History of the Cantley Mica Mine

The same geology that makes the Gatineau Park a stunning panorama also made the area attractive to miners in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Cantley's abundant, high-quality mica was in great demand, especially during World War II. The Dacey Mine and especially the most valuable Blackburn Mine (1878-1964) were the largest mica mines, but there were many smaller mines in operation.

The video above was produced and created by Gatineau Valley youth as a way to explain the Cantley Mica Mines, and highlight local history, culture and geography . Lessons have been designed to accompany this video, and can be downloaded below or under the listed resources to the side:

Lesson # 1 What is a Mica Mine?

Students will activate their prior knowledge about the mining industry. They will watch a video created by local youth and through direct instruction and inquisition, they will learn about the integral role that the mining industry played in the development of community of Cantley and the extended Gatineau Valley 

Lesson # 2 Photo Detectives

In this lesson students will study an historical image to locate clues and ascertain information about the past. They will demonstrate their understanding of the scene and use the information they have learned as well as their imaginations to create a character sketch of a miner around the turn of the century.

Lesson #3 Interview with a Miner

Students will use answers provided to formulate questions for a miner around 1900 in the Gatineau Valley They will use these questions and answers to create an interview that they will present to the class. 

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