North of Highway 7 near Mazinaw Lake lies the picturesque village of Meyers’ Cave. It was named after Meyers, a merchant from Belleville, who established an outpost on Still House Road. So the story goes, he became friendly with aboriginals who traded with silver. One day he plied several of the people with liquor and talked them into showing where they got the silver. They took him up the Skoot River to a cave. When they sobered up they dumped Meyers in the lake. He swam to shore but died of pneumonia later.
Another version of the story states that Meyers was a counterfeiter who had his equipment hidden in the cave and used silver ‘hanging 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.
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.
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 lost forever?