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Porto Rico

District: Ymir
Province: British Columbia
Country: Canada
In 1896, the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway built Porto Rico Siding at the mouth of Barrett Creek where it meets the Salmo River, four miles north of Ymir British Columbia. The siding was a short track connected to the main line where railcars were loaded with gold and copper ore from the Porto Rico mine which operated nearby from 1896-1909 and with logs and lumber from the timber yards and sawmill that operated there from 1900-1926. By 1904, the siding was upgraded to a flag station and a lumber camp had formed there. In 1917, the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood purchased a 3827-acre adjacent tract of timber, settled in the camp, and under the business name Salmon Valley Lumber and Pole Company, built and operated a planer mill there for the production of wood poles. The Porto Rico Post Office was established there in 1918. In 1924, a forest fire destroyed some of the surrounding timber stands; another fire in 1926 destroyed the remaining stands. Of no further use, the camp was abandoned and the post office shut down. In September 1929, the camp was reoccupied by 236 Sons of Freedom, forcibly interned there by provincial authorities; and by another 200 of their brethren who voluntarily joined them. Most of the Freedomites left the camp in June 1930; however, 117 remained there until May 1932. The siding was discontinued by the railway in the 1930s. The camp and surrounding land was sold following the demise of the CCUB in 1937-1938. A small hamlet remained on the site until the 1950s. Today, Porto Rico is an unincorporated area. [District Lot 1238, Kootenay District] [49 20' 00" N - 117 14' 00" W]



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