CALL NUMBER: T1147:0002 [and T2744:0001]
RECORDED: Sandon (B.C.), 1972
SUMMARY: TRACK 1: (1) ALEXANDER (SANDY) HARRIS of New Denver discusses the town of Sandon. His father came to Sandon in 1897 to mine silver/lead. Harris discusses the area's geology; Eli Carpenter, who pioneered mining in the area; and a dispute between Carpenter and his partner, Jack Seaton. He discusses the geography around Sandon; life there after the First World War; a murder; the town's organization; and why Sandon was abandoned in 1955, after a flood. There was no gold at Sandon, but there was a boom in mining silver and lead there. He discusses Gene Peterson, the only resident of Sandon as of 1972. Harris claims that organized ice hockey originated there in 1904.
TRACK 2: Mr. Harris discusses the Japanese people who lived in Sandon. During World War II, there was a heavy demand for the mine's resources. The government's role in moving the Japanese to the Slocan, and the character of the Japanese. After the war, the Japanese were moved east by the government. He discusses the effects of the 1955 flood. He discusses his life in the area; he eventually became the owner of the New Denver water works and power plant. The Sandon hydro plant was built in 1898 by Johnny Harris, a major contributor to the town's development. He describes the layout of Sandon, including its opera house and entertainments. (2) EUGENE (GENE) PETERSEN is interviewed. Peterson is one of the few people still living in Sandon. He discusses the other people who live there; the population of 5000 who lived there in the late 1800s; a fire which caused the town to be rebuilt; Sandon's founding in 1892, and the staking rush shortly thereafter. He discusses his father (who came from Norway to Sandon in 1923) and describes life in Sandon in the 1920s. He recalls the town being well organized, but with no highway connection; its dependence on the railway; the orderly conduct of its residents; and the local prostitutes, known for helping out miners who were broke. [Interview continued on next tape.]
CALL NUMBER: T1147:0001 [and T2744:0002]
RECORDED: Sandon (B.C.), 1972
SUMMARY: TRACK 1: EUGENE PETERSEN recalls the history of Sandon through various mining booms, up until its present condition as a ghost town. He discusses the 1929 murder of miner Sigvald Myklebost [Petersen says "1927"]; the killer was never convicted. An anecdote about how little law-breaking there was in Sandon. The “exodus” started during the depression in the 1930s. In the 1940s there were only 40 people. There was a slight increase in population in the 1950s, when 700 people lived in the town. The town emptied out again in the fall of 1953, when the population went down to 100. The flood of June 1955, in which half of the town was destroyed. The local power plant, built in 1896. He discusses what would be involved in the preservation of Sandon. He describes the silver-lead ore found at Sandon. Petersen still finds ore in the area, but it is not a big money maker. He plans on staying in Sandon until he works out his mining claim. (4) HAL WRIGHT, formerly of Saltspring Island, discusses his efforts to establish a museum at Sandon in the summer of 1972, working under an OFY grant. The museum displays local relics, along with photographs he acquired from the BC Archives. Wright is staying in Sandon through the winter. He plans on working for a carpenter and finishing school by correspondence. (5) EUGENE PETERSEN then discusses ghosts in the town. One of the remaining houses caught on fire, and he heard knocking on his door; no one was there, but there was a fire down the street.
[TRACK 2 is described separately; see AAAB1272.]