Stop 5 (1)
This mural was created in 2013 by Susan Krupp.
Susan is a local artist who creates work in a variety of styles. Her work is on display at the Gallery at the Centre. You can also see more of her work on her website.
The artist prepared the following information about the three men depicted.
Elliot Lake exists today thanks to the ingenuity of a few incredible men.
Joseph H. Hirshhorn, born in Latvia in 1900 came to the United States when he was seven. He was raised in Brooklyn NY. And at age fifteen left school and began his successful journey up the financial ladder starting as a messenger boy on Wall Street.
He was a millionaire before turning thirty thanks to shrewd speculations cashing in before the stock market collapse of 1929. He became interested in Canadian mining after the gold price rose to US$35 an ounce in 1932.
In the 50’s, he and geologist Franc Joubin were primarily responsible for the big “Z” uranium discovery in northeastern Ontario and the subsequent founding of our city of Elliot Lake. Hirshhorn Avenue is named for him.
Hirshhorn’s primary role was to provide funding which, for the Blind River developments, ultimately approached $250 million before the overall deal was made with Rio Tinto.
In the 80’s, it was estimated that TMC’s Blind River discoveries had added some $30 million to the economy.
When he began making money, he began buying art! He amassed a collection of paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries. He studied art, loved and appreciated art. He allowed non profit groups to use tours of his sculpture garden for fun raising. He tried to create an art museum in Algoma Mill but met with much resistance. All of his collection is now on display at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.
Hirshhorn believed in Canada’s mineral potential and thanks to his business acumen, drive and determination he helped transform Ontario’s north.
Franc R. Joubin was a committed prospector. A chemistry and geology graduate of the University of British Columbia, he began his mining career in the gold business with BC’s Pioneer Gold Mines.
In 1948 the Canadian government legalized prospecting for Uranium, so a young Joubin went searching for it with his $120.00 Geiger counter.
When he learned that Pitchblende had been discovered near Sault Ste. Marie he was one of the first on the scene.
He had a bit of a false start, detecting only traces of Uranium and as a result returned to his geological consultant practice travelling in search of other metals. But he never gave up on searching for Uranium in Ontario.
In 1953, along with Hirshhorn, a highly secretive staking be was launched in the area. More than 1400 claims were staked encompassing some 56,000 acres.
The test drills hit Uranium and Joubin was on his way to securing his place in Canadian mining history.
His perseverance resulted in the creation of 9 separate mines and became one of the biggest mining booms this country has ever seen. Joubin’s passion for prospecting, his skill and determination led to the success and growth of Elliot Lake. He was inducted in to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 1989.
Steven B. Roman was a Slovakian immigrant who began working in Canada as a tomato picker. He started farming with his brother but was unsuccessful. After serving in the Canadian armed forces in WW2 he began toying with penny mining stocks. His first success came in 1953 when he sold a $10,000 investment in the Concord Mining Syndicate for $2 million, following the Syndicates discovery of oil in Leduc, Alberta
Roman wen on to buy a stake in North Denison Mines at just over 8 cents a share and by 1954 controlled the company, renaming it Consolidated Denison Mines. When he purchased 83 mining claims in Elliot Lake for some $30,000 cash along with 500,000 shares of Consolidated Denison, Roman was launched in to the league of major players in the world’s mining industry. These claims contained what was then the world’s largest deposit of Uranium.
Roman was a passionate entrepreneur. He build wealth for his shareholders and jobs for Canada by funding, exploring and developing this resource.
Roman admits that he was a dreamer and a risk taker. Thanks to these attributes, we now call Elliot Lake home.