Fonds PR-0123 - Western Exploration Company fonds

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Western Exploration Company fonds

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  • 1918-1965 (Creation)
    Western Exploration Company

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20.5 m of textual records

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Administrative history

DeWolf and Ham Construction Company, Limited, was incorporated on June 15, 1922 [British Columbia Gazette, June 22, 1922] taking over the assets of the partnership of Allan Hatch DeWolf and Arthur Mathias Ham, both listed in the memorandum of association as engineers, Cranbrook. The assets of the company included road contracts, land, mining claims and shares in a lumber company. Western Exploration Company Limited was incorporated November 8, 1924, with its head office at New Denver (later changed to Silverton), and Robert Alonzo Grimes as president and manager. The company acquired a number of mining claims, including some owned by DeWolf and Ham. With the assistance of DeWolf, Grimes acquired capital from a group of businessmen in Wasau, Wisconsin. The company was reorganized with M.P. McCullough of Wasau becoming president, and A.P. Woodson and Brown Katzenbach, also of Wasau, vice-president and secretary respectively, McCullough had a connection with British Columbia, being the vice-president of British Columbia Spruce Mills, Lumberton, British Columbia, and Paul Klinestiver, manager of that company was made a director of Western Exploration Company. Grimes became manager of Western Exploration, and DeWolf and Ham were given shares and guarantees of commissions on shares sold through their influence. The company's efforts became concentrated on two properties just east of Silverton, the Standard and the Mammoth, and to a lesser extent, on the Enterprise, twelve miles away. In 1929, a milling plant connected with the Standard by an aerial tramway was built on Slocan Lake. However, from 1929 until 1935, almost no mining work was done, and the mill did not operate until 1935. In that year, A.M. Ham was made manager. He held the position until 1959. From 1935 until 1945, the mines and mill were in fairly constant production. From 1946 until 1959, work was intermittent: there was some development work at the mines, some small-scale production and some work done under lease. In addition to processing ore from the company's mines, the mill did some contract work. On June 20, 1959, according to the Annual Report of the Minster of Mines for that year, Western Exploration Company ceased operation. The company's holdings at Silverton were subsequently operated under lease by various companies. Finally, the property was acquired by Barry Wilson of North Vancouver, British Columbia, who presented the originals to the Provincial Archives in 1978. He also loaned records for microfilming at the same time.

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The fonds consists of correspondence files, financial records and general files.

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Archives code(s): MS-1058.

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Accession number(s): MS-1058; 78-258A

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