From the Ground Up: An Autobiography by Viola MacMillan

By Viola MacMillan

She was once the 1st winning lady miner in Canada, most likely on this planet. She remodeled the Prospectors and builders organization from a ragtag team of rock fans right into a national association of geologists, engineers, and different mining pros. She rose from her humble beginnings close to Bracebridge, Ontario, to develop into one of many country's wealthiest woman marketers and a member of the Order of Canada. and he or she was once a key participant within the providence scandal of the Nineteen Sixties and suffered its unwanted side effects at the back of bars. Viola MacMillan was once a mining dynamo, a legend within the testosterone-driven, wheeling-dealing enterprise that's Canadian mining. during this rags-to-riches autobiography, MacMillan deals a passionate account of her lifestyles within the bush, her upward thrust to repute, and the setbacks she persevered alongside the way in which. to place the tale in context, Virginia Heffernan presents a picture of the Canadian mining in the course of MacMillan's heyday, together with the occasions that resulted in her penitentiary sentence and eventual pardon. via large interviews and examine, Heffernan items jointly the backdrop to Macmillan's wonderful lifestyles tale.

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0 when we took the plunge, but I never regretted it, right up to the time when poor George died, in 1978. It was not a big wedding, but my mother and father came down from Muskoka to Windsor for it, with three of my brothers, and I was glad of that. And thanks to the generosity of one of Mr. Rodd's clients, George and I were able to move into a nice house right away. Old Matt Dean was a building contractor: a tall, straightbacked man who always wore a high stiff collar and carried a bible. He looked more like a preacher than a contractor, and he used to chew me out if he ever heard me using even a mild cuss-word — not that I did that very often.

And strangely enough, it was one of two rich mines found on the same day by a Cornish prospector, William G. Trethewey. He called one of them after himself, and he took $600,000 worth of silver out of the Trethewey before he sold it for a million dollars to a group headed by a Toronto stockbroker and grain dealer named Jack Bickell, who would go on to become one of the most powerful mining men in Canada. The name Coniagas, which was given to Trethewey's other mine, had always puzzled me. What did gas have to do with digging rock out of the earth?

I told her that Sadie could do much heavier work than I could. (I really was just a wee slip of a girl. ) But Mrs. Rodd wouldn't hear of taking Sadie. She wanted me. She promised my duties wouldn't be too hard. She had a cook and other staff for the heavy work, and all I would have to do would be the pastry and some light upstairs work and laundry. Then, when she told me how much she would pay me I did some rapid figuring. With my full room and board supplied, I could save enough in a year to pay my way through business college in Windsor.

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