1907 Canada photo postcard, Cobalt Ontario, Foster mine site

$60.00 CAD

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Postcard photo from the early years of the Northern Ontario mining silver rush town of Cobalt. Photo of men standing around the Foster shaft under construction (?). In background water tower and couple of buildings.

Sent by a church canon (!) from France to friends back home. He has come into town to buy provisions and continue his "search" in the forest. Was he prospecting?

Printed (lightly) on negative ‘FOSTER’.  Foster Mine, Coleman Township, Cobalt area, Cobalt-Gowganda region, Timiskaming District, Ontario, Canada

Text on front and back:

Mes chers amis,
Je suis pour quelques jours a Cobalt le pays des mines d’argent. La « SIlver City » comme on l’appelle. Il y a seulement quatre ans cet endroit était encore la foret vierge. Aujourd’hui il y régne une activitè sans égale. Je suis venu pour prendre des provisions et vais bientôt regagner la foret pour continuer mes recherches. Par ici c’est comme ailleurs la lutte pour la vie n’est pas toujours facile.
Pour le moment je n’ai rien de très particulier a vous annoncer plus tart quand j’aurias plus de temps a  disposer je vous écrirerai une longue lettre . En attendant  je reste toujours votre tout dévoué
-- Chanoine de Villesaujois(?)
Vue mine d’argent en exploitation
Cobalt ontario Canada 21 sept. 1907
My dear friends,
I am in Cobalt, the area of silver mines, for a couple of days. The "Silver City" as they call it. It was only four years ago that this was virgin forest. Today there reigns unequalled activity. I came here to get provisions and will shortly be back in the forest to continue my search. Here. like elsewhere, the struggle for life is not always easy.
For the moment I have nothing very interesting to tell you, later when I have more time I will write a long letter. Meanwhile, I remain your most devoted
-- Canon of Villesaujois(?)
View of  a mining operation


Postmarked ‘COBALT ONT PM SP 21 07’. Mailed to Mr & Mrs Edon, Sarthe, France. No stamp. Receipt France postmark, October 2nd.

‘AZO’ photographic paper used dates it to 1904-1918.

Couple corner creases. Stain and area of red transfer on front left. Toning & staining on back

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)


 The Foster mine was on the south-east shore of Glen Lake which is now occupied by a mill.

  • The first mill on the property was the Cobalt Central Mill, which operated from 1907 to 1910, and again from 1912 to 1919.
  • Tailings from the mill were deposited in the lake
  • The deposit was first mined by Foster Cobalt Mining Co. from 1906-1909
  • The main shaft on the deposit was called the “Foster Shaft” which is 210ft deep with 3 levels.
  • The mine closed down sometime around 1965.
  • Total production was approx. 1,200,000 oz. Ag; 460,000 lbs. Co; 22,000 lbs Ni; and 24,000 lbs. Cu. 


The Cobalt silver rush started in 1903 when huge veins of silver were discovered by workers on the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway (T&NO) near the Mile 103 post. By 1905 a full-scale silver rush was underway, and the town of Cobalt, Ontario sprang up to serve as its hub. By 1908 Cobalt produced 9% of the world's silver, and in 1911 produced 31,507,791 ounces of silver. However, the good ore ran out fairly rapidly, and most of the mines were closed by the 1930s. There were several small revivals over the years, notably in World War II and again in the 1950s, but both petered out and today there is no active mining in the area. In total, the Cobalt area mines produced 460 million ounces of silver.