Cowichan Valley Citizen
For 12 years, single-handed, A.L. Marsh bored his way to bedrock. A miner’s lot, like that of a policeman, wasn’t an easy one in the so-called good old days. In an industry that’s known a thousand busts for every boom, countless dreams have been shattered in the quest for riches.
A prime example is that provided by A.L. Marsh, who invested 25 years of back-breaking work to prove his claim in the Okanagan’s Cherry Creek district. Gold Commissioner L. Norris, writing his annual report for 1913, described Marsh’s lonely battle against the odds. In so doing, he wrote an encapsulated history of the B.C. mining industry.
“Over the hill and east from the Monashee [Mine] mill-house lies the placer ground where A.L. Marsh drove, single-handed, 2,500 feet of tunnel in a vain attempt to reach bedrock in the bottom of the gulch. (To put this in context for the metrically corrupted, 2,500 feet is just short of half a mile! —TW.)
“A practical miner, and a man much above the average, mentally and physically,” Marsh came to B.C. in 1883 from San Francisco, where he’d lost a fortune previously acquired in mining in Nevada.
Convinced that a second fortune awaited him in the Okanagan if he could reach bed-rock, but having no funds and being unable to interest capital in the project, he set out to work his Okanagan claims himself. Commencing in 1889, he carried on unassisted for 12 years.
For the rest of this column: https://www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/opinion/t-w-paterson-column-for-some-miners-it-was-never-say-die/