back to Mining in Ontario

*Please note that much of the information and all of the images below were provided from a book written in the 1920's. It was very up-to-date at the time when the book was published, but is not the most current information. It has been greatly simplified.

Discovering a deposit

On August 7, 1903, two railroad workers –J.H. McKinley and Ernest Darragh –found pliable, silvery flakes of metal on the shores of Long Lake. The town of Cobalt came into being almost overnight. The formation of the town was very much unplanned, and came into existence simply due to the lure of this “silver rush”. Wherever a flat outcropping was big enough to support a building, a miner built a home. 

The largest silver vein was yet to be uncovered. In 1904, a party of four men discovered a massive native silver vein along a trail. The vein was named the “Lawson Vein.” Due to a disagreement over the ownership of the vein, mining did not begin until 1908. When mining finally began, it was discovered that the vein, which reached 0.5 metres across, and 100 metres long, also continued to a depth of 60 metres below the surface. Needless to say, all men who discovered the vein retired very wealthy. The vein soon began to be known as the Silver Sidewalk, and was the richest silver vein of its time.

Rocks of Cobalt

In the image gallery below, there are various geologic maps of Cobalt to help you visualize the arrangement of the geologic formations when reading about the geological history (which is found underneath the image gallery).