Molson Museum Association
Old Schoolhouse & Ghost Town Museums
A Little History
In 1896, gold rich ore was discovered in the local area and miners started to come in and settle, swelling the population of just a dozen or so to close to 300. In two short years, it became apparent that only one of the mines was producing any ore, and so the population fell off as the prospectors moved on to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
The official town of Molson was founded in 1898 by George Meacham, a promoter, and financed by John. W. Molson, an investor and a member of the wealthy Canadian brewing family. The town now served as a trading center for families on both sides of the American-Canadian border and in 1900, the northern lands were opened up to homesteaders. The town's population was once more on the rise.
In 1905-06, the Great Northern Railroad completed its route to Molson , a stopover on the way from Spokane to Princeton, British Columbia. This progess brought in railroad workers, more settlers, and the town grew and prospered. There was a hotel that was always full of railroad people and tradesmen, and a theater was built for entertainment.
Unfortunately, Meacham never registered title to the land on which he founded the town, so a local man by the name of MacDonald quickly seized the opportunity and registered it in his name instead. He then promptly informed the town businesses and residents that they were trespassing and ordered them to get out.
A new Molson was established 1/2 mile west of the original town site. Thus a bitter feud commenced that lasted 2 decades over which site was the official town of Molson. The Post Office was stolen when the PostMaster went to lunch, and the local bank was built on skids and moved from one lot to the other until it ended up in new Molson. There were a few punched noses as well.
In 1935, when the ore supply was finally exhausted, the railroad stopped its route to Molson. Once again, many residents left to work elsewhere and only a handful of farmers, ranchers, and those that prefer the solitude of such a lovely place remained. That is how you will find Molson to this day.
The history of this beautiful and seemingly peaceful pioneer town is full of intrigue as well as heartwarming stories of hardworking families. If you would like to know more about it, come to the museum and ask a volunteer or look to the large assortment of local history books that can be found in the Gift Shop in the Schoolhouse.