Mining came upon the remote Kitsault valley when the Dolly Varden mine opened in 1918. Thanks to heavy investment from the United States they were able to make Bunkhouses, stores and a ten-mile-long railway. The mine operated for only three years until it was held up in litigation. Eventually, the mining company was able to move past the litigation and went on to build the Lions Gate Bridge. Which ushered in another era for this sleepy little valley.
The town of Kitsault was established in 1979 as the home community to a molybdenum mine run by the Phelps Dodge Corporation of Chicago. The community was designed for over 1,200 residents and included a shopping mall, restaurant, swimming pool and bowling alley. In 1982, prices for molybdenum crashed and the entire community was evacuated after just 18 months of existence.
In 2004, the ghost town was bought by Indian-American businessman Krishnan Suthanthiran for $5.7 million; he has spent $2 million maintaining the town. In the end, he would have spent over $20 million more to fully update the town. He has also since closed the town to the public. Krishnan had hoped to turn the town in to an intellectual utopia. In which you could only be invited to.
In an effort to revitalize the ghost town, Kitsault has been proposed as a location for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal site. However; this offer has not yet been accepted.
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