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.
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
Our Two day “Anyox – The town that got Lost” tour June 3-4, 2017 and June 10-11, 2017 will visit this iconic structure that is till standing almost 100 years later. It was Canada’s tallest dam at one time and is still an amazing structure. Don’t miss your chance to be on of the few people to visit this iconic structure.
The dam was completed in 1923 and was built by hauling pallets of concrete bags up a single guauge railway line operated by electric hoists. The dam is 635 ft long and 137 ft high and 28 000 acre ft of water capacity. In 1923 before the dam was complete heavy rains caused a landslide above the dam and the debris from the slide plugged the penstocks and the water level rose to dangerous levels so much so that they had to evacuate people living in the lower parts of Anyox below. The water eventually subsided and the dam was completed.
On all of our trips our guest really make the trips. We have had so many interesting people participate in the tours and it has been great to get to know them over a short period. Many of them are repeat guests that are coming back for another tour the following year. We always like to to take a lot of photos on the tours for marketing purposes and many of these now include photos of guests participating in the tours. Here are some photos from last August’s Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour. This year’s tour is starting to fill up and will be another great tour to some of northwest BC’s most remote and inaccessible Ghost Towns.
The Ghost Town of Anyox has all kinds of remnants from its days as a copper mine in the early 19th century but after the town was shut down in in 1935 and a fire roared through the town in 1942 the majority of the buildings that survived were the one made of steel and concrete. A jungly forest has grown up inside and out of the remains which makes the buildings even more eerie. Here are a few of the buildings and the concrete walls that still remain. If you are looking for a unique “Off the Beaten Path” adventure then check out our “The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration June 3-4, 2017 or the “Ghost Towns of Northwest BC” tour August 21-27, 2017.
One of the highlights of visiting the Ghost Town of Anyox is the trip up to the Anyox Dam or Dam#2as the residents called it. The dam is about 4 km up a winding road that eventually drops down to the site. It is a truly awe inspiring moment when you come around a corner and see this massive concrete structure located in a small valley 120 miles north of Prince Rupert down Observatory inlet. The dam was completed in 1923 and was built by hauling pallets of concrete bags up a single guauge railway line operated by electric hoists. The dam is 635 ft long and 137 ft high and 28 000 acre ft of water capacity. In 1923 before the dam was complete heavy rains caused a landslide above the dam and the debris from the slide plugged the penstocks and the water level rose to dangerous levels so much so that they had to evacuate people living in the lower parts of Anyox below. The water eventually subsided and the dam was completed.
we will be visiting the dam on our brand new two day “Anyox – The town that got lost” tour June 3-4, 2017 and on our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour August 21-17, 2017. Don’t miss your chance to be on of the few people to visit this iconic structure.
The Anyox General store was one of two stores in the community. It was the company store that was owned and ran by the Granby Compaany. The other store was “Franks” or Frank Lew Luns and it was one of the only non company owned buildings in the town. The General store got shipments of fresh fruit, vegetables and milk twice a week. An interesting side note is that the company did try and have fresh milk by bringing in 12 dairy cows but the Smelter killed off all the vegetation in Anyox and there was no grass for them forage on and they were eventually condemned for being sickly and sent to the incinerator. The store really was the hub of the town and on saturdays and paydays it was bustling with activity. The store sits on the ocean and is one of the first structures one sees when entering Granby Bay, It is 117 ft long and 60 ft wide and three stories high. It sold groceries, postoffice, clothing, furnishings etc. The store is an eerie place now as a forest of trees has taken over where the rows of canned goods and ladies fashions once sat. The branches have climbed there way through the roof and windows and break the beams of sunlight that try and penetrate the floor.
Investigate the abandoned Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 20-26, 2017
Don’t Miss out on our most popular tour as it will fill up again in 2017.
This 5 day northern BC adventure is a must for the Ghost Town aficionado. Exclusive access to some of British Columbia’s most restricted ghost town’s will be provided. The remoteness and history of these fabled towns will amaze even those without an interest in the eerie past of these boom and bust communities. You will visit the modern day Ghost town of Kitsualt which has sat vacant for over 30 years and the only thing missing are the people. We have been granted access to the remote and historic mining town of Anyox which has been referred to as the “The Town that got Lost”. The once thriving mining town had over 3000 residents in 1914 but has now been uninhabited for the past 80 years. The tour also includes an adventure to one of BC’s most inaccessible ghost town’s, Alice Arm and the historic ghost towns on the Skeena River; Port Essington and Doreen. We will utilize ocean going boats and jet boats to access these remote locations. Hopefully you are not afraid of ghosts as we will be overnighting in three of these eerie towns. Don’t miss this chance of a lifetime to be part of this special trip!
We travel east of Terrace and launch our two jet boats on the magnificent Skeena River and take a short boat ride to the north side of the river. After a short walk we arrive at Dorreen, at the base of glacier-covered Mt. Knauss. Our local guide will show us around the once thriving town and share is passion and history of the town. The town used to be a prospering mining and farming town on the GTP rail line, but today only a dozen cabins and houses are still remain and most people use it as a summer getaway. The town is hub for old antique discarded vehicles that were brought in by train to drive on the few km’s of dirt road.
Old truck in the Ghost Town of Doreen
We will travel downstream (west) towards the historic cannery town of Port Essington. Built in 1875, this town was the life of the mighty Skeena River until 1910, when another town to the north, Prince Rupert, was built at the terminus of the railway. At this ghost-town you will have the opportunity to capture amazing historic photos and explore the forest where remnants of the past await us with a special story behind each one. Afterwards we’ll take a boat ride across the river to a small hidden hot spring, where we can soak in a small pool under the towering coastal Sitka Spruce rainforest.
The Remnants of the Pilings at tthe Cannery Ghost Town of Port Essington
On your third day you will drive through the heart of a historic lava flow en route to the coastal village of Gingolx. At this village we will meet our boat and captain who will take us into Observatory Inlet on the way to the once bustling site of Anyox. The boat will go at a relaxing pace to see the amazing coastal scenery and observe wildlife along the way. Our stop will be at the abandoned town of Anyox, once the most important smelter along the west coast. Remains of old railway cars, power stations, general store and the once largest dam in Canada will be toured.
The Anyox Dam
We spend the day at Alice Arm, the legendary silver mining town and site of the once famous Dolly Varden Mining Railway whose narrow gauge track led up the Kitsault river to several rich mine sites. The town has several dilapidated cabins and stores, alongside modernized cabins used as summer retreats. We will walk around the historic sites, meet some locals and walk to a nearby waterfall, where salmon can be seen spawning. We will be treated to a seafood barbecue by the only year round residents of Alice Arm.
Alice Arm Haunted House
After a comfortable and peaceful night at Alice Arm Lodge, we will travel by boat across the inlet to the modern day Ghost Town of Kitsault. Our exclusive access to this site will include a tour of the site and the many buildings that have sat vacant as is since 1981. This will include the shopping centre, swimming pool, school, theatre and much more. We will spend the night in one of the 1980’s style apartments and get rested for our 4 hour drive through the coastal mountains back to Terrace the following morning.