Tuesday, August 25, 2015

G is for Greenwood

ABC Wednesday
August 26th, 2015

The letter is G, for GREENWOOD

Let me introduce you to GREENWOOD, a tiny little city in the Kootenays which lays claim to being the smallest city in Canada, incorporated as a city when it was a booming mining centre more than a century ago.  It now has seven hundred and twenty-five citizens!

Another lovely mountain town with an interesting history, boasting some of the best preserved heritage buildings in British Columbia.

A thriving mining town in the early twentieth century suddenly, in 1918, the city lost momentum when the B.C. Copper Company closed as a result of market values.

There was great abandonment, - people left in droves  and businesses closed until in 1940 only 200 people remained.

However during World War 2 a new group of citizens changed Greenwood's fate with the forced internment of Japanese Canadians from the coast of British Columbia.  The many empty hotels and businesses became dwelling places for the 1200 who came to Greenwood.

'with the same undaunted spirit of the miners before them Greenwood's new citizens transformed the town into a once-again bustling community, where culture, education and sports became an important part of everyday life'

When the war ended in 1945 Greenwood stood fast in supporting its Japanese Canadian citizens and were appreciative of the growth and culture they had engendered.

O'Hairi Park, located in the centre of town, is dedicated to the Japanese Canadians of Greenwood.

An old tunnel, narrow and suited to horse and buggy days and once covered over to accommodate railway tracks, is now an attraction to visitors passing through Greenwood, as is the old copper smelter which still stands.  The Tunnel has been decorated with flags, painted by the Mayor of the City to discourage graffiti....

Greenwood now, like many other B.C. communities, is becoming a destination for historic tourism, and flourishing. There are no shortages of things to do in the surrounding country side - fishing, boating, hiking and camping are favourites at Jewel Lake, just north of Greenwood, and east of the City there is a scenic educational Phoenix Interpretive Forest drive and a memorial to Phoenix in the city itself..  (Phoenix - an old and famous mining town in the Kootenays, now a ghost town)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In 2012 this little City was awarded the prize of best tap water in the world and is now selling bottles of Greenwood Gold in its local stores for $3.00 a bottle!  The locals buy them and give them away as gifts.  The award ceremony attracted 250 people  or about a third of the City!

For more interesting Gs do gallop over to the ABC site here,
with thanks to Denise, Roger and their Great helpers.


Unknown said...

Althoug small... i looks lovely to me, i would like to visit it !

Wonderful photographs too!

Have a nice day,
Melody (abc-w-team)

photowannabe said...

What a fascinating history.
I think I would really like to visit it and it's "small town" feel.
My camera would really get a workout.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting pictures Hildred. The farmer, looking at the pictures, guessed it was America!

Reader Wil said...

I wish Canada was not so far away!
Thanks for sharing.
Wil, ABCW Team

Hildred said...

Greenwood is situated close to the US border, but all Canadian!

ellen b. said...

A little town with so much history.

Photo Cache said...

A little town with so much to offer the visitor.


Roger Owen Green said...

cute town
but the interment was, so be mild, very unfortunate

Deepa said...

Pretty picture

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I am loving your history of BC by town series so much. And what a sweet and interesting place Greenwood is (and hooray for the 725 hardy souls!) The interment was certainly a blot on history (I had never thought about Canada sharing that sorrowful chapter with us), but it is beautiful that the town recognized the Japanese Citizens' contributions and have put up a marker in thanks and atonement. (I am not sure any place here in the States has done that, I need to do some research.)