A few months ago, a stunning – if slightly creepy – abandoned village in Canada went up for sale. The hamlet of Edelweiss in British Columbia was built in 1910 for the Swiss guides who had relocated to help tourists traverse the Rocky Mountains. By the 1980s, it was totally deserted, and now it’s on the market.
Local campaigners are worried that the six Alpine-style chalets (and the 50 acres of land that they sit on) could be bought up by developers. They’ve created the Swiss Edelweiss Village Foundation, and are raising money to buy the properties themselves. They say that the village ‘weaves together a mosaic of rich histories – mountaineering, tourism, architecture, Swiss immigration and Canada’s multiculturalism,’ which is worth protecting.
The homes are on sale for a rather reasonable CAD$2.3 million ($1.8 million, £1.3 million). And they’re not actually the draughty, pre-electric houses they once were: a relative of the original inhabitants has renovated and modernised the buildings, so they’re totally habitable.
So far, so good. There is a slight catch, however: an offer for the village has already been accepted. If the Swiss Edelweiss Village Foundation raises a non-refundable deposit of $100,000CAD ($78,000, £62,000) by July 15, though, they may be able to get in there and purchase it themselves. If that happens, they’ll have until December 16 to raise the full amount.
According to the National Trust for Canada, the hamlet is one of the country’s ten most endangered places. The foundation is hoping that it will make Edelweiss ‘a gift for all communities to enjoy’ and preserve its heritage. Want to help out? You can donate to the fundraiser here.
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