Our June 2-3, 2018 tour to Anyox was one of our best as we had a couple of guests ( future story to come ) that had relatives that had lived and work in the copper mining town. This remote and hard to access ghost town has been abandoned since 1942. Even after that many years the structures that remain are like gong back into a time warp. With special permissions from the owner to visit and tour the site our guests are typically a handful of lucky ones to visit the town each year. Our group last year lucked out with blue skies and calm seas as we journeyed to this magical place. Here are some photos from last year’s tour.
We are heading back to Anyox June 8-9, 2019 for those of you that are interested in exploring one of Canada’s most unique ghost towns.
Travelling along the Upper Fraser to the end of the road through towns like Longworth, Sinclair Mills, Newlands, Hutton and Penny provides a glimpse into the past of our early resource based communities and the lives of the people that worked there. We were fortunate enough to have Author “Ray Olson” provide interpretive knowledge and share his stories of growing up along the line. All this is done while travelling in the comfort of a VIA rail train from Prince George to Penny. When we arrive in Penny the Gobbi family generously provides lunch and tours us around the local homesteads and cemetery. The day winds up with a Jet Boat ride down the Fraser River through historic and scenic Grand Canyon of the Fraser.
Last year the tour was so popular we delivered two trips to this historic part of our region. Here are some highlights from last years tour!
Why would the word “STOLEN” be stenciled onto a light bulb!
You are about to find out. The 1911-1935 Copper Smelting town of Anyox which is about 145 km north of Prince Rupert is only accessible by boat. This town was a company town owned by Granby Consolidated. They provided all the houses, electricity, sewer, water, store, transportation but one they they did not provide was “Light Bulbs”! The company provided light bulbs for the factories, equipment shops, store, offices and smelter but not for the houses. They were going through an increased number of light bulbs and soon realized that some unscrupulous residents were taking company light bulbs for their own residential use.
The company quickly came up with a plan to stop this unauthorized use.
Their plan was to contract their supplier who would stamp all the official light bulbs with the word “STOLEN” in large capital letters, as this would discourage use of them in the residences and rooming houses.”
This worked for some of the more honest residents or those who were not willing to take the shame of displaying the words “STOLEN” on their lights.
Others were not as worried, and proudly lit up their houses with the words stolen reflecting on the walls of the house.
There were even stories of some families asking their children to take a piece of emory cloth and rub the bulbs as it made for a “brighter” light while the children unknowingly removed the stigma of the stenciled “STOLEN”.
Anyox is a ghost town full of interesting stories and remnants. That is why we will be visiting this remarkable ghost town again June 2-3, 2018. Contact us for more information on making the trip with us.
The Anyox Powerhouse is always one of the highlights for guests on the “Town that got Lost” tour!. Even though a lot of the equipment inside was removed it is still a surreal experience with all the rusted iron and steel remnants providing a glimpse into the past. Amazingly a few plants and shrubs have taken root amongst the industrial wasteland, giving it an even eerier feeling.
Constructed in 1911, Powerhouse No. 1 was the heart of the mining and community operations, providing electricity for the smelter, machine shops and other mining operations, as well as the town, until the mine closed in 1936. Secondary powerhouses and substations in the mine site produced electricity for the ore-haulage railway trolleys and other equipment. Constructed of brick and steel, 50 feet wide by 180 feet long, the building’s concrete foundations are laid on solid rock. Brick for the Powerhouse was originally imported from Sidney Island. Later brick, for refurbishing the building, was likely produced at the brickworks on the Anyox site. The building is a massive, elegant structure with an unobstructed interior volume. Ten bays with curved window openings and clerestory windows along both sides of the upper portion of the roof contribute to an impressive facade. A 15-ton crane, used to move the machinery, runs the entire length of the interior of the building.
One of the highlights to the Ghost Town of Anyox is the Graveyard. It is now overgrown with mature trees but amazingly little else grows under the trees as the area suddenly opens up and is devoid of vegetation once entering the cemetery. On my first visit to Anyox when we did a reconnaissance trip to source out unique things to see fro the guests. I was with the owner of the town and it had been many years since he had been to the cemetery. He had a basic idea where it was but it still took us two hours of bushwacking to find the site. That is how seldom visited this place is. We then spent two days brushing out a path for the guests to walk into the graveyard and keep it cleared every year.
One of the first headstones you will see is that of 8 year old Wilfred Sheldon Teabo. He was a young boy who tragically drowned in the toxic waters of Fall Creek. Read the caption below from the book “The Town that got Lost” for more information on his death.
The cemetery is about one km for the ocean. The bottom historic photo show the cemetery and the faint white crosses at the base of the hill.
We still have a few spots left in our two day Anyox tour June 3-4, 2017 or June 10-11, 2017. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit one of BC’s largest towns from the early 1900’s
How many of you would jump at a chance to be taken back in time to the 80’s ? Well…… it is now possible through the Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour where we visit the town of Kitsault. Our exclusive access to this 1980’s ghost town will take you back in time to 1983 when the moly mine closed and the towns residents were told to pack up and leave. The town has been left as is for 35 years. Complete with a shopping mall, swimming pool, fully equipped hospital, curling rink, movie theatre, library, pub, gymnasium, stores, apartments and houses. How many of you remember the harvest gold appliances? you will be re-aquainted as you spend the night in one of the 1908 apartments complete with harvest gold stoves and fridges. You do not want to miss an opportunity to be one of the few people allowed exclusive access to this town and btw who wouldn’t jump at the chance to go back in time!
One of the most photographed items on our visits to Port Essington is the abandoned boat lying in the deep sedge grass. I was fortunate enough to find out some more information on the boat and acquire a photo of the boat when it was seaworthy. The boats name is the Hi-Lo and it was a small crab fishing boat that plied the inner water of the coast in search of crabs. The lady who told me about it said that she remembers fishing on it it with her grandfather and rolling out a sleeping mat on top of the warm engine compartment at night time to go to sleep. The boat looks a little worse every year we go back there but still stands out prominently in the dark green sedge grass. We visit Port Essington on a few of our tours and we are doing a Brand New one day tour to Port Essington May 27, 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the town that still “Stands Guard over the Mouth of the Skeena”
A one-of-a-kind experience. Since 2014, UNBC Continuing Studies has been offering awe-struck adventurers rare access to seldom-visited historic sites, wondrous wildlife, and stunning natural scenery that is distinctly Northern British Columbia. See our list of past and new tours that are now open for registration. Check back daily for blog posts on all of the tours!
Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Biology Experience May 4-5, 2017
Prince George, BC
Canneries of the Northcoast
May 8-June 11, 2017
Cassiar Cannery, Port Edward, BC
Historic Fort George River Journey
May 15 or June 17, 2017
Prince George, BC
The Port Essington Experience
May 27, 2017
“The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration
June 3-4, 2017
Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour
June 6-10, 2017
Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey
August 1-6, 2017
Hazelton – Port Edward, BC
Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 20-26, 2017
Combining the knowledge of local experts with unique destinations and activities, Continuing Studies’ jet boat tours will provide you a spectacular story all your own.
“It was indeed one of the best travel and educational experiences that I have encountered.”
On our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour we visit the modern day ghost town of Kitsault. It has been in a time warp since 1982 when the town closed and everyone was told to leave. One of the interesting things we see on our exclusive tour is the Movie Theatre. Past residents have commented that they saw movies like Bambi, Snow White, Rocky Horror picture show plus it even doubled a venue for weddings and church service. Very Cool place. Check out our 2016 tour on how you can visit this place.
When we visit the individual ghost towns on “Ghost Town’s of Northwest BC” we are always looking for a story or a bit of the past that still remains. In Alice Arm one of the things we will see is the Old Alice Arm Bakery. The window where the fresh bread and pies still remains along with the log building. No idea on the exact date of it but probably around the 1920’s based on similar style structures there. Here are a couple of photos of the old bakery window and what main street looked like in the past.