As I often helped my husband pack household goods when he was moving furniture companies often recruited my services during their busy June month end season. My co-worker was the closest person I’ve ever met to be a genuine ‘mountain man‘. His stories were fascinating and helped relief the strenuous, physical work of packing.
One day he told me the story of the Lost Lemon Mine – a cursed mine somewhere in the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta. The ideas flowed non-stop. We would discuss renting horses, taking a few months off and riding into the back country of the mountains and trying to find that gold. It is reputed to have more gold than the Klondike of the Yukon held. The one drawback was anyone touching the gold was doomed to a bad end. It spoke to me of danger and intrigue.
I searched bookstores and the library for all books pertaining to this legendary mine. Back in the 1800’s Jack Lemon and his partner found the mine. Unaware he was being watched by two natives, Jack proceeded to kill his partner and keep the gold for himself. When the natives reported the incident to their chief, the chief believing the gold was evil placed a curse on anyone who found it.
Jack went back to Calgary to stake his claim. Later his body was found, burned and charred. As he had a map others came to find the gold. Anyone who claimed to have found the gold either went mad or met with untimely deaths.
Is the mine real? Is the gold cursed? The questions poured inside until my romance – Alberta Wild Rose – was created. To this day the mine intrigues me.