Marathon & District Historical Society and Museum

Town of Marathon

Time Line

 The Timeline was taken from rough notes found in the museum.  Dates are currently being looked at for accuracy.  Please contact us with any errors.

 Surveying for the Railroad underway
Lake Superior, Fort Albany and Long Lake Railroad depicted on early maps

 CPR construction. 12,000 men, 5000 horses and no police force. “Peninsula” (now Marathon) was constructed as a “whistle stop” watering station for the steam locomotives. Water tower was built on a hill to fill the on-board tanks. Peninsula remained in action until mid 1940s

Peninsula Harbour 1884

 May 9th, Great Lakes Paper Company acquires the timber concession on the Big Pic River


Ontario Highway Construction Company assembles Camp 12 at Angler Ontario. It is one of the employment projects in the 1930's to provide work for the unemployed. It was to construct sections of the TransCanada Highway. The road bed can be seen along the existing Hwy. 17 west of Marathon.


The Directors of Marathon Paper Mills began the Planning and design for the development of Marathon; the first design and layout of the mill and townsite was started in two small rooms over the Citizens' State Bank of Ontonagon, Michigan; there were only two employees designing and engineering the development up to 1944; that ground was broken in April 1944; that the developement was considered a possible war industry.


Marathon took steps to investigate Canadian woods operations to secure spruce pulpwood cutting rights in the Province of Ontario, Canada. The General Timber Company Limited removed the first timber from Canadian Limits in the spring of 1936.


Marathon, through the General Timber Company Limited, secured allotment of 2,509 square miles of timberland located along the Pic River in Ontario. The contract provided for the building of a bleached sulphate pulp mill in Canada.
 General Timber Company, the Canadian Branch of Marathon Paper Mills, begins logging on the lower limits of the Big Pic Timber Concession


 W.E.Mair surveys Jellicoe Cove, (Peninsula Harbour).
 D.C. Everest plans for a Sulphate Mill in Canada


Marathon acquired the General Timber Company Limited, Port Arthur, Canada. General Timber had a concession of 2,509 square miles of spruce, balsam and other timber located in Ontario. Two objectives in obtaining Canadian cutting rights were to secure a long time supply of spruce wood for the Rothschild pulp mill and also to secure a cheap and continous supply of high grade wood from which to secure the highest grade of bleached sulphate pulp possible to produce from a pulp mill to be built within the Province of Ontario on Lake Superior. This district is noted for its purity of water and is so situated that it insured cheap transportation costs to the Rothschild, Menasha, and Ashland plants and will provide a high grade bleached sulphate pulp for the Central West Pulp market on a comparatively low delivered cost.

 Rafts of Pulp Wood stored in Peninsula Harbour for towing to Ashland Wisconsin. General Timber tugs Handy Andy and MPM accompany rafts as tenders

Handy Andy in Ashlaand Wisconsin 1937



July 1940 orders were given to construct 2 new Prisoners of War camps, one at Neys the other at Angler, both had the capacity of 600 prisoners. These camps opened in July of 1941


Population was 18.

On May 18, 1943 the name of General Timber Company Limited was changed to Marathon Paper Mills of Canada Limited.

June marked the first visit of the Foundation Company Engineering group.


April Ground was broken for the Mill construction site  

May 18, 1944

Construction commenced on the townsite at Ontario, called Peninsula, later Everest and finally Marathon.

June 7, 1944 Contract was let for the construction of the plant and construction got underway in July of 1944.

May Construction workers living in tents
Aug 26, 3RD Street was carved out of the wilderness to become Whitman Court
Prisoners of War working at the sawmill at Camp 35 on the Pic River

 Town temporarily called “Everest”
Spring melt caused the foundation of mill to sink into ground (because of beach sand). Construction was halted and foundation torn down. Blasting of Peninsula Mountain began for better footing hold. Population explosion after the war brought veterans and their families to new lives. Increase in CPR employees.
Marathon population about 2500.
Approximately 1300 men employed at the mill.


December 31, 1946 Marathon became officially known as " The Improvement DIstrict of Marathon"

Train station opened in Marathon replacing the one at Peninsula.
April 23 first pulp wood up the jack ladder
Sept 20 First digester cooked
Chapples Store opened October
First bale of pulp off the line  at 10:30 PM, Oct 15. Bales are 500lbs each.
New mill building completed. Sulphate pulp shipped via railway cars to US market
Marathon Police Department and Fire Station building erected (on Stevens Ave, below Everest Hotel)
Strand Theatre construction commenced July 20
Recreation Hall construction commenced July 20

 Public Library opened in Rec. Hall building on Winton St. 1000 books donated by residents to start it up.
The Strand Theatre opened June
Rec Hall officially opened

 Outdoor pool built by volunteers
Bus service begins. Takes workers to and from mill, public to hospital and Chapples
Groups formed:Ballet and Tap; Marathon Guides and Brownies; Downhill Ski Club; Marathon Scouts and Cubs; Marathon Figure Skating Club.
First skating on outdoor rink

 Street lights installed November 6th,

 Peninsula Golf Course construction commences

 August 10, the highway is opened between Marathonn and Terrace Bay

Police Station Built
Marathon High School construction started


July 6, 1955 New Post Office is Opened

The Town is connected to the Ontario Hydro electric grid
 School built on Stevens Ave.

Marathon's streets are paved.

Glenn F Douglas 5743

 Knights of Columbus begins
at 10:30 AM, September 17 the highway between Marathon and Sault Ste. Marie was opened

 Marathon becomes a Township – replacing Improvement District of Marathon

 Population 2300


July 17, 1982 CFNO became live atfer testing for three days. "93.1" Voice of North Superior, goes live.


 American Can. Canada sold to James River Corp.
Pukaskwa National Park officially opened
Last major River Drive
24 hour helicopter approved for Marathon Hospital

 Hemlo Gold explorations discover gold veins east of Marathon. Construction of three new mines begins.
First flight to Marathon – Austin Airways
Marathon's first overseas ship of the season docks here for bales of pulp
Del Earle Park opens, named after founder.
Marathon Centre Mall begins construction

 Marathon Plaza Mall opens
September 6th Teck-Corona mines officially opened.
May 29th  Teck-Corona pours gold at Hemlo Gold Mines

 Water Tower dismantled – underground reservoir built
Catholic School board begins construction of Holy Saviour School/École St. Sauveur
Confederation College sets up office 1987 Crimestoppers started

 Marathon builds ski slopes and Visitor Information Centre
New High School and Public Schools built

 Population of Marathon expands to nearly 6000 – miners, pulp mill workers and CPR employees.

 Population 4700

 Last bale of Pulp produced Feb 28, 2009
Total production for the mill site  8,964,836 BADMT
Marathon Pulp Mill shuts down, jobs are lost

 Population 4400

 Demolition of the Marathon Mill commences, completion set for 2015
Marathon Curling Club closes it's doors

 D & H Foods closes
​Dec 16 Everest Hotel burns to the ground
Trinity Anglican Church closes and is sold

 Demolition and Stabilization of the Pulp Mill site schedules to be completed by June.

Town of Marathon



November,  Mill effluent site cleanup complete.

Construction camp  for Vallard construction begins on the Stevens Avenue School propety


 March 20 Toronto Dominion removes ATM from the former TD bank Lobby.