Trail - Rossland Wagon Road - Warfield, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 05.123 W 117° 45.478
11U E 444655 N 5437224
Quick Description: This wagon road was once the only way to get from the steamboats of the Columbia River to the gold mines of Rossland, BC.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 5/25/2013 7:33:57 PM
Waymark Code: WMH5C9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cosninocanines
Views: 2

Long Description:
When gold was discovered on Red Mountain, on the edge of what was to become the City of Rossland, the only transportation route in the area was the Dewdney Trail, originally constructed through the area in about 1865, coming from Hope, BC and headed for Wild Horse Creek, BC, in the vicinity of Fort Steele. At the time it was the only route from the coast to the gold fields of the east Kootenays. Today the Crowsnest Highway follows much of the original route.

Fortunately, the Columbia River was less than 10 miles down the hill, and paddlewheelers were already plying its waters from Washington, to the south and Robson, at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, to the north. The old Dewdney Trail was hastily improved from an overgrown, little used trail into a road capable of carrying freight wagons and, soon, a regular stage coach service.

Freight wagons hauled everything needed to work the mines and build a city up the hill and, for the first few years, hauled the ore from the mines down the hill. Initially, the ore was shipped to smelters south of the border, but in 1895 a smelter was built at Trail Landing (now just "Trail") at the bottom of the hill, and shortly thereafter a railroad was built from Trail up to Rossland.

The wagon road was built, with the aid of a provincial grant, by "Colonel” Eugene Sayre Topping, previous owner of the LeRoi mine (which would prove to be the richest mine of the lot on Red Mountain), and partner Frank Hanna in 1893. By 1895 a ten passenger stage coach was making regular trips up and down the mountain, carrying passengers at $2.00 per trip.

The old wagon road was in use for many years, until a road suitable for automobiles was built. The new road followed the wagon road at both ends, but, for the most part, diverged from the old wagon road between Rossland and Warfield, leaving most of the old road intact and in use to the present as a hiking and biking trail.
Road of Trail Name: Trail - Rossland Wagon Road

State: British Columbia

County: Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

Historical Significance:
This was the road that allowed the opening of the gold producing area of Red Mountain in Rossland. Prior to this, as part of the Dewdney Trail, this road was the route for many miners, prospectors and businessmen from the coast into the gold fields of the eastern Kootenays.

Years in use: Sporadically, Up to 40 years

How you discovered it:
Signage in Warfield and in Rossland

Book on Wagon Road or Trial:
Rossland the Golden City Published 1949 - various authors Frontier guide to the Dewdney Trail; Rock Creek to Salmo Published 1969 by Surrey, BC Frontier Books

Website Explination:

They used the road because there was gold at the other end. Initially people were headed from the coast inland to gold fields; later they were headed from the Columbia River to the gold mines of Rossland. The road carried mining machinery, goods and staples from the Columbia and ore to the Columbia. A stage line was active on the road for a few years, until the construction of a railroad to Rossland.

At the community hall in Warfield, turn south off the Highway and pass the hall to the left (southeast) side of it and continue straight ahead. This will put one on Shutek Drive. Follow it to the end of the pavement. This is the start of the wagon road.

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
T0SHEA visited Trail - Rossland Wagon Road - Warfield, BC 1/13/2014 T0SHEA visited it