Keep Cobalt’s History Alive – by Nicole Guertin

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The Cobalt silver rush was more important than the Klondike gold rush but few people know of its existence. By buying a book, you are helping share the incredible history of Cobalt and raise money for the Historic Cobalt Legacy Fund.

My name is Nicole Guertin and I am the co-owner of the Presidents’ Suites with my partner Jocelyn Blais. The Presidents’ Suites consists of historical homes situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Temiskaming. We are passionate about the region’s unique history and would like everyone to share our passion.

Everyone knows about the Klondike Gold Rush, but few people know that the stampede for silver found in Cobalt at the beginning of the twentieth century far surpassed it in terms of riches and profits, as well as its long-term political, economic, and social impact on Canada’s development.

The boom that the discovery of silver touched off was one of the most colourful and exciting ever seen in Canada. When work crews engaged in the construction of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway uncovered silver deposits of almost unequalled richness in the vicinity of the present town of Cobalt in 1903, mining soon became one of the province’s most important resources.

At the height of the silver boom, Cobalt had a professional hockey team in what later became the NHL. It also housed the first Ontario Provincial Police station, a stock exchange, built an electric streetcar that linked the town with Lake Temiskaming 17 kilometres farther north, and supported the world’s largest compressed air plant.

Professor Douglas Baldwin has written more than forty books and hundreds of articles on Canadian history. His richly illustrated Cobalt: Canada’s Forgotten Silver Boom Town is the culmination of several decades of research. Dr. Baldwin’s interest in Cobalt started in 1975 when he explored the history of the area for the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation.

His passion for the subject led him to libraries and archives across North America in completing this comprehensive and highly entertaining 380-page biography of Cobalt. Dr. Baldwin is generously giving all profits from this book to the Historic Cobalt Legacy Fund which supports organizations that help preserve the area’s history.