Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mining the Shuswap, part two

1862 map showing trail location to the Columbia

No discussion of mining in the Shuswap would be complete without a review of the early Cherry Creek gold rush and the succeeding years of both placer and underground mining in and near Cherryville. The story begins as early as 1858, when Louie and Joseph Christien arrived in the valley to settle near where the town of Lumby is today. According to the Christien family records, Louis, along with his friend William Peon discovered gold at Cherry Creek in 1862.

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My first visit to Lee Creek, where I have lived since 1969

‘Lovely Rita, the meter maid’ – my first vehicle on its long trip in the summer of 1967  from Berkeley, north to Vancouver through the Shuswap to Jackfish Lake in Northwestern Ontario near the border where we spent 10 marvelous days canoeing, fishing and mostly camping in one cool spot atop a rocky knoll above the lake with our puppy, Dillweed. Atop the truck are four hitchhikers, likely on their way to Expo 67 in Montreal.


I began a little history project about our Lee Creek community on Facebook and challenged everyone to write a description of their first visit. Here is what I wrote:

The story begins in 1959, when it was my third season at summer camp, near Ely, Minnesota. Every year we went on week-long canoe trips, and after enjoying the latest adventure I yearned for the following year’s two-week long trip in Canada. But in 1960, our family moved from Minneapolis to San Diego where I soon forgot about canoeing as I spent long summer days at the pool or the beach.

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Mining the Shuswap

Enderby Coal Mine, circa 1905, photo courtesy of the Enderby Museum & Archives

With all the attention currently in British Columbia directed to mining, one might wonder if there will be renewed interest in mineral exploration here in the Shuswap. Up until now, the Shuswap has mostly been considered an area lacking in significant mineralization and certainly there has only been a few successful mining operations to date, including the Samatosum Mine near Adams Lake as described in the previous column and the gypsum mine above Falkland. However, there has been no shortage of mining projects and many of these ventures provide some intriguing stories.

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