A few shots taken along the way that fit no where but for posting October 31 – Halloween!
Named for its wild water which when viewed is one huge Crazy Creek.
In 1882, the railway route through the steep and rugged Columbia/Selkirk Mountains was found and the Last Spike was driven near Crazy Creek Waterfalls in 1885. In 1902 the CPR built a railway station at which is now the ghost town of Taft Village on the Crazy Creek.
These fields beneath Castle Mountain once were home to Western Canada’s largest city. The boom town of Silver City lived for just a few years, but had 3,000 residents at its heyday in the 1880s.
Back in 1881, a Stoney Indian had a piece of rock from the Castle Mountain area analysed for metal content. It was found to be rich with copper and lead. A claim was quickly staked on Copper Mountain, across the river from Mount Eisenhower. In 1883 A small town grew up near the site.
Following the pounding of the last spike and the introduction of rail travel and the CPR , Copper City grew to almost 3000 inhabitants and was renamed Silver City (the rumor is that the CPR renamed the town to complement Golden City, now called Golden, BC.
Fortunes were made and lost at Silver City. And interesting facts remain. For example, for a town of almost 3,000 people, there were no dance halls, churches or schools and less than a dozen women ever lived there. But no less than six hotels complete with casinos and pool halls graced the streets of Silver City.
Started in 1885 by two partners, the mine was the site of a large gold strike. Very quickly over 2000 shares in the mine were sold at $5.00 per share. But while everybody else was looking for the gold, the two original partners, Patton and Pettigrew, skipped the country. No gold was ever found and the speculation was that Patton and Pettigrew salted the original samples. Just think that this was 100 years before the famous Bre-X golding mining fiasco! Today, only a marker indicates that Silver City ever existed.
The mountain was named in 1858 for its castle-like or fortress appearance. Following the post-war visit of U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the name was changed to Mount Eisenhower by the then Canadian Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie-King. Eventually, public pressure forced the name to be changed back in 1979 to its original but an isolated pinnacle at the southeastern end is now called Eisenhower Tower.
Nearby is the site of a First World War internment camp where unnaturalized Ukrainian immigrants to Canada were confined. Life in the camps was often described as ‘grim’; with its isolated location far from the roads of the time, the Castle Mountain camp was an ideal place to confine ‘enemy aliens’ and ‘suspected enemy sympathizers’.
The Canadian Pacific Railroad had constructed Glacier House in 1886 on their mainline to accommodate the public who wished to stay in the fabulous mountain setting at the base of the Illecillewaet Glacier near Rogers Pass. Built on the model of a Swiss chalet, it opened as a traveller’s dining room, then expanded into a full hotel.
It is widely regarded as the birthplace of Canadian Mountaineering. In 1899 the CPR brought Swiss guides to the hotel to lead guests to the surrounding summits. Glacier House continued to operate until 1925 losing its business to the Banff Springs Hotel and the Chateau Lake Louise, as well as the retreat of the Illecillewaet Glacier. In the 1880s, the glacier was only a 20 minute hike from Glacier House. In 125 years, the glacier has eroded considerably and is now just at the crest of the mountain.
The Glacier House was a wooden structure having a reception area, dining room, wine cellar and six bedrooms when it was first built. It had a staff of a manager and ten employees, opened on January 18, 1887 and served 708 guests that year. An agreement with the House provided for the CPR to provide free transportation of supplies while the house was to be “of a strictly first-class hotel dining station in the very best style” Meals were 75 cents and rooms, $1 a night.
In 1888 there were 1020 guests and a thirty room annex was built to accommodate the growing business. By 1903 facilities included a billiard hall, bowling alley, croquet lawn, tennis court, an observatory with a telescope and a dark room. Electricity was supplied by a small hydro generator. A 54 room wing was added in 1906 bringing the total to 90 rooms by which time rates were $3.50 per day. By 1912 there were 5419 guests.
After a massive avalanche on March 10, 1910 that killed 58, the CPR admitted defeat to the weather conditions of Rogers Pass and began in 1913 to build a tunnel underneath Mount Carroll (Macdonald) which was called the Connaught Tunnel. This diversion of the railway’s main passenger service to the Tunnel left it considerably removed from the beaten track, and this resort too ceased to operate. It was torn down in 1929, although in the 1990s a trail still led to the site, leaving only the foundations and lingering memories of past glories.
Glacier House is the focal point for ten hiking trails in Glacier National Park, British Columbia. These ten backcountry trails that lead out of the Illecillewaet Campground date from the early days of railway tourism and still follow the routes laid out by the original Swiss Guides of Glacier House.
Anthracite is a ghost town twice over and located within Banff National Park, seven km’s northeast from the town of Banff. The town existed from 1886 to 1904, during which time extensive coal mining operations were carried out. The town was one of many that sprang up around the building sites of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
By 1887 Anthracite’s population had grown to 300 and most of the town’s residents originated from the eastern United States. It consisted of one general store, one hardware store, one hotel, one pool hall, one restaurant and a barber shop. Unlike Canmore. Anthracite quickly attracted the attentions of the N.W.M.Police. The bulk of the miners were single and Anthracite became a hotspot for illegal activities; prostitution and the illegal consumption of alcohol. The local Justice of the Peace brought the most popular brothel owner May Buchanan in Anthracite before a court and fined her the then-extraordinary amount of $200 for liquor sale violations. May had came to Anthracite with a trio of vixens and this unholy quartette kept the mining community hopping with whiskey trading, bootlegging and lusty female brawls. In 1891, May along with her female trio were escorted out of Anthracite never to return. On December 7, 1893 May Buchanan – Alberta’s first female gangster – was killed in Edmonton by a distraught admirer.
Another infamous criminal also received a short shift at Anthracite – Ernest Cashel, the Cowboy Killer.
After much bad luck during the local mine’s operation, the coal company closed the mine in 1890. It was reopened the next year when W. H. McNeill agreed to finance the coal company, but after a series of floods and more bad luck, McNeill finally moved his operations to nearby Canmore.
Anthracite is located at approximately 51°11′33″N 115°29′38″W