Posted by: cherylyoung | June 15, 2012



Known in the 1890s at the Monte Carlo of North

America, the City of Sandon lies in the Selkirk

Mountain Range high in the heart of the

 ”Silvery Slocan”.

Famed for its unbelievably rich deposits of

silver-lead ore, followingthe 1891 discovery of

silver by Eli Carpenter and Jack Seaton, thousands

of men soon filled the small valley almost to



In its heyday, Sandon boasted 29 hotels, 28 saloons,

 three breweries, one of the largest ‘red light

districts’ in Western Canada, many theatres and

 opera houses, a soft drink plant, a cigar factory,

three sawmills, three churches, two newspapers,

a schoolhouse, a hospital, and even a curling rink

 and a bowling alley.

In addition, Sandon was home to over 5,000 people,

including miners and millionaires, con men and

gamblers, land speculators and ‘ladies of the evening’.


As well as countless other stores and businesses,

Sandon boasted two major rail lines, one of the

 first trade unions in the province, numerous lodges,

clubs and organizations, and was the first

 community in British Columbia to be serviced by

 a hydro-electric utility.

Of course, there were also hundreds of mines in the

immediate vicinity, as well as towering aerial

tramlines and numerous concentrator mills.


 In addition, Sandon was known far and wide for

 its unique solution to limited building space in

the narrow valley – a flume was constructed over

 the swift waters of Carpenter Creek, and a busy

downtown street was constructed right over

 the creek!

Over its tumultuous history, the downtown core

 of the city was destroyed twice – it was levelled by a

disastrous fire in 1900, and suffered catastrophic

damage when a washout destroyed the main street

 flume in 1955.

 During WWII the old buildings housed almost

1,000 Japanese-Canadian internees, most of whom

had been relocated from the west coast under

provisions of the War Measures Act.

 Following the war and the 1955 washout, salvagers

 and treasure-seekers almost succeeded in

dismantling what remained of the once-thriving

city, but recent years have seen a remarkable


Since the 1970s, a group of dedicated volunteers

 has worked on-site to preserve and restore

artifacts and buildings – including the beautifully

restored Slocan Mercantile Block, which now

houses the Sandon Historical Society Museum

 and Visitor’s Centre.

Today, Sandon is recognized as a historic site of

international significance, and draws over 60,000

visitors a year to enjoy its many attractions and

its amazing display of authentic BC history.


This year, plan on your own time-travelling

vacation, to the Silver City in the Clouds, Sandon,

Location: Location: Sandon is located south of

Highway 31A in the West Kootenays region of BC,

5 miles (8 km) east of New Denver and west

of Kaslo.

As We continue our series on “BC Ghost Towns

don’t forget to check out my facebook and Twitter

on viceos showing these ghost towns.

 Cheryl Holmes Young




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