Kettle Valley

Kettle Valley is a dry, forested area in the Okanagan Highland of southern BC. The name relates either to rock formations in the waterfalls at the confluence of the Kettle and COLUMBIA rivers in Washington state or to the shape of baskets woven by Salish people there.

Economic Importance

Bypassed during the gold rush into nearby Boundary country in the 1880s, the Kettle Valley developed a stable silver-mining industry after becoming the final link of the railway system between the Kootenays and the Pacific coast. Begun in 1910, the CPR's Kettle Valley Division included a passenger service between Midway and Penticton (terminated 1964) popular with railway buffs. Hwy 33 follows the same route. The Highland Bell mine in Beaverdell produced silver from 1922-91. A granite quarry is located near the town. The valley's forests supply sawmills at Midway and Grand Forks and small local mills. Beef cattle graze on the area's many ranches.