NAME: Cameron Bay
CLIMATE: Short summer, long and cold winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: summer, accessible only by float plane
COMMENTS: A fishing lodge operated at this site until a few years ago when the lodge building burned down.
REMAINS: Police log cabin, HBC store, other ruins (current state unknown)
Cameron Bay was first settled in the late summer of 1932 in response to silver and radium prospecting in the Great Bear Lake area of the NWT. It was probably named from Prof. Allan Cameron of the Geological Survey of Canada. Four regional mines opened up but only one of them became a producing operation (Eldorado Mine - Port Radium). Cameron Bay serviced the mines and their employees. Every year for the first three busy years, the whole regional community got together to hold Canada Day picnics. The small townsite was picturesquely located on a sandy beach, backed by a sparse forest and high rocky hills, typical of the Great Bear Lake area. It was a sheltered bay, 4 kilometers inland from the main lake. Access into this area was only by floatplane, so several charter companies set up base at Cameron Bay during 1932-33. Also to be found were a few general stores, restaurants, and small hotels, plus a mining recorders office, a wireless RCCS station, Hudson's Bay Company store, and an RCMP (Police) detachment. With a drop in the price of silver and radium products in 1939-1940, and a diversion of prospecting interest to the Yellowknife region in 1937-1938, the town site faltered and died out by 1939. Buildings at Cameron Bay were used by native families during the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s a fishing lodge opened up at the site, and the owners fixed up a few buildings to be used for their operations. Today the site is again abandoned. Submitted by: Ryan A. Silke, 2004