Two photos of silver mining boom town Elk Lake City Ontario c.1910

$50.00 CAD

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Two photos of the silver mining boom town of Elk Lake City in Northwestern Ontario. It prospered at around the same time as the famous Cobalt Silver Camp.

Elk Lake is located about 60km NW of Cobalt.

View of main square downtown

Written on back “The Square   Elk City”

Buildings with signs ‘GENERAL MERCHANTS’, ‘Dr. Cockburn , ‘ASSAY OFFICE’, ‘THE MINT’ ,‘MATABANICK HOTEL' (with sign in front ‘Quick Lunch’).

6 x 10.5 cm

View of men bringing streer to shore

Written on back “Elk City”

Man on shore pulling rope tied to a streer's horns in the river, another man helping from rowboat. In background, view of town.

One building with sign ‘OPERA HOUSE’. Sign at other end of building ‘JOHN H. WELCH Pioneer Mining ---'

6.5 x 9 cm

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

Elk Lake began as a mining boom town when native silver was discovered in James Township in 1906. Mining activity peaked between 1907 and 1913, when there were about thirty active mining properties in the area. The population at one point reached almost 10,000 people. By 1908 the town included six large hotels, many stores, warehouses, banks, lawyer's offices, a post office, a hospital and a Mining Recorder's Office. The town of Elk Lake was incorporated in 1909 as the Corporation of the Township of James. 

Access to Elk Lake was initially only by motorboat via the Montreal River. By 1909 the road from Elk Lake to Charlton could be traversed by coach, although commercial steamers on the Montreal River continued to provide summer access from Latchford for most heavy equipment and freight. The steamboat era on the Montreal River lasted only a few years, ending when a branch of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway (now Ontario Northland Railway) was built into Elk Lake in 1913.