Friday, 29 August 2008

C.V. Tench

The story that Slumach would have murdered several women to prevent them from telling the location of his legendary gold mine dates back to 1939 (Hugh Murray/Jack Mahony).

Prolific pulp writer C.V. Tench created some Gothic tales about it, enlivening the stories with "authentic" photographs of the "victims" and other imaginary players. Transcripts of these articles are on the Web site. To get an idea of what else C.V. Tench wrote just Google "C.V. Tench." He also produced articles under a number of pseudonyms. C.V. Tench's imagination was boundless.

Very little seems to be known about Charles Victor Tench. His death certificate shows that he died in Vancouver General Hospital on 17 December 1963, 71 years of age, of arteriosclerosis. He lived with his wife (nee Edith Maud Petersen) at 66 West 12th Avenue. He was born in Hampton England in 1892 and migrated to Canada (British Columbia)around 1930. His widow seems to have moved away from BC after his death. There are no known relatives.

Anyone who knows more--please post a note.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


From Monte Gibson the following e-mail and the photo alleged to show Eneas George:

Just saw your blog about Slumach, and noticed the photo of Slumach as reported by C.V. Tench [1939]. The funny thing is that C.V. Tench also used that same photo in one of his articles for Factual Detective Stories #7, March 1942, except the name of that person is Eneas George, a Nicola Indian, who was one of three Native brothers executed for the 1934 murder of 2 police Constables on the Canford Reserve.

Thought you might find the discrepancy of interest. Who knows what C.V.Tench was thinking, and perhaps was using the same photo for numerous articles, if he could not find an accurate one to accompany his articles. Weird.

Monday, 11 August 2008

X Doesn't Mark the Spot

The latest book by Ed Butts titled X Doesn't Mark the Spot, is now available at the bookstores. As the publisher, Tundra Books, puts it: "Anyone who has fantasized about becoming fabulously rich overnight can relate to this collection of treasure hunt stories — tales of buried pirate gold, of hidden outlaw loot, of wrecked ships loaded with valuable coins and jewels, and of “lost” gold mines." Written for readers from 10 to 12 years, it is a good read for any age group. As a bonus: a chapter on the tale of Slumach's gold closes the book.

Sunday, 10 August 2008


A 1921 article I came across recently tells about a frantic race by two competing Seattle groups to stake "a Pitt Lake Valley," ending with the following comment:
The Seattle men are much more excited about the possibility of finding gold around Pitt Lake than the old-time prospectors who have worked the district for many years.
"Shuck," said a gray-haired veteran, "I wouldn't go across the street to stake that valley. And yet, every ten years or so, there is a new gang goes in with dreams of buried treasure. There's enough stakes in there now to keep those Seattle fellows in firewood for a month."

Volcanic Brown 1931

"Snow has fallen for 16 days in the search area," said the newspapers.
Not only Volcanic Brown went missing that fall of 1931. Oscar Sneve (39) from Mission BC, who "had left on a deer hunting expedition," succumbed on 17 November 1931. The search for Nurse Mary Warburton, who had left Squamish mid-October to hike to Indian Arm and Vancouver was abandoned by the end of November. In 1926, Mary Warburton, hiking from Hope to the Okanagan, got lost and for five weeks survived on berries and roots until she was rescued. This time she was not that lucky. The search for Volcanic Brown was abandoned after Game Warden Stevenson and Forest Ranger McMartin returned having found "no trace of him."

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Goldrush 1900

Found in US newspapers, fall 1900:
A mild sensation has been caused in New Westminster, B.C., by the discovery of $12.50 in gold as big as flaxseed in the crop of a wild goose which was killed at Pitt Lake, 28 miles from New Westminster. Many prospectors have started for the scene of the supposed gold placers.
The story reminds one of that other one dated 1889 about John Murray's duck killed for table use. Mrs. Murray found "a handsome gold nugget" in its crop, of less value than the 1900 find, but enough to cause people to stake claims at Port Moody.

A surprise find

Thanks to Don Waite who showed me this Web site

On that site I found that in 1915 at least a dozen minor US newspapers published an article from New Westminster showing that the Slumach/Jackson treasure stories were already circulating then. The article is about a veteran 72-year-old Pitt Lake prospector, Wilbur Armstrong, with ten years experience heading search parties into the Pitt Lake area. The story tells about Walter [!] Jackson's find, death, letter (brief quote about the cayon) and map. Armstrong was not, it seems, the only one guiding search parties into the area and these guides could well have been at the cradle of the stories. Transcript of the article will be posted shortly. There should be a version in a New Westminster newspaper.