Sandon, BC, is a historic community located in the Slocan Valley of the West Kootenay district, 13 km east of New Denver. Known as the “Silver City” or the “Heart of the Silvery Slocan,” it was the center of what was the richest silver-lead producing region in Canada. Set in a narrow gulch, it is split by a fast-flowing creek and surrounded by high, steep mountains.
After the discovery of vast amounts of galena ore here by Eli Carpenter and Jack Seaton in 1891, prospectors flocked from around North America to stake their claims. By 1895 Sandon was a thriving town and the terminus of 2 railways. Sandon was incorporated as a city on January 1, 1898 and for a few years had more than 5000 residents, brothels and a booming economy. Two different railways raced to reach the town first; the Kaslo & Slocan Railway, connecting Sandon with nearby Kaslo, on Kootenay Lake, and the Nakusp & Slocan Railway-Canadian Pacific, from New Denver and Nakusp.
Like the other silver towns of the era, Sandon faded with the silver prices, and it was dis-incorporated in 1920 after many years of decline. The population fluctuated during World War II when it was a internment camp for 950 Japanese Canadians from the coast and when nearly 1000 miners were attracted to Sandon during the Korean War because of high metal prices.
In 1955, a massive flood of Carpenter Creek occurred, destroying most of the remaining buildings. After the flood, looters tore apart the remains of many of the buildings.
Currently, Sandon features a few buildings, including the original City Hall from 1900 and the Powerhouse. There is also a fleet of trolley buses, and a handful of residents. Both railways that served the town have been dismantled and turned into hiking trails, leaving only traces of a rich mining history.