Prospectors Cabin-Circlet Lake and Mount Albert Edward – Oil on Canvas



oil on canvas.

Dimensions 30 × 40 in

1 in stock



Prospectors Cabin-Circlet Lake and Mount Albert Edward


oil on canvas.

Every summer John Brown quit the mines and went prospecting in the Forbidden Plateau.

John was a popular figure in Cumberland for many years. Probably because he was an eccentric character and also a great storyteller. These were both important personality traits in Cumberland.

He started out as a “slave baby” and got his name ” Brown” from the plantation overseer where he was born in the deep South. After the America Civil War and emancipation, he wandered north to Canada and ended up in Extension, south of Nanaimo.

After that, he moved up to Cumberland, as both mines were run by Robert Dunsmuir. Brown worked in the Coal Mines, but took the summer off to go prospecting on Forbidden Plateau.

He shared the same cabin with Syd Williams at Circlet Lake. Old timers still remember him in Cumberland—that was the power of his personality. The story I heard was he would leave at the beginning of the summer with a 40 pound sack of potatoes, coffee, and an axe, and would live off the land for the summer months.

He probably had a small rifle to kill any game that he came across. I never heard if he ever found any gold or minerals. It was the adventure and freedom that was of more importance.

Circlet Lake is at the head of the trail from Paradise Meadows and is a staging area to move on to Castle Crag, Moat Lake, or up to Mount Albert Edward. You can do the hike in one day or stay
overnight and camp at the lake.

The prospectors cabin was located where the camp ground is today.

I could write a whole book on Syd Williams. He was an actor, did TV commercials on CBC, was a prospector, and a shoe salesman. The Syd Williams Theatre in the heart of Courtenay is named after him.