Thursday, September 8, 2016

Storydello: Cyril in Cobalt

In May 1904, Cyril went back to the site of the silver strike, again as Professor Miller's assistant. One day, an excited acquaintance burst into their camp and begged them to come right away and witness a discovery.

Professor Miller played it cool. Cyril remembered, "Whatever excitement he may have felt he kept well under control."

The next morning, they all went together and found two spectacular veins that would eventually yield more than 40 million ounces of silver. The excited acquaintance was soon shipping out "great slabs of native metal stripped off the boards from a barn."

And that wasn't all. One day, while canoeing in the area, Professor Miller found a rich deposit of cobalt along the shore of a lake.

Years later, Cyril said "I still have a vivid mental picture of his tall, erect figure as...he nailed a board to a post. On the board he had written the word Cobalt. And that was how the the town got its name."

Cobalt, Ontario, became the centre of a huge silver rush. At its peak in 1911, more than 31 million ounces of silver were shipped from the area. The mining rights to Professor Miller's cobalt alone were sold for more than a million dollars.

Posted yesterday on Storydello.