There were several mica mines operating near Gould Lake. The McClatchey Mine, located in Concession 10, Lot 7, is situated between Blue Lake and Gould Lake. A number of old pits and a large boiler may still be seen on the Mica Trail on Conservation Authority property.
The mine was originally worked for phosphate by Snider and Freeman of Perth in the 1870s, then it was sold to McClatchey and Hayden of Belleville who started working it for mica. It was acquired by J.W. Trousdale, a prominent citizen of Sydenham, in 1901, and was mined steadily until 1912. At this time it was abandoned because water had seeped in from the lake.
The main shaft was over 100 feet deep, and opened out to a chamber 8 feet by 30 feet. On the property were a boarding house, trimming-shed, stable, forge, and other buildings. No power machinery was used, and hoisting from the pits was done by a horse-derrick and whims. From 1967 to 1973, the CRCA acquired the lands that now make up Gould Lake Conservation Area. Much of the land was purchased from Loughborough Township. Several private landowners sold to the CRCA including as well, including the Dickey, Anglin, Seymour, and the Sands families.
Admission fees vary - $3 for children 12 and under, $5.50 for adults, max $14 per car. Annual passes available. There is no wheelchair access.
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