An awe-inspiring wonder of man's genius for extracting the wealth of
nature from the ground: that's the only way to describe The Bullion Pit,
the huge man-made gold mining pit 5 kilometres west of Likely that was
in operation from 1892 to 1942. The mining activities created an opening
3 kilometres long by 400 feet deep, moving 12 million cubic yards of
gravel. In 1938, the mine used more water per day to feed the big
hydraulic hoses than the entire city of Vancouver.
Relive the ghost town of Quesnelle Forks, 5 km northwest of Likely, with
the annual festival of events on the second weekend in July. Founded in
1859 as the first Cariboo "Gold Camp", and laid out by the Royal
Engineers in 1862, Quesnel Forks was at one time the largest city on the
mainland, with over 5,000 residents at the height of the gold rush. The
old cemetery offers an interesting glimpse into the past.
Marvel at one of the Twin Giants, huge steam shovels purchased in 1906
to dig a canal from Spanish Lake to the Bullion Mines. The shovels
weighed approximately 22,000 pounds each, and were shipped in pieces
from Toledo, Ohio. Transported first by rail then by wagon to a site
below the dam on Spanish Lake, they were assembled and placed on railway
tracks to begin digging the ditch. It was reported that $20,000 were
spent before the operations were suspended, leaving the shovels where
they stopped work in 1907. One shovel rests in Cedar Point Park, the
other is restored and on display in Quesnel.
Cited BritishColumbia.com website, April 21, 2010