William Henry Drummond -- The Habitant Poet (1854 - 1907)
In 1904, Dr. Drummond heard of the silver strike at Cobalt, Ontario. For $150 he grubstaked Martin Wright, of Haileybury, who staked 80 acres for Drummond at the north end of Kerr lake, three miles east of Cobalt. Soon there was a log home constructed on the property and Drummond came to superintend operations himself at the mine. The Drummond Mine produced a vein running 6,300 ounces to the ton. It produced 3,707,137 ounces of silver, netting over $1,500,00 profit. While in Cobalt Dr. Drummond continued his writing. In 1906 a ceremony was held in his honour at the Cobalt Lyric Theatre. Drummond kept the audience spellbound. G.W. Dixon, a Cobalt engineer, claimed, "He was the greatest man with a story I have ever heard." Interestingly, beside Dr. Drummond on the stage was Woodrow Wilson, another engineer, and later President of the United States. In 1907, Dr. Drummond returned to Montreal for Easter but on hearing of a smallpox epidemic in Cobalt, he returned to help out medically. A week later he was stricken with a cerebral haemorrhage. After five unconcious days he passed away in Cobalt, April 6, 1907. After his home was torn down before the 1930's, the fireplace of the Drummond home was preserved. In 1933 it was dedicated as a memorial cairn in honour of Dr. William Henry Drummond, Canadian poet, by Lord Bessborough, Governor General at he time. The fireplace remained at the mine site until 1987. The Cobalt Public Library Board conceived of the idea of reconstructing the Cairn adjacent to the Library. The ground work and the actual reconstructing of the fireplace, using as much of the original material as possible, was finished by Fall 1988.
Within the library are all Dr. Drummond's published works as well as pictures and other interesting memorabilia.
All are welcome to visit the Drummond exhibit upstairs at the library and the Cairn outside next to the library. This project was made possible with a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the help of the Town of Cobalt and Cobalt Kiwanis Club and many donations to the Drummond Fund.