Kitsault, British Columbia
|Area code(s)||250, 778|
Kitsault is an unincorporated settlement on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada, at the head of Alice Arm, Observatory Inlet and at the mouth of the Kitsault River. The locality of Alice Arm and the Nisga'a community of Gits'oohl (formerly Gitzault Indian Reserve No. 24) are in the immediate vicinity. "Kitsault" is an adaptation of Gits'oohl, which means "a ways in behind".
Mining came to the remote valley with the Dolly Varden mine in 1918. Much of the area had been explored for minerals as Anyox and Stewart had mining booms. Alfred Taylor, of Taylor Way fame at Park Royal, West Vancouver, started the mine with the help of Chicago money. Bunkhouses, stores and a ten mile long railway was built to access the rich silver ore. The mine operated for only three years until it was held up in litigation. Taylor eventually won the mine and he went on to build the Lions Gate Bridge.
The later town of Kitsault was established in 1979 as the home community to a molybdenum mine run by the Phelps Dodge corporation of the United States. The community was designed for 1,200 residents and included a shopping mall, restaurant, swimming pool and bowling alley. In 1982, however, prices for molybdenum crashed and the entire community was evacuated after just 18 months of residence.
In an effort to revitalize the ghost town, Kitsault has been proposed as a location for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal site for the export of natural gas from northeastern British Columbia. LNG pipeline routing to Kitsault has been proposed.
- "Kitsault (Community)". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/38020.html.
- "Gits'oohl". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/54636.html.
- "Gitzault Indian Reserve 24 (rescinded)". BC Geographical Names. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/bcgnws/names/54302.html.