1901 - 1983
Andy Morod was born in Switzerland in 1901 and grew up speaking French on farms in the Alps. He served in the citizen army and was an excellent skier. In 1922 he emigrated to Canada and in 1932 he was employed aboard a Fishpacker by Nelson Brothers Fisheries Ltd. Morod was about to spend the winter in Bamfield when a trapper offered him a job on a newly-acquired trapline at Muchalat Lake near Gold River. Muchalat Lake was to be Morod's home for the next twenty-one winters.
In August 1933 Morod was rowing in Muchalat Inlet when he encountered the Dominion Hydrographic Survey scow Pender, anchored at the mouth of the Houston River. The surveyors aboard were charting the waters of Nootka Sound and doing geodetic work and were preparing to climb Conuma Peak to establish a survey station. Because of the conspicuous nature of the peak, readings would be taken of the station from various places in the sound. Learning that Morod had climbed in the Swiss Alps the Commander of the survey asked Morod his opinion and then suggested that he might like to act as a guide. Morod accepted the challenge and later considered the climbing of Conuma Peak as one of the most important accomplishments of his life. On the summit the party built a station and erected a six metre mast for a flag. Inside a cairn they left a bottle containing their names. The result of the survey was the first chart of Nootka Sound.
Morod built his first cabin on the east end of Muchalat Lake in 1934 and over the years built several cabins, called shacks, along his trapline. He eventually took up prospecting which he did in the summer to supplement his trapping in the winter. In 1938 he staked the Barnacle claims near Zeballos and never lost faith, working the claim until he was seventy-five when he could no longer hike up the trail. The Barnacle claims were located about eleven kilometres northwest of Zeballos on the steep mountainside above the Zeballos River. Here on the west side of Lime Creek he built a cabin at the 695 metre elevation with a commanding view of the Haihte Range.
Due to Morod's inexperience in optioning claims and dealing with lawyers one of his biggest disappointments of his life involved not gold but iron. Bodies of magnetite lay exposed on the Barnacle and surrounding area and Anyox Metals Ltd. wanted to purchase the claims. His partners made an agreement with Anyox and when Morod returned from trapping, they urged him to add his signature. Unrepresented by a lawyer, he agreed. The enormity of his mistake was not realized until later. Lawyers earned Morod's partners a small fortune when the claims became a full-fledged mine in the 1960's while Morod received less the $5000. However, it was enough for him to make his only trip back to Europe and South America.
his whole life from Arthritis and as the years went on it got worse. Immobilized
by it and suffering dizzy spells, he feared a stroke was imminent. On
November 22, 1983, at the age of eight-two, he ended his life, shooting
himself cleanly with his rifle. At his request he was cremated and his
ashes scattered by airplane along Rugged Mountain at a specified elevation
from where the Barnacle claim could be seen forever.
Crosson, Jack. Jack's Shack: Memories from the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Published by the author. Victoria, BC. 1990.