Dead cow played key role in Orillia story, book reveals


Orillia Museum of Art and History History Lecture Series virtually resumes April 14 with a presentation by local historian Dave Town

How a “dead cow” played a decisive role in the development of Orillia. Local historian Dave Town will shed some light on us when the popular Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) History Lecture Series resumes virtually via ZOOM on Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m.

The OMAH History Committee is delighted to resume popular talks. Join us online for this fascinating chapter in Orillia’s history.

A dead cow: the legacy of the unlikely Orillia foundry is the story of Orillia’s industrial past. Just before World War I, the fathers of the city of Orillia were actively looking for new manufacturing companies. It was a time when you thought anything was possible.

The first big one to respond to the incentives was in 1910, when a smelter was built to smelt silver from ore mined from the ground in the booming city of Cobalt Silver.

In a nutshell, Orillia politicians were stunned by a silver smelter in Orillia – lots of jobs and tax revenue, not to mention a huge customer for the electricity generated by the new dam on the River Severn that the city had just built.

There was great excitement on all fronts, until in 1912 a cow mysteriously died just 300 meters from the new factory. The ensuing legal battle divides the city and becomes a disturbing enigma for the city council.

It wasn’t just the tragedy of a dead cow. It has become a tragedy on several fronts.

To hear details of this incredible story, call Monica at 705-326-2159 or email [email protected] to register and receive a LINK to this special presentation. Admission is free, donations to the OMAH are greatly appreciated. Stay tuned for more interesting discussions!



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