TRU professor Dr. Chris Montoya answers some questions posed by Shelby Doerkson (right) during the first CSI Crime Night event held at the university last fall. The university is hosting its second mystery crime night this Thursday evening from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. All participants will have their names entered into a draw for an Amazon Kindle e-Reader. Other prizes will also be awarded to winners.

TRU professor Dr. Chris Montoya answers some questions posed by Shelby Doerkson (right) during the first CSI Crime Night event held at the university last fall. The university is hosting its second mystery crime night this Thursday evening from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. All participants will have their names entered into a draw for an Amazon Kindle e-Reader. Other prizes will also be awarded to winners.

Gold rush tent town setting for TRU CSI night

The CSI Crime Night returns to Thompson Rivers University this Thursday, Oct. 20.

The CSI Crime Night that was such a big hit with the community last year returns to Thompson Rivers University this Thursday, Oct. 20 from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.

All participants will be entered into a draw for an Amazon Kindle e-Reader.

Winning teams will also be awarded other great prizes.

The setting:

The date was May 19, 1922 and banner headlines in the Vancouver papers read Williams Lake, City of Tents.

John Likely’s belief in undiscovered gold in the Cedar Creek area had caused around 7,000 potential prospectors to journey to Williams Lake and there were few accommodations available.

The Log Cabin Hotel had been quickly filled, as had the Borland Ranch Boarding House, so many of the newly arrived were forced to live in a myriad of tents that had sprouted like toadstools in the downtown area almost overnight.

The newly established town was in the process of rebuilding after more than half the businesses had been wiped out in the fire of July 10, 1921.  The blaze started in the Fraser and Mackenzie Store and spread rapidly, killing two men, George Bernard Weetman and Johnny Salmon.

According to the rumours, Johnny had been lucky on his claim in Likely and had been seen with a pouch of gold nuggets shortly before the fire.

However, no one was sure whether he had buried the gold under the floor of his rooming house or whether he had been carrying it with him when he was in the store. Both buildings had been destroyed and the land was now being cleared for rebuilding.

The characters:

Dudley Knolls, a 31-year-old Scottish immigrant from Edinburgh, had been prospecting in California when he heard gold had been found near Likely.  He arrived in Williams Lake in April 1922 and soon found a job with other unemployed men in rebuilding the lost businesses. He had been living in a shack he rented from Phoebe that was located behind the post office, where he had heard stories of Johnny Salmon’s lost gold.

Dudley was a difficult man, prone to a quick temper, which many of his co-workers excused when they had heard his story.

After a few drinks, he had told them about an “accident” that had resulted in two broken legs, causing him to limp and to experience bouts of extreme pain.

Also while under the influence of alcohol, Dudley bragged that he would find Johnny’s lost gold nuggets and quit working forever.  Even though Dudley drank a lot, he worked hard, trying to stay away from the alcohol that usually drove him to pick fights. He was also a heavy smoker.

Silas Bryerly, born in New Westminster, had lived in Williams Lake since May 1920.

Silas had been working as a general hand at the livery and feed barn operated by Angus Brown, who deducted a third of his paycheque for letting Silas live in a room in the back of the livery.

However, since he didn’t get along well with Angus, he was planning soon on joining the other prospectors in Likely in the hopes of making his fortune.

Silas was engaged to Mavis but that didn’t stop him from having a “roving eye” when it came to the ladies.

Mavis Quince had arrived from California in September 1919 on the first P.G.E. train to come to Williams Lake.

Premier John Oliver had assisted in the geographical construction of the new town and his main focus had been on facilitating the railway.  Mavis worked at Fred Bucholtz’s bakery during the week, but took odd jobs on the weekends to make extra money.

One of these jobs, cleaning rooms at the Borland Ranch Boarding House, she did in exchange for a place to live.  She had met Silas at the first Williams Lake Stampede in 1920, and they had become engaged by Christmas.  Mavis was anxious to raise her status in the new town and the way she believed she could do this was to have a big house and fancy clothes.

For more on the mystery pick up the Thursday edition of the Tribune for part 2 and to prepare for the crime night adventure ahead of time on Thursday evening.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

100 Mile Conservation Officer Joel Kline and YEP student Jill Matlock found themselves wrangling four horses on Highway 97 on Feb. 17. The horses were travelling at a steady trot up the highway after escaping their corral. (Jill Matlock photo - submitted).
Conservation officers wrangle horses on Highway 97

Jill Matlock never expected to be herding four horses in a truck.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

?Esdilagh First Nation health department staff were thrilled to rollout out the community’s first COVID-19 vaccines Friday, Feb. 26. L-R: registered nurse Sam Riczu, elder worker Marie Conway, wellness coordinator Linda Siwalace, community health representative Sharon Palmantier and youth coordinator Dakotah Casey. (photo submitted)
?Esdilagh First Nation receives first COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinic held Feb. 26 for high-risk elders

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Highway 97 two-vehicle crash near 150 Mile House claims one life

The collision closed the highway at 150 Mile House

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read