Silver Islet lies off the tip of Sibley Peninsula, across the harbour from THUNDER BAY
, Ont. In 1868 prospectors found nuggets of pure SILVER
, and from 1869 to 1884 shafts were sunk deep beneath the rock, which rose only 2.5 m above the water, and $3.2 million in silver was taken. A virtual town was erected on the rock, which is only 24 m in diameter, along with massive docks and a lighthouse. The mine shut down in 1884 when its shafts became flooded. The forces of nature have since obliterated the island's buildings.
At Silver Lake Mine, Ontario, circa 1890 (photo by H.N. Topely, courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-50947).
Elinor Barr, Silver Islet: Striking it Rich in Lake Superior (1988); Don H. Clarke, Silver Islet (1977).
Links to Other Sites
Silver Islet Mining Company Fonds
A brief description of the Silver Islet Mining Company fonds. From the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society.
The Beautiful Minerals Poster Series
A great site for photographs of Canadian mineral samples and online illustrated articles from the magazine "Elements." Every issue explores a theme of broad and current interest in the mineral sciences. From the Mineralogical Association of Canada.
The Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History
Click on the “Silver Islet” button at the bottom of this page to view a remarkable collection of photographs depicting the old Silver Islet Mine. Part of the Resource and Archival Library for Northwestern Ontario.