Eightieth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names
Green City, a ghost town on the north fork of the Salmo River, seven miles north of Erie, was essentially the same place as Craigtown, which we’ve previously covered. The latter, established in 1897 by Robert Wilson Craig (1845-?), and also known as Craig’s Camp and Craig City, failed to go anywhere, but this didn’t deter George Hopkins Green (1861-1932) from trying again.
He hired Henry B. Smith, who also laid out Castlegar, Columbia City, and Fort Sheppard, to survey the Green City townsite. Smith completed his work on July 21, 1902. The streets were called Green, Craig, Pine, Bernard, Edward, Clarence, Harold. One of George Green’s sons was named Edward, but it’s not clear where most of the other names came from.
The Victoria Daily Colonist of August 6, 1902 noted the staking of new placer claims in the area: “Partly in consequence of this activity the old site of what has hitherto been known as Craigtown has been surveyed and divided into town lots. The town is to be known as the Green City.”
Clara Graham wrote in Kootenay Mosaic: “Just before the turn of the [20th] century, George H. Green staked some mineral claims at this location which was in an area containing an excellent growth of very fine timber with plenty of water power at hand. This would be an ideal location for a settlement, thought the owner and so he formed a syndicate, the Green City Gold Mining, Smelting and Development Co. Ltd. … Nothing tangible ever came of this undertaking.”
The greatest flurry of activity appears to have been between 1911 and 1913. The Nelson Daily News of May 27, 1913 noted: “George Green of Rossland was in town lately visiting Green City. He purposes [sic] in the near future erecting a shingle mill there.”
The 1921 BC civic directory still included an entry for Craigtown, “also known as Green City.”
A late reference appeared in a photo caption in Cominco Magazine, October 1948: “There’s always a good demand for … the white tail deer. This one was bagged at Green City near Salmo.”
George Green was born and educated in Wingham, Ont. He moved to Seattle and then to Rossland in the early 1890s, where he opened the Spokane, Grand Union, Hoffman and Allan hotels. In 1920 he took over the Arlington hotel in Trail and also owned a grocery store and apartment block.
According to his obituary, Green once refused an offer of $100,000 for the timber on his townsite, “holding it for the development he hoped to inaugurate. Mr. Green had a pioneer’s hopes for Green City, but they were never realized.”
No ore was ever shipped from his claims.
Green died in Trail at 71, survived by his wife, three children, and four siblings.
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