|Explore North America Canada British Columbia|
This photo journal, part of my recent the BC/Okanagan set, features the interesting mining "ghost" town of Hedley.
The unincorporated town of Hedley is located in the SE corner of BC located at the foot of Nickel Plate Mountain in the Similkameen Valley. Twenty Mile Creek, once known as Hedley Creek, flows through town & joins the Similkameen River downstream. The town was named after Robert R. Hedley, the manager of the Hall Smelter in Nelson. The population in 2005 was about 400. Population peaked at over 1,000 people in the early 1900s primarily due to the gold mining industry. The Hedley Museum and the Mascot Mine Museum display artifacts and photographs from this era.
Hedley has been around since gold was discovered in 1898. The famous Mascot Mine on Nickel Plate Mountain has been operating in one form or another since then, yielding large amounts of gold, copper and silver up until 1955. Further mining attempts were made between 1988 to 1996 but the mine finally closed because of the low-quality ore and high cost. In the early 1900s Hedley was a bustling city and was considered to be the mining & business center of the Similkameen & one of the richest mining areas in British Columbia. The railroad had come through in 1909 running from Oroville, Washington to Princeton, B.C. and Hedley grew to be one of the most important early cities in B.C.
These days Hedley serves as a base for an eco-tourism industry that operates along the Similkameen River, First Nations Lands and the historic mine located on the cliffside. The town has had movie & TV fame, ie the 1987 Burt Reynolds film Malone; "The Pledge" starring Jack Nicholson & directed by Sean Penn; & the TV mini series "The Andromeda Strain" were filmed in town. Hedley was also featured on the historical television series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns Season 3, Episode 10.
Some useful/interesting links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedley,_British_Columbia
The ghost of Hedley mine story: http://www.exploringbc.net/theghostofthehedleymine.htm
Ghost towns video from the museum incl background & history http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYjiObeHY4I
Good info, lots of history: http://www.crowsnest-highway.ca/cgi-bin/citypage.pl?city=hedley
Great video of trip up to the mine site (22 mins) great views http://www.crowsnest-highway.ca/cgi-bin/citypage.pl?city=hedley
Great diorama of Mascot Mine http://www.promodelbuilders.com/gallery/gallery58.htm
article published 9/30/2012