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Scottish Karma?

13 Jul

Gold panning at Bonanza Creek

_

“Sure I’ve got
Warts on my fingers
Corns on my toes
Claims up in Porcupine
And a bad cold in my nose.
So, put on your snowshoes
And hit the trial with me
To P-o-r-c-u-p-i-n-e, — that’s me.”
— John E. Leckie, 1910.

Some of Canada‘s most exciting days came through the discovery of gold.  The prospectors who found large quantities of it were more lucky than scientific.  All they needed in the way of equipment was a pick, shovel and perhaps pans for sifting gold from the sand.

In 1896, George Washington Carmack began the biggest gold rush of all with his discovery on Bonanza Creek in the Yukon.  Books, poems, and songs have been written about the Klondike, and Hollywood has produced its own versions.  Charlie Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” is still worth seeing!

Northern Ontario and Quebec have both had their gold rushes.  The development of the rich Porcupine area was due to a lucky strike on July 13, 1909.  Thomas Geddes, of St. Thomas, Ontario, and George Bannerman had a hunch about the Porcupine.  From North Bay, on the T.N.O. Railway, they travelled north for 220 miles, which was the end of the line.  T.N.O. means Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, but in those days people used to say that it meant “Time No Object!

From the end of the line, they paddled 30 miles west and camped where the river flowed into Porcupine Lake.  They began digging on the northern side of the lake and soon uncovered a filigree of gold, as thick as wax dripping from a candle!  The news spread like wildfire.  Soon the Porcupine area was swarming with prospectors who uncovered Canada’s richest gold field and most famous mines.

Among the lucky prospectors were Benny Hollinger and Sandy McIntyre, after whom two great mines have been named.  Hollinger borrowed $45 from John McMahon of Haileybury, and found three feet of gold jutting from some moss.  Sandy McIntyre’s real name was Alexander Oliphant, but he changed it when he fled from Scotland to avoid paying alimony to his wife.  He found what is now McIntyre mine but sold his shares for $25 so that he could buy some liquor.  In later years, he spent most of his time weeping in saloons while his discovery produced gold worth $230 million.

Is it still possible to be lucky and find gold?  Some authorities believe so.  In any case, it may be worth remembering that July 13 was a lucky day for Geddes and Bannerman.

“I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy – I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold and I got it –
Came out with a fortune last fall, –
Yet somehow life’s not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn’t all.”
Robert W. Service, 1907

If you would like to read more about today’s post, I recommend visiting Treasureventure, and Porcupine Mining Area by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, and then, if you are interested in the science or geology of this, I suggest Mine Site. For more about Sandy McIntyre, I suggest the Mining Hall of Fame (that’s okay, I didn’t know we had one of those either!), and finally, Timmins .ca where you’ll find an article about the founding fathers of Timmins!

 

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23 responses to “Scottish Karma?

  1. Maurice A. Barry

    July 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I’m reading this outdoors and thought, at first, the name was Cormack (close) so I was going to tell you about NL’s famouse Cormack.
    Maybe I’ll do it anyway :>)
    http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio.php?BioId=38492
    Hmmm…think I’ll go panning for gold!

     
    • tkmorin

      July 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Wow. Thank you for the comment and the link! Plus, you’ve given me a new site to browse through … whoo hoo! 🙂

       
  2. prayingforoneday

    July 13, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Re-blogged x

     
    • tkmorin

      July 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      🙂

       
      • prayingforoneday

        July 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm

        😛
        x

         
  3. prayingforoneday

    July 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Looking for reasoning to a complicated world and commented:
    BRILLIANT BLOG !!! Anything Scottish I MUST re-blog. Most people I know have Scottish blood from the USA and a few in Canada, good blog.

     
  4. prayingforoneday

    July 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    We made up for it 🙂
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Scots-Invented-Modern-World/dp/0609606352
    Thank us for having the Internet.. lol

    Good blog, VERY interesting.
    Funny how this “Greed” went across the pond to the USA and made that country greedy and corrupt at Political level of course. The people I love.

    Great blog..
    Loved it.
    Going to do a little more research on this..
    After all EVERYONE in the USA has European blood.
    Most people from the USA have Scottish DNA/Blood….
    Crazy how History repeats yeah?

    Really good blog!!

     
    • tkmorin

      July 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Shaun, you do know we’re in Canada, eh? But yeah, crazy history! 🙂

       
      • prayingforoneday

        July 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm

        Of course lol..
        I just thought it was a good piece of history..
        I am not digging (Excuse the pun) to find out more. I LOVE to hear of stories from the past, anything. I just love history..
        And yeah, it was a strange story,,, x

         
        • tkmorin

          July 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm

          You might enjoy the link on the comment by Maurice Barry. Very interesting … 🙂

           
          • prayingforoneday

            July 15, 2013 at 9:47 am

            Been reading up…

            x Thanks

             
  5. Debra She Who Seeks

    July 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I agree — Scottish karma struck down that deadbeat McIntyre!

     
  6. afterthekidsleave

    July 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hmm…yet another deadbeat dad, come to a bad end? 🙂
    Great story, thanks!

     
    • tkmorin

      July 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Don’t you just love it, though, when Karma visits? 🙂

       
  7. seeker

    July 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

    There is no icon for WordPress “Press this”.

     
    • tkmorin

      July 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

      You should see a “reblog” this at the top left hand side. I think the “press this” is something you drag to your menu through “Settings”. 🙂

       
      • seeker

        July 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

        Have a look at the Icons that I set-up from the settings. That’s what I mean. 😛

         
  8. seeker

    July 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

    What a fool… he must have found fools gold. This reminded me about hitting the Mother load. I will use this as link when it’s time to write about it. Thank you and have a grand day, Tk. 😛

     
    • tkmorin

      July 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Good morning! I’m glad you enjoyed the article, P! 🙂

       

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