Joseph Burr Glossie City
How is this Gold Country mountain distantly connected with a famed actor who portrayed a lawyer and an iron sided police chief?
High above and northwest of the District of Logan Lake, there is a mountain with a golden view of local mining history. A flat summit in the north-westernmost region of the Thompson Plateau, Glossy at its highest point is 1,936 metres above sea level. The mountain proper and its surroundings are of the late Triassic and early Jurassic period. This Triassic Nicola volcanic rock is of the Guichon batholith, with Miocene basalt.
The batholith is a great irregular mass of coarse-grained igneous rock more than one hundred kilometers square. It is one of the most studied intrusions of country rock in the Canadian Cordillera. Rich in copper and molybdenum, it is the principal copper reserve for British Columbia.
This Guichon batholith is composed mainly of granodiorite, quartz diorite and diorite. Granodiorite of uniform composition is the chief rock type. The mafic minerals within the rock are biotite, hornblende and minor chlorite. Trace minerals of molybdenite and chalcopyrite can be found disseminated in the biotite granodiorite.
Much of the area is covered by till, an unconsolidated sediment containing all sizes of rock fragments from clay to boulders. This sediment with the great boulders was deposited by alpine glacial action. These massive dull green- black rocks are basaltic andesite.
The history of the Guichon batholith and the Glossy occurrence, in terms of mining, goes back to the turn of the twentieth century.
Two families of Burrs, brothers from Ireland arrived at the BC coast at the time of the Gold Rush in 1859. One family settled in New Westminster and one in Yale. Joseph W. Burr’s family settled at Yale where young Joe took up saddlery as a trade. He moved to Spences Bridge in 1880 and opened up a saddle, and harness shop. A few years later he succeeded Mike Curnow as Provincial police in charge of the Yale district, One of Joe’s first jobs was to transfer the Mclean Bros to New Westminster for trial.
In 1904, it was Joseph W. Burr, now of Ashcroft, Government Agent, Assessor and Chief Constable who first staked claims in the Glossy area. The property saw little successful activity until 1915, when a 30 metre shaft produced twenty tons of ore. The ore was shipped to a Tacoma smelter where it was assayed at nearly 13% copper, with evidence of silver and a hit on gold.
By the end of 1915 a significant mining camp had emerged and “Glossie City” was an active mining community. However, it would not live long. By 1916 activity was diminishing and by 1920 there was very little if any, exploration done around the Glossy. No further exploration would be seen until after the late 1940’s.
Sixty years after policeman Joe roamed the surrounding country with his deputies, another Burr descendant was solving crimes on the big screen. In the 1950’s Raymond Burr of the New Westminster Burrs became known as super sleuth Perry Mason, and later in the 1960’suntil1975 took on the character of Ironsides’ a wheelchair bound lawyer.
As you explore the Glossy area you are travelling back to a geological time when the mountains and valleys of the Canadian Cordellera were formed and created the Guichon batholith and the prolific copper reserve that extends south throughout the Highland Valley.