Memoirs of Angus Davis: A Mining Legend

By Erin Knutson,
The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History

McGill University Students : McGill University students having snowball fight, ca. 1900's. Presumably one of the students is Cha
McGill University Students

Angus Ward Davis Sr. was born into a prominent Montreal family of Welsh origins on March 1st, 1878. He entered McGill University in the year of 1897, around the time, hard rock mining was starting to make headlines in British Columbia.

Davis Sr., with some prompting from a fellow classmate, entered mining engineering. Following graduation in 1898, the curious and dauntless 20-year-old, headed to British Columbia for a taste of adventure and to make his way in the exploratory and gritty world of mining. He was to become an instrumental force in the industry, a likable figure, who tried his hand at all facets of the mining experience, earning his place among the early giants of the industry.

“No mining engineer commanded greater respect nor gained more popularity in British Columbia than the late Angus Davis Sr. Upon his graduation from McGill University, he proceeded to the Rossland gold-copper camp and, with the exception of his meritorious service overseas in World War I, spent the rest of his life in British Columbia”, The Western Miner, 1949-1950.

Before his death on January 24th of 1949, he completed a book of memoirs, chronicling his life as an engineer. It covers his momentous career across British Columbia and the U.S. and was published by the Western Miner and serialized in 1949 and 1950.


Panorama of Rossland, BC Mines c.1902 : Black Bear Workings of the LeRoi Mine. On the left the Josie Mine Tramway c.1902
Panorama of Rossland, BC Mines c.1902