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Old Mine On Van Isl Finances First Plane Built and Flown in Canada

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BLACKPEARL:
This old mine has a very colourful past...it was once owned by Bill Gibson....having lost everything in his railroad venture,Gibson decided to drift out to the pacific coast in hope of finding an opportunity to make a fresh start. in Victoria he chanced to meet Locky Grant, who was in town, with highgrade in his pocket, trying to sell his prospect for $500. Gibson was intreged and, although pennyless at the time, resolved that as soon as he could acquire the means he would make his way up to Clayoquot and purchase Locky's gold mine. At this point the prospective mine owner purchased a 17 ft power boat for $300 and equiped it for a trip up coast. Were he obtained the money and why he did this instead of taking passage on the steamer Tees, which regularly plied the route, is not known. He had no knowledge of boats or conditions on the open ocean and the trip must have nearly cost him his life. He said, many years later, that he lost 28 pds in the 8 days it took him to reach his destination, which seems hard to believe, but apparently he was swamped and ship wrecked and lost most of his provisions. At Clayoquot, Gibson contacted Locky Grant and together they made the trip to the Leora Mine where Locky convinced Gibson of the properties worth when he crushed  up some high - grade and produced a tailings of gold in a pan. The mine was purchesed on the spot for Gibson's boat, camera, rifle, field glasses and $100 in cash.
Gibson returned to Victoria and acquired a small stamp-mill and a water wheel to drive it. Locky went to work for him and together they produced a gold bar worth $1200 . With this proof of the mines worth, Gibson was able to sell it for $10,000 and return to his experiment with air craft.
The first flight was made at dawn on September 8th 1910 from a field near mount Tolmie, Victoria with Gibson at the controls. A flight of 200 ft was achieved which, as he later pointed out, was 80 ft further then the Wright brothers flew on thier first flight. A wheel was broken on landing which delayed further flights because it's replacement wasn't readily available.The event made head lines  in the local papers but Victoria as a  whole was not impressed. Instead of being hailed as a genius Gibson was ridiculed as a fool. But he was confident that his creation had the ability for sustained flight. So confident, according to one report, that he made a bet of $1000 that he could fly it to Vancouver. After Gibson's aspirations of becoming an air craft builder were shattered, he returned to his gold mining venture at Kennedy River Gibson now developed a mill of his own design to replace the stamp mill that he brought in from Victoria the mine was abandoned in 1933. In any case, it is known that subsequently Bill Gibson became a successful manufacturer of mining machinery in San Francisco the Gibson Mills he made there were known everywhere in the world were there were small gold mines.

William W. Gibson

BLACKPEARL:
This site is easily accessed...Its just outside the resreational panning reserve at Kennedy River...5 min hike from the highway
Some good maps on here at the end of the report http://aris.empr.gov.bc.ca/ArisReports/15956.PDF
and here's a couple shots of the panning reserve at high water one looking east one west..... large bar on inside bend during low water

PlacerWilly:
 Interesting read and great pics !  <-good_>

Care to explain pic2 ???
I'm guessing some kinda pump ? Or is this the stamp mill or part of it... looks like a belt pulley on the left ?
I'm curious about old machinery and such, always looking to expand my vast knowledge of such things ;D :P :-[
Thanks for the look and read 8)

BLACKPEARL:
Thanks PlacerWilly
I believe it's a dewatering pump for the adit ...not sure though
Rumour has it that Mr Gibson rather than move the equipement when he abandoned the mine blew it up so as to prevent anyone from copying his design
I've found shards of broken and twisted metal scattered all over

Delmar:
Rix - made air compressors. I think they where from the San Fransisco area.

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