Historic Fairview - Fairview, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 10.766 W 119° 36.716
11U E 309653 N 5450687
This area, which came to be known as Fairview, began as a small gold placer claim in 1887. Fairview began, flourished and died in no more than a decade.
Waymark Code: WM1543J
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 10/12/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 0

Fairview, in spite of prevailing opinion of the time, burst into existence, flourished and died as quickly as most other gold rush towns of the time. One of the largest and most elegant hotels of the era, the Fairview Grand Hotel (nicknamed "the Big Tee-Pee) was built and burned in just five short years. It was never rebuilt and its demise sounded the death knell for the town, as the gold diggings were already beginning to play out when it burned.

Essentially nothing remains of Fairview except several historical markers. The site of the Presbyterian Church has been marked, but is otherwise indistinguishable from the surroundings. Constructed at Fairview in 1899, it was moved to Okanagan Falls in 1929 and is affectionately known as The Blasted Church for the method in which it was disassembled for transport (Hint - dynamite was involved). The wooden Fairview Jail, the last remnant of Fairview, was moved to the Oliver Museum in 1981.
Historic Fairview
Until 1887, these dry hills lay undisturbed by man; but, that year, a prospector known as "One-Armed Reed" explored here for gold and, in 1888, two others, Gwatkin and Shehan, were Crown-granted the Stemwinder Claim. Many other interests were staked and, by 1893, Fairview (as the place became known) boasted of being "the biggest city north of San Francisco".

Along the Gulch, close to the mines, buildings were erected and saloons, like Moffat's, the Golden Gate, the Bucket of Blood and the Miner's Rest served the needs of the roistering population. In 1897, Fairview Grand Hotel (nicknamed "the Big Tee-Peel was built. (It burned down, five years later, with the loss of two lives).

Almost no food was grown in the area and tinkling bells heralded the approach of freight wagons drawn sometimes by as many as eight spans of horses, carrying cargoes for mines and the community stores. (Famous freighters were the Bassett Brothers, Hall, the Gillespies and Snodgrass). John Pl McCuddy farming near Camp McKinney, the Gartrells, of Summerland, and the Casorsos of Kelowna, packed in fresh vegetables and cured meats, while trail herd animals were butchered for fresh food.

Medical services were supplied by first, Dr. Benjamin Boyce and hater by Dr. R.B. White, whose dog used to accompany him on long horseback journeys to patients throughout Boundary Country, Osoyoos and Penticton, Hedley and the Similkameen. (Since no telephones existed in the South Okanagan at that time, emergency calls came by "moccasin telegraph' on foot or horseback).

By 1906, when Fairview’s gold began to play out, most miners departed for other prospects and, two years later Fairview had become a ghost town. By 1919, “the most exciting town in the West" had vanished, although mining activity revived during the Great Depression and. between 1934 and 1939, 16,992 ounces of gold and 162,680 ounces of silver flowed from these hills.
From the Historical Marker
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: One may park at the side of the road which passses through

What Agency placed the marker?: Okanagan Historical Society

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