A tiny island off the shore of Lake Superior was the home of the world's richest silver mine.

Silver Islet’s mine shafts still lie underneath Lake Superior, shafts that were employed by men who took on the task of working deep down in these treacherous shafts. The fear of lake water rushing in and drowning, the unstable rotting wood, and toiling deep down into the earth.

Many men who were hired didn't know the dangers that awaited them...many turned down the job, as they didn't like the idea of being underneath billions of gallons of water.

The mine was bought by the president of the Silver Islet Mining Company, Alexander Sibley, in 1870. The Montreal Mining Company seemed eager to get rid of it...but if they realized the rich vein of silver that lied underneath, it might have been a different story.

The mine shaft was so deep that the wood supports weren't strong enough to hold the weight of all that rock. It took a whole vein of silver, running the length of the shaft, to hold the weight the wood couldn't.

In the 1880s, the mine closed for good after 13 years. The mine is still visible from the air and by boat, and old miner's dwellings still exist on shore.

Take a look at some photos below!


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