A Short History of Riondel

Riondel's rich history is tied directly to mining. Like so many other towns in BC - when mining was good the town boomed and when mining slumped so too did the town. When a mine shuts down the employees usually move away creating a ghost town with their departure. However after the the closure of Bluebell mine in 1972 rather than moving away many of the older mining employees retired and stayed on in Riondel. The next 30 years saw a slow but steady inflow of retirees looking for an ideal place to retire and many found that in Riondel.

1882   American Robert Sproule stakes four claims including the Bluebell
          When Sproule left to register his claim an Englishman Thomas Hammill restakes Sproule's Bluebell claim
1885   Sproule shoots and kills Hammill
1886   Sproule is hanged for the murder
1905   Bluebell mine is aquired by the Canadian Metal Company   Mining silver-lead-zinc
1907   The settlement's name is changed from Hendryx to Riondel after the president of the company
1929   The Bluebell mine operates from 1895 to 1929 when the mine is shut down
1950   The mine reopens and the community becomes a thriving mining town
1972   Mine is closed
1972 - present   Retirees move into Riondel

A Pictorial history is available in the book Bluebell Memories by A. Terry Turner. This book is available from The Riondel Historical Society (250) 225-3483 or the Riondel Library

Retiring to Riondel

Looking for a place to retire? Consider Riondel:

  • One of the lowest house prices in BC