Gold bars
Home Icon



Mining the Motherlode

Community Life

Opening of Wells Community Hall gala event, wpH644
Vancouver Kiwanis Glee Club Concert At Opening Of Wells Community Hall. June,4,1938. wpH644

Imagine that instead of living as you do now, you lived in Wells in the 1930's. Your father could be working in one of the two major mines, the Cariboo Gold Quartz, or Island Mountain Mine, or perhaps he would run one of the many businesses that thrived in Wells. Your home would be heated by a woodstove, and one of your daily chores would be to chop wood. A ticket to the movies would cost you 25 cents, a loaf of bread 6 cents and a men's suit could be purchased for $18.95!9

Play at the Community Hall, wpH494
A Man And Three Women Performing A Play On Stage At The Community Hall. wpH494

Entertainment as we know it today would not be the same as it was in the 1930's... There would be no computers, no internet, and none of the hi-tech gadgets that we use to make our lives easier. Two of the most popular forms of entertainment available to the people of Wells in the 1930's were radio and theatre, both live theatre and film. Radio was very popular and families would have radios that ran off a car battery and another small dry cell. The battery had to be taken up to a garage every so often for recharging. The radio reception was not always good, and people might receive little during the day, but a station in Calgary could be heard quite clearly on most nights. Wellsians would gather around and listen to the Shadow, Amos and Andy, Jack Benny and other radio entertainers of the 30's10.


Opening of Wells Community Hall gala event, wpH641
Vancouver Kiwanis Glee Club Concert At Opening Of Wells Community Hall. June,4,1938.wpH641

There were many social gatherings in Wells. If you were a young child, you would be invited to take part in a wonderful Christmas Party at the Wells Community Hall, which was sponsored by the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. Every child in Wells up to the age of fourteen received a gift. Every year the Wells school would put on a Christmas concert. These concerts were a group effort with all the students building props and stage sets plus putting on plays and singing songs.14


The Wells brownies, wpH500
TheWells Brownies Standing On The Sidewalk In Front Of The Community Hall. wpH500

Local children could also participate in Brownies, Guides, Cubs or Scouts.

In Wells in the 1930's there were 3 gambling places or clubs, ONLY ONE OF WHICH WAS LICENSED. One operated in Waller's Pool Hall, the second operated in the Tailings and the third, liscensed club operated across the swamp in the Red Light District.


Opening of Wells Community Hall gala event, wpH642
Vancouver Kiwanis Glee Club Concert At Opening Of Wells Community Hall. June,4,1938. wpH642

There were many wonderful dances that took place in Wells, the annual ones being The Muckers and Minders Ball, New Year's Eve, Klondike Night, Halloween Masquerade, and the Snow Queen Ball. The latter always began with the crowning of the new queen, and the presentation of trophies to the winners of the downhill, slalom, cross-country, ski jumping and snowshoeing races17.


Planes on the Jack of Clubs Lake, wp1036
Planes on the Jack of Clubs Lake with a community gathering. wp1036

A few times the Community Hall really did swing to the "Big Band" music of Mart Kenny's Orchestra. There were banquets, often followed by dances; Wedding receptions, showers, birthday parties, basketball and badminton tournaments with competitors from the towns of Barkerville, Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake.

For the women of Wells, there was an active Women's Association both in Barkerville and Stromville, a suburb of Wells, which was responsible for the gift of a Bible and Communion Plate, both still in use in the Wells United Church.

The Crowning of the Ski Queen and Princesses, wpH413
The Crowning Of The Ski Queen And Princesses, In The Community Hall. wpH413

The early records of the Congregational Meetings in the late thirties and on through the forties and fifties show a steady growth of the church life in Wells, and many names appear in these records18. A schedule of church times from the Wells Chronicle (Nov 21, 1940) shows a total of 8 different services in one day.

Community Life | Sports & Leisure | Home | Meet the Team | Site Map

Home IconForward
Content developed by The Shark Group now Discovery Designs
Last updated: September 5, 2000