BRADIAN GHOST TOWN
Hidden away behind Bralorne, you will discover a quiet town site with 22 homes. Bradian lies at an altitude of 3,700 ft. in a broad mountain bench enveloped by warm sunshine in the summer months and an abundance of snow in winter. There are lakes and rivers nearby and the quiet valley provides a relaxing getaway for gold panning, fishing or mountain biking. There is only one problem with this idyllic description: no one lives here. And now anyone who wants to buy the whole town - available for only 1.3 million - can move right in and raise the population to one.
Bradian was once a bustling hub during the gold rush in the 1930s when millions of dollars poured in from the Bralorne mine. At that time, Bralorne was ranked among the most prolific gold mines in Canada. It took another 40 years for the gold to play out and eventually the mine shut down but not before 4 million ounces of gold and 1.2 million ounces of silver had been produced more then any other mining operation in British Columbia. In 1971 with gold prices down and the mine closed, Bradian which was once filled with the sound of children playing became a ghost town.
For the next 25 years the town lay abandoned until a warm spring day in 1997 when Tom Gutenburg and his wife, Kathleen, came to town. Their search of BC mining history had taken them to many former mining areas. They were saddened by the demise and destruction of the old towns where there was nothing left but the foundations. “As soon as we laid our eyes on Bradian we were surprised to see the townsite so relatively intact.” says Tom "We knew right then that something had to be done.” Nine months later they owned the entire town: the streets, the water hydrant and the 22 remaining homes. For the next decade they would journey up to Bradian every chance their jobs at Air Canada would allow. With two young children in tow, it became a family project. Over time 20 of the homes got new roofs, exterior wood siding got a badly needed coat of paint and broken windows were boarded up sealing the structures from rain and erosion. The town had been saved. This year the Gutenburgs feel their job is finished. “Now that we have stabilized the buildings it’s time we passed the project over to someone to see the restoration completed” says Tom.
They listed the town with realtor John Lovelace who specializes in unique wilderness properties in British Columbia.
Bradian has power and phone service and some of its utilities are still intact. The town is zoned rural residential, which means the 50 acre site could be divided into 2 acre lots. Bradian offers excellent summer activities including biking, horseback riding and fishing. "To develop an area, you need to create an income stream in the winter” says Lovelace, “Bradian gets similar snow conditions as Whistler. It is one of the best snowmobiling areas in Western Canada so it would be ideal for a resort-based winter business catering to snowmobilers.” Yet Lovelace is also quick to caution potential buyers with intentions on developing a year round resort or any other kind or redevelopment. “This is a long term project and the restoration of this town will take very deep pockets. We don’t want to give people the idea that in a purchase like this all they have to do is show up with a can of paint. This is a complete ground-up restoration”.