Clarke Stopping House, Wells
B.C., Front View. wpH764
the town of Wells was not officially established until the early
there were a small number of people that lived in the area, and several
buildings on the site that would later become the town of Wells. The
tiny camp housed a few miners and a sawmill operation as well as
stopping house20. Clarke's roadhouse
or stopping house was located where the foreman's houses were built
on Bowman Crescent. The nearby town of Barkerville was still inhabited,
but nobody realized the changes that would occur in Wells when gold
was discovered by Fred Wells.
Stopping House, Clarkes
In Wells. George And Mrs. Clarke On Front Porch, 1901. wpH762
sawmill was one of the early landmarks of the area. It was operated
for a time by the John Hopp Company and supplied timber for the firm's
mines at Lowhee, Stout's Gulch and sold lumber locally. When Clarke
started up his sawmill, he was the only man in charge, and he cut
the timber himself. A number of other buildings soon sprung up around
the mill. These included a stable and two shacks for drying lumber.
Clarke also built a house with an office for himself and his family,
and a large log bunkhouse.
Clarke and Mcintyre Sawmill,
Peterson, an engineer and Dunc McIntyre, mill superintendent operated
Clarke's steam-powered mill. Logs from the south-east side of the
lake (Jack O' Clubs Lake) were floated to the north shore where they
were stored until low water.
the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine was established the Jack of Clubs Lake
covered the entire flats and extended
to the mouth of the Willow River. The mountain on the north side of
the Jack of Clubs Lake was covered with very large spruce and pine
trees. A 1916 forest fire destroyed this stand of trees.
Other people that lived in the area were men such as Julius Powell,
who occupied a cabin at Clarke's hayfield, now the site of the Wells
Clarke and Mcintyre Sawmill
and Stopping House. Wells, ca.1909. wpH758
miners operated in the area, two of the more well known ones were
Alvin E. Sanders and Elmer Armstrong, from Oregon, who developed properties
on Proserpine and Cow Mountains in 1917 known as the Rainbow Claims,
at the northeast end of Jack of Clubs Lake. They eventually convinced
Fred Marshall Wells to take an interest in their properties on Cow
Mountain, which became the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine, in 1927.
Clarke and Mcintyre's new
sawmill in Wells. wpH760
Dunlevey was responsible for building the first stamp mill in the
area in the 1880s. Dunlevey had been mining in the area since 1886.
The mill was constructed with the assistance of the government of
Victoria, which had offered $20,000 to the first person to erect a
ten stamp mill in the Cariboo, as long
as the person who was constructing the mill could put up the same
amount of money. This stamping mill was built on what is now the location
of Wells. Dunlevey built the mill here as it was the centre of mining
activity at the time, and there was a good deal of space and available
water to run the mill. Seymour Baker was the first manager of
stamp mill. Ore came from Burns Mountain, Jack of Clubs mine, Blackjack
and many other mines in the area.
In 1902 Seymour Baker, a surveyor, purchased claims on Proserpine
and Island Mountain from his employer Peter Dunlevey. In 1903 Baker
established the first complete assay office
and laboratory in Barkerville.
believed that the future of gold recovery in the area depended upon
hard rock quartz mining. After years of effort he proved his theory,
and sold his property to Newmont Mines in 1933. This group of claims
would later become the famous Island Mountain Mine.