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TEACHER'S RESOURCE GUIDE

By Gordon Snyder,2014-07-06 12:01
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WE WILL BE YOUR GUIDES THROUGH THE HISTORIC TOWN OF WELLS TODAY. FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU THINK OF DURING THE TOUR AND WE WILL TRY OUR BEST TO ANSWER ...

    TEACHER’S RESOURCE GUIDE

    WELLS, BC

    TEACHER’S RESOURCE GUIDE

    WELLS

    BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

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    TEACHER’S RESOURCE GUIDE

    WELLS, BC

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

     Page

    Introduction………………………………………………………..3

    History of Wells…………………………………………………...4

    Children‟s Tour of Wells – Script…………………………………………...6

    Self-Guided Walking Tour Map…………………………………………...22

    Self-Guided Walking Tour…………………………………………………23

    Recreation in Wells…………………………………………………...……28

    Mine Milling Process…...……………………………………………….....29

    Worksheet…………………………………………………………………..31

    Worksheet Answer Key………...………………………………………….32

    Mining Word Find……………………………………………………….....35

    Fred Wells Page……………………………………………………………36

    Fred Wells Page Answer Key……………………………………………37

    Glossary…………………………………………………………….………38

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    TEACHER’S RESOURCE GUIDE

    WELLS, BC

INTRODUCTION

    This booklet provides advance information for your upcoming visit to Wells. Much of this material is intended for your use in classroom preparation and follow-up. It is intended that classes participating in a tour of Wells can maximize the learning opportunities if they have been given sufficient classroom preparation.

    With this in mind, we have developed this booklet which deals with specific themes or approaches to the history of Wells and hard rock mining. Teachers are encouraged to use this material for a basis for developing their own lesson plans. Further information and assistance can be obtained from us by calling or faxing at 994-3422.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

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HISTORY OF WELLS

    When Fred Marshall Wells came to the Barkerville area in the early 1920s, there was nothing at the future site of his town except a sawmill and a roadhouse that had been there since the 1890s. Wells, a prospector with experience all over Canada, formed the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mining Company in 1926 with W.R. Burnett to investigate a series of claims on Cow Mountain.

    Unable to raise money in Canada due to unfavourable geological reports, they found in O.H. Solibakke of Seattle a promoter who was able to sell shares in various parts of the USA, England and Europe. Work on the first adit was started with only six men employed. When good values were discovered work was stopped and the adit locked until enough money to finance the complete mine development had been raised. By June 1932 all shares had been sold. The mill began production in January 1933. Over $1.5 M was paid to shareholders over the next seven years.

    Mining in the early 1930s was substantially changed from the initial Cariboo gold rush of the 1860s. Because of the capital intensive nature of the operations, a corporate structure with long term objectives was needed as well as a stable labour force. To facilitate the provision of a labour force in a remote mine camp, it was not unusual for a company to be involved in the building of a town.

    The Wells Townsite Company was incorporated in 1933. Burnett, Solibakke and Wells were directors; the balance of shares was held by Cariboo Gold Quartz. The objectives were to provide the necessary services for the town by clearing, laying out, and selling lots, providing water and electrical services, erecting houses for sale or lease, erecting a hospital, school, and community hall and encouraging construction of churches, recreational facilities, hotels, stores and other commercial establishments. It was clear from the beginning that the Townsite Company would encourage private enterprise to develop the commercial district.

    The town was laid out by Ed Richardson, a newly graduated civil engineer from UBC, who later was to plan West Vancouver, British Properties, and

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    Park Royal. The driest area on the knoll was chosen for the commercial district. „Better class‟ houses were constructed on Bowman Crescent with a view of the mine. Other residential areas were laid out on „the flats‟ below

    Pooley Street.

    It was a small area in which to build a town that could house 4500 people. The tiny lots (33‟x100‟) kept the infrastructure compact and encouraged neighbourliness. By the end of 1934, 40 buildings were finished including the Sunset Theatre, the Wells Hotel, Anglican Church, a small hospital, butcher shop, garage, billiard room, stores and restaurant. The townsite company also constructed a 3 storey hospital and a school in 1935, and a large community hall in 1937.

    During the period of 1933 to 1967 1.2 M troy ounces of gold and 138 troy ounces of silver were produced by the mines. However, a variety of factors combined against the viability of the operations. In 1942, gold mining was classified as a non-war industry and it became difficult to get supplies and labour. After the war, production was subject to rising costs while the price of gold was pegged at $US35. In 1954 CGQ purchased the Island Mountain Mine from Newmont. The No. 1 Shaft on Cow Mountain closed in 1959, but mining continued on Island Mountain until 1967 when all operations were closed.

    Since 1967 Wells has struggled to find an alternative economic base for the commuinity. Most residents hope that a blend of tourism, mining, forestry and perhaps light manufacturing will give the community a stable economy.

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SCRIPT FOR CHILDREN’S TOUR OF WELLS

    Welcome to Wells. My name is ________ and my partner here is _________ . We will be your guides through the historic town of Wells today. Feel free to ask any questions that you think of during the tour and we will try our best to answer them.

    Can I have a couple of expert rock holders please? (Give a couple of quartz rocks with iron pyrite veins to the children to carry and pass around during the tour.)

INTRO (In front of museum.)

Wells was a gold mining town during the second gold rush.

    Q: Could someone tell me when and where the first Canadian gold rush was?

    - The first gold rush occurred in Barkerville in the 1860s.

Q: Can anyone guess when the second gold rush occurred?

    - The second gold rush occurred in the 1930s.

Q: Does anyone know where to look for gold?

    - In streams, rocks, etc.

    Q: Does anyone know what the loose gold in streams is called?

     - Placer gold.

Q: And how did prospectors get this kind of gold?

     - Gold pans, sluice boxes, etc.

    Well, since the first gold rush people looked for the source of this loose placer gold many prospectors searched for the MOTHER LODE.

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    Q: Does anyone know what lode gold is?

    - Lode gold is found in chunks in rocks and becomes loose gold in

    streams by being scraped out of the rocks by glaciers.

    - (Show the children the veins of gold in the example quartz rocks.)

Q: Do you guys think that this is real gold?

     - No. It is fools gold, but real gold deposits would look similar to this.

Q: Does anyone know the technical name for fools gold?

     - Iron pyrite.

    Q: Does anyone know how this gold ends up as flakes in streams?

    - Glaciers scraped the gold out of the rocks.

    - Gold is heavy and gravity pulls it to the lowest spots in the landscape,

    which are streams.

    Q: Does anyone know why the gold flakes end up in streams?

    - Because gold is heavy and gravity pulls it to the lowest spots in the

    landscape, which are streams.

    Q: Where do you think the Mother Lode source of the placer gold in Barkerville was found?

     - It was found in the hills around the town of Wells.

    Mining for lode gold needed a lot of people and a lot of money to blast into the rocks, tunnel into the mountains and dig this gold out.

    - Therefore, companies were needed to run the operation.

    Q: How was the mining done in Barkerville different from this?

    - People didn‟t need a lot of money to start off with as pans and sluice

    boxes were cheap, individual prospectors often pursued gold on their

    own or in small groups of men.

Wells was a company town.

Q: Does anyone know what a company town is?

    - It is owned and built by the mining company. If a company

    employee lost his job, he lost his house.

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    Q: How many of you know the mayor of your town?

Q: Does anyone know how he got into office?

     - Elected.

    In Wells there were no elected representatives. The board of directors of the mining company ran the town.

     - This company was the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company.

     =It was the first successful large-scale lode gold mining operation in the Cariboo.

    The gold and the company dominated the town from the time that the first gold brick was poured in April of 1933.

Wells was a boom town in the 1930s.

Q: Does anyone know what else happened in the 1930s?

Q: Does anyone know what the Great Depression was?

    - The Great Depression occurred after the stock market crash of 1929

    and there were no jobs available and many people were poor.

    As a town that was booming, Wells offered jobs, opportunities and money that were not otherwise available at this time.

    -Wells was a “Pocket of prosperity in a land shackled by the Great

    Depression” (one miner later said in the Cariboo Sentinel).

Q: Does anyone know what a boom town is?

     - Lots of jobs, lots of new people and lots of building happening very quickly.

    Q: Does anyone know what usually happens to boom towns?

     - They bust or turn into ghost towns.

But Wells didn‟t bust. As you can see it did not turn into a ghost town and it

    is still surviving today.

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    But it is not the great center of the Cariboo that it was in the 1930s.

    - In the 1930s it was the entertainment, recreational and cultural center of the Cariboo.

    - The population of Wells in 1942 was 4500. Whereas now there are

    only 250 permanent residents.

    - Wells was larger than any other town in the Cariboo at this time. It

    was much larger than Prince George or Quesnel.

    -People from these towns used to do thier shopping in Wells and now

    people from Wells do all their shopping in these towns.

    Wells is a tenacious town with an amazing beginning and interesting people throughout its history.

     - So, lets start our walk through Wells and look at the history that still exists today.

FIREHALL (Stand in fire hall parking lot.)

    In 1933, Ed Richardson was hired by the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company to design the town of Wells. A recent engineering graduate from UBC, he later went on to design the British properties in West Vancouver and other land developments.

    Whereas Barkerville was an unplanned community, consisting of (and run by) individual prospectors involved in placer mining, Wells was run by a company that had the capital and manpower to undertake hard rock mining.

    - So the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company created the Wells Townsite

    Company to plan and develop the town.

    Q: Does anyone know of any features that are typical of a company town?

    - Built quickly, uniform architecture, organized around a center

    containing public buildings and stores, definite boundaries, and the

    dominance of a single industry.

Q: How was this different from Barkerville?

    - In Barkerville men moved in and built houses haphazardly and

    sometimes even tunneled under each other‟s houses when mining,

    causing some buildings to collapse.

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    So the town of Wells was organized into clear sections, one of these being the residential area for the miners themselves.

    - Before town planning, miners actually resided in bunkhouses at the

    mine site. However, the mining company thought it would be in their

    best interest to encourage the miners to live in houses with their wives

    and children.

    Q: Why do you suppose the company would want to employ men with families?

    - Miners with families would have been more stable, and there would

    be a lower turnover rate at the mines. The company directors were

    probably correct in thinking that men with dependants would stick

    with a job longer rather than risk not being able to provide.

    Another section of town was designated as institutional land.

    Q: Does anyone know what sorts of buildings can be found on institutional land?

    - The kind that provide services for the public at large hospitals,

    firehalls, schools, etc.

This is the second fire hall built in Wells.

Q: Can anyone guess what happened to the first one?

     - It burned down.

    People usually congregated at the fire hall when the alarm went off. One day when it went off, the townspeople gathered here only to find the fire hall on fire, along with all the equipment they would need to put the fire out.

    - The one you see here today was built in 1942.

(Point at the school grounds.)

    The original Wells-Barkerville school stood by the backstop and was built in the 1940s.

Q: How many students are in your school?

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