Oct 292012

A mix tape is a compilation of music. Our mix tape is in article form and includes subjects like food we bring on the trail, a famous BC ghost town, a small coal mine and a lineup of ancient railway boxcars

1) Located in a rugged and narrow mountain valley Sandon BC is a archetypal ghost town. There are are a number of historical buildings to explore, remnants of an old rail line and mining machinery is scattered everywhere. It’s almost like time has stood still. Seen in this picture on a gloomy day is the old general store, now a museum. Constructed after the great fire of 1900 that nearly wiped Sandon off the map, this building was the only brick structure in town.

Since restored, in the 1980s it was close to collapse. This picture along with the following was taken in the summer of 1999. During world war two an interment camp for Japanese Canadians was set up in Sandon and any buildings standing, like this one, were used in that capacity.

Be sure to comment on this post (below pictures).

2) Seen in this picture is the old city hall in Sandon. Built in 1900, it has survived the elements and vandalism and is one of the few building still standing on Main Street. At the time of our visit it was being stabilized and is now a gift shop. After the town charter was dissolved, for a period in the 1920s and until the 1950s the building served as a school. You will notice the creek in front – this is Carpenter Creek and due to the narrow confines of the valley the town’s main thoroughfare was built over it. The street was later washed away in the 1950s.

3) Whether on a hike or scramble or an exploring history road trip we always bring an interesting lunch along with us. It’s a tradition. In the example seen here we prepared a mini charcuterie with smoked meats and pate’ along with crackers, a nice cheese and grapes. And of course a bottle of wine – in this case a German Riesling. Yummy! A lunch like this should be part of the whole experience and a reward for the day. This picture was taken early in the season in April 2012 and was taken along Stoney Trail near the Kananaskis River.

4) This picture shows a line of old boxcars in a farmers field near Grantham Alberta. Located along the CPRs Suffield Subdivision one would be hard pressed to guess there was ever a town here. Today there are just a few scatted houses and the old rail line that passed through – it being torn up some time ago. From the distance we were at it would be hard to determine anything about these boxcars, but I do plan to research further. For certain we know they are quite old (the all-wooden bodies date them), and must be of CPR origin. Taken in September 2012.

5) When you think of the Crowsnest Pass you think of coal and countless mines dot the region. Many were huge operations that shipped their product far and wide and employed hundreds of workers. Others like the one seen here were small and unofficial one or two man affairs used to source free coal for the miner’s own households. I’ve heard them referred to as bootleg mines in the US, but it’s not sure if they were named such here and since they were off the radar there is no way to guess how old they could be. The small slack dump hints that it had very limited output though, as were all mines of this genre. This small bit of history is located right behind some cabins we rent in the Crowsnest Pass and was photographed in September 2012.

Correction June 2013, I have since been made aware that the slack we see here was from the old zinc plant (early 1900s) that used to sit here. They had their own captive coal mine at the site (one small ridge over) and this waste material is from that. Thanks to Ian McKenzie of CrowsnestHeritage.ca for clarifying this.

Do you like soup?
The Soup.

Check out this post…
Genealogists don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

If you wish more information on any of these pictures, by all means contact us!


Sandon BC

Looking up Carpenter Creek in Sandon in 1999.

Sandon BC City Hall

Sandon’s City Hall in 1999.

Hiking with wine

Lunch with wine along the trail.

Boxcars Grantham AB

A line of wooden bodied boxcars, Grantham AB.

Coal pike Frank BC

The dump of a small coal mine found in Frank AB.


Join the discussion...

Be the First to Comment!

Subscribe only