Ghost Town: Deadwood Camp
Around 1891, about three miles NW of Greenwood the mining camp of Deadwood sprang up. With the discovery of rich copper deposits in the surrounding area of Deadwood, such as Mother Lode, Sunset, Greyhound, Morrison and others, Deadwood started to grow.
Around 1900 the Columbia and Western Railway was built through Deadwood to the Mother Lode Mine. Mother Lode shipped hundreds of tones of ore to the Anaconda Smelter until 1912 when the coal miners went on strike at the Crowsnest Pass. Instead of closing down the mines during the strike, the miners drilled almost 5000 holes and packed them with 50,000 lbs. of dynamite. They were wired in series of 40 shots to a group. This giant explosion used 16 miles of electric fuse to detonate. Over 400,000 tones of ore was broken with one blast.
Deadwood City, the Mother Lode, and South Deadwood were all part of the Deadwood Mining Camp. Mother Lode was situated at the Glory Hole, and was so close to the mine that all buildings had reinforced roofs. A whistle would blow before every blast to warn residents to take cover. These and other safety rules came into effect after a rock came crashing through the roof of a miners home and killed a mother and child. About 300 men worked at the Mother Lode. Deadwood City was about a half a mile from Mother Lode and this is where most of the businesses were. Deadwood also had a one-room school. South Deadwood was just some building beside the Morrison Mine. In 1919 Deadwood Camp was so “Dead”, that even the Ghost of Deadwood City left.
Today all that remains is a big hole in the mountain with a few foundations near the Mother Lode Mine.
The Mother Lode Mine
The Morrison Mine
The Greyhound Mine
Othello Tunnels
In 2008 we decided to go dancing in the Othello Tunnels, near Hope BC.
Coquihalla construction began in 1913 following an agreement of KVR (Kettle River Railway) and VV&E (Vancouver Victoria & Eastern Railway). GNR (Great Northern Railway) had surveyed the area and proposed to build a mile long tunnel to bypass the gorge. After Andrew McMulloch of the KVR surveyed the area they decided to build four short tunnels and two bridges through the gorge. By 1916 the line was completed from the main line at Hope to Brodie.
Coquihalla is derived from the Indian word for “Hungry Waters”. At 3646 ft. Coquihalla was the highest station on the Subdivision, which had a 70-car siding, wye, water tank, and a two-stall engine house. The Coquihalla station was the base for helper locomotives. Shakespearian names were given to stations in the Coquihalla, since the area was unsettled. The Great Northern Railway had running rights on the line until 1944. Slides were a problem in the Coquihalla. In 1959, as the result of washouts, the line was not reopened. The line was officially abandoned in 1961.

Othello Tunnels or “Quintet Tunnels”
The four tunnels were called Quintet, as one side of tunnel #3 was open, which appeared to be two separate tunnels.
Tunnel #1 556 ft. long
Tunnel #2 100 ft. long
Coquihalla River Bridge #1 75 ft. long
Tunnel # 3 405 ft. long
Coquihalla River Bridge #2 174 ft. long
Tunnel # 4 246 ft. long
Portable amp and mic
The Skomac Mine
This property, also known as the Skomac Mine, is centered on a treeless south-facing hillside, at an elevation of 2970 feet, southwest of Greenwood. Intermittent production from this property, from 1903 to 1983, totaled 3931.5 tons, yielding 40.7 pounds of gold, 1525 pounds of silver, 64 tons of lead, 39.5 tons of zinc and 1901 pounds of copper.
View from the Skomac Mine, Crowsnest highway.
The main adit
No. 1 building
Building a Mountain Dulcimer
We took a trip to Branson Missouri in 2008, and saw many neat things. One thing which really interested me was a Mountain Dulcimer. So we bought some plans to build one. Finally two years later I built it.
Check out the video on Dancing in the Tunnels
Video on the Mountain Dulcimer
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All Photos and text by: ©Vic Boychuk except when noted
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