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The Real Cobalt

THERE is a beautiful town of some 3,000 inhabitants five short miles north of Cobalt, on the T. and N.O. It lies upon a gently sloping hill from Lake Temiskaming west to the railway, four blocks back from the shore. Scarcely a part of it from which cannot be seen the charmingly beautiful lake which stretches across to the Province of Quebec, five miles away to the east. It surely is an ideal site, and is being built up with rare taste, by a people of culture and refinement seldom found in a new town. It was one of the great surprises to me when I first looked upon it. I had long heard of Haileybury, but the picture formed by the name, was that of a rough mining village of small, unpainted houses, inhabited by a rough element, and a few uncultured people who had “struck it rich,” bought good clothes and got an organ. Instead I found a city—a city in all but in size. The people are charmingly hospitable, educated and cultured to a high degree in music and the arts. The college and university men are so common that they do not count.

Haileybury has a fine school system, shortly to be improved by a large high school. It has many churches, which are well attended, and with ministers of ability, much good is being done. So law-abiding is Haileybury that two policemen, fine specimens of stalwart manhood, with little to do, keep perfect order. The same may be said of both New Liskeard and Cobalt, the former with two, and the latter with three of a police force.

Its hotels are far above the standard for like size towns, the Matabanick being unequalled, for size and appointments, in any town in Canada, while it has a club house, the like of which is hardly to be found on the continent. The membership of this club, nearly 500, is unique, being made up of men from every mining district in the world.

Its architecture may be judged by the pictures of residences, business houses and public buildings which I give. Its name was taken from an English college town.

First Settlers

“Who was the first to come? is a question the writer always asks about a town of which he is writing. I asked it about Haileybury. Its long history runs back into the vague, to the time when it was “a coming out place,” as here the shore of the lake changes from a rock-bordered edge to level landing for boats coming up the lake.

While many came and went—the Indians for unknown ages— the voyageurs for years, and later the Hudson Bay traders, it was Mr. P. T. Lawlor who first took up a permanent residence here.

Mr. Lawlor was so much identified with the early history of the town that I must needs give a passing word to his memory. Born in Russell county, Ontario, in 1857, he came to Temiskaming in 1885, and t0 the site Haileybury in 1887. Here he took up that part of the place now known as Lawlortown, to the south of the business portion. He became a councillor when Bucke township was made a municipality. He was also one of its first school trustees. When Haileybury was incorporated he was chosen its first Mayor. He was Mayor when he died in May of 1907. He lived to see his land change from an unbroken wilderness into a thriving town. His business ability was remarkable. When a town is started, shrewd business men often induce lot owners to share with them their lots for the promise of helping to bring a railway to make valuable the residue. Shrewd men could not induce him to share, and he left to his family a rich inheritance.

In a western town it was once said: “The best business man in town is a woman.” This might be said of Haileybury. One more gifted in business that counts, than Mrs. Lawlor, would be hard to find; she is ever watching for industries that will add to the growth of Haileybury. She gave bringing inducements to one of the largest and most complete brick-making plants in New

Ontario, ready to start with the opening of spring. And when a big foundry would have come, she was first to offer inducements to bring it. The typical business woman is too often cold, calculating, austere, save when selling something; Mrs. Lawlor is as gentle-mannered as she is capable, and as kind as she is able; and, like her husband, ever ready to do her part when her town’s interest is in question.

Builders of Haileybury

Not until mineral was found in nearby Cobalt was there any remarkable growth in the town. From that date, 1903, is marked a rapid increase. It was to Haileybury that some of the great mine owners came to reside. It is here we find Colonel Hays, President of the Trethewey; the Timmons Brothers, and D. A. Dunlop, of the Larose; C. A. Foster, of the Foster, and President of the Green-Meehan; A. Ferland, of the Chambers-Ferland; Matt. Murphy of the Devil’s Rock, R. Shillington of the Temiskaming, H. H. Lang and Wm. Lewis of the City of Cobalt, Wm. Powell and Cyril T. Young of many interests, W. S. Mitchell of the Casey Mines, the Townsite and numerous others; the Wright Brothers, E. C. and Marty, discoverers of the Drummond and the Jacobs mines, and the latter the owner of the charter for the Montreal River Power Company, destined to become a great factor in the future of the mining industry. Many of these have here built beautiful homes, changing the crude village into a veritable city of taste, for if we may judge by the late .Christmas numbers of the newspapers, Haileybury, before the advent of the silver men, was not much but “ a coming out place.” From these Christmas numbers we cannot but conclude that it was they who “ laid” Haileybury.

Timber and Lumber Interests

Not only is Haileybury a “silver city,” but one of timber and lumber as well. Here are Howard Dunbar, Clement A. Foster, the Little Brothers, A. J. Murphy, while the £. B. Eddy Co., and J. R. Booth, have each a resident representative, S. D. Briden for the former and M. S. Hennessy for the latter. It is thought that for many years there will here be a timber supply for the various companies. The town has the double advantage of the railway and the lake, for bringing in and carrying out the supply and finished product.

Mayor Clement A. Foster

In the above, both in mining and in timber and lumber, may be seen the name of Clement A. Foster. He is Haileybury is young Mayor, chosen for the second time by a majority that looks as though he had been the only one in the field. He is one of the results of the camp. Coming a poor man, scarce beyond boyhood, he worked up through and against many difficulties, to a place among the few great successes of the Cobalt district. That which would have turned the brain of many another boy, has but solidified and made a man, capable and substantial, of the boy Foster. Both he and Mrs. Foster are giving to Haileybury their best efforts towards its permanent growth—he in a business way— Mrs. Foster in a social way—not the heartless way of so-called empty society, but in the advancement of the musical, the literary, the artistic progress of the town, the way that counts for good— the way that leaves no heartburnings.

Needed Power

What the town requires is a cheap and sufficient power for manufacturers, and this it could have from the Montreal River, at the mouth of which thousands of horsepower need but to be harnessed and transmitted, to make of the town a busy hive of workers.

Trolley Line

It needs, too, a trolley line to connect with nearby towns, power for which it might have from the same source as for its factories. It is well for any municipality to safeguard its interests in giving charters for trolley and power lines, but it is no part of wisdom to “safeguard” both away from the municipality. Get it. Get them, either or both would be too valuable to keep out on trifling terms.

Later.—A charter for a trolley line is about to be given. It will be a boon to the camp, and means the building up of the whole distance between Haileybury and Cobalt.


As showing the heart of the people, I must cite the hospital work done in these upper towns. In New Liskeard is one of the finest hospital buildings—The Lady Minto—of any town its size in the country. Haileybury will soon have a fine hospital, Mayor Foster having donated a twenty-two-acre site for it. Cobalt has a good building to shelter and care for its ill and injured. Even McDougall's Chutes had a hospital almost before it had any residences; this for the railway workmen while the road was building. Besides the public hospitals, there are a number of private ones, Dr. Field, of New Liskeard, having a well-appointed one.

Whether these good people need hospitals more than do we in the States I cannot say, but our towns of like size cannot compare with those of Canada when caring for the sick and afflicted is in question.


With so many people of city culture it is not surprising that we find here so many who excel in music. I have attended entertainments, whQse only talent was local, that would rank high in any community. The names of Mrs. W. H. Train, in Haileybury; F. A. York, in North Bay; and Mrs. C. A. Wismer, in New Liskeard, stand justly high among musical directors. To them very much is due the well-trained choruses of these towns.

The town has an excellent comet band, which under the efficient leadership of J. Walter Marriott, has grown from six to twenty members. This leader is a good illustration of what these northern towns have to draw from. Marriott is from Leicester, England, and for more than eight years was a member of the Tenth Regiment Band. It is an interesting story that Walter tells of his Egyptian campaign, “ when Kitchener fought the wild hordes of the Soudan.”

It is well worthy a passing note of remark the excellence of some of the Salvation Army singers. I have never heard so sweet voices among those of any other country as here in the far north. And apropos of the Army in the various towns. It is composed of a most excellent class of workers—and they are doing much real good. They are assisted by all classes and creeds, showing the high respect in which they are held.

He Had Sung with Carl Rosa

As indicating the cosmopolitan crowds that find their way into a mining camp, I must give you a pathetic incident, which came under mynotice one day in aHaileybury hotel,where a strolling harper—and a good one he was—was entertaining the crowd. He had been playing for some time, when he struck up “ The Heart Bowed Down.” At this, a tramp-like fellow, who had been listening intently, arose and sang the words. Often had I heard that beautiful song, on many, stages and in many lands, but never before had I heard it more beautifully rendered than by this wreck of a once noble singer. At the close I called him to one side and asked, “Who are you, and with whom have you sung?” for I knew he was no ordinary man. He looked at me, and feeling that I was honest in my inquiries, gave me his name and said: “I have sung all over the world with the Carl Rosa Opera Company.” Then, “Say, Mr., if you ever write of this, don’t give my name. Don’t give my name, my friends don’t know where I am, they don’t even know that I am living, and I’m so far down, I don’t want them to know.” Some of the people tried to reclaim him, for there are many kind hearts in this northland. But it was all to no purpose. They clothed and made him look again the cultured gentleman that he was by nature. One of the churches took him into its choir, and for a time his solos were a feature. Such music may never be heard again in this upper country. But it was only for a time—only for a time. He went back to drink and drifted away, no one knew whither. During his short reclamation he was one of the most refined men I have ever met. His magnetism was such that in a short while he had drawn around him a host of friends—friends who would have done * everything for him. But it was no use—he drifted away, and was again lost to all who had grown to love him.

I later learned that he belonged to a great family in a European city, and that he had told me the truth about his Carl Rosa campaign.


Haileybury excels in many of the games and sports, but it can’t play hockey, while New Liskeard, a town five miles to the north, along the lake shore, has possibly the best hockey team, for the size of the town, in the world. This team plays as near perfect hockey as I have ever seen the game played. I am told that last winter, when they had beaten all local teams, that the Victorias from Ottawa were brought here to play them. They went back to the capital good subjects for a change of name. The manager of the Canadian Soo brought here a professional team, and only won by a single point—the manager saying that “If I had the New Liskeard boys for one month, I could meet any hockey team in the world.” One cannot realize that such perfection of play could be possible in so small a town.

Athletic Bankers and Lawyers

The above was written before the bankers and lawyers played their game. I must therefore modify “Haileybury can’t play hockey.” Yes, modify it a whole lot. Some of them can play hockey. The bankers and lawyers are among the “some.” The umpire said it was a one to one game. It would have been a two to one, were it not that the lawyers carried their everyday practice into the play. They are so used to getting smoothly through close places, that they shot the puck clean through the mesh of the net without the umpire ever seeing it—so the lawyers say. The bankers say that the claim is an overdraft on fact and ^ refuse to cash up.

Your notion of lawyers is that they are anything but athletic, The Haileybury variety differ from your notion, and may be known by the “ One to One” with young men who are proverbial as among the best in physical manhood—the bankers.

Apropos of the legal profession of the town—twelve of them. They rank high in ability, and are fine specimens of men, strong, young and mentally and physically able. This may be said of the clergy and medical men as well.

Haileybury a Judicial Court Town—Perhaps

Efforts are being made to have’Haileybury the Court Town of this upper country. Now, all but the small cases have to be taken for trial to North Bay.

Capital of the New Province

Those who have a way of looking into the future, have made of Haileybury the capital city, when New Ontario shall have been made a separate province. They makejof New Liskeard and Haileybury one great city, with the capitol buildings on that magnificent site that lies between the two.

These seers of division may be but idle dreamers, but when we think of Ontario being as large as the twelve states that lie between the Mississippi River, at Illinois, and the Atlantic Ocean, it certainly seems a most sensible move, and especially so when Old and New Ontario differ so in conditions and products. New Ontario will become one of the richest mining countries in the world—Old Ontario is rich in farming, fruits and dairying. If this great upper half had not men capable of conducting the affairs of state, it might be well to have its mining interests managed by the dairymen, fruit growers and farmers of the south. But it has men most efficient in many things, and some do go so far as to say that they could even make mining laws—mining laws that they themselves could understand after they had made them.

They would, at least, make them in their own interests, and in a way that mine owners could not, on technicalities, lose both money and mines. But I was telling you about Haileybury.


The newspapers of the town are quite up with the times. The Haileyburian was the first started. I mind with what interest we used to read the brilliant clippings from this crisp paper. It was copied far and wide in the early days.

The Silver City News is devoted to mining news almost exclusively, keeping a staff of men among the mines, throughout the district, collecting everything of note to the outside mining world.

New Liskeard has two excellent newspapers. It was in this town where Roberts, a surveyor, started the first paper in the upper country. This was the short-lived Gazette. The Temiskaming Herald was the next. It and The Speaker will rank with any in the Dominion for the size of town. The latter is so much up-to-date that each week it gives a full page of “ Buster Brown ” for the children. And apropos of this conception of Outcault’s, it is the most popular of its kind in Canada.

In Cobalt, The Cobalt Nugget, a bright, newsy paper, is the only one in the town, with The Mining News to start very shortly.

Each of the papers of the three towns got out most creditable illustrated Christmas numbers—The Herald giving both halftone and line-cut work, having employed a special artist for the latter. Oh, yes, the Press of this far north country could give many a pointer, on excellence, to some of the large city papers!

Teddy Bear and His Island

Speaking of R. F. Outcault and his “ Buster Brown,” reminds me that another is here who has made and is making glad the hearts of millions of little ones. On a beautiful island, in Lake Temiskaming, and but a short distance from Haileybury, Seymour Eaton spends his summers, in a most picturesque cottage that stands on a point of the island. I used often to see him during the summer, and was most entertained with the story of his “Teddy Bears.” The cottage was built by Brown, of Wannamaker & Brown, of Philadelphia. His was the island. He came years ago, before civilization had become prevalent, but when white shirts grew fashionable he sold his island and went away to far-off Abitibi. How long he will find that a pleasing solitude is hard to tell, with the railway bearing toward it and the gold-hunters pouring in.

Haileybury a Summer Resort

So many places of interest may be reached from here that each year more and more pleasure-seekers are finding the advantages here offered. Across the lake to the north-east is Murray City, 15 miles away. In another chapter may be known what is to be seen there. Ville Marie, 12 miles down and across the lake; the old fort and mission, 3 miles further, and the famous Notch, at or near the mouth of the Montreal, some miles below.

The Devil's Rock

Three miles south, down the lake from Haileybury, and on the same shore, is The Devil’s Rock, a high bluff that rises sheer up, hundreds of feet, from the lake. It is truly bold and picturesque—one of those sights one goes far to look upon and wonder at what Nature can do with its rocks.

Years ago it is said that Dr. Bell, the famous geologist of the Dominion Government, when passing this rock for the first time, remarked that mineral must here be present—the formation being perfect. But being a geologist he did not find it. They seem always to know where it should be, but it is left to be found by the patient prospector. In this instance, the prospector was once almost as famous as the Dr. himself—but in another line— a more popular line. You boys whose hair is just beginning to turn a little silver, all remember that Cornwall lacrosse player whose prowess with the stick carried his name across the con-tment—that splendid fellow, Matt. Murphy. It was he who found the mineral which Dr. Bell said “must be here.” He found it on three claims, turned them into a strong company (of which Jackson Booth of Ottawa is President), and has since been its general manager and resident director.

The stranger passing the rock at night might get the impression that it was well named, were he not told that those flickering lights came from the candles of the miners, who are running drifts in from the water’s edge. Thousands of dollars are thus saved by not having to sink shafts down through the hundreds of feet of rock. Having drifted in to catch the veins they will on these veins—now grown rich—go down to reach the lodes which they are now confident lie below.

Matt’s old love of athletics is being renewed. He ever takes an interest in honest sports. The rink managers are giving to Haileybury a cheerful winter.

The Beauty of the Far-North Girl

It is truly a beautiful sight to sit in this great rink and watch the youth and beauty of the town glide round and round to the music of an excellent band. Ye who know but the sallow faces, can little conceive of the ruddy, health-glowing beauty of the far north girl; cultured and active, she moves upon the ice with an inborn grace that is truly pleasing to look upon.

A Cosmopolitan Town

Haileybury is many towns in one. Here are Ottawans, Torontonians, and from points all down the line, while one could well think that Mattawa had been depopulated that Haileybury might be. From there came the Timmons Brothers, the Fer-lands, Dohertys, Dunlops, Capt. W. A. and A. H. Rimsbottom, Dr. Haentschel, Joseph Bell, P. A. Ferguson, John Rankin, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Dr. Jackson, and many others prominent. It was Mattawa from which came the obliging and efficient Mining Recorder for the Temiskaming District, Mr. Geo. T. Smith.

This town has been more to Haileybury than any other one. Many of the finest residences are the homes of Mattawans, and 1 sometimes think that the cordiality of Haileybury may be attributed to the people from that hospitable little place down the Ottawa, where hospitality is so proverbial.

In concluding this necessarily brief sketch, I cannot more heartily, more accurately do so, than in the words of a lady of much culture and wide travel, who, in speaking of the towns of the north, said: “I found Haileybury, Ontario, one of the most delightful places I have visited. Its people are charmingly cordial, and the sort you like to have charmingly cordial toward you. They make you love both them and their town, and in going away you carry with you kind remembrance of many acts of genuine courtesy.”

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