MP-0000.668.7 | The La Rose Mine, Cobalt, ON, ca. 1907
The La Rose Mine, Cobalt, ON, ca. 1907
About 1907, 19th century
Ink on paper mounted on card - Halftone
9.5 x 18.8 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Industry (942) , Print (10661)
Keys to History
Blacksmith Fred Larose was intimately involved in the history of the village of Cobalt in Northern Ontario. Assigned to the construction of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, he spent part of his time prospecting in the surrounding woods with the permission of his boss, with whom he would share any discovery. His efforts were rewarded in the fall of 1903. After a rather uneventful history, the mining claims, which were to become the Larose mine, wound up in the hands of the two Timmins brothers, who owned a general store in Mattawa, and their partners. As there was cobalt in the silver-bearing veins in the region, the town was named Cobalt before it became famous for the silver. Like the Klondike, Cobalt was the scene of a rush unique in Canadian history.
Here is the Larose mine as it appeared in its first few years of operation. The main building, near the railway line, housed the first mine shaft, already surrounded by a dump.
The fact that the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway and the village of Cobalt, 2 km to the north, were so close was a big advantage to the mine owners.
There is an almost identical photograph in the Annual Report of the Ontario Bureau of Mines, 1907, which allows us to date the picture precisely.
The exceptionally rich silver deposits in Cobalt helped a group of small businessmen, like the Timmins brothers, move up in the world fast, and led to the formation of a wealthy Canadian upper class, which until then had been relatively absent from the mining sector.