Aug 052010

There will be more photos of our trip to the US soon; however I need to process more photos first, so I will go back to some shots of our trip to British Columbia in late May.


We explored a handful of interesting locations in BC, but I have found that this trip much like our trip to the US was a lot of driving and only a few locations to check out.  Our trips in Saskatchewan have typically been covering small pockets of the province and hitting up several locations.  I like seeing new places but I miss the convenience of our Saskatchewan trips, but at the moment there isn’t much for us to see here at home.


CaptainCanada had found lots of interesting info about the area around Sandon, BC.  Sandon was once a city of ten thousand people with hundreds of silver mines in the area.  Sandon itself is becoming a tourist location where you can take a tour of their small hydro-electric power plant and see a small museum where there is an entertaining curator who has a lot of knowledge on the area.  There is still some silver mining going on and there is a small mill beside town that is active.  Most mining in the area stopped a century ago and unfortunately not a lot remains for us to see.


We found the remains of one processing plant in a neighbouring ghost town, and a handful of very empty old houses and buildings and countless piles of wood that were once structures, but heavy snow over a century eventually causes most unmaintained buildings to collapse.  While checking out the museum we saw what some neighbouring towns looked like in the 1980’s before most of them were destroyed by arsonists.  So unfortunately for us we are 30 – 40 years too late.


This area is around Kootenay Lake and is an awesome part of BC.  Well worth the visit, but not an awful lot to explore for us.

Silver Mine 1

Myself, Arilem, and CaptainCanada looking down on the remains of the mill

Silver Mine 3

A vintage CP train has been brought in as part of the attractions in Sandon

Silver Mine 4

The river was once boxed in and was main street prior to all being washed out in the 1950’s

Silver Mine 5

Ore bin at the mill near Sandon

Silver Mine 6

Remains of a large generator at the mill

Silver Mine 7

CaptainCanada’s mill and group shot

Silver Mine 8

CaptainCanada with the mill remains behind him.  The mill was on a very steep slope

Silver Mine 9

A very wide shot of the mill remains.  The 10mm lens was the only thing that could get it all in one shot.

 Posted by at 13:58
Aug 032010

We had found some info on this location while planning our route and decided to make sure we stopped by to see it.  This former military base was quite large and isn’t completely abandoned.  Much of it is used by a private company and parts of the residential areas have people living in them, however there are hundreds of abandoned buildings on the site and I estimate that there are maybe a hundred residents on a base that used to be home to over ten thousand people.  


Arilem and I were in shock while checking out this location, and we had a hard time taking it all in.  I have never seen such a large scale abandoned facility and we have explored more than a few former large bases and institution over the years.  We drove through street after street of entirely abandoned buildings.  Many of the streets were very overgrown and some had trees growing in the middle of the street.


The base closed in the mid 1970’s and sat vacant for several years before being partially taken over by a private company.  A few efforts have been made to turn the residential portions into a retirement village and condos however it is very isolated and these efforts have mostly failed other than the hundred or so people who live there.  I estimate that there are over 500 abandoned duplex houses and a couple dozen barracks buildings along with a handful of schools, post office, church and other community buildings.

US Military Installation

This was a sign that were somewhere interesting, We couldn’t locate the base commander so we figured we didn’t have to worry about the sign.

US Military Installation

Slightly grown over street with control tower in the distance

US Military Installation

Barracks buildings – hard to tell if it is a parking lot or a field in the foreground (it’s a parking lot)

US Military Installation

Aircraft Hangers

US Military Installation

Abandoned residential area – nothing but abandoned houses and overgrown streets

US Military Installation

Small trees growing in the middle of the road

US Military Installation

Abandoned 1980 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with plates from 1995 on it.  Someone lived here 20 years after the base closure, however every house in this area is not lived in now.

US Military Installation

Houses are full of appliances including this water heater

US Military Installation

Cupboards and appliances – many of the building had some really nice hardwood floors.

US Military Installation

Former school – current ruins.  Gutted and the roof is collapsed over 90% of the building

 Posted by at 12:14