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The Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa
The Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa was the creation of two entrepreneurs, Henry Stark. Howland and Charles J. Pusey, who single-handedly pushed this short railway line through some of the most rugged territory in the Canadian Shield of Southern Ontario. 
1879 Incorporated: Snowdon Branch Railway Ontario Chapter 85 with authority to build from Kinmount to the Snowdon Iron Mines at Furnace Falls
05 Mar 1880 Incorporated: Toronto & Nipissing Eastern Extension Railway (Henry S. Howland President, Charles J. Pusey Vice President.
1880 Myle Branch Tramway opened 6¾ miles Kinmount Jct to Furnace Falls under the ownership of the Snowdon Iron Mines - known as the Myles Branch Tramway
1884 T&NEE name changed to Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa (IB&O)
1886 Route Surveyed from Kinmount Jct, on the Victoria Railway (previously called Kendricks, renamed  Myles Junction in 1876 and renamed Howland Jct in 1919) to York River (North of Bancroft)
Nov 1886 IB&O Purchases Myles Branch Tramway from Kinmount Jct to Snowdon Iron Mines at Furnace Falls
Feb 1887 Line Opened: Furnace Falls - Irondale.  Steel rails laid Kinmount Jct to Irondale
23 Nov 1893 Irondale - Wilberforce
January 1897 Wilberforce - Baptiste
Fall 1898 Baptiste - Mud Creek (2½ miles east of Baptiste)
18 July 1899 Death of  Charles J. Pusey with Z.A. Lash as executor of his estate. 
1905 Control Assumed By: Z.A. Lash.  Lash is General Manager of Canadian Bank of Commerce and Solicitor for CNoR. Lash is a major creditor of the IB&O and C.J. Pusey personally.  
16 Oct 1909 IB&O Controlled By: Mackenzie, Mann & Co (CNoR)
01 July 1910 Line Opened: Mud Creek - York River (North of Bancroft) to connect with the COR
12 Sept 1910 First Through Train: Kinmount Jct to Bancroft
1910 IB&O Leased By: Central Ontario Railway
1911 COR Acquired By: Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR)
1916 CNoR Controlled By: Government of Canada
1918 . Canadian National Railways
31 March 1960  Line Abandoned: Howland Jct - Central Ontario Railway (Last Train)
30 July 1960 Line Dismantled Howland Jct - Central Ontario Railway (except for part of line through Domtar Plant in Bancroft)
In 1870, deposits of iron ore were found in Snowdon Township in Victoria County in the area of Furnace Falls along the Irondale River.  The rush was on to discover more deposits.  The original prospectors, along with other investors, formed the Snowdon Iron Mine Company to exploit the deposits.  Around 1876, William S. Myles of Toronto bought the mineral rights to some of the lots around Furnace Falls and took over the Snowdon Iron Mine Company.  At about the same time, Henry S. Howland of Toronto also invested in the mineral rights to some of the lots. 
Henry Stark Howland (1825 - 1902), of Pilgrim Father and Quaker ancestry, was born at Paulings, NY, and came to Canada in 1840.   He was for many years engaged in the lumber and milling business in the Klineburg, Ont. area, but later in life became the head of the wholesale hardware firm of H.S. Howland, Sons and Company, Toronto.  He was a founding director and the first Vice-President of the Canadian Bank of Commerce.  In 1875, he was a founding director of the Imperial Bank of Canada and became its first president, holding the office until his death.  In public life, he served as Warden of York County (Toronto).  He was active in the promotion of railway construction and was for some time president of several railway companies whoese lines centred in Toronto. 
Myles proceeded to build a tramway to ship out these ores - subsequently referred to as the Myles Branch Tramway.  The rails were originally square-hewn hardwood logs and the iron ore was hauled by horse-drawn cars.  The line started at Kendricks (about 2.3 miles north of Kinmount on the Victoria Railway), crossed the Burnt River and went along the south shore of the Irondale River to the mines located at Furnace Falls. 
 It took two years to build the tramway due to the opposition of some of the landowners along the right of way.  Myles spent about $60,000 in building the 6.75 miles of road - part of these funds being borrowed from the Canadian Bank of Commerce on the security of a mortgage on the properties of the Snowdon Iron Mine.  It may have been the case that, because the road was operated as a "tramway", the Myles Branch Tramway was not incorporated as a railway.  The records are very fuzzy on this and the line may have been built in breach of the law. 
By 1878, Myles had abandoned the properties and Charles J. Pusey of Pennsylvania came in as lessee of both the Snowdon and Howland mines.  In partnership with Howland, Pusey shipped out about 1,000 tons of ore to the United States in 1878 and 1879.  In 1879 the Snowdon Branch Railway was incorporated under Ontario Chapter 85 with authority to build from Kinmount on the Victoria Railway to the Snowdon Iron Mines - the same territory covered by the Myles Branch Tramway.  It's not clear as to whether the incorporation of the Snowdon Branch Railway legitimized their operation of the Myles Branch Tramway. 

The Grand Trunk crew is strong-arming GTR 4-4-0 #241 on the turntable at Kinmount Junction.  It was from here that the IB&O started.  Photo courtesy of Haliburton Highlands Museum. 
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