Moyie Lake & Town

Moyie, BC

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Kokanee Cove Pub
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Box 164, Moyie,

BC V0B 2A0

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Moyie Lake Services

Marilyn Delmonico

Moyie is situated on the eastern shore of lower Moyie Lake in southeastern British Columbia, and was the site of the St. Eugene Mine, once the largest silver-lead mine in Canada.

The name "Moyie" or "Mooyie" is a corruption of the French "mouiller" meaning "to wet", so named by the trappers and fur traders who made their way through the sodden river valley. The French origin explains the pronunciation "Mo-yeah" which is still used today. 1

Discovery of a rich galena deposit in 1893, and the resulting St. Eugene Mine, brought the first settlers to this area in 1896. The developing mine influenced the expansion of Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. (later Cominco and now Teck Cominco) and the Crow's Nest Pass Railway. The mine and the town prospered until 1911 when production dwindled to the point where only small quantities of ore were being shipped to the Trail smelter. By 1929 the company closed the mine for good.

As you stand in the village today, there is little to remind you there was once a population of around 1500, seven hotels, three churches, and businesses lining both sides of Victoria St. (Hwy 3/95). A few houses, the fire hall, St. Peter's Church, tailings pile and the crumbling foundations of the old concentrator are all that remain of Moyie in its heyday.

St. Peter's Catholic Church is an outstanding landmark in the village. Built in 1904, it was restored to its former glory by dedicated volunteers in the early 1990's, just in time for the towns centennial celebrations in 1993. Sadly, no regular Sunday services are held there now although the church is used by all faiths for a Christmas carol service, the occasional wedding and perhaps a funeral.

Another familiar landmark is the 1907 fire hall, the subject of many photos and paintings over the years. The building and grounds are maintained by local residents.

A walkabout map, available at the Moyie General Store, will guide you to points of interest around town. You will find our local history book "Moyie Reflections- Recollections of a Kootenay Mining Town" for sale in the store as well.

1 - Moyie Reflections