HERITAGE PARK – MINING
The Stevens County Historical Society added a Mining Exhibit to the Museum Complex in Keller Heritage Park at 700 N. Wynne Street in Colville due to its importance in our history.
An excerpt from “GOLD SEEKERS,” a book on mining in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and the Lower British Columbia written by Pauline Battien, states, “A 1904 Report states that from Boundary, north of Colville and just below the Canadian border, down 75 miles to the south and including Cedar Canyon mining district — a belt running about 10 miles east of the Columbia River to the Pend Oreille County line, has produced more silver-bearing ore than any other district in the state. The need for more study of the situation brought about the formation of the Stevens County Mining Association, of which Senator David McMillan of Colville was elected president on June 17, 1936″…. “Stevens County produced the most gold in the State of Washington from 1905 to 1908 and again in 1922. In 1928 the county led the state in the number of producing mines. According to the Bureau of Mines, 19 produced ore at a value of $89,396: In 1954, they led again with 24 operations”….” By 1962, a geological survey states Stevens County produced half of the minerals of the State of Washington”.
The history of mining in Stevens County was the area’s lifeblood in the early 20th century.
The exhibit that the Historical Society has developed comes from several of the important mines in the area. It has a 16-foot gallows for lowering a “bucket” into a vertical mine shaft, complete with a steel bucket. A gas engine powered this, but the Society will also have a horse—powered winch on display.
The gallows and one ore car came from the Electric Point Mine 40 miles North of Colville in Northern Stevens County and were given to the Society by Pat Graham. The Gothan Brothers gave the Society the horse-powered winch, which came from a mine about 10 miles South of Kettle Falls. The Drill Boom came from the Schumaker Mine Northeast of Colville, and one ore car came from a mine on Clugston Creek.
Some early mines in the area that contributed to the mining history of Stevens County are The Old Dominion Bonanza, Gladstone, First Thought, Anderson, Electric Point, Cedar Canyon, Deer Trail, and the Cleveland (Santa Rosa).