Two hikers on Idaho Peak in the Slocan Valley
(Dave Heath photo)

New Denver

Culture & History

Prior to European settlement, New Denver and the surrounding Slocan Valley was part of the Sintixt First Nation's traditional territory.

Sintixt pictographs are still visible on the western shore of Slocan Lake. However, everything changed with the discovery of galena in the mountains and the subsequent commencement of the 1890s "Silvery Slocan" mining boom. Since then, New Denver has been shaped by agriculture and diverse migration.

Silvery Slocan Valley

The town of Sandon was the epicenter of the silver boom, becoming one of the largest population centres in the west. At its height, the town boasted a population of more than 5,000, a hospital, school, railway station, 29 hotels, three breweries, three churches, an opera house and, well, a number of brothels.

New Denver, at the mouth of Carpenter Creek, emerged in 1892 as a valley service centre for Sandon and the area's burgeoning mining industry. By 1910, the Silvery Slocan mining boom went bust, and Sandon fell into decline. However, New Denver survived the end of mining, and life carried on quietly until World War II.

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