Molson was first founded in 1900 by George B. Meacham and investor John W. Molson of the Molson beer brewing family). In just a year, the population had grown to 300 and the town had a resident doctor, general stores, a saloon, a hotel and even a newspaper.
Unfortunately, the mining started failing only a year later. The population fell to just 13 people quickly. But a few years later population rose again when news of a railroad being built hit the area. Things looked bright for a moment, but it wasn’t meant to be.
J.H. McDonald, a local who ran a barn and stage line, filed for a homestead that included most of the town of Molson. In 1909, he enforced the homestead by publishing a notice forcing all the locals to depart. Molson’s residents were forced to leave and establish New Molson a half mile north.
If you walk through what’s left of this sleepy little town near the Canadian border, which is technically called the Old Molson Ghost Town Museum, you’ll be able to see the old pioneer buildings, farm machinery and some great artifacts. Step inside the Molson School Museum, which is an old red brick schoolhouse, and enjoy the exhibits of life in the pioneer days.
Needless to say, there was a lot of tension between J.H. McDonald and the residents of New Molson. But the railroad did arrive in 1909, bringing a few more residents to the area. The schoolhouse that became the museum was built in 1914 and the school-aged children attended for a few decades. But by 1935 the ore supply was finally exhausted, and the railroad stopped its route to Molson. Once again most of the residents left town, and once again Molson was basically deserted.
Perhaps it’s because its residents were asked to leave so abruptly, or maybe it’s the string of bad luck that surrounded the town… but Molson is a little spooky. Its remote location, dilapidated buildings and silent surroundings make it look like the setting of a scary movie.