Back in 1907 the town of Granite Creek burned to the ground. Fast forward about 100 years to when Bob Sterne and his wife Diane were exploring the area around their cabin. They found an overgrown cemetery and decided to gather some volunteers and clean it up. This led to the formation of the Granite Creek Preservation Society, and the creation of the Granite Creek Ghost Town self-guided tour. Now you can visit the town that was almost forgotten.
Self-Guided Walking Tour
You begin your walking tour at the cairn. You’ll find tour maps in the mailbox beside the cairn, that show the location of the 10 interpretive signs. It also shows where original buildings once stood and where the ruins are. The cemetery here has been restored thanks to the Society. The self-guided tour is about three city blocks long and also gives information on the history of the area.
Gold at Granite Creek
Imagine what it was like back in 1885 when John Chance found gold in Granite Creek. It didn’t take long before people rushed to the area seeking their own fortunes. Back in the late 1880s, Granite Creek was the third largest town in BC, following behind Victoria and New Westminster. About 2,000 people called Granite Creek home. Many were Chinese Canadians and American immigrants. Some of the ancestors of those founding pioneers still live in area. Granite Creek is credited for opening up the area and creating interest in the Similkameen.
While most of the buildings are long gone, the Granite Creek Preservation Society continues to preserve the site and the history of Granite Creek. Old maps of the area are on their website, as well as other historical information.
Drop in to the Princeton Visitor Centre for more information and directions on how to find Granite Creek Ghost Town.
For more information, here’s an interview with Bob and Diane Sterne, who re-discovered Granite Creek and helped found the Granite Creek Preservation Society.