The Valley Of The Ghosts – Sandon with the Fuji X-Pro1 & X100s

First on our list of West Kootenay ghost towns was Sandon, where they mined galena, a mix of silver, lead and zinc. When you look at the remaining buildings it is hard to believe it once was a booming city with nearly 8,000 residents. Not only did the city have two newspapers, seventeen hotels, dozens of saloons, social halls and of course a red light district but it also had electric streetlights and fire hydrants.

Unfortunately, unforgiving Mother Nature brought fires, avalanches and floods which, along with falling ore prices, completed the city’s demise.

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Here is the Silversmith Powerhouse – one of eight powerhouses that provided energy to the city and it is still working today. It is also the oldest continually operating hydroelectric plant in Western Canada.

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Below – Sandon City Hall



Steam locomotive brought from Alberta in 1998



The most photographed shed in Canada, as one local informed us. Original Sandon Fire-Hose Cart Shed built in the mid-1890s.




Wondering about the buses? The buses were in service in many cities, however, it was Vancouver that had the largest fleet of electric Brills buses in Canada. They were taken out of service in 1984 and brought to Sandon by a private individual. Some of the buses still have street signs like Granville on them. Quite a sight!



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A red light district.

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Remains of Cody – a settlement one mile from Sandon. Yes, it is me on the right photographing.



All images were shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X100s and processed with Iridient Developer 2.1 and Lightroom 4. The detail that Iridient Developer 2.1 extracts from the X-Trans files is astounding. Also, we really like a deconvolusion sharpening option. In our view it’s the best way to sharpen images. We are still experimenting with it and we will soon be able to share more about our findings.

In the meantime, in our next post we will leave West Kootenay, Canada and take you to Montana. Here is a teaser.






© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved. 


9 thoughts on “The Valley Of The Ghosts – Sandon with the Fuji X-Pro1 & X100s

  1. Astounding that the town depicted in these beautiful photos is the same one described in the introductory paragraph. Loved your exhibit on this intriguing subject.

  2. Nice shots. However, you should really do some perspective correction so it dosent look like the buildings are gonna fall over.

    1. Sharper,

      The photos were taken with the Fujinon XF 14mm, which is almost distortion free (corrected optically). However, the buildings you see in the photographs are really old and in a very bad shape. Many of them, indeed, look like they are gonna fall over.

      Thank you for pointing this out.


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