Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cassiar, just one of many rural towns that are gone.

There was a time when a mine opened a community was built to house the people that worked there. There was a time when government promoted the idea of rural communities. We are slowly but surely going towards a time when there will be no small rural towns. One town that disappeared was Cassiar BC.

Cassiar was founded in 1952 for the asbestos mine that opened. The mine operated for 40 years and closed rather quickly in 1992. The town had up to 1500 people living there at one time. The community had a ski hill, schools, churches, ice arena, and a swimming pool. After the end of the mine it was all pulled down.

The area had been the site of a gold rush in the 1870s, the Kaska Dene have lived in this region for years but even their community is dwindling. Good Hope Lake is a few kilometers from the old Cassiar townsite but only has a population of 32 people now.

Cassiar was once the largest community in the whole Cassiar country, it was half the population of the country.

The Cassiar country is currently under consideration for numerous mines and has a timber resource available. Located right at the Cassiar access road and the Cassiar Stewart highway is the Table Mountain gold mine of Hawthorne Gold Corp. There is also a placer mining operation in the area. In general the area has a high potential for various different mines - Kutcho Creek, Turnagain, Cassiar Moly, Nizi/Cry Lake, and Red Chris are some of the ones in the region.

The lack of a local population makes the ability to hire staff for a mine harder. It also makes it harder to make good land use decisions when there are almost no people personally connected to the land.

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