Engineer Wm. McCarthy with some forty surveyors and several tons of supplies
arrived on the Str. Kenora on Saturday evening and left on Monday by the
Majestic for Seine river.
In conversation with a HERALD representative Mr. McCarthy said they would proceed to Mine Centre, thence north to some point between Bad Vermilion and Little Turtle lakes where they would establish their central camp. His party then divided up into two sections, one of them under Chas. Gordon, C.E., of Winnipeg, would locate the line eastwards via Sturgeon falls, and he (McCarthy) would run the line west towards Fort Frances to meet the line now coming this way from the terminus of the Winnipeg and Southeastern.
Mr. McCarthy when asked as to the exact route was non-committal but went so far as to say that it would cross the northwest arm of Rainy lake at Hay Marsh bay, thence westward from Fort Frances to some point along Rainy river. He also said that work was being actively pushed on the east end, some 500 men and being at work grading. The road would be built as fast as the surveyors could get it ready and he was certain that it would be complete through to Winnipeg in time to carry out the wheat crop of the northwest in 1900.
Since Mr. McCarthy was here in the summer he has been exploring in the Shebandowan district with a view to locating the road to the best possible advantage. While there several land surveying parties were in that district surveying mining claims, chiefly iron, and from what could be ascertained it would seem that with the road completed a great boom in mining and especially in iron would take place. Port Arthur people are figuring on getting a smelter built at that place in the near future and with rich iron mines within easy distance this industry would soon be one of the most important in western Canada.
Running as this new line does nearly its whole length through a rich mining, timber and agricultural country the road should be a paying one from the start. Being an independent road it would naturally reduce freight rates and would also be a great factor in development and settling the country. With the advantages Fort Frances possesses and such a road running through it there is no reason why she should not be one of the largest cities in Canada.
It is only a question of another year or tow when things will change, and what is now a dreary ice-bound waste for six months in the year will be a populous community teeming with the hum of industry and the happy homes of thousands of Canada's most prosperous people. With the advent of a Canadian road tapping this country it will not be long before one of our southern railways will follow suit by building north and tapping it at this place. Once a southern and eastern outlet is obtained we will then be in a position to offer to manufacturers the best place in Minnesota for a milling site and which will speedily take advantage of once a market is assured.
In addition to pulp wood and timber we have thousands of acres of rich and fertile land, the best in the world, which only awaits settlement to show to the world what can be grown. Now is the time to take up land while it can be procured close to a market. How many will avail themselves of the opportunity?