Dark, dank vacant buildings, mysterious swinging doors, howling winds, foggy nights and musical scores that crept into your soul are what come to my mind when I think of ghost towns. I think my impression of ghost towns as a child was coloured by Hollywood’s fascination with depicting many historical builds as scary. Today, I am intrigued by the historical events that took place to create the towns of yesterday and the lives of those that lived there.
In British Columbia, many towns have come and gone leaving a shadowy resemblance of their former glory. On our Tour to the Kootenays Ghost Towns & Hot Springs we will visit the ghost towns of Sandon and Retallack, the historical towns of Greenwood, Kaslo, Nelson and Revelstoke as well as the Blaylock Mansion.
Factors leading to abandonment of towns worldwide vary and may include such things as the depletion of natural resources, railroad and road location which may bypass a town, natural disasters or shifting economies. On our tour you will learn about the rise and fall of Sandon and Retallack. If you are a history buff like me and like to know a bit before you stand on the site of an abandoned town, reading about the place prior to travel is fun and entertaining.
Unearthing B.C. History by author Arthur Joyce will provide excellent insight in the Kootenays. The author was born in the Kootenays and still lives in the area today. Other books and writings by Arthur Joyce can be found at http://www.hagiospress.com/books/detail/laying-the-childrens-ghosts-to-rest-canadas-home-children-in-the-west
A great video clip on Sandon can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke1JWUaUct0
In Kalso we visit the sternwheeler SS Moyie and included time to soak in Ainsworth Hot Springs.
Nelson highlights are sure to be Street Car #23 – http://www.nelsonstreetcar.org/streetcar-23 and the Blaylock Mansion.
New acquaintances on this journey will be fellow passengers and ghostly charters of the past.
Written by: Joan Niemeier