The members of the Cobalt Historical Society are the keepers of the Heritage Silver Trail here in the Town of Cobalt and Coleman Township. Reiner and I joined the group last year and are now board members.
The role of the CHS is to preserve and promote the mining heritage of our area. That means outside the boardroom we are busy keeping the trails clean and safe, raising funds, and promoting our historic community.
One of our current projects is raising funds to replace the roof on the Right-of-Way mine. This site is one of the few with structures that still stand. The buildings are within a very short walk of downtown Cobalt. I think it’s fair to say that this grand old structure is one of the most photographed, and in my opinion, photogenic relics of the town’s mining history. As my neighbour Jane says, “One can never get enough photos of The Right of Way!”
The information plaque for this heritage site reads:
The mineral rights for this location were originally owned by the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway. Following the discovery of silver at the south end of Cobalt Lake in 1903, The Right of Way Mining Company Limited was formed for the purpose of taking over and mining any veins discovered under the T. & N.O. Railway right of way through the Town of Cobalt. The company purchased those rights over a distance of 50 feet on either side of the rail line in 1906. Two shafts were immediately sunk at the north end of Cobalt Lake to explore the silver potential of the area. The No. 2 shaft was extended down to a depth of 140 feet and is located on this site.
The mine produced profitably for only two years and was shut down in 1909. As was the case with many of the mines in Cobalt, it was re-activated a number of times over the next 78 years. Between 1906 and 1935, 2,969,205 ounces of silver were produced from this property. The mine is now owned by Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited.
Another project we are involved with is the replacement of the tired and worn signage along the Heritage Silver Trail. We met yesterday to discuss funding for this work. One of the first steps is an “inventory” of the existing routes and walking trails. I hope to get more photos of Cobalt and Coleman in the coming days.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this gallery of images of the doors found at the Right-of-Way Mine. Nothing lavish here. No vaulting doorways, no Corinthian columns, no filigree wrought-iron ornamentation. Plain, functional, and standing testament to the hard-working men and women who went before.
*** *** ***
Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by the Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.