Learn a little Ontario history as told through its plaques
Silver Islet 1868
Photo by contributor Jocelyn Gordon - Posted August, 2005
Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted October, 2010
Photo Source - Canadian Heritage Gallery
The District of Thunder Bay
The Township of Shuniah
In Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
on Highway 587 at its most southerly point
Coordinates: N 48 19.853 W 88 49.198
Off this shore lies Silver Islet, once a barren rock measuring about 25 metres in diameter, where silver was discovered in 1868 by Thomas Macfarlane. The claim was purchased in 1870 by a company headed by A.H. Sibley, and one of the partners, W.B. Frue, was appointed mine captain. Frue waged a constant battle against the lake which undermined extensive crib work used to bolster the restricted working space. Despite this problem and the difficulty of housing miners and transporting supplies in the isolated region, this famous mine produced $3,250,000 worth of silver ore before it was closed in 1884.
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> Posted December 7, 2009
I am very humbled to see this photo of a plaque that honors my great grandfather Captain William Bell Frue. Ironically, my husband was born, raised and schooled in Toronto, and left to go off to pursue his PhD in Biology over 30 years ago. He has promised me that one day when we drive up to visit his brother and family in Ontario that we will detour north and spend some time at Silver Islet. I would love to take a photo of me standing beside this plaque. I do thank you for keeping the legacy alive, and am proud of the role Captain Frue played not only in mining but especially in Canadian history. Until then, I remain,
Sincerely yours, Patricia Calhoun Bell Frue Wainberg, Daisy's Hill Farm, Lula, GA 30554 USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
> Posted August 27, 2009
Our family visited the village of Silver Island on the recommendation of an acquiantence. We were struck by the unspoiled surroundings. The developed area is rustic, even primitive, but there are few dilapidated structures. Many of the buildings date from the mining era 130 years ago and are still maintained as permanent residences today. Visiting Silver Island was the high point of our vacation.
John Reese, Saint Paul MN U.S.A.
> Posted March 17, 2009
My wife and I visited Silver Islet last summer and had a great time visiting with the locals. My Great great grandfather was Thomas Macfarlane. I was very surprised to see the monumental plaque honoring my relative. The couple who owned the supply store were helpful, and we had a great visit with them discussing their store and history. We also met the great granddaughter of Captain Cross. We went to see the islet thinking it would just be a place we could see and say we went to, and never dreamed we'd see such a piece of our history, and Canada's. We're so happy to have visited one of Canada's historical sites.
Sincerely; Kent and Terry Macfarlane, Vernon, BC, email@example.com
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