The BC Adventure 31
c/o Campbell's Store
Nr Williams Lake BC
August 1, 1922
It is very hard being here, and when Mark goes off to do his work, I am very lonely with no other ladies around. I was brave and went to visit Caroline Bellmont the other day. Her house really does look haunted. But it is large. She told me that although it was originally built in 1881, it was inherited by her husband's mother's family – the Felkers. It has two bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen and living room downstairs bisected by a flight of stairs. It is really a very pretty house with big flat hand-hewn timbers, all neatly dovetailed. Caroline says it is “a lovely comfortable house, snug and warm.” I wish I could say that for ours. But I think she is lonely too, and wants other children for her baby to play with as she grows so I doubt they will be living here after this season.
The sort of mining Mark is doing is hydraulic mining, which was very much frowned upon as being unfair to the miners who do panning and the slow slog of looking for nuggets. But theinjunction has now been lifted, so Mark can get back to work, which of course makes him happy as he is sure he is going to make us
Hydraulic mining uses high pressure jets of water to dislodge rock materials or move sediment. As with placer mining, the resulting water sediment slurry is directed through sluice boxes to remove the gold.
Hydraulic mining originated out of ancient Roman techniques that used water to excavate soft underground deposits. However, part of the problem is that use of the process seems to result in environmental damage, such as flooding and eroding, and sediment blocking waterways and covering over farm fields. Albert
Platt said they used it where he was in Australia where they called it hydraulic sluicing, so he is very happy with its use here.
Another of our special guests in our little cabin has been John Likely. He lives not far up the state in a place called Buckaroo now, but he has an investment in our project, so likes to see how things are getting on.
A funny thing happened while he first arrived here. I made him a cup of coffee and told him to sit down for awhile before he went out to have a look at the mine. He said, “What are you doing up here? They're nothing but a bunch of old stiffs up here. You'd do far better down on the coast.”
I wasn't sure what he meant, so didn't reply, and then he went on out to the mine.
But later when he was informed of who I was by the other miners, he was very embarrassed. He had no idea I was a respectable married lady and not a “lady of the night.” First I was annoyed and then I thought what a good story it makes.
John Likely is called Plato by his friends because he has a tendency to philosophize.
I met an another interesting lady the other day. Mrs. Boyle. Her husband died a couple of years ago from the after affects of being in the war. He survived the fighting but got shell shock, so I am guessing he might have committed suicide. She wanted to come back to Williams Lake, with her son, Frank who is just turned 16. She has problems of her own, with one leg gone from a shotgun accident. But then when the Gold Rush fever got out, she wanted to be here, despite being on crutches, to be close to the action. So Frank drove a four horse team, and moved them here, and then got a job with Henry Curtis at the saw mill. They are renting a house for $5 a month. Now Frank is helping GR Bagshaw with his claim here at Cedar Creek. Sometimes I think I don't realise how lucky we are.
I've added another snap that I took recently. It is near Cedar Creek – pretty but rather treacherous to walk along as the rocks fall from above, and the railing is not all that substantial.