Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Theirs Gold In Them There Hills

So I made a trip into Kirkland Lake to visit my now favorite, (free), steel supplier. Got a nice selection of sizes and thicknesses, even some circular cut outs that should come in handy.


Since I have been doing a tour of Northern Ontario road side attractions I figured I better not leave Kirkland Lake out. So I stopped at The Miners Memorial and got some pictures. Kirkland Lake came into being when gold was discovered in 1910-1911. It turned out to be a huge discovery with 27 local active mines in a short period of time. The ore bodies were very rich but the geology was murderous, the grain of the rock slanted from the vertical and deeply fractured. I have heard stories from miners, how a man could scale for hours after a blast and never get all the loose down. The result was many wealthy owners and many dozens of dead miners over the years. Heres the memorial wall.


No welded steel animal sculpture here. This is a representative art piece of the mining methods of the past, that made Kirkland Lake, and many other mining communities across the north. The bronze statuary is beautifully done, the structure is Canadian Shield granite, and the narrow gauge rail equipment, are actual artifacts from the mining methods of the not to distant past.


Here's another view of this nicely done art piece.


Below is a picture of the Sir Harry Oakes Manor, it's a museum now, but it has had a long and storied past. Harry Oakes was an American born British-Canadian. After looking for his pot of gold around the world, he landed in Kirkland Lake in 1911. In 1912 he discovered the Lake Shore mine, the veins were very rich, and it soon became the second largest gold mine in the Americas, and the most productive in the Western Hemisphere.


When he built the above manor, the story goes he had his miners urinate in buckets at the end of their shifts, so the ammonia could turn the copper roof that nice green. He moved to the Bahamas after he made his millions to, wouldn't you know it, avoid paying taxes, on the many millions that dead miners put in his pockets. He was murdered there mysteriously at the age of 68. Many books and movies have been produced on his life and death.

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