National Geographic : 1959 Apr
Algoma field in six weeks of 1952, using planes to bring in their staking crews. Somehow they managed to complete the job without attracting attention, although some of their 60,000 claimed acres lay less than 20 miles from much-traveled Highway 17. The center of things is the town of Elliot Lake. Only moose lived there five years ago; now close to 20,000 people make it their home. When I was there, on a mine payday, I was sure that each of them had driven his car downtown. The traffic jam was monumental (page 470). Through streets still unpaved, bulldozers and trucks rushed to finish the shopping sec tion. Sparkling new stores, restaurants, and office buildings rising from the raw earth would inspire civic pride in Toronto or Chicago. Workmen put the finishing touches on a new 464 bank; its future tenants meanwhile did busi ness in a frame shanty. A multistory estab lishment bore the proud name of the Hudson's Bay Company. "But don't try to pay them in beaver," grinned Chic Shave of the local Chamber of Commerce. "Here they're a combination food supermarket and modern department store, and they prefer money to furs." Sitting atop Uranium Sobers a Town A busload of businessmen from the States came to town one day, and Chic guided them into a street that ended in a mudhole. The visitors had to push the bus out. "Boy, were they mad!" said Chic. "They accused me of not knowing where I was go ing. I had to agree: The street hadn't been there the day before."