Rossland, British Columbia Canada

Discover Rossland, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Adventure

Location and Activities in Rossland, British Columbia

Rossland is a charming city nestled in the West Kootenay region of south central British Columbia. High in the Monashee Mountains, Rossland is conveniently located east of the intersections of BC highways 3B and 22. The city is a popular winter destination due to its proximity to the multi-peak ski hills of the Red Mountain Resort. During the non-winter months, Rossland attracts mountain bikers, golfers, and fishing enthusiasts.

The Origin of the Name 'Rossland, British Columbia'

The Sinixt First Nation originally referred to the Rossland area as kEluwi'sst or kmarkn, which are believed to mean "important temporary camp" or "up in the hills". The area was later known as Trail Creek camp, a name derived from the Dewdney Trail. The final naming of the city acknowledged Ross Thompson, who preempted 160 acres in 1892. The townsite of Thompson was established in 1894, but the name was soon changed to Rossland to avoid confusion with similarly named places.

The First Mining Claims in Rossland, British Columbia

In July 1890, partners Joe Bourjouis and Joe Morris staked claims on Red Mountain. Despite initial disappointing assays, they registered the Center Star, War Eagle, Idaho, and Virginia claims. They also gave their Le Wise claim to the Deputy Recorder of Mines, "Colonel" Eugene Sayre Topping, who registered it as Le Roi. Topping later sold a majority of the property to a Spokane syndicate, marking the beginning of a prosperous mining era in Rossland.

Development of Wagon Roads and Mining Deals in Rossland, British Columbia

Throughout 1891, a patchwork of mines operated on the mountain, and the Le Roi Mining and Smelting Company was incorporated. A new wagon road from Red Mountain connected with a ferry across the river from the SF&N station at Northport, Washington, facilitating the transport of ore. By 1893, a 3-metre wide wagon road was graded along Trail Creek, significantly increasing the mountain's output.

Early Railways and Consolidation in Rossland, British Columbia

The first loaded ore train ran along the initial section of Heinze's Columbia and Western Railway (C&W) from Red Mountain to the Trail smelter in June 1896. The following year, the Le Roi's contract to exclusively supply the Trail smelter expired, intensifying competition. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) purchased the C&W and Trail smelter in March, and the Northern Pacific Railway (NP) acquired the Red Mountain–Northport railway and Northport smelter in July.

The Early Community of Rossland, British Columbia

The early community of Rossland was vibrant and diverse. The first edition of the Rossland Record in February 1895 listed a variety of professions among the residents. The city was officially established in March 1897, serving an estimated 7,000 residents. However, depleting mines, World War I, and the Great Depression led to a decrease in population.

Mining Diminishes in Rossland, British Columbia

Industrial disputes, strikes, and lockouts plagued the mines. The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada (CM&S) was formed in 1906, gaining a virtual monopoly over mountain ore. However, collapsing copper prices made mine operations unviable, leading to a decline in mining activities.

Later Facilities and Demographics of Rossland, British Columbia

When Le Roi mine closed in 1929, big ore trains ceased on the CP Rossland–Trail section. By then, Rossland had become a bedroom community for Trail. According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Rossland had a population of 4,140 living in 1,803 of its 2,075 total private dwellings, a change of 11% from its 2016 population of 3,729.

Attractions in Rossland, British Columbia

Rossland boasts various historic buildings and facilities, including the Miners’ Union Hall, the Court House, the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre, and the Bank of Montreal building.

Climate of Rossland, British Columbia

Rossland features a humid continental climate experiencing all four seasons. Summer days are usually warm with cool nights, while winters are cold with lows in the teens.

Freedom of the City Recipients in Rossland, British Columbia

Several individuals have received the Freedom of the City of Rossland, including John A. McLeod in 1955, Nancy Greene Raine in 1967, and Harry Levefre in 1984.