The Early Days of Working in the Ramsay Mine — Going Down Down Down



Photo of the Lead Mine on the 4th line courtesy of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum –Thank you!
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The Ramsay Lead Mine near Carleton Place is on a galena-calcite which cuts the calciferous’ dolomite limestone and pinches out in the underlying Potsdam sandstone. The mine is on the southern border of a basin in the Laurentian rocks occupied by L and Ordovician sediments. The Ramsay Lead Mine on the 4th concession opened in Carleton Place in 1858 and it opened and closed like a revolving door.


June 1859— The lead mine is doing well and giving employment to a large number of hands. Some of the land holders there are laying out their property in village lots and offering them for sale-Carleton Place Herald


1859-The work of this season was concluded in September, and the result, in addition to labor expended upon buildings, machinery, and sinking the shaft, was one thousand pigs of lead, averaging seventy-eight pounds each.

The labor employed during this time consisted of from six to seven men and four to five boys and girls. Part of this labor was in drawing wood and water from a considerable distance– the shaft not having been sunk deep enough at that time to furnish water on the spot.

Mr. T.B. Caldwell has leased the valuable lead mine from Mr. Thomas Francis. His entire team consisted of six men, and the work was continued until September, at which time he had taken out over thirty tons of dressed ore.  This was smelted in October, and yielded twenty-four tons of lead, of very pure quality.


1863 – The Ramsay Lead Mine at Carleton Place has resumed operation and is now called Ramsay Lead Mining and Smelting Co. The Ramsay Lead Mining and Smelting Co. is a corporation organized under a special charter of a most liberal character, granted by the Provincial Legislature of Canada, having a capital of five hundred thousand dollars, divided into twenty thousand shares of twenty-five dollars each.

$_35 (1)

Perth Courier, Oct. 29, 1880

Mining Purchase—Mr. W. H. Wylie, Reeve of Carleton Place, and Mr. John F. Cram, Councilor, have jointly purchased all the mining rights on Mr. Daniel Lynch’s farm, Ramsay, and have sent out a gang of men to work on it.





Ad for the Ramsay Mine-The mine is located in the township of Ramsay, Canada West, within three-fourths of a mile of the Carlton Place Station, on the Brockville Ottawa Railroad, and is connected by continuous lines of railway with Montreal, and also with New York and Boston. The neighborhood is thickly populated, labor, provisions and fuel very cheap, and all facilities for mining operations favorable.

The property consists of one hundred acres of land, a smelting-house, with furnaces, stacks. Dwelling houses for miners, blacksmith shop, store-house, offices and other buildings, together with two steam engines, — one fifty and one twelve horse-power, — crushers, and other necessary articles of equipment.

The Ramsay Lead Mine, as an investment, offers great advantages, it is a property already tested and made productive,and therefore free from the risks and expenses which attend
the opening of an untried property.



It was noted in the Canadian Mining Manual of 1890-1891, that lead mines had been worked in the counties of Frontenac and Lanark and smelting furnaces had been erected near Carleton Place, but none of these undertakings had been fortunate and mines and furnaces were shut down.


The mine did open again as lead mines were a very important industry but most were closed in the 1970s due to decreased demand for lead.



About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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