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The Real Cobalt
The Real Cobalt

WHEN I read the story of “Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp,” I believed it, from which you may judge how young I was when I read it. It was a great disappointment when I found it wasn’t true, and ever since it has been harder and harder to convince me of the truth of anything wonderful until—well, when I read about Cobalt and the marvellous “finds,” I simply set it all down to the credit of the man who had a mine for sale—a mine he didn’t want, and who sat up nights to devise language sufficiently strong to get it off his hands. But as time went on and I saw impecunious friends changing from rented cottages to fine residences of their own, from simple Cobalt dividends, I was compelled to accept as truth the stories of this twentieth century Wonder. And now, after months of visiting in and around this veritable Land of Silver, I want to tell you that only a few of the scattering facts have been told of what is to be found in this land of marvels. “Only a few”—a library on the subject would but touch the “Calcite” of the vein! You may doubt my words— I won’t blame you if you do—I doubted this story myself when I heard it, and not until it had been told and retold me by the many could I grasp and accept it as a fact.

I shall start my own story of “The Real Cobalt” by relating how a company of men, organized with a capital of $25,000 of “air,” have succeeded. They did all in their power to place the stock, but to little purpose. Finally, by selling dollar shares, on the instalment plan, they sold less than $8,000 worth, and with this small capital have developed a business that has become the marvel of the financial world.

I will not make it a long story. Each dollar share has produced in dividends, from sales, $95, and their real value can only be known by long development of the many rich mining claims of the fortunate holdings.

The company of which I speak is the most unique in all the history of the mining world. Before Cobalt was even dreamed of, a number of business and professional men and farmers, in and around New Liskeard, Ontario, formed The Temiskaming and Hudson Bay Mining Company, and sent prospectors into the far north to seek for minerals of any kind. They organized in the early spring of 1903, and after prospecting for a whole year, found nothing worth mentioning, and still they worked on, spending thousands of dollars to prove the value of New Ontario’s mineral possessions. To them the Government owes a debt which may never be determined. In the spring of 1904, when but little of the value of Cobalt camp was known, the prospectors of the company went down from New Liskeard and took up eleven claims in what has since proven to be one of the very best parts of all the district. Had they but followed the precedent of 1903, and the custom of to-day, they might have had thousands of acres instead of the 380 which they have since so honestly prospected, and which have been proven of such fabulous richness. But while a few new men staked large areas of accidental finds, the many members of this company, who had long sought for mineral throughout the great north, staked but the eleven claims.

In the fall of 1906, they sold the 58 acres just south of the limits of Cobalt to the Silver Queen for $810,000—nearly $100 for every dollar invested, and nine of the eleven lots left, one of which has developed into a claim so fabulously rich that its real value cannot be determined. It was in June of this year (1907) that they struck on this lot, a wide vein of solid silver, and in September another was discovered that is the wonder of all the camp.

The early history of the “Hudson Bay” is so full of incident that one might write of it a volume of intense interest. As stated above, the stock was sold on the instalment plan, and toward the last of 1903 the collector had his own troubles in getting in the few cents per share. It is told that one day he was given a pan of hot water from the hand of an irate woman who had before told him to “Never let me see you again.” Another subscribed for 200 shares, went home and, regretting the act, refused to make even the first payment. It is said that she had another regret later on. A man had a fire down east, and lost a small fortune, so discouraging him that he came to Cobalt to make a new start. Meeting another discouraged one after he got here, he was induced to take 200 shares of “Hudson Bay” “at your own price.” He had a few dollars—less than $100— and took the shares. His first dividend was $18,400. He has since been heard to say that he was glad he got burned out down east. Being a wise man he still holds the whole of his shares. These are but a few of the many incidents that are told about the lucky and unlucky investors of this wonderful company’s stock. Possibly the most unlucky person was the woman whose husband refused to give her ten dollars to buy 100 shares of the stock. A man was leaving town and thinking so little of the “Hudson Bay” that he offered to sell to her his certificate for ten cents a share. Think of it! I will warrant that never in the world’s history could $20,000 have been made inside of a year for a ten dollar investment.

Besides their valuable holdings in Coleman, the company have a rich galena claim near Grassy Lake, in the Larder Lake district, which they are developing, and which promises well. It does seem that everything this company touches turns out to be good. What is remarkable, not a single man in all the promoters of the company was a mining man or knew anything about mining. No wonder it has been called “The Lucky Hudson.” What its stock will yet be worth no one dare guess, since the dividends alone have made many a poor man rich.

The officers are all New Liskeard men, no one of Whom receives a salary—the company being run, possibly, more economically than any other in the whole camp. These officers are: President, George Taylor (formerly of London, Ont., of which city he was three times Mayor), a hardware merchant; Vice-President, Angus McKelvey, a lumber man. Directors: T. McCamus, lumber and mill man, who, with the vice-president, holds large timber limits; D. T. K. McEwen, a leading lawyer in the Cobalt district; John Grills, Crown Land Agent of the Temiskaming District; D. M. Ferguson, capitalist; Dr. B. Field, the leading physician of the district; Adam Burwash, long the Indian Agent for the various tribes of the Temiskaming and Abitibi Lakes; S. S. Ritchie, farmer; W. E. Ritchie, farmer; and John Dunkin, contractor. Sec’y-Treasurer, F. L. Hutchison, accountant. The main offices are in New Liskeard.

We like to read of the success of the worthy poor—I do at any rate. I’m going to tell you of the family of father, mother and six sons who had worked long and hard in this northland, and after years of struggle had saved enough to invest $1,300 in the shares of the above company. While others grew tired waiting for dividends, they held on to their stock, for they had faith in it, and are to-day worth $260,000. I have verified the story and know it to be true.

This is but an instance, in this Aladdin Land, where poor men of less than four years ago are now justly rated many times millionaires. I visited the mines of some of them and have walked along veins of silver for long distances, as in places this valuable metal needed but to be merely uncovered, dug from its bed and shipped to produce—in one instance—$126,000 for a single carload of ore.

“ See that! ” said a man to me to-day. “ That ” was a telegram telling the result of a car shipment. “$92,000” was the burthen of that telegram, and the man showing it manifested as little interest as he would have once shown over the sale of a small order of drugs—the selling of which he gave up to go into mining only a year or two ago. From no knowledge of mining he has become one of the best informed in the camp; and starting with but a small capital, his interests extend over a wide range. Sudden riches too often change the “good fellow” into the unendurable cad—it has not changed “Bob,” and we delight in his success.

Later.—This company have since turned out nearly one-half million dollars’ worth of silver, and as this goes to press the rumor is that they have struck an “ore chute” with millions in sight.

The Mother Lode Theory

Those conversant with silver values elsewhere cannot realize the richness of this district. $100 to $150 ores, to them, are high values; while here it runs as high as 22,000 ounces per ton. For this reason it is justly claimed that this is the richest silver camp in the world, and the only question is: “Will it last?” Since coming to Cobait I have made it a point to gather from as many sources as possible the impression on the mother lode theory.

While many think it an absurd one, others make it seem most feasible that the silver has been forced up from below. If this be true, then the permanency of the district is assured, and the hidden wealth of Cobalt must run into the fabulous. The advocates of the theory claim, that deep as have the shafts been sunk, that the surface has scarcely been scratched to produce the hundreds of tons already shipped from here, and that many holdings now looked upon as worthless, are underlaid with fortunes only waiting the enterprise of the holders who are not afraid to go down after the wealth.

This does not mean that all of the “holdings” are valuable. Some of them whose owners have spent fortunes telling the public how “good” they were, will never be other than worthless. These owners went on the principle that the public is easier "worked” than mines. I’ve visited water-filled holes in the ground, and by comparing old issues of the daily papers with the locations of those holes, I found that I was gazing upon MTh© greatest, the richest, the most wonderful proposition in the whole Cobalt camp; now ’steen cents, bound to go up to a price we dare not name.” The “price” never went up, and the holes are no further down, for the owners were satisfied with what the public gave them, believing true all that the owners had claimed in their advertisements.

This is why really valuable stocks are now so low. The public spent the money—getting nothing in return—which could now be placed to an advantage which may never again be offered. I know mines whose stocks would be good investments at three times the price at which they can be bought for to-day—not one or two, but many of them, for they have the value and inside of a very few months will prove it.

There are brokers who will make doubly sure that what they offer is good; there are also other brokers — dealers in “gilded bricks”—but “that’s another story ”

My desire is to tell you of “The Real Cobalt”; to hunt out the facts which, however fabulous they may seem, will yet be facts, for I shall verify every story, and tell you of properties which I have found to be safe to recommend.

I might give you whole pages of big rock words telling you of the Laurentian formation, the Keewatins, the Diabase, the Conglomerite and—but then, as it would in the end, all be to you a conglomeration of words, you would know no more about the matter than you did before—would know no more about it than the geologists themselves, whose knowledge of this district seems to have begun and ended with the names of the rocks. This may be hard on the geologists, but I’m telling you the “Real.” I asked a successful prospector: “What is the difference between a geologist and the man who finds silver?”

“Vast. The geologist looks for it where it ought to be; we look for it till we find it.”

It wasn’t a geologist but a blacksmith who discovered the silver in Cobalt. Many stories are told of how Larose, the Hull blacksmith, found that which has made so many millionaires and which is to make so many more millionaires.

One of these stories has it that Larose threw his hammer at a passing fox—missed the fox and struck a nugget of silver. Subsequent events proved that even had he got the fox he wouldn’t have been a match for him in ways that are credited to Reynard.

I’ve met a number of people who might have had “that mine.” One man told me that one of the Herron boys once came to him with some copper which he said he found where later silver was discovered by Larose. “He offered it—the claim—to me for $2oo} but my partner said, ‘to Hull with it!’”—wicked partner —but he was prophetic, for to Hull it went, but didn’t stay.

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