1999.394.6 | Beaver, King, Bell and Jonhson Mines, Thetford Mines, QC, about 1940
Beaver, King, Bell and Jonhson Mines, Thetford Mines, QC, about 1940
About 1940, 20th century
Silver salts on paper
15.1 x 23.4 cm
Gift of Mr. Alfred Penhale Estate
This artefact belongs to :© Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines
Keys to History
In the late 1950s, buildings and entire neighbourhoods in Thetford Mines were threatened. The asbestos industry was the reason for their being built; soon it would lead to their destruction or relocation.
The mining companies had the rights to the town's soil and subsoil: legal provisions allowed them to take over property they had leased when they needed to expand operations. The fifties, sixties and seventies were a time of "great upheaval" for the people of Thetford Mines, a time when many houses and other buildings were moved or destroyed.
This is an aerial shot of the town of Thetford Mines before the great upheavals.
The first great upheaval affected Johnson Street (the isolated street between the pits in the centre of the photo). The buildings between the Bell (upper left) and Beaver pits (centre right) were demolished and rebuilt elsewhere. Most family homes were moved to the St. Maurice neighbourhood (lower left). But St. Maurice itself was relocated in the second great upheaval.
This picture was taken sometime before the first great upheaval, which began in 1953 and continued until almost 1965. The second great upheaval took place from 1970 to 1973.
To carry out the relocations, the Asbestos Corporation of Canada, along with Bell and Johnson, founded a new company, Relocations Ltd. The company was set up to remove all surface obstacles to mine expansion. In concrete terms, that meant moving, "if necessary," any buildings deemed to be in the way, or else razing them.