The Old Engineer Mine
The Old Engineer Mine is located about 42 kilometers west of Atlin, British Columbia, along the shoreline of the Taku Arm.
In July 1899, two Swedish prospectors on their way to Atlin noticed what looked like yellow metal on the eastern shore of Taku Arm. These two prospectors told a couple of engineers who were at the time working for the White Pass and Yukon Railway and soon the engineers entered into a deal with the two Swedes.
Later that same year Charles A. Anderson, one of the engineers, paddled south along the eastern shore of Taku Arm. There he found visible gold in large quartz veins. Anderson staked the Hope claim on July 8, recorded it in Atlin, then returned with Henry C. Diers, the other engineer and then stakes another twelve claims which became known as the Engineer Group. The two men then started the Engineer Mining Company of Skagway and then started to develope the claims. They started to build a small mill, but never completed it. The two engineers had run out of funds and claims lapsed in 1906. A local area man by the name of Edwin Brown staked the claims and then resold them to a Captain James Alexander and a Syndicate of a few other business men.
Captain James Alexander started out with prospecting around the area and ended up staking even more ground. After buying out the others, Captain Alexander continued more prospecting and development. During this time he was also trying to sell the mine.
Then in 1918 a fellow by the name of Wayne Darlington who was an engineer from New York got an option on the mine to purchase it for $1,000,000. The option was passed to the Mining Corporation of Canada. Two other engineers, George Randolph and Charles Watson both joined up with Captain Alexander, his wife and another engineer that was representing Darlington. They all sailed from Vancouver to Skagway to tour the mine. The same group was returning to Vancouver on the steam ship Princess Sophia October 26, 1918. During a blinding storm the steamer ran aground in the Lynn Canal. There were no survivors.
For several years after Alexander's death, little work happened at the mine. During legal work on ownership the courts found out that the woman who was with Alexander was not his wife. The real Mrs. Alexander and daughter were still living in England. Legalities as heirs was countered by many.
Then the mine was bought by an Andrew Sostad for some New York interests in 1923. Work began in 1924 with about $1,000,000 in backing. The mine built a power plant on the Wann River about few miles, ran power lines and built the concentrator. After two months they had milled 1,700 tons of ore yielding 1,811 ounces gold and 843 ounces silver. During 1926 it is said that 7,757 ounces of gold were produced. Soon the ore was depleted and the mines was closed again. In 1934 the mine was sold for $25,000. Once again there were a pile of judgments against the mine.
The following exerts are from text:
over $8,700 to a C. L. Hershman, over $4,000 to a Louis Schulz and $207,431.18 in favor of John G. Harris. In his memoirs, Reggie Brooks relates how the latter came to have a claim against the mine. Apparently, someone who knew Harris well had informed Brooks that the claim was transferred to Stewart Hamilton, then treasurer of Engineer Gold Mines in New York, by C. V. Bob, an earlier president of the company, in exchange for an estate in the West Indies which Hamilton had acquired. Hamilton, in turn, transferred the loan indebtedness to Jack Harris, his brother-in-law because, as an executive officer of the company, Hamilton could not very well sell the mine and satisfy his judgement for the debt.
Two years later in 1936, a fellow by the name of John Hammel optioned the mine. This option was let go and in 1944 a fellow from Atlin by the name of Pete Brandes and two others bought the mine for $5,000 and some back taxes. The miners worked the claimes thoughout the 1940's through to 1952.
There has been no production at Engineer since 1952. Many juniors have come and gone since then. The most recent was Ampex mining, but they too have left the area. The property today is owned by BCGold Corp.