The Lucky Jim group of mineral claims are located approximately 5 km south-east of Granite Bay on the northern end of Quadra Island, British Columbia. Gold was discovered in hard-rock in 1908 near Granite Bay.
In 1909, a group of Finnish settlers were employed to move south from Sontuila Island to work the Lucky Jim Goldmine. They built log houses at the mine site, bunk houses, a cook-house, and workshops, all from fir logs felled on the site.
Shafts were driven deep down into the granite to extract the gold ore. The mine produced gold, silver and copper and was quite rich, but flooded frequently being on a major aquifer. The ore was taken by steam locomotive for a mile from the mine to Granite Bay then shipped south to Ladysmith for crushing and smelting.
In order to drain water from the mine shafts, and to supply air for the pneumatic drills, and air for the miners to breathe, a huge stationary steam engine was imported from an iron foundry and installed beside the mine and shafts. The steam engine is still there for all to see, with its cast steel flywheel weighing about six tons, although the shafts are grated over.
The miners worked the shafts for only 18 months before shutting the mine down due to constant flooding and a fall in the gold price. Since its closure in 1911, the mine and equipment along with the log buildings all sat untouched until the Lucky Jim Quadra Island restoration group restored the site and made it safe for visitors in 2008.
All in all, this is a great historic site, full of gold-rush history and well worth exploring. One never knows what other prospecting opportunities the area has to offer.