The life and death of a very special gold rush – by Ellsworth Dickson (Resource World – (September 2021)

In the early days, Canada’s most western province, British Columbia, was built on gold. While there were the famous gold rushes of the Fraser River in 1858 and Barkerville in 1862, there is one gold rush that stands apart from the rest – the Granite Creek gold rush near Princeton, southwest B.C.

What make Granite Creek different is that besides gold, there are also platinum nuggets – one of only two places in the world – the other being the Amur River in Russia.

It all started in July 1885 when a sometime cowboy/sometime outlaw named Johnny Chance (no kidding) showed up in the Tulameen Valley northwest of Princeton where there was some modest placer mining operations..

He signed on for work at a placer mine; however, as it turned out, fortunately, he had a serious personality flaw – he was chronically lazy. Placer mining was hard work. So got a job as kitchen helper but peeling potatoes and washing dishes was actual work too, so the cook handed him a rifle and told him to go shoot something for dinner.

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