The Hill Building & Black Donald Mine

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The Hill Building 

Donated by the Hill family in the year 2000, this dairy shed was originally used to keep raw milk cool and ready for transport. Now, it holds many historic farming and forging implements and tools.

Black Donald Mine

Black Donald Mine was a graphite mine, constructed in 1895,  that used to be located near Calabogie (at what is now Black Donald lake). Graphite was a common lubricant for motors, making it extremely valuable in the industrialized 19th century, and graphite from this region was 65-84% pure. For comparison, graphite from the closest other deposit was 5% pure. 

The area, hitherto uninhabited, became a bustling community. The mines, while generally a smaller operation, became large scale during both world wars. 

A total of three fires broke out at the mine, ultimately resulting in its collapse in 1950. Regardless, in a show of human determination (&/or greed), small operations continued in the region until 1954, when the resource was entirely drained. 

In 1967, a hydro-dam built on the Madawaska river caused the former Black Donald mine to flood.