The Legend of Caroline Maben Flower,
Lady Prospector of the Porcupine
by Maggie Wilson
Wherever you lived in 1906, when you read the newspapers, you found sensational reports about Cobalt, the silver mining boom town in Northern Ontario. Everyone was talking about the spectacular mineral riches. People from around the globe descended on the frontier town to work, to invest, to take advantages for a new life.
Caroline Maben Flower, a wealthy New York socialite, most certainly read the news. She came to Cobalt on doctor's orders to rest in the countryside. He suggested a fashionable resort in the Adirondacks. Why would she come to a dirty, noisy, frontier town instead?
To start over.
Born on a farm in the Midwest, Caroline took to the piano as a girl. With family support, she travelled to Berlin for additional musical training, aspiring to perform for the social elite in Manhattan. Creative, perceptive, and fiercely independent, she modelled herself after the rising stars of the day and set out to achieve her goals with a single-minded determination. Caroline conquered any barriers she encountered, whether it was poverty, chauvinism, or towering mountains.
Her relationships with men were passionate and tempestuous, neither traditional nor long-lasting. And therein was the challenge. Marriage solved several problems while creating many more.
She made mistakes, some driven by desperation, greed or impulsiveness. One terrible lapse was the turning point that led to an abrupt change in course, from Manhattan to the mining camps of Northern Ontario.
When she arrived in Cobalt, Caroline noted how the men made their fortunes at mining. She reckoned, if they could do it, so could she! Never one to let roadblocks stop her, she shouldered a pickaxe and set out to build a mine.
Just as she did with her musical career, Caroline promoted herself and built a brand. In Cobalt, and later in the gold fields of the Porcupine, she traded on one notable asset: the fact that she was the only woman in the mining game.
This is her story, The Legend of Caroline Maben Flower, Lady Prospector of the Porcupine.
ISBN: 978-17777028-0-9 | WMPub#1341 | 6" x 9"; 200 pages; 85 photos;
trade paperback | $25.95
Table of Contents
5 Part I: Minnesota to New York, 1869 to 1906
79 Part II: To Northern Ontario
166 Appendix 1 Anna's Story
173 Appendix 2 From the Family Bible
178 Appendix 3 Caroline's Compositions
180 Appendix 4 Silas Beebe 1849 -1938
190 Glossary of Mining Terminology
191 Bibliography and Resources
198 About the Author