Golden Tales & Poetry

The lives and adventures of the prospectors and explorers who tromped about the land in search of gold and other precious metals were and are rich in experience. Please feel free to send any literary contributions that you feel reflect this aspect of the human drama to the admin at Cariboo Mining Association and should you have any photos or graphics to accompany the tales or poetry also consider sending them along .

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IN SEARCH OF YELLOW GOLD

The old Langford Mine camp at 6 Mile on the Beaver Pass road sleeps peacefully below the winter snows awaiting the coming spring and a new season of gold mining in the Cariboo.

When February rolls around and the Cariboo is covered with its perennial blanket of white and the ice and snow and crunching of felt packs is all too familiar, that’s when dreams of the coming mining season dance, like the proverbial sugar plumes, in the minds of the local miners held up in their snowy cabins.

It’s a time when we recall the past excitement of prospecting and digging in the unexplored regions of this bountiful earth in search of the yellow gold and the thrill of that swirling of the pan when a nugget finally bursts forth into the clear light of day in all its resplendent beauty and magic!

But the Cariboo has not only been traditionally rich in minerals but also in a wealth of individuals who, over the years, have contributed in one way or another to the creation of what is now a living legend – the Cariboo Goldfields, along with its capital city, Barkerville.

One of those people was Betty McCrimmon of Wells, B.C. whose poetry about mining and life in the Cariboo and life in general is a living testimony to the talents of those who wended their way up to the goldfields in search of the yellow gold. Here, for your reading pleasure then, and to begin this new section of the CMA’s website, is one of Betty McCrimmon’s poems aptly titled: In Search of Yellow Gold.

In Search of Yellow Gold

I walked the streets of Barkerville
And paused along the way,
I marvelled at the ancient church
Left from that bygone day.
The rustic streets still echo strong
As in the days of old,
Where miners by the thousands came
In search of yellow gold.
I seemed to feel the presence yet
Of people long ago,
Still living in this modern age
In this place I craved to know.
Hollow footsteps turned my head
And yet, no one was there,
Mocking laughter, calls of gold,
Flowed gently on the air.
I walked upon the wooden walks
That stretched the one way street,
All around I felt at home
With folks I longed to meet.
Peace flowed strongly through my veins
But yet my blood ran cold,
Where miners by the thousands came
In search of yellow gold.
Billy Barker’s shaft is open wide
For tourists now to see,
Wake-Up Jake serves meals to all
Just like it used to be.
The bakery serves it’s sourdough
The stage runs as of old,
Where miners by the thousands came
In search of yellow gold.
The lifelike mannequins stand by
So still and yet so true,
Look real close, you’ll see them breathe
As they relate to you.
Stout hearts, strong men, and women
Are there just as I’ve told,
When miners by the thousands came
In search of yellow gold.
And somewhere in the mountains
In the streams and in the ground,
There’s gold, I’m oh so sure there’s gold,
That built up this great town.
And off in darkened shadows
A spectre stands so bold,
To yell Bonanza, when we search
And find the yellow gold. . . .

~ Betty McCrimmon
© Ray Blaine

  1. I love this poem my Mom wrote she had a real love for the Cariboo and the people in it. I remember lots of time that she and my Brother Ray would sit and find just the right words for some of the poems. She wouldbe very proud that her poems are still being printed.
    Thanks Guys
    Jayne

  2. I sense that our reality is dangerously irrelevant to the day to day world around us. We unearth treasures that add to the economy. In many small ways we also profit the local finances. With our wits, we make mining happen. We are living an adventure with enduring traditions and continue to adapt to the times. After a long winter this is the magic that I look forward to that helps keep things in balance. My message is I want to know of your mining stories. Are you up for the challenge?

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