February 10, 2010 15:03 ET
Ghost Town Near Whistler is up for Grabs!
RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 10, 2010) -
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While the world's attention is drawn to the Whistler area, a little town just to the north is also getting notice. The town of Bradian, not far from the Olympic village in Whistler, has been put up for sale. The town comes complete with streets, fire hydrants, vacant lots and all of its 22 homes. The entire town, located in British Columbia's Bridge River Valley, will go to the best offer that can come close to its 1.3 million CAD asking price. There are lakes and rivers nearby and the quiet valley provides a relaxing getaway for cross country skiing, fishing or mountain biking. This idyllic setting comes with only one caveat: no one lives here. Now anyone who wants to buy the whole town, for the price of a detached home in Whistler, can move right in and raise the population to one.
It is hard to believe that this abandoned town is just a few mountain ridges beyond all the excitement of the 2010 Olympics in Whistler. It was not always so peaceful here; the Bridge River Valley was once a bustling hub during the gold rush in the 1930s when millions of dollars poured in from the neighbouring Bralorne mine. In 1971 with gold prices down and the mine closed, Bradian became a ghost town.
For the next 25 years the town site lay abandoned and decaying until 1997 when Tom Gutenburg and his wife, Kathleen, came to town. "As soon as we laid our eyes on Bradian we were surprised to see the townsite so relatively intact," says Tom. Nine months later they owned the entire town.
As the crow flies, Bradian is only about 80 km north of Whistler. The challenge in getting to Bradian is the mountain range that separates the two towns. For six months of the year it takes two hours to get to Bradian from Whistler via a forestry road over a mountain pass. In the winter it is a four hour highway trip from Whistler through Lillooet. Yet the Gutenbourgs feel it is this remoteness that casts a spell on Bradian's visitors.
For the next decade the Gutenburgs would journey up to Bradian on weekends and holidays with two young children in tow. Over time the homes got new roofs, buildings received a fresh coat of paint, and broken windows were boarded up; the town had been lovingly restored. This year the Gutenburgs feel their job is finished. "Now that we have stabilized the buildings, it's time we passed the project over to someone or some group to see the restoration completed," says Tom. They listed the town with Landquest realtor John Lovelace who specializes in unique wilderness properties in British Columbia.
"There are countless development opportunities," said Lovelace. "Bradian offers a Whistler-type environment with great snow in winter and the warm summer climate offers activities that include fishing in the nearby lakes." But there's more he added. "This valley has already shown to be one of the most prolific gold producing areas in Western Canada and who knows! Maybe there's still gold in the valley!"
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