MP-0000.668.6 | C. P. R. Station, Cobalt, ON, ca. 1910

C. P. R. Station, Cobalt, ON, ca. 1910
About 1910, 19th century
Ink on paper - Collotype
8.7 x 13.7 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Print (10661) , rail (370) , Train (185) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

In 1910 the several dozen mining companies in Cobalt already employed over 3,000 people, not counting all the prospectors in the region. As the silver veins were visible on the surface, everyone hoped to find a mine at little expense. Every day, travellers tried their luck or hoped to cash in on the region's prosperity. Some people even rode up by train from Toronto and New York, for Cobalt fascinated them and made them dream. The Cobalt station became a social gathering place. Many labourers got off the train to find work, which in 1910 was still almost untouched by mechanization. But the surface deposits were soon played out, and further mining required drilling and tunnelling.

  • What

    The Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway station-not the CPR station-is hidden by this crowd waiting for the next train bringing passengers, equipment and goods.

  • Where

    Just behind the station, the building on the left with all the windows is the Cobalt Hotel, built in 1905. To the right is the main entrance to the opera house.

  • When

    Saturday nights, plays, dance performances and vaudeville shows were on the bill in all the mining towns. Alcohol was banned under a section of the Ontario Mining Act, which allowed the sale of alcohol only outside a radius of 6 miles (9.6 km) of a mining establishment.

  • Who

    As there was little in the way of entertainment in a mining village, miners went to the opera house to forget their loneliness or to sample big-city pleasures.