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Photo postcard Foley-O’Brien mine Porcupine Northern Ontario c.1911

$110.00 CAD

– Sold Out

Tomkinson RPPC photo postcard of the Foley-O’Brien mine shaft/ buildings from the early days of the gold mining boom in Porcupine, in the Timmins area of Northern Ontario.

Undated. The mine was burnt out during the Great Fire of 1911. Since there are some burnt trees in the photo, I am assuming is it the rebuilt mine, not the original c. 1910.

Based on AZO photographic paper used it dates from 1908-1911.

Written on negative “FOLEY O’BRIAN MINE PORCUPINE”

On back  by 'Tomkinson, Photo, Porcupine'.


Light vertical blue line on front. Light smudging, toning on back.

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


Situated at the eastern end of Porcupine Lake, just northeast of the community of South Porcupine. Porcupine represents the easternmost part of the city's urban core. It was originally known as "Golden City" in its early days. A fire devastated the area in 1911. The great fire engulfed communities from the Porcupine to Cochrane. People fled to the lake to survive. It was founded at the beginning of the Porcupine Gold Rush. Porcupine, Pottsville and South Porcupine were the three towns making up the 12 mile portion of gold-bearing land known as the Porcupine Camp.

The Porcupine Gold Rush was a gold rush that took place in Northern Ontario starting in 1909 and developing fully by 1911.


A.K. Tomkinson was born in 1888 in Askam England. When he was about 16 years old, he emigrated with his family to Galt, Ont.

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.

Leaving New Brunswick, 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.


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