Psst. Want to buy a town? 

For the price of a house in Whistler you can own a historical town

Do you have $1.3 million kicking around?

Do you want to buy an entire town?

Of course you do. Bradian, a small mining town that reached its peak in the 1930s gold rush, is up for sale, stocked with 22 homes, phone and power lines, and several roads leading from the town - all of it spread over 50 acres of land.

The only issue: no one lives there.

Located two hours from Whistler over the Hurley Pass, the ghost town has been on the market since February. It was once a bustling mining town, holding much of the spillover from the also-bustling Bralorne, until the price of gold dropped in 1971 and all the miners moved on.

Marmot Enterprises bought the town shortly after and, along with Bralorne, had plans to convert it into a retirement community. Developers finished the Bralorne project, but the 1981 recession left the company bankrupt and they abandoned Bradian, leaving the buildings vulnerable to the elements.

That is, until ghost-town enthusiast Tom Gutenberg, and his wife, Katherine, fell in love with the town and bought it in 1997.

"It was disappearing at the rate of several houses per year, people would simply dismantle them for parts. It's important for us to keep that sort of thing and that really was my intent, to save that piece of B.C. history," he said.

"It is - I mean it really is a special place."

Of the town's 80 original houses, only 22 were left when the Gutenbergs purchased the town. The Gutenbergs restored 20 of these, re-roofing and painting them, boarding them up to keep the elements out. They spent a decade on the project, coming up from Vancouver as often as they could to work on the homes. They put the town up for sale in February.

Their realtor, John Lovelace of LandQuest Realty Corp., said he's received six serious inquiries so far, all of which are from people living in the Lower Mainland.

He said they have a "broad mix" of intentions for the land: one client is contemplating turning Bradian into a snowmobile tourist destination, while another is looking into restoring the town as a historical site.

"I don't know anything that comes even close to this ( sale )," Lovelace said. "And I don't know of any other towns that are up for sale right now.

"Buying and selling something like this is fairly unique and it's not necessarily one of those things that's just going to fly off the shelves."

The town also has a water pump house, all but collapsed, and a main road leading into the town. The phone and power lines are still intact. There is a sewer system but it needs maintenance to get it up and running again.

"The price is such that it's not a big deal in terms of an investment. It's the price of a house in Whistler, actually," Lovelace said.




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