Ghost towns for sale. Bring your own ghosts.
September 14, 2004 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Ever wanted to get away from the neighbours? Any neighbours? Phelps Dodge, a mining company, is selling off Kitsault, BC, a remote company town built in the early 80s to support a mine that later went bust.
posted by jacquilynne (19 comments total)
My mother grew up in a town that was extremely remote (it wasn't possible to drive there, you had to float plane or sail in) that existed to support a pulp and paper mill. When the only major employer closed down, so did the town. What was once a community of 10,000 now has a population of about 60 people, either running fishing lodges, or retired there because the housing is so cheap.

Because of that history, I find stories of towns like this fascinating. They're so single purpose and remote, that they can just empty out in a flash when the purpose goes away.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:07 AM on September 14, 2004

It'll be the ultimate in reality TV: MeFiVille! "Watch as a virtual community of 17,000 gets parachuted into its very own town! Thrill to the antics of Sheriff Seth, bordello-owner Quonsar, and village idiot ParisKitsault!"
posted by stonerose at 8:15 AM on September 14, 2004

Rename it Cicely and you could have your very own real-life version of Northern Exposure.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 8:20 AM on September 14, 2004

NAME: Kitsault
COUNTY: Alice Arm
CLIMATE: heavy snow in winter, warm summer
COMMENTS: one resident - a full-time careredrumtaker
REMAINS: complete town still standing
posted by gwint at 8:23 AM on September 14, 2004 [1 favorite]

Hmm, costs about the same as 276 Pontiacs.

(I wonder if you can get broadband there?)
posted by toby\flat2 at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2004

I'm in. Who's with me? Let's all reread Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm first, though, so we know what to avoid.

Kitsault has a "rustic" dam (it looks as if it were constructed by this cheery fellow) that evidently is being replaced. If it were allowed to collapse it would have flooded Alice Arm.

As far as I can tell, Kitsault is rated with no tourist industry value and almost no economic value apart from mineral, mining or timber exploitation. It just might be a good place to become a hermit.

Hm. Anyone else find yourself taking this whole idea a little too seriously..?
posted by Shane at 9:40 AM on September 14, 2004

heh, I was thinking Brave New World myself Shane.

Did anyone find pictures? I went scouring about quicklike and didn't see any. Boss is visiting, so no time to really dig.
posted by a3matrix at 9:54 AM on September 14, 2004

That or Island, a3matrix.
posted by toby\flat2 at 11:18 AM on September 14, 2004

A caretaker employed by Phelps Dodge has been living on site for years and has kept most of the buildings heated and in decent condition.

That is one hell of a job!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:57 AM on September 14, 2004

A few more pics here, and a link to a .pdf brochure. (very slow server)
posted by stonerose at 12:15 PM on September 14, 2004

Today: 12C, feels like 3 degrees C.


I'm in, but only if I get the spooky looking laboratory on the hill...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:32 PM on September 14, 2004

I've always wanted to buy a ghost town (smaller and less remote than this one probably) and convert it into a gigantic paint ball arena. you could have matches that would take hours to play, with teams starting at eather end of the town... would probably be useful as military training grounds too.... just keep that hospital staffed.
posted by woil at 12:50 PM on September 14, 2004

This looks like the perfect place to start my cult! Anybody want to join? The entry fee is $1,000,000 and you have to find six others to join in with you. SIMPLE! When you arrive you will begin preparing for The Master's arrival by cleaning up 92 specially selected dwellings, amung which The Master will choose his eternal home. You will learn the fine arts of baking for me, cleaning for me and most important, a fantastic recipe for "Magical" Kool-Aid!
posted by shotsy at 1:52 PM on September 14, 2004

I am with you, o master. What colour Rolls Royce do you prefer?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:55 PM on September 14, 2004

Shouldn't Matt get the Rolls Royce(s)? He can take them out for a spin on Main Street on Saturday, and we can all dance around and worship.

In the finest BC tradition, I'll run the Marijuana Store. (Latest on Vancouver's Da Kine, for those who may be following, is that they are back in business after a police raid last week, with lines backed up out onto the sidewalk. Current prices: 10 bucks for 2 joints. They're selling hash now, too.)
posted by jokeefe at 3:46 PM on September 14, 2004

jokeefe: I wanted to post this somewhere too. It's starting to feel surreal: the police have known about this place since January, but only took action when forced to by media attention. They took the staff away in handcuffs a couple of days ago and the place is back in business, the police saying it's up to the city to take their license away. The mayor, a former policeman as far as I know (and righteous cool dude), doesn't seem to be in a hurry to do anything; he applauds the disappearance of archaic drug laws, although he seems leery of what appears to be very profitable outright trafficking (protestations of the store owners that they are a "non-profit organization" aside). The customers I saw interviewed on T.V. thought the only thing wrong was that these sales aren't taxed. WTF? More than anything else, though, this shows me that at least in Vancouver, and I suspect in Canada as a whole, the general consensus has evolved to the point that it won't be long before the whole situation will be sensibly resolved and marijuana will be legalized (and taxed). The only thing stopping this, of course, is the inevitable pressure that will be brought to bear by our neighbours south of the border.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:03 PM on September 14, 2004

Yeah, turtles, I was wondering if I could make an FPP out of it (maybe not the best of the web, but certainly an issue of interest for many of us).

Not far from me in Mt. Pleasant another store looks to be getting ready to open (right by Kingsway and Broadway, for those in the area). I'm not sure if they're just going to sell seeds-- the stock is already on the shelves-- or if they're going to sell dope too, but I have the feeling that this is the next step: open a number of stores and just get on with business. The mayor has said, more or less, that the cops have bigger fish to fry, and if Da Kine hadn't shown up on the front page of the Sun, the raid probably would never have happened, and the store would just quietly continue to enrich the pizza parlour next door.
posted by jokeefe at 4:15 PM on September 14, 2004

The customers I saw interviewed on T.V. thought the only thing wrong was that these sales aren't taxed.

And there, in a nutshell, you have it: the cultural difference between Canada and America. That's all you need to know. :D
posted by jokeefe at 4:17 PM on September 14, 2004

Couldn't we get 3500 of us MeFites together, each kick in $2000, and try this community thing out for real?

Metatalk would be at the pub, of course. Check your weapons at the door.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:00 PM on September 14, 2004

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