Spur River and old
|The Repossession is based around the mountain town of Spurlake BC. Here's a brief guide to the Little Switzerland of British Columbia
By rights Spurlake shouldn’t exist – didn’t exist at all until some guy called Alfred Munby got lost in a blizzard around the winter of 1888 and staggered off onto a frozen narrow channel that fed into the Fraser River beyond Hope. He discovered a river without a name and a valley dominated on one side by a steep mountain. He also found gold and started a rush. He founded a town, named it Spurlake, completely ignoring the First Nation locals, who resented him turning up and naming everything as if it didn’t already have names. (Everything has a name in First Nation culture even if it is ‘hillwithoutaname’). But before you knew it 10,000 people from all over the world turned up to grab some of that precious metal and built homes there, complete with music halls, hotels, a railroad spur, theatre, schools and cut down half the forest to do it. They nicknamed it Little Switzerland and even built a ski-lodge at the top of the mountain. The roads were virtually impassable in winter. The lower half of town by the river turned out to be prone to flooding, and the gold panned out by 1948. The remaining townsfolk had to survive somehow, so they cut down the other half of the forest, built hydro power stations, a dam, and scratched a living from tourism in the summer.
There was once a gold museum, but that had burned down along with the railroad station and it was pretty much agreed amongst every kid growing up there that Spurlake was cursed. You almost never saw anyone over the age of 18 ’cause they got the hell out as soon as they could after grad. For some unfathomable reason however, they’d come back in their thirties, like spawning Chinook, and have kids there, then regret it, but too late and they’d be stuck with hefty mortgages and car payments and drunken nights at the Legion.
McBean’s Pancake House is the best for coffee and muffins (Karaoke night on Thursdays). The DQ, is, of course, where the kids hang out after school. The theatre, music halls, the hospital and the mill were all long ago shuttered and now lie abandoned.
There is only one road out of town that takes you to Highway 1. Every kid knows it by heart – and sense they’ll be taking it soon enough, first chance they get.
Once the epicentre of the gold rush, it now lies mostly forgottten with a few thousand die-hards hanging on hoping for tourism or a small miracle. It's a hard place to be a kid and many leave, if they don't run away first... or get into Meth. A lot of people think the kids who go missing are crystal meth addicts but there is something much more sinister going on in Spurlake that no one wants to talk about.
Genie Magee been living in this town all her life. Winter's can be cold, summer's real hot. But some folks wouldn't trade it for the world, there's something about these mountains and forests that keep calling you back and that's way it's been for the last 100 odd years.
This image is down by the Spur River that leads on down to the Fraser taken last summer. The Railroad doesn't come here anymore.
I guess that’s all you need to know about Spurlake, BC. Pop: 4507 and falling