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Journey Back in Time - History of Golden

Take a journey back in time and explore the intriguing past of Golden! There are many historic landmarks and natural spots to enjoy in the heart of the mountains.

Canada Historic Places Day is July 6, 2019. Visit https://historicplacesday.ca/places/ to discover all the historic sites in and around Golden, BC.

Download or print the PDF below:

Edelweiss Swiss Village

Location: Edelweiss Road

Tourism in Golden became popular in the early 1900s when the CPR employed experienced Swiss guides to help tackle the mountain trails. To make them feel more at home, the CPR constructed six Swiss-style chalets and called their accomplishment Edelweiss Village. Thus began the golden age of mountaineering that still remains a focus for both residents and visitors. Found on a hillside at the west entrance to town, the original homes still stand overlooking Golden and the Columbia Valley.

The Gurdwara Sikh Temple

Location: 603 13th Street S

The Sikh community history runs deep in Golden and early settlers employed by the Columbia River Logging Company date back to the 1890s. They were housed in company-built residences and carried out their religious ceremonies in a Gurdwara (temple) built on mill property. Located on what is now 13th Street South, the Gurdwara is reputed to be the first Sikh temple in North America. Although the original Gurdwara and the company houses are long gone, the Sikh community has made and continues to make, significant contributions to the settlement and development of the town of Golden.

Kicking Horse River Pedestrian Bridge

Location: 8th Ave N

While exploring downtown Golden, take a trip over the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge and get a look at the spectacular Kicking Horse River. The river gets it name from James Hector’s experience as a geologist with the Palliser Expedition from 1857 to 1860, when he was kicked in the chest by his horse near the banks of the river.

 

The bridge spans the river at 46 meters (151 feet) across, it’s the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada. Planned as a community event in 2001, over 100 members of the Timber Framers Guild came from the US, Europe and all over Canada to help raise the bridge.

The superstructure weighs approximately 210,000 lbs and was constructed of 72,000 bd.ft of Douglas-fir timbers. The community of Golden proudly regards the bridge, which also intersects with the walking trail that circles the town, as a symbol of cooperation.

Thompson Falls

Location: Thompson Falls Trailhead, past the O.B. Campground

In 1807, David Thompson - renowned fur trader, surveyor and map-maker tasked by the North West Company to open up a trading route to the lucrative trading territories of the Pacific Northwest - first crossed over the Rocky Mountains and travelled along the Blaeberry River to the future site of Golden. In search of the Columbia River and, ultimately, a passage to the Pacific Ocean, Thompson’s travels took him to the junction of the legendary Columbia and Kicking Horse Rivers. The trail to Thompson Falls takes you along the peaceful Blaeberry river until you reach the falls, a spectacular view for all to enjoy.

Golden Museum

Location: 1302 11th Avenue S

Finish off this historic tour with a look into the Golden Museum, full of archives and curious objects for all to admire. In the main gallery you will learn how Baptiste Morigeau, born of a French voyageur and his native wife started a trading post that grew into the community that you see today. The museum offers self-guided walking tours, as well as guided walking tours at set times throughout the year that include: Golden's Residential Past, Historic Downtown Tour and the Cemetery Tour. Conclude your learning about Golden’s history in a full circle in this quaint landmark.