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Mine Centre calls home its roots


“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who live in Mine Centre, and those who want to.”

It’s an age-old Mine Centre adage Terry Hyatt shared during Mine Centre’s Homecoming celebration last weekend.

A good crowd turned out for the festivities, ranging from current residents to seasonal ones, with events like a fishing derby, live music, and a fish fry to keep everyone busy.

Hyatt become a full-time resident in 1985, moving to Mine Centre from Thunder Bay. He said he and his brother, Don, started trapping together in Mine Centre back in 1971.

“I came here to be a trapper and never left,” Hyatt said. “I guess now I probably won’t.”

Although he doesn’t hunt and fish as much as he used, Hyatt said the independent lifestyle at Mine Centre still holds a very strong appeal for him.

“It’s just about the last place in the world where you can do whatever you want,” he said. “People still live by how their conscience dictates.”

For Don Col, a teacher who now lives in Minneapolis but originally hails from Virginia, Mn., Mine Centre has always been a place to escape to.

“My folks have a cabin up here,” he noted. “We’ve had a cabin here since the early 70s. We’ve always spent lots of summers up here and lots of winters as well.”

Col’s father was a doctor in Virginia so the Mine Centre cabin was a great place to spend a vacation. As he explained, no phones meant no possibility of being bothered by patients.

“For me, it became a place of freedom in many ways,” he added. “I’d do what I wanted, enjoy the outdoors. Frequently, the week after school I’ll be up here and enjoy the cabin.”

For Bonnie Wood, last weekend’s event was truly a homecoming. Born a McMillan, she left Mine Centre in 1950, usually getting back to visit family about once a year.

“I was raised between [the community hall] and the Olive Mine,” she said, recalling that growing up in Mine Centre all those years ago was all right but that “it’s a lot more fun to come back to.”

Wood said things have changed a lot in the past 48 years. Besides the old school house becoming the community hall, she said more people have built homes around the area since she left.

She said Mine Centre’s appeal is very simple. “It’s just a nice place, especially in the summer.”

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