People have lived in the Similkameen River valley for 8000 years. First Nations people mined and traded ochre and other minerals. Hedley Town was built in the middle of Indian land. A visit toSnaza'ist Center next door to the Museum will introduce you to their vibrant world.
At its peak, Hedley and the town of Nickel Plate on top of the mountain held about 1000 people, with a newspaper, 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. We have provided a film set and extras for Malone, The Pledge, The Andromeda Strain, and the comedy, Harmony Cats..
After the mines closed, our last hotels eventually burned down, but today you may choose among several charming bed and breakfasts, a hostel-inn, and beautiful campgrounds. A list of accomodation, shopping and resaurants is here:
The area offers a wide range of outdoor activities, some for amateurs, and some demanding skill. The river offers swimming, fishing, kayaking and tubing. Hikers may explore back country or wander more peacefully. Artists and photographers prowl the valley-(check out Flickr tags Hedley BC) and gold panners try their luck beside the campgrounds. Visiting experts parasail from the mountain tops. If you are willing to be responsible for your own safety and enjoy our valley wisely, you will be welcome.
We celebrate Stamp Mill Day on Saturday of the the May long weekend. In 1904 a huge plant to crush ore and extract the gold began thundering on the mountainside above the town. This is one of the dates from our industrial history that we know exactly, so when we decided to celebrate a historic festival, May was a good month to choose.
We still live with deer in our gardens and bears on our porches. And sometimes we wonder if there is still gold waiting up in the clouds.