Journey to Granite City and Coalmont, B.C.

The Coalmont Hotel was built in 1912 and it appears to have a lot of history. It’s closed now, but it’s website says this is only temporary. Judging by photos, its classic interior is something to see. (Richard McGuire photo)

When a gold rush arrived in 1885, Granite City soon followed, becoming a community of more than 2,000 people, 200 buildings and 13 saloons. Thirty years later, it was gone and all that remains today are a few remnants of log cabins and a pioneer cemetery.

The neighbouring community of Coalmont saw more prosperous days as a coal mining town. Today it’s an eccentric community of about 100 people, many more ghosts, a few closed down businesses and lawns covered with rusting old cars and machinery.

I took a camping trip to these communities last weekend, doing some work on my camper’s solar power. (Richard McGuire photos)

The Tulameen River flowed past my doorstep as I camped at Granite Creek Recreation Site just outside Coalmont, B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

I’ve mounted a flexible solar panel on my camper roof, but I have another portable one that I can place in a sunny area to charge up my batteries in the morning. (Richard McGuire photo)

When a gold rush came in 1885, Granite City became a boom town near Princeton, B.C. It had a population of more than 2,000 people and 200 buildings, including 13 saloons. By 1915, the town was gone and today all that remains are a few log structures and ghosts with stories to tell. (Richard McGuire photo)

A group of visitors explores one of the remnants of a log cabin in the once thriving gold rush community of Granite City, B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

I suspect this old log cabin in Granite City, a ghost town from the gold rush era, is no longer up to code. I’m sure a Realtor would praise its open concept, central air conditioning and views in all directions. (Richard McGuire photo)

The cemetery in Granite Creek as many graves of people lost to history. The heritage cemetery in a peaceful forest has some more recent graves too, from the early 21st century. (Richard McGuire photo)

Moss grows on a wooden fence around a grave at the Granite Creek cemetery. The cemetery is by the site of the gold rush boom town of Granite City, just outside Coalmont, B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

An old log cabin barely stands in Granite City, a ghost town built during a gold rush that started in 1885. (Richard McGuire photo)

Many of the businesses in Coalmont, B.C. are now closed, but this bait worms business still appears to be operating. (Richard McGuire photo)

In Coalmont, B.C. they don’t tend to go in for manicured lawns. Rather the lawns are a place to store interesting old collectable auto and trailer pieces. (Richard McGuire photo)

My very first car was a Volkswagen Super Beetle, and I still have a love for these iconic cars, like this one seen on a lawn in Coalmont, B.C. I’m not sure what the helicopter was doing though. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Coalmont Meat Market is one of the long closed businesses with an exterior frozen in time. (Richard McGuire photo)

The entrance to the Coalmont Hotel has probably seen some interesting people come and go over its more than 100-year-old history. (Richard McGuire photo)

This business in Coalmont, B.C. is another that has seen better days. The area first drew gold miners, but as Coalmont’s name suggests, it was coal that launched this community’s development. Today it still has about 100 people, so it can’t properly be called a ghost town, but I’m sure there are ghosts if you look for them. (Richard McGuire photo)

Three signs greet visitors as they enter Coalmont, B.C. You probably have to be a bit eccentric to live here. (Richard McGuire photo)

I’m not sure if the Coalmont General Store is still in business, but it looked like a sealed up time capsule when I came by. (Richard McGuire photo)

More trailers and auto parts and what could be old mining equipment decorate a lawn in Coalmont, B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

Judging by the strategically placed shovel, the Coalmont Worm Emporium is still in business. I didn’t go in, because I didn’t need any worms and there was a guard dog on duty. (Richard McGuire photo)

A fisherman casts his line into the Similkameen River at Bromley Rock Provincial Park. (Richard McGuire photo)

A rocky outcrop extending into the Similkameen River dominates the landscape at Bromley Rock Provincial Park. (Richard McGuire photo)