More than a few little towns have sprung up out of nowhere, developed into busy places, and then disappeared back into the dust. Granite Creek is supposedly a record holder in that catagory, but what other records have been set in town development?
Did you know about the town of Welldo located just a little over a mile from here? Yes, this came as a surprise to me too.
I was reading an excellent historical book about the KVR which describes, in great detail, many of the plans, operations, structures, and facilities of the railway. The author, Joe Smuin, takes most of his information from actual records. He comes from a railroading family and worked for the railway himself. Importantly, he has a real penchant for establishing historical facts.
In the section on the Princeton Subdiviion I found a description of a proposed townsite just opposite the mouth of Granite Creek on the KVR. No, it didn’t develop 14 saloons and as many hotels within a few months. In fact it didn’t develop at all.
Here is what Joe Smuin says about the town of Welldo:
Welldo apparently took its name from the ‘well-to-do’ owners that owned the property. Newspaper reports hint at European aristocracy involvement with the property. Despite expectations during the 1911-1914 period, Welldo never became a station nor was it mentioned in time tables. The GNR purchased property here in October 1911 for a station site and a side track. A site for a bank had already been reserved here. A February 1914 notice in the SIMILKAMEEN STAR told real estate speculators to be patient, Welldo would be on the market within a few months. Nothing ever came of the site, but CPR engineering profiles clearly show a widening in the usual right-of-way here. As of 1999, the land sits undeveloped and there is nothing to see here except the mouth of Granite Creek on the opposite side of the Tulameen River.
From Chapter Two, The Princeton Subdivision (Penticton to Brookmere) of the excellent book about the Kettle Valley Railway called Mileboards, written by Joe Smuin.