Salmo

Discover Salmo, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Salmo, a charming village nestled in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Mostly located on the north side of Erie Creek, where it meets the Salmo River, the village is conveniently situated near the junction of BC Highway 3 and BC Highway 6.

The Origin of Salmo, British Columbia

The village of Salmo has a rich history that dates back to 1860. Originally known as Laprairie or Salmon City, the name was derived from the river that flowed through the area. The river was a popular spot for salmon, hence the name. However, in 1893, the settlement was renamed Salmon or Salmon Siding. The community finally adopted the name Salmo in 1896, a Latin term for salmon and the scientific name for the genus of fish to which Atlantic salmon and trout belong.

Early Settlers of Salmo, British Columbia

The opening of the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway (N&FS) in 1893 marked a significant milestone in Salmo's history. The railway station in Salmo was one of the original stations, and the construction camp became the foundation for the settlement. By 1899, the village had two general stores and four hotels, and the Kootenay Shingle Mill was in operation from 1901 to 1928.

Mining History in Salmo, British Columbia

The growth of Salmo was largely driven by the mining industry. Gold ore from the Yellowstone mine was transported to Salmo for loading onto the N&FS from 1900 to 1902. The mini galena boom of 1908 saw 200 properties staked or re-staked. Gold mining along Sheep Creek diminished from the early years of World War I, but base metal mining was well established.

Present-Day Salmo, British Columbia

Today, Salmo is a thriving community that benefits from passing tourists. The village is home to the world's oldest phone booth, located at the Sal-crest Motel, and the world's largest penny. The former N&SF combination station/freight shed, a designated heritage building, stands on the Salmo-Troup Rail Trail. The village also boasts the ornate two-storied wooden Salmo Hotel and the Kootenay Stone Centre school of masonry. Outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, biking, golfing, and skiing are popular among locals and visitors alike.

Demographics of Salmo, British Columbia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Salmo had a population of 1,140 living in 568 of its 599 total private dwellings. With a land area of 2.44 km2, it had a population density of 467.2/km2 in 2021.

Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo, British Columbia

Since 1998, Salmo has been hosting the Shambhala Music Festival during the last week of July. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed its regular yearly scheduling in 2022.

Salmo, British Columbia on Television

Salmo has been featured on the historical television documentary series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns and the show Canadian Pickers, showcasing the rich history and vibrant community of this charming village.

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