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Marathon

Trip Planner Canada  /  Ontario  /  Marathon
(4.1/5 based on 55+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: scenic drive, nature, museums
Marathon is a town in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in Thunder Bay District, on the north shore of Lake Superior north of Pukaskwa National Park, in the heart of the Canadian Shield.HistoryAs long ago as 500 BC the area was inhabited by Ojibway Natives who lived along the Pic River and there are still their descendants living in the area today.Marathon of today was born as a railroad community named Peninsula, due to its location on a peninsula on Lake Superior. Constructing the railroad, between 1881 and 1883, over the region's terrain was a great engineering feat. At the time of the construction, some 12,000 men and 5,000 horses worked out of the town.It has been said, but not verified, that certain sections of track would be laid one day, only to be devoured by the earth the next. Like most railroad communities, once the railroad had been completed Peninsula's population dwindled considerably, and by 1935, the census of the town was just 23.It wasn't until a pulp mill was constructed in town, between 1944 and 1946, that the population rose back to 2,500, and the town's name was changed, first to Everest - after D.C. Everest, president of Marathon Corporation of Wisconsin, owners of the pulp mill in the town - then, later the same year, to Marathon, in honor of the paper company itself. The Everest name was discarded due to sounding too close to Everett, Ontario.Marathon Corporation operated the mill for eleven years before the company was acquired by American Can Company in 1957. The Marathon mill operated under the name American Can of Canada Limited for over 25 years. Then James River Corporation, which had purchased American Can's US-based towel and tissue division in late 1981, entered into a joint venture with Buchanan Forest Products to create James River-Marathon Ltd. that purchased the mill in April 1983. In May 1997, James River Corporation merged with Fort Howard Corporation and the Marathon mill became Fort James-Marathon Ltd. Finally, in January 2000, Fort James sold Marathon to a 50/50 joint venture of Tembec and Kruger, creating Marathon Pulp Inc.
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