The huge map of the lower Pitt River and Pitt Lake that once decorated the beer parlour of the Wild Duck Inn showed a marker with the text: “the approximate search area of legendary lost Slumach mine.” Because of that the map has become part of the Pitt Lake gold story. When was it painted and by whom?
Among the locations shown on the map is the Lindberg Trout Farm that started operation in 1953 and ended in 1957 or 1958. Therefore the map was probably painted at some time during these five years.
The Wild Duck Inn changed ownership/management in January 1955 and was completely redecorated. The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Gazette of 28 April includes a description of the changes under the heading “Wild Duck Inn Murals Authentic Paintings.” Was the map there already?
It is hard to imagine how the correspondent could have overlooked this imposing piece but the map is not mentioned in the article. It seems that the map was not yet there and was added to the Duck’s decoration perhaps later that same year 1955 or in the following two or three years.
The inclusion of that marker for the “approximate search area” east of Widgeon Lake may have been inspired by The Province’s Defrauder Creek exploration of 1952.
We still don’t know who painted the map.