Edelweiss Village is a sleepy little settlement in Golden, BC, that’s more than a century old. And now, you could own it!
Six fir houses stand on the 50-acre property — not just houses, but tiny Swiss-style chalets, each perched on its own little hilltop. It could not be any more adorable.
The buildings were constructed by Canadian Pacific Railway to house Swiss mountain guides and their families sometime between 1910 and 1912. They feature original woodwork and staircases in addition to modern heating, plumbing, and electricity.
There is one main home on the property, which was built in the ‘70s, surrounded by hills and woods.
The guides were hired by CPR to lead wealthy tourists through mountain passes at Banff, Lake Louise, and Rogers Pass, say the Re/Max realtors managing the listing. The village exists on the stolen traditional territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc peoples.
The listing has been up for well over a year and realtors are asking for $2.3 million.
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A local group is worried the history of Edelweiss will be lost once it’s sold — and it does have a rich history. On the property, signs mark the “Home of the Famous Swiss Guides” for a reason.
Swiss Village has started a campaign to protect the site so the potential new owner doesn’t destroy the cabins and other heritage aspects of Edelweiss.
Members of Swiss Village include Swiss-Canadian author Ilona Spaar and Swiss-Canadian Chamber of Commerce board member Johann Roduit. Along with several advisors, including some who work with tourism in Golden, they hope to start a foundation to protect it.
“Our undertakings include mobilizing key players, fundraising, and promoting awareness about the village and its cultural value,” reads their website.
They hope they can make Edelweiss Village a designated heritage site, world-class tourist destination, and educational tour facility. With luck, they can provide guests an opportunity to stay in one of the homes.
The village has attracted the attention of people in Switzerland, too. A Swiss team met with the mayor of Golden to discuss the future of Edelweiss, and Swiss Village was covered on Swiss TV in January.
The Swiss Village website spotlights voices from the community who support the campaign.
Andreas Rufer, Consul General at Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver, called the site “one of many memories of the achievements of the Swiss mountain guides in the Canadian Rocky Mountains that we should keep alive.”
“Switzerland is proud to have contributed to shaping this mountain region that we know today as a world-renowned mountaineering and tourist destination,” he said.
Brittany Newman, the executive director at Golden Museum and Archives, echoed that sentiment.
“The Golden Museum and Archives strongly believes that the Edelweiss Swiss Village is an important part of Canadian and Swiss heritage that should be treasured, celebrated, and preserved,” she said.
“The creation of a foundation with the focus of meeting those goals is something we fully support. It is our hope that together we can save these historic buildings and use them to share the story of the Swiss Guides on a global level.”