Monday morning we received a call from the local Ministry of Transportation office stating they had the old mining records at the Old Courthouse and thought that we might like to have a look. I arrived there before 9 a.m. and took pictures with my cell phone until noon when I headed to the museum. During that time I was able to capture over 200 records and maps. I knew that I couldn’t possibly get through by myself as this was Heritage Week and we had other activities planned so I called some volunteers who have been busy clicking away and we have more than 2000 records now. These old record books, dating back to 1883, will be moved to storage in Victoria so the chances of us getting our hands on them again are really remote. Thanks so much to Shelly for the call that made it all happen.
In the spirit of the mining records is information from a bulletin put out by the Golden Placer & Quartz Mining Co.
Placer gold was first discovered on Canyon Creek in the early 1860’s by the old prospectors, about the time of the great placer gold excitement on Wild Horse Creek in south-eastern Kootenay, from which many million in placer gold were mined.
Canyon Creek takes its rise among the glaciers of the Selkirk range of mountains bordering on the Columbia Valley. The creek has a very rapid decent, flowing along the base of precipitous mountains and through deep canyons, its length being about twenty miles. It is said that the early prospector took out considerable gold from crevicing in the canyon and primitive means of washing the shallow gravels.
The deeper and supposedly far richer deposit at the mouth of the canyon being too hard a proposition at the time for those old pioneers.
There are three main forks or feeders, each about six miles in length, and from the disintegrating action of the glacier and running water tearing and hurling down the massive mountain material, three great road ways or valleys through which the waters now flow have been carved out and extend back into the very heart of these high mountain elevations.
Numerous quartz, porphyry, and metamorphosed slate dykes traverse the region. Great masses of volcanic and andesitic breccias are profusely scattered over this section.
In this narrow canyon, miners at different times at low water have taken out by crevicing, sluicing and rocking considerable gold.
The gold which is found here occurs in flat pieced and is of a coarser nature. Nuggets from the value of 25 cents up to 3 or 4 dollars are common and event to the value of 80 dollars have been found.
The surface of the gold is very smooth, pointing to the fact that it has been swept down the stream over the hard and polished bed rock for a considerable distance, after being liberated from its ferruginous and rock association. The gold has a very rich yellow appearance and assays at $18.75 per ounce.
Numerous small stringers of quartz were seen along the course of the canyon in the formation, and more particularly at the mouth, where they are running directly across the canyon.
The facilities for mining here are very favorable, there being plenty of mining timber close at hand, and the work can be safely and economically carried on throughout the year. Miners’ wages for underground work are $2.50 per day and board; all necessary supplies can be bought from the merchants here at reasonable prices.
This property is situated about six miles south of Golden, on Canyon Creek. The stream rises in the Selkirk range of mountains and is said to be about 20 miles in length. It flows in a south-easterly direction and enters the Columbia River about six miles above Golden, a station on the Canadian Pacific Railway.