Riches To Ruin

You stand on Tyee Hill, looking northerly and you see–what? Below, to your left and just out of sight is Copper Canyon and the Chemainus River. Beyond, blocking all further view, is the southern slope of Mount Brenton. Between, a skirmish line of trees denotes a creek. All else is logging slash intersected by narrow, winding gravel roads.

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You stand on Tyee Hill, looking northerly and you see–what? Below, to your left and just out of sight is Copper Canyon and the Chemainus River. Beyond, blocking all further view, is the southern slope of Mount Brenton. Between, a skirmish line of trees denotes a creek. All else is logging slash intersected by narrow, winding gravel roads. Can this be Mount Sicker? Not Big Sicker Mountain, but the turn of the last century ghost town? The Mount Sicker that sparked an Island mining boom, three towns, two smelters, a railway and a tramway, pumped the coffers of Duncan merchants and primed their course of secession from North Cowichan? The Mount Sicker that, ever so briefly, was the fourth largest community on Vancouver Island? And one of the largest copper producers in the province?