Texada Gold Rush
by Joan Treen, 19 April 2017.
The morning was spent at the Texada Museum, which was quite a surprise for most of us who did not know it existed. It’s an amazing place, housing information about the development of mining on the island and the pioneers who settled there, many of whose descendants remain to this day. The folks on Texada deserve a lot of credit for producing, and continuing to expand such an interesting display of the island’s history which dates back to 1873 and earlier. Two of the museums volunteers, Doug Paton and Ken Barton explained the history in fascinating detail.
We were also fortunate to visit Bob Duker’s property to view his home-made gold processing plant which he and his partner used for many years. He was very generous with his time and we felt fortunate to be able to visit him. In the afternoon Geologist John Dove and Prospector Dave Murphy showed us the remains of the Little Billie Mine in Vananda where we found samples of various minerals in the rocks. We also discovered the closed off opening to the now defunct mine shaft.
Our trip along the trail to Emily (Turtle) Lake was lovely with stops along the way to view a beaver dam and various island plants such as Lungwort Lobaria pulmonaria (Pojar p.489), Evergreen Huckleberry, salal, and many wild red current bushes in bloom.
Some of the group also saw the nesting site of the turtles and one out sunning itself on a log in the lake. We ended our day with a short hike to Clam Bay while awaiting our ferry, then back to Powell River with memories of the uniqueness of Texada Island, and appreciation of the fascinating history of this mining community.
Thanks to Heather Harbord for organizing and leading this interesting field trip.