The Rainy Lake "Gold Rush"|
During the summer of 1893, a local prospector and timber cruiser, George Davis, was funded by Charles Moore to search for gold in the Rainy Lake area.
Moore was a businesman with prior mining involvement in the Lake of the Woods area of Ontario. In late July of 1893, while camping on a small island near Black Bay Narrows, Davis discovered a gold-bearing quartz vein -- the "Little American" discovery. Given the good news and gold-bearing specimens, Charles Moore hired a former Black Hills miner named Jeff Hildreth to secure title to the island and arrange financing.
Development of the Little American Mine proceeded rapidly in the spring of 1894, along with the growth of the nearby settlement of Rainy Lake City to support the areas newfound exploration and mining activities. Rainy Lake City was incorporated on March 17, 1894, and by early summer was a bustling community of several hundred people with a school house, bank, general stores, hotels, restaurants, a newspaper, hardware store, butcher shop, and several saloons.
Following the development of the Little American Mine, several other prospects saw extensive activity during the summer of 1894, including the Lyle Mine north of Dryweed Island, the Big American Mine on Big American Island, the Bushyhead Mine on Bushyhead Island, the Soldier Mine on Dryweed Island.
Despite all of the numerous attempts to make gold-mining a profitable activity on Rainy Lake, the low production of the mines resulted in a gold-bust by 1898. The "Boom" was over, and the Rainy Lake City School and newspaper were closed down in 1898. By 1906 the city was a ghost town.