 1911. Because of the importance of the gold discoveries, very few people abandoned the area and it was rebuilt in two months.


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