May 1, 2017


Gold Miners in the 1950s in Hedley

For a 5 day early summer holiday, I wanted to go out of Vancouver BC – not too far but not too near.  Vancouver Island beckons and surrounding isles but the ferry rates are inhibiting.  You pay for the car and you pay for the people in the car.  

Whistler, Hope, Chilliwack, Flood, Merritt, Pemberton, Littleton, even the Osoyoos and the famed Naramata winery bench have been explored every inch. 

Then I remembered passing by a small town that looked interesting then – as I was driving from Keremeos back to Vancouver.  I said to myself then that I would return and see more of the place someday.

So Hedley BC it was.

Hedley is a dead silent unincorporated town (population around 400) in southern British ColumbiaCanada, named after Robert R. Hedley, a mining smelter manager.  It is so quiet you hardly see a soul walking on the dusty streets.  Hedley was big in the early 1900s as gold was discovered in the area.  Spend at least an hour in the Hedley Heritage Museum or read the town’s history in its web site .  

Viewing the Mascot Gold MInes at the Hedley Heritage Museum

At the museum’s deck is a telescope aimed at the Mascot Gold Мines built on a steep mountainside.  More details about the mines are in the Community Memories.

Abandoned Mascot Gold Mines Building

If you are in the mood for tea and a pie – the Museum’s charming café is the place to be – if it is open.

Hedley Inn (left) and Hitching Post Restaurant (right)

The good thing about Hedley is that it has an affordable hotel – the Hedley Inn. How about CAD$45 for a single room occupancy, albeit small, and shared bathroom.  However, with a kitchen and a lounge to read – which can be all yours outside of the busy July – August summer months - it is a deal. 

Tanya has been serving at Hitching Post for years - and she does lunch by herself

Across Hedley Inn’s entrance side is the destination hit HitchingPost Restaurant.    People from surrounding towns drive for the menu.  The Hitching Post building was one of the first, erected in 1903 as a mining supply store.  At that time, with the gold rush, Hedley was a boomtown. 

When you go inside the restaurant look up at the tin pressed ceiling.  I did not see any horses hitched at the Hitching Post.  

I invited Hedley Inn’s manager Judy Turner for lunch.  We had Seafood Spaghetti with scallops and prawns, which was doused with a very heavy tomato cream sauce.  The serving was huge and came with a slab of garlic bread - CAD$16.50 for a large order.  The Greek Pizza with red onions, peppers, olives, feta & fresh tomatoes had definitely an almost burnt crust - CAD$14.00 for a 10 inch.  Judy’s love - the Calamari deep fried battered squid topped with chopped red onion and parsley - served with Tzatziki - was crunchy and appetizing at CAD$10.00.

Across Hedley Inn’s porch side which still has signs of a former café now turned into a suite for rent is the small but convenient and reasonably priced Hedley Country Market store.  

The nearest grocery outlets are about 20 km in either direction of Highway 3.   There is no public transit.  

The Country Store has everything you need to prepare a meal or indulge in some late night libation on the porch.  It must be the only place in BC where you can drink alcohol publicly off the street.

Nick serving French Toast at Nickelplate Restaurant

Just off Highway 3, the other eatery in town is Nickelplate, which only serves breakfast and lunch.  Although during the summer, they open for dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays when the Hitching Post is closed.  Nickelplate shuts the door on Wednesdays.  The eatery has an interior that is a C in ambience.  Sanford Tanaka is the very friendly host and server.  The meals are alright and average in portions. 

Right next to Nickelplate is an outdoor assembly of assorted antiquish stuff including a 1929 Plymouth.  They all belong to Rod Moncrieff (tel 250 502 7191) who has a door that leads to the Black Light Art and Gallery.  Ask him to play the video about the now shuttered Mascot Mines or Rodney Collins Moncrieff.

Rod Moncrieff with his pet Timothy - a 2 year old Pomeranian Chihuahua hybrid and his antiques 

Other than eating, one can go on a hike.  There are many trails - see Hiking and Walking Around Hedley.  

Slather sunblock 50 on your skin.  It can be burning hot from May to September.  The 20 Mile Creek can be relaxing – I only did 0.5 of a mile along a swift creek.  But before you do so or after, go up the Hospital Hill – a very very low hill where you can see the expanse of the town of Hedley engulfed on both sides by mountains - the Similkameen Valley

Unfortunately, the Mascot Gold Mine Tours no longer exist – but the web site with a good history of the town is still active.

Doug’s Homestead – a 10 minute drive truly deserves its reputation for beef jerky.  I love their bacon and ham.  Stock some for the drive home.   

Right next to Doug's Homestead is the oddly named one story house-size West Hedley Mall.  It is no mall.  It is actually a second-hand shop of all sorts of stuff: books, lamps, clothes, curios, etc. run by a gentleman with a cute dog.

Brad Clinton sells beef at his ranch

If you want to buy beef direct from a rancher, drive 30 minutes to Clifton Ranch – at the outskirt of Keremeos.  Call ahead Brad and Dianne (Anne) Clinton to find out what is available.  Tel 250 499 5180  e-mail:  

I have two articles regarding Keremeos – see An Honest Sale and a Watermelon  and K-Cafe.

To know more about Hedley - see Heart of The Similkameen.  


Click on a good enlargeable street map of Hedley.  


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