Brisco & Spillimacheen
Brisco and Spiilimacheen are a lovely surprise as you travel north of Radium Hot Springs on Highway 95. Just waiting to be discovered, these two charming little gems are nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Purcells, amid tall stands of Douglas fir and Lodgepole pine and dotted with groves of delicate aspen.
Brisco and Spillimacheen (‘Spilli” as it is affectionately called by valley residents) are located in what is primarily, farming and ranching country, with some forestry and tourism tossed in. Wildlife is plentiful here; white-tailed and mule deer, elk, moose and black bear have their homes in the surrounding wilderness.
The area is rich in history. Pioneer explorer and cartographer David Thompson passed through in 1807. In the early days, travel was by steamboat on the Columbia River and it wasn’t until 1913 that the first train came to Spillimacheen. Through the trials and tribulations of war, fire, drought and the great depression, the homesteaders of Brisco and Spillimacheen stayed together and today, that same community spirit remains strong.
You won’t want to miss the picturesque St. Mark’s Church in Brisco. Known to the locals as the Galen church, it was built in 1895. You will admire its lovingly-tended cemetery. The church is the oldest in the valley and is just waiting to be explored and photographed.
Walking into the famous Brisco General Store is like finding yourself back in time a hundred years. Established in 1911, the store houses the post office and just about everything else you can imagine! Visitors can spend hours just browsing its shelves and chatting with the neighborly owners. You may want to pick up a copy of “Brisco and Spillimacheen – A History” compiled by local long-time resident, Hedi Trescher, to take with you on your journey of exploration.
At a scenic stopping point on the highway north of Brisco is an interpretive sign to celebrate Conrad Kain, Canada’s first and premier mountain guide who climbed many of the majestic peaks in the area. It’s worth a stop along the way.
We think you will be glad you visited for a while in Brisco and Spillimacheen.
Brisco | Spillimacheen | Columbia Valley BC