From the Massey Area Museum Newsletter
Did you know that, from the 1960s until 1985, there was a cooperage (a barrel or commercial drum factory), located in this township?
The business was situated just across the tracks at the corner of Highway 17 and Government Road. It was not locally owned with the original owner being the International Cooperage Company of Stony Creek, Ontario. They manufactured steel drums or barrels for use in the mining industry in the Elliot Lake and Sudbury’s INCO mines.
Huge coils of steel came by rail from Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie and from DOFASCO in Hamilton. These were moved by electric cranes and cut and welded together into steel drums of different sizes. Bottoms and lids were fabricated and the bottom welded on. After that, they were painted and put into a roaster oven to dry the paint. The finished barrels were sent out by truck and rail to Sudbury and Elliot Lake.
There were four or five different sizes of drums. They were used to hold blasting powder and the 45- gallon drums that went to Elliot Lake were used to ship uranium to Norway for processing.
At the height of its activity, the factory provided jobs for about 25 local people. By the time it closed, there were only about 10 workers left.
With the closing of the Elliot Lake mines, there was not enough business to sustain the operation and it closed in 1985. Today, the property is owned by Huron Central Railway.
Do you have any personal memories or photos to share of the cooperage? Email our webmaster, Jayson Stewart, at email@example.com.
This ongoing blog is a collection of articles and photos written by volunteers, staff and you, about the history of our region!