Where Was Meyers Cave?

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Well you can call it Myers or Meyers, but north of Highway 7 near Mazinaw Lake lies the picturesque village of Meyers’ Cave. As the story goes it was named after Meyers, a merchant from Belleville, who established an outpost on Still House Road.  It was said he became friendly with aboriginals who traded with silver. One day he gave several of them some liquor and talked them into showing where they got the silver. They took him up the Skoot River to a cave, and when they sobered up they dumped Meyers in the lake.  The merchant swam to shore and survived, but died of pneumonia later.

Some say that Meyers was actually a counterfeiter who had his equipment hidden in the cave. After many years of smuggling silver out with the aid of the aboriginals, Meyers suddenly left the country.

James Robinson was able to uncover some of the mystery by relating events of Meyers Cave to more ancient history.

Jacques Cartier, while near Lake Ontario, met some Natives who gave him 12 quill-like rods of gold to take back to France. They claimed the gold came from the country north of Lake Ontario in caves of gold and silver where metal could be picked up off the ground.

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Some of the pictographs on Mazinaw Rock

Later, French explorers and traders found a wild and hilly country north of the Great Lakes. Local Indians wore ornaments of gold and silver.’ The French couldn’t find the source, but there were hints of a mammoth cave lined and roofed with precious metals.

In the 1840s there were counterfeiters working a  silver mine in North Frontenac. They were found out because their coins had more silver content than legal tender. The men went to prison but never revealed the location of the silver. The Indians held the secret close and it became part of their oral history.

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Mazinaw Rock–Photo from  Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Mill of Kintail Conservation Area

John Smith and C.P. Meyers (not the merchant) also counterfeited coins in the 1860s. Smith died in prison but Meyers escaped and was hunted down and shot. A doctor named Young took him in and cared for him, but he died. He apparently revealed the secret of the mine before dying. The doctor’s brother,his boss Mr. Poussett, and the doctor formed a mining company and tried to buy the land. The owners refused to sell at first and charged an exorbitant fee. No cave was found but they did find a vein of silver and had a profitable company.

Then in 1891, just after Christmas, miners were working on a vein and came to a cleft choked with brush in the side of a rocky hill. They found a narrow passage and an incredible cavern. The passage had steps cut in the rock descending 100 feet to a forty foot chamber. There were tools and in a chunk of marble or quartz there was carved C.P. Meyers-John Smith-1863. There were also many Native artifacts. They found a pool of limpid water which extended into a subterranean lake and they rowed 500 feet to another platform where they found another room full of stalactites of silver, nine inches long. They sealed the cave until they could make preparations for mining. It is unclear if that ever happened. Some say Poussett and friends did go back and stripped the cave clean.

In 1940, Reeve Harry Levers claimed he found the entrance and marked it’s location but no one was able to find it again.

Is there a subterranean lake, a lake under the surface of the earth’s crust or a cave with stalactites of silver? Could it be found again or is it lost forever?

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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