Obrázky stránek

HON. E. J. FLYNN, Q.C., LL.D. utter rout of the Liberal-Nationalists. Mr. de Boucherville, however, did not hold office long, and was in turn succeeded by the Hon. L. O. Taillon, who remained at the head of a strong Government until 1896, when he resigned and became Postmaster-General in Sir Charles Tupper's Administration. He was defeated at the polls on the 23rd of June, and is now in private life. Mr. Taillon was popular with all classes, in Parliament

and out of it. He filled with acceptance the offices of Speaker, AttorneyGeneral and Treasurer. Without claiming any pretensions to oratory, he was a forcible speaker and a good debater. In his reign the taxes were increased to meet the heavy debt of the Province, which, in the previous administration had been greatly augmented. The retirement of Mr. Taillon gave to Sir Adolphe Chapleau, the Lieutenant-Governor, the opportunity of offering the command to the Hon. E. J. Flynn, who, as far back as 1879, had been Commissioner of Crown Lands in his own Government.

Mr. Flynn lost very little time in forming his ministry and meeting the House. He made a few changes, but most of his old colleagues remained with him. He has already made up his mind to grapple seriously with the question of education. His policy is to reduce taxes, and to push as far as possible the growing interests of his province. He is a convincing speaker, a sound lawyer, and a thoroughly well-informed man, while as an executive officer he has few equals in Canadian public life.



An Historical Sketch.

BRITISH COLUMBIA does not make lege of every Britisher; and like mercy

as a mining country on the strength of her present showing in West Kootenay. She did that in the fifties and early sixties, and though the world forgets very easily, the world has not yet forgotten the days of the Fraser River excitement, Golden Cariboo, or those fifty odd millions of dollars which British Columbia has contributed to the sum total of man's gold-store.

it blesses him that takes and that
gives, and is as good for the railway
as it is soothing to that railway's
patrons. If the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way would only wake up and give Koo-
tenay's smelters the Crow's Nest coal,
which they so much need, we would
forget all our minor grievances, and
would be more ready to remember that,
thanks to the Company and its leading
officials, Cariboo is again to the fore,
and that some of the old ground which
we skimmed in 1858 is now producing
its thousands in response to the efforts
of the hydraulic miner.
of the hydraulic miner. The day of the
poor man has passed, but the day of
the rich man and his machinery has


To-day is the day of a revival, not of a first appearance. In the early days when there were no railways, when British Columbia was practically as remote as Kamchatka, only the hardiest of men could be tempted to visit a country where the most primitive forms of placer-mining were rewarded by such prizes as fifty pounds of gold taken from one claim in a single day, and, naturally enough, the cream was soon skimmed. After that, the difficulties and cost of transportation made mining with machinery altogether impossible, or, at any rate, extremely unremunerative.

[ocr errors]

Here no one believes that the great Cariboo Company is on its legs yet, that it has began to show us what its gravel is really worth; and yet is it such a small thing that on its first clean-up this year it produced between $81,000 and $82,000? It is probably true that this Company has expended some $400,000 in development, but even so, $81,000 for a first wash-up in the year is a reasonably good return. And this is but one of many companies in Cariboo, which itself is not the only centre of hydraulic mining in British Columbia. A good group of claims has recently been sold on the Similkameen, to an English Company, while at Alberni, on Vancouver Island,

To-day all that is changed. The much (and, perhaps, deservedly) abused Canadian Pacific Railway has brought British Columbia into touch with the rest of the world. We forget too often how much this railway has done for us, though we have a very keen eye for its peccadilloes. But that is no evil. Kicking is the inalienable privi

there are hydraulic properties now in operation of which the owners have every reason to expect great things. But there is no space in such an article as this to deal fully with these. The mining development of to-day is essentially one of rock-mining-quartz mining, as it is generally called, though in many of the mines quartz is not the leading feature.

That ledges, which under certain 'circumstances would pay to mine, existed in British Columbia is no new discovery. Ledges (still unworked) were known long ago in Cariboo, but men could not afford to take machinery to them, and, besides, the public had then no inclination to mine. Texada Island produced, it is said, our first gold ($20,000 of it, in 1848), and it is alleged that a certain prominent British Columbian has owned the Van Auda mine upon that island for from ten to fifteen years. He, of course, sat upon it patiently. The patience of a true British Columbian is the most pathetic thing in the West. Luckily for him and for the country, that irrepressible person, the American mining man, came along and disturbed the ancient settler's repose. It seemed to the American not a bad thing to get in and do some work. He, at any rate, was not of a contemplative turn of mind, and before the original owners were well awake he had gone through a certain amount of barren rock and found some very excellent bornite, of which he has already made several small shipments. It seems altogether probable that the Van Auda mine will in time make the fortunes both of the man who waited and the man who worked. And this in brief is the true story (however unpalatable) of British Columbia's recent development. We sat on our treasure, talking occasionally in our dreams of "great possibilities" until the Yankee tumbled over us and woke us up.

Sometime at the beginning of this century, men, and especially Hudson Bay men, knew of the existence of a great deposit of carbonate of lead, galena and copper, upon Kootenay Lake,

known as the Blue Bell mine. This great mine (now the mainstay of the Pilot Bay Smelting Company), for many years provided lead for a few trappers' bullets, and that was all. Today the Blue Bell is supposed to have an average daily output of from 150 to 200 tons. The next step in the development of West Kootenay was the discovery of what are now known as the Hall Mines, upon Toad Mountain, at the back of Nelson, in the early eighties, by a party of prospectors from Colville. In the week ending June 6th, 1896, these Hall mines had a smelter return of 928 tons of ore, producing 88 tons of matte, and their shares were sold in London at a premium of 200 per cent. The Hall Mines Company is an English Company which smelts its own ore and some other people's, and is steadily adding to its smelting capacity. The ore is unlike the Kootenay's ore, as a rule, being described as bornite, tetrahedrite and chalcopyrites, of which our B. C. Minister of Mines reports that from ten to fifteen per cent. of the general body of the ore averages when picked 100 oz. of silver and fifteen per cent. copper to the ton. The value of the matte may be estimated from the returns for March of this year. There were 2,102 tons of ore smelted, which produced 212 tons of matte, which contained 106 tons of copper and 67,113 oz. of silver.

After Toad Mountain came Slocan. The miners of Montana had found that $20 rock would not pay to work. Mines closed down and the men who had made Montana came sweeping over into Kootenay. If any one knows anything about silver mining, the men of Montana know it. If any men are able to push their way through all natural objects in pursuit of the almighty dollar, the American prospectors will do it. They are no better than their English or Canadian rivals in courage or endurance, but prospecting is peculiarly their business; therefore in it they are peculiarly successful. The writer of this article has been with the men of Kootenay, English, Canadian and American, every year since

1890. He has seen the "boys" shoving their way up the mountain torrents where the banks were too steep for a trail; he tramped in with the owner of the Cliff, cheery old Col. W., before the Cliff was thought of; he helped to open the first saloon at Carpenter Creek, and learned what it meant to forget the glasses and serve whiskey in tin pannikins; he saw the Slocan Star when it had hardly been scratched; saw Kaslo cleared, built, burned and rebuilt; he has lived with these prospectors, shot with them, helped to bring in their dead, and is even now twisting their tails as Provincial Sanitary Inspector, and he is convinced that there is not on earth a cheerier, hardier set of fellows, a set who can pull better together, or who under properly administered laws, such as we have in B. C., are more law-abiding and reasonable citizens. Men talk of annexation, and the conquest of Kootenay by the American miners. Kootenay has been opened up very largely by the miners of America and the enterprise of American capitalists, and there is a certain amount of annexation going on, but it is the annexation of American citizens by Canada, seduced from their loyalty to the Great Republic by the attractions of Western Canada, within whose borders they find that they can mine securely and rest confident in the protection of a justice which does not miscarry. But this is not mining-though the gradual and kindly fusion of the two peoples upon the border line is one result of it.

About 1,890 men began to talk of the abnormally rich fields of argentiferous galena in the Slocan, and the men on the Coast, as usual, laughed and did their best to throw cold water on any little enthusiasm which those who had seen Slocan might display. At home in England, even as late as 1893, men laughed, too, and told you that when the mines began to ship ore they would believe in them. It is such an easy thing, of course, for men without money to develop mines, to build railways through a mountain country, or pay for the freight of their ore on men's backs

and mules' backs, and then by rail and steamer to Helena or Swansea !

And yet these men did this, and the ore of our country paid for its freight until it was sufficiently well-known to draw the railways to its aid. Now we have railways on all sides and cannot be bullied even by the C. P. Ry. We had. (and have) in Kootenay the two great levers with which mountains may be moved, Grit and Gold. In spite of physical obstacles, in spite of the steepest and roughest of mountains, in spite of the slump in silver, and the sleepy remonstrances of the city sluggards, the boys in the hills kept pegging away. They knew what the end would be if they could only demonstrate that they had galena which averaged 125 dollars. to the ton, and plenty of it. Probably no country of the same class was everless or worse advertised than West Kootenay.

Of course we owe something to the phenomenal activity of our Agents.. General, and something to papers and pamphlets, but no great line placarded London with notices of our new Eldorado, no great company forwarded the interests of our rival to South Africa, and it must be confessed that anything more contemptible than our little hotchpotch collection of minerals at the Imperial Institute it would be difficult to imagine. The pyramid of empty salmon cans overshadows it utterly. But though they did not advertise at all, men like Mr. Byron White were steadily at work developing such mines. as the Slocan Star, and as a result we have two lines to-day competing for the silver of the Slocan. Between Nov. 1st, 1895, and May 1st, 1896, that district shipped out of the country nearly 10,000 tons of ore, and between 1,400. and 1,500 tons of bullion from its own smelter at Pilot Bay.

Sixteen of Slocan's mines are recorded as having earned 1,500,000 dollars (gross) for six months of the current year, and such is the position of other properties in this and other sections of Kootenay to-day, that the present writer (who has dared to prophesy many times before during the last six years) does

not feel afraid to endorse the prophecy of one of B.C's. most conservative mining men, that "In three years Kootenay's output will be ten times what it is to-day." He is possibly short of the mark. Day by day the Slocan country is adding to the number of its producing mines, and day by day men are discovering fresh prospects, though. not all of such magnificent promise as the Galena Farm.

It would almost seem as if a country which had provided its people with the placer grounds of Cariboo and the silver fields of Slocan had done enough for them. But there is no limit to the generosity of the West. Just when men had proved beyond all doubt that the galena of Slocan was plentiful and of very high grade, and also that the world's markets did not want silver at any price, some prospectors found their way up Trail Creek to Rossland, as men now call it. Then it was as unpretentious as a hundred other mountains our country. Even in in 1894 (September) there were only four log shanties there, and to-day there is a big town, with waterworks, banks, electric lights, something like 5,000 people, the ceaseless ring of the builders' hammers on every side, and more life, if not more money, in circulation in it than in all the rest of the towns put together. Of course there are towns which are older and richer at present, but it is very doubtful if in any of them money is spent as freely and made as easily as in Rossland. The foundation of all this flood of prosperity is a belt of mineral, known as pyrotite, running through the country, and which carries its values principally in gold and copper. As compared with some of our recent discoveries of gold quartz at Lilloet and elsewhere, and even as compared with the galenas of Slocan, the Rossland pyrotite is not very high grade ore, but it occurs in enormous bodies, and the latest developments would seem to indicate that these bodies of pyrotite, beneath a heavy iron capping, running apparently in parallel veins, occur not only throughout Red Mountain, Monte Christo Mountain and

Columbia Mountain (in which they have been proved in one instance, at least, to a depth of 450 feet), but also in what is known as the Southern Belt and in several camps near Trail and along the Columbia River.

The Victoria Board of Trade Report for 1895 says of this ore, that the average value of it is about $40 to the ton, the values being principally in gold with a percentage of silver and copper, but higher grades are found in the lowest levels. Another characteristic of this Trail district is that nearly all the ore veins so far developed have been found to widen with depth.

For the last six months Rossland has been full of experts from England and elsewhere. Beginning with a short boom, which of course brought some wildcats to the surface, the situation has gradually improved until now the country is full of genuine capitalists who want developed mines or prospects which they buy to develop, not to sell again to men who know nothing about them. Amongst these men there are plenty of well-known English and Canadian as well as American mining men, and indeed it would almost seem as if eventually the Old Country would have at least her share of the best of the Rossland mines.

The best experts tell us that if one per cent. of our prospects turn into shipping mines at Rossland, we shall have one of the biggest camps on earth. He would be a bold man who would say that one per cent. of those upon which real development work has been done has yet proved a failure. If it be possible to adapt any of the new leaching processes to the cheap treatment of low grade pyrotite ore (from $9 to $12 per ton) the number of our failures will be peculiarly small, the growth of our camp fabulous.

All through the country there is now an atmosphere of steady, hard work, Rossland is as busy as a hive of bees; but she is as quiet and orderly as an English village on Sunday. Long before the visitor is wide awake there is an incessant ring of builders' hammers all around. At regular intervals through

« PředchozíPokračovat »