Murphys Point Provincial Park is the place to be on the August long weekend for an exciting heritage celebration. The volunteers of the Friends of Murphys Point have planned a special event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of mica mining in this area with activities available for all ages.
The Silver Queen Mine, located within Murphys Point Provincial Park, was one of 35 active mines in North Burgess (now part of Tay Valley Township) at the peak of mica mining activity. The first record of mica mining dates back to 1860, when sheets of mica were blasted out of the Pike Lake Mine and sold to the French navy to be used as windows in battleships. Initially, the farmers of the area worked in the mines on a part-time basis. The mica industry gradually built to its height in the early 1900's with the advent of General Electric and other such companies that used the mica for its insulating properties. The North Burgess Heritage Mica Festival will recreate many aspects of life in 1860 and during the mica mining boom when subsistence farming on the rocky Canadian Shield was supplemented by small-scale mining throughout our community.