In spite of transportation difficulties, for there were only trails over which to bring in machinery and supplies, Camp McKinney prospered for the next few years. In 1895 James Schubert was put in charge of the roadwork. After lumber had been whipsawed, a cluster of buildings arose along the road to give the appearance of a public street. The building the traveler saw as he approached the camp was the hotel owned and operated by Charles Deitz. Thomas Elliott had the general store, where everything from rope to red flannel could be bought.
Considering the expenditure of money in developing claims, it is hard to believe that the camp was deserted by October 1893, except for two men, Charles Deitz and Hugh Cameron. The chief reason for the failure was that the provincial government had not supplied a road by which machinery could be brought in.
James Cronin was in charge of the Cariboo Mine in 1894. At that time the first five-stamp unit was hauled from Rainbow, an abandoned mine in Washington, across the line at Osoyoos. Monahan had no money to pay the duty, and gave a check, which bore no signature, but by the time this fact was discovered, there was money to pay the duty many times over. In 1894 and 1895 a new company was organized known as the Cariboo-McKinney Mining and Milling Company, Limited, and it had capital stock of $1,250,000 in one dollar shares. While George B. McAulay was manager, the company spent $35,000 searching for the faulted vein. When it was found, it yielded over $200,000.
Although the "bluish" quartz of the Cariboo was low grade, pockets were discovered in the mine of fabulous value. In 1901, 16,862 tons of ore yielded 9,439 ounces of gold bullion, and 428 tons of concentrates. There was then enough ore in sight to keep the mill running for two years. The plant included two boilers, a 60 horsepower hoisting engine, four batteries of five-stamps, a 60 horsepower Corliss engine, two Johnstone vanners, a Wilfley table, a Blake crusher, a Gates crusher and other appliances in the concentrating mill. Each month 400 tons of ore, valued at $15,000, were crushed. In addition, there were the concentrates, which were hauled to Midway and from there by the new Canadian Pacific Railway line to the Hall Mining and Smelting Company's smelter at Nelson. From 50 to 60 men were employed. Up until October 1900, dividends of $478,087 were paid, and in 1902, $496,837.
It was the Cariboo Mine, which brought fame to Camp McKinney. A Toronto company, which had a ten-stamp mill also, did a lot of work. In addition, in 1896, C.B. Bach, a former United States Customs Officer at Osoyoos, formed the Lemon Mines Company, and bought the Victoria and other claims. It was the closing of the Cariboo in December 1903, however, which sounded the death knell of Camp McKinney.
At the time of Camp McKinney hey-day there were five hotels with saloons. One year the McKinney road was so bad that freight was hauled over the "old reservation road" via the Hee-Hee Stone, McDonald Hill, the Mary Ann Hill, Chesaw, and down Myers Creek to Rock Creek. The loads hauled on the freight wagons weighed three tons, the teams traveled 15 miles a day.