Anyox- Bonanza Mine Accident 1930

Bonanza Mine- Anyox, Accident Monday, 3 pm, Nov 10, 1930, killed 6 miners
One of the worst disasters to occur in this area at that time.
The Bonanza Mine was located about 1 1/2 miles from the Anyox Smelter.
A Landslide with rocks and debris, caused from heavy rains, crashed down on one of large Mine bunkhouses
Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelter and Power company owned the mine and bunkhouse.
A portion of the building was pushed over the embankment into Bonanza Creek.

The rock slide instantly killed the following 5 men :

Alford (Alfred) Palm- Watchman
b-1879 in Finland
d-age 51 (death reg and headstone says first name was Alford)
he was survived by a wife and 2 children in Kallby Finland.

Clarence Percival Johnston- Compressor Operator
b-Sept 18, 1881 in Consecon, Prince Edward Co., ON, Canada
d-age 47 (Clarance first name in death reg and headstone)
he was survived by 2 teenage daughters going to High School in Prince Rupert
Johnstone in 1921 census, with daughters Muriel Annis Johnston, age 8, and Mildred Isabelle Johnston age 6, both born in QC City, BC
1911 he is shown Single as a telegraph operator in Q. C. City
1919 he is shown as a telegraph operator in Queen Charlotte City
He was a widow in 1921, hand logger on the Charlottes
son of William M. Johnston and Isabella Howe
He married Ida Louisa Johnston, nee Graliam?
b- ? Denman Island, BC
d- May 14, 1919 at Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria BC, age 38
Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria BC
Her obit says she had 3 children

Charles Mitchell- Miner
b-ca1879 in Lithuania
d-age 51 (50 in one report)
Single with no known dependents.

James Grant- Shift Boss
b-1884 in County Down, Ireland
d-age 46,
Immigrated in 1919, lived in Rooming House at Anyox in 1921, shown as a miner, age 37
1921 he returned to this area shown as a farmer, went to Ireland to see his parents.
He was survived by a sister living in Ireland.
Newspaper article says his body was revovered on the Monday, and was not buried in the slide.

All 4 above- Nov 15, 1930, Funeral was held at 2pm, all 4 were buried in Anyox Cemetery.

Leo A. “Lee” O'Connor- Hoistman
b- Nov 16, 1885 in ON
d- age 45
Lee was buried at Alice Arm on Nov 16th
He was a member of the Anyox Elk Club, No 47
son of William “Will” O'Connor (July 21, 1848 South Norwich Township-1918) and Jane E. McGinnis (1848-1922)
Survived by a wife and 3 children, all living at Alice Arm
Husband of Ada Belle Copeland Dale, b- ?, d- Edmonton, AB
Newspaper articles at time of funeral-
Mrs. (Margaret Sarah) Partington, sister of the late Mr. Lee O'Connor arrived on Monday from Nanaimo on a visit to Mrs. O'Connor and returned home on Wednesday.
She was born Nov 11, 1887, baptized in Woodstock, ON
Mrs. Arnold H. Dale, accompanied by her son arrived on Monday from Red Deer, Alberta, on a visit to her daughter, Mrs. L. O'Connor. She will spend some time here.

Paul Anderson- Tram Operator
b-ca 1904 in Denmark
d- age 26 (25 in one report)
died of injuries on Wed. a couple days later in hospital.
Single, no known dependents

10 more were injured and in Hospital
John Lemich
Dan Ninkovich
John Haapala
Dusan Darcevich
Nels Janson
John Dereworiz
Mike Lekich
Andrew Spitzer
Frank Pellizzari
G. Maki

M. E. Merrill foreman at the Bonanza was found buried in the debris but he survived with no severe injuries.
Monroe E. Merrill
b- abt 1888, age 41 in 1929, Sandusky Ohio
came to BC in 1929
Mining Engineer
father- A. E. Merrill, lived in Los Angeles in 1929
1921 he was living in Mexico, his daughter Mary was born in Chile, in 1919, so he travelled around the world for mining
Monroe married Helen M. Unsworth in 1917 in Los Angeles,
Helen was born sept 30, 1891 in Manitoba Canada

Bonanza mine was brought into production in 1929 and was producing 11,000 tons of ore a month in 1929.
One source says 1 1/2 miles from Anyox smelter, a BC Mine report says 3 miles south from the smelter
The company had a tramway from the mine to the Ore bins at the Anyox concentrating Mill.
In 1929 they operated 2 shifts daily
The ore body was being developed on the south side of Bonanza Creek.
The incline shaft was driven in 700 ft.
Here they claim they were doing 400 tons per day.

My note on the “accident”
I found one picture of a Bonanza Mine on BC Archives, which showed a mine site, with large rooming house built half way up a huge hill directly behind.
Now there is more than one Bonanza Mine, so not sure if this photo fits, but if that was this mine photo, it is no wonder there was a slide.
I am no geologist or engineer, but building a huge sleeping quarters on the side of a mountain, is a formula for disaster.
I am sure this was declared an accident by the coroner, like all mining accidents back then.
I repeat, no man should die while working at a job, these fellows died sleeping near their jobs.
Rather than transporting the men from a couple miles away at a safe site at Anyox, they built this bunkhouse at the mine site, to save time getting the men to work no doubt. With no regard for their safety obviously.
Just another accident in the books!
Bonanza Mine, BC Archives picture, was it this mine?

It took 27 hours to clean away the debris to find all the bodies


  • Last modified: 2019/10/23 09:57
  • by dlgent