From The Donald Truth Newspaper

Donald, BC 1886 – Credit: Geological Survey of Canada / Library and Archives Canada / PA-053571

The Donald Truth which was printed in Donald in 1888, and 1889, was quite the newspaper. Here are some notes from those papers. Keep in mind that these notes are from different papers in those years.

“O yes! We’ve lots of fun together,” remarked a Donald married man the other day. When asked how, he replied, “Well, you see, my wife when she gets into a passion, is in the habit of throwing at me anything that comes her way. Every time she hits me she is pleased, and every time she misses I am pleased; thus we are never short of amusement.”

About three miles up the Kicking Horse from Golden A. Vachon and Hugh McDonald have what they think is sure to be in time a quicksilver mine. The claim is called the Ebenezer, and is developed by a 5 X 6 tunnel in a distance of 80 feet. Assays from picked samples gave returns as high as 85 per cent mercury and $9 to $14 in silver to the ton. Dan Graham claims to have discovered a ledge within a mile of Golden that gives free milling returns of $7.50 to $41 in gold to the ton.

The trail from Donald to this creek has been completed to Porcupine Creek, and although over soft ground in places and up pretty steep climbs in others, packers can cover the distance with animals in less than a day, and out in about 6 hours. The boys now on the ground are busy whip-sawing lumber, digging ditches, and doing other necessary preparatory work. During the week a couple of them packed an old sluice box up the creek to some distance above the discovery claim, and cleaned up over $6 in dust to the man in less than a day. Three pack animals loaded with supplies went in from Donald yesterday morning. Truth’s mining sharp will make a trip during the fore part of the week, and in the next issue will give his valuable opinion of British Columbia’s latest and best placer camp.

Judge Vowell, although a bachelor, has the most homelike home in Donald. His grounds are nicely located and laid out. There is considerable rivalry between chief justice Sir Mathew Begbie and the judge as to who can grow the finer flowers and Sir Mathew had to acknowledge on a recent visit here that Judge Vowell had two or three varieties that he could not equal in his garden at more favoured Victoria. Among the varieties now in bloom are crown castors, dianthus, cacalias, candy tufts, calendulas, balsams, African marigolds, mignonettes, poppies and sweet peas. He also has a rose in full bloom, the first ever brought to perfection in the open air here. Among vegetables he has spinach, radishes, green peas, tomatoes, carrots, string beans, turnips, cabbage and lettuce, – a head of the latter cut yesterday weighing 1 pound. What the judge has accomplished in this line can be done by others, if they set about it intelligently.

Donald, already the chief commercial town in Kootenay country, needs a banking institution.  Every month thousands of dollars are sent to distant banks for safe keeping, and thousands more are sent out in money orders and by express to pay for goods purchased by our business men. The nearest banking institution to Donald is at Calgary on the east and at Kamloops on the west – 183 and 208 miles respectively.  If towns like Calgary can draw from the outside sufficient business to support three banks, surely the country of which Donald is the center can furnish a paying business for ore. Porcupine Creek will soon be sending out gold dust, our quartz mines are looking up and promise to be immense properties, our lumbering interests are assuming quite large proportions, and the hundreds of men employed on the C.P.R. would deposit a share of their earnings at a bank at Donald rather than spend it for un-necessaries or send it to savings banks in the east. It is an opening that will pay some large banking corporation to investigate to see what there is in it.

There are 15 patients in the C.P.R. hospital at Donald.