South Branch Stewiacke

Gold was first reported in the South Branch Stewiacke area in 1865. In 1867, prospecting was being carried out “with considerable success,” according to a report, and a rock crusher was built. However, no actual gold production was reported in the area.

In 1884, the crusher was rebuilt and a few tons of ore were milled, but still no actual gold was produced.

It was not until the early 1900s that gold was produced at the site: E. P. Crowe recovered 43 ounces in 1906-07.

While we call it a mine, the South Branch Stewiacke workings, like many other historical operations, were not a mine in the sense that we use the word now. Historical mines were often pits just a couple feet deep, or a small shaft or two, often even without a mill for processing. There was often very little actual mining or production at such sites.

The South Branch Stewiacke area has been explored a number of times in the decades since E. P. Crowe worked it, but there has been no additional gold production.

One of the challenges is that no one knows where exactly the Crowe shaft was. This is a common problem when researching and exploring historical sites. Old maps were hand-drawn and GPS coordinates didn’t exist back then. Land changes over time and old workings can be completely hidden by overgrowth. As a result, the hunt for gold at sites like South Branch Stewiacke is often a bit shrouded in mystery despite the past work that took place at them.