There’s little left in the Town of Creighton now, but many years ago, it was a busy community located in the western part of Greater Sudbury.

The community was fully demolished in 1986 and since 1989, residents have gotten together to remember their former home.

This weekend, former residents of Creighton will gather in nearby Lively for the Creighton Shines reunion.

Erna Fex’s father came from Holland in 1951 to work for Inco at the Creighton Mine.

Erna said he lived in a boarding house, while looking for accommodations for his family.

 “The only place he could find was an abandoned farm, two miles behind Creighton. So that’s where we lived for a year,” she said.

Erna Fex

Erna Fex is one of the organizers of Creighton Shines. The annual reunion brings together people who used to live in Creighton, which is now a ghost town. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

“There was no electricity, no running water … abandoned machinery lying around — there was nothing.”

Fex said her family were planning to move into Creighton, but had to earn extra money.

“We didn’t know what it was, but someone told my dad underground that you could make money picking blueberries,” she said.  “So that’s what we did.”

The berries were shipped to Toronto, and later on, cheques would start arriving. The extra money helped the family put a down payment on a house and move.

Fex said the community was warm and welcoming.

“When you meet a Creightonite anywhere, it’s a hug and it’s ‘Hi’ and a ‘How are you?’ —it’s like meeting a family member,” she said.

But the community wasn’t able to go on forever, Fex said.

“It was a decision made by Inco who owned all the real estate, the houses and so on,” she said.

“Inco claimed that they had to bring the sewer and water up to [standards]. I think it was 1972 that they didn’t want to be in real estate anymore.”

A community meeting was held to discuss what was going to happen next, she said.

“People were almost in tears saying ‘I’ve lived here 40 years [and] I don’t want to go anywhere else,’” she recalled.

However, the decision stood and people were told they could move their houses at their own expense,”  Fex said.

“The minute a family vacated their home, the next day it was demolished,” she said.

“There were holes throughout the town where houses had been.”

Residents will gather to remember what life was like in Creighton and upwards of 400 people are expected.

Events include a social, a slag pour watching and a dinner and dance.