Northwestern Ontario gold mining, 1880-1902 : the gold boom that didn't pan out
Chapin, Patrick Robert
Master of Arts
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In 1878, gold was discovered south of Rat Portage on an island in the Lake of the Woods. After a brief flurry of development, excitement waned and Rainy River District mining progressed slowly and fitfully for more than a decade. Then, between 1896 and 1902, thousands of locations were leased or patented and hundreds of mining companies were formed. There is every indication that something really big was happening in Northwestern Ontario at the end of the last century. However, with total production amounting to less than $1.5 million, there is also every indication that nothing big should have been happening. This study investigates the factors that affected the development of this unusually "unproductive" gold boom. These include geography, geology, government policies, and "patterns of development." The research included with this thesis provides details for more than two hundred and thirty different "mines," two hundred companies, and more than a thousand incorporators and mine managers. Numerous photographs, tables, and graphs are also included.