The Great Years: Gold Mining in the Bridge River Valley: Bralorne and Pioneer in the Bridge River area were the most important gold mines in British Columbia for much of the twentieth century. This book tells the story of mining in the valley, just 170 km north of Vancouver, from the staking of the first claims in 1896 through Bralorne’s closure in 1971.
In its “Great Years” from 1933 to 1941, the Bridge River was an economic bright spot, sharply contrasting with the gloom pervading much of Canada. Job seekers flocked to the mines. For many men, finding that job meant living in the bush and standing in line each morning as the shifts started, in the hope that the mine superintendent would give them a nod.
This book tells of individuals such as Arthur and Delina Noel, David Sloan, and Ira Joralemon who believed in its potential, and of the risk-takers who gambled with their own and other people’s money. It also tells of the many others, in the mines and in the towns, who through their labours made it all come to pass.