At its peak, Hedley and the town of Nickel Plate on the mountain top had about 1000 residents, five hotels, and everything else you can imagine in a frontier mining town. Over the years floods, rock falls and fires have consumed parts of the town, but much remains to be explored.
In the wee small hours of January 24, 1939, boulders broke away from a cliff high on Stemwinder mountain and crashed down on sleeping people. As B.C. rockslides go, this one was gentle, with only two deaths. Reporter Michaela Garstin wrote a full account for Princeton's Similkameen Spotlight: The Hedley Rock Slide The photos are from the Museum collection and the survivor she interviewed, Helen Martin, contributed greatly to building the Hedley Museum.
One goal of our current Museum project is to discover the identities of the people and families appearing in our collection of superb black and white photos, and whose possessions now grace our gallery. When visitors ask if we have any record of Uncle Charlie the miner or Great Aunt Helen the teacher, we hope to know immediately if we have Charlie's miner's lamp or Helen's class photos. We are also collecting oral histories. If you, or your family, have lived here, you will have a warm welcome.
We celebrate Stamp Mill Day on the first Saturday in May. We still live with deer in our gardens and bears on our porches. And sometimes we wonder if gold is still waiting up in the clouds.