The BC Adventure 24 - More on Gold Fever
March 20, 1922
I know you are interested in Mark's plans so I am carrying on copying out the information from the Vancouver papers.
Messrs. Cotton, Boswell and Finlayson are sinking a shaft about two miles above Discovery and expect to have it down to bedrock in a couple of weeks. Thompson and Ashby have located camp six miles above Discovery and are preparing to start prospecting this week. Well founded reports are to the effect that Gavin Hamilton, an old-timer of Beaver Lake, and his partner, have discovered a good channel on Nigger Creek, emptying into Cariboo Lake. This prospect has been discovered after a long, determined effort for the last twelve months. Mr. Hamilton has already been offered a good figure for a one-third interest, but has refused to sell.
T. Comer and his partner are drifting on Likely Gulch and are piling up a dump of pay gravel to be washed in early spring. Messrs. King and Ramsay, at Quesnel Dam, are putting in an hydraulic plant on their claim on a high bench near Quesnel Dam. This bench is situated about three miles north from Cedar Creek Discovery and is supposed by old-timers to be an extension of the recent discoveries on Cedar Creek, as the gold is of the same quality and on the same
All these discoveries are within a radius of twelve miles, which assures the success of this section of the Cariboo during the coming spring. A vast country extends to the south and west of this section, which is practically virgin territory and only needs the right kind of material sloughed into Quesnel Lake, just up and below Cariboo Island. The porphyry dyke is a very strong one and no doubt continues for fifty or even a hundred miles. It is simply a small matter of locating its course and staking your ground.
“Men owning leases all along the channel are commencing to get their cabins ready, preparatory to sinking holes on their ground. In comparison with other placer strikes over the world I believe this has the edge on everything ever yet discovered on account of its accessibility, and the shallowness of the ground. It is not a hard country to get into and in an other couple of weeks or one month at the most, when the ice goes out on Quesnel Lake, we will be able to go by an auto and go by launch right to our locations, as we come right down to the lake with some of them.
"I am positive that had not this Barkerville excitement occurred sixty years ago. this channel would have been discovered by someone at this time. This new find has been located by A. E. Platt and John Lyne of Carliboo,” according to R. M.
Campbell, an old-time prospector and business men of that district. "Just about 60 years ago over $3,000,000 worth of gold was taken. It is said that half an acre of a claim of eighty acres will yield from the mouth of Cedar Creek a sum equal to the amount paid by the company for the whole lease.
“Two veins suddenly came to an end and dropped out of sight as it were, and until now now I can see it being a Long Summer Season. In the Yukon the work-season was very short, only a few months In the middle of summer, when the mines in this section get going they can be worked all the year round.
“Mr. MacLeod, who has taken out twenty leases on Cedar Creek, has also taken an option on the Log Cabin. So far, this mine has only been traced 1800 feet, but if it extends further into the upper leases, as I firmly believe it does, the Cariboo will be another Klondyke."
“Platt and Lyne,” he said, “like many others, had been searching for months for the lost gold channel of the creek, and last fall were on their way home having given up all idea of finding it, when they arrived at Williams Lake site, which is now open and getting $100 per day. To the man they dropped their tools and even left their tents and blankets and supplies, taking nothing but the clothes they were working in and their axes, and rushed to Barkerville to get their locations, and in a great many cases never came back for their belongings.
"The Barkerville district. I understand, produced over forty-five million dollars in gold in two years. I heard said by Archibald Campbell, a farmer. Mr. John R. Williams, an old-timer above the creek, told Pratt, men from the Cariboo came here from habit and instinct rather than from a belief that the Cedar Creek district will do much better than this, as it will, according to Mr. Fetherstonhaugh,
If the gold only extended 100 feet wide, two leases would produce millions. He is waiting at present at the Mile House for men who are coming to dive for gold in the Fraser River. Mr. Williams experimented in this type of mining last year near Lillooet, and demonstrated the feasibility of the object. He has succeeded in getting people interested in this scheme of piping gold out of the channel of the Fraser by diving for it in its various forms. The point selected for operation this spring is near Alkali Dike, little north of the Junction of the Cotton and Fraser Rivers. During a search, he stuck his shovel into a mud hole as he happened to be passing. As he pulled it out the sun caught the flash of something bright, and upon examination Platt discovered it to be gold flakes. Quickly unpacking his pan, he proceeded to wash the mud from the hole, and in a very short time he had gathered four ounces of dust, about $75 worth.
He called Lyle, and together they traced the grain and found that it ran to a million dollars. Some excited prospectors rushed to claim it. The claim was created at the dam just as I was leaving by a couple of old-timers who claim to have located another channel just as rich as Cedar Creek. They were leaving in the middle of that night and early hours of the morning to map locations.
The mud was panned out in the gravel in this very stagnant depression at this place in early days and it is their opinion that this presumed that the river bottom still contains gold.
Gold Province, March 15. ENGINEER RETURNS FROM CEDAR
"Most Promising Prospect I Have Seen," declares A. Gilfallan on his return to the city. "John Lyne, who is a partner with A. E. Platt in the original discovery, deserves a great deal of praise for his faith in the country, and for his plan to prospect Cedar Creek area which was at one time the channel of the creek, in spite of the fact that it is now 600 feet above the water. The stream rushing down, probably at flood time, must have cut a new bed and gradually left the old one high and dry, cutting the gold strike in half. The strike, which it is the belief of Mr.
Campbell, will bring hundreds of new settlers into the country.
It is in the vicinity of Quesnel Lake and about 20 miles distant from Harpers Camp.
It was John Lyne who induced Platt to prospect in this vicinity, where they finally discovered the old channel that was lost so many years ago. With his brother. W. Lynes, he owns a sawmill which they intend moving down to some point on Quesnel Lake to cut lumber for the town that is bound to be moving from the Cedar Creek district.
Mr. A. Gilfillan, the mining engineer, confirmed reports of his faith in the discoveries. Plenty of experts arrive at 150-Mile House on their way to claims there. "It is the most promising prospect sprung up there that I have seen in my thirty six years' experience In British Columbia and the Yukon," is the way he reports it. "The roads are commencing to break up. and it will be hard to get supplies in from Williams Lake for the next month or so. Williams Lake will be a busy place, as it is the gateway to Cedar Creek, and also to the 150 – Mile House.
Mark found this report in the Vancouver Daily World newspaper for Saturday, March 18, 1922. It isn't so much a news story as an advert.
These newspaper clippings speak for themselves. New goldfield at Cedar Creek. Rich prospectors gold discovery values prove to bring on era where large nuggets will be found. Seswell returned and says the engineer reports that the miners pan from $100 per day, and after investigation, believes finds will be soon
very reach $300 per day. It is the best ground he has ever seen for such an extensive area. Would you like to have a. million dollars? Of course you would and you can if you have nerve enough to take advantage of the opportunity I offer you now. Victoria Real Estate man says reports received by manager Mr. Buckworth give reason for optimism. There are great gold resources on the whole town site near Quesnel Lake he says. Mr. McLeod is back from his trip up north after picking gold nuggets out of the black muck on Lyne's and Platt's claims with his fingers. Mr. McLeod is the mining promoter of Vancouver, and he has returned to the city, enthusiastic in his praise of and belief in discovering panning tests run from $20 to $300 per square yard.
Mark is enthused, but says not to get too excited, and these people are trying to sell their lots of real estate, and are bound to be exaggerating.
To change the subject, Mark was in a Hockey game last weekend. He did well, but the team didn't win.
It has been cloudy and cold lately. We did get some snow but it didn't last.
We entertained the Croftons and Beryl Scott and her aunt Ella to tea the other weekend and we recently went to see the Springfords' new house. They had at one stage offered us a chance to rent rooms from them when they finished it, and when Mark goes off in late June, I think I will take them up on the offer. I don't want to live in this drafty log cabin on my own.
Daddy, I was going to tell you about the charcoal makers on the island. It was a Japanese craft to start with. Back in the early 1900's Asians were not allowed
to buy properties on Crown Land. But Mr Isaburo befriended a local blacksmith, Mr. McAfee and they made a handshake deal so that Mr. Isaburo could buy 300 acres on Salt Spring Island to cut down the alder trees to make charcoal. In return, Mr. McAfee had
access to charcoal for his business.
Isaburo’s first step was to dig a pit that was about six meters long, three meters wide, and two meters deep. Next step, he had to use his masonry skills to build a rock wall around the inside part of the pit. Most kilns were shaped like a teardrop, however, he enlarged the kiln to make it look like a mushroom. He created three air vents or flues for controlling the amount of oxygen entering the pit. He then placed cedar planks on the ground, one row north-south and another row east-west. After that, he chopped down alder trees. They were in uniformed size, and placed vertically in the pit. Next, the kiln had to be covered. Sticks and branches were strewn over the vertical logs, and sand covered the kiln to make it air-tight. He then lit kindling wood at the front opening to start the smoldering process.
This was very time-consuming to complete the job. It took maybe four to five days, all day long, to make sure the logs did not catch on fire. When the whole process was completed, he uncovered the kiln and raked the charcoal from the front opening.
Isaburo, being an experienced sea captain, transported 200 lbs. of charcoal in his fishing boat to a soap factory in Victoria. He was paid 30 cents a bag. The extra income enabled him to see his large family through the winter.
You must feel like you know our neighbours as well as we do.