The Morris Island area has a long history of mineral deposits. It was believed that the First Nations knew of copper in the area and early French explorers identified minerals possibly as early as 1743. Several attempts were made to work these deposits and a mine operated briefly in the mid-1880s. Operations ceased shortly thereafter when all buildings and equipment were destroyed by fire.

The mine was not operated on any large scale until it was re-activated in 1914 to meet the military need for lead during WW I. The mine then operated continually and the lead ore was smelted on-site until it was closed in 1931. The lead that was smelted at Kingdon Mine was cast into " pigs" and most of this was horse-drawn to Galetta Railroad station for shipment to Montreal for further processing.

With the re-activation of the mine in 1914, once more Galetta was a thriving village.  The mine employed a large number of men and Kingdon Mine was a village in itself with store, school, recreational hall and a large boarding house, as well as a number of houses for its employees. Galetta and the surrounding country felt the benefit as a market for the farmers' produce.

During these years of prosperity, there were two livery stables in Galetta, one operated by Fred Clifford and the other by Fred Johnston. These two men also had a taxi service. A garage and service station were operated by A.S. Russell and Sons. 

During its 47 years of operation, Kingdon Mine became the largest lead mine and smelter in Canada. It is estimated that 60 million pounds of lead was extracted. Before it closed in 1931, the mine employed 600 people at its peak and 250 families lived in the Village of Kingdon Mines.

Today, other than the foundations of the mine buildings, the only immediate evidence of the former mine is the massive tailings just north of the hydro transmission lines. These tailings were used locally for some time as an aggregate until the elevated levels of lead caused health concerns.

 from “Beyond our Memories”

by the Fitzroy Township Historical Society