Hixon Creek was named after a 19th century gold prospector named Joseph Foster Hixon, who discovered gold there in 1866.
Limited, small-scale placer production has continued sporadically from then until the present day. Operators included the Reno Gold Mining Co., Hixon Placer Inc., and Chilco Explorations Ltd. An undetermined amount of gold was washed from over half a million cubic yards of gravel. Lode exploration and development, however, has been much less consistent and is not well documented. The observance of free gold in angular quartz float in the placer deposits spurred considerable activity, culminating in the discovery of auriferous quartz veins in trenches in the vicinity of Briscoe’s shaft.
In the 1870’s, the “Quesnelle Quartz Mining Co. Ltd.” was incorporated and subsequently carried out most of the presently existing underground development. The extent of these workings is reported as a shaft 207 feet deep and four levels with 600 feet of lateral drifts. This company also erected a stamp mill on the property and was reported to have treated 239 tons of ore averaging slightly more than one ounce per ton gold. Operations ceased in the 1880’s and the property lay dormant until 1918, when the “Clarke” adit of about 100 feet in length was driven. This option lapsed and the property again lay dormant until 1929 when Cariboo Lode Mines Ltd. rehabilitated the old adits. They were, however, unsuccessful in their attempts to dewater the three shafts sunk in the late 1800’s. the Quesnelle Quartz Mining Co. Ltd. (a reorganization of the original company bearing the same name) dewatered the shafts, permitting examination of the underground workings for the first time in half a century.
The “Koch” adit and shaft were started in 1933 on the opposite side of the creek from the Main Shaft. An additional 600 feet of headings, 250 feet of raises, and one or more winzes were driven from the existing workings. This work is described in the B.C. Minister of Mines Annual Reports for 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938. The mill was also up-graded to 100 tons per day capacity. Unfortunately, there are no corresponding production or detailed assay records. Work ceased abruptly in 1939, presumably because of the war.
Data from the Cariboo mining district indicate that supergene leaching of gold dispersed within massive sulphides by Tertiary deep weathering followed by Cenozoic erosion is the most likely explanation for the occurrence of coarse gold nuggets in Quaternary sediments.
Estimates from the Ministry of Mines Reports are that up to $2,000,000 worth of gold was taken from this creek prior to 1945. An astonishing creek with an amazing history!