History of the Paradise Mine
The story of the Paradise Mine is literally torn from the pages of pioneer history and dates back to the earliest days of British Columbia – the 6th province to join Canadian confederation.
This was a time of tough men and women, gold rushes, river steamers and railway lines stretching through the vast mountain landscapes. It’s a story of exploration, prospecting, entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and nation building in which fortunes were made and lost and the foundations of todays Columbia Valley communities were built.
This amazing story is set against the unrelenting and often harsh natural backdrop of British Columbia’s rugged Purcell Mountains with their legendary cold snowy winters and often hot but short summers. The Purcell Mountains are located adjacent to the mighty Columbia River and next door to the famous Canadian Rockies. They embrace high glaciated mountains, resplendent alpine lakes, verdant wetlands, magnificent old growth forests and rushing rivers. These features provide habitat for an abundant variety of plant and animal communities.
It was to these same mountains that a few hardy prospectors came seeking their fortune in the late 1880’s and the rest, as they say, is history. These days Paradise Basin and the Paradise Mine serve as home base for Toby Creek Snowmobile and ATV Adventures but this peaceful and highly scenic alpine area was once the site of a very busy mining operation that employed hundreds of the early residents in the local area.
Step back in time and follow the links below to learn about the history of the Paradise Mine. Or just click next then join us for an ATV or Snowmobile Tour to experience this remarkable historical location for yourself.
- Fort Steele and the Wild Horse River Gold Rush – 1863 – 1890s
- Tom “Blanket” Jones and The Discovery of the Paradise Mine – 1889
- Robert Randolph Bruce and the Development of the Paradise Mine and the town of Wilmer, BC – Early 1900’s
- Boom, Bust & Closure 1900 – 1950’s
Note: The information presented in these pages is believed to be a reasonably accurate representation of the history of the Paradise Mine. It has been collated from a variety of sources including local documents, government records and Internet sources. If you are aware of any additional information or notice any inaccuracies please contact us.