The Chestermere Gold Rush of 1887 was over almost as fast as it began. Some estimate that 40,000 people descended on Chestermere lake, but only a few people found gold. By 1888 nearly everyone left and the Gold Rush of Chestermere Lake and the surrounding canals was a bust.
But this summer the Gold Rush appears to be back again, and in a big way. Randy and Michelle Fields were walking along the south canal on August 12th and were surprised to see a metallic glint in the water. “I just thought it was a tin can or something” said Randy Fields, “but when my wife went down the bank to take a look, we couldn’t believe it. It was a gold nugget!” Michelle Fields said that she had never really seen one in person before, “we actually took it down to a shop and found that it was worth $6000! We’ve since been back panning for gold and we’ve made about $31,000 in two weeks! The stuff is everywhere!”
Word has spread and it appears that the new Gold Rush is back in full force. About 2000 people, some as far away as Regina, have been panning for gold down by the train bridge. “It’s a wild time down there,” says Michelle Fields, “someone is hollerin’ ‘Eureka’ every 20 minutes or so. Really gets everyone excited!”
But some Chestermere residents are not pleased with the new rush. Winston Hault says that he is concerned with the new visitors. “Listen, last time this happened all the riff raff come and set up camp in this nice community. It’s only a matter of time before someone starts a brothel and bar fights break out” said Hault.
Chestermere is now bracing for an influx of thousands of fortune seekers, but at least on city counsellor is suggesting this could be a win-win. “We’re excited about new businesses and opportunities for Chestermere, we’re simply asking those panning for gold to consider pulling weeds along the shore, we would all be grateful.”