Cobalt Silver Rush - Rush


William Trethewey arrived in the spring of 1904 and set out prospecting the area. On his second day he found a vein, and staked it with another prospector, Alex Longwell. Immediately thereafter he found a second vein, staking it for himself, while Longwell went off to stake another of his own. All three would later develop into major mines, the Trethewey, Coniagas and Buffalo. Millar had returned to the area to continue work, and posted a sign alongside the railway tracks which read "Cobalt Station T. & N.O. Railway". Still, there was relatively little work being done commercially, and nothing like a "rush" started.

When travel re-opened in the spring of 1905 word was out that there was silver at Cobalt Station. Prospectors and developers started pouring into the campsight, and by the end of the year there were 16 operating mines that had shipped $1,366,000 worth of ore. The next year another $2,000,000 worth of ore was shipped, but the obvious surface veins were mined out. To continue production, trenches were dug in criss-cross patterns hoping to cut through a vein. The Nipissing Mine introduced the use of high-pressure water to simply wash off all of the topsoil, and by 1913 Long Lake, now known as Cobalt Lake was "tainted or yellow green, and is opaque". The lake was later drained, both to clear out the brackish water as well as to expose further veins.

Although one of the richest veins was known as early as 1904, development was slowed by disagreements among the shareholders. These were finally worked out and mining the "Lawson Vein" started in 1908. Once mining was underway it became clear that the vein was incredibly large, as much as 10,000 tons of processed silver, making it the largest single find in the world to this day. It is better known today as the "Silver Sidewalk".

The rush reached its peak in 1911, shipping 31,507,791 ounces of silver. The town had grown considerably, and had a population of between 10,000 and 15,000.

Read more about this topic:  Cobalt Silver Rush

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