The Amazing Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town and Chateau, in Revelstoke BC
I’ve never been one for touristy spots, but Three Valley Gap’s Three Valley Lake Chateau and the Heritage Ghost Town, located in Revelstoke, revealed a truly wonderful surprise, when we visited recently. Talk about a labour of love! Gordon and Ethel Bell and their large family have continued to put nearly 50 years of their time and painstaking effort and heart into running this unique heritage spot and they built it, own it and operate it themselves.
The lovely chateau actually started as a tiny motel and coffee shop, and now has more than 200 rooms, with many facing the valleys and beautiful garden. The Bells also recreated a wonderful Heritage Ghost Town village complete with replica (and some real!) historical buildings that Mr. Bell had shipped and rebuilt on his land, including a fire hall, jail, barber, cave, church, school house, hotel shops and many more nooks and crannies filled to overflowing with antiques and historical artifacts dating back more than 100 years.
Most impressive was the train yard and roundhouse – we were told that it was Mr. Bell’s last wish (sadly, he passed away in late 2007) to get this actually working so he could move his impressive collection of historical train cars around the enormous roundhouse. Amazingly, the roundhouse's floor now works, and the collection of trains, railway memorabilia and museum pieces (not to mention the stable of vintage cars, including a restored 1902 Curved Dash Olds!), are remarkable and a sight to behold. I was genuinely touched when listening to the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bell and their family’s devotion to making TVG a truly special place, and would recommend a visit to all comers. That they have really created this on their own and without government funding, it is a truly impressive achievement. TVG is a real BC gem!