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Bridesville, B.C.


At the turn of the century, wheat grew tall through the 3,500 foot rolling hill country around Bridesville, a former freighter's stop, now bypassed by Trans Provincial Highway #3.

The climate seems dryer today than formerly. Grain does not flourish and the country has reverted to hay. Now, except for abandoned farm buildings and green clad hills, the motorist is seldom aware that the back country is laced with roads and that the highway crosses again and again the Dewdney trail. Not far from the pavement are stains in forest and open hills where little settlements once stood which can hardly be called ghost towns because they have disappeared. Two, Sidley and Myncaster, have left little trace of their going.

One early adventurer over the Dewdney trail was Richard Sidley. He came west from Ontario in 1885. He homesteaded on the mountain top about nine miles east and 2,500 feet above Osoyoos Lake.

Sidley was followed to the mountain highlands by Hozie Edwards who homesteaded the present site of Bridesville. He became the first postmaster on January 4, 1907. The settlement was originally called Maud after Hozie's wife.

Around 1910, David McBride came to build a hotel in the village which became Bridesville.

The long mahogany bar and large ornate mirror in McBride's Bridesville Hotel came from the Bucket of Blood saloon in the abandoned gold camp, Camp McKinney.

Bridesville, in its heyday, boasted the usual characters found in early mining camps. Once a one-eyed miner, settled on a rocky ridge above town. He was followed by two other miners, both one-eyed. Naturally the ridge became known as One-Eyed Mountain.

It is told that one of them never took off his overalls and, that, when he bought a new pair he simply pulled it over the others. And the story goes that at one time he was wearing seven pairs over what was left of those underneath. I do not, however, vouch for this story.

Bridesville, already mentioned as a wide spot along Trans Provincial No. 3, is a former railroad town. It is still the centre of the mountain community. There is a school there, a post office, a store, garage and several cottages but there is little sign of the old railroad. Search, however, will reveal traces of the abandoned grade.

In the late 1890's and well into the present century the Great Northern Railway was never far from the British Columbia border. In the interior of the province Spokane was the business centre.

The Great Northern and Grand Forks ran a spur to the Phoenix copper mines and from Grand Forks, a subsidiary, the Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern, dodged in and out of the province to the little towns of Myncaster, Bridesville and Sidley where passenger trains provided an outlet to Spokane and Westward through the United States to Keremeos, Hedley and Princeton where coal was mined for the railroad.

Service, both passenger and freight, through Bridesville as far as Sidley was terminated in 1931.


References:

Myncaster O.H.S. 37th Report pp 104.

Sidley O.H.S. 36th Report pp 109-110.

Sidley O.H.S. 35th Report pp 23-26.

Stories of Early Settlement

 
Want to read more stories about early settlements on Kruger and Richter Mountains, by Ed Lacey, Doug Fraser and Dorothy Fraser? Click here.