Skip to content

Hartford Junction, what’s your function?

The Boundary railway point of Hartford Junction was at mile 7.5 on the Eholt-to-Phoenix branch of the Columbia and Western Railway.
The first ad for the Hartford Hotel appeared in the Cascade Record

Eighty-sixth in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

The mostly-forgotten Boundary railway point of Hartford Junction, or just Hartford, was at mile 7.5 on the Eholt-to-Phoenix branch of the Columbia and Western Railway, and named after the Hartford mineral claim.

It was originally considered part of Wellington Camp, first mentioned in the Victoria Daily Colonist of August 11, 1895, quoting the Midway Advance: “Mr. McIntosh, the fortunate owner of the Winnipeg, Wellington Camp, has already sunk a shaft 25 feet deep on his property.”

Whether Wellington was named for the New Zealand capital or the Duke of Wellington is unknown.

The Hartford claim was first mentioned in the Boundary Creek Times of April 2, 1898: “Forbes M. Kerby, M.E. [mining engineer], was in town Wednesday. He is at present surveying the Hartford and J. and R., in Wellington camp, owned by Jones and Rogers …”

The newspaper added on May 28: “The Hartford, Ranger, J. and R. fraction and Hartford fraction are a group of very promising claims owned by John Rogers and H.J. Jones …”

Where the name Hartford came from is unknown, but there are many such places in the US.

The earliest mention of Hartford Junction — the point where the CPR right-of-way branched off to the Golden Crown and Calumet claims — is in the Cascade Record of October 28, 1899, in Ed Simpson’s application for a hotel liquor license.

However, according to historian Jan Jonker, Simpson’s application notice was “likely a deception, an attempt to obtain one when the hotel’s actual owner [John Dorsey] couldn’t, after having been fined for selling liquor without a license.”

Dorsey moved to Hartford from Gladstone and opened his hotel in August 1899 on the Toboggan mineral claim. Simpson, meanwhile, was a partner in the Bellevue Hotel in Phoenix with Dorsey’s wife Georgie.

William Buker, previously operator of a boarding house at the BC mine, bought the Hartford Hotel from Dorsey in September 1900 and built another hotel nearby, the Clifton. He in turn sold the Hartford Hotel in 1902 to Joseph J. Bassett, who had mineral claims in the area as well as a contract to supply cord wood to the CPR.

Joseph Graham, a former co-owner of the Union Hotel in Phoenix, bought the Clifton Hotel in November 1903 but it closed within a year and the liquor license was transferred to Bassett’s hotel.

Bassett renovated the building in 1910 but was denied a license renewal at the end of 1912 “upon the grounds that it is off the regular highway and no longer any convenience to the public.”

The hotel burned down on November 12, 1914. Bassett and his wife escaped unharmed. Afterward, he continued to stake mineral claims in the area.

The last known newspaper mention of Hartford Junction was in 1915, but the name survives in Hartford-Athelston Road.

(Thanks to Jan Jonker for providing much of the above.)

Previous installments in this series





Annable, Apex, and Arrow Park

Annable, revisited


Applegrove, Appleby, and Appledale revisited

Argenta and Arrowhead


Bakers, Birds, and Bosun Landing


Bannock City, Basin City, and Bear Lake City



Bealby Point

Bealby Point (aka Florence Park) revisited

Belford and Blewett

Beaverdell and Billings

Birchbank and Birchdale

Blueberry and Bonnington

Boswell, Bosworth, Boulder Mill, and Broadwater



Brooklyn, Brouse, and Burnt Flat


Camborne, Cariboo City, and Carrolls Landing

Carmi, Cedar Point, Circle City, and Clark’s Camp

Carson, Carstens, and Cascade City

Casino and Champion Creek

Castlegar, Part 1

Castlegar, Part 2

Castlegar, Part 3

Christina Lake

Christina City and Christian Valley

Clubb Landing and Coltern

Cody and Champion Creek revisited

Champion Creek revisited, again


Columbia City, Columbia Gardens, and Columbia Park


Cooper Creek and Corra Linn

Crawford Bay and Comaplix revisited

Crescent Valley and Craigtown


Dawson, Deadwood, and Deanshaven

Deer Park

East Arrow Park and Edgewood


English Cove and English Point



Evans Creek and Evansport

Falls City




Ferguson, revisited


Forslund, Fosthall, and Fairview

Fort Shepherd vs. Fort Sheppard, Part 1

Fort Shepherd vs. Fort Sheppard, Part 2

Fort Sheppard, revisited

Fraser’s Landing and Franklin


Fruitvale and Fraine

Galena Bay



Gilpin and Glade

Gladstone and Gerrard, revisited

Glendevon and Graham Landing

Gloster City

Goldfields and Gold Hill

Grand Forks, Part 1

Grand Forks, Part 2

Granite Siding and Granite City

Gray Creek, Part 1

Gray Creek, Part 2

Gray Creek, revisited

Green City


Halcyon Hot Springs

Hall Siding and Healy’s Landing