These brief introductions to five major figures in mining that are connected to Britannia is a great place to begin your own exploration of the people of mineral exploration and mining.
The story of Marcus Daly captures both the wild successes the frontier granted a few as well as the realities of life for prospectors and pioneers opening the west in the 1800s.
Grant B Schley was born in Chapenville New York in 1845. He began his career in finance at the age of 16 as a clerk. At the age of 40, he entered the brokerage business as a partner of John B Moore.
Born in Ohio around 1850, George H. Robinson moved west in 1878 to work as an engineer for the Santa Fe Railway. By 1880 he was employed mapping underground mine workings for the Leadville silver mines of Colorado (in 1880 one of the world’s largest mining camps).
Fritz Heinze arrived in Butte Montana in 1889 from Brooklyn, New York, where he worked as a surveyor for the Boston and Montana Company. It is at this job that he learned of the riches beneath Butte.
For British Columbia, it was the fur trade, followed by the fisheries, and coal on Vancouver Island that sparked settlement along the coast. It was gold that drove the opening of the interior however.
Whether they want to collect minerals and fossils, Kinder Egg toys, shells, books, Lego or Barbie dolls (the list is endless), collecting is a great way for kids to learn something new, get creative and get focused.
Gold is biologically inert and one of the least reactive chemical elements (that is solid under standard conditions). In other words, you can eat pure gold and it won't do you harm.
When most people drive by Britannia Beach today they have little sense of how massive the Britannia Mine was. At the height of production in the late 1920s to early 1930s, it was supplying an impressive 17% of