This Week in History: Sandon was once a prosperous mining community in B.C.

This Week in History: Sandon was once a prosperous mining community in B.C.
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WatchBack in the late 1800s, Sandon — as it was known then — was a prosperous city in the West Kootenays, filled with miners.

Located in a steep, narrow valley, divided by a creek, sits a place that is now considered a ghost town.

But back in the late 1800s, Sandon — as it was known then — was a prosperous city in the West Kootenays, filled with miners and many others.

“Silver was first discovered there in 1891 and the town was soon flooded with miners,” explains government records archivist Rachel McRory. “It was a very high quality of silver, so it was very profitable.

Within a few years, the town was bustling.

“It incorporated in 1898, and at its peak had about 5,000 residents. It was a big town. It had an opera house, two different rail lines, plenty of shops,” says McRory.

But the town also had quite a reputation.

“In 1897,” says McRory, “a police report states the town ‘is at times almost flooded with disorderly characters. The most common crimes were gambling, drunk and disorderly conduct, and frequenting houses of ill fame.'”

Unfortunately, a major fire in 1900 destroyed most of the town.

It was the first of many challenges the town faced.

Learn more about it in this edition of This Week In History with Veronica Cooper.

Sandon, B.C., was once a populated community. (B.C. Archives)

Once a mining town, Sandon, B.C., attracted many people. (B.C. Archives)

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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