Posted by: cherylyoung | June 21, 2012

Famous for gold since the first discouvery in 1897,and once a thriving mining boomtown, Hedley was a great name in Canadian Mining

 

Tucked into a shadowy draw through which the

waters of Hedley Creek rush to join the

Similkameen River, is the charming little village

of Hedley.

The cliffs of Stemwinder Mountain loom in the west,

and Nickel Plate Mountain rises to the east.

 

The coloured and striped cliffs on both sides of the

canyon inspired the Similkameen Indians to call

the place Sna-za-ist, meaning the Striped

 Rock Place.

Famous for gold since the first discovery in 1897,

and once a thriving mining boomtown during

 the 1900s, Hedley was one of the great names

 in Canadian mining, and was named after Robert

 R. Hedley, manager of the Hall Smelter in Nelson,

 who had grubstaked many of the original

 prospectors.

 

Prospectors noticed coloured striations in the cliffs

 and recognized them as ore-bearing.

Claims staked here were to expose one of the

richest fractions in the history of mining in

British Columbia.

 

The mines were located high on mountaintops

overlooking the town of Hedley below, and an

aerial tramway 3 kilometres long had to be built

 to remove the ore.

The great northern railroad pushed through to

 Hedley in 1909, and the Nickel Plate mine

continued to spew out rich ore at the rate of more

than 50,000 ounces per year.

 

The Mascot Fraction joined the action in 1936, to

increase the total area production to more than

1.5 million ounces of gold and more than 4 million

 pounds of copper, significantly enriching the

shareholders.

The ore finally ran out in 1955, and today, the

 mines have closed and the miners have gone, the

bonanza ore has been worked out and the steady

pounding of the stamp mill is no longer heard.

 

But…its still The Striped Rock Place.

There are places where the mood hasn’t changed

much, and the Hedley of old seems just around

the corner.

Ruins of the mine site may still be seen far up

 the mountain.

A steep and winding road leads up to Nickel Plate

and Mascot Mines, but a four-wheel-drive vehicle

 and permission are required to visit them.

In 1956 and 1957 there were several disastrous

 fires, and most of the historic hotel buildings

in Hedley burned down.

The Stamp Mill buildings also succumbed to fire

 in the 1970s.

 

A paradise for fishermen, swimmers or hikers,

Hedley’s semi-arid climate makes for a perfect

 place for time out in the sun, and a wonderful

place to vacation.

Population: 350

 

Location: Hedley is located on Highway 3 in the

south Okanagan, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of

Keremeos and 30 miles (48 km) east of Princeton.

 

Take a truly fascinating look into Hedley’s

richmining history at the Hedley Museum, where

many artifacts of the mining days gone by are on

display.

 

Don’t forget to gaze through the museum’s

telescope,pointed at the old mine bunk houses

 perched highabove the town on the side of

Sidewinder Mountain.

 

To see a video of Hedley check out my facebooK 

and twitter pages

Cheryl Holmes Young, Realtor,

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C

www.cherylyoung.ca

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