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Pilot Bay, British Columbia


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Pilot Bay is a ghost town located in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. The town is located west of Crawford Bay on the east side of Kootenay Lake, opposite the entrance to West Arm Provincial Park. In the early 1890s, the Hendryx interests built a smelter on the east side of Kootenay Lake to treat the ores from their Blue Bell lead-silver mine at Riondel. By 1895 the Pilot Bay Smelter was in operation with 200 men employed. A town emerged around the smelter called Pilot Bay. Pilot Bay had a population of 1,000 and had 4 hotels, 3 stores and some other businesses. Mines which shipped their ore to the smelter include the Blue Bell, Ainsworth Mines, and Slocan Mines. In 1896 the Hall Mines Smelter in Nelson had started and become too much competition for Pilot Bay. This resulted in the closure of Pilot Bay Smelter in 1896. The Pilot Bay Smelter reopened in 1905 but was eventually closed permanently. Today all that is left is the ruins of the smelter and remnants of the town.
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