July 26: I reflected today on my journey, now it nears its end. I have done things I never thought I would do, and traveled all the way from Victoria to here dressed as a man. Despite all the hardships, I am almost sorry it is over…
WINGDAM LIGHTNING STRIKES... AND MISSES
Wingdam sat on Lightning Creek, in the heart if one of the richest gold fields of the Cariboo. The creek got its name from Bill Cunningham, who was in a party of prospectors who had a particularly grueling journey from Antler Creek. Cunningham, ever the optimist, would fire up his tired companions whenever they were discouraged by exclaiming: “Boys, this is lightning!” On arriving near Wingdam, the party dubbed the stream Lighting Creek after Cunningham’s favorite phrase. But in this case, lightning didn’t strike – they found no gold. Just a short time later and a short distance away on Van Winkle and Last Chance Creeks, spectacular gold finds were made. But in the 1930’s, a new mining operation struck it rich. A town of several hundred people grew around the mine, but when the main shaft flooded in 1937, the mine was closed and the town soon disappeared.
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