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History of Copper Mountain, BC

by Murray Lundberg

Communities of northern British Columbia

    The posting of the history and images that follow was prompted by finding some artifacts that I collected at the long-abandoned community of Copper Mountain on September 6, 1964, followed by some basic online research.

Location: 49° 19' 30" N., 120° 32' 20" W.

Topographical map 92H/7.

  • Voight's Camp Post Office was opened 16 December 1912, located on Copper Mountain 9 miles south of Princeton. Canada Copper Corporation's Copper Mountain Mine had opened here the previous year.
  • The name was changed to Copper Mountain Post Office on November 1, 1914. Labelled "Copper Mountain (Voight Camp)" on BC map 2B, 1914.
  • The post office was relocated 7 miles closer to Princeton and renamed Allenby Post Office on December 1, 1918, in association with the new Allenby townsite built near the mine's concentrator facility.
  • A new post office named Copper Mountain Post Office was opened on the mountain on July 1, 1919, (its exact position is not known).
  • At a 1923 foreclosure sale, Allenby Copper Co., a Granby Consolidated affiliate, acquired the Canadian Copper Corporation mine. They began shipping ore in 1925.
  • In 1926, Granby Consolidated and Allenby Copper merged.
  • The Copper Mountain Post Office was relocated to the Belle Fraction, Lot 4204, on July 6, 1926; it was closed on July 1, 1936.
  • Granby operations had ceased in 1930, but re-opened in 1937.
  • The Copper Mountain Post Office was re-opened on July 12, 1937, located on the access road southwest of Copper Farm mineral claim, Lot 122A. T .H. Bamforth was the postmaster.
  • Copper Mountain Post Office closed permanently on July 17, 1957, following the closure of Granby's mine.
  • The Kettle Valley Railway station closed in 1958.

    The first two images were shot on our September 6, 1964, visit. The quality is very poor, it seems from movement, and I can't tell you anything about what we were looking at. Copper Mountain, BC, 1964

Copper Mountain, BC, 1964

    I collected 4 items from a couple of buildings on our September 6, 1964, visit - 3 booklets of diamond drill reports (there were many dozens of drill reports laying about), and a house number. They are shown below, and on October 26, 2022, they were mailed to the Princeton Museum.

    The first diamond drill report is from the Sunset Mine. It records the drilling on the night shift of February 13-14, 1915, when 14 feet of hole were drilled (for subsequent blasting) in Hole 50.

Drill report - Sunset Mine, Copper Mountain, February 1915

    Next is one of two booklets of diamond drill reports from the Sunset Mine. The one shown below records 51 feet of drilling in Hole 57 from April 13-15, 1915, and the washout of that hole and the move to Hole 58.

Drill report - Sunset Mine, Copper Mountain, April 1915

    This number from beside the front door of one of the cottages measures 7 inches x 2½ inches.

    The BC Archives has dozens of photos titled "Granby Consolidated Copper Mountain Mine" but I am not certain that all or any are from this mine, as Granby had other copper operations. The following 4 images are from this Copper Mountain, though.

    The mill at Allenby, Copper Mountain. Item F-04084.

    Copper Mountain from the Hope-Princeton Highway in 1950. Item I-28683.

Copper Mountain From Hope-Princeton Highway, 1950

    The report for the Copper Mountain school in 1923, written by teacher Edna Aikenhead, was very basic. Boarding and lodging facilities for the teacher, and general living conditions in the district, were both rated as good. The teacher was paid $114 per month, and there were 14 students in 8 divisions (grades). The school building are grounds were rated as very good, and janitor was employed. The country was "mountainous, lot of vegetation," with a favourable climate.

Copper Mountain School information form, 1923

    The report for the Copper Mountain school in 1928, written by teacher Winnifred Robins, was much more detailed and much less positive. Boarding and lodging facilities for the teacher was "Thee-room batching quarters, furnished. Rent $15 per month plus fuel extra." Living conditions in the district were rated as good. The principal was paid $1100, her assistant $960, and there were 47 students. The country was "rough, undeveloped, mountainous," and the climate reported to be "good, lots of snow in winter, but dry, hot summers." The school was now reported to be old and in poor condition, with uncleared grounds. The inside was renovated last year, though, and a new school may be built in a year. The company provides a janitor.

Copper Mountain School information form, 1928

The final image shows Copper Mine as it looks in 2022. Complete information about the mine can be seen on the Copper Mountain Mining Corporation website.

Copper Mountain Mine, 2022

For more very detailed information about Copper Mountain's history, see "Mountain of Copper" and "Mountain of Copper, Continued"