Lynn Lake is the northernmost of the mining communities in Manitoba located in the Trans-Hudson Orogen of the Precambrian Shield.[i] “Manitoba’s first nickel-copper mine was discovered in 1950 by Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd. at what is now Lynn Lake, 250 km north of Flin Flon. The A, EL, and Farley Mines were subsequently brought into production in the area. During 1953-76, more than 20 million tonnes of ore were mined, containing 167 million kg of nickel, 95 million kg of copper as well as cobalt, gold and silver.”[ii] The population of the community grew to 2,500, but with the closure of the Farley Mine in 1976, mining in the immediate vicinity closed and despite continued exploration in the area for base metal deposits and gold, by 1996 the population had fallen to 1,038 and to 699 in 2001, with a slight rise to 714 in 2006.
The photograph shows the Lynn Lake area in the very early stages of development. The area that became Lynn Lake 1 is located between the northern ends of Lynn Lake 2 and West Lynn Lake 3. To the west are Sheila Lake 4 and Ralph Lake 5 and to the north, Eric Lake 6, West Eric Lake 7, Burge Lake 8, and Barbara Lake 9. The area is located near the northern edge of the Northern Coniferous Forest vegetation zone.[iii] Coniferous forest appears in dark grey tones10, with marshy areas, lighter in tone 11. Very light-toned areas—mainly in the centre of the image 12—are lichen covered areas or bare rock, except for the areas between and north of the Lynn Lakes 13 which have been cleared for construction.
The early stages of settlement are seen between West Lynn Lake and Lynn Lake 14 with a route way—road or railway line entering from the south 15. On the original photo, with the use of a magnifying glass, some buildings can be seen east of 16, and north of Lynn Lake a faint grid pattern 17 probably indicates the future location of roads.
[i] See Corkery, M. T. “Geology and Landforms of Manitoba” in Welsted, Everitt and Stadel op. cit. 1996, figure 2.1, 13.
[ii] Young, H. R. op. cit. 1996, 241.
[iii] Scott, G. A. J. op. cit. 1996, figure 4.2, 45.